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Phase 2 GHG Rule Curtails Glider Kits for Newer Trucks

New trucks that are equipped with older engines and drivetrain component, commonly known as glider kits, will for the most part be outlawed by 2021 as part of EPA’s federal Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Economy rules.

Heavy Duty Trucking reports that the rules stipulate that starting in January of ‘21, glider kits will only be allowed in the U.S. only for their originally intended purpose, which was reclaiming late-model powertrains from wrecked trucks and used primarily as service parts.

Although they make up a small percentage of new truck sales, glider kits containing older powertrains which don’t fall under the latest EPA mandates, are routinely installed and sold in newer truck models.

The new rules will phase out gliders over the next four years. Beginning this January, volume production and sales of gliders using “pre-emission” diesels will be greatly curtailed. The EPA and NHTSA said they hope that this won’t spark a “pre-buy” of gliders between now and January, states HDT.

Meanwhile, low-volume builders, including individual truckers, can continue to buy and assemble glider kits using older engines until 2021.

“For calendar year 2017, each manufacturer’s combined production of glider kits and glider vehicles will be capped at the manufacturer’s highest annual production of glider kits and glider vehicles for any year from 2010 to 2014,” the rule states. “All vehicles within this allowance will remain subject to the existing Phase 1 provisions, including its exemptions.

The agencies signaled their intentions to regulate glider kits when it proposed GHG Phase 2, stating that it would make glider kits subject to the same GHG limits as new heavy-duty engines.

“Although glider vehicles would make up only 5% of heavy-duty tractors on the road, their emissions would represent about one-third of all NOx and PM emissions from heavy-duty tractors in 2025,” the agencies said. “By restricting the number of glider vehicles with high polluting engines on the road, these excess PM and NOx emissions will decrease dramatically, leading to substantial public health-related benefits.”

“Any glider kits or glider vehicles produced beyond this allowance will be subject to the long-term program,” meaning they must use engines that are certified as emissions-legal for the same year the glider kit is built. The phase-down using that calculated cap will last one year, until January 2018.

Transport Canada and Environment Canada are currently undergoing a similar regulatory process for GHG truck emissions. Both agencies are working closely with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), which supports the reduction of GHG emissions from the trucking fleet sector – but in a manner that does not put our vehicle reliability and durability at risk.

Specifically, CTA is urging its S.M.A.R.T  approach to GHG regulations.  The Alliance will continue to discuss these and other related issues with government, including how glider kits are treated in the Canadian rule.

Read Full HDT story here.

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