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EPA Reportedly Mulling GHG Phase 2 Engine Standard Mandate

The Environmental Protection Agency will reportedly propose fuel-economy standards that would mandate efficiency gains in engines and transmissions rather than solely accept fuel economy compliance from an array of technology equipped on the full tractor-trailer, as truck OEMs had been urging.

According to Transport Topics, the news comes from engine makers who have been in discussions with the regulator over the Phase 2 emission rules.

Truck makers had pushed for eliminating the engine target and instead use a “total vehicle performance assessment” to meet the standards, much in the way automobiles are assessed. That way, vehicle manufacturers argued, “real-world” fuel-consumption targets could be met with less expensive changes, such as improved aerodynamics and utilizing several technologies such as tire roll stability, speed limiters, etc.

Volvo and other OEMs  insist tying the GHG limits to an engine standard could be too stringent and perhaps force technology on the market before it’s ready, resulting in added costs, weight, vehicle complexity as well as potentially delaying customer adoption and triggering another massive pre-buy as occurred before the 2007 EPA engine-emission rules.

One of the key decisions for EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is how to measure gains from the engine and the overall vehicle, reports Transport Topics. Under the proposal nearing release, engines will be tested the same way emissions are measured. Vehicles will be measured by using a computer model instead of the dynamometers used to test cars.

In Canada, meanwhile, CTA wants to ensure that equipment imported into Canada is ready and proven to operate in specific Canadian marketplaces, such as withstanding our extreme weather conditions and operating conditions.

CTA staff has been travelling across the country to gather feedback from fleets on their opinions and concerns regarding Phase 2 and how they think governments should treat the Canadian version of the regulations.

CTA is in the process of preparing a position paper that reflects the industry’s preferred technological approach to truck engines, tractors and trailers that will be impacted by the next round of GHG regulations.

Read the full Transport Topics report here.

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