Response to House Select Committee Hearing, “Solving the Climate Crisis: Cleaning Up Heavy Duty Vehicles, Protecting Communities”
November 15, 2017 |
Nov. 15, 2017 (WASHINGTON) – Advances in engine efficiency coupled with cleaner diesel fuel and advanced emissions control systems have propelled today’s diesel technology to near-zero emissions across key sectors of the American economy, according to the Diesel Technology Forum.
Thanks to these advancements, diesel power remains the technology of choice for agriculture, forestry, mining, construction, logistics, warehousing and other goods-movement industries supporting retail and manufacturing. In 2016, American manufacturing facilities in 14 states produced more than 740,000 heavy-duty diesel engines that can be found in everything from commercial trucks and buses, construction machines and agricultural equipment, to locomotives, marine workboats and industrial engines. The manufacture of these vehicles and equipment helps sustain more than 1.3 million U.S. jobs and generates more than $455 billion in U.S. economic activity.
“Clean diesel technology offers an undeniable success story on what happens when innovation is unleashed to achieve both customer and societal goals that make American manufacturing competitive,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “The emission reductions achieved by the one-third of the U.S. commercial vehicle fleet that have upgraded to the newest generation (2011 and newer) clean diesel technologies equates to reducing NOx emissions from all cars on the road for six years, reducing PM emissions from all cars on the road for 30 years, and a carbon sequestration in a forest the size of Ohio.”
The latest generation clean diesel technology was developed and deployed to meet near-zero emission standards for commercial vehicles. Now widely available across the spectrum of commercial applications, the newest generation of clean diesel technologies reduce emissions by 98 percent relative to trucks manufactured in 1988. According to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), replacing one pre-1991 truck with a latest generation clean diesel truck can reduce NOx emissions by 1,282 lbs. and is equivalent to taking more than 400 cars off the road.
Innovations in clean diesel technologies have been a key contributor to air quality gains in the United States over the last four decades. Since 1970, NOx emissions have fallen by 9.2 million tons and PM emissions have declined by more than half. 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 factor helping achieve progress toward America’s clean air goals.
A few striking examples of the effectiveness of clean diesel:
- Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach: More than 16,000 Class 8 trucks serve these two massive ports. Ninety percent of these trucks are diesel-powered, but less than half use the newest generation (2011 and newer) clean diesel technology. Despite the low adoption of the newest technology, the ports have already achieved their 2023 PM emissions reduction targets, and are very close to achieving their NOx reduction goal ahead of schedule. According to the EPA, upgrading the remaining truck fleet to the newest generation clean diesel technology will deliver 1.9 million tons of NOx emission reductions, resulting in a direct, near-term emission reduction benefit to the many communities surrounding the port complex.
- Tacoma’s Switch Locomotives: A freight rail operator near Tacoma, Wash., replaced a 1950’s-era engine that powers a switch locomotive with a newer generation clean diesel engine and reduced NOx emissions by 68,000 lbs. This single engine replacement delivered direct benefits to the communities in the adjacent railyard, eliminating emissions equivalent to those generated by 22,000 cars. The clean diesel engine also saved the rail operator 19,000 gallons of fuel a year.
“The U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Transportation estimate that clean diesel technology is the most cost-effective investment strategy when it comes to reducing NOx emissions,” said Schaeffer. “Encouraging more vehicle and equipment owners to replace or repower with clean diesel technology will do the most to deliver further benefits to communities across the country at least cost.”
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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.
Manager, Media Relations