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10 Years of Opportunity: Cutting Emissions From Medium And Heavy-Duty Vehicles In The Northeast

    Considerable benefits of using low-carbon renewable biobased diesel fuels are clear

    What’s the best way to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) from commercial trucks? While electrification may hold great promise, transitions to these new transportation energy sources still have many variables and considerable uncertainties that mean longer timeframes – a decade or more – to meaningful implementation. According to our newest research, for the next decade, accelerating fleet turnover to advanced diesel technology and use of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels cuts 3X more emissions than an electrification strategy at 75% lower cost.

    Medium and heavy-duty trucks operating in 10 Northeastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) that have adopted California’s low emission (LEV) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations were studied by Stillwater Associates. Researchers analyzed environmental benefits attainable from three strategies in the 2022-2032 period: electrification, accelerated fleet turnover, and use of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel.

    The findings? Accelerating fleet turnover and use of renewable and biodiesel fuels can deliver significantly more benefits (3X) that outweigh those possible from EVs in the region in the study period and do it at 75% less cost than electrification. Advanced diesel technology is more effective, more affordable, and most importantly more available than other technologies.

    The considerable benefits of using low-carbon renewable biobased diesel fuels are clear from this analysis. As these fuels can already be used in all diesel vehicles, fueling the diesel vehicles in the study with 100% renewable diesel resulted in three times larger cumulative GHG reductions by 2032 than the EV scenarios. Using B20, which is a 20% blend of biodiesel with 80% petroleum diesel, provided about the same cumulative GHG reduction.

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