As the US and Canadian economies continue to move forward, the new generation of clean diesel technology is helping to fuel economic growth. The new diesel technology is powering the freight movement in an environmentally friendly way, according to Allen Schaeffer, Executive Directory of the Diesel Technology Forum.
He says, “Over the last 10 years, emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses have been reduced by 99 percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx) – an ozone precursor – and 98 percent for particulate emissions. Consider that it would take 60 of today’s clean diesel trucks to equal the same emissions from one pre-1988 truck.”
“This remarkable 60 to 1 ratio is a vivid indicator of the remarkable advances in clean diesel technology,” he adds “In addition, the new ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel that has been required since 2010 has reduced sulfur emissions by 97 percent”
Over the past decade, the advancements in clean diesel technology have been impressive. This is important because, as the California Air Resources Board (ARB) points out, 80 percent of all freight is moved by diesel power, which of course, includes the trucking industry.
Schaeffer explains, “These historic environmental improvements take an even more important significance when you consider that over 80 percent of all freight in the US is moved by diesel powered trucks, railroads and marine vessels. Whether it’s a delivery truck bringing a package, a freight truck rolling down the highway, or a train carrying coal, merchandise and automobiles, you can bet a diesel engine is powering the vehicle.”
A few years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established a national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and establish new fuel efficiency standards for commercial trucks. These new standards were set to take place between 2014 and 2018.
“Because of the sheer magnitude of commercial vehicles operating in Canada and the United States, this regulation has the potential to result in significant environmental and energy efficiency gains,” Schaeffer said. “The U.S. fleet of trucks consumes about 22 billion gallons of diesel fuel every year. Over the lifetime of the vehicles affected by the new rule, the program is expected to reduce oil consumption by more than 500 million barrels, result in more than $50 billion in net benefits, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 250 million metric tons. And because diesel provides a unique technology platform suitable for expanded use of hybrid powertrains and lower-carbon renewable fuels – additional new technology will be available for reducing GHG emissions in the future.”