New Canadian GHG standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles

Published: 2013.05.03

Ben Sharpe


On March 13, 2013, Environment Canada published finalized standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles. The regulations are designed to align with the U.S. national standards finalized in 2011.

As with the U.S. program, the Canadian standard will affect model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles and require CO2 emission reductions ranging from 6% to 23% in the MY 2017 timeframe (as compared to a MY 2010 baseline). The stringency levels vary with vehicle subcategories that are based on weight classes and vehicle attributes. Over the lifetime of the vehicles affected by these regulations, Environment Canada estimates that the total GHG emissions reduction will be 19.1 million tonnes.

The regulatory design mirrors that of the U.S. EPA program, and the rule is best understood as three separate standards linked to specific provisions for tractor trucks, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles, with additional separate standards for the engines that power tractor trucks and vocational vehicles. Though the Canadian and U.S. programs are aligned in all key areas, there are important Canada-specific provisions. The individual components of the regulations are summarized in in this policy update.