Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Canada Follows U.S. Lead on Fuel Efficiency Standards

As expected, Canada has announced plans to follow the U.S. lead in developing CO2 emissions standards - fuel economy standards - for medium and heavy vehicles.

Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister, released a consultation document outlining the proposed elements of the future regulations to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles.

"Canada and the United States have had great achievement 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 Prentice.

The Regulatory Framework consultation document outlines the major elements of the planned regulations in order to seek early views from stakeholders, which will be taken into account in developing proposed regulations which are expected to be available in mid-2011. Canada's heavy-duty vehicle regulations will be aligned with those of the United States.

Canadian truckers are concerned that if Canada adopts U.S. standards word for word, the targets will not be met by sectors hauling heavier loads than is presently the practice. Canada allows combinations of eight axles or more with gross vehicle weights exceeding 140,000 pounds in some cases. The U.S. proposed standards appear designed for 80,000-pound, five-axle combinations.

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