Trucks and Trailers: Fuel Efficiency

Luke Tonachel
Luke Tonachel

A hybrid in every garage is the mantra behind a new campaign by more than a dozen environmental groups to increase the car fuel efficiency standard to 60 miles per gallon. The Sierra Club and other groups are asking for better fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks starting in 2014, and a 60 mpg standard for cars by 2025.

However, in Wyoming, families are more likely to drive trucks. NRDC clean vehicles analyst Luke Tonachel says while trucks don't usually get much attention in the efficiency debate, he thinks there is technology available now to increase the mpg.

He says truck efficiency improvements don't have to stop at the engine, though. He has found that trailer design, both large and small, needs an overhaul as well.

Yet, Tonachel adds, trucks nationwide only make up 4% of vehicles on the road. Car and truck industry lobbyists claim there are safety trade-offs in boosting mileage, and there isn't enough consumer demand to justify a government regulation.

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