Balance safety, fuel economy in emissions rules: CTA

TORONTO, ON - The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is asking the federal government to balance safety and the environment in proposed emissions rules which credit the fuel economy gains that can be realized with tires. "Regulating tire selection is a tricky business," says Geoff Wood, the group's vice president - operations. "Tires need to be spec'd for both safety and the environment. No one policy objective should trump the other." Environment and Climate Change Canada recently released its plans for Greenhouse Gas limits that will apply to 2018-29 Model Year equipment, effectively mirroring those unveiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A tire market survey planned by Transport Canada should help find a balance between tire traction and fuel efficiency when finalizing the emissions regulations, the alliance adds.

Canada’s emission goals take center stage

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Canada's is embracing an "ambitious" climate change objective that by 2030 would eliminate more Greenhouse Gases than come from every vehicle on the road today, according to Jody Proctor, Transport Canada's director - clean air policy analysis. Almost ΒΌ of the nation's Greenhouse Gas emissions come from transportation, and 80% of that comes from on-road vehicles, she said during a panel discussion at the annual Green Truck Summit. Trucks account for about 30% of that. "Transportation clearly needs to be part of our climate change solution," she told the crowd, stressing that climate change will cost Canadians $21-43 billion per year by 2050.

Think “well to wheel” around emission options

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The trucking industry has to "put on the brakes" when it comes to its thirst for diesel if it hopes to meet targets to slash Greenhouse Gas emissions, according to Wilfried Achenbach, Daimler Trucks North America's senior vice president - engineering and technology. But electric vehicles don't yet offer the answer when the steps to produce electricity are considered. Speaking at the NTEA's annual Green Truck Summit, Achenbach stressed that diesel engines continue to be the industry's "workhorse" because of their high torque and long-life, delivering 10 kwh of energy per kilogram in a format that is easy to refuel and readily available.

Canadian equipment prices to rise with emission rules

OTTAWA, ON - The federal government has published its plans for new Greenhouse Gas limits that will apply to 2018-29 Model Year equipment, effectively mirroring changes introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The required upgrades will cost Canada's trucking industry an extra $4.1 billion, but save $10.3 billion in fuel, according to the Department of the Environment. When considering the overall lifespan of the affected vehicles, net benefits are expected to reach $8.8 billion between 2018 and 2050. The upgrades are projected to add 8% to the cost of a typical 2027 Model Year tractor, or $11,322. Vocational vehicles in the same model year will cost an extra 4%, or $4,369. Trailers - introduced in emissions standards for the first time beginning with the 2018 Model Year - will see an average 4% price bump on 2027 models. That will be up $1,237. Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, meanwhile, will see price tags increase an average of 3% or $1,324 per vehicle.

Will new U.S. administration scuttle GHG rules?

WASHINGTON, DC -- As the final days of the Obama administration tick away, those opposed to some of the president's environmental initiatives are looking at ways to undermine the intent of the rules, or even to strike them from the books. With Republicans in charge of the House, the Senate and the White House, you could say the stars are uniquely aligned for just this sort of action. President-elect Donald Trump has already made it clear that he opposes and intends to undo some of those rules. Could Phase 2 of the Greenhouse Gas rules be on that list? "This has big potential for those who would like to strike any carbon regulation or fuel efficiency standards from the trucking industry," said American Trucking Associations vice president, energy and environmental counsel Glen Kedzie, in remarks he made during a GHG Phase 2 webinar hosted by ATA's Technology and Maintenance Council on January 5. Kedzie suggested there are three options open to the new administration: a legal challenge, an executive order from the president, or working through the Congressional Review Act to roll back the rule.

Cleaner air, higher equipment prices

Clean air comes at a cost, and that is particularly apparent whenever regulators tighten the limits on emissions. Luckily, Phase II Greenhouse Gases rules will improve fuel economy, giving truckers a chance to recoup the investments on 2018-27 Model Year equipment. That's the good news. While Environment Canada traditionally aligns its rules with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that could threaten some uniquely Canadian spec'ing options. Research into everything from tires to 6x2 tractors will continue as regulators prepare to unveil Canadian versions of the rules.

Gas Attacks: The challenges of environmental mandates

Ear worms are funny things. You know them. They're the songs that invade your thoughts. The one ringing through my head right now is crooned by none other than Kermit the Frog. Yep. The Muppet. The one who taught us, "It's not easy being green, having to spend each day the color of the leaves." If you want to know how tough it is to be green, look no further than the environmental rules and regulations affecting today's trucking industry.