REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - The "Autobot Optimus Prime" truck from the movie "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is pictured during a pick-up in Los Angeles, California June 21, 2014.

Blog Post | Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative

Why truck emissions matter

July 6, 2015, Adie Tomer

In an informative article in Wired, Alex Davies summarizes the Obama administration’s proposed regulations regarding medium- and heavy-duty truck emissions, as well as what the regulations might mean for the future of truck design and technology. An important component of this story is why addressing trucks’ emissions standards is such a smart, targeted pursuit. As the chart demonstrates, trucks—in this case, vehicles with at least six tires—represent fewer than 5 percent of vehicles on the road but, because they are driven longer distances at lower fuel efficiencies, consume over a quarter of all gasoline. As a result, trucks generate 22 percent of all transportation emissions, far surpassing other industry sectors like aviation, ocean vessels, and rail. Targeting this relatively small group of vehicles can have outsized effects on the country’s environmental health.

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