WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consider adopting more stringent greenhouse gas emissions rules for heavy trucks after Congress passed new incentives to speed the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, the agency told Reuters.
In March, the EPA proposed new rules to cut smog-forming and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heavy duty vehicles. The agency said it will reopen the proposed GHG rules after passage in August of the climate and spending Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association, representing which companies such as Daimler Trucks, Caterpillar and Cummins, previously raised concerns the EPA proposal could boost costs and result in customers keeping "their higher emitting trucks longer."
EPA will be issuing a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to consider more stringent GHG standards for model years 2027 through 2029 in December.
EPA Office of Air and Radiation official Joseph Goffman told Reuters "the big change here is the Inflation Reduction Act. Congress definitely sent a very strong message backed by significant resources."
EPA believes much greater zero emission vehicle adoption rates are possible for 2027 through 2029.
The EPA still plans to finalize the proposed smog-forming truck rules by December.
Non-profit RMI said the IRA's up to $40,000 Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle tax credit "will turbocharge adoption of electric medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks," and will make electric trucks cheaper to operate than diesels in most cases.
In March, EPA said the new heavy truck GHG standards when fully phased in would result in up to 24-25 percent lower CO2 emissions.
EPA in March proposed tighter standards for 17 of the 33 subcategories of vocational and tractor vehicles including school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks, and short-haul tractors.
Transportation is the largest source of U.S. GHG emissions, making up 29 percent of emissions and heavy-duty vehicles are the second-largest contributor, at 23 percent, the EPA said.