Fleets Managing Emission Regulations Rely on NAFA’s CARB Council

green fleet reduce vehicle truck emissionsTracking dozens of fleet vehicles at once is a tough job for any fleet manager. Upcoming vehicle emissions regulations in California are making the job even more challenging, especially because the logistics of ensuring that a non-California truck doesn’t end up on California roads incurring fines could be quite difficult. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is currently debating a diverse set of regulations that will have a significant impact on fleets operating in California. CARB actually fined several California companies for failing to inspect their diesel trucks. Fleet management should be aware that currently eighteen other states are considering vehicle emission regulations similar to the CARB rules.

Fortunately fleet managers, fleet vehicle owners and truck drivers have an ally on their side – the NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA). NAFA is working hard to ensure its members’ needs are being considered in CARB’s decision making process. NAFA recently formed a new sub-committee of NAFA’s Fuels & Technology Advisory Council called the CARB Advisory Council. The primary purpose of the NAFA CARB Advisory Council is to give input to the CA Air Resources Board on regulatory decisions that impact fleet managers in California. The new council plans to meet with CARB leaders on a regular basis in order to promote NAFA’s position of supporting emissions reductions and fuel efficiency instead of mandates that are financially infeasible. In addition, the council will keep NAFA members current on any new or potential legislation that could have an affect on them.

The CA Air Resources Board is a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency. CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

According to NAFA, CARB recently held a public meeting as a preliminary step towards the possibility of mandating fleet acquisition of hybrid trucks. Within the last 12 months, CARB announced that it will begin regulating the emissions of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) from electric utility equipment starting in 2011; developed a 14-point program, the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, to slash diesel emissions over the next decade; and proposed other  emission reduction plans for California’s commercial trucks including the 2010 Diesel Exhaust Emission Program, the Heavy Duty Vehicle Idling Emission Reduction Program, the Heavy Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction measure, and the Truck and Bus Regulation Reducing Emissions from Existing Diesel Vehicles measure.

According to Ken Gillies, manager at GE Capital Fleet Services, in a recent Fleet Owner magazine article, “This bevy of rules for commercial trucks passing through California makes it nearly impossible for fleets with older trucks to maintain compliance.”  Many of California’s attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motorized vehicles may especially be difficult for small commercial fleet owners whose older trucks are difficult to retrofit in a cost efficient way. Most large fleets have replacement cycles that meet CARB standards, but smaller fleet owners typically keep their trucks longer and will most likely feel negative effects of the new CARB requirements. For example, agricultural businesses that operate cab over engine tractors with 57-foot trailers may have a tough time retrofitting these models simply because they are no longer available.

For fleets having a tough time managing the strict emission requirements, they should consider investing in a green fleet GPS management system that can stop wasteful driving habits and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Excessive Fuel Reports can calculate how much money this is costing and shows how much CO2 is being emitted due to  poor driving habits. FieldLogix Green Reports give each vehicle a Green Score and ranks each driver by who is the most efficient. In addition to cutting fuel costs, a GPS tracking system can increase workforce productivity, improve customer service, and helps you to do your part to protect our planet while saving time and money. Each year fleet vehicles burn close to $9 billion of fuel annually due to unnecessary idling and speeding. Chances are each of your fleet vehicles burns up to 800 gallons of fuel per year due to unnecessary idling alone, which costs about $2400 per fleet vehicle annually.