Auto industry heavyweights are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize a rule to implement new greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
The industry entities — BorgWarner, Cummins, Eaton, and Ford — formed the Heavy-duty Leadership Group and released a joint statement of principles asking the EPA for no delay in the agency’s planned model year 2027 start date. That rejects an earlier proposal to delay the start of the EPA rule until model year 2030. The group wants the EPA to finalize the rule by March 31, 2024.
The group was originally formed in 2010 and is an informal alliance of the heavy-duty manufacturers and supply companies that offer potential ways for significant improvements in national greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles
The call for finalized standards comes as other industry groups have focused efforts on creating net-zero vehicle infrastructure. Powering America’s Commercial Transportation, which includes Daimler Truck North America, Navistar, and Volvo Group North America, recently advocated for infrastructure for heavy-duty electric vehicles, which would require capital investment, electrical grid upgrades, and dedicated charging equipment.
The companies have committed to investing in new technologies to meet the new emissions standards, as well as “aggressively cutting GHG emissions with near-term milestones and long-term net zero goals.”
The statement also opposed a “hard-wired off-ramp,” which would automatically end or weaken EPA standards if certain infrastructure metrics weren’t achieved. The group stated that more regulatory certainty is needed, and the members urged the EPA to conduct an ongoing technical assessment of infrastructure development, battery costs, rare minerals sourcing, and other critical issues.
The EPA has already implemented the first two phases of the rule, which the group credits for accelerating the industry’s adoption of advanced technologies, while minimizing market disruption. The group also wants other companies to join them in supporting the EPA to finalize the third phase of the rule.
“Cummins supported EPA’s heavy-duty GHG Phase 1 and Phase 2 rules through the Heavy-duty Leadership Group,” said Shelley Knust, vice president of product compliance and regulatory affairs at Cummins. “We are stepping up –– once again –– to join the group to support EPA finalizing a tough, clear, and enforceable Phase 3 final rule. Phase 3 will provide the regulatory certainty needed to drive industry-wide investment to deliver our next generation of decarbonization technologies.”
The Phase 3 standards would apply to a wide range of heavy-duty vehicles, including pickup trucks to big-rig tractors, including 18-wheelers, sanitation trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles. According to Ford, the standards would complement criteria pollutant standards for MY 2027 and beyond heavy-duty vehicles, which were finalized by the EPA in December 2022. The project net benefits from the heavy-duty proposal are in the range of $180 billion to $320 billion, according to the EPA.
“We’re proud to join the call for clear and consistent greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles,” said Cynthia Williams, global director, of sustainability, homologation, and compliance at Ford Motor Company. “Our industry is making important progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both light- and heavy-duty vehicles. We also need policymakers to pair emission standards with incentives and public investment so that we can continue to deliver on the next generation of vehicles and for our nation to lead the future of this industry.”