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Report: Manufacturers Divided Over Phase 2 Heavy Truck GHG Rules

Various truck and engine manufacturers are reportedly divided over how the second phase of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction truck rules should be structured.

According to Climate Daily News, a newsletter produced by Inside Washington Publishers (subscription required),  some engine makers are seeking separate engine and vehicle standards, while some vertically integrated truck makers are pressing for a single standard encompassing both the engine and the vehicle to meet the new GHG-reduction standards.

In their comments to the EPA, a certain engine and truck makers are siding with environmentalists in wanting EPA and NHTSA to structure the Phase 2 rule – due to be proposed in March – the same way the Phase I rule was designed, which included separate standards for the engine, (which was measured), and for the vehicle (which was modeled).

Instead, more global vertically-integrated truck OEMs – which design the entire truck, chassis and powertrain – and are urging the agency to shift to a single model-based standard that will allow them to choose a combination of devices and technologies in order to comply with a base GHG reduction standard for the full vehicle. Proponents say a “system-level optimization” approach makes the most economic sense in order to effectively meet EPA’s final GHG standard. As well, they argue that separating out components such as engines from the complete vehicle as in Phase 1, creates a divergence between “values and real-world fuel economy improvements.”

However, the report says that non-vertically integrated and independent engine makers oppose that approach “because it could undercut their investments” in the technologies they have been working on to comply with the rules. As well, add-on aerodynamic components part of an integrated tractor-trailer can be later replaced with less fuel efficient ones, they add.

Phase 2 seeks to further reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases for 2018 and later model trucks. The rules, which will likely be proposed in early 2015, will affect trailers and more trucks, and will include refined testing procedures. Trailer aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance tires and weight reduction will all likely be part of the Phase 2 requirements.

Quoting sources close to the situation, the Inside Washington report says both the EPA and NHTSA could be open to changing the approach of the standard in Phase 2.

Environmentalists meanwhile, says there should be separate truck and engine standards, but are calling for the agencies to require vehicle testing, rather than modeling, to determine compliance.

– from iwpnews.com

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