Trucks bettering cars in Ontario emission tests

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TORONTO, Ont. – The vast majority of commercial vehicles are passing Ontario’s Drive Clean emission control tests, and they’re even bettering the records of tested cars.

Emissions from more than 90,000 commercial vehicles have been tested in the past year, recording an overall pass rate of 94 per cent. Vehicles built in the past six years are passing the tests 99 per cent of the time.

The Ministry of the Environment had initially predicted a 15 per cent failure rate for commercial vehicles. Light-duty vehicles, meanwhile, are failing the tests about 20 per cent of the time.

While the tests are required of all trucks more than three years old, cars and light trucks only need to be tested in selected urban centres.

“We would expect trucks to be better maintained than cars,” said Ontario Trucking Association president David Bradley. “Truck operators understand that maintaining a vehicle in top condition is essential for maximizing fuel efficiency. It’s simply good business. The trucking industry doesn’t need Drive Clean to know that.

“On average it would take about eight of today’s trucks to equal the emissions from a truck manufactured just a decade ago. Furthermore, new engine standards to be phased in by 2004 will see truck emissions reduced by a further 40 per cent, compared to 1999 engines.

The association continues to push for a change in focus for the tests, to target only gross emitters and older vehicles. It also wants out-of-province trucks to have to comply with the tests as well. n

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