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Trucks, Regs, & a Cool Video

This will be a different sort of blog-post from me today. I am going to highlight the trucks; some new regulations, some cool things, etc. I hope you enjoy it.

A few years back (2009, I think) President Obama raised carmakers’ Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirement (an average MPG rating across the automaker’s entire vehicle inventory) to 54.5 MPG by 2025. While new cars’ average MPG ratings have been steadily climbing and even increasing their rate of advancement, they are not necessarily on pace to reach that 54.5 MPG aggregate rating in time.

According to Car and Driver, President Obama stepped in and told automakers and government regulators to start working together rather than merely fighting over the rules. What came out of their new cooperation is CAFE credits. For instance, the EPA gives a 3.0-4.3 MPG “credit” for solar-reflective glass and paint that lowers interior temperatures and reduces HVAC system loads and thereby reduces a vehicle’s carbon footprint.

As our industry heads into the EPA’s and NHSTA’s Phase 2 of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Standards for Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles, industry advocates and equipment-makers alike are saying that while the goals of the GHG regulations are good, the regulations are too strict and the timeline is too tight.

It is easy to see, however, that the EPA will work with truck, engine, and trailer manufacturers in the same format that it does with auto-makers. I am not an engineer. I do not want to insinuate that I know what is and what is not possible. But I cannot help but remember the story of the Bugatti Veyron. The CEO at a major press conference and without the knowledge of his engineering team told the gathered press that Bugatti Veyron (up to then, just a concept car) would go into production and that it would achieve 1000+ HP, 1000+ lb-ft of torque, and have top speed of more than 250 MPH.

The Bugatti engineering team was aghast; livid. “How dare he make such claims without their input!” they thought. But with that bar being raised. They accomplished it.

That story needs to be a motivating factor to engineering teams at truck manufacturers, engine developers, etc. throughout the world. They can get there. It won’t be easy. It might be expensive (the Bugatti Veyron costs upwards of $2 million). But it might also be worth it.

Lastly I want to close today’s post with fun story/marketing video Volvo Trucks released highlighting the durability of their new FMX truck. The video is definitely worth your 2 minutes.

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