According to new research compiled by the Martec Group, a global technical marketing research firm, for the Diesel Technology Forum (DTE), the introduction of more advanced diesel truck engines, emissions control systems and clean diesel fuel over the past decade has significantly improved air quality and fuel efficiency.
This new data found that the 4 million cleaner heavy-duty diesels introduced from 2007 through 2015 have saved U.S. consumers 29 million tons of CO2, 7.5 million tones of NOx and 218,000 tones of particulate matter.
“It is clear from these findings that the new generation of clean diesel technology is delivering large and expanding benefits to society in the form of fewer emissions and lower fuel consumption,” says Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the DTE. “The reductions from the 2007 and newer trucks on the road today are equivalent to removing the CO2 emissions from 6.1 million light-duty cars from the road for one year, removing the NOx emissions from all light-duty cars for two years, and removing the particulate matter from all light-duty cars for six years.”
Schaeffer comments that 42% of all medium- and heavy-duty diesel commercial trucks (Classes 3-8) in operation in the U.S. – 4 million of 9.5 million diesel trucks – were now equipped with newer technology clean diesel engines. The DTE states that this figure is up from 38% last year.
For Class 8 trucks running the newest generation engines (2010 and newer), the Martec Group found that the new technology saved truckers $2,400 a year in fuel costs by using 875 fewer gallons of fuel (based on 125,000 miles traveled).
“As the world’s attention is now focused on meeting future international climate commitments, it is important to recognize the fuels and technologies that are delivering proven benefits here and now in communities all across America, because technologies like clean diesel will also be vital to achieving those future goals as well,” Schaeffer states.
In December 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established new requirements to reduce emissions from on-road heavy-duty trucks and buses by up to 95% and cut the allowable levels of sulfur in diesel fuel by 97% by 2010. The first requirement for a 98% reduction in particulate matter became effective in 2007; and in 2010, requirements for a 98% reduction in NOx from 2007 levels went into effect.
The DTE states that in order to achieve these new standards, the new clean diesel system relies on an efficient engine and combustion system utilizing the most advanced fuel-injection, turbocharging and engine management strategies coupled with advanced emissions controls and after-treatment technologies, including particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems – all running on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
These new clean diesel trucks are a key element in the clean air plans for states to meet the current and future national ambient air quality standards, notes Schaeffer.