Friday, April 24, 2015

Back from the Drawing Board - CARB Releases Sustainable Freight Plan

Part 2 of 3 – ZEV Mandate
The Sustainable Freight Plan (SFP) is a comprehensive approach to reducing emissions across the entire freight sector. While ocean going vessels and locomotives are also being looked at for reductions, trucks are at the forefront of CARB’s diabolical scheme to regulate the heck out of everything they can.

Whether it’s back door or straight through the front, CARB will reach every mode of the transportation sector with the SFP. Their position is that in order to meet federal air quality guidelines and protect public health, they need to transition the trucking fleet into zero emissions and near zero emissions across most sectors.

The trucking sector is no stranger to the whims and fancies of CARB, but the SFP is some next level stuff. Right as the industry thought they were out of the woods with the on-road truck and bus rule – once it was finalized (again) last year – another set of regulations is headed down the pike. It turns out, the light the industry saw at the end of the tunnel was actually a train headed right for them.

CARB will start small; drayage trucks, short haul delivery, urban delivery, and recycle transfer trucks are all up first on the chopping block. They will then move to the larger over-the-road industry once there is an actual engine and infrastructure available to meet their “vision.”

In the urban delivery sector, CARB is not only seeking to set efficiency standards to accelerate Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) demonstration projects, but they are also looking to mandate ZEV according to fleet volume or vehicle size, beginning with last mile delivery vehicles. 
CARB on more than one occasion alludes to the fact that complementary incentives will be available to assist in deployment of this technology. Nevertheless, with limited technology offerings currently available, it will be hard to convince fleet operators to shift platforms into commercially untested equipment, even if CARB is throwing money at the problem.

This approach is consistent across all the sectors that CARB is seeking to regulate. Short haul and transfer trucks are dead center in the ZEV crosshairs with Zero Emission Vehicle mandates being proposed along with the complementary incentives for vehicles and infrastructure. There is also consideration of a pilot project for long haul trucks that would encourage zero emission travel and idling reduction strategies in impacted communities.
All in all, CARB is looking at a wholesale change of the freight transport network. Although there are limited available equipment offerings for the trucking sector, the agency is moving full steam ahead toward consideration. And despite the enormous technological and economic challenges, the trucking industry can expect more of the same from our favorite four letter agency.

Next up in C&C, the dreaded “Facility Cap” will be reviewed. The Facility Cap is the crown jewel of the SFP and will touch practically all facets of the freight transport industry…be afraid, be very afraid.

Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment