According to the American Trucking Association, there has been a 41 percent increase in registered large trucks and an 84 percent increase in miles traveled by large trucks from 1986 to 2006. That equals lots of diesel fuel consumed. Fortunately, a new report from Coordinating Research Council and the Health Effects Institute shows that pollution from heavy trucks and buses is actually improving at a faster rate than automobiles.
Impressively, today’s big rig engines produce 98 percent less carbon monoxide, 10 percent less nitrogen oxide, 95 percent less non-methane hydrocarbons and 89 percent less particulate matter than required by EPA’s 2007 diesel engine emission standards. Diesel engines manufactured in 2010 will perform even better as new regulations mean the powerplants will cut nitrogen oxide emissions by another 50 percent.
This study is the first installment of the Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES), which will continue to test diesel engines and the related health effects of burning diesel fuel over the next five years. Click here to view the official test results and to keep future tabs on the testing results.
Diesel for passenger cars here in the States is decades behind the rest of world – especially Europe. There are unique reasons on each continent; but, the primo excuse here is incompetent GM product rolled out decades ago. Smelly, leaky, inefficient, crap.
Our trucking industry – led by Cummins, Caterpiller and others – is in the business of optimizing profits for their customers instead of whatever it was motivating the half-brains at the Big Three. So, they started designing, experimenting, innovating at least as early as the best Euro diesel manufacturers. Frankly, I think they’re doing a better job of it all-round.
Now, if we only could get someone with the brains and courage to turn out U.S-built small turbo-diesel cars and light pickups, I might get serious about getting a new ride.