Number of clean diesel trucks on the road reaches 30%

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Updated Jul 14, 2017

Newest, Cleanest, Most Efficient Trucks on the RoadTrucks equipped with clean diesel engines and advanced emissions control systems make up 30 percent of the road, according to new research by the Diesel Technology Forum. The 30 percent national average is up from 25.7 percent last year.

Diesel Technology Forum Executive Director Allen Schaeffer says nearly 3 million heavy-duty diesel commercial vehicles introduced in the U.S. from 2011 through 2016 are now on the road.

“These trucks have delivered important benefits in the form of cleaner air, fewer carbon dioxide emissions and dramatic fuel savings,” Schaeffer says. “Over a 5 year period, the newest generation commercial vehicles have saved 4.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel, and reduced 43 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), 21 million tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 1.2 million tonnes of particulate matter.”

California, which ranks 46th nationally with only about 25 percent of commercial trucks there equipped with the latest generation clean diesel technology, could eliminate another 200,000 tons of NOx and 11,000 tons of fine particles just by achieving the same new technology penetration as Indiana (51 percent).

The newest generation of clean diesel trucks have NOx emissions that are 99 percent lower than previous generations along with 98 percent fewer emissions of particulate matter, resulting in significant clean air benefits throughout the U.S. Beginning in 2011, all heavy-duty diesel trucks sold had to meet NOx emissions of no more than 0.20 grams per brake horse-power hour (g/BHP-hr.) in addition to particulate emissions levels of no more than 0.01 grams per brake horse-power hour (g/HP-hr.) established in 2007.

Class 8 tractor-trailer sized vehicle powered by the latest generation clean diesel engine, Schaeffer says, will save the owner 960 gallons of fuel each year, relative to the previous generation of technology.

“When these benefits are compounded over the entire population of the clean diesel fleet, the 4.2 billion gallons of fuel saved between 2011 and 2016 is equivalent to almost 40 percent of the strategic petroleum reserve,” he says.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]