Volvo sounds the alarm on coming Phase 2 emission rule

By John Bendel, Land Line editor-at-large | 5/18/2015

Volvo Trucks is asking for help to discourage the EPA and NHTSA from forcing truck makers to adopt Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) as a means to reduce greenhouse emissions and to increase fuel efficiency for trucks. Tony Greszler, Volvo’s vice president of government and industry relations, made the request of Volvo truck and construction equipment dealers as well as media at a meeting in Providence, R.I., Friday, May 15.

Volvo held the meeting in conjunction with its near two-week celebration of the Volvo Ocean Race in nearby Newport, R.I. Newport marked the seventh of nine legs in the around-the-world race that began in Spain last October. The seven-boat race will end in Sweden in late June or early July.

According to Greszler, the “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2” proposal, which is currently at the White House Office of Management and Budget under review, will apply to diesel engines as things stand. But Volvo believes standards can be better met if they apply not just to the engine, but to the truck as a whole. That would give engineers a free hand to bring other design elements to bear on the challenge, he said.

If the standard applies only the engine, Greszler explained, truck makers will almost certainly have to use WHR technology, which will increase costs and require counterproductive design changes. 

Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America, kicked off the meeting with comments on the 2016 Volvo models, which he said will increase fuel efficiency. A 2 percent improvement will result from powertrain enhancements and a 3.5 percent increase from better aerodynamics.

Nyberg stressed the importance of Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics for increasing equipment uptime. Remote Diagnostics provide proactive, detailed analysis of truck data and fault codes, he said, enabling Volvo Trucks Support Services to efficiently plan for repairs and preventive maintenance.

Volvo was closely watching regulatory developments, Nyberg said, and anticipates rules on full electronic stability control and speed limiters as well as on fuel efficiency and greenhouse gases.

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