Feds Set Ambitious Emissions Goals for Trucks and Buses

Feds Set Ambitious Emissions Goals for Trucks and Buses

There will be some changes to the truck and bus models you see driving down the country’s highways come 2021. According to a press release from Environment News Service, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have made some decisions on emissions caps for medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses for the 2021 through 2027 model years.

The goal of these two agencies partnering up is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to encourage “manufacturing innovation”.

Environment News Service reports that the potential benefits of the stringent emissions program outweigh the cost of the changes at an 8 to 1 ratio. While trucking companies will surely need to spend some money on development, they should also plan to be able to save money on fuel—approximately $170 billion across the country.

The EPA hopes that the new laws will encourage trucking companies and transit services to adopt vehicles that use cleaner alternative fuels, so that future generations don’t have to figure out how to fix the fossil fuel problem.

“Today’s ambitious but achievable announcement is a huge win for the American people, giving us cleaner air, more money saved at the pump, and real benefits for consumers across the supply chain,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in the press release.

Model years 2014 and 2015 were covered under a similar, but somewhat less ambitious emissions goal plan, which is expected to save the country about $50 billion in fuel costs. And according to ENS, truck sales were up in 2014 and 2015, which means that the trucking industry will undoubtedly be able to keep up with the government’s demands, and produce cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles that have a lesser impact on the environment.

We’ll have to stay tuned and keep an eye on model year 2021 to see what they come up with! In the meantime, you can find a variety of great new and used options right here at Northwest Bus Sales.

Zion National Park May Soon Adopt Electric Buses

Zion National Park May Soon Adopt Electric Buses

The National Park Service has long maintained a commitment to minimizing traffic on their roads and keeping environmentally-vehicles in their fleet. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), roughly 60 percent of the vehicles the Park Service maintains are electric or powered by alternative fuels. About 20 years ago, the Park Service began replacing its gasoline and diesel-powered buses with low-emission propane-powered alternatives. Now, those buses are getting old and park officials are considering upgrading to an even more environmentally-friendly alternative – electric buses.

Recently, the Park Service began working with the NREL to evaluate the possibility of converting 14 propane-powered buses in Utah’s Zion National Park to electric drivetrains. Before the Park Service can commit to the conversions, they need to make sure that the electric buses would be able to meet the demands of traversing the road topography in the Zion National Park. They’ll also have to assess the cost of installing and supporting a charging infrastructure in the park.

Currently, the NREL is working on gathering data from onboard logging devices on the current fleet of buses to determine the power and range that an electric bus will need to ferry tourists around the park in the future. Once they gather the statistical data on the current buses’ performance, they’ll provide the information to companies bidding for the conversion contract.

The NREL has worked with the Parks Service in the past, and was instrumental in the earlier transition to propane-powered buses. Now, they’ve returned to help facilitate the transition to electric buses as well. Zion might be the first National Park to work toward adopting electric buses, but they certainly won’t be the last.