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Diesel Technology Forum Responds to House Select Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The new generation of diesel technology is helping ports, cities, communities and entire nations meet climate and clean air challenges of today and tomorrow, according to a statement submitted on July 16, 2019, by the Diesel Technology Forum. The not-for-profit organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and the latest generations of advanced diesel technologies and fuels.

“Today’s advanced diesel technologies are more widely adopted, more energy-efficient and lower in emissions than previous generations, with even further improvements coming online. Coupled with growing success using advanced renewable bio-based fuels, diesel engines are well-positioned for the future of goods movement in America and around the world,” said the Forum’s executive director, Allen Schaeffer.

He added, “As elected officials debate our future energy and technology paths, we must not take our eye off the importance of continued progress today and technologies like diesel that are delivering substantial climate benefits and clean air and economic progress on a wide scale, now. Getting more new-technology diesel engines on the road will deliver the biggest clean air impacts at the lowest cost, while also helping achieve climate goals.”

New-Generation Diesel Buses: The Safe, Reliable and Clean Transportation Option

New advanced technology diesel-powered school and transit buses are cost-effective proven, safe, reliable, durable, and near-zero-emissions options for school districts and transit authorities across our nation. Buses powered by the newest, most advanced diesel engines (2011 and newer model years) deliver significant emissions reductions over older generations of the technology, meaning cleaner air for kids, commuters and communities.

Today, 95 percent of America’s roughly 500,000 school buses run on diesel fuel. It remains the technology of choice for most school districts. Of these, 40 percent rely on the newest, cleanest, most advanced diesel engines (2011 and newer model years); these buses are equipped with selective catalytic reduction and particulate control technologies, which combine to achieve near-zero emissions for both NOx and PM.

Even with a growing field of alternative fuels, school bus fleet managers continue to show confidence in diesel for their school districts’ student transportation needs. Diesel’s environmental outlook and low-cost operation, combined with its record of continuous improvement, mean school districts across America will continue to choose diesel technologies well into the future.

More children will benefit from investments in advanced diesel than any other technology. School districts have notoriously limited budgets, with the highest priority rightly going to teachers and education programs; transportation updates are often the lowest item on the list.

To maximize the environmental benefits for the limited available funds, and to get the greatest number of kids in newer buses, the best investment is not the expensive all-electric option. Any alternative to diesel has a higher acquisition cost and required new fueling infrastructure investments, which can drain funds that would otherwise be used to turn over the fleet to newer technology, actually resulting in higher fleet emissions overall.

Continued Investment in the Future of Diesel

Even as manufacturers explore other fuels and technology options, continued investments in diesel are strong indicators about the future for advanced diesel engines. Thirteen states are home to heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturing, supporting $3.4 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 1.25 million American jobs.

With well-established service and refueling networks across the United States to ensure maximum up-time, diesel is the proven partner in today’s overnight, same-day, just-in-time delivery world. Diesel remains the most energy-efficient internal combustion engine, one that offers an unmatched number of choices in size and performance for the broadest range of commercial vehicle operations.

Along with near-zero emissions performance, choosing diesel ensures endless flexibilities in routing and operations to meet the ever-changing needs of customers.

Bio-based Diesel Fuels are a Proven Climate Solution Today

Even though battery electric technologies get most of the headlines, it is diesel engines in commercial trucks and buses using advanced bio-based diesel fuels that deliver the most results. Look at California: in 2018, California’s use of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels eliminated 4.3 million tons of CO2.

Meanwhile, electric cars and trucks in the state resulted in only 1.2 million tons of CO2 reductions in 2018—one-third of the emissions reductions delivered by diesel engines using biodiesel fuels. Biodiesel’s contribution even exceeding the reductions delivered by ethanol.

Since the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program began in 2011, biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel have eliminated more than 18 million tons of CO2, according to CARB.

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