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US fuel-efficiency solution impresses BCTA

LANGLEY, B.C. -- Cascade Sierra Solutions (CSS) is promoting fuel saving technology in the US that can make vehicle...

LANGLEY, B.C. — Cascade Sierra Solutions (CSS) is promoting fuel saving technology in the US that can make vehicles more aerodynamic, reduce their weight and idling time, or decrease the rolling resistance of their tires.

Founded in 2006, the Coburg, Ore.-based lease-to-own program falls within the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay transport carrier strategy, and is financially supported by the state and facilitated by CSS, which gave a presentation at the recent B.C. Trucking Association’s annual convention held in Kelowna.

“B.C. needs to follow the blueprint set out by (CSS) to help equip trucks to become more fuel-efficient,” says BCTA chief Paul Landry.

The BCTA estimates that a long-haul truck retrofitted with a complete kit of recommended technology can save more than 25% of the fuel it consumes. For a truck travelling 190,000 km per year, this will result in a savings of about 19,000 litres or equal to the fuel savings of 15 Toyota (hybrid) Prius cars.

“My wish for the B.C. trucking industry is that we’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of our neighbours to the south,” Landry says. “CSS has cracked the twin barriers of providing accurate and reliable information, in an easily accessible manner for trucking companies and owner/operators, and offering meaningful financial incentives.”

The CSS outreach centres operate in Washington, Oregon and California, with a primary focus on the Interstate highway corridor. CSS is in the process of establishing outreach centres strategically located with major truck strops.

While the primary target of CSS outreach is the longhaul operator, the centres provide education and incentives for local fleets as well.

Outreach staff also help clients determine which grant and loan programs apply to each specific need, and assist with paperwork.

“I can’t overstress the importance of providing financial incentives to an industry that often has to make investment decisions based on razor-thin to non-existent profit margins,” Landry

By 2013, CSS expects to retrofit or replace 50,000 heavy-duty trucks in the US and save 3.79 billion litres of diesel fuel over the life of those trucks, which represents 18 times the cargo capacity of the Exxon Valdez in fuel savings, according to the BCTA.

The BCTA is strongly urging the B.C. provincial government to invest the proceeds from the carbon tax, that will be paid by the trucking industry, into the same type of innovative program. “Our industry has a big role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Landry said. “We want to be part of the solution, but simply taxing us will not get us there.”

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