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Backgrounder

Canada Continues to Align Greenhouse Gas Emissions Measures with the United States

Today, the Government of Canada took further action to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector, the largest source of GHG emissions in Canada, while continuing to align GHG measures with the United States. The Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations will not only deliver significant benefits for the environment, but will also benefit the Canadian trucking industry which plays a central role in the Canadian economy.

The Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations will reduce emissions from the whole range of new on-road heavy-duty vehicles such as full-size pickups, semi-trucks, garbage trucks and buses. The Regulations apply to companies manufacturing and importing new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines for the purpose of sale in Canada.

 This is the latest step in the Government’s sector-by-sector approach to reducing GHG emissions. It will complement proposed regulations recently announced to reduce GHG emissions from passenger automobiles and light trucks for model years 2017 and beyond, which build on existing regulations for model years 2011 to 2016. 

Benefits for the Environment and the Canadian Trucking Industry

With these tough new regulations in place, by 2018, GHG emissions from 2018 model year heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23 per cent. The Regulations will lead to a cumulative reduction in GHG emissions of 19.1 megatonnes over the lifetime of 2014-2018 model year vehicles.

Vehicle operators will also benefit from improved fuel savings, as follows:

  • Heavy-duty pick-ups and vans: up to $1,200 in fuel savings per year for the 2018 model-year;
  • Combination tractors (semi-trucks): up to $8,000 in fuel savings per year for the 2018 model-year;
  • Vocational vehicles (such as buses, freight, delivery, service, cement, and dump trucks): up to $1,000 in fuel savings per year for the 2018 model-year.

The fuel savings that will result from these regulations will far outweigh any vehicle price increase, and this from the very first year. For all classes of heavy-duty vehicles, the payback period will be less than one year. 

It is expected that manufacturers of new heavy-duty vehicles will be able to build vehicles that comply with the regulations by incorporating cost-effective and currently available off-the-shelf technologies such as fuel-efficient engines and aerodynamic cab designs. The increased uptake of these technologies will in turn benefit parts manufacturers and suppliers.

Given the important role that heavy-duty vehicles play in the Canadian economy and Canadian society in general, the Regulations are structured not to constrain the size and power of heavy-duty vehicles, which are designed to perform work. The standards allow more powerful vehicles to proportionally emit more GHGs, which ensures that vehicles such as buses, garbage trucks and snow removal trucks can continue to perform at a high level.