Diesel Technology Forum

Wider diesel adoption to save half-billion gallons of fuel

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 by the Diesel Technology Forum to the California Energy Commission.

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," Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, 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¬†

Conservative estimates of fuel savings and CO2 reductions for 130,000 new light duty diesel engines sold each year between 2013 to 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).

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.