Legislation signed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan earlier this month seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 relative to emissions generated in 2006 — largely by commercial trucks.
Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said, “Thanks to enormous advances in clean diesel technology, engines that meet recent emissions standards result in near-zero emissions and provide further fuel economy benefits. These engines are ready to deliver significant fuel savings and greenhouse gas reduction benefits to Maryland and move the state closer to its emission reduction target.
“Maryland is a leader in the adoption of clean diesel technology, beating the national average for the share of these clean diesel commercial vehicles in operation. About one-third of the 128,000 diesel commercial vehicles in operation in Maryland as of 2015 were powered by the latest generation of new clean diesel technology available since 2010.
“Nationwide, these clean diesel vehicles have saved 21 million barrels of crude oil thanks to advanced fuel economy improvements and eliminated 9 million tons of carbon emissions,” said Schaeffer.
Transportation-related emissions rank as the second leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland behind the electricity generating sector. Diesel commercial vehicles rank as the second leading source of transportation related greenhouse gas emissions behind gasoline powered passenger cars and light-trucks.
Schaeffer said EPA regulations have resulted in new clean diesel technology and fuels that have significantly lowered particulate matter and NOx emissions by more than 95 percent compared to older diesel vehicles.
“Today, 95 percent of large commercial vehicles come with a diesel engine and these vehicles are already saving fuel and reducing emissions and will continue to generate significant fuel savings and emission reductions helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland,” said Schaeffer.
Fuel economy rules established jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Depart of Transportation for commercial vehicles manufactured beginning in 2014 are expected to save 530 million barrels of crude oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million tons by 2018.
“Diesel will deliver the majority of these significant benefits as the powertrain is found under the hood of 95 percent of large commercial vehicles today and will continue to power these vehicles in the near future,” said Schaeffer.
Proposed rules extending fuel economy requirements beyond 2018 are estimated to save an additional 1.8 billion barrels of crude oil and 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2027.