According to the Diesel Technology Forum, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing clean diesel fuel, engines, vehicles and equipment, California will only be able to achieve the environmental, economic and efficiency goals of its proposed sustainable freight plan by expanding its use of advanced clean diesel technology, including biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels.
This point was outlined in the forum’s final comments recently submitted on the draft California Sustainable Freight Action Plan concerning the development of strategies to improve freight efficiency and the transition to zero-emission freight technologies.
“Diesel engines are the prime mover in the global goods movement system, which includes California,” stated Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, in his comments to the California Freight Advisory Committee. “From ocean-going vessels, to railroad freight locomotives, to medium- and heavy-duty trucks, diesel engines power the movement of freight and commerce because of their unmatched combination of efficiency, power, performance, reliability and durability – and while nothing has changed about that, everything has changed about the diesel engine’s environmental credentials.
“Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from commercial diesel trucks (light-, medium- and heavy-duty) have declined by about 60 percent from 2000-2015, according to CARB’s most recent data. Near-zero emissions clean diesel technology is now the gold standard for moving goods,” he asserts. “Technology developed to meet California’s most rigorous standards for commercial vehicles established nearly a decade ago has contributed to California’s goal of improving air quality while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and petroleum use.
“A unique aspect of the diesel engine is its ability to utilize a wide range of blends of high-quality biofuels, such as biodiesel and renewable diesel, that further enhance the benefits and capabilities of the diesel engine in a sustainable freight future.
“The fastest way for California to achieve many of the goals outlined by Governor Edmund Brown for sustainable freight movement – cleaner air, a more efficient freight system and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions – is the accelerated adoption of new technology clean diesel in commercial trucks and off-road engines and equipment,” Schaeffer concludes.
According to 2015 data compiled by IHS Insight for the Diesel Technology Forum, there are over 900,000 Class 3-8 commercial vehicles in California, and about 18% are the newest-generation clean diesel that achieves near-zero NOx and particulate matter emissions. Since 2010, these vehicles alone have saved or eliminated 700,000 tons of NOx, 20,700 tons of particulate matter, 5.8 million barrels of crude oil and 2.5 million tons of CO2.
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