September 28, 2022

Isuzu chief calls for clarity on new emissions limits

According to Andrew Harbison, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Australia Limited, expectations are high that Euro VI compliant engines will be required for all new trucks sold by the second half of 2025.

In an opinion piece posted online for Isuzu Trucks, Harbison said it looked like there would soon be some certainty regarding the introduction of Euro VI limits for heavy-duty vehicles given that new mandatory Euro V vehicles had been on the road for over 11 years.

“On the other hand, Euro-6 for light vehicles is potentially a little further away due to issues with the quality of gasoline sold in Australia,” Harbison noted.

“While Australian vehicles are making slow progress towards improving emissions standards, the question remains, what role does this country’s aging truck fleet play in applying the handbrake to the important target cleaner air for generations to come?

An answer to this question had been sought belatedly at the end of 2020, when the Federal Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications issued a draft Regulatory Impact Statement (SDR) which estimated the costs and benefits of improving harmful emission standards for light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. .

The RIS found that adopting stricter emissions targets would generate significant benefits for the government in the form of $6.7 billion in avoided healthcare costs. But it would also entail significant costs for automakers.

“The analysis suggested that, if adopted, the introduction of Euro VI for heavy vehicles for all newly approved models manufactured from 1 July 2027 and for all new heavy vehicles manufactured from 1 July 2028 would result in increased capital costs for manufacturers of $985 million over the period to 2050,” the RIS said.

Adoption of the next emission limit tier, Euro 6, would reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission limits by up to 80% and reduce particulate matter emission limits by up to 66 %, according to the SRI.

Industry groups in Europe and the United States are currently debating how to move to Euro 7/VII and equivalent vehicle emission standards, with over 80% of the global automotive market having already adopted Euro vehicle emission standards 6, including Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, China, India and Mexico.

European emission standards were first introduced in 1992 to reduce harmful exhaust emissions from new vehicles sold in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and in the UK.

Under current Australian regulations, all heavy-duty vehicle models sold in Australia must comply with Euro V harmful emissions standards.

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL), according to Harbison, wholeheartedly supports the shift to cleaner vehicles, but he noted that it was counterproductive to suggest that automakers alone should pay the entire bill.

“Industry needs clarity on when new emission limits will be introduced,” Harbison noted.

“Anyone involved in the trucking industry needs time to plan and prepare for the tighter limits, which for some will mean a significant capital investment,” he continued.

Australia’s new federal government has already signaled its strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as Australia emits 1.3% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

On June 16, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia’s new commitment to the Paris Agreement would lead to a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles account for 61% of greenhouse gas emissions produced in Australia according to the Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide.

“This means the transport industry, working closely with government, has a big role to play in Australia’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint,” Harbison observed.

“IAL is strongly in favor of the Australian transport fleet becoming cleaner and greener which, with today’s technological advancements, also means safer,” he said.

For Harbison, that means taking aging and dangerous trucks off the road and replacing them with low-emission vehicles.

“Isuzu believes the federal government could offer incentives to owners of pre-1996 trucks to upgrade to Euro V or higher compliant truck models. This could take the form of accelerated depreciation or an investment allowance,” he suggested.

“To this end, several different models could work, but any allocation should work in concert with addition to the existing uniform capital allocation and, to be fully effective, should also include a provision for the purchase of trucks from late model used.

“The results of this are as simple as they are beneficial.”

Harbison is quick to cite, as examples, vastly improved emissions standards, improved overall road safety and greater efficiency, with greater uptime equating to economic gains through improved productivity.

IAL and its parent company Isuzu Motors Limited in Japan are committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This goal will be achieved in part, according to Harbison, by reducing energy consumption and actively introducing clean and renewable energy technologies.

“To ensure that Isuzu meets its 2050 targets, the company has set certain goals, including identifying the technologies required by 2025 to have a 100% carbon neutral product line by 2040. By 2030, Isuzu also aims to halve the level. of the company’s carbon dioxide output in 2013,” he noted.

“Isuzu has a proud history both around the world and here in Australia of working to transform road transport products for the better and for our collective benefit. As Euro VI looms for new trucks, it’s time to eat the emissions elephant one bite at a time, and from both sides.