Accelerating Investments in New Commercial Trucks Drives Safety, Environment, Climate Improvements New diesel technology trucks generate tons of benefits for communities and keep the economy moving
June 19, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – Statement from Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
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More needs to be done to accelerate the introduction of new technologies into the marketplace: Remove the barriers and burdens that prevent truckers from being able to afford the latest advanced-technology trucks that keep the global economy moving.
Under the hoods of more than 98 percent of all Class 8 over-the-road tractor-trailer size trucks today hums a diesel engine. Diesel remains the technology of choice for commercial trucks because it is a proven, safe, reliable and clean technology. Three out of every four commercial trucks of all sizes on the U.S. roads today are powered by diesel.
A great opportunity exists to accelerate the turnover of the existing fleet from old technology to new. It’s a win-win-win:
- A win for safety, because new commercial vehicles have advanced safety features.
- A win for climate, because new trucks are more efficient and use less fuel.
- And a win for the environment and clean air, because new trucks are near-zero in emissions performance.
Tremendous advancements in engine and emissions control technology over the last decade have been unprecedented, and embraced by truckers. Nationwide, more than 36 percent of all commercial vehicles in operation are of the newest generation of advanced diesel technology (model year 2011 and newer). These newer trucks offer better fuel economy and near-zero emissions compared to older models.
While this progress is significant, it does mean that 64 percent of the trucks in operation in the United States today are older models, in some cases significantly older.
After decades of innovation and research, the latest diesel technologies are readily available. The newest diesel engines reduce emissions of fine particles (PM 2.5) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a smog forming compound, to near-zero levels. For the largest tractor trailer size trucks, it would take more than 60 of today’s models to equal the emissions of a single truck made in 2000. Trucks powered by these cleaner engines operating on U.S. roads have collectively eliminated 26 million tons of NOx since 2011, delivering immediate-term clean air benefits to communities.
Advanced-technology new diesel commercial vehicles are not only clean, but are far more fuel-efficient. These vehicles are equipped with technologies developed to meet the first-ever fuel economy requirement for commercial vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between 2014 and 2018, these fuel-efficient new trucks have saved 530 million barrels of crude oil and eliminate 270 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Manufacturers of diesel trucks and engines continue to reduce emissions even further, while also continually improving the efficiency of new-technology diesel engines. Through the Cleaner Trucks Initiative, truck and engine manufacturers and other stakeholders are working with the U.S. EPA and the California Air Resources Board on an approach to achieving closer-to-zero tailpipe emissions standards for the future. Manufacturers are also investing in innovations that further enhance fuel economy to meet the second round of Greenhouse Gas Rules from the U.S. EPA and NHTSA. The fuel savings from achieving these requirements are expected to save an estimated 1 billion barrels of crude oil.
We must be reminded that at the end of the day, none of these remarkable clean air, fuel efficiency or safety benefits ever accrue when new trucks are sitting on dealer lots. They can only be realized when those sparkling new trucks are sold into commercial use and get to work, delivering goods on America’s roads.
About The Diesel Technology Forum
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit http://www.dieselforum.org.