Energy Savings and Climate Benefits of New Clean Diesel Technology Highlighted For California Energy Commission Panel

Jul 31, 2013, 16:42 ET from Diesel Technology Forum

New fuel-efficient heavy duty diesel trucks have saved 13.3 million barrels and 560 million gallons nationwide from 2010-2012

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The increasing market acceptance of advanced clean diesel technology in passenger vehicles and heavy duty trucks will play a major role in helping California achieve future fuel savings and climate objectives, according to new research presented today by the Diesel Technology Forum to the California Energy Commission.


"As California policymakers evaluate future transportation fuels and technologies, this new research underscores the key role for clean diesel technology in saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions in both passenger cars and heavy duty applications," Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum told members of the commission. "The importance of diesel technology to meeting California's climate and clean air goals is made possible by the inherent and proven energy efficiency of diesel, the transformation to clean diesel fuel and engine technology, and the significant penetration of diesel in key sectors of California's economy."

Schaeffer made his comments during a presentation to the California Energy Commission during the Joint Lead Commissioner Workshop on Transportation Energy Scenarios to discuss potential growth projections for alternative transportation fuels, vehicles and infrastructure and factors related to growth. The workshop was designed to outline the expected contribution of biofuels, electric transportation, natural gas, hydrogen and other options to California's transportation sector.  DTF's presentation was based on research it commissioned by the Martec Group in June 2013.

"Significant fuel savings and clean air benefits are accruing from the use of new clean diesel engines in passenger vehicles, and from 2005-2012 have saved California 2.5 million barrels of oil and 0.7 million tonnes of CO2," Schaeffer said.  "Using conservative estimates of future market penetration, the increasing choice of clean diesel instead of gasoline for use in passenger cars, pick-up  trucks and SUVs in California will  displace 165 to 240 million gallons of gasoline(2013-2020).

"There's no surprise that clean diesel holds great promise for California in the future, since California is the number one state today overall in diesel car and pick-up truck registrations.  And from 2010-2012, California was the number one state with the fastest growth in registrations of new diesel cars and SUVs," Schaeffer said.  

Major fuel savings and CO2 reduction benefits also come from the increasing use of new generation diesel engines used in heavy-duty commercial trucks, also according to the new Diesel Technology Forum research.  California has the third highest registration (20 percent) of the new generation (2007 and later) clean diesel commercial trucks (Class 3-8).  

Since 2000, heavy duty diesel trucks have been transformed to a near zero emissions state, with over 98 percent reductions in emissions of particulate matter (2007) and beginning in 2010, near-zero emissions of nitrogen oxides.  The newest clean diesel heavy-duty trucks introduced from 2010-2012 make up 11 percent of all registrations and are achieving significant reductions in fuel use of 3-4 percent conservatively, resulting in savings of as much as 560 million gallons of fuel, or 13.3 million barrels of oil and 5.7 million tonnes of CO2 on a nationwide basis. 

"The real-world 3-4 percent fuel savings of new 2010 and later MY clean diesel heavy duty trucks is significant for several reasons, because of the energy intensity of heavy duty vehicles and because diesel engines are the technology of choice for over 90 percent of commercial trucks," Schaeffer said.  "Achieving these present gains in fuel efficiency while maintaining near-zero emissions is particularly notable, because these are competing forces.  Heavy-duty truck and engine makers are also working toward meeting first-ever GHG and fuel economy mandates from EPA and NHTSA beginning in 2014 and in 2018."

Some of the major findings of the new research include:

Clean Diesel Passenger Vehicles
2005-2012 light duty diesel engines have saved California consumers:

  • 0.7 million tonnes of CO2;
  • 110 million gallons of gasoline;
  • 2.5 million barrels of crude oil.

Conservative estimates of fuel savings and CO2 reductions for 130,000 new light duty diesel engines sold each year between 2013-2020 will save California consumers an additional:

  • 165 million to 240 million gallons of gasoline;
  • 1.0 to 1.3 million tonnes of CO2.

Increased usage of biodiesel will have an additional positive savings for America.

  • Up to a conservatively estimated 260 million gallons of gasoline (national estimates).

Heavy-duty Diesel Vehicles
Over 20 percent of the 2012 heavy duty fleet are powered with new technology diesel engines built after 2006.

  • New technology diesel engines have reduced NOx and PM emissions by more than 95% over the last 25 years.
  • Savings from 2006-2012:
    • 1 million tonnes NOx, or the equivalent of emissions from 105 coal power plants over one year;
    • 27,000 tonnes of particulate matter, or the equivalent of emissions from 225 million light duty vehicles.

11 percent of all on-highway diesel engines in operation are built after 2010 and equipped with SCR emission control technology saving GHG and fuel.

  • This fuel savings equates to:
    • 560 million gallons of diesel and an average Class 8 truck savings of $3,500/year;
    • Reducing the NOx emissions from 105 coal power plants;
    • Removing the CO2 emissions from 1.2 million light-duty vehicles from the road for one year;
    • 13.3 million barrels of crude, roughly 5 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for sweet crude;
    • 5.7 million tonnes of CO2, the carbon sequestration equivalent of 4.6 million acres of forest.

New Data Highlights Fuel Savings and Environmental Benefits of Clean Diesel Technology

In addition, Schaeffer noted major U.S. and international energy studies from the National Petroleum Council and World Energy Outlook project diesel will continue to be the dominant fuel source for transportation for the next several decades.

In addition, ExxonMobil predicts that not only will diesel surpass gasoline as the number one global transportation fuel by 2020, diesel demand will also account for 70 percent of the growth in demand for all transportation fuels through 2040.  ExxonMobil also projects that natural gas will remain only a small share of the global transportation fuel mix, at 4 percent by 2040, up from today's 1 percent.

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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

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(View this press release online here.)

SOURCE Diesel Technology Forum