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Consultation Document for Discussion of the Main Elements of the Proposed Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Engines

Regulated Entities

The proposed regulations would apply to manufacturers and importers of new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines for the purpose of sale in Canada. The proposed regulations will not apply to owners or operators of heavy-duty vehicles or engines.

Model Years Covered

The proposed regulations will prescribe heavy-duty vehicle and engine standards starting with the 2014 model-year, and becoming progressively more stringent up to the 2018 model-year. A model year is determined by the manufacturer to designate the period of production of a particular model of an engine or vehicle. The model-year can span a period of up to two calendar years less one day, but can include only one January 1. The model year corresponds to the calendar year during which production occurred or the calendar year during which January 1 fell.

Applicable Classes of Vehicles

The proposed regulations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the whole range of new on-road heavy-duty vehicles from full-size pick-up trucks to combination tractors and buses as well as a wide variety of vocational vehicles such as: freight, delivery, service, cement, garbage and dump trucks. This will effectively include all on-road vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of more than 3,856 kg (8,500 pounds), except those vehicles that are subject to the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations (e.g. medium-duty passenger vehicles up to 4,536 kg). These vehicles are broken down into the following classes:

Class of VehiclesGross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
Class 2b> 8,500 lbs (3,856 kg) ≤ 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg)
Class 3> 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg) ≤ 14,000 lbs (6,350 kg)
Class 4> 14,000 lbs (6,350 kg) ≤ 16,000 lbs (7,257 kg)
Class 5> 16,000 lbs (7,257 kg) ≤ 19,500 lbs (8,845 kg)
Class 6> 19,500 lbs (8,845 kg) ≤ 26,000 lbs (11,793 kg)
Class 7> 26,000 lbs (11,793 kg) ≤ 33,000 lbs (14,969 kg)
Class 8> 33,000 lbs (14,969 kg)

Vehicle weight classes are identical in Canada and the United States and definitions would be consistent with the U.S. national program.

The general approach of the proposed regulations will be similar for the above range of new heavy-duty vehicle classes, but will also take into account the significant differences between three broad categories of heavy-duty vehicles:

  1. Heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans - This category largely includes derivatives of light-duty vehicles, such as 2500 and 3500 series pick-up trucks and vans. It includes most Class 2b and Class 3 vehicles that are not be subject to the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations, as well as some Class 4 vehicles.

  2. Combination tractors - This category includes medium-heavy-duty trucks (Class 7) and heavy-duty trucks (Class 8) that are typically designed to haul a trailer. Trailers would not be regulated at this stage. The United States has indicated an intention to address trailers in a future rulemaking. In this case, Canadian regulations could be amended to align with any such changes made by the United States, taking into consideration Canadian competitiveness and safety considerations.

  3. Vocational vehicles - This category comprises all heavy-duty vehicles not covered in the previous two categories, such as straight trucks, freight, delivery, service, cement, garbage, and dump trucks as well as buses (school, inter-city and transit).

Emission Standards

The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission standards aligned with those of the final United States national program. The standards would be expressed as the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions emitted per unit of work delivered.

The proposed regulations would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles and engines. For combination tractors and vocational vehicles, the engine and the rest of the vehicle would face separate sets of emission standards. That is, engines would have to meet “engine-based” standards independent of the “vehicle-based” standards established for the rest of the vehicle. Emission standards would address the dominant greenhouse gases from transportation including carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide N2O), methane (CH4) and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants.

CO2 Emission Standards:

Each of the previously-described heavy-duty vehicle categories would have its own set of CO2 emission standards.

1) Heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans – The standards would be based on the complete vehicle and measured using the final U.S. national program testing procedures. The standards for a given group of vehicles would vary depending on the vehicle work factor, defined as a weighting of pay-load capacity, towing-capacity and four-wheel drive capability. Regulatees would have the option to have some of their vehicles perform better than the standards and others perform worse so long as, on average, their fleets of vehicles meet the standard. The standards for new heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans would be defined in grams of emissions per distance travelled with different standards for gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. Regulatees would have the option to obtain credits if their fleet performs better than the standard and subsequently bank or trade them to another regulatee with a similar fleet. If vehicles for the 2014-2018 model years had similar pay-load, towing capacity and four-wheel drive capability to currently available heavy-duty pick-ups and vans, the following emissions standards could be expected:

  • The diesel heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans with the lowest work factors would be required to achieve a standard of approximately 600 grams of CO2 per mile in 2014. The standard would gradually decline to approximately 520 grams per mile by 2018.

  • The diesel heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans with the highest work factors would be required to achieve a standard of approximately 800 grams of CO2 per mile in 2014, which would gradually decline to approximately 700 grams per mile by 2018.

  • The gasoline heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans with the lowest work factors would be required to achieve a standard of approximately 520 grams per mile in 2014, which would gradually decline to approximately 480 grams per mile by 2018.

  • The gasoline heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans with the highest work factors would be required to achieve a standard of approximately 720 grams per mile in 2014, which would gradually decline to approximately 660 grams per mile by 2018.

2) Combination tractors – Combination tractors would have separate standards for the engine and for the rest of the vehicle.

The engine standards would be measured in grams of CO2 per brake-horsepower-hour as shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1 – Engine CO2 Emission Standards for Combination Tractors
(grams of CO2/bhp·hr)
Class2014-162017 and later
Medium Heavy-Duty (Class 7)502487
Heavy Heavy-Duty (Class 8)475460

The vehicle standards would be measured in grams of CO2 per payload ton-mile, as shown in Table 2 below. The standards would vary based on whether the tractor has a low, mid or high roof and whether it is a Class 7 day-cab, Class 8 day-cab or Class 8 sleeper-cab.

Table 2 – Vehicle CO2 Emission Standards for Combination Tractors
(grams of CO2/ton·mile)
 Class 7 Day-CabClass 8 Day-CabClass 8 Sleeper-Cab
 2014-162017 and later2014-162017 and later2014-162017 and later
Low Roof10710481806866
Mid Roof11911588867673
High Roof12412092897572

Regulated entities would have the option to comply with the standards by grouping all of their vehicles of a given model year into subfleets and using the CO2 emission credit system.

In order to comply with the tractor standards in Tables 1 and 2, manufacturers would evaluate emissions using the U.S. national program testing procedures and a simulation model. The simulation model would take into account the following variables: tractor aerodynamics, tire rolling resistance, the maximum speed permitted by an installed speed limiter, and weight reductions. The simulation model would also take into account the installation of extended idle reduction technology and a 5-minute automatic engine shut-off for sleeper cabs. The simulation model would assume a standardized payload, engine and duty-cycle for each regulated category.

3) Vocational vehicles – Emissions from these vehicles would be regulated in a method similar to combination tractors with standards set for their engines in grams of CO2 per brake horsepower-hour and standards for the complete vehicle in grams of CO2 per payload ton-mile. The engine emissions would be measured using the U.S. national program testing procedures and the whole-vehicle emissions would be evaluated using the simulation model similar to the process for combination tractors. Only tire rolling resistance would be considered in the model for vocational vehicles. Diesel and gasoline engines for vocational vehicles would have different standards, reflecting the different properties of the two engine cycles (diesel cycle and gasoline Otto cycle). Tables 3 and 4 below show figures respectively for the 2014 to 2018 standards.

Table 3 – Diesel Engine CO2 Emission Standards for Vocational Trucks
(grams of CO2/bhp·hr)
LHD (Class 2B – 5)MHD (Class 6 – 7)HHD (Class 8)
2014-162017 and later2014-162017 and later2014-162017 and later
600576600576567555

Note: LHD – Light heavy-duty / MHD – Medium heavy-duty / HHD – Heavy heavy-duty

Beginning in 2016, the standard for gasoline engines used in vocational vehicles would be 627 grams of CO2/bhp-hr.

Table 4 – Vehicle CO2 Emission Standards for Vocational Trucks
(grams of CO2/ton·mile)
LHD (Class 2B – 5)MHD (Class 6 – 7)HHD (Class 8)
2014-162017 and later2014-162017 and later2014-162017 and later
388373234225226222

Note: LHD – Light heavy-duty / MHD – Medium heavy-duty / HHD – Heavy heavy-duty

In meeting the standards applicable to vocational vehicles and engines, regulated entities would have the same option as for combination tractors to use the CO2 emissions credit system within each category covered by a standard.

N2O and CH4 Standards

The standards for nitrous oxide and methane would be intended to prevent significant increases in emissions of these gases as vehicle technologies evolve. The CH4 emission standard for all model year 2014 and later engines would be 0.10 g/hp-hr. This standard would apply for all fuel types. The N2O emission standard for all model year 2014 and later engines would be 0.10 g/hp-hr.

Engines used in pick-up trucks and vans (Class 2b and 3) would not be subject to the above CH4 and N2O standards, but would rather have to meet a 0.05 g/mile standard applicable to both CH4 and N2O emissions.

Air Conditioning Standards

The proposed regulations would include measures to require reductions in leakage of the hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant used in cabin air-conditioning systems. These standards would be independent from the other greenhouse gas emission standards. Hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants have high global warming potential and highly cost-effective leakage measures are available. The proposed standard would be 1.5 percent refrigerant leakage per year and would apply to pickup trucks, vans and tractors for systems with refrigerant capacity greater than or equal to 734 grams. For systems with a refrigerant capacity of less than 734 grams, the standard would equal 11.0 grams per year.

Compliance Flexibilities

The proposed regulations would offer flexibilities to achieve overall compliance with emission standards. The flexibilities would be similar to those used under existing regulations such as the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations (for air pollutants) and the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. In addition to provisions relating to averaging of emissions and banking and trading of emissions credits, the proposed regulations would contain provisions providing credits for innovative and advanced technologies that are shown to reduce CO2 emissions but which are not adequately recognized in current test procedures or are not yet in widespread use.

Unique Canadian Considerations

There are many sizes and varieties of heavy-duty vehicles serving a wide spectrum of functions. The type of companies involved in the manufacture of different kinds of heavy-duty vehicles is also very diverse and there may be distinctions between the Canadian and American fleets that warrant consideration in the development of Canadian regulations.

The Government of Canada intends to consider potential implications for the Canadian transportation sector in developing Canadian regulations; specifically the competitiveness and safety of the Canadian fleet and potential implications on other modes.

A cost-benefit analysis will be developed as part of the regulatory development process.

All fuel-savings technologies used by heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers to meet the performance standards under the proposed regulations will also need to meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

While safety issues are not expected to change the overall regulatory approach since manufacturers will have the ability to choose from a wide range of technology options that are already available on the market, Transport Canada will investigate the safety implications of fuel-saving heavy-duty vehicle technologies and components in Canadian conditions; including the effects that low rolling resistance tires will have on traction performance during winter. Information gathered will be used to inform industry, as well as safety regulations that may be implemented by Transport Canada in the future. Transport Canada will work through existing committees to consult with provinces and territories on safety issues, and weight and dimensions.

Reporting and Record Keeping

Regulated entities will be required to submit annual reports and to maintain and submit, upon request by the Minister of the Environment, records relating to evidence of conformity with the proposed regulations and to the greenhouse gas emission performance of their heavy-duty vehicles and engines.

Administration and Compliance Verification

Regulated entities will be subject to enforcement and compliance requirements and penalties as specified under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Collaboration with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Environment Canada, in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council, is doing joint aerodynamic testing and research with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is conducting heavy-duty vehicle emissions testing at its facilities to support regulatory development. This collaboration is taking place under the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Committee and builds on joint work now underway with the U.S. on the development and implementation of GHG standards for passenger cars and light trucks.