(Ottawa, April 13, 2012) – Today’s announcement by Environment Minister Peter Kent aimed at reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from heavy trucks is consistent with the direction the industry is already headed in, says Canadian Trucking Alliance President David Bradley.
Bradley says the proposed regulations being published follow in the path established by a similar U.S. regulation a year ago. “It would be advisable that the regulations allow for some flexibility to take into account differences in the Canadian truck market versus the situation in the U.S., but the industry supports this initiative,” he said.
“The way you reduce GHGs is through improved fuel efficiency and with diesel prices continuing to increase year by year, motor carriers are motivated to burn less fuel,” he said. “In fact, at no time in our industry’s history have our companies environmental goals been so aligned with society’s desire to reduce GHGs.”
Under the proposed regulations heavy truck tractor and engine OEMs will be encouraged to meet average GHG emission targets as a percentage of their total fleet sales over the 2014-18 period. Compliance measures in the United States will include a system of bankable and tradable credits and possibly penalties. The regulations will not deal with existing tractors. Nor will they cover existing or new trailers, although the US Environmental Protection Agency has indicated it could regulate GHG emissions caused by trailer drag in 2018.
It is expected that manufacturers will meet the targets mainly through cab design (aerodynamics), engine modifications and low rolling resistance tires.
It is hoped that by model year 2018, GHG emissions from new heavy trucks will be 20 per cent less than 2010 models. “That would be a good thing,” said Bradley. “But time will tell whether the market will respond.”
He said CTA has been encouraging the Canadian government to accompany the regulation with a labelling system identifying “GHG compliant tractors” and accelerated capital cost allowance to speed up the penetration of those trucks into the marketplace. “The regulation is flexible in that it does not prescribe what has to be done to reach the GHG reduction targets as was the case with the smog emissions mandate,” he said.
“That is not a bad thing since the trucking industry is not homogenous in terms of the type of equipment used to transport various commodities, the terrain, etc., but it does not provide the truck buyer with an Energy Star type labelling system identifying the most fuel efficient product.”