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May 25, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Charbroiling and Particulate Emissions: Burgers vs. Diesel Trucks

Firing up the BBQ this weekend? A burger may have great taste but clean diesel has fewer emissions.

Summertime favors two great traditions: road trips and barbecue cookouts. If you’re hitting the road, chances are you’re not alone if you’re driving a light truck, since pick-ups and SUVs hit record sales and outpaced sedans in 2015 compared to previous years. And more consumers are choosing diesel to power those vehicles which means they will be spending less time at the pump fueling up. One of the hottest choices is GM’s Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon with a diesel option that achieves 31 mpg on the highway and was designated as a Greener Choice (2016MY) by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

While these pickups will go much farther on a tank of diesel than their gasoline counterparts, they are also responsible for a lower carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, a diesel pickup will save 200 gallons of fuel a year, relative to a comparable gasoline model, and reduce carbon emissions by almost one ton. Diesel pickups on the road since 2005 have saved almost 68 million tons of C02 emissions. While helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diesel pickup drivers will also save over $500 in fuel costs.

Great Taste! Fewer Emissions?

Firing up the barbecue grill this weekend? Check your emissions! A recent University of California Riverside study found that cooking a charbroiled hamburger resulted in more particulate matter emissions than a clean diesel commercial truck! Since 2007, new big-rigs now have near-zero emissions of particulate matter. They are so clean that grilling a 1/3 lbs. burger generates more particulate emissions that driving a new 18 wheeler clean diesel truck 142 miles.

Since diesel engines are the technology of choice for most commercial trucks, there’s a good chance that the tractor-trailer beside you is powered by one of these new generation clean diesel engines. Nationwide, 42 percent of commercial vehicles are now powered by an engine that achieves near-zero emissions for particulate matter (model year 2007 and newer). Find out where your state ranks for clean diesel commercial vehicles.


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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy

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