New diesel technology will be part of a $23.6 million zero-emission transportation test program in California for emerging commercial vehicle technologies designed to reduce greenhouse gases, smog, and petroleum usage in ports and rail yards along busy freight corridors.

The California Air Resources Board awarded the $23.6 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District to fund four vehicle and engine manufacturers testing emerging zero-emissions technology deployed on 43 harbor trucks. The participating Volvo Group project, under its Mack Trucks brand, will couple a clean diesel engine with plug-in electric and hybrid capabilities. 

 “The fact that an advanced diesel engine was selected for this zero emissions demonstration project highlights the proven benefits of clean diesel technology and in helping California achieve its clean air and climate goals,” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.  “One of the important benefits of the diesel platform is its capability for continuous improvement.  From advanced engine designs, hybridization and even low carbon liquid biofuels, clean diesel technology continues to evolve to provide substantial clean air benefits.”

Schaeffer said clean diesel commercial vehicles in service across California are already contributing to air quality improvements, greenhouse gas reductions and substantial fuel savings.  A single clean diesel Class 8 tractor powered by an engine that meets the Model Year 2010 emissions standards saves roughly nine tons of carbon dioxide emissions, eliminates one ton of smog forming emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and saves 21 barrels of crude oil, according to research by the Martec Group.

Overall, from 2010 to 2015, the fleet of 160,000 clean diesel commercial vehicles in California have eliminated 700,000 tons of NOx, 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide and saved 5.8 million barrels of crude oil, Schaeffer said.