US: Vehicle Definitions

Overview

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines vehicle and engine types for the purposes of federal emissions regulations.

California, which sets its own emissions standards for some categories of vehicles, uses similar vehicle definition as the federal EPA, but with some minor differences.

Technical Standards

The following table summarizes vehicle classifications as defined by the EPA:

Vehicle Definitions
Vehicle Abbreviation Definition
Passenger Vehicles
Light-duty Vehicles (i.e. Passenger Cars) LDV maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) < 8,500 lbs.
Medium-duty Passenger Vehicles MDPV 8,501 – 10,000 lbs GVWR
Light-duty Trucks
Light-duty Trucks LDT Max 8500 lb GVWR, Max 6000 lb curb weight, and Max 45 ft^2 frontal area
light light-duty trucks
LDT1 Max 3750 lb LVW (loaded vehicle weight: curb weight + 300 lb)
light light-duty trucks
LDT2 Min 3750 lb LVW (loaded vehicle weight: curb weight + 300 lb)
heavy light-duty trucks
LDT3 Max 5750 lb ALVW (adjusted loaded vehicle weight: avg of GVWR and curb weight)
heavy light-duty trucks
LDT4 Min 5750 lb ALVW (adjusted loaded vehicle weight: avg of GVWR and curb weight)
Heavy-duty Vehicles (GVWR)
Heavy-duty vehicles
HDV 2b 8,501 – 10,000 lbs
HDV 3 10,001 – 14,000 lbs
HDV 4 14,001 – 16,000 lbs
HDV 5 16,001 – 19,500 lbs
HDV 6 19,501 – 26,000 lbs
HDV 7 26,001 – 33,000 lbs
HDV 8a 33,001 – 60,000 lbs
HDV 8b >60,001 lbs

Diesel engines used in heavy-duty vehicles are further divided into service classes by GVWR:

  • Light heavy-duty diesel engines (LHDDE): 8,501 – 19,500, e.g for use in HDV classes 2b – 5
  • Medium heavy-duty diesel engines (MHDDE): 19,501 – 33,000, e.g. for use in HDV classes 6-7
  • Heavy heavy-duty diesel engines (including urban bus) (HHDDE): > 33,000, e.g. for use in HDV class 8

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