Volvo moves to 2010 diesels early

Volvo Trucks North America will begin delivering trucks that meet the federal 2010 diesel emissions standards later this year, months ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline

Volvo Trucks North America will begin delivering trucks that meet the federal 2010 diesel emissions standards later this year, months ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company says it already has orders for approximately 50 of the ultra-low emissions trucks, which will use Volvo’s selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to meet the stringent new diesel requirements.

The new engines will be offered across the entire Volvo product line and they will be certified by EPA as meeting 2010 standards, according to Matt Kelly, executive director of marketing for VTNA. The company plans to offer both its own proprietary Volvo engines and diesels from Cummins Engine in 2010. While unwilling to commit to early delivery of Cummins-powered trucks, Kelly told Fleet Owner, “We are taking orders for 2010 models and there are no restrictions on those orders.”

The EPA’s certification process for SCR engines is currently being challenged by Navistar in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Navistar is the only U.S. manufacturer that says it will not employ SCR to meet the 2010 requirements. The EPA has not yet responded to the Navistar court petition, nor has the court scheduled hearings on the request. Volvo and other U.S. truck makers have petitioned the court to join EPA in defending the SCR rules.

Asked if Volvo was sending a message to the market with its early availability announcement, Kelly said: “We are sending a clear signal. We promised the industry we would be ready (for 2010) and in fact we are ready.” Kelly added that on a global basis, 150,000 Volvo trucks using SCR have accumulated approximately 10 billion miles.

In March, VTNA was also the first manufacturer to announce a price surcharge of $9,600 for 2010 engine technology. The company said it will apply to new trucks built with Volvo D11, D13 and D16 engines, as well as those with the Cummins ISX.

The initial early orders for the EPA’10 Volvos are coming from “some of our largest customers, who have made early adoption (of new technology) part of their business philosophy,” Kelly said. Dealers are also ordering trucks for Fall delivery to have on hand for customer demonstrations, he added.

“These trucks will deliver the near-zero emissions and improved fuel economy SCR-equipped Volvo trucks have demonstrated over two winters and more than three million miles of North American customer testing,” said Scott Kress, sr. VP sales and marketing in a press announcement. “Volvo is ready. How many other manufacturers can say that?”

Initial production of the EPA’10 trucks is scheduled to begin on a limited basis at the company’s New River Valley Plant in Dublin, VA in early Fall, with deliveries slated for a few weeks later. The plant will then gradually move all production to the new models by the beginning of 2010. Kelly emphasized that all current 2009 Volvo models will also be available during the transition.

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