Truck, engine manufacturers urge global cooperation for regulatory harmonization

The world’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty commercial trucks and engines called for further progress in regulatory harmonization and closer cooperation among European, North American, and Japanese regulators in order to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption associated with on-road freight transport.

Meeting in Tokyo, the chief executives of more than 10 global truck and engine manufacturers discussed key issues facing their industry, including fuel efficiency improvements, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, diesel fuel specifications, and issues related to heavy-duty engine and vehicle regulation and certification.

Chaired by Satoru Takeuchi, president of UD Trucks Corporation and chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s Heavy Vehicle Committee, this was the chief executives’ ninth meeting to discuss global issues and recommend solutions to the critical challenges facing commercial vehicle manufacturers.

Summarizing the meeting, Takeuchi said, “In addition to their successful efforts to overcome the economic crisis, heavy-duty engine and vehicle manufacturers are also making clear progress in exhaust emission reductions and fuel efficiency improvements. We confirmed that accelerating efforts aimed at harmonization of test procedures and standards are needed to advance the global objective of GHG reductions. The best approach to reach this objective is for governments and industry to work together.”

Advancing the progress made at previous meetings, the chief executives discussed issues related to:

• Adoption of the worldwide heavy-duty emissions certification procedure (WHDC)
•Harmonization of diesel fuel specifications and regulations
•The development of a certification procedure for heavy-duty hybrids
•Fuel efficiency improvements and reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Points agreed on at this gathering included:
•The need for global cooperation in expanding WHDC
•The need for further discussions on diesel fuel specifications including bio components
•Early action for the introduction of globally harmonized fuel efficiency metrics and test procedures for heavy-duty vehicles
•To promote global harmonization of heavy-duty hybrid certification procedures
•Stronger administrative function in support of the activities of the Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting

The leaders of the assembled companies:
a) agreed to work with their governments not only to expand WHDC, but also to support the United Nations in the establishment of a globally harmonized hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HILS) procedure for use in heavy-duty hybrid certification; b) referred to the progress made so far in UN discussions on the development of global diesel fuel specifications, reconfirming the need to continue those discussions; and c) emphasized the need for concerted global action for GHG emissions reductions.

Agreeing to advise their regional secretariats to organize joint experts’ meetings to that end, they also affirmed that trans-national/trans-regional cooperative efforts between industry and governments toward global harmonization can serve to promote improvements for customers and the global environment.

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