So what about the potential for low NOx diesels—which, according to Neandross, is where CARB wants trucking to go?

In talking to diesel engine manufacturers, Neandross has heard doubts about the attainability of the expected CARB targets, and whether those very low targets are truly necessary—or even accurately measurable. But natural gas engine makers are more optimistic.

“It puts a lot of pressure on the diesel guys, in terms of market competitiveness,” he says.

Regardless, trucking needs to get credit for the improvements made in freight efficiency and engine emissions, and the potential to move forward with existing and viable new technologies.

“It’s really miraculous when you think about an 80,000-lb. Class 8 heavy-duty truck driving down the road, hauling freight, having the same tailpipe emissions as a Ford Taurus or something,” he says. “That truly is a feat of engineering to get emissions that low from something doing that much work in society.”

To that end, ACT 2017 will focus on these more traditional technologies and the very bright outlook for fleets who take advantage of them. The trucking-track highlights include an opening panel, moderated by Fleet Owner Editor Jim Mele, to discuss “The Future of Heavy-Duty Trucking” and the still critical role of advanced clean diesel technology.

A subsequent session will focus on freight efficiency, diving deeper into the EPA's Phase 2 GHG Rule to help fleet customers understand what this regulation will really mean to their future planning and procurement plans. Beyond GHG 2, attendees will get an update on the second round of SuperTruck projects aimed at developing and demonstrating technologies to improve heavy-truck freight efficiency by more than 100%, relative to a manufacturer’s best-in-class 2009 truck. Attendees also will hear which OEMs are participating, what technologies they will be testing, and what goals they hope to achieve.

“There’s a lot out there—and that doesn’t even get into natural gas, electric, propane, fuel cells, or any of the other stuff,” Neandross says. “What we’ve really done for ACT this year is focus on the traditional, and put the alternatives around that. In the past, the alternatives have been center stage, the main attraction, but we’ve shifted that this year.”

More program and registration details are here.