by Vitaliy Dadalyan
Tags: American Freight Trucking
Phase 2 of the federal government's greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulations for medium- and heavy-duty trucks arrived last month.
Released jointly by The White House, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they present the North American trucking industry with an environmental and technological to-do list that will keep OEMs, technology suppliers, and fleets busy for the next decade.
The GHG Phase 1 rules were finalized in 2007, hard on the heels of the implementation of EPA diesel exhaust emissions regulations that drastically reduced the amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) and particulate matter emitted by diesel engines. The threat of global climate change (see box on page 50) prompted a shift in focus at the federal level to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in trucks by improving fuel economy.
California, however, still wants to cut more NOx emissions from diesel exhaust, something truck and engine makers say will be difficult to do while improving fuel economy. The EPA announced it will work with the California Air Resources Board to evaluate future emissions standards with an eye toward further reducing NOx.
Building on Phase 1, EPA says the GHG Phase 2 final rules are designed to promote a new generation of cleaner, more fuel-efficient trucks by “encouraging the wider application of currently available technologies and the development of new and advanced cost-effective technologies through model year 2027.”
The final vehicle and engine performance standards were developed with input from the automotive and trucking industries, environmental groups, labor unions and other concerned parties. They will cover semi-trucks, large pickups and vans, and all types of buses and work trucks for model years 2021-2027.
According to government officials, the new standards will result in significant GHG emissions reductions and fuel efficiency improvements across all of these vehicle types. For example, when the standards are fully