By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
Saying that after 2018 it anticipates reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by up to 23 percent, Canada has implemented new industry regulations for on-road vehicles. The move was announced by Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honorable Peter Kent.
It affects the whole range of on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines, including large pick-up trucks, short and long-haul tractors, cement and garbage trucks, buses, and many others beginning with the 2014 model year.
Canada has already worked closely with the United States to establish common North American standards for regulating greenhouse gas emissions for light-duty vehicles for the 2011-2016 model years, and is working towards proposed regulations for model years 2017 and beyond.
The government is after all the usual suspects—carbon dioxide, methane, oxides of nitrogen—but of additional note is the attention paid to R-134a refrigerant systems. Acknowledging that the present refrigerant has a significant GWP, the government will mandate systems that leak no more than 1.5% of their charge, expressed in grams per year.
One interesting exception appears in the text: “… if the total refrigerant capacity is less than 734 grams, the percent leakage rate referred to in subsection (1) or the adjusted percent leakage rate referred to in subsection (2), as the case may be, may exceed 1.5% per year if the total leakage rate does not exceed 11.0 grams per year.”
734 g equals 1.62 lbs of refrigerant so some systems, most likely on smaller vehicles, get a pass of sorts.
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When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The entire set of regulations is based on fleet averages of emissions for several classes of vehicle from 2b through Class 8, and establishes a system of credits and penalties within the industry. Supporters say that manufacturing costs will rise slightly, but that purchasers will soon recover the initial cost through increased fuel efficiency.