Refiners and automobile manufacturers are beginning to work toward implementing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, which phases in new requirements from 2017 to 2025.
In the short term, the primary burden is on refiners to invest in new equipment that will reduce sulfur in fuel from 30 parts per million to 10 parts per million by 2017. Most new models of gasoline-powered vehicles already comply with the 2017 Tier 3 requirements. The challenge for diesel-powered vehicles, which already produce low emissions, will be to reduce emissions even further without compromising fuel economy.
Refiners and automotive manufacturers will need to invest in new technologies in order to meet these new emissions standards long-term. Fuel retailers would be wise to keep an eye on developments with the new standards as the cost of the new technology will likely be passed on to consumers — either at the pump or at the dealership.