Volvo announces strategy to meet EPA CO2 reduction targets

Christopher Goodfellow - 1 November 2012

Truck manufacturer Volvo has said that it is confident of meeting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) target of reducing vehicle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 23% by 2017, but will look to achieve this away from the EPA's suggested method.

Bill Dawson, Senior Vice President at Volvo, was speaking at the Diesel Emissions Conference & DEF Forum USA, where he addressed the challenge of aligning regulatory and customer demands to achieve emissions reductions in heavy-duty vehicles.

The EPA's Greenhouse Emissions Model (GEM) is the method used in calculating GHG credits and, unless sufficient credits can be generated, OEMs will need to force customers to accept features from the EPA's duty cycle that meet the standard. The EPA has proposed that the reduction can be met with Bin 4 aerodynamics, low-rolling resistance tyres, a reduction in vehicle weight, five minute idle shutdown and a speed limiter, which requires vehicle speed to be limited to a maximum of 65mph.

Dawson stated that the five minute idle shutdown and speed limiter are areas that "reduce operator flexibility and may drive up operating costs and impact resale value". Regulation states that vehicle and engine manufacturers are able to gain credits by implementing innovative technologies that reduce fuel consumption and increase fuel savings, and Dawson stated that this was the strategy that Volvo would pursue. He reported that by introducing superior technologies in aerodynamics and tyres, Volvo can meet this target without implementing the five minute idle and speed limiter features. Volvo has applied to the EPA for these innovative technology credits.

The discussion took place at Integer's Diesel Emissions Conference & DEF Forum USA 2012, at the Westin Hotel in Cincinnati from October 30-November 1. The conference brought together key stakeholders from across the automotive industry, including manufacturers, policy makers, trade bodies and industry experts to discuss developments in diesel emissions.

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