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Environmental trucks rally for government support

OTTAWA, Ont. -- With federal government officials and representatives of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EP...

OTTAWA, Ont. — With federal government officials and representatives of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on-hand, a convoy of smog-free, greenhouse gas-fighting tractor-trailer units, converged on the nations capital region.

The convoy arrived on Oct. 16 and is part of the Canadian Trucking Alliances (CTA) effort to inform citizens and get federal politicians behind an initiative it is calling enviroTruck, which is aimed at accelerating the penetration of environmentally friendly vehicles into the Canadian truck fleet.

“Current government environmental policy and regulation of trucks deals with only one side of the equation and that is clean air,” explained David Bradley, CEO of the trucking alliance.

He went on to say that in introducing new standards for truck engine emissions, smog emissions from trucks will be virtually eliminated by 2010, but that an unintended consequence of this will be to impair the industrys fuel efficiency, and therefore its GHG performance.

Todays enviroTruck event included a white handkerchief test which shows that the exhaust from the new engines is cleaner than the air in most Canadian cities.

“Its an odd situation, but as it stands now, the cleaner the trucks get from an air quality perspective, the worse they are from a GHG perspective. That is the reality,” Bradley said. “What we are proposing is a practical, integrated and coordinated initiative involving trucking companies, truck and trailer manufacturers and the federal government to get the best of both worlds – eliminating smog and reducing GHGs from trucks by marrying the best available technology and providing incentives to encourage quicker adoption.”

Bradley noted the kinds of proven fuel saving technologies and add-on devices that would qualify under the enviroTruck program are anti-idling devices (auxiliary power units), tractor and trailer aerodynamic fairings, and low resistance tires.

“Combine those technologies with the new smog-free engines; require those applying for the incentives to activate the speed limiters on those engines at a maximum speed of no more than 105 km/hr and you have an enviroTruck,” he said. “Its an approach similar to the Energy Star program that has been so successful in getting people to switch to more energy efficient household appliances, or the recently announced program of rebates for the purchase of fuel efficient cars.”

CTA also released a study by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a US not-for-profit research firm with a track record on environmental technology that validates CTAs claims. The study shows that if the entire Canadian fleet of 294,000 Class-8 trucks were to adopt a full package of energy-efficiency technologies, Canadian truck owners and operators would save 4.1 billion litres of fuel and reduce emissions by 11,500,000 tonnes of GHG each year. This is equivalent to taking 64,000 Class-8 trucks off the road or taking 2.6 million cars off the road.

A full copy of the report is available on both the CTA and RMI website.

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Truck News

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