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President wants fuel economy rules for trucks

by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- America's commercial trucks will soon get their first fuel economy regulations, President Barack Obama announced Friday.

The new rules, which the President directed the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to draw up, would take effect in 2014. and would apply to medium and heavy duty trucks.

"Just like the rule concerning cars this rule will spur growth," the President said. Truckmakers will have to rely on technology and innovation to meet the new rules, he said.

"This is going to bring the cost for transporting goods," the President said. Fuel savings would thereby reduce the costs of goods to consumers as well as reducing the amount of fuel burned.

One year ago, the President announced plans for new, stricter fuel economy rules for passenger vehicles that set goals for those vehicles through the 2016 model year. In his speech, the president also called for a new round of fuel economy requirement increases that would begin with the 2017 model year.

The final regulations for those vehicles require all passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States to get an overall average of 34.1 miles per gallon by model year 2016.

By the 2016 model year, cars will be expected to average about 39 mpg while light trucks, vehicles that include minivans and SUVs, are expected to get an average of 30 mpg.

Current fuel economy standards for new cars are 27.5 mpg for cars and 23.5 mpg for trucks. Currently, there is no requirement for a combined fuel economy average.

Specific fuel economy targets for big trucks have not yet been set, but NHTSA and the EPA will begin working on the new rules.

"He wants us to look ahead and move our regulations to meet his vision for the country," EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said of the President's announcement in a conference call. To top of page

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