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More Technology Considered as Part of EPA Phase 2 Emission Rule

With Phase 2 of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas emission standards currently being ironed out, for the first time, upfitters will see opportunities to gain emissions credits, reports Truck News.

During a panel discussion at the Green Truck Summit, Matthew Spears, center director of heavy-duty diesel standards for the EPA, outlined the differences between the first and second phases of the fuel efficiency rules, saying Phase 2 reaches much further into the technology pot to include such items as the chassis (tires, light-weight materials and inflation systems), powertrain (engine, transmission and axle), idle reduction (automatic engine shutdown, stop-start and hybrids), as well as additional credits for aerodynamic and all-electric options.

He added the chassis manufacturer will also provide the upfitter with ‘delegated assembly’ instructions for technology installation, which will create a compliance responsibility for the manufacturer, as well as the upfitter.

Delegated assembly allows an OEM to claim emission credits to the EPA for upfitter installed technologies. On the other hand, an upfitter can work out an agreement with a chassis manufacturer to retain the emissions credits for the installation of a fuel-reducing technology, such as aerodynamic fairings, Truck News explains.

Rob Stevens, vice-president of strategy and engineering for upfitter Roush CleanTech, said although Phase 2 is a more complex model, it presented an avenue and path for upfitters to get to where they need to be.

“It really does spell opportunity for all of us,” said Stevens, adding that upfitters will be able to work more closely with OEMs and be more a part of the entire process of meeting the new EPA standards.

Stevens said that in the end, what customers really want to see from the EPA rules is a benefit to them, and that when fleets see a reduction in their fuel usage, it is the benefit they are looking for.

Spears said the EPA does not require any specific type of technology to be used in its first two phases of the GHG rules, just that a certain standard be achieved.

He added that there were several changes to Phase 2 from its original proposal due to the amount of stakeholder feedback the EPA garnered leading up to the drafting of the new rules.

Full implementation of Phase 1 will be achieved by 2018 and was first introduced in 2014. The ruling on Phase 2 is not yet final.

In Canada, the trucking industry received some good news this week with the announcement any new Canadian carbon targets for new heavy-duty vehicles must be based on the recognition Canadian and US trucking industries operate very different fleets, with Canadian trucks being more efficient than the U.S. in carrying capacity and configuration allowances.

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