Research shows that for the first time, more than half of all diesel commercial vehicles on the road in the U.S. are advanced diesel technology models, according to the Diesel Technology Forum.
Based on IHS Markit data of vehicles in operation as of December 2021, a DTF-commissioned study found that the national average of the number of 2010 model year or later diesel trucks was 53% — up more than 4% over the previous year.
MY 2010 and later trucks are equipped with advanced diesel engines that minimize the production of emissions through efficient combustion, while controlling remaining emissions through advanced technologies including particulate filters, oxidation catalysts, and selective catalytic reduction systems. This enables new diesel trucks to achieve near-zero emissions with increasing fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, according to the group.
In previous research commissioned for DTF, AutoForecast Solutions found that increasing the numbers of advanced diesel technology trucks on the road will eliminate more than 1.3 billion tons of CO2 during this decade.
“This is great news for our environment and economy," said DTF Executive Director Allen Schaeffer in a news release. "It shows that our nation’s truckers, and commercial fleet owners, are choosing advanced diesel technology, up 4.2% over the previous year. That’s because of its solid track record of performance, reliability, and durability. Advanced diesel technology trucks will continue to dominate the market for these reasons, and many more, for years to come.”
Schaeffer said he’s confident in diesel’s future dominance because those same advanced diesel engines, as well as older diesel engines, are capable of running on low-carbon renewable biofuels. Taken together, these elements make diesel technology part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They lower GHG and other emissions 20-80% compared to conventional diesel fuel.
As Schaeffer recently testified to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the latest generation of advanced diesel technology has achieved more than 98% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Since 2011, this has translated into saving more than 20 billion gallons of fuel, along with associated emissions benefits (preventing 202 million metric tons of GHG emissions and 27 million metric tons of NOx emissions).
This advanced diesel technology is also a top choice for school and transit buses, too. The IHS Markit data shows 58% of our country’s school buses use advanced diesel technology now, as well as 47% of transit buses.
“Even as manufacturers begin to develop zero-emission technologies, there is a consensus that diesel technology will continue to dominate the heavy-duty commercial trucking sector for decades to come," Schaeffer said. "The increasing adoption of this newest generation of diesel technology and transition away from older generations of technology is the fastest way to realize our national goals of cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions.”