Toyota prototype of solid-state battery
Oxygen-rich graphene support could lead to durable fuel cell catalysts more resistant to CO poisoning

European, Japanese, and North American heavy-duty engine and vehicle manufacturers call for harmonized global approach to improve fuel efficiency

Leading manufacturers of heavy-duty commercial trucks and engines called for a harmonized global approach and cooperation in efforts to improve fuel efficiency, with increased cooperation among European, Japanese and American regulators as a necessary key element. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a proposed rulemaking for the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. (Earlier post.)

Convening at the 8th Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting in Chicago last week, the chief executives of more than a dozen manufacturers discussed fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions, diesel fuel specifications, and topics related to heavy-duty engine and vehicle regulation and certification.

In a statement released following the meeting, the chief executives said they recognized the importance of moving forward to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions even as the industry faces significant challenges brought on by worldwide economic conditions over the last three years. One key to that effort is working to harmonize vehicle and fuel requirements across governments and regions so that manufacturers can achieve economies of scale and work towards uniform specifications and requirements.

The manufacturers meeting agreed to pursue efforts across the globe to develop harmonized fuel, testing, and certification practices and procedures related to fuel efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas reductions.

As key participants in the goods movement and freight transport sectors, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers assembled here today recognize the importance of energy security, improved fuel efficiency and climate change. Conflicting and inefficient regulatory requirements and different specifications and testing requirements hinder our ability to introduce innovative technologies and make needed improvements.Daniel C. Ustian, Chairman, President, and CEO of Navistar, Inc, co-host

Continuing the progress made at previous meetings, the chief executives discussed topics related to:

  • adoption of a world-wide heavy-duty emissions certification procedure,
  • harmonization of fuel specifications and regulations,
  • fuel efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas reductions, and
  • requirements for certification of heavy-duty hybrid vehicles.

Among the principles agreed to at the meeting regarding fuel efficiency regulations were:

  • the need for uniform regional programs, coordinated internationally,
  • common metrics based on work performed,
  • cost effective and implementable programs that provide leadtime and stability, and
  • programs that are compatible with the complexities of the heavy-duty marketplace.

In addition to the participation of the chief executives, the meeting brought together representatives of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).



Excellent initiative. Should be expanded to cars and light trucks.

Fuel consumption test should be standardized and expressed in Km/L.


Sometimes private sector companies will cooperate and sometimes they will not, it depends on what is in it for them. Product differentiation versus commoditization are at odds. If I become like every one else, why would customers buy my products?


Standardized fuel consumption tests is something that buyers don't see.
Secondly, why not express the results the same way as not to over-confuse buyers. Something like Km/L, like Japan uses, is straight forward and even us (North Americans) should understand it. Conversion to mpg (for the very few countries still using those antic measures) is very easy.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

I have no idea why they are involved at all, their charter is Highway SAFETY.

Let's say I have an engine that is smaller, lighter and more powerful than the competitors, but does not meet the mileage nor CO2 goals. Unless they tell me that I can not sell the engine, I let the market decide. The market says we like it and buys in great numbers. This is the difference between cooperation, commodities and competition.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

I have no idea why they are involved at all, their charter is Highway SAFETY.

Actually, as per their website;

"First enacted by Congress in 1975, the purpose of CAFE is to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light trucks. NHTSA administers the CAFE program, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the fuel economy data. NHTSA sets fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. while EPA calculates the average fuel economy for each manufacturer."

And wikipedia says much the same:

"As part of its activities, NHTSA is charged with writing and enforcing safety, theft-resistance, and fuel economy standards for motor vehicles, the latter under the rubric of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) system. NHTSA also licenses vehicle manufacturers and importers, allows or blocks the import of vehicles and safety-regulated vehicle parts, administers the VIN system, develops the anthropomorphic dummies used in safety testing, as well as the test protocols themselves, and provides vehicle insurance cost information. The agency has asserted preemptive regulatory authority over Greenhouse gas emissions, but this has been disputed by such state regulatory agencies as the California Air Resources Board."


Thanks for the information. It seems odd, but I guess department names don't always reflect what they do. I would think the EPA and DOE would take care of that. That explains why Congress recently set CAFE and NHTSA decided to shorten the timeline.


The way I see it fuel economy IS about safety, afterall gasoline and diesel fuels are explosive, flammable and toxic. From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's point of view it would be better to use less of it.


That is a valid point, it is my guess the the Department of Transportation has lots to do and NHTSA was the group involved in cars, so they were chosen.

They have an interesting comment on NHTSA and headlights. They said that they standardized on sealed beam and that stopped innovation for decades. Europe had more streamlined designs but the U.S. was stuck with their regulations. It took Ford in the 80s to get them to consider alternatives.


Yeah I heard about that.


No doubt, a "harmonized, global approach" is needed in alot of areas. And as has been pointed out, adoption of METRIC measure ASAP, and making sure fourth graders as well as ALL US governments get IT would be a start.

Grams per MILE is NO way to go thru life, son.

Stan Peterson

The Congress when it set up the CAFE, was seeking a way to reduce OIL imports, provide energy Independence, and ease the trade imbalance. An easy to do so was to improve fuel economy of LDVs,(cars and light trucks).

But the supposition that improved fuel economy results in less OIL demand, is not necessarily always true. If I can substitute a non critical fuel like Ethanol, even though it takes more of it to equal gasoline, I have reduced OIL demand even as I have lowered achieved CAFE mileage numbers.

This is mutually contradictory, as the NHTSA CAFE personnel have noted,and attempted to remedy. They attempt to correct for this absurdity, with an arbitrary and non-scientific, alternate fuel capability fuel economy increase, for cars capable of consuming ethanol.

Hardly a scientific way to go about it but it does reflect the reality, that gasoline reduction is the genuine and REAL target, not improved mileage.

Now the Eco-loons at EPA, who won the bureaucratic turf war to put economy stickers on windshields, have gone out of their way to penalize the first fully capable substitute to an ICE powered LDV. The EPA and CARB Eco nuts fail to recognize that an EREV is not only capable of increasing fuel economy markedly, but that it is even MORE CAPABLE of substituting another fuel, electricity, for OIL based gasoline.

The "CAP" teams of committed, genuine, civilian environmentalists, who have pushed for the VOLT and are driving their VOLTS in real day-to-day environments, report CAFE Gasoline economy of hundreds of miles per gallon; and not just a doubling of the best CAFE measurements to a mere 93 mpg, as the EPA loons try to imply with their purposeful distortions on their window stickers.

Why ? Because the substitution of electricity is on a more than 1 for 1 basis. EREVs consume electricity on a a highly Preferential basis, using it all up, before using ANY gasoline. Consumers can replenish the electricity daily or not, by recharging, but when they do, it is possible for 78% of the drivers to never use a drop of gasoline. So the substitution ratio becomes not 1 for 1, but 9 to 1, or even higher.

Once again the government bureaucrats, to preserve their jobs, have distorted and transformed a legal mandate, into some stupid rule that works at cross-purposes to what was the original objective.

It is way past time to clean house at the EPA, and remove these ditzes.

The same applies at CARB where the EREV, a much more practical vehicle, is penalized for not giving its batteries, a warranty for 150,000 miles, that a pure BEV even more dependent on its even larger batteries, like the Tesla and Leaf, does NOT HAVE TO MEET, at all.

The comments to this entry are closed.