Home Truck News Proposed B.C. emission mandates 'unachievable', BCTA says - Truck News

Proposed B.C. emission mandates ‘unachievable’, BCTA says – Truck News

The British Columbia Trucking Association (BCTA) is pushing back against provincial plans for medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), arguing that B.C. regulators aren’t recognizing realities in the transportation sector.

CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 sets emissions targets at 27-32% below 2007 levels by 2030, and would bring several measures in line with jurisdictions like California – home of the strictest emissions standards in North America.

Class 3-8 sales targets under the B.C. plan would roll out from 2026 to 2036, when all new vehicles would need to be zero-emission models, while all reefers would need to be electric by 2030, and fossil-fuel-powered forklifts would be phased out between 2028 and 2038.

Truck on a B.C. highway
(Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

“The mandate outlined in this consultation paper is so unachievable, it will further harm our sector’s ability to meet its emission-reduction targets and hinder our collective fight against climate change,” BCTA says in its official comments on the consultation paper.

Limited market-ready ZEV options

About four-fifths (78.5%) of B.C.’s trucking industry doesn’t have a market-ready ZEV option because of factors like duty cycles and allowable Canadian weights that are heavier than those in the U.S., BCTA notes. “This will increase pressure on the used diesel vehicle market, and/or force carriers to relocate their terminals to a neighboring jurisdiction that does not have a restrictive, unrealistic ZEV mandate.”

The transportation refrigeration unit mandate would also force carriers into other jurisdiction because zero-emission models don’t exist for anything with a box larger than 28 feet long, it adds. “This will lead to increased kilometers driven and increased transportation costs, which get passed onto consumers.”

Citing “countless” other submissions and meetings, BCTA notes that market-ready battery-electric vehicles offer real-world ranges of 300 to 400 km, while hybrid options that promise ranges of 700 to 800 km remain in their “infant stage of development”.

Engineered to U.S. weights

To compound matters, ZEV heavy-duty vehicles are engineered to U.S. maximum gross vehicle weight ratings of 36,500 kg rather than B.C.’s maximum of 63,500 kg that offer a 22% advantage in greenhouse gas emissions, it adds. Under the U.S. weights, trucks generate 6.2 kg of carbon dioxide to move a tonne of freight 100 miles (160 km), compared to the 5.1 kg generated with the Canadian configurations.

“While not every truck moves at maximum weights, this limitation ultimately means — using current technology and technology being developed (as not one manufacturer has a market-ready ZEV at Canadian weights) — our industry will need to double their fleet size to move the freight we currently do, and require a commensurate number of drivers,” BCTA concludes.

Instead, the association is recommending targets based on market-ready technology and adjusted as new technologies become available; that consider operational realities such as range, topography and weights; and be timed to reflect a comprehensive infrastructure plan.

“With 94% of our sector operating 10 or less trucks, having access to available charging and refueling stations is critical to the adoption of low- and zero-emission vehicles,” it says.

BCTA is also calling for expedited charging and refueling stations; tax credits and exemptions to accelerate turnover; extending the Scrap-It program to commercial vehicles with higher rebates for low- and zero-emitting vehicles; mandated idle management tools like cab heaters and coolers; and a long combination vehicle network between B.C. and Alberta.

It does believe the forklift-related mandates can be achieved, though.

The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation is collecting comments on its proposals until June 27.

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