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MECA member companies sold 20,177 diesel retrofits in the US 2011

The total number of verified (US EPA- and/or California ARB-verified) diesel retrofit devices (for both on-road and off-road diesel engines) sold in the US (including California) by MECA member companies in 2011 was 20,177, according to the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA).

Overall, these annual retrofit sales numbers are relatively small compared to the total number of diesel engines currently operating in the US (up to 20 million based on EPA estimates), MECA noted. Of the 2011 total:

  • 57% (11,506) were diesel particulate filters (DPFs) (includes both passively regenerated and actively regenerated filters);
  • 23% (4,663) were diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs); and
  • 4% (881) were flow-through filters (FTFs).
  • This total also includes 3,127 closed-crankcase filters.

In California, 7,558 diesel retrofit devices were sold, of which 89% (6,729) were DPFs and 11% (805) were FTFs. Sector-wise, in the US (including California), 17,506 diesel retrofit devices were sold for on-road diesel engines and 2,671 for off-road diesel engines.

By comparison, MECA member companies sold 29,180 diesel retrofit devices in 2009 and 24,640 in 2010. For DPFs specifically, the number sold in the US (for both on-road and off-road diesel engines) has increased slightly since 2009 (outside of California, 3,329 in 2009, 4,428 in 2010, and 4,777 in 2011; in California, 4,962 in 2009, 5,745 in 2010, and 6,729 in 2011). For DOCs, sales in the US (for both on-road and off-road diesel engines) have decreased significantly (11,906 in 2009, 9,926 in 2010, and 4,663 in 2011).

The decline in retrofit sales since 2009, especially for DOCs, is most likely due to the decrease in federal funding for clean diesel projects over the same time period, as well as the recent trend of funding being spent more on projects that use engine repowers and/or vehicle replacements rather than retrofit devices, MECA said.

DPF sales, although increasing slightly, were expected to be much higher in 2011, especially in California due to the requirements of ARB’s in-use truck and bus regulation (ARB projected that up to 100,000 retrofit DPFs could be installed over the 2011-2014 timeframe to comply with the regulation). In addition, ARB’s in-use off-road diesel vehicle regulation was expected to generate additional demand for DPFs, but amendments to the regulation approved in December 2010 meant to give fleets more time to comply due to the economic recession continue to depress the retrofit market opportunity for off-road diesel engines in the state.

Federal funding from the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) through EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (approximately $531 million appropriated from FY 2007 to FY 2011, including $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) has helped provide much-needed funding and financial incentives for many clean diesel projects; however, more dedicated and innovative funding is needed to clean up all of the diesel engines in the existing fleet, especially the large amount of older diesel engines in the off-road sector, MECA says.

DERA was re-authorized at the end of 2010 for FY 2012-2016, but only $30 million was appropriated to EPA for DERA for FY 2012 and the President’s budget request for FY 2013 currently only includes $15 million for DERA.

As EPA moves forward with its new five-year clean diesel strategy, we encourage the agency to promote, where technically feasible, the use of the best available retrofit technology that has been verified by EPA and/or ARB (i.e., DPFs for control of particulate matter emissions), as well as to promote the multi-pollutant benefits that retrofits in general can provide (e.g., black carbon reductions from DPFs and air toxics reductions from catalyzed filters and DOCs). Additional clean diesel funding and incentives at the federal and state level, combined with effective enforcement of California’s various in-use fleet regulations, are key strategies that are needed to drive growth in the diesel retrofit industry.

—MECA’s executive director, Joseph Kubsh

MECA is a non-profit association incorporated in Washington, DC, formed in 1976 to provide solid technical information on emission control technology for motor vehicles. As the emission control industry grew in the subsequent decades, and as its member companies expanded control technology products to other sources, MECA’s mission expanded as well. Today, MECA’s members include leading manufacturers of a variety of emission control equipment for: 1) automobiles, trucks, and buses; 2) off-road vehicles; and 3) stationary sources.


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