The federal government wants pickup truck manufacturers to introduce “game changing” technologies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including hybrid technology, according to a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And it wants to see it happen soon.
As reported by Pickuptrucks.com, under the proposal, manufacturers could get per-vehicle credits toward their corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) if they use “significant quantities” of hybrid technology on full-size pickups, starting in 2017.
What’s surprising is how fast the government wants to act. To be eligible for the credits, a truck manufacturer must use the technology on a minimum percentage of its full-size pickup production — 30% in 2017 and rising to at least 80% in 2021 for what the EPA calls “a mild HEV pickup truck.” Given that the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid and the GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid make up a small portion of pickup truck sales right now, it’s hard to imagine similar vehicles would make up 30% of a fleet in six years, let alone 80% in 10 years.
Pickuptrucks.com said that stop/start systems, regenerative braking, minimum battery voltage value and minimum energy storage capacity were among the technologies outlined in the proposal. The proposal also mentions that the government intends to offer a performance-based incentive credit for full-size pickups that significantly reduce emission below the CAFE target.
The proposal is part of an effort by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions for the 2017-25 model years. The agencies want set up a national program to cut greenhouse gases by 2 billion metric tons and save about 4 billion barrels over the course of those models. President Barack Obama already announced tough new fuel-economy standards that will increase the corporate average fuel economy in the U.S. to 54.5 mpg for cars and light trucks built between 2017 and 2025.
The proposal is expected to be formally issued by the end of next month, and a formal ruling is expected by July 31, 2012.