ACT News 2017


ISL G Engine Safety Recall in Macks

October 27, 2015 in NGVs, Safety by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Some 3,000 Units Affected by Turbocharger Oil Supply Line Issue

Cummins is recalling some 3,000 natural gas-fueled, 8.9-liter Cummins Westport ISL G engines. “These engines have a turbocharger oil supply line that may contact or interfere with the turbocharger inlet elbow, clean air intake clamp, or the air fuel control tube, and result in an oil leak,” says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Cummins Westport ISL G

The Cummins Westport ISL G

“If the turbocharger oil supply line oil leaks in the proximity of the engine exhaust manifold there would be an increased risk of a fire,” says the recall notice.

OEM and Retrofit

The engines in question were manufactured from September 13, 2007, to September 23, 2015, NHTSA says.

“The affected engines were sold for use exclusively in Mack Trucks and Navistar vehicles, both as original equipment and as replacement equipment,” the agency says. The recall applies “exclusively” to Mack trucks.

The total number of engines affected is 2,959. The recall carries NHTSA campaign number 15E085000.

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Source: NHTSA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up


Federal GHG Process Is Heating Up

September 2, 2015 in event, Regulations, webinar by Joe Annotti  |  No Comments

Fleet Owner Is Presenting Ryder-Sponsored Webinar on September 23
As Deadline for Input on Greenhouse Truck & Bus Rule Is Now October 1

Concerned about the federal government’s new greenhouse gas emissions regulations affecting medium- and heavy-duty vehicles?

U.S. Proposes Huge Truck Efficiency Rule

June 23, 2015 in Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Sprawling EPA-NHTSA Rule Is Designed to Pare Operators’ Fuel Costs,
‘It’s Been a Year in the Making, Now the Fun Begins,’ Says One Advocate

The federal government has formally proposed its Phase 2 regulations for model year 2021 to 2027 medium and heavy duty vehicles. The sweeping regulation from the U.S. EPA and NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is designed to both reduce carbon emissions and slash fuel consumption. updated June 24

The new Phase 2 regulation is projected to save vehicle owners ‘about $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the regulatory timeframe,’ states an EPA-NHTSA summary.

The new Phase 2 regulation is projected to save vehicle owners ‘about $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the regulatory timeframe,’ states an EPA-NHTSA summary.

The proposed standards are expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons, the agencies say, and to cut fuel costs by about $170 billion. They are to reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program.

The rule follows a goal set by President Obama in February 2014.

“It’s been a year in the making, now the fun begins,” says one expert, charged with helping clients respond to the proposal. EPA and NHTSA are taking comments until 60 days after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register – expected early in July – and will hold at least two public workshops on the proposal. They are currently expected to be held in late August, in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Engines and Trailers and Vehicles

The massive proposal, which runs to several thousands of pages in multiple documents from EPA and NHTSA, includes sections on engines and trailers as well as overall vehicles. It comes as the Obama administration’s heavy duty vehicle rules effective through 2017 are not yet fully implemented, notes Glen Kedzie, general counsel for ATA, the American Trucking Associations.

“We’re still in the middle of the Phase 1 rule,” he told F&F.

ATA’s principal concern is that while Phase 1 relies on technologies already implemented via the EPA’s SmartWay program, Phase 2 makes reference to advanced technologies, some of which are not yet commercially available. There is the further challenge, Kedzie says, of coordinating technologies pertinent to engines, trailers, and overall vehicles, all with a view to what will be in use in 2027, more than a decade away.

“Lots of things can change,” he says. “That’s the scary part of this regulation.”

‘Ambitious Yet Achievable and Affordable’

The agencies note that the proposed rule does not take effect until model year 2021 (model year 2018 for trailers). The proposed standards, says a fact sheet, “are the product of a comprehensive assessment of existing and advanced technologies and extensive stakeholder outreach.

“The agencies have had well over 300 meetings with manufacturers, fleets, owner-operators, dealerships, suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), consumer groups, labor unions, and other stakeholders to identify and understand the opportunities and challenges associated with fuel saving technologies…

“In order to significantly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions while ensuring the heavy-duty industry continues to meet the diverse needs of our transportation sector, the agencies have carefully designed a set of proposed standards that are ambitious yet achievable and affordable.”

‘Grounded in Rigorous Technical Data’

The proposal is “grounded in rigorous technical data and analysis,” the agencies say. “They do not mandate the use of specific technologies. Rather they establish standards achievable through a range of technology options, and allow manufacturers to choose those technologies that work best for their products and for their customers.”

Numerous organizations reacted to the proposal, most favorably, though often guardedly.

“Fuel is an enormous expense for our industry – and carbon emissions carry an enormous cost for our planet,” ATA president and CEO Bill Graves said in a release. “That’s why our industry supported the Obama Administration’s historic first round of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for medium and large trucks and why we support the aims of this second round of standards.”

ATA president and CEO Bill Graves

ATA president and CEO Bill Graves

The Industry Needs Time

Kedzie, in the same announcement, sounded a caution: “We believe this rule could result in the deployment of certain technologies that do not fully recognize the diversity of our industry and could prove to be unreliable. This unreliability could slow not only adoption of these technologies, but the environmental benefits they aim to create.”

“To prevent this, truck and engine manufacturers will need adequate time to develop solutions to meet these new standards.”

According to Kedzie, fuel is typically a fleet’s first or second largest operating expense and most fleets seek a return on their investment in new equipment within 18 to 24 months.

Volvo Expresses Concern

“In 2014, trucking spent nearly $150 billion on diesel fuel alone,” he said in the ATA announcement, “so the potential for real cost savings and associated environmental benefits of this rule are there – but fleets will need a wide variety of proven and durable technologies to meet these new standards throughout the various implementation stages.”

Volvo, while supporting the government’s goals, took issue with the structure of then proposal. “In principle, the Volvo Group maintains that a separate engine standard is inconsistent with the Group’s interest in minimizing the complete, real world environmental impacts of its products.”

Matt Godlewski

NGVAmerica president Matt Godlewski

“A separate engine standard is at odds with the reduction of NOx,” Volvo said, “due to the natural trade-off between NOx and CO2 emissions from the engine. It also limits manufacturers’ flexibility to meet the regulated targets for each individual customer in a way that suits their specific needs, and it incentivizes optimization for engine test cell requirements versus real world efficiencies.”

Volvo made clear that it will make its position clear to EPA and NHTSA “within the allotted timeframe.”

In other statements,

  • “Today’s proposal has the potential to be a win-win-win that will lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fuel costs and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” said NGVAmerica president Matt Godlewski. The final rule, he said, could “create new opportunities for fleets to use natural gas to further reduce fuel costs and emissions, while increasing energy security.”
  • “These proposed heavy-duty standards will help the nation fight climate change while driving new technology and reducing costs for truckers and fleet managers,” said California Air Resources Board Chairman Nichols. “We support this effort and will be working to ensure the final regulations help California meet our goals for 2030 and beyond.”
  • “Making our trucks go farther on less fuel will limit climate change and oil dependency while saving consumers and businesses money, and spurring innovation,” said Natural Resources Defense Council president Rhea Suh. “We will be pushing the administration to require compliance sooner, in order to deliver these benefits more quickly.”
  • “When heavy- and medium-duty trucks become more fuel efficient, the U.S. economy will benefit,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the clean energy initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Truckers will pay less at the pump, businesses will have lower shipping costs, and consumers will save on purchased goods – all while pollution is decreased, benefitting public health and the environment.”
  • “Cummins welcomes the proposal with its goals to improve fuel efficiency and reduce GHG emissions, creating a win-win for both customers and the environment,” said Cummins VP and engine business president Dave Crompton. “We are pleased that the new proposal builds upon the Phase 1 framework that aligns technological advances and industry success.”
  • “As a power management company committed to increased fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gases, Eaton strongly supports the next phase of standards for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles,” said Eaton chairman and CEO Alexander Cutler. “These standards provide important incentives to help deploy the next generation of fuel efficient technologies. Eaton stands ready to provide cost-effective advanced drivetrain technologies that make vehicles more efficient while achieving significant operational savings for our customers’ commercial vehicle fleets.”

“Once upon a time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-big-vehicles. This rule will change that,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the EPA-NHTSA announcement. “These efficiency standards are good for the environment – and the economy, he said.

“When trucks use less fuel, shipping costs go down. It’s good news all around, especially for anyone with an online shopping habit.”

Two-Year Payback in 2027

Also according to the announcement, “The proposed standards are cost-effective for consumers and businesses, delivering favorable payback periods for truck owners; the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology in less than two years through fuel savings.

“We’re delivering big time on President Obama’s call to cut carbon pollution,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. “With emission reductions weighing in at 1 billion tons, this proposal will save consumers, businesses and truck owners money; and at the same time spur technology innovation and job-growth, while protecting Americans’ health and our environment over the long haul.”

‘Payback periods for truck owners would be favorable,’ the government says: ‘the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the extra cost of the technology in under two years through fuel savings.’

‘Payback periods for truck owners would be favorable,’ the government says: ‘the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the extra cost of the technology in under two years through fuel savings.’

GM Recalling 3,196 Impco CNG Vans

September 18, 2014 in CNG, NGVs, Safety by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Affects 2011-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana Vans
With High Pressure GFI Regulators and DiaCom Diaphragms

General Motors has initialed a safety recall of 3,196 model year 2011-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana Vans converted to dedicated compressed natural gas operation by Impco Automotive.

Landi Renzo Recalls Ford CNG Vans

April 1, 2014 in CNG, NGVs, Safety by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Fuel Cylinder Brackets Being Replaced on E-Series Vehicles

Landi Renzo USA has initiated a recall of Ford E-series vans converted to compressed natural gas operation. The firm is repairing, at no charge, rear fuel cylinder brackets it says could fail, allowing the fuel tanks to dislodge. The repair can be done by Landi Renzo itself, or at designated Ford dealers. It takes about an hour.

CWI Recalls Both the ISL G and ISX12 G

March 4, 2014 in NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Cold Winter Takes Its Toll on Cummins Westport’s Spark Engines,
Intake Ice Can ‘Induce Elevated Exhaust Temperatures or Flames’

The fell winter has dealt a blow to natural gas trucking. Cummins Westport, Inc. has recalled more than 25,000 of its market-dominating dedicated-natural gas engines due to a problem with intake manifold ice that could present a fire hazard. Both the 8.9-liter ISL G and new 11.9-liter ISX12 G are affected.

All-Electric? Add Some Noise

January 8, 2013 in EVs, Hybrids, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

NHTSA Is Moving to Make It Mandatory

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing that hybrid and electric vehicles “meet minimum sound standards in order to help make all pedestrians more aware of the approaching vehicles.” Electric-drive vehicles, in other words, will have to have sounds added to increase safety.

Don’t Forget NGVs! Says Energy Futures

February 19, 2012 in NGVs by rich  |  No Comments

The federal government sees hybrid electric vehicles as a bridge technology to zero emission pure battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles – but it should include natural gas vehicles in that category too.

That’s the view of Colorado’s Energy Futures and also of VNG, a new firm in New Jersey that’s helping establish the fueling infrastructure for NGVs.

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