May 9, 2006

Industry executives display new-generation “clean diesel” trucks to EPA

Washington, D.C. – Representatives of the six leading North American diesel and truck manufacturers met at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday to declare themselves “on-track” to deliver the next generation of clean diesel technology, beginning in January 2007. The meeting was an event hosted by the Diesel Technology Forum.

Representatives from Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, International Truck and Engine, Mack and Volvo participated in the demonstration.

By October 2006, “clean” diesel fuel, containing 97 per cent less sulphur than today’s diesel, will become available nationwide across the U.S. The new fuel is important because sulphur tends to clog exhaust-control devices in diesel engines, just as lead will clog catalytic converters on gasoline cars.

“New trucks and buses will be the first class of equipment to benefit from clean diesel,” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “While today’s trucks and buses already produce only one-eighth of the tailpipe exhaust compared to those built in 1990, new engines will be even cleaner. It will take 60 trucks built in 2007 to equal the soot emissions of one truck sold in 1988.”

The EPA predicts that once the new trucks fully replace the existing fleet, emissions of smog-forming gases will be reduced by 2.6 million tons each year, and soot emissions will be cut by 110,000 tons annually. By 2009, gasoline and diesel cars, pickups and SUVs, regardless of fuel type or engine size, will meet the same stringent emissions standards, which should pave the way for more diesel options in passenger vehicles. Diesel typically returns 20 to 40 per cent more miles per gallon than a comparable gasoline version.

Emissions reductions of the same magnitude as those occurring for trucks and buses in 2007 will be phased in for off-road construction and agricultural equipment later this decade.

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