CTA applauds Transport Canada’s $38-million environmental program

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TORONTO, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance says it is encouraged by Transport Canada’s move to fund the next phase the ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles Program – a five-year, $38-million program that will proactively test advanced vehicle technologies that will help develop safety and environmental regulations, as well as industry codes and standards.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) applauded last week’s announcement of the plan, which builds upon a successful predecessor program with the same name that was focused on testing environmental technologies for passenger cars.  The new program, however, will expand testing activities to include heavy-duty trucks and a broader range of technologies.

“In these challenging economic times, CTA is appreciative of Transport Canada dedicating limited resources to research in our sector which could result in the identification of opportunities or challenges associated with green technology,” said CTA senior vice-president Stephen Laskowski. “This research will no doubt identify ways to green our sector without introducing unnecessary costs as well as hopefully identifying challenging technology that is not worth pursuing.”

Through the promotion of its enviroTruck campaign, CTA continues to lobby the federal government for the introduction of financial incentives to encourage the purchase of GHG friendly tractors and add-on devices for trailers.

“With the heavy truck greenhouse gas regulation slated for introduction in 2014, CTA believes it is critical the federal government utilize the tax system, just as is the case with manufacturing equipment, to incentivize carrier purchases,” said Laskowski.

Unlike the air quality emission standards, the GHG standards will not specify the required equipment for all heavy trucks sold over the regulatory period. Therefore, “incentives will be critical if the government would like to see more GHG friendly heavy trucks hitting the road at a much quicker rate,” added Laskowski.

List of heavy truck projects slated for inclusion under EcoTECHNOLOGY program:
    Studying the feasibility of replacing truck rear view mirrors with on-board cameras to improve aerodynamic efficiency.  eTV will test the reliability/durability of the camera equipment, study human factors consideration, and investigate user acceptance.  Results will help develop vehicle safety regulations and support the implementation of future environmental regulations.

     Conducting scale-model aerodynamic wind-tunnel testing to measure the drag reduction capabilities of aerodynamic devices (e.g. cab under-body treatments, gap reduction methods, long combination vehicles) equipped on long haul truck-trailer combinations. Results will help develop North American emission regulations, and help industry integrate new innovations into the Canadian market.

     Studying the potential for boat-tails (aerodynamic fins affixed at the end of tractor-trailers) to affect other road users due to the spraying of snow, ice, mud and other debris.  Scale-model wind-tunnel testing and track testing will be performed.  Results will help develop safety regulations and non-regulatory codes and standards.

    Studying the safety benefits of side-skirts (an aerodynamic sheet of material that fills the gap from the bottom of the truck trailer to the ground and in between front and the rear axle of the trailer) versus side-guards (metal bars in the same area) to withstand pedestrian impacts at standard temperatures (20°C) and cold temperatures (-25°C).  Results will help develop safety standards, and non-regulatory codes and standards.

   Testing the performance of hybrid electric trucks across a variety of operating conditions, including cold weather.  Results will be gathered on emissions performance and fuel consumption.  This work will support the development of future environmental regulations, the development of non-regulatory codes and standards, Government of Canada energy effici ency programs, and the development of global technical regulations.

    Testing the safety and environmental performance of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to assist with provincial weights & dimensions regulations, emissions regulations, industry codes and standards and to support the work of the Technical Advisory Committee that is implementing the recommendations of the Natural Gas Use in Canadian Transportation Sector Deployment Roadmap.

    Conducting cross-comparison testing of various alternative fuel vehicles (such as compressed natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel, and electric) in the laboratory to assess performance, fuel consumption and emissions, (e.g. greenhouse gas, black carbon, etc.)   This work will support the development of future environmental regulations and Government of Canada energy efficiency programs.

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