California push for greater medium and heavy-duty emissions reduction - Integer
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California push for greater medium and heavy-duty emissions reduction

Posted On: 28-10-2015 By: David Thomas

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) have detailed their strategy for further reducing emissions from medium and heavy-duty trucks and their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals.

Speaking at the 8th Integer Emissions Summit & DEF Forum USA 2015, Kim Heroy Rogalski, Manager, Mobile Source Control Division at CARB outlined the unique air quality challenges experienced in California, a state that has the worst ozone levels in the United States and extremely high particulate matter 2.5 levels.

Rogalski revealed the specific emissions levels from medium and heavy-duty trucks in the state, highlighting that the sector is responsible for 33% of state-wide NOx emissions, 26% of diesel particulate matter and 8% of GHG emissions.

California has some ambitious emissions goals, with targets in place of reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050.  Rogalski outlined CARB’s multipronged approach to reducing medium and heavy-duty truck emissions including their Sustainable Freight Action Plan to implement immediate and near-term steps to support use of zero and near-zero emission technology.

CARB’s strategy includes a comprehensive Mobile Source Strategy that simultaneously meets air quality standards, achieves greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, reduces petroleum consumption, and decreases health risk from transportation emissions over the next fifteen years. The strategy also targets a reduction in Short Lived Climate Pollutants which are responsible for around 40% of current net climate forcing in the state.

Speaking in the same session, Dan Kieffer, Director of Emissions Compliance at PACCAR reported that aftertreatment technologies are already in use that can further reduce GHG and NOx emissions but that further research and development to improve the technologies is required.

However, Kieffer warned that this will negatively impact customers as the investment in upgrading technologies will increase the cost of purchasing vehicles.

A fleet operator outlined their priorities for sustainable and efficient vehicles as Jeff Shefchik, President at Paper Transport Inc. addressed the conference.  While policy makers and vehicle and engine manufacturers focus on specific emissions level targets, Paper Transport’s main concern is with fuel economy.

Shefchik highlighted initiatives that they have implemented to improve fuel economy including addressing the rolling resistance of tyres explaining that they ‘trade tread life for miles per gallon’. Shefchik told the conference that replacing tyres that are losing traction saves the company money as the new tyres are more fuel efficient.

He outlined that their research into engine efficiency has shown that a drop in speed in their vehicles from 70mph to 60mph improves fuel economy by one mile per gallon.

Shefchik also raised the issue of maintenance of aftertreatment systems, noting that DPF filters become unusable and need changing more frequently than recommended by OEM recommendations.