OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadas transport trucks start running on ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel next week.
The cleaner-burning fuel which by law will be the only truck diesel available in Canada contains 97 per cent less sulfur and will drastically reduce the emissions of particulate matter which has been linked to respiratory illness. The new grade of truck diesel fuel will contain no more than 15 ppm sulfur, down from 500 ppm. Introduction of the new diesel fuel is the first step in the introduction of new smog-free truck engines which will start operating on the roads in 2007.
With the combination of ultra-clean truck diesel fuel and cleaner truck engines, there will be a drastic reduction in truck emissions that cause smog, says David Bradley, CEO, Canadian Trucking Alliance. As the only freight mode whose fuel and engine emissions are currently regulated, trucking is at the head of the pack compared to other modes of transportation and other industries in Canada.
The trucking industrys commitment to the environment does not stop with the new fuel and engine emission regulations, adds Bradley. CTA has developed a 14-point plan to further reduce smog emissions and greenhouse gases, which it hopes will be reflected in the federal governments new Clean Air Act that is expected to be introduced in Parliament later this week. Among the measures being promoted by the trucking alliance is the mandatory activation of speed limiters on all trucks, the removal of regulatory obstacles to the introduction of wide-base tires, anti-idling devices and aerodynamic fairings.
The environmental improvements will not come without costs though. According to petroleum producers the cost to manufacture the ultra low sulphur diesel fuel is at least 3 cents per litre more than conventional on-road diesel. And, the new fuel has a 1 to 2 per cent lower energy content. Similarly, the new 2007 engine will add at least $8,000 to the purchase price of new trucks and bump up the price of maintenance. As a result, CTA says the government should also consider implementing selective, time-limited incentives to accelerate the penetration of these green technologies into the truck market.
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