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August 27, 2018   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

The Start of School Means Starting up a Diesel

More school districts are upgrading their buses to new clean diesel that helps reduce emissions for kids on the bus and for all of us on the road.


Labor Day weekend is approaching and that means the end of summer and back to school. When it comes to getting kids to school, diesel is the technology of choice. More school districts are upgrading their buses to new clean diesel that helps reduce emissions for kids on the bus and for all of us on the road.

When it comes to technology choices for school buses, 95 percent are powered by a diesel engine, according to year-end vehicle in operation data through 2017. While natural gas and propane have made in-roads in recent years, and some school districts are investigating all-electric options, diesel is the standard bearer when it comes to getting kids to and from school safely.

School Bus

More than a decades long investment by bus and engine manufacturers in research and innovation in clean diesel systems is paying off. As a result of these R&D investments, more and more buses are powered by clean diesel technology that reduce emissions to near-zero levels. In fact, of the fleet of diesel trucks and buses on the road, school buses are typically newer and cleaner. 40 percent of diesel school buses are of the latest generation clean diesel technology developed to meet strict tailpipe emission standards established by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency beginning with model year 2010. The fleet of commercial trucks and transit buses are not as new as the fleet of diesel school buses.

 Class Breakdown

One of diesel’s unique attributes is it is a technology of continuous improvement. Manufactures have invested many resources to make diesel school buses near zero in emissions and continue to invest and improve the emissions performance of diesel school bus technology.  One of the leaders in school buses, Thomas Built Buses, has brought the near-zero emissions performance of clean diesel further to zero. Their line-up of new diesel buses are 90 percent cleaner than buses just ten years ago and generate emissions far below the current standard established by U.S. EPA. Added to this closer-to-zero emissions performance is superior fuel economy.  According to Thomas Built Buses, their diesel line-up achieves the lowest carbon footprint beating natural gas and propane.

As more kids head to school, there’s a good chance they will be taking a school bus – and a diesel school bus in particular. Of all the heavy-duty vehicles in the road today, more of our nation’s fleet of diesel school buses are of the latest generation clean diesel technology. These clean diesel buses help reduce emissions for the kids on the bus and for other motorists on the road too.  Bus and engine manufacturers continue to improve on the clean diesel powertrain to make sure that the diesel school bus of tomorrow is closer to zero in emissions while saving school districts more in fuel costs.

 

 



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Key Contact

Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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