EPA, DOT issue final Phase 2 GHG standards

by Truck News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) together with the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) revealed the final Phase 2 greenhouse gas rules for heavy-duty trucks and engines today.  EPA logo

The final rule is a whopping 1,650 pages and aims to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel-consumption from medium and heavy-duty vehicles and engines. The new rule outlines four separate standards for each of the regulatory categories of heavy-duty vehicles: combination tractors; trailers used in combination with those tractors; heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans; and vocational vehicles. As well, the rule outlines separate standards for engines that power combination tractors and vocational trucks. It also clarifies the classification of natural gas engines.

The new rule will be applied to medium- and heavy-duty vehicle manufactured in model years 2019 through 2027.

The EPA and NHSTA have estimated that over the life of the Phase 2 rules, more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 and 2 million barrels of oil per day by 2027 will be saved. They added that the new standard will save medium- and heavy-duty truck owners $170 billion over the life of the rules.

Both agencies say the final standards are cost effective for consumers and businesses adding the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology in less than two years through fuel savings.

Since the announcement earlier today, many US trucking companies and associations have applauded the rules.

The Heavy Duty Fuel Efficiency Leadership Group — comprised of six major American heavy-duty fleets – released a statement that outlined their praise for the final rule.

“The continued focus on improving fuel efficiency will unlock new innovations that protect our environment and spur economic growth,” said Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. “The steps we have taken to boost the efficiency of our fleet across PepsiCo have significantly reduced emissions while lowering our operating costs, and we are committed to doing much more. We thank the Administration for its leadership on this issue and believe these new standards set the stage for continued progress.”

“We’ve long supported standards that reduce emissions and improve the environment, particularly in the communities where we operate. That’s why we support the new Phase II standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks. It’s a win-win for our industry, our customers and communities – reducing emissions and saving fuel and money,” added David Steiner, CEO, Waste Management. “Having invested in approximately 6,000 natural gas trucks so far, we’ve already seen the benefits of new advanced technologies and have eliminated the need for 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year, per vehicle. We’re fully committed to continuing the transition of our fleet to natural gas.”

“Eaton recognizes the importance of providing environmentally responsible solutions, so we are pleased with the new Phase II standards for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles which will deliver significant fuel consumption and emissions reductions,” said Craig Arnold, chairman and CEO, Eaton. “As a leading supplier of advanced transmissions, engine and powertrain components, Eaton is committed to delivering cost effective technologies that will help our customers achieve significant operational savings. These new standards ensure that we both satisfy customers and protect the environment.”

The American Trucking Associations added that they were “cautiously optimistic” about the Phase 2 rules achieving the targets set out by the Administration.

“While today’s fuel prices are more than 50% lower than those we experienced in 2008, fuel is still one of the top two operating expenses for most trucking companies,” said ATA president and CEO Chris Spear. “That’s why our industry has worked closely with both the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past three-and-a-half years to ensure these fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards took into account the wide diversity of equipment and operations across the trucking sector.”

ATA vice-president Glen Kedzie publicly announced that he is pleased the ATA’s concern with adequate lead-time for technology development and flexibility have been heard and included in the final rule.

“While efficiency milestones for vehicles, engines and trailers have all been slightly increased over the agencies’ initial proposal, we are encouraged that they addressed several important issues in the final rule including undertaking annual rule assessments, not accelerating compliance timelines from those originally proposed and refining emissions modeling based on industry data,” he said. “However, while the potential for real cost savings and environmental benefits under this rule are there – fleets will ultimately determine the success or failure of this rule based on their comfort level purchasing these new technologies.”

Daimler Trucks North America also voiced their approval for the new standards. In a press release, it stated the company is pleased the new standards allow the industry a decade to phase-in technical changes.

“The United States is facing significant challenges regarding GHG reduction as well as its continued dependence on foreign oil. DTNA will continue to work closely with the EPA, NHTSA, and our partners to develop new solutions that will have a positive environmental impact and fuel efficiency gains for our customers that are harmonious with the Phase Two standards,” said Martin Daum, president and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America. “We will build upon our existing industry leadership and continue to set the global standard in efficiency and environmentally-friendly business solutions.”

The International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT) said that it believes the new standard are ambitious yet achievable.

“With an estimated payback period of within 2 years for tractor-trailers, these standards hit the mark,” said Nic Lutsey, ICCT program director. “There are a lot of available and ready-to-be-deployed technologies, and this regulation ensures that the most cost-effective of those technologies see more widespread use.”

“The world’s major economies will take important policy guidance from these rules,” added Drew Kodjak, the ICCT’s executive director. “Adopting long-term standards – in this case eleven years out into the future – will help industry invest with great confidence in reliable, sustainable low-carbon technologies.”

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) also lauded new emission standards.

“We urged the agencies to set standards that would achieve meaningful fuel economy improvements and significant consumer savings, and we got them,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s director of public affairs and vehicle expert. “For a long time, an efficiency gap has forced consumers to pay the freight for inefficient shipping. These standards will save consumers money, just as other energy efficiency goals have saved families and businesses money on the total cost of owning and operating cars, light-duty trucks, and home appliances such as refrigerators and water heaters.”

“The new rules are long-term, technology- and product-neutral, address the needs of consumers and industry, and promote healthy competition that benefits consumers, manufacturers and the economy overall,” added Mark Cooper, CFA’s director of research. “The trucking industry will benefit. Consumers will save. And the economy will thrive. It’s a win-win-win.”

The Diesel Technology Forum added that future advancements in clean diesel technology will be a key factor in helping the US achieve the new federal fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

“Today’s final rules establish a bold challenge to further increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to unprecedented levels from a wide range of commercial vehicles,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the non-profit Diesel Technology Forum.

“The demands on heavy-duty engine and truck manufacturers are numerous.  In addition to compliance with these new fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions requirements on a wide variety of customizable products, they must ensure near zero emissions performance for at least 435,000 miles.  In addition to meeting all the latest federal safety requirements and having the highest uptime and reliability, the largest trucks must be able to move 80,000 pounds up mountains at 60 miles per hour, run 100,000 to 120,000 miles a year, in every corner of the United States, while doing it all at the lowest possible cost.

“Consistently meeting and exceeding these extraordinary demands is why diesel engines power 98% of all the largest commercial trucks today and will do so for the foreseeable future.”

You can read the entire final rule by clicking here.



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  • No emission reductions for cars or light duty trucks. This is the biggest polluter we have in the road today. This new rule on GHG reduction is a joke and obviously dictated by oil company money.