The transition to 2010's stricter diesel emissions standards has been on a smooth road for the past two years with engine makers, truck manufacturers and fleets all predicting a relatively uneventful changeover to the new technology needed to meet those standards.
But with just ten months to go, that road is getting unexpectedly bumpy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just issued a new requirement for onboard diagnostics that begins to ramp up with the January 2010 emissions deadline. California has come out with rules of its own that greatly expand coverage of the 2010 standards to older vehicles. And as a rift widens between two different technological paths to meeting 2010, some manufacturers are asking the EPA to postpone implementation of those standards, while others encourage the agency to move ahead as planned.
That's a good deal of activity so close to the end of what has been up to this point an orderly development process. With the January deadline coming on quickly, this installment of Countdown 2010 takes a closer look at all three issues and how they will — or won't — disrupt trucking's move to the next stage in cleaner diesel emissions.