Final "Phase 2" greenhouse gas/fuel economy rules for medium- and heavy-duty trucks were released earlier this month by the White House, the EPA and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
They will cover semi-trucks, large pickups and vans, and all types of buses and work trucks in model years from 2021-2027. When the standards are fully phased in, tractors in a tractor-trailer combination are expected to achieve up to 25% lower carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption than an equivalent tractor in 2018.
These rules will dictate what kinds of equipment you can buy and how that equipment will operate in the real world. Early industry reactions tended to be [mostly] upbeat and positive, reflecting a determination to roll up the sleeves and deal with trucking’s latest reality.
Here are several reactions compiled by HDT from around the North American trucking industry:
Truck & Engine Makers
Martin Daum, President and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America: "The United States is facing significant challenges regarding GHG reduction as well as its continued dependence on foreign oil. DTNA will continue to work closely with the EPA, NHTSA, and our partners to develop new solutions that will have a positive environmental impact and fuel efficiency gains for our customers that are harmonious with the Phase Two standards.
"We will build upon our existing industry leadership and continue to set the global standard in efficiency and environmentally-friendly business solutions. DTNA supports regulations which reduce GHG emissions as well as diesel consumption. As we have stated through the collaborative debate on the Phase Two rule, the final rule needed to provide clear, long-term targets for the entire vehicle, not just the engine. It also needed to provide enough time and flexibility for the OEMs and customers to decide themselves how to achieve the reductions in a way that is economically feasible."
Sean Waters, director of compliance and regulatory affairs, Daimler Trucks North America: "We’re proud of what we’ve achieved to date, but accomplishing the up to 25% reductions over the next decade will require the focused efforts from all of our engineers. We are confident that we are up to the challenge, and know that we can have a significant impact on reducing GHG emissions and fuel consumption. And we will do so while continuing to provide products to our customers that provide a real cost of ownership benefit."
Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc: "Our position as a technology leader allows us to deliver products that reduce both fuel consumption and emissions, which is a win for our customers and a win for the environment. Over the past eight years, we have worked with our customers, technology partners and various other stakeholders to help government regulators develop regulations that drive economic growth while reducing the environmental footprint of our industry. As the Phase 2 rule is finalized, we are ready with the technology to meet and exceed both the goals and expectations of our customers and regulators.”
Paccar: "Paccar successfully exceeded the requirements of the Phase 1 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency regulations, which are good for the environment and our customers. Paccar appreciated the opportunity to interact with the EPA and NHTSA during the draft review process to help clarify the needs of customers and the industry in general. Paccar will continue to achieve the new emissions and efficiency standards in a manner that supports the environment and delivers industry-leading fuel-efficiency of its Kenworth, Peterbilt, and DAF trucks."
John Mies, corporate spokesman, Volvo Group North America: "The Volvo Group strongly supports the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption through this regulatory process. Improved fuel economy is a goal all stakeholders can unite around, and environmental concern has always been a top priority for the Volvo Group. The new targets represent a real challenge for our industry, and we are focused on meeting these very ambitious goals in a way that minimizes the impact on our customers, and delivers real value for them and for society."
Chris Lee, vice president, engineering, Great Dane Trailers: "We at Great Dane anticipated that the final ruling would include trailers, and it does. The final eco2 targets are more stringent than what was proposed in the NPRM. We will evaluate the targets and determine how best to achieve them by adopting or creating technology solutions. Both aerodynamic improvements and weight reduction offer significant benefits to our customers. Our goal is to help our customers meet their specific needs with a compliant product.
"Aerodynamic solutions offer many benefits, and we will continue to encourage their development and use. Great Dane products, such as the Freedom XP flatbed and the Everest reefer, are already some of the lightest trailers of their size on the market. While the initial acquisition cost will likely increase in the short term, the degree to which costs rise will vary depending on each customer’s trailer specifications. It’s important to remember that many customers will see improvements in their total cost of ownership over the years."
Dick Giromini, President and CEO, Wabash National: “Our goal in this process was to work collaboratively with the agencies to simplify compliance while maximizing environmental benefits and overall cost savings for the fleets. I think we’ve achieved that. As the innovation leader in our industry, Wabash will continue to pursue new technologies and develop new aerodynamic solutions to further improve fuel efficiency, reduce the operating costs of our customers, and work to develop practical solutions that benefit all stakeholders.”
David Steiner, CEO, Waste Management: “We’ve long supported standards that reduce emissions and improve the environment, particularly in the communities where we operate. That’s why we support the new Phase II standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks. It’s a win-win for our industry, our customers and communities – reducing emissions and saving fuel and money. Having invested in approximately 6,000 natural gas trucks so far, we’ve already seen the benefits of new advanced technologies and have eliminated the need for 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year, per vehicle. We’re fully committed to continuing the transition of our fleet to natural gas.”
Steve Hanson, director of fleet engineering and sustainability, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division: "PepsiCo believes strong phase two standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles will further enhance our efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of our fleet, while meeting environmental and business goals. In our opinion, the phase two standards are balanced, with the EPA and NHTSA having done an excellent job of incorporating feedback from multiple stakeholders including manufacturers, fleet operators, private operators and environmental NGOs. Federal fuel efficiency standards are an important part of a diverse set of solutions that will support greenhouse gas emission and fuel use reductions nationwide."
Mike Roeth, executive director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency: "Many of these technologies are available today and some fleets are buying them now. But there is a lack of confidence in them, with little data available on some. And most need to improve their total cost of ownership, some call payback, to have the wide-scale adoption necessary to meet the rule. So, there is a need for manufacturers to step and lower the product costs, increase their performance and mitigate the adverse consequences of adoption.
"Because this rule saves fuel and fuel costs, manufacturers are excited to help their customers make more money operating equipment. But there is a great deal of work to do to meet payback expectations, usually 18 months to two years for over-the-road Class 8 tractors and trailers. The rule does lay out a firm 12+ year roadmap for product development and deployment, which makes these technologies' adoption more predictable, rather than the start and stop we’ve seen with fluctuations in oil prices."
American Trucking Associations: ATA said in a statement it has been evaluating GHG proposals from EPA and NHTSA since the second round of standards were announced in 2015 to determine their potential impacts on the trucking industry and has been in constant dialogue with fleets, suppliers, and manufacturers to make sure that Phase 2 could be effectively implemented.
"ATA developed and adopted a set of 15 guiding principles to serve as our major parameters for inclusion in the final rule," said ATA Vice President and Energy and Environmental Counsel Glen Kedzie. "We are pleased that our concerns such as adequate lead-time for technology development, national harmonization of standards, and flexibility for manufacturers have been heard and included in the final rule.
"While efficiency milestones for vehicles, engines and trailers have all been slightly increased over the agencies' initial proposal, we are encouraged that they addressed several important issues in the final rule including undertaking annual rule assessments, not accelerating compliance timelines from those originally proposed and refining emissions modeling based on industry data," he said.
"However, while the potential for real cost savings and environmental benefits under this rule are there, fleets will ultimately determine the success or failure of this rule based on their comfort level purchasing these new technologies."
ATA President Chris Spear said the association will "continue to work with its members and the agencies to ensure that the objectives of this regulation are achieved. For that to happen, however, the process adopted by EPA and NHTSA must remain transparent, accommodating and sensitive to the concerns of manufacturers and fleets, as they are the ones who ultimately must bear the burden of complying with these new requirements."