President Barack Obama is to introduce new fuel-efficiency standards for truck manufacturers in a bid to lower C02 emissions by 20%.

The measures – that are envisaged to cut emissions by 2018 – will apply to vehicles such as 18-wheelers, refuse and delivery trucks reports the Wall Street Journal with the first initiative due to be start by 2014.

Obama’s move follows last week’s announcement of new fuel-economy standards and is backed by the heavy vehicles industry adds the report.

“This rule aligns well with what our customers want, which is the best fuel economy or fuel efficiency,” said Engine Manufacturers Association spokesman Joe Suchecki.

The emissions curbs are part of the Obama government’s aim to cut dependence on oil

“Fuel is one of our top two operating expenses, along with labour,” said American Trucking Association vice president and environmental counsel Glen Kedzie. “This is one of the few regulations I’ve ever seen where there’s going to be a financial benefit going back to the purchaser of that truck. Most regulation is a capital outlay, which you don’t recoup.”

The report adds there will be initial costs put at US$1,050 for work trucks, US$380 for vocational trucks and US$6,220 for supercab tractors. However, estimates are some US$50bn will be saved in fuel costs and will cut the use of 530m barrels of oil.

Large trucks will have to reduce emissions by 20%, while heavy-duty pick-up trucks will be required to drop by 12%. Vocational trucks such as delivery trucks, buses and refuse lorries will have to implement a 9% cut.