By Emily MaitlisPublished Mar 11, 2018 11:18:00 Canada’s fuel-efficiency rules for trucks will be a big deal for trucking companies in 2019, with the rules set to go into effect by the end of the year, as companies begin to realize the economic benefits they can reap from the new rules.
The new fuel economy rules were set in place after years of industry backlash against the Liberal government’s plans to overhaul the fuel-efficient vehicles market.
The government had intended to make trucks less fuel-intensive and make them more fuel-friendly with stricter standards and incentives to reduce emissions, but the government has since revised the rules to make them far less stringent than the previous ones.
Truckers and their representatives say the changes are an important step toward a better, more fuel efficient Canada, which has become the world’s third-largest economy and third-most polluting nation.
The government says the changes will lead to a 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicles industry by 2026, and a $25 billion economic boost.
But many truckers say they’ll be forced to make more trips to Canada and other foreign destinations as they try to meet the new standards.
“It’s going to be an economic hit,” said Dave MacDonald, president of the Canadian Trucking Association.
“It’s a big thing for truck drivers.
We’ve already lost millions of dollars on fuel efficiency.”
The industry’s critics say the new requirements are not only a costly boon for truck operators, but also are a huge step backward in Canada.
“These rules are not going to reduce CO2 emissions, and yet they are being imposed on our economy,” said Bill C-28 co-sponsor James Bezan.
“The fact that it’s being imposed upon our economy is a huge problem.”
Canada is a member of the World Trade Organization, which governs international trade, but its membership has been hampered by the U.S. over the past decade by the country’s weak enforcement of environmental standards and by a government that is far more concerned about the export of its energy than protecting its environment.
Trucks are an essential part of Canada’s economy, with over 300,000 trucks operating in Canada annually.
But many of them are still not as fuel efficient as the trucks in other countries.
Canada’s new rules will require trucks to achieve a “well-rounded” rating of 30-per-cent efficiency by 2025, up from 20 per cent today.
In 2025, the standard will be applied to vehicles made from light-duty diesel engines with no more than three cylinders, engines made from compressed natural gas (CNG) engines with four cylinders, and engines made of petroleum products.
Tricks to make the standards less stringent and more generous are expected to help truckers reduce fuel use, but critics say that is not enough.
“The new standard is not going up the highway,” said David Cote, president and CEO of the National Association of Professional Truck Drivers.
“We’ve seen it in other advanced economies that have higher standards.
The new standard will not get you anywhere.”
He said truckers will need to make additional trips to their destinations, and they’ll need to change their driving patterns, because truckers won’t be able to afford to drive to as many foreign markets as they once could.
“There’s no guarantee that the new standard would be a good thing for us as a country.
I’m not sure it would be good for Canada as a nation,” said Cote.”
Truck drivers will have to make a decision, in the coming months, whether they’re going to continue to buy trucks, and continue to travel or just drive to other parts of the world.”
He added that the changes would be too costly to truckers.
“I think we’ll see the costs come up and then there’ll be a significant drop in demand for trucks,” he said.
But the changes may not be enough for truck companies, whose profits depend heavily on the trucks they make.
“If you’re a truck company and you’re not going into the United States and other places, you’re going into Canada, you can’t afford to do that,” said Bezan, of the Association of Canadian Truckers.
“That’s a huge cost for truck fleets.”
He also said it is likely that many truck companies won’t make any changes to their operations to meet Canada’s standards.
The Canadian Truck, Motorcycle and Trailer Manufacturers Association says it will not be doing anything to make changes to its operations because it is concerned about whether the new fuel efficiency standard would result in more jobs.
The Association of National Carriers said it also will not change its operations to comply with the new national standards, because it doesn’t see any immediate economic benefits.
The association is also concerned that truckers could become a scapegoat for the government’s plan to phase out fossil fuel combustion by 2035.
“Our biggest challenge in