Latest Clean Diesel Trucks Offer Clean Air and Fuel Saving Benefits

The Diesel Technology Forum has issued a statement on the occasion of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) public hearing concerning heavy duty emissions standards:

The maximum benefits for the environment and for trucking customers depend upon the acceptance of the new generation of clean diesel technology, which would be slowed if the present requirements concerning glider vehicles were modified.

Countrywide, diesel is the main platform for commercial vehicles. Thirty percent of those in use currently are of the latest generation clean diesel technology, which matches near-zero emissions with progressive fuel savings capabilities.

Almost 3 million heavy-duty diesel commercial vehicles introduced in the U.S. from 2011 through 2016 are now on the road, powered by the latest generation clean diesel engines. These trucks have delivered important benefits in the form of cleaner air, fewer carbon dioxide emissions and dramatic fuel savings.  Over a five-year period, the newest generation commercial vehicles have saved 4.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel, and reduced 43 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), 21 million tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 1.2 million tonnes of particulate matter (PM).

Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

The advantages of new clean diesel trucks expand each year. The United States is four years into the first-ever fuel economy obligation for commercial vehicles, and the benefits are significant: an estimated saving of more than 530 million barrels of crude oil between 2014 and 2018, which translates into $50 billion in direct fuel savings by equipment owners. The second phase of these fuel economy standards for commercial vehicles is projected to save 2 billion barrels of crude oil, meaning $170 billion in direct fuel savings for truck owners over the lifetime of the rule spanning from 2018 to 2027. According to latest estimates, a clean diesel engine will power 96% of these trucks. (The Fuels Institute/Navigant Research)

The biggest advantages for both truckers and for society come from substituting older technology vehicles with the newest generation of clean diesel technology vehicles. The acceptance of more advanced clean diesel truck engines and emissions control systems into the nation's trucking fleet over the last five years is currently at a 30 percent level. This upswing has produced substantial emission reductions and considerable fuel savings, based on a new research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum.

Because diesel overwhelmingly dominates the heavy-duty truck sector and is also the number one power source for medium-duty vehicles, the transition to newer generations of clean diesel technology (model years 2011 and later) is significant. The 30 percent national average is up from just 25.7 percent last year. The research also estimated that significant further benefits would accrue to communities across the country if more of these newer generation clean diesel trucks enter into service.

Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

The heavy-duty trucking benefits research was performed by IHS Markit, an international technical marketing research firm headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. State rankings data is based on the Diesel Technology Forum's analysis of IHS Markit vehicles in operation data signifying Class 3-8 diesel trucks from model year 2011 through 2016 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through December 31, 2016.

"The U.S. trucking fleet is transitioning to newer clean diesel technology which means immediate fuel savings, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air," said Schaeffer. "This newest generation of clean diesel trucks have NOx emissions that are 99 percent lower than previous generations along with 98 percent fewer PM emissions, resulting in significant clean air benefits throughout the United States."

Starting in 2011, all heavy-duty diesel trucks sold had to comply with NOx emissions of no more than 0.20 grams per brake horsepower hour (g/BHP-hr.). This is besides particulate emissions levels of no more than 0.01 g/HP-hr. stipulated in 2007.

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