On Friday the US regulators have proposed a new emissions cutting goal that might in the end favor engine manufacturers as the industry groups fight to win an advantage from the new emissions regulations for heavy-duty trucks.
The recently mandated efficiency increases of heavy-duty commercial vehicles proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department will bring new fuel-economy standards that could deliver an edge to engine and transmission makers such as Cummins and Eaton Corp., with the proposal seen as an encouragement to deliver new technologies, as well as replace older engine designs. “It will help our industry grow in a more sustainable way, which is a win for our customers and win for the environment,” commented Tom Linebarger, Cummins chairman and chief executive officer, adding the company was supportive of the EPA proposal. Industry experts believe large freight carriers, such as Con-way Inc., Swift Transportation Co., ArcBest Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. will easily cover the higher expenses or pass them to customers.
On the other hand, smaller rivals might have difficulties in purchasing the more expensive trucks and this could mean disaster for some of them. For example, while overall the American Trucking Associations, whose members are the industry’s biggest companies, was also supportive of the proposal, some of the industry group’s members would push some technologies into the market ahead of time, while they’re still being developed and tested. Relying on untested systems “may lead to costs such as increased maintenance and down time that will eclipse the potential savings,” commented the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.