Fleet Ops: Fuel Efficiency
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CTA wants incentives for 'envirotrucks'
OTTAWA -- Last year it was about restoring meal tax deductions for truck drivers to 80 percent, this time the Canadian Trucking Alliance is pushing the federal government to greenlight financial incentives to accelerate into the market new smog-free trucks and add-on fuel efficiency devices and equipment such as auxiliary power units, wide-base single tires and aerodynamic fairings. In a pre-budget submission, CTA is appealing to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to consider implementing the association's so-called envirotruck proposals into the 2008 federal budget. Even though it’s still late summer, the planning process for next year's budget is already underway and committee hearings to commence next month. In the submission, CTA states regulating truck fuel and engine emissions has brought the industry to the cusp of the era of the smog-free engine -- a feat that will be fully achieved by 2010. However, CTA contends that this was done in isolation of the GHG impact:

Tax breaks could encourage the purchase of the
cleanest and most fuel efficient trucks on the road: CTA.
“Absent an integrated policy to address both GHG and (smog) emissions from heavy trucks, the federal government’s approach has had the unintended effect of increasing GHG emissions since the new tractors are less fuel efficient than equipment already in operation," states the submission. "Moreover, given the increased cost to purchase and operate the 2007 vehicles, new heavy truck sales have plummeted in Canada. Combined, this not only has negative consequences for the environment both in terms of postponing (smog) reduction and by creating the potential for increased GHG emissions from the industry, but also of increasing the fuel costs that the trucking industry must absorb or pass along to its customers -- increasing the transportation component of the final cost of goods produced or sold in Canada.” envirotruck, according to CTA, is "an integrated strategy to address both smog and GHG emissions from the trucking industry by accelerating the penetration of the new generation of smog-free trucks into the marketplace as well as "promoting investment in currently available but under-utilized fuel efficiency devices that improve fuel efficiency of truck and trailer configurations by upwards of 20 percent." Under the program, a heavy truck with a 2007 or later model year engine, combined with fuel efficiency devices installed on both the tractor and trailer(s) -- called an envirotruck -- would be eligible for financial incentives from the federal government. David Bradley, CEO of the alliance, says he is pleased with the response received so far to the envirotruck concept. "We have already pitched the idea to the Minister of Finance and to the other key departments in Ottawa and there appears to be genuine interest; but, there is a lot of work to do between now and the next budget for this to become a reality. The finance committee’s pre-budget consultations are one part of that process." CTA is also encouraged by the June 2007 Interim Report to the Minister of the Environment from the National Round Table on the Environment & the Economy (NRTEE) which called for coordinated policies that jointly address criteria air contaminants (smog) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
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