U.S. commercial trucks are getting greener thanks to wider adoption of the newest clean diesel technologies, according to research from the Diesel Technology Forum, released October 22.
The newest near-zero emissions diesel truck engines make up nearly half of the U.S. fleet, the research shows. Of the nearly 11-million diesel-powered commercial trucks on the road—from box delivery trucks to 18-wheelers—43% are powered by the newest, cleanest diesel engines. That's double the number of clean-diesel-powered trucks in 2015 and a nearly 7% increase between December 2017 and July 2019, the researchers said.
These new technologies have eliminated 126 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 18 million metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), and 1 million metric tons of particulate matter (PM) since 2007, the researchers said. They have also saved 12.4 billion gallons of diesel fuel and 296 million barrels of crude oil in that time, according to the research.
"As more of America's commercial trucks rely on the newest, cleanest diesel technologies, greater air quality and fuel savings benefits are being realized by communities across the country," Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said in a statement announcing the research. "... the emissions and fuel savings attributable to new-generation diesel engines in commercial trucks is astounding: they equate to making 26 million cars all-electric, eliminating the PM emissions from all U.S. cars for 33 years, achieving carbon sequestration in a forest roughly the size of Texas, or creating a 27,000-turbine wind farm on land four times the size of Washington, D.C.—all benefits achieved thanks to the increasing adoption of the newest generation of advanced diesel engines."
The Diesel Technology Forum projects even greater environmental gains ahead. By 2030, savings are estimated to grow to 1.3 billion metric tons of CO2, 73 million metric tons of NOx, 4 million metric tons of PM, 130 billion gallons of diesel, and 33.1 billion barrels of crude oil, the research showed.
The Diesel Technology Forum analyzed 2018-2019 U.S. data for Class 3-8 vehicles, provided by research firm IHS Markit, for its October report.