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New emissions rules for vehicle makers

U.S. and Canada propose regulations for GHGs from heavy-duty vehicles


August 10, 2011
by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Starting in the 2014 model year, heavy-duty vehicles will need to meet new emissions regulations both north and south of the border.

Canada and the U.S. are planning to regulate GHGs from a range of vehicles as part of their North America-wide approach to fuel standards.

The latest proposed rules aim to cut emissions and improve the fuel efficiency of all new heavy-duty vehicles, ranging from full-size pick-up trucks and tractor-trailers to garbage trucks and buses.

The regulations would apply to the makers and importers of the vehicles. They would prescribe standards starting with the 2014 model year and become progressively more stringent up to the 2018 model-year.

U.S. officials said the cost of making the vehicles more fuel-efficient would be recouped through reduced fuel costs over their lifetimes.

Three categories of vehicles are affected: heavy-duty trucks and vans, combination tractors and vocational vehicles like delivery trucks and transit buses.

The big rigs or semis will have to slash fuel consumption and production of heat-trapping gases by up to 23 per cent. Gasoline-powered heavy-duty pickups and vans will have to cut consumption by 10 per cent, or by 15 per cent if the vehicles run on diesel fuel.

There would be a nine per cent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for vocational vehicles.

The rules also include promoting the adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles.

The governments outlined their intentions in a consultation paper released today.

Canada is receiving early comments on the consultation paper before the proposed regulations are published in the Canada Gazette early next year. At that point, the rules will be open to a 60-day comment period.

The Canadian government has already finalized regulations to reduce emissions from passenger vehicles and has also mandated a requirement for an average of five per cent renewable content in gas and two per cent content for diesel and heating oil.

with files from the Associated Press