2019 Chevy Silverado HD black front view

Does the EPA require fuel economy numbers for all trucks?

Why do some trucks not have fuel economy numbers?

Are you looking at a great pre-owned American or import truck? Trying to find the mpg rating? Some trucks will seem to have those numbers readily available, but others not so much. Why do some trucks not have fuel economy numbers? No, the dealership isn’t hiding something from you. It’s actually a little more complicated than that.

2018 Ram 3500 white front viewDo heavy-duty trucks not have to list mpg?

When you notice that some trucks list mpg and others don’t you may also notice that it’s always the heavy-duty trucks that are missing that fuel economy information, and that’s because the EPA simply doesn’t require them to publish these numbers. They are still tested and still have to meet certain specs for both efficiency and emissions, but they do not have to disclose those numbers, and that’s because it largely doesn’t matter to most heavy-duty truck buyers.

If you are contemplating a heavy duty truck, then what are you going to use it for? Are you typically going to be hauling a load? You probably will be, which would change your fuel economy and make those numbers essentially meaningless to you. In the end, it prevents truck manufacturers from prioritizing empty-truck fuel economy for marketing, when the numbers don’t really matter.

2019 Ford Super Duty lineup on a job siteHow is a truck classified as heavy duty?

Now you may wonder, what exactly makes a truck a heavy duty truck, at least in the eyes of the EPA. There are two EPA classifications for trucks: light duty and heavy duty. Light-duty trucks must disclose mpg numbers just like cars, and they include any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating or GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less. Ford F-150 trucks and Chevy Silverado 1500 trucks would both fall into this category.


How much do American trucks tow?


Any truck that has a GVWR of 8,501 pounds or more falls under the heavy-duty EPA classification and avoids having to disclose mpg numbers. For those who may not be aware, GVWR is how much a truck weighs when it is loaded up to its maximum payload. In other words, it’s max payload plus truck weight.

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