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June 30, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Press Release

Statement of the Diesel Technology Forum Regarding the Mitigation Aspects of the Volkswagen Settlement Announcement

Washington, D.C. – Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, issued the following statement today regarding the announcements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, private plaintiffs and 44 U.S. Attorney Generals regarding the settlement with Volkswagen. The $2.7 billion mitigation trust established through the settlement will reduce excess emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

“Today, the most proven, available opportunity for mitigating excess emissions of NOx comes from the accelerated turnover of older heavy-duty trucks, buses and off-road machines and equipment to newer technology clean diesel models. The newest generation tractor-trailer sized trucks have 95 percent fewer emissions of NOx compared to models built before 2010 while a 2014 model year large construction machine – such as an excavator- yields a 99 percent reduction in NOx emissions relative to a previous generation of equipment. 

“A commercial Class 8 truck manufactured since 2010 typically traveling 125,000 miles per year would save 875 gallons of fuel and reduce NOx emissions by 1.1 metric tonnes compared to older models.  In addition to the proven clean air benefits, the new technology clean diesel engine would save the trucker $2,400 annually (at fuel prices of $2.75 per gallon), and result in 8.9 fewer metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

“Nationwide, from 2011 to 2015, compared to pre-2010 engines, new technology heavy-duty clean diesel engines that power commercial vehicles have removed approximately 7.5 million tonnes of NOx, according to a recent study by the Martec Group for the Diesel Technology Forum. These savings are equivalent to the NOx emissions from all light-duty vehicles generated over a two-year period. In addition, the CO2 savings are equivalent to removing 6.1 million light-duty vehicles from the road for an entire year.

“The rate of adoption of the newest technology clean diesel truck engines is progressing well but ultimately depend on economic and business conditions. As of the end of 2015, about one-quarter of all commercial vehicles (GVW 3-8) on the road are the newest generation (2011 model year and newer) clean diesel technology vehicles, according to Diesel Technology Forum analysis based on IHS Automotive 2015 vehicles in operation data, December 2015.  Accelerating the turnover to the new technology clean diesel engines will achieve substantial NOx reductions. Significant air quality benefits will accrue to communities across the country if more of these older commercial vehicles are replaced with new or newer diesel engines.

“The settlement also provides some portion of the mitigation funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program for eligible projects that encourages the owners of older vehicles and equipment to purchase new or replace older engines with newer technology. The DERA program has a proven record of successfully modernizing and upgrading older vehicles engines and equipment in communities across the country.

“In its most recent report to Congress, EPA stated that the DERA program has achieved NOx reductions of 335,000 tonnes since funding was appropriated in 2008. These emissions are equivalent to removing the emissions from every residential furnace and boiler in the U.S. for one year.

“The diesel engine is the most energy efficient internal combustion engine.  It is a proven technology and its unique combination of efficiency, power, reliability, performance, low-emissions and suitability for using renewable fuels ensures a place for diesel technology to help meet the demands of a global economy.

“Consumers will continue to find the new generation of clean diesel cars, trucks and SUVs a competitive choice to meet their personal transportation needs, and clean diesel technology is a key strategy to achieving current and future energy and climate goals.”


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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. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.

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