How new emissions standards lead to truck selfies | Goldberg Segalla


Just a few weeks ago, in late October, trucking and manufacturing representatives from across the United States gathered in San Diego for the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Expo to discuss the impact that new emissions regulations will have on the trucking industry and its equipment market. The conference particularly focused on the standards announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year, as well as California’s Air and Resources Board (CARB) Advanced Clean Trucks Rule and Proposed Advanced Rule Clean Fleets. All aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

All of the rules contain a variety of measures focused on ways to reduce or eliminate emissions from truck operation. EPA’s proposed regulations (covered by ELM in January 2022: New Year’s Eve, New Vehicle Emissions Standards), the most stringent greenhouse gas emissions requirements in the history of the EPA, for example, set an average fuel efficiency target of around 40 miles. per gallon over the next few years. CARB’s finalized Advanced Clean Trucks rule is a sales requirement setting minimum percentages of a manufacturer’s fleet that must be electric, phasing to 100% and ensuring compliance by establishing reporting requirements. Even more imminent, and perhaps even more difficult, from 2024, CARB’s proposed rule on advanced clean fleets would prohibit trucking fleets from using new non-zero-emission vehicles to transport goods from ports. Californian shipping to domestic destinations. For longer trucking routes – like cross-country shipping – California will require the elimination of non-zero-emission vehicles by 2045. Ultimately, EPA and CARB rules all require a move towards building fully electric truck fleets and, of course, support. a charging infrastructure that can accommodate not only the electric passenger vehicles that we have started using in the United States, but also the large electric tractor-trucks.

For industry players to realistically achieve these goals, modifications to diesel engines and associated equipment will also be required. These changes affect both the hardware components of the engine and the associated software. Energy efficiency targets will also require a change in the design of commercial vehicles over the next two years. For example, manufacturers will use tires that consume less fuel and will increasingly turn to the use of automated transmissions. Makers of trucks with battery electrics, which are extremely heavy, will also have to redesign trucks to account for the increased weight when deciding how to respond to changes in fuel efficiency. Whatever methods trucking equipment manufacturers discussed to improve the efficiency of diesel engines to ensure compliance with all new regulations, the consistent theme throughout the trucking conference was to plan in working closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), who build the components from which trucks and their engines are assembled.

Although meeting these zero emissions requirements has already required – and will continue to require even more – intensive planning by industry, which is particularly concerned about the significant increase in the cost of manufacturing electric trucks, it there are more immediate positives. Discussing that horsepower and torque are not an issue with electric trucks, as they are in non-electric models, one conference attendee said of the truckers who deal with these new electric trucks “They love them. It’s a better environment for them… The ride is much quieter. It’s smoother. It’s less stressful. The participant continued, “We have drivers who report that every time they stop someone wants to take a selfie with the truck, so they love it.”


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