Ottawa, Ontario – Canada and the U.S. have jointly proposed the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency on heavy-duty trucks and buses. In the U.S., the program is proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) and is projected to reduce GHG emissions by about 250 million metric tonnes and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years.

“Canada and the United States have had great success in working together to reduce emissions from new light-duty vehicles and we are looking forward to doing the same for heavy-duty vehicles,” said Environment Minister Jim Prentice.

The new standards are proposed for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and vocational vehicles. The categories were established to address specific challenges for manufacturers in each area. For combination tractors, the proposed standards begin in the 2014 model year and achieve up to a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by the 2018 model year.

For heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, the agencies are proposing separate gasoline and diesel truck standards, which phase in starting in the 2014 model year and achieve up to a 10 per cent reduction for gasoline vehicles and 15 per cent for diesel vehicles by 2018 model year. For vocational vehicles, the proposed standards start in the 2014 model year and would achieve up to a 10 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by model-year 2018.

Canada’s heavy-duty vehicle regulations will be aligned with those of the United States. The transportation sector accounts for about one-quarter of Canada’s GHG emissions, with heavy-duty vehicles accounting for about six per cent of the total. Environment Canada said that reducing emissions in this sector will help to achieve a 2020 target of a 17 per cent reduction in GHG emissions from 2005 levels.

 New technologies to help achieve the reductions include the widespread use of aerodynamic improvements, tire rolling resistance, and engine and transmission upgrades.

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