Late in November, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was planning on easing the regulations for truck emissions. The announcement set off an ongoing debate within the trucking industry, and there seems no end sight.
Truck Emissions And Gliders
The EPA is planning on repealing regulations from the previous administration, which target gliders. Gliders are made from a combination of new and remanufactured parts, and are designed to be heavy duty haulers. The appeal of gliders is that they cost up to 25 percent less than regular trucks. With large manufacturers pouring millions of dollars into lowering truck emissions, glider manufacturers are undercutting their costs.
Easing The Rules On Truck Emissions
While large manufacturers such as Volvo and others want to maintain regulations on truck emissions, the EPA is thinking of easing the rules, which if passed, would see a roll back in 2027. By easing the rules for truck emissions, glider manufacturers will have more freedom to sell vehicles with parts that do not meet EPA emissions standards.
The Debate On Truck Emissions
The debate over truck emissions is partially about the environment, and partially about money. The manufacturers in favor of regulations on truck emissions want to not only have cleaner air, but they do not want the millions spent on research and development to go to waste. Glider manufacturers, however, want to be able to provide inexpensive vehicles to drivers who would otherwise have to pay much more for vehicles that are compliant with truck emissions. However, the numbers are not exactly clear. According to the EPA, roughly ten thousand gliders are produced each year. On the other side of the scale, roughly 250 thousand new vehicles are sold annually. The question is whether easing regulations would stimulate the sales of glider kits, or if this is coming down to special interest.
There May Be Larger Concerns
While the industry debates over the proposed legislation on truck emissions for 2027, others see larger concerns. With self-driving trucks rolling out in 2020, and large carriers making the switch to electric fleets in 2018, the debate on truck emissions may seem like a small issue. Some see the debate as a distraction for larger legislation, while others see it as just one more conflict to divide the trucking industry. While there is still no final word on what will happen to regulations on truck emissions, we will keep you informed as the issue unfolds.