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Truck Makers Want ‘Complete Vehicle’ GHG Phase 2 Rule

Phase 2 of the U.S. federal GHG/MPG rules was a hot topic for industry suppliers at last week’s Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, K, with several truck makers signaled their strong preference that it takes the form of a “complete vehicle standard” instead of the engine-only standard put forth by the first phase affecting post-2014 model trucks.

As reported by Heavy Duty Trucking magazine, truck manufacturers said that taking the entire vehicle’s GHG impact into account would allow truck builders to leverage the increasing contribution being made to aerodynamics and weight reduction by various trailer-specific technologies.

Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America said that a complete vehicle standard was preferred and that it should incorporate a “test cycle that mimics the real world.”

HDT reports that a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Phase 2, which impacts new commercial vehicles beyond 2018 model years, has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget for formal review. The NPRM is slated to be published in the Federal Register in June. After a public-comment period, EPA and DOT will have to jointly complete the final rulemaking.

It has previously been reported by trade press that under Phase 2, EPA and NHTSA will assess trailer aerodynamics as well as engine and powertrain improvements, weight reduction, tires, automatic engine shutdown systems, water pumps, fans and other accessories, and even consider hybrid technologies.

At the Mid America Trucking Show Daimler’s Daum said that total cost of ownership should be addressed by incorporating “mature and feasible technologies [that] meet customer expectations of an 18- to 24-month payback “We need smart regulations that should support and foster free markets, and fuel efficiency is something where I want a lot of variables we can optimize,” he explained.

Olof Persson, president and CEO of Volvo Group also endorsed Phase 2 being based on a complete vehicle standard rather than solely on engine efficiency. “A separate engine standard would be redundant, since the engine would be accounted for in the complete vehicle assessment. And the last time I looked, there were no loose engines pulling freight down American highways.”

Phase 2 was also a hot topic at the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s annual general meeting last month. Carriers, suppliers and officials discussed how Canadian fleets can work with regulators north of the border to shape a made-in-Canada standard that takes into specific consideration the country’s unique equipment specs and operating conditions.

CTA will take all the feedback derived from the special AGM session and will soon begin a consultation process with CTA member carriers across the country in the coming weeks. More details to come.

Read the full HDT report here.

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