TORONTO – Last week’s announcement that Transport Canada will fund the next phase in the ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles Program is good news for the trucking industry, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said.
The program, they said, will help identify which technologies are good and which are green branded junk.
“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 VP 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.”
The five year, $ 38-million program will test technologies that will help develop safety and environmental regulations, and thus sort through the junkyard of new technologies to find only those that work and make driving safer and more efficient both in terms of cost and environment.
CTA recently said it supports Environment Canada’s recent Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations, but since new technologies can be expensive, the CTA is pushing the federal government to give financial incentives to encourage the purchase of greener trucks.
“Incentives will be critical if the government would like to see more GHG friendly heavy trucks hitting the road at a much quicker rate,” said Laskowski.
EcoTECHNOLOGY will include projects such as:
- 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 like cab under-body treatments, gap reduction methods and 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 efficiency 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. This work will support the development of future environmental regulations and Government of Canada energy efficiency programs.
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