White paper

A model regulatory program for reducing exhaust and evaporative emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and engines

Commercial truck markets in emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil now dwarf traditional markets in industrialized economies. Tremendous opportunities exist to improve public health around the world by reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. In an effort to accelerate progress toward this objective, the ICCT has developed a model regulatory program for harmonizing and reducing exhaust and evaporative emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. Global alignment of regulatory programs for reducing vehicle emissions can produce greater public health benefits while reducing compliance costs for manufacturers.

The EU, Japan and the US have each developed separate motor vehicle control programs with their own fuel quality requirements, emission standards, certification test procedures, and in-use compliance and enforcement mechanisms. Worldwide, developing nations such as China, India, and Thailand have adopted the European regulatory program, while a few regions have adopted the US regulatory track (Taiwan, China) or have allowed manufacturers the option of complying with either program (Mexico).

This model rule aims to encourage alignment of the three major regulatory programs in the EU, Japan and the United States. One important mechanism for technical alignment is the United Nations WP-29 program, which has finalized a worldwide harmonized test procedure for criteria emissions. The ICCT is hopeful that the final worldwide test procedure will be acceptable to the three major regulatory programs.

Through this model rule, ICCT also hopes to provide developing nations with our assessment of current international best practices in motor vehicle emissions control in order to guide regulatory decisions. The decision is then left to each developing nation to either adopt each sequential regulatory step, or to leapfrog one or more regulatory steps to achieve air quality and public health benefits on a more rapid timescale. Independent of the regulatory pace, this model rule emphatically supports the adoption by developing nations of the full regulatory package: it is not the purpose of this model rule to encourage developing nations to mix and match various program elements into a “unique program” as this would reduce the benefits of alignment.

Vehicle testing