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November 16, 2017   |

Press Release

Diesel and the Future of Trucking

Nov. 16, 2017 (WASHINGTON) –The following is a statement from Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Technology for commercial trucking is changing rapidly and that includes all vehicle, fuel and powertrain choices for the future. Aspirations and predictions for new fuels and technologies are high, but must be evaluated in the context of reality.

“Diesel is the most energy efficient internal combustion engine. It has achieved dominance as the technology of choice in the trucking industry over many decades and challenges from many other fuel types. Still, today, diesel offers a unique combination of unmatched features: proven fuel efficiency, economical operation, power, reliability, durability, availability, easy access to fueling and service facilities, and now near-zero emissions performance.

“Diesel technology is not standing still but rather being enhanced every day across a wide range of applications. From coupling with hybrid-electric technology and battery storage systems, to pushing thermal efficiency boundaries, to utilizing 100 percent non-petroleum bio-based diesel fuels, the new generation of clean diesel power is part of a sustainable future. Clean diesel technology ensures that truckers can deliver their cargo anywhere, anytime, under any conditions.

“We all benefit from a more efficient freight system. Fuel and powertrain choices are one part of that. The greatest opportunity for efficiency gains, fuel savings, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air – now – is to get more truckers into the newest generation of more fuel efficient and near-zero emissions clean diesel technology, as rapidly as possible.” 

Get the Facts on Heavy Duty Trucking in the U.S.

There are more than 4 million Class 8 (tractor-trailer size) vehicles on the road in America today, with more than 98 percent powered by diesel technology. More than 30 percent of these Class 8 diesel trucks use the newest generation clean diesel technology to meet the stringent emissions standard establish for new trucks sold beginning with model year 2010.

By the end of 2017, ACT Research analysts expect more than 260,000 new Class 8 trucks on the road in North America, and the overwhelming majority will be powered by clean diesel technology.

Truckers continue to demonstrate their preference for clean diesel technologies. Beginning in 2008, when the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach started requiring truckers to switch to cleaner technologies, nine out of 10 port truckers chose clean diesel over other fuels. The net result was that the ports have already achieved their particulate matter (PM) emissions reduction targets set for 2023, and are very close to achieving their nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions reduction goals ahead of schedule.

With clean diesel as the foundation, engine and truck manufacturers have successfully achieved goals for Phase 1 of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards established in 2011 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Phase 1 established fuel economy requirements for model-year 2014 through model-year 2018 technologies, and is expected to save 530 million gallons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 270 million tons over the lifetime of the rule. Phase 2 will address model-year 2018 and beyond.

Research and development of new clean diesel and hybrid technologies also continue to push the envelope. Engine manufacturers participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s SuperTruck program are pursuing 57 percent thermal efficiency for Class 8 trucks. These benefits are delivered by clean diesel technology.

Diesel technology offers truckers the greatest fuel efficiency for the dollar. As evidenced in the recent “Run on Less” campaign from the North American Council on Freight Efficiency, after more than 50,000 miles, the seven Class 8 diesel trucks in the demonstration exceeded an average of 10 mpg, even with heavy loads of more than 65,000 lbs., with some trucks exceeding 12 mpg. This represents a dramatic improvement in ton-mile freight efficiency.

Diesel-powered trucks, trains, ships and intermodal systems move more than 80 percent of all cargo in the U.S. and more than 90 percent throughout the world. According to The Fuels Institute, diesel will remain the predominant fuel for commercial vehicles through at least 2025, when it retains 96 percent of the medium- and heavy-duty market. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel is available at all truck stops and more than half of all retail fuel stations across the country.

The clean-air and cost-effective benefits of clean diesel technology are well established. In recent years, the American Lung Association, in its annual state-of-the-air report, has singled out the turnover to cleaner diesel fleets as a key factor helping achieve progress toward America’s air quality goals. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one ton of NOx may be eliminated by investing just $20,000 in clean diesel technologies, versus investing $1,000,000 in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Over just the last five years, new clean diesel technology in the U.S. commercial vehicle fleet has:

- Eliminated 43 million tonnes of CO2– equivalent to carbon sequestration in a forest the size of Ohio

- Removed 21 million tonnes of NOx – equivalent to reducing NOx emissions from all cars on the road for six years

- Prohibited 1.2 million tonnes of PM emissions– equivalent to reducing PM emissions from all cars on the road for 30 years

- Saved 4.2 billion gallons of fuel across the fleet

- Earned cost savings of more than $2,640 per truck per year

For more, visit https://www.dieselforum.org/about-clean-diesel/trucking

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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 www.dieselforum.org.


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