Whether this phase will be helpful or harmful to the trucking industry depends on the scope, say truck manufacturers.
TruckingInfo.com recently posted a couple of articles regarding the soon-to-be-published Phase 2 of the “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles.” One of the articles, “Emissions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” noted that the rules for Phase 1 didn’t cause much of a stir last year, although that may change somewhat as 2017, the year when trucks are expected to achieve the goals of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, as well as the requirement that heavy-duty engines achieve a 6% improvement. Different standards are set for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans by 2018 and for vocational machines by 2017.
The government has projected that all of the Phase 1 efforts, when completed, should save 530 million barrels of oil and $50 billion in fuel costs, and reduce GHGs by 270 million metric tons.
But what about Phase 2? There’s no question that demands will be tougher, but according to another TruckingInfo.com article, “Truck Makers Seek Complete-Vehicle GHG Rule” what is of most concern to truck manufacturers is whether or not the engines will be tested separately as they are in Phase 1. The subject came up recently at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. Manufacturers say that “taking the entire vehicle’s impact into account would allow truck builders to leverage the increasing contribution being made to aerodynamics and weight by various trailer-specific technologies.”
In support of testing the entire vehicle rather than just the engine, Olof Persson, former President and CEO of Volvo Group, stated, “a separate engine standards would be redundant, since the engine would be accounted for in the complete vehicle assessment…an engine standard, particularly if it’s stringent, could force the use of technologies that could bring seriously negative consequences for our customers, in terms of cost, weight, space, cooling, and so on.”
Martin Daum, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, who is in favor of a complete vehicle standard, said it best, stating that the standards should incorporate a “test cycle that mimics the real world. We need smart regulations that should support and foster free markets, and fuel efficiency is something where I want a lot of variables we can optimize.”
The important thing for everyone in the industry is to know exactly what they are facing in Phase 2 and that knowledge will have to wait until sometime in June.
How is Phase 1 impacting your business now? What effect do you think it will have by 2017?