More than 28 percent of all trucks registered in the U.S. – 2.5 million of 8.6 million trucks – are now equipped with advanced new technology clean diesel engines, according to data compiled recently by R.L. Polk and Company for the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF).

The Polk data includes registration information on Class 3-8 trucks from 2007 through 2012 in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Beginning in 2007, all heavy duty diesel trucks sold had to meet particulate emissions levels of 0.01 grams per brake horse-power hour (g/HP-hr) – a level near zero.

“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,” says Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

He adds that 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,” he says. ”These increasing penetration rates are a reflection of the confidence that truckers have in the new technology diesel engines, particularly during the last few years which have been a recessionary period with lower demand for trucking services,” Schaeffer said.

Regionally, the Midwest – at 31 percent – has the highest percent of new diesel trucks, followed by:

  • The South, with 29.8 percent;
  • The Northeast, 29.1% percent;
  • The West, with 26.0 percent.

New Technology Diesel Engines & Fuel Have Reduced NOx and PM
Emissions from today’s diesel trucks and buses are near zero thanks to more efficient engines, more effective emissions control technology, and the nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, says Schaeffer.

He adds that the new clean diesel technology has reduced emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses by 99 percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 98 percent for particulate emissions.

“What makes the new diesel technology even more remarkable is model year 2010 and later trucks are experiencing an average of three to five percent improvement in fuel economy. Additional fuel-saving strategies are being developed to improve engine efficiency, vehicle aerodynamics and expanded application of hybrid technology,” Schaeffer says.

He adds that new diesel technology and ultra-low sulfur diesel are benefitting many of the older diesel trucks built before 2007.

“Through the use of retrofit upgrades, older diesel engines can improve their performance and reduce key emissions by up to 90 percent,” he says.

Diesel Powers U.S. and International Economies
Diesel power, according to Schaeffer, moves more than 82 percent of all cargo in the U.S. and over 90 percent worldwide.

“Diesel is the world’s most efficient internal combustion engine,” he says. “It provides more power and more fuel efficiency than alternatives such as gasoline, compressed natural gas, or liquefied natural gas.

He adds: “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.”

About the Diesel Technology Forum
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel, and emissions-control systems.