Canada aligns truck fuel efficiency targets with U.S.

Feb. 28, 2013

Canada unveiled plans last Friday to set fuel efficiency targets for heavy-duty vehicles and Ottawa expects to release draft regulations this fall that will spell out the requirements for heavy-duty vehicles and engines, starting between the 2014 and 2018 model years, according to Environment Minister Jim Prentice.

Prentice said in a Reuters report that while the Canadian and U.S. rules would be harmonized they would not be identical, reflecting national differences, such the fact that Canadian transport trucks usually carry heavier loads.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance said any new rules must reflect the impact on fuel efficiency caused by the differences in terrain and cargo that truckers across North America face. The alliance also wants the federal government to address sometimes-conflicting provincial and state rules on equipment that could increase fuel efficiency.

“We interpret today’s announcement as opening the door for a meaningful dialogue on how we can move forward on this issue,” the trucking group said.

The regulations will cover vehicles such as full-size pick-ups, semi-trucks, garbage trucks and buses and will align with U.S. standards.

“With these tough new measures, GHG emissions from 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23%,” Environment Minister Peter Kent said in a news release.

Environment Canada says improved fuel efficiency will mean an average saving of up to $8,000 a year for a semi-truck operator in a 2018-model vehicle.

For heavy-duty pick-ups and vans, the department estimates fuel savings of up to $1,200 a year for the 2018 model-year, while vehicles such as buses, freight, delivery, service, cement, and dump trucks, could save up to $1,000 a year.

“For all classes of heavy-duty vehicles, the payback period will be less than one year,” the department said.

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Deborah Whistler

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