International ProStar earns EPA SmartWay eligibility

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The International ProStar, designed for improved aerodynamics and fuel savings, has officially been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a SmartWay eligible tractor for its significantly better environmental and fuel consumption performance compared to traditional tractors and trailers.

“We have been working continuously to develop best-in-class fuel economy and lowest cost of ownership in our Class 8 trucks, and our breakthrough technologies are making a real difference in helping reduce emissions and protecting our environment,” says Robert A. Weber, chief engineer of the heavy truck group for Warrenville, Ill.-based International. “It is rewarding to be recognized for our efforts in such a formal way. The associated logo that we can now adhere on our products is a valuable tool for helping our customers to make environmentally responsible decisions.”

The result of International’s participation in the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership with other original equipment manufacturers of trailers and tractors, eligibility is based on a comprehensive set of fuel-saving, low-emissions equipment specifications for new Class 8 long-haul tractors and trailers. The specifications are aimed at achieving fuel savings of between 10 and 20 percent, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and significantly reducing NOx particulate matter and other air pollutants.

Specifications for the SmartWay eligible tractors include 2007 model year engines, integrated cab high roof air fairings, side fairing gap reducers, fuel tank side fairings, aerodynamic bumpers and mirrors, options to eliminate periods of extended engine idling, and fuel-saving, low rolling-resistance tires.

The EPA maintains that SmartWay trucks will, on average, be 22 percent more fuel-efficient than trucks that aren’t comparably equipped, and will be at least 10 percent more fuel-efficient than the best combination-unit trucks on the road today. The SmartWay Truck will be an evolutionary requirement, so as technology improves, more stringent requirements will be developed to qualify as a SmartWay Truck. The agency intends to revise the criteria in 2010 and will seek an additional 10 percent fuel-economy gain, as well as meeting the more stringent 2010 emission standards.

“International looks forward to continuing to partner with the EPA to develop standardized test procedures, to verify technologies and to research ways to save fuel,” Weber says. “In fact, compliance next year will move from merely spec’ing with an aero package to be considered compliant, to being based on actual fuel economy meter readings. While we anticipate that the ProStar will continue to remain compliant under these more stringent standards, not every truck will, so you can imagine how important continued collaboration with the EPA is for all OEMs, not just International.”

The International 9200, which also is SmartWay eligible, will be replaced by the ProStar 113-inch BBC in 2008. The trucking industry estimates that as many as 2,500 SmartWay tractors might be sold in 2007, which represents just two percent of all tractor sales.

For a trailer to qualify, it must be equipped with a dry van trailer of 53 inches length or greater, trailer side skirts, low rolling-resistant tires with a rolling resistance of 5.5 or lower, lightweight trailer option with weight-saving technologies, and either a trailer gap reducer on the front of the trailer or trailer tails that are either extenders or boat tails.