Carbon pricing to cost Canadian truckers $538 million in 2021, CTA says

Canada’s largest trucking association continues to push against carbon pricing, citing a lack of “meaningful environmental changes” that result.

In letters to multiple ministers, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has stressed that fleets already closely monitor fuel consumption – and that carbon pricing offers no added incentive to adopt new technologies or business strategies.

Diesel fuel tank
(Photo: istock)

The alliance estimates Canada’s trucking industry will pay $538 million in carbon pricing this year, rising to $1.2 billion by 2023, and $3 billion by 2030.

The federal carbon price on diesel is set to increase $0.1073 per liter on April 1. Carbon pricing is set to be worth $15 per tonne by 2030.

Carbon pricing revenue that is generated by trucking should create a Green Truck Fund to encourage more investments in GHG-reducing equipment, the alliance says. A pre-budget submission from the group asked for rebates of up to 50% on GHG-reducing technologies on tractors, trailers and other options.

There have been internal discussions around developing a national scrappage program to provide incentives to replace older trucks, but CTA is opposing that because it would have no benefit to longhaul operations.

Proposed fuel standards

“The longhaul trucking industry does not currently have an alternative to diesel fuel, which only further reinforces that diesel will continue to be the fuel of necessity – not by choice – for our industry for the foreseeable future,” it adds.

In comments to Environment and Climate Change Canada, CTA has asked for a closer look at any proposed changes to the carbon intensity of diesel fuel – including the addition of any additives or biofuel mandates. 

“Increases in biodiesel content continue to be an ongoing concern. If mandated, such a policy would expose the trucking industry sector to significant mechanical issues, leading to enormous maintenance and operating cost increases,” it says.

“A biodiesel mandate – even at a 5% level – does not guarantee a consistent blend at the pumps year-round, leading to higher blends in warmer months, and to significant operational issues for fleets and truck drivers operating this equipment.”

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