Clean Diesel Trucks On the Rise

Jun 25, 2013

More than 28 percent of all trucks registered in the U.S., which includes about 2.5 million out of 8.6 million trucks, now are equipped with advanced new-technology clean diesel engines, according to new data from R.L. Polk and Co.

The Polk data compiled for the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, includes registration information on Class 3 to 8 trucks from 2007 to 2012 in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“The fact that more than 28 percent of all trucks on U.S. roads today are new technology diesel engines with near zero emissions is significant for the environment and the trucking industry,” said Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the DTF. “More than 95 percent of all heavy-duty trucks are diesel-powered, as are a majority of medium-duty trucks.  Diesel power is the driving force today of goods movement by truck in our economy and they are continuing to play a central role of the United States’ new effort to reduce fuel consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the coming years.”

The Midwest region has the highest percentage of new (model year 2007 or older) clean diesel trucks (31 percent), followed by the South (29.8 percent), the Northeast (29.1 percent) and the West (26 percent).

Texas, Indiana and California have the most new-technology diesel trucks, while Indiana, Utah and Oklahoma have the highest percentage of new diesel trucks.

“Diesel power moves more than 82 percent of all cargo in the U.S. and over 90 percent worldwide,” Schaeffer said.  “Diesel is the world’s most efficient internal combustion engine. It provides more power and more fuel efficiency than alternatives such as gasoline, compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas.

More efficient engines, more effective emissions control technology and nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel have made it possible for emissions from diesel trucks and buses to be near zero. New clean diesel technology has reduced emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses by 99 percent for nitrogen oxides and 98 percent for particulate emissions, according to Shaeffer.

“Diesel also provides a unique technology platform suitable for expanded use of hybrid powertrains and lower-carbon renewable fuels-both strategies for reducing GHG emissions in the future,” Shaeffer said.

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