CTA revs up enviroTruck initiative with engine options

OTTAWA — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has expanded the scope of its enviroTruck initiative to include alternative engine systems, such as hybrid and natural gas systems.

While many alternative engine systems are still in the developmental phases, CTA believes they offer an opportunity for the trucking industry to reduce its dependence on traditional fuels and its environmental footprint.

“CTA supports further efforts to explore the feasibility of introducing alternative engines into the commercial trucking environment,” says David Bradley, CEO of the CTA. “While the widespread use of alternative engines and the associated distribution and service infrastructure in North America is likely years away, CTA believes in the importance of partnering with government and industry stakeholders to explore this viable method to cut GHG emissions.”

CTA’s enviroTruck program was designed in an effort to accelerate the acquisition of new, mandatory, smog-free trucks combined with proven technologies that will reduce fuel consumption and lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The original definition of an enviroTruck was a tractor-trailer unit containing a 2007 or newer heavy-truck engine, speed limiter activated at no more than 105 km/h and a combination of add-on devices (such as tires and aerodynamics) to increase fuel efficiency.

The definition will now include alternative engines such as hybrids and natural gas products.

CTA has lobbied that newer smog free engines and aerodynamic improvements should be encouraged by government policy through the tax system.

“If governments are serious about encouraging the use of alternative engines in the Canadian trucking industry, they will need to introduce dramatic incentives, such as super-accelerated CCA rates and other tax incentives to encourage investment in this costly venture,” says Bradley.

Although there have been some minor and limited program incentives for enviroTruck technology at the provincial and federal level, this week’s Quebec budget announcement regarding liquefied natural gas vehicles and equipment acquired after March 30, 2010 is the type of budget measure that the CTA would like to see more of.

The Quebec budget included an increase in the CCA rate from 40 percent to 60 percent for equipment acquired after March 30, 2010, and an additional 85 per cent deduction for trucks that run on LNG.

“We commend the Government of Quebec for recognizing the vital role incentives play in accelerating the adoption of green measures,” notes Bradley. “Not only will this encourage the use of alternative engines, but it will also accelerate the penetration of 2010 smog free trucks.”

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