ArticlePDF Available

A comparison of five green trucking programs across Canada

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

The trucking industry is a leading consumer of fuel and producer of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, inspiring federal and provincial governments to enact legislation and promote new green technologies. This paper evaluates and compares five provincial "green trucking" programs; from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. These programs were funded by the provincial governments and administered by various industry groups and non-profit agencies. Green trucking programs emanated from the Canadian Trucking Alliance's enviroTruck program, focusing on GHG emissions, fuel consumption and working conditions in heavy-duty trucking across Canada. Each program was launched independently and had unique scope and mandate. This comparison looks at the following factors: stakeholders (e.g. funders, administrators and beneficiaries); number of tractors and trailers submitted for consideration by the trucking industry; number of approved tractors and trailers by the programs; investment in green trucking technologies; and fuel conservation and emission reduction estimates. The paper presents key results from each program. It also offers public policy recommendations to facilitate improved trucking practices, in view of current anti-idling and clean air legislation. Finally, there are recommendations for trucking firms and private fleets regarding sustainable transportation best practices.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A Comparison of Five Green Trucking Programs across Canada
Jairo Viafara, AICP, Via<=> Fara Transportation Policy and Planning
Paul D. Larson, Ph.D., CN Professor of SCM, University of Manitoba
Paper prepared for presentation
at the Moving Goods Better, Faster, Safer Session
of the 2013 Conference of the
Transportation Association of Canada
Winnipeg, Manitoba
1
Abstract
The trucking industry is a leading consumer of fuel and producer of greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions, inspiring federal and provincial governments to enact legislation and promote new
green technologies. This paper evaluates and compares five provincial “green trucking”
programs; from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. These programs
were funded by the provincial governments and administered by various industry groups and
non-profit agencies. Green trucking programs emanated from the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s
enviroTruck program, focusing on GHG emissions, fuel consumption and working conditions in
heavy-duty trucking across Canada. Each program was launched independently and had unique
scope and mandate. This comparison looks at the following factors: stakeholders (e.g. funders,
administrators and beneficiaries); number of tractors and trailers submitted for consideration
by the trucking industry; number of approved tractors and trailers by the programs; investment
in green trucking technologies; and fuel conservation and emission reduction estimates. The
paper presents key results from each program. It also offers public policy recommendations to
facilitate improved trucking practices, in view of current anti-idling and clean air legislation.
Finally, there are recommendations for trucking firms and private fleets regarding sustainable
transportation best practices.
2
The Trucking Industry
Medium and heavy-duty trucks play an important role in the North American economy.
Trucking generates employment; influences land use and real estate prices; and impacts
commercial activities. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (2012), trucking is a $65
billion industry. It employs more than 260,000 drivers and nearly 400,000 Canadians overall.
Concerns resulting from operation of the trucking industry include a deterioration of air quality
and an unquenchable thirst for oil.
The Canadian trucking industry is made up of many small firms and a few large carriers. There
are an estimated 23,402 “micro” trucking firms, with 1-4 employees; and only 19 “large” motor
carriers, with 500 or more employees. In between these extremes are 7,773 small and medium
carriers (Statistics Canada 2011).
Aging rolling stock, split ownership between tractors and trailers, and lack of information all
impact the acquisition and installation of fuel efficient and emission reduction technologies.
Negative externalities resulting from truck freight movement have caught policy-makers'
attention. These factors pose serious challenges to safety, air quality and well-being of our
communities. The challenge is to become more efficient and competitive by improving
operating efficiencies and increasing energy conservation.
The industry was seriously affected by the recent recession. Volatile rates, rising operating
costs, fleet reductions and diminishing loads hampered the industry’s efforts to improve
performance. Fuel costs have been among the top five critical issues for several years (ATRI
2005-2009). The cost of fuel also affects prices carriers pay for tires and lubricants. However,
as the economy improved and fuel prices stabilized, priorities quickly changed to dealing with
the economy; compliance, safety and accountability; and government regulations (ATRI 2009).
Government regulations were the third most critical issue according to the 2010 survey.
Promoting Fuel Economy and GHG Emission Reductions
Initiatives to promote fuel economy, improve fleet and vehicle efficiencies, and reduce GHG
emissions were anticipated by the industry as “unfunded” government mandates. These
initiatives include advancements in vehicle technology, promotion of innovative freight
practices and the use of on-board technologies and driver education. Currently, enacted
regulations for Class 7 and 8 tractors and combinations in North America consist of vehicle-
related emissions and fuel consumption standards. Though critical for compliance; reduced
sulphur content in fuel, emission controls, improved vehicle aerodynamics, and on-board
accessories result in higher rates and increased costs for consumers. Implementation of
these practices was initially seen as a burden by some industry stakeholders.
3
Despite the tremendous volumes of fuel consumed and emissions produced by trucking, there
has been very little research published about green trucking programs in North America. In a
recent article on the future of trucking, Larson, Elias and Viafara (2013) identify categories of
sustainable trucking initiatives and obstacles to their implementation. The three primary green
initiative categories are: practices (e.g. driver training), technologies (e.g. engine upgrades) and
public policies. The main obstacles to implementation for truckers are cost of technology and
availability of information to make informed decisions.
Historically, several policy factors have influenced adoption of truck fuel efficiency standards
and GHG emission reduction technologies. These factors include: (1) federal regulations and
standards (e.g. Energy Independence and Security Act, 2007; EPA and California Air Board Clean
Air Acts), provincial and state climate change and action plans and municipal idling-reduction
ordinances; (2) fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks; and (3) the need to
improve vehicle efficiencies due to trucking industry economics. The final objective of these
approaches is to reduce dependency on sources of foreign oil, save consumers money at the
pump, and create incentives to foster and/or accelerate the production and introduction of
advanced technologies for the benefit of the transportation sector and the community at large.
Fuel Economy and GHG Emission Reduction Programs in Canada
The Transport Canada Freight Sustainability Demonstration Program (airwaterland 2004) and
NRCan Fleet Smart/EPA Smart Way Partnership Program (SCL 2013) are programs sponsored by
the Federal Government. They promote the acquisition and installation of fuel saving and GHG
emission reduction technologies for tractors and trailers. These programs include behavioural
components e.g. speed reduction, on-board equipment and route optimization techniques
as sustainable transportation practices. Other components are driver training, performance
incentives and rewards, electronic monitoring and satellite tracking.
The provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia
have also sponsored a series of fuel efficiency and GHG emission reduction initiatives. These
programs were designed to facilitate acquisition and installation of technologies to reduce GHG
emissions, engine idling and fuel consumption. These initiatives also help reduce operating
costs in trucking; improve fuel efficiency; and meet international climate change agreements
and obligations to enact or comply with bilateral vehicle standards legislations.
A Sustainable Trucking Review
This section presents a review of “green trucking” programs promoted by the Provinces of
British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. The review focuses on stake-
holders (e.g. funders, administrators, beneficiaries); number of tractors and trailers submitted
by industry applicants and approved by the programs; level of investment in green trucking
technologies; additional practices to improve fuel efficiency; and fuel economy and emission
reduction estimates.
4
British Columbia: The Green Fleets (Enviro-truck) Program
The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a collaborative of multiple levels of governments and not-for-
profit (NFP) organizations, established in 1997. It administers a series of programs; focused on
climate change, air and water quality, watershed management, and hybrid and electric vehicles.
The Green Fleets (Enviro-truck) program was a three-year initiative done in cooperation with
the BC Trucking Association. Implemented from 2007-2009, the program received $3,000,000
in funding from the BC Ministry of Environment. It offered rebates to cover up to 50 percent of
the cost of enviro-truck technologies. In addition, the program included alternative fuels, driver
education, route planning and promotion of other sustainable trucking practices.
A total of 136 fleets participated in the program. They represented long-haul trucking, utilities,
urban delivery, couriers, government and port terminal fleets. The program was aimed at fleets
with newer engines featuring stringent reductions of particulate matter. Trucks were expected
to have installed speed limiters to reduce fuel consumption. Further, the Green Fleets program
established a fleet managers network. The objectives were to share experiences and discuss
green technologies and practices. Participants shared insights on fuel data collection, biofuels
usage, fuel efficient driving practices, and urban-cycle electric and hybrid vehicles. Concurrent
initiatives included the Bio-diesel, Idle Free and Supertrucks programs. Two other programs are
The E3 Review, which strives to identify opportunities for improvement while assessing green
fleet performance; and E3 Fleet Rating Service, which provides participating fleets with auditing
services. Table 1 is adapted from the program’s activity summary.
Unfortunately, “funding for this (Green Fleets) program was cut abruptly, which meant that
some of the communications products were not completed in a manner that is suitable for
public distribution.” Targets shown in Table 1 above were set by the Government of British
Columbia. Participant equipment in the program included 90 tractors and 54 trailers. Incentive
amounts ranged from $10,000 per tractor trailer to a maximum of $50,000 per fleet. The total
financial incentive provided was $308,248. Trailers accepted in the program were 2005 or
newer, either vans or reefers incorporating add-on emission reduction technology (Fraser Basin
Council 2013).
To participate in the program, truckers had to demonstrate the potential emission reductions
resulting from selected technologies, along with baseline information leading to reductions in
fuel consumption of 15 percent or more. The correspondence also indicates that “in some
cases, fleets were using funding programs (such as the Transport Canada program) to leverage
our funding. However, the numbers (in Table 1) reflect only the units to which we provided
direct financial incentives. Stories about successes and company experiences with the Green
Fleets program can be found at: http://www.e3fleet.com/fleet_experiences.html. An element
of success was the realization by stakeholders that fuel efficiency and GHG emission reduction
concerns affect all type of fleets.
5
Alberta: Trucks of Tomorrow
Climate Change Central (C3) was the agency responsible for implementing the 18-month Trucks
of Tomorrow program. C3 is an Alberta-based NFP that promotes energy-saving strategies and
programs. Government, municipalities and corporations have partnered with C3 to design and
implement energy efficiency and GHG emission reduction initiatives. Launched in 2009, and
finalized in December 2011, Trucks of Tomorrow offered $2,000,000 for incentive rebates and
educational initiatives. Initially, there was a per company rebate cap of $30,000. This amount
was later increased to $60,000. Rebates were set at 20 percent of the average purchase price
of the technology. The budget for rebates was $1,450,000; with another $550,000 set aside for
program administration, advertising, materials, case analysis and workshops.
The main objective of the program was to “help Alberta transport companies drive down C02
emissions through improved fuel efficiency” (C3 2012). The program was designed to support
Alberta’s Climate Plan in achieving substantial GHG emission reductions. The two program
components were rebates (management and administration) and education (case studies, fleet
analyses and workshops). The program was advanced in cooperation with the Alberta Motor
Transportation Association (AMTA). The FBC performed fleet fuel consumption analysis. Case
studies provided real world information on the benefits of the green technologies. Participant
survey results indicate that the program encouraged commercial vehicle operators to adopt
fuel-efficient and aerodynamic technologies. The program received a total of 427 applications.
Tables 2 and 3 summarize the spending on and volumes of various technologies implemented
by participant companies, respectively.
While the program was targeted at commercial fleets, some urban fleets (class 5 vehicles) and
government agencies also applied for the “hybrid” rebates. According to the budget, the aim
was to distribute about 2,500 rebates. Ultimately, the program distributed 3,063 rebates to
427 approved applicants. Trucks of Tomorrow contained a number of unique features, such as
a “booking” system to set aside funds for every approved applicant. The Final Report indicates
that some participants thought the number of technologies available were too limited. Tires
were not included. Some prospective participants felt excluded, and they concurred that the
inclusion of tires would have allowed more companies to benefit from the program.
The educational component offered workshops and emphasized the importance of case studies
as learning and sharing tools. Valuable information about the technologies, their usage, pay-
back periods and fuel efficiencies was drawn from the case studies. The case studies also show-
cased additional environmental initiatives implemented by Alberta trucking firms, served as
testimonials for interested truckers, and provided “how to” information for increasing fuel
efficiency. They also provided recognition to leading sustainable companies in the province.
Fleet analysis covered lifecycle emissions, fuel efficiency and consumption, and vehicle
utilization, as well as fleet operational and capital asset profiles. Vehicle utilization is a critical
aspect of fuel management. The program provided information on under-utilized fleets,
6
average age of fleets, excessive emissions, downtime and costs of repairs. Best-in-class
comparisons contributed to the analysis, potentially leading to vehicle replacement. Work-
shops on the benefits of fuel efficient practices, fuel management and fleet analysis were
delivered in various locations. An outreach program was developed to promote the various
activities, communicate with participants and build community partnerships. Telephone
support facilitated data collection, error checking and analysis.
A driving premise was “targeted use of financial incentives,compelling program managers to
evaluate stakeholders and the participants. Similarly, financial analyses were performed to
establish whether the rebates were cost-effective means to reduce GHG emissions. Free-
ridership and spillover analysis were done using information gathered at the beginning of the
program. Free-ridership is energy savings that would have been achieved even if (the truck
owner) had not participated in the program.” Spillover “captures program savings that go
beyond the measures installed through the program. It is an awareness of the benefits
resulting from participating in the program (C3 2012).
The final element in program evaluation was economic analysis. This was pegged to ongoing
improvement of public services in Alberta. It seeks to assure public funds are spent on activities
that bring the greatest benefits to taxpayers. Borrowing from the public utilities sector, a series
of screens were used to gain information about the initiatives from the perspectives of stake-
holders, participants, administrators, ratepayers and administrators. Program administrators
assessed societal costs, based on the theoretical foundation for public decision-making that
asserts: “a public policy is a good policy, so long as gainers can in principle compensate losers
and still have some net gains left over. Every public policy has winners and losers, but what
matters is that, in aggregate, society collectively is better off” (C3 2012). Program managers
received a positive response from participants. According to the final report, “about $6.7
million of private investment resulted directly from program-related activities undertaken by
participants. Taking account of free-riders, approximately $3.3 million of private investment is
attributable to the program. Thus, every dollar invested by the Government in the program
induced about $1.60 dollars of private investment” (C3 2012).
Manitoba: The GrEEEn Trucking Program
The Province of Manitoba launched the GrEEEn Trucking Program in 2009. The program offered
financial incentives to owner/operators and other truckers to adopt “GrEEEn” (Economically and
Environmentally Efficient) technologies to reduce idling, fuel consumption and emissions. The
program made the purchase and installation of green technologies more economically feasible.
It also helped carriers lower emissions through improvements to vehicle standards, and reduce
fuel consumption and other operating costs by improving vehicle and fleet efficiencies.
The program was directed at Manitoba-based companies, holders of valid Manitoba National
Security Code Certificates and Manitoba Driver’s Licenses. Another qualifying condition was
that participant companies had not received funding from another “green fleet” (EPA/NRCan
7
Fleet Smart) program. Eligible tractors and trailers for Phases I, II and III were model year 2005
or newer. For Phase IV, eligible tractors and trailers were model year 2007 or newer.
Participants were expected to invest a minimum of $2,000 per unit purchasing and installing
environmentally efficient technologies. Selected technologies for tractors included side fairings,
low rolling resistant tires, tire pressure monitoring and inflation systems and Auxiliary Power
Units (APUs). Technologies available for trailers included side skirts, gap fairings and trailer
tails/base flaps. Offered incentives were based on a percentage of the estimated cost of the
equipment installed, ranging from 15 to 25 percent. The maximum rebate was $2,500 per unit.
Based on fleet size, long-haul companies were entitled to apply for a maximum of 20 units or
combination of tractors/trailers for Phases I and II (2009). Companies were entitled to apply for
a maximum of 15 units or combination of tractors/trailers for Phase III (2010) and Phase IV
(2012). Table 4 provides a summary of the four phases of the program, including number of
participants and total amounts disbursed in rebates. The figures do not include administration
costs.
APUs help operators reduce the use of main diesel engines to maintain climate control during
short or prolonged en-route stops, e.g. queuing for entry at ports, border-crossings, rail yards,
warehouses and loading docks. Side skirts reduce fuel consumption and enhance engine
performance by reducing friction from air currents under the vehicle. Low rolling resistance
tires also improve fuel efficiency. Single wide-base tires are lighter than two standard tires, and
have lower aerodynamic drag; contributing to increases in load capacity for weight-limited
vehicles. All preferred technologies reduce GHG emissions and improve the quality of life in
communities.
The fleet size criteria introduced a sense of “equity” among applicants, and motivated carriers
to promote the program amongst their network of owner-operators. Applicants provided
baseline information on fuel usage, distance travelled and other items for each qualifying unit
to request payment of rebates. There are other factors that impact selection, acquisition, and
installation of fuel efficient and emission reduction technologies. For instance, type of business
ownership, revenues, hauling distance, regulations, age of vehicle, leasing conditions, routes,
highway conditions and access to rest-stops, and compliance with various sustainability score-
cards, all appear to influence the selection of technologies. As noted above, motivation for and
barriers to installing these technologies varies. For instance, the Alberta Trucks of Tomorrow
found lack of information to be a barrier to acquiring/installing green technologies (C3 2012).
Three important features of phases I-III of GrEEEn Trucking were: (1) economic development
and price analysis; (2) use of the EPA emissions quantifier Model (DEQ); and (3) analysis of
sustainable transportation practices. Unfortunately, these features, along with a proposed
survey to “aid in the final assessment process and to gather participant’s perceptions of the
program” (UMTI 2010a) were not pursued in Phase IV.
8
Part of the program’s assessment entailed an analysis of investments made by participants
compared to amounts received in rebates. The “Participant Investment column in Table 4
indicates that applicants were committed to retrofitting their equipment. They were motivated
to meet program objectives, reduce fuel expenses, meet jurisdictional requirements, and/or
meet sustainability scorecard benchmarks. For instance, Wal-Mart assesses suppliers impact
across four areas: climate and energy, material efficiency, natural resources, and people and
community (Brady 2010). The data show that truckers are aware of the advantages of more
sustainable operations, despite economic turmoil and increased equipment costs.
The program required participants to acquire the selected technologies only from Manitoba-
based companies. The estimated market value of equipment submitted to the program was
nearly $3 million. As a result, the economic effect of the purchases of equipment, installations
and repairs of selected technologies resulting from the program were significant (see Table 4).
As only a few providers in Manitoba sold the qualifying technologies, an assessment of pricing
was undertaken. This was done to make prices visible, and because subsidies and rebates could
potentially distort the market. Labour and equipment costs were separated. Results indicated
no statistically significant difference in prices paid by participants to local suppliers. Apparently,
participants fully enjoyed their rebates, as purchasing power of the rebate was not eroded by
price increases. Although allocated rebates were a sound economic development instrument,
further research is needed to fully understand the benefits.
In Phase III, GHG emission reductions resulting from installation of sponsored technologies were
measured using the EPA Emissions Quantifier Model (DEQ). The model measures “retrofits” or
the impact of those technologies on overall vehicle performance. This is particularly important
when old vehicles are retrofitted to comply with existing regulations. Rather than providing
information on emission reductions resulting from installation of a particular technology, the
model considers a vehicle’s model year and estimates emission reductions, cost effectiveness,
and health benefits due to installation of technologies on a vehicle or fleet.
There are other practices for improving efficiency of the trucking industry, which do not require
installation of any of the approved technologies. These practices are based on driver behavior,
company policy, use of speed limiters and other practices to manage routing, loading and freight
movement problems. The Phase III survey found significant differences in the use of on-board
technologies, implementation of speed policies, and use of freight matching services (to reduce
empty backhauls) between for-hire and owner-operators (UMTI 2011).
The survey was informed by Natural Resources Canada’s 2009 Efficiency Benchmarking in
Canada’s Trucking Industry Survey and various key performance indicators developed by the UK
Department of Transport. The survey tested for the presence of 11 fleet or vehicle sustainable
transportation practices. A comprehensive trucking fuel economy and GHG emission reduction
program should seriously consider the assessment of these practices, including the impact of
driver behavior. Such behavioral changes are important elements in reducing GHG emissions
9
and combating climate change (Markowitz and Doppelt 2009). Driver behavior demands more
attention particularly when tractors have been found operating without their factory-installed
emission reduction technologies, such as Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) or Selective Catalytic
Reduction (SCR) devices (OTA 2013).
Finally, another exercise consisted in geographically locating the participants from Phases I-III,
based on the assertion that trucks registered in rural areas tend to be nine years or older, serve
domestic farm operations and travel short distances. A large number of for-hire and owner-
operators were located in rural communities. These also submitted a large number of new
units.
Ontario: Ontario Green Commercial Vehicle Program (OGCVP)
In November 2008, the government of Ontario introduced a four-year, $15 million program to
assist operators of commercial vehicles to invest in fuel economy and GHG emission reduction
technologies. Funding was divided in two types of grants: $11 million for purchasing alternative
fuel vehicles and $2.9 million for purchasing anti-idling devices for heavy-duty trucks. The
program was endorsed by the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) as consistent with its Enviro-
truck vision. Ontario-based companies were eligible to apply for grants to purchase anti-idling
devices; auxiliary power units; cab heaters; and hybrid, all electric and/or dedicated alternative
energy vehicles. Participating companies collected data resulting from the installation of green
technologies.
The program was retroactive to August 2007. It was administered under the Ontario Green
Commercial Vehicle Program (OGCVP). Participant vehicles could operate in urban, highway or
rural environments. The program was open to vehicles Class 2 to 8. It was an integral aspect of
GHG emission reduction strategies in the Go Green Action Plan.
As of September 2010, the program had issued 183 grants for acquisition of alternative fuel
vehicles (hybrid, all electric or natural gas), at 33 percent of incremental cost to a maximum of
$15,000 per eligible vehicle (ECO). The OGCVP also provided grants for 1,108 retrofits of anti-
idling devices. It had awarded approximately $3.2 million in grants (of $13.9 million available).
A 2010 report indicated that “the program has not been as successful as anticipated. While
grant applications for alternative fuel vehicles were much lower than expected, grants for anti-
idling devices were more successful. Stakeholders reluctance to embrace alternative fuels and
technologies, along with poor trucking industry performance during the 2008-2009 recession,
curtailed interest in the program. The report indicates the Environmental Commissioner’s
Office “believes that the ministry should provide a report in 2011 that analyzes the program’s
effectiveness, and make recommendations on whether and how the program should be
expanded. If the program is continued or expanded, the ECO will monitor the results for
possible inclusion in future reports.”
10
As noted above, initiatives to promote fuel economy, improve fleet and vehicle efficiency, and
reduce GHG emissions were anticipated by truckers as an “unfunded” government mandate.
Even before its inception, the enviro-truck program was considered by the trucking industry as
an incentive program to help defray costs to acquire 2007 engines. Hence, the industry asked
the Federal government to approve financial or tax incentives for the new, environmentally-
friendly engines, and to harmonize the federal excise tax on diesel fuel with the federal goods
and services tax (GST).
A program greeted with great expectations in 2008 had been scaled back or cancelled by
December 2012. A media report indicated that “Ontario’s environment watchdog had criticized
the provincial government for not doing enough to combat climate change, warning the
province will not meet its own environmental targets in 2020 and 2050.” The cancellation of
the Ontario Green Commercial Vehicle Program could have been a determining factor.
Nova Scotia: FleetWiser (Greening the Fleet Rebate Program)
This program was implemented by Clean Nova Scotia, a NFP organization working on climate
change, water stream restoration, community energy conservation, sustainable transportation
and waste reduction. A primary goal of Clean Nova Scotia is to reduce GHG emissions through
efficient fleet management and sustainable transportation strategies. The Driver Wiser and
Fleet Wiser programs were implemented to meet that goal. Current initiatives include fuel
efficient driving and emission reduction, in-vehicle training, fuel and fleet management, and
maintenance.
In the fall of 2011, the Greening the Fleet program provided rebates to optimize vehicles and
equipment, and fostered adoption of idle-reduction and driver training initiatives (Gillis 2012).
Program technologies included anti-idling and emission control devices, fleet management and
route optimization tools, aerodynamic equipment, low rolling resistance tires, and tire pressure
monitoring solutions. The total budget for the program was $40,000. Rebates covered up to 30
percent to a maximum of $2,500 + HST per vehicle. Participants acquired and installed various
technologies to reduce fuel consumption, operating costs and GHG emissions.
The budget for “Greening the Fleet” appears low. However, various fleets representing school
buses, urban delivery, service call, municipal fleets and flexible car-share fleets benefited from
the program. Acquired devices included onboard tracking systems; route planning software;
APUs; LED beacon lights; a Battery Brain mechanism, to reduce idling and battery drainage; and
a governed reduced idling package (GRIP). The program was delayed for lack of funding. More
recently, the Greening the Fleet program was successful in receiving funds from the Nova Scotia
Moves Grant Program. This will make it possible for a car-share provider and stakeholders to
work together toward equipping two wheelchair accessible vans.
In addition, the Government of Nova Scotia, through its Transportation Efficiency Incentive
Programs, will be spending about $3,500,000 on:
11
(1) Equipping school buses with fuel-efficient technology such as heaters and timers, route
optimization software, and emission control technology ($1.35 million)
(2) Enabling purchase of anti-idling devices, aerodynamic improvements, fuel-efficient tires, and
other fuel-reducing technologies for heavy duty class 8 trucks ($1.0 million)
(3) Supporting purchase of heavy duty hybrid vehicles including bucket trucks and other fleet
vehicles ($1.0 million)
(4) Public education and awareness promoting fuel-efficient personal vehicles ($150,000).
Observations
U.S. and Canadian federal, provincial and state governments have enacted legislation, set fuel
efficiency and emission reduction standards, promoted the introduction of new technologies,
and advanced regulations to improve opportunities to mitigate the environmental impact of
freight transportation.
Advancements in vehicle fuels and engine technologies originate in the Environmental
Protection Agency’s (EPA) movement toward a “clean diesel” program since 2000. The agency
set 2007 as the target year to reduce the level of sulfur in diesel fuel, and to reduce harmful
pollutants from heavy-duty highway vehicles, by more than 90 percent (EPA 2009). Stringent
rules were aimed at improving the performance of heavy-duty engines for highway tractors and
buses. By law, 2007 model-year engines reduce emissions of particulate matter, a precursor of
smog linked to respiratory disease, by 90 percent. In 2010, the EPA targeted the other major
precursor of smog, NOx, for reduction by 95 percent.
The EPA anticipated substantial reductions of NOx emissions, along with reductions in acute
cases of respiratory illnesses and asthma related attacks. The Agency put a value on some of
the negative externalities associated with trucking. However, the era of smog-free trucks in
Canada came at a premium. Bradley (2007) estimated that “new engines are much more
expensive to purchase, in the order of 7% to 10%.” The projections for heavy-duty tractors (in
1999 US dollars) were $3,230 extra “near-term” costs for the 2007 model, and $4,626 “long-
term” costs for 2012 vehicles. Projections for heavy-heavy-duty tractors was $1,870 extra
“near-term” costs for the 2007 model and $4,030 “long term” costs for 2012 vehicles (EPA
2000).
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) envisioned the Enviro-truck initiative; a quick response to
the advent of Model Year 2007 engines for tractors and buses. Long-haul trucking was at the
crossroads between prior fuel consumption and GHG emission reduction public policies. The
industry was compelled to cut fuel costs and consider community concerns by reducing carbon
emissions for society’s betterment. The objective was to accelerate the introduction of clean
trucks in the Canadian fleet, to get as many new trucks as possible on the road.
12
However, 2005 to 2009 were times of turmoil and equipment constraints for the trucking
industry. The Enviro-truck program promised paybacks for the industry (fuel savings) and for
government (less smog and GHG emissions). The industry was requesting: (1) a Government of
Canada investment of about $56 million, compared to an industry investment of $320 million;
and (2) a prompt launch, which was more important than the duration of the program (Bradley
2007). During this period, the Canadian Government financially assisted the trucking industry in
its promotion of anti-idling and GHG emission reduction initiatives.
Comparative Review Analysis
Consistent with the Enviro-truck concept proposed by the CTA, five Canadian provinces (British
Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia) funded and implemented “green”
trucking programs. The objective was to “accelerate the acquisition of the new, mandatory,
smog-free trucks combined with proven technologies that will reduce fuel consumption and
lead to lower GHG emissions (CTA 2007). Targeted units were model year 2007 with speed
limiters set at 105 km/hr. Because many of the qualifying units were in the market, a second
objective was to “help a variety of fleets introduce green technologies, tools and practices”
(CTA 2007). Participating technologies included anti-idling devices, aero-dynamics and tire
packages for tractors and trailers. Some participating governments also sponsored hybrid
refrigeration, engine control and tire inflation systems. Other selected technologies included
boat tails and double trailer combinations.
Objectives
The Enviro-truck program targeted Class 8 tractors in Canada. The focus was on installation of
fuel saving and emission reduction technologies. However, the objectives changed to fit local
realities. The Ontario program promoted the purchase of Class 3-7 dedicated alternative fuel
vehicles. Ontario also supported retrofits to Class 8 vehicles with anti-idling devices. Alberta
accepted Class 5 to Class 8 vehicles; and Nova Scotia accepted courier, ambulances and other
municipal vehicles. Manitoba and British Columbia focused on long haul Class 8 tractors.
The governments tied economic and social objectives to the programs. Economically, programs
would improve the competitiveness of the Canadian long-haul trucking industry. Workshops,
case studies and educational activities accounted for the social component. Related projects
enhanced these activities, such as research projects advanced by the implementing agencies.
Including administration costs, program funding ranged from $40,000 to $3,600,000.
Application process
Eligible companies were private-sector long haul vehicles and fleets registered in their own
jurisdictions. The provinces, except Nova Scotia, excluded municipal fleets and passenger
vehicles. Rebates to purchase eligible technologies ranged from 15 to 33 percent of their costs.
13
The various implementing agencies designed application forms and complementary forms to
gather participant and vehicle information.
The range of data collected was as diverse as the activities advanced. Compulsory data
included fuel consumption and vehicle miles (kilometres) traveled. Additional information
included vehicle characteristics, type of engines and type of services, as well as the availability
of long-haul sustainable transportation practices and driver education programs.
The application for some technologies (anti-idling) and the low acceptance of others (wide-base
tires) appears to reveal the existence of some jurisdictional barriers preventing companies from
applying. Routing issues, connectivity and mobility may also conspire against acceptance of
wide-base tires. It is forbidden to drive vehicles with wide-base tires on certain provincial and
state roads.
Except for fuel consumption and miles traveled, other indicators of vehicle and fleet efficiency
were not uniformly gathered. Three programs conducted vehicle and fleet analysis. Alberta
went further to incorporate analytical techniques widely used in the energy sector. Manitoba
used the information collected to study geographic location of participants, perform a price
variability analysis, and conduct a survey of long-haul sustainable transportation practices.
It appears data collected was sufficient to meet the programs’ objectives. However, in some
cases, the length, design, content and completion procedures of the forms to collect basic
participant and vehicle information could be improved. As observed in one province, many
applicants appeared to lack the literacy and numeracy skills needed to complete the paper-
work. Indeed, equipment suppliers completed and submitted many of the applications.
Participants were required to sign terms and conditions to ascertain their eligibility in the
programs. However, it is not clear whether program administrators tested terms and
conditions documents for readability or discussed scope and content with their stakeholders.
Thus, a review of terms and conditions to establish program eligibility demands consideration.
Analytical Tools, Calculators and Models
There are several air quality and emission analysis models currently in use in Canada, including
those promoted by the EPA. Since 2005, Canada has established transportation partnership
initiatives with the EPA to promote the deployment of innovative fuel saving and emission
reduction technologies. An example of this partnership is EPA’s SmartWay (technologies) and
NRCan’s Fleet Smart (driver education). A series of analytical and modeling tools are available
to support the efforts promoted by the SmartWay Program to cut emissions from the freight
sector (EPA 2005). There is an assortment of tools, calculators and models to calculate fuel
economy, costs/benefits, and emission costs.
14
Each program collected information to assess fuel savings and estimate GHG emission
reductions resulting from the installation of green trucking technologies. Although each
analysis appeared sound, programs used an assortment of tools, calculators and models to
estimate fuel efficiency and emission reductions. While programs identified the sources of
emissions, it was not clear whether the final output could help corresponding jurisdictions track
the components of GHG emissions. Largely, the analyses focused on the savings resulting from
application of the technologies alone.
This approach impinges on policymaker’s ability to consider behaviours, vehicle characteristics
and operations as contributors to GHG emissions. Unfortunately, program reports offered little
guidance on selection of prospective GHG emission reduction tools. Recommendations on
using a certain calculator, air quality model, emission analysis or standard approach would be
beneficial. This would facilitate comparing results and effectiveness across programs.
Concluding comments
Reputable environmental and transportation research agencies advanced the green trucking
programs described above. The enviro-truck program benefitted greatly from the diversity of
approaches advanced by the implementing agencies. These agencies went beyond estimation
of fuel savings and emission reductions. Novel approaches included vehicle and fleet analysis,
lifecycle cost of emission, and study of idling costs. Funder considerations lead to the analysis
of the soundness of financial incentives, their cost-effectiveness and analyses to heighten the
impact of the proposed practices at the community level.
The economic impact of the program was widely studied. Considering the amount disbursed in
rebates, participants investments in technology and actual cost of the equipment presented,
the programs were an economic success. It became clear that fuel efficiency and GHG emission
reduction strategies are much stronger when supported by educational and driver behaviour
initiatives. Driver education programs played an equal role to installation of the technologies.
The economic role of trucking in Canada is tremendous. Future work in this area should focus
on job creation, purchasing power, asset net worth, fleet age, inventory, and other important
indicators; in addition to analysis of emissions.
Although the focus was on installation of fuel saving and emission reduction technologies; the
need to address driver behaviour became an important social component of the programs. For
instance, the sustainability practices survey in Manitoba revealed that rewarding performance
seems to motivate drivers, enhance retention, and improve safety. Further, acceptance of on-
board speed reduction, idle-reduction, engine downloads and freight matching technologies
was more prominent among for-hire firms compared to owner-operators (UMTI 2011). Those
technologies and practices are proven to contribute to fuel savings, emission reduction and
fleet optimization.
15
Further work
As federal, state, provincial and municipal governments enact legislation and establish
programs to enhance fuel economy and reduce GHG emissions, further research is needed to
assess the broader impacts of green trucking. For instance, it is important to realize that the
purchase of an anti-idling device accounts for more than comfort for the driver. These devices
are smaller in nature, more affordable, less weight on the tractor, and less burdensome on the
unit than other devices.
It appears that trucking is approaching a phase of “rationalization” of equipment usage in
relation to available enviro-trucking technologies. Bottom-line impact is important in the
acquisition and installation of devices. Are companies performing cost-benefit analyses and
vehicle and fleet analyses before acquiring sustainable technologies? Are there differences
between the motivations of an owner-operator, a for-hire firm or a private fleet?
Are there relationships between routes, loads, services, available equipment and selected
technologies? The answer could provide valuable program design insights. As shared by a
couple of participants, some trucking companies are becoming more “route” conscious. As a
result, fuel purchases, loads and operations could be framed by the requirements of serving the
route. Other issues, such as empty back hauls, use of load matching boards and the need to
keep operating costs under control, have the potential to cause the industry to seriously
consider long distance “routing” as a sustainable and cost cutting alternative.
The observations outlined here deserve further consideration. To our knowledge, this is the
first time a comparative review of green trucking programs has been undertaken. This is work
in progress. Both government and industry stakeholders will benefit from its findings and
recommendations. New enviro-truck-like programs are around the corner. As the industry
embarks on a campaign to reduce financial and legislative barriers to the adoption of energy
efficient devices, lessons learned from previous programs will be beneficial. A coordinated
approach will facilitate successful implementation of fuel efficiency and emission reduction
programs in the future.
16
References
airwaterland (2004), Freight Sustainability Projects Announced,”
http://www.airwaterland.ca/article.asp?id=2696, May 24.
American Trucking Research Institute (2005-2009), Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry: Top
Industry Trends.
American Trucking Research Institute (2009), Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry.
Bradley, David (2007), Canada 39th Parliament, 2nd Session Standing Committee on Finance,
Evidence Contents, Tuesday, November 27,
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3147280&Mode=1&Languag
e=E#Int-2225288, accessed April 17, 2013.
Brady, Kevin (2010), Retail: A Pivot Point for Sustainability, Five Winds International, Green Biz
Report, March 30, http://www.fivewinds.com/english/resources/publications/retail-a-pivot-
point-for-sustainability.html, accessed April 17, 2013.
Canadian Trucking Alliance (2007), Enviro-Truck Brochure,
http://www.cantruck.ca/envirotruck/, April 24, 2013.
Canadian Trucking Alliance (2012), Trucking in Canada, http://www.cantruck.ca/.
C3 (2012), Trucks of Tomorrow Final Report, April.
Environmental Protection Agency (2009), Heavy-Duty Highway Diesel Program,
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/highway-diesel/index.htm , accessed April 17, 2013.
Environmental Protection Agency (2000), Regulatory Impact Analysis: Heavy-Duty Engine and
Vehicle Standards and Highway Diesel Fuel Sulfur Control Requirements,
www.epa.gov/oms/highway-diesel/regs.htm, accessed April 18, 2013.
Environmental Protection Agency (2005), U.S., Canada Join to Cut Freight Industry Emissions
and Save Fuel,
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d9bf8d9315e942578525701c005e573c/c851f0e18
13cc9538525707c00639b40!OpenDocument.
Fraser Basin Council (2013), correspondence with research team, March 19.
Gillis, Derek (2012), Final Report: DriveWiser/FleetWiser, Clean Nova Scotia.
17
Larson, Paul D., Arne Elias and Jairo Viafara (2013), “Toward Sustainable Trucking: Reducing
Emissions and Fuel Consumption,” Transportation Journal, 52(1), 108-120.
Markowitz, Ezra M. and Bob Doppelt (2009), Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through
Behavioral Change: An Assessment of Past Research on Energy Use, Transportation and Water
Consumption, Climate Leadership Initiative, Institute for a Sustainable Environment.
Office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), “Rethinking Energy Conservation
in Ontario Results: Green Commercial Vehicle Program.
OTA (2013), EnviroCan Undertaking Study Regarding Environmental Tampering of Heavy Duty
Vehicles, Ontario Trucking Association,
http://www.ontruck.org/imispublic/Environment3/AM/ContentManagerNet/ContentDisplay.as
px?Section=Environment3&ContentID=12527, accessed April 17, 2013.
SCL (2013), SmartWay Comes to Canada,” http://www.sclcanada.org/en/smartway.
Statistics Canada (2011), Canadian Business Patterns Database, December.
University of Manitoba Transport Institute (2011), Evaluating Fuel Consumption and Emission
Reductions for Manitoba-based Owner/Operator, for hire and Private Trucking Class 8 Vehicles:
Phase III Report.
University of Manitoba Transport Institute (2010), The Manitoba GrEEEn Trucking Program,
Final Report (Phases I-II).
18
Table 1. Green Fleet BC Program Activity Summary, 2007-2009
Program Delivery
Target
Actual
Number of new vehicle types on the Hybrid Experience website
12
13
Number of medium duty hybrid vehicles organized
10
15
Number of Green Fleet network meetings
5
5
Number of outreach activities (e.g. workshops, meetings)
140
231
Number of media hits
31
69
Participation
Number of new fleets, all programs (Biofleet, E3, Idle Free, etc.)
140
135
Number of fleets participating in "EnviroTruck" long-haul trucking demo.
8
11
Number of new fleets demonstrating the use of alternative fuels
50
35
Number of fleets making new commitments under E3 Fleet program
25
34
Number of new fleets participating in Medium Duty Hybrid demo
8
8
Number of new fleets participating in Idle Free BC
50
64
Average unique monthly visitors to Hybrid Experience website
17,000
15,775
Average unique monthly visitors to the Green Fleets BC website
1,500
2,375
Financial Leverage and Partnerships
Financial leverage (incentives + cash)
$1,500,000
$2,410,080
Number of strategic partnerships
15
14
Projected Emissions Reduction1
Program NOx (tonnes/yr)
125.0
124.7
Program PM (tonnes/yr)
1.5
2.5
Program GHGs (tonnes/yr)
8,500.0
19,192.3
Adapted from: Fraser Basin Council (2012) Evaluation Framework Green Fleet BC
1. Annual emissions reduction projected for the following fiscal year.
19
Table 2. Alberta Trucks of Tomorrow: Incentive Spending ($)
Spending
Auxiliary
Power Units
Fairings
Skirts
Hybrid
Initial Funds
Transferred in
2010-11
82,500
0
135,500
0
2011-12
199,500
40,300
391,500
28,000
Total Spent
282,000
40,300
527,000
28,000
Remaining
Adapted from: Table 4.1, Trucks of Tomorrow Final Report (2012)
Table 3. Alberta Trucks of Tomorrow: Equipment (units)
Equipment
Auxiliary
Power Units
Cab Heater/
Coolers
Fairings
Skirts
Hybrid
Total
2010-11
55
501
0
271
0
827
2011-12
133
1215
101
783
4
2236
Total
188
1716
101
1054
4
3063
Adapted from: Table 5.1, Trucks of Tomorrow Final Report (2012)
Table 4. Manitoba GrEEEn Trucking Program Summary 2009-2012
Phase
Firms
Tractors
Trailers
Program
Investment
Participant
Investment
Total Rebates
I
14
28
17
$360,000
$3,551,000
$83,226
II
32
79
13
$788,000
$9,297,004
$156,694
III
36
109
38
$954,822
$13,698,076
$227,612
IV
28
106
24
$818,708
$13,103,758
$174,292
Total
110
322
92
$2,921,530
$39,649,838
$641,824
Source: GrEEEn Trucking Reports Phase I-II-III/ First Draft Phase IV
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Article
A trucking company president recently exclaimed: “Life is not trucking, but trucking is life.” Indeed, the goods that support North American lifestyles today are mostly delivered by trucks. Trucking also employs large numbers of people, burns billions of gallons of fuel, and produces tremendous tonnage of harmful emissions. This article combines the literature with lessons from green transportation leaders to identify four themes regarding movement toward sustainable trucking: (1) there are many ways to reduce emissions and fuel consumption; (2) many of these methods require substantial capital investment; (3) collaboration among the relevant stakeholders is needed to move forward; and (4) ultimately people—such as consumers, truck drivers, owner-operators, and taxpayers—will determine the future of trucking.
Freight Sustainability Projects Announced
airwaterland (2004), "Freight Sustainability Projects Announced," http://www.airwaterland.ca/article.asp?id=2696, May 24.
Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry: Top Industry Trends
  • American Trucking
  • Research Institute
American Trucking Research Institute (2005-2009), Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry: Top Industry Trends.
Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry
American Trucking Research Institute (2009), Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry.
Canada 39th Parliament, 2nd Session Standing Committee on Finance
  • David Bradley
Bradley, David (2007), Canada 39th Parliament, 2nd Session Standing Committee on Finance, Evidence Contents, Tuesday, November 27, http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3147280&Mode=1&Languag e=E#Int-2225288, accessed April 17, 2013.
Retail: A Pivot Point for Sustainability, Five Winds International
  • Kevin Brady
Brady, Kevin (2010), Retail: A Pivot Point for Sustainability, Five Winds International, Green Biz Report, March 30, http://www.fivewinds.com/english/resources/publications/retail-a-pivotpoint-for-sustainability.html, accessed April 17, 2013.
Enviro-Truck Brochure
Canadian Trucking Alliance (2007), Enviro-Truck Brochure, http://www.cantruck.ca/envirotruck/, April 24, 2013.
Heavy-Duty Highway Diesel Program
Environmental Protection Agency (2009), Heavy-Duty Highway Diesel Program, http://www.epa.gov/otaq/highway-diesel/index.htm, accessed April 17, 2013.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Behavioral Change: An Assessment of Past Research on Energy Use, Transportation and Water Consumption
  • Ezra M Markowitz
  • Bob Doppelt
Markowitz, Ezra M. and Bob Doppelt (2009), Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Behavioral Change: An Assessment of Past Research on Energy Use, Transportation and Water Consumption, Climate Leadership Initiative, Institute for a Sustainable Environment. Office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), "Rethinking Energy Conservation in Ontario -Results: Green Commercial Vehicle Program."
EnviroCan Undertaking Study Regarding Environmental Tampering of Heavy Duty Vehicles, Ontario Trucking Association
OTA (2013), EnviroCan Undertaking Study Regarding Environmental Tampering of Heavy Duty Vehicles, Ontario Trucking Association, http://www.ontruck.org/imispublic/Environment3/AM/ContentManagerNet/ContentDisplay.as px?Section=Environment3&ContentID=12527, accessed April 17, 2013.