Glider kit manufacturers such as Fitzgerald, Harrison Truck Centers and Indiana Phoenix have argued that despite the previous administration’s stated goal to reduce greenhouse emissions, the EPA did not perform any actual testing to analyze the environmental impact of remanufactured engines and gliders compared to new, or original equipment manufacturer, vehicles. Instead, it relied on unsubstantiated assumptions about the number of older engines used in gliders and its emissions.
This argument was confirmed in a 2016 study by Tennessee Tech University. The study tested emissions from 13 vehicles and concluded that remanufactured engines performed equally as well as the OEM engines when compared with 2010 EPA emissions standards.
It also found that the economic impact of this rule could exceed a conservative estimate of $1 billion nationwide.
The key areas of research were to compare glider kit compliance with the Phase 2 Rule, perform high level environmental footprint and economic study of OEM manufacturing v. assembly of glider kits, and evaluate industry optimization plans to address future environmental regulations including, but not limited to production vehicles, component assembly and facility compliance.
TTU tested 13 heavy-duty trucks on a common chassis dynamometer. Eight of those trucks were glider kits and five were OEM certified engines, all with low mileage. Each vehicle was evaluated for fuel efficiency, carbon monoxide, particulate matter emissions and nitrogen oxide. The results were compared with the 2010 EPA emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
“Our research showed that optimized and remanufactured 2002-2007 engines and OEM ‘certified’ engines performed equally as well and in some instances outperformed the OEM engines,” TTU president Phil Oldham and director of the Tennessee Tech Center for Intelligent Mobility Tom Brewer said in the summary addressed to Congressman Diane Black. “While none of the vehicles met the nitrogen oxide standard, a glider remanufactured engine achieved the best result of any engine tested.
“Further, our research showed that remanufactured and OEM engines experience parallel decline in emissions efficiency with increased mileage.”