The current Australian heavy vehicle engine emission regulation adopts Euro V as the main standard, and permits the approved equivalent standards from Japan or the USA to demonstrate compliance.
The Second Revision of the relevant Australian Design Rule (ADR) permits trucks to be certified to the more stringent Euro VI. The proposal to mandate all new trucks as Euro VI remains under consideration.
The Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts recently liaised with NatRoad when preparing a brief for the incoming Government on mandating Euro VI for all new trucks.
Members have given NatRoad feedback that the Government should offer a rebate for purchasing a Euro VI truck linked to greater fuel tax credits (once they’re restored). This rebate could be applied so as to offset the higher fuel costs for heavy vehicle operators linked to the increased weight for Euro VI technology.
NatRoad has also strongly recommended to Government that the policy options around the introduction of mandated standards should be designed to maintain the productivity of vehicles and improve the incentives to heavy vehicle operators to use Euro VI vehicles, for example by increasing steer axle mass limits and increasing vehicle width and length for these models.
This would make Euro VI vehicles more competitive, compared to a Euro V or earlier trucks, rather than less competitive (given their generally reduced payload).
The applicability dates for mandating Euro VI have not yet been determined but will likely be part of an early decision of the new Federal Government. The mass increase needed to offset the productivity impact of the proposed ADR is being looked at by the National Transport Commission. But we communicated to the Department that it is essential that the mass increase come into force before a proposed Euro VI mandatory ADR is in force.
All technical issues should be resolved as soon as possible, given the long lead time on delivery of new trucks. All government agencies should co-ordinate work on the technical issues associated with the introduction of any concessions, particularly a floating 500kg mass concession for steer and 1,000kg for twin steer Euro VI compliant heavy vehicles.