UPPER MARLBORO, Md., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A tighter fuel efficiency standard for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is a "win-win-win" situation for the U.S. economy, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
Obama said during his State of the Union address in January he'd call for new fuel standards on trucks. During a speech Tuesday in Maryland, the president said better fuel efficiency meant lower pollution, lower fuel costs and less dependence on foreign oil imports.
"So it's not just a win-win, it is a win-win-win," he said in his remarks.
He said trucks made up about 4 percent of all vehicles on the road, but accounted for about 20 percent of the pollution from the transportation sector.
The president ordered federal agencies to develop new fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by March 2016.
Five years ago, he said, his administration aimed to raise fuel economy standards to 35.5 miles per gallon for new vehicles by 2016. He said Tuesday he wanted to "double the distance our cars and light trucks can go on a gallon of gas by 2025."
The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy in December said the Dodge Ram HFE two-wheel drive led the class for standard pickup trucks with 21 miles per gallon while Ford and Chevy led in most other truck classes. The Toyota RAV 4 EV led in terms of hybrid electric passenger trucks with 76 mpg.