OOIDA: EPA’s proposed emission rule is ‘costly and burdensome’

May 2, 2023

Tyson Fisher


Representatives of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association gave testimony during a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearing regarding proposed emission standards for trucks. Bottom line: The trucking industry is not ready for electric vehicles.

On Tuesday, May 2, the EPA held a public hearing for its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3 proposed rule, which would require a quarter of new heavy trucks sold in the U.S. to be all-electric by 2032. Dozens of stakeholders spoke out for and against the proposal, including OOIDA.

In his testimony, OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh pointed out that the Association has expressed its concerns with emission mandates since the early stages of the Cleaner Trucks Initiative in November 2018. Five years later, EPA is proposing another “costly and burdensome” rule, Pugh said.

Pugh also brought up concerns with the charging infrastructure, or the lack thereof.

“The Phase 3 rule is also a blatant attempt to force consumers into purchasing electric vehicles while a national charging infrastructure network remains absent for heavy-duty commercial trucks,” Pugh said. “Professional drivers are skeptical of (electric vehicle) costs, mileage range, battery weight and safety, charging time, and availability. It’s baffling that the EPA is pushing forward with more impractical emissions timelines without first addressing these overwhelming concerns with electric (commercial motor vehicles).”

OOIDA Board Member Monte Wiederhold spoke about the past mistakes the EPA has made with emission standards.

“Downtime became so costly, many truckers lost their businesses and their livelihoods,” Wiederhold said. “Trucks became less reliable. Now we’re told that (electric vehicles) are the way to go.”

Wiederhold brought up how batteries for an electric truck will add several tons to the weight of the truck. Consequently, electric trucks forces truckers to carry less cargo.

“While there is nothing wrong with looking for alternative fuels, it seems this administration seeks punitive measures to force truckers to comply with these standards,” Wiederhold said.

Danny Schnautz, also an OOIDA board member, told the EPA the effects of a truck breaking down, which happens often with new, unproven technology.

“Drivers are affected by breakdowns,” Schnautz said. “The family budget is affected and the family schedule. Another issue is the supply chain, where broken heavy trucks delay loads. We’re all worried about supply chain reliability, and here we are with advanced technologies that fail often.”


Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3

The EPA’s proposed emission standards for heavy trucks would require a quarter of new heavy trucks sold in the U.S. to be all-electric by 2032.

According to the EPA’s 717-page proposal, the upfront cost difference between an electric truck and an internal combustion engine truck is $582 for a short-haul daycab tractor. However, that price difference skyrockets to $14,712 for long-haul sleeper cab tractors.

The proposal complements the criteria pollutant standards for model year 2027 and beyond heavy-duty vehicles that EPA finalized in December 2022 and represents the third phase of EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan.

EPA is proposing stronger carbon dioxide standards for model year 2027 heavy-duty vehicles that go beyond the current emission standards that apply under the HD Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas program. EPA is also proposing an additional set of carbon dioxide standards for heavy-duty vehicles that would begin to apply in model year 2028, with progressively lower standards each model year through 2032.

“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution, and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a statement. LL

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