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October 06, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Guess What the City of Lights and 18 Wheelers Have in Common?

While a variety of existing and proposed regulations will contribute towards meeting the U.S. climate commitment, diesel engines and the vehicles and equipment they power are already hard at work saving fuel and reducing emissions.


It’s official, the Paris Climate deal has been ratified. On October 5th, the European Union and India were the latest countries to officially sign on to the climate pledge bringing the total number of countries signing on to 58 – the number necessary to bring the climate agreement into force. Achieving the U.S. climate pledge relies on a series of regulations, including rules reducing greenhouse gas emissions from commercial vehicles.

On October 5th, the EU, India and a few other countries formally ratified the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such that global temperatures rise no more than 2 degrees Celsius. Now that more than 55 countries representing 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement, all countries signing on to the agreement will be held accountable for their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For the U.S., that plan outlines various regulations already on the books and those planned to go into effect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent below 1990 levels by 2025. One of the pillars of the plan will be recent rules to extend the first ever fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction rules for commercial vehicles. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 rules, as they are known, are expected to save about 2 billion barrels of crude oil and reduce CO2 emissions from the wide variety of commercial vehicles by over 1.3 billion tons between 2014 and 2027. Today, a diesel engine is found in over 90 percent of commercial vehicles and a diesel engine is expected to be found under the hood of commercial vehicles into the future. The diesel platform has been prided for its inherent efficiency and continuous improvement in fuel savings are expected to contribute towards greenhouse gas reduction goals.

While advanced engine and vehicle technologies are expected to contribute towards meeting these standards and helping achieve the U.S. climate pledge, more can be done. Already, large cities and leading businesses are switching fuel use to advanced biofuels including biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel. The fuels have recently been confirmed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least fifty percent. Expanding use of these fuels will greatly contribute to further greenhouse gas emissions in the future.

Still yet, smarter use of these commercial vehicles in the future will also contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction. The Texas Transport Institute recently concluded that eliminating unnecessary congestion on our roads and highways could save 2.9 billion barrels of crude oil each year. Efforts are underway to explore longstanding changes to business practices or the introduction of technology to speed the flow of commercial vehicles to eliminate unnecessary idling and congestion. The recently released National Port Strategy to Reduce Emissions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the automation of commercial truck entry processes at our nation’s marine terminals could save almost 14,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

While a variety of existing and proposed regulations will contribute towards meeting the U.S. climate commitment, diesel engines and the vehicles and equipment they power are already hard at work saving fuel and reducing emissions. Manufacturers are already investing in new technologies to improve on diesel’s impressive contribution. Smarter use of these next-generation vehicles can also contribute towards emissions reductions and put the U.S. on the road to meet its climate pledge.



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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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