Clean diesel technology continues dominance for heavy-duty trucking

(September 27, 2017) ATLANTA —  At the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV) in Atlanta, heavy-duty engine and vehicle manufacturers displayed continued innovation and support for clean diesel technologies. With more than 400 exhibitors on the floor, a significant "show of force" for clean diesel was on display. This support included notable new product announcements by Cummins, Volvo, Navistar, Daimler and others.

"Even as manufacturers explore new powertrains to meet the needs of their customers, there is no doubt that clean diesel will remain the prime mover for the trucking industry, offering the greatest combination of value to truckers in the form of increasing efficiency, reliability, performance, and economical operation and ownership," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

"The new environmental performance achieving near-zero emissions further ensures that clean diesel is a solution for achieving current and future clean air and efficiency standards."

"We're seeing continuous improvement in efficiency and performance of clean diesel power," continued Schaeffer. "Manufacturers are working toward meeting the challenge of the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction and Fuel Economy rules by closer integration and optimization of engines and transmissions, along with improving emissions control system design and total vehicle integration.  Additional gains in efficiency and further reductions in emissions will define the next generation of clean diesel power." 

This year, ACT Research analysts expect the North American Class 3-8 truck market to come in at more than 250,000 vehicles. According to projections by The Fuels Institute, diesel will remain the predominant fuel for commercial vehicles, even in 2025 when it maintains 96 percent of the medium- and heavy-duty market.

"Diesel powers well over 90 percent of all commercial trucks on the road today. Of that population, approximately 30 percent of today's on-road fleet is powered by the newest generation of clean diesel technology. This new technology is more fuel efficient and lowest in emissions, resulting in 4.2 billion / $2,640 saved per truck per year, and overall emission reductions of 43 million tonnes CO2, 21 million tonnes NOx and 1.2 million tonnes PM," said Schaeffer.

"If every one of America's Class 3-8 trucks on the road today was powered by new generation of clean diesel technology, the fuel savings, emission reductions and cost savings across the fleet would be astounding." 

Announcements at NACV indicate that manufacturers are seeing strong orders for the new generation of commercial trucks with the newest generation of clean diesel power through the end of 2017 and into 2018, as truckers look to upgrade their fleets and expand their service offerings.

Fast Facts

    • Nearly 3 million heavy-duty diesel commercial vehicles powered by the latest generation clean diesel engines are on the road today.

    • The Fuels Institute projects that, even in 2025, diesel remains the predominant fuel for commercial vehicles, with 96% of the market.

    • According to USDOT, one ton of NOx may be eliminated by investing $20,000 in clean diesel vs $1million in alternative fuel infrastructure.

    • According to the EPA, replacing a 2007 Class 8 drayage truck with a 2010 or newer diesel can reduce NOx emissions by 221 lbs.

    • According to the EPA, replacing a switch locomotive engine with a Tier 4 model can eliminate 37,000 lbs. NOx and 974 lbs. particulate matter.

    • The newest clean diesel trucks have 99% lower NOx emissions than previous generations, along with 98% fewer particulate matter emissions.

About The Diesel Technology Forum

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit 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