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Trucking is a critical component of the BC economy. It supports our resource extraction and manufacturing sectors and delivers goods to market for import and export. Trucking also makes up a significant portion of our provincial greenhouse gas emissions, generating over six million tonnes every year, almost 10 per cent of all provincial emissions.
The Carbon Tax
- A trucker travelling 120,000 kilometres per year will consume approximately 40,000 litres of diesel fuel. The carbon tax paid on this fuel will be:
Carbon Tax Rebate
Tax Paid on 40,000 litres of diesel fuel
Fuel Efficiency Improvement needed to offset Carbon Tax
|2008||2.69¢ per litre||$1,076||1.8 per cent|
|2009||4.04¢ per litre||$1,616||2.7 per cent|
|2010||5.38¢ per litre||$2,152||3.6 per cent|
|2011||6.73¢ per litre||$2,692||4.5 per cent|
|2012||8.07¢ per litre||$3,228||5.4 per cent|
- The carbon tax is revenue neutral. All revenues from the tax will be reinvested in tax cuts and dividends to British Columbians.
- Helped in part by the carbon tax revenues, in 2009 British Columbia will have the lowest provincial personal income taxes for residents earning less than $111,000 annually. The corporate tax rate will also be cut one per cent to 11 per cent in 2009, and 10 per cent in three years, making B.C.'s corporate tax rates on par with the lowest in Canada.
- Each resident of BC received a $100 climate action dividend to offset the costs of the tax in 2008.
Improving Fuel Efficiency for Heavy Duty Trucks
Based on current fuel prices, a two per cent improvement in fuel economy would offset the cost of the carbon tax for the average trucker in 2008. A five per cent improvement in fuel economy will be required by 2012. There are several opportunities and technologies available to help truckers reduce fuel consumption. Some of these strategies on their own can produce fuel economy benefits that can offset the costs of the carbon tax. In combination, even greater fuel economy savings can be achieved.
- Lower speeds result in lower aerodynamic drag - the table below illustrates Environment Canada’s estimates for fuel efficiency savings for a truck with a gross vehicle weight of 40900 kg. By reducing your highway speed by 15 kilometres per hour you will reduce your fuel consumption by up to 13 per cent, saving $5,600 per year.
Per cent fuel that could be saved by travelling at 90 km/h
Cost savings by reducing speed to 90 km/h for 80,000 km
|120 km/h||39 litres/100 km||26 per cent||$11,200|
|105 km/h||34 litres/100 km||13 per cent||$5,600|
|90 km/h||29 litres/100 km||
- Aerodynamic devices can further reduce drag - Aerodynamic devices can be installed on the top of the tractor, and the sides, undersides, and end of the trailer, to further reduce air resistance on trucks. Depending on the types of devices and the travel speeds, aerodynamic devices can improve fuel efficiency by 5 to 10 percent, resulting in annual savings of $1,900.
- Reducing unnecessary idling can reduce your fuel costs - the BC government is installing electrified truck stops at key locations for overnight stays, and newer engines don’t need excessive warm up and cool down times. Turning an engine off overnight can save up to $45 per night in fuel costs, potentially up to $3,000 per year.
- Proper tire inflation is both more fuel efficient and safer - Under-inflated tires that are 10 psi under recommended levels can cause a 0.5 to 1 per cent loss in fuel economy. Under-inflated tires also lead to an increased risk for punctures and a shortened life of tire. A one percent decrease in fuel economy can translate into $375 a year in extra fuel costs.
- Driving techniques can optimise engine performance - Progressive shifting (up-shift at the lowest rpm possible), block shifting ( 2nd to 5th gear), idle reduction, speed control, engine speed optimization, as well as the reduced use of cab accessories can improve fuel economy by five per cent or higher. A five per cent increase in fuel efficiency translates into fuel cost savings of $1,900.
- Lightweight truck components can improve efficiency – Up to 1,500 kilograms can be removed from a truck through lightweight aluminium alloy parts for tractors and trailers. These include wheels, cab frames and trailer floor joists. The US EPA estimates maximum fuel savings of up to 1,900 litres per year, resulting in annual savings of $2,600.
- Engine Additives can protect and optimise trucks - Low-viscosity synthetic or semi-synthetic lubricants flow more easily than mineral blends. These fluids can save up to $500 in fuel costs, with the opportunity for more savings due to reduced engine maintenance.
Summary of fuel saving strategies
Maximum Fuel Cost Savings
|Reduce travel speeds by 15 km/h||$5,600|
|Reduce unnecessary idling||$3,000|
|Maintain optimal tire pressure||$375|
|Lightweight truck components||$2,600|
BC Government Infrastructure Investment in Support of Trucking
The BC Government is committed to helping the trucking industry reduce fuel consumption. The Province of BC is making major investments in transportation infrastructure to improve the efficiency and safety of our road system, saving the trucking industry time and money.
Safe, efficient and reliable access to resources is critical to capitalizing on the potential of our resource sector. BC is improving its transportation links between our natural resource areas, manufacturers, and the local and global markets. Projects include:
- Widening a 460 kilometre portion of Highway 97 between Cache Creek and Prince George to increase safety and decrease travel times
Phase one of the program began in 2005/06 as a $200 million investment over five years. When complete in 2011, Phase one will provide an additional 40 km of 4-laning. This will double the amount of 4-lane along the corridor to 80 km. Federal partnerships have increased total investments in Phase one to $241 million.
- Improving provincial roads for transport of wood affected by the mountain pine beetle
Approximately $88 million has been invested since 2006, and a further $90 million is committed to continue improving provincial roads for transport of affected wood over the next three years.
- Improving northern roads for the oil and gas industry
Since 2005, $211 million has been invested, and a further $47 million has been committed for 2010.
- Upgrading northern and rural side roads, partly in support of resource extraction
Since 2005, $255 million has been invested, and a further $155 million is committed over the next three years.
Based on current fuel prices, idling in traffic costs truck drivers more than $6 per hour in fuel costs, in addition to the costs of lost wages and productivity. It is estimated that trucks in the Lower Mainland spend 75 per cent of their time either stopped or slowed as a result of congestion, resulting in $500 million of lost productivity annually. A number of investments are aimed at reducing congestion and improving the movement of goods and people:
- Under joint cost-sharing with the Federal government, construction of a new Pitt River Bridge ($200 million), South Fraser Perimeter Road ($1.145 billion) and the expansion of the Highway 1/Port Mann Bridge corridor ($2.46 billion) will take place;
- The $301.4 million Border Infrastructure Program used Federal funding ($88 million), $12.2 million in 3rd party funding (Surrey) and ICBC funding to widen and improve our main routes to the key border crossings at Highways 10, 11, 15 and 91/91A; and,
- In addition to the newly opened William R. Bennett Bridge, $91 million will be spent over the next three years for projects that will reduce congestion in the Okanagan Valley, including the four-laning of Highway 97 between Summerland and Peachland, upgrading Highways 97 and 33 within Kelowna and four-laning Highway 97A north of Vernon.
Truck stop electrification:
The province has installed on electrified truck stop pedestal at on Highway 15 near the Douglas border crossing. Electrified truck stops allow a truck driver to use an electrical connection rather than their engine to power their overnight cabin comfort features. Since an idling truck can burn 4.5 litres per hour, 31.5 litres of diesel can be saved during a seven hour rest, a savings of over $45 a night.
Other BC Government Incentives and Programs
In addition to the government’s investment in infrastructure, further incentives and programs are offered to improve fuel efficiency for the trucking sector. These include financial incentive programs and regulatory changes.
The Province is investing $1.5 Million in GreenFleets BC, including $450,000 in the EnviroTruck program. This program offered up to $10,000 per vehicle to install new engines, aerodynamic devices and anti-idling devices. The program estimates that EnviroTrucks are 10 to 15 percent more fuel efficient than older trucks, resulting in significant fuel cost savings.
Long combination vehicles:
Long combination vehicles (LCV) are trucks with two trailers. LCVs are currently being demonstrated on BC highways, including Highways 1 and 2. These vehicles allow truck drivers to carry additional payload, increasing their profits per trip, while reducing traffic and GHG emissions on our roads.
Weigh2GoBC Program (not formally announced)
Weigh2GoBC (W2G) uses a combination of technologies to enable BC-based commercial carriers to bypass inspection stations, provided their vehicles comply with regulations and pass an electronic screening process. The program is designed to help carriers save money, fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while accelerating the flow of goods through the Pacific trade corridor. W2G is four-year, four million dollar investment, and is currently operating at five weigh stations along highway number one. Prince George and Nordel weigh stations will be added in 2010/2011.