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Diesel Technology Forum: 57% of all commercial diesel trucks on the roads in US are near-zero emissions models

Analysis of a study by S&P Global Mobility shows the number of new near-zero emission diesel trucks on the road in the US increased 10.2% between 2021 and 2022, according to the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF). Near-zero emission trucks are advanced diesel technology manufactured in the 2010 and later model years.

According to DTF’s analysis of S&P Global Mobility TIPNet Vehicles in Operation Data as of December 2022:

  • Diesel dominates the trucking sector: For the largest commercial trucks (Class 8) in operation that are 2010 or later model years, 95.4% are advanced diesel technology; 2.1% are CNG, 0.3% are electric, and the remainder are gasoline or other fuels.

  • For the entire (Class 3-8) commercial truck population of more than 15 million vehicles, 75.6% are powered by diesel, gasoline (22.9%), compressed natural gas (0.46%), other (ethanol, fuel cell, LNG, propane, 0.85%) and electric (0.09%).

  • Illinois is the state with the fastest-growing registration of new advanced diesel technology Class 8 commercial trucks, up 4.6% as of December 2022 as compared to 2021.

  • The population of near-zero emissions diesel technology trucks is growing. They comprise 57% of all commercial diesel trucks (Class 3-8) on the roads today. These trucks are equipped with particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems (SCR) that achieve near-zero levels of emissions. That’s a 10.2% increase in one year (2022 vs. 2021).

  • 65.7% of all commercial diesel trucks (Class 3-8) on the road are 2007 and newer and are equipped with particulate filters so they achieve near-zero emissions for particulates.

  • Indiana ranks first of the states for the highest percentage of registrations of 2010 and later model year near-zero emission diesel trucks (73.2%). Next in the rankings is Utah (66.2%), Pennsylvania (66.0%), the District of Columbia (65.4%), Texas (63.6%), Oklahoma (62.6%), Florida (62.3%), Illinois (60.6%), Louisiana (59.2%), and Wisconsin (59.1%). California lags the national average, taking the 35th spot (51.6%).

  • There are 125 times more new generation advanced diesel trucks on the road in California than electric trucks.


Nearly 7 million new-technology diesel trucks are on the roads, delivering our goods and services with near-zero emissions. Nationwide, for every electric commercial truck on the road, there are nearly 1,100 powered by internal combustion engines.

According to this most recent analysis, internal combustion engines (diesel, gasoline, natural gas, and propane) power about 99.91% of the nation’s trucking fleet. As the trucking industry explores new fuels, including all electric and fuel cell technology, it is clear that diesel and other internal combustion engines are going to continue to play a dominant role for years to come.

—Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Forum

Diesel technology has fundamentally transformed over the last decade, with advancements leading to achieving near-zero emissions beginning with the 2010 model year. Its continued dominance in trucking reflects diesel’s record of continuous improvement and low-cost operation. The next generation of diesel—emerging in California in 2024 and other parts of the country in 2027—will further reduce NOx emissions by an additional 50-80% over current models.

Decarbonizing the economy will take time and require many different types of solutions for different sectors. There isn’t a one-size or one-fuel fits all answer. In the meantime, accelerating the turnover of the existing fleet, continued improvement of internal combustion engines and utilizing low-carbon renewable fuels is just as important as a zero emission vehicle approach to help achieve meaningful progress toward climate goals.

—Allen Schaeffer



As long as you don't count co2 as an emission, it all looks reasonably rosy.


Anyone know ways of reducing co2 emissions from diesel:
Using biodiesel ?
Using methane or ethane?
Using H2?

are any of these actually any use?


As a real user of truck's one who tows large loads ,long distances, and also stays off grid for weeks at a time. I can attest to the absolute need for the energy density of liquid fuels. With diesels being the technological leader in efficiency ,durability and economic cost of use. Diesels can approach and exceed fuel cells in efficiency. Fuel cells are most efficient at near peak load around 90% of rated power they fall off rapidly in either direction from there and are very expensive due to the platinum needed for use plus the reformer to convert liquid fuels into pure hydrogen gas. Diesels use liquid fuels directly, use a tiny fraction of precious metals relative to fuel cells for the exhaust catalysts and achieve 48% efficiency or better at 80% of full load with a broad efficiency area around that point just view any modern turbo diesels BSFC vs load map there will be a vast 40+% area over a wide range of rpm and torque. Batteries are not even in the same technical league their energy density is two orders of magnitude less than liquid fuels even including the weight of the ICE gen set.

If CO2 is a thing you worry about then biofuels are the way to go. With regenerative agriculture methods those fuels can be carbon negative with the roots and biochar being sequestered and all the carbon in the fuels being atmospheric not geological carbon. Clear Flame can convert any standard diesel to run purely on alcohols doesn't matter which one, methanol,ethanol,isopropanol,butanol all work and all can be made from biomass or syngas from wastes. Biomethane and synthetic natural gas from syngas are in this class as well. For short range return to depot type trucking CNG/RNG makes a lot of economic sense. For long distance, heavy loads grid work liquid fuels are the only choices even metal air fuel cells would not have the energy density nor the power density needed. 55 gal of diesel is over 2 megawatts worth of raw energy there is no substitute. You could make synthetic diesel like the Germans did can syngas with equal or better energy density that syngas can be from biomass or municipal wastes or sewerage sludges so it's carbon is biomass sourced.


Diamond Green has a JV with Valero and refineries in Port Arthur and Norco, La.
Renewable Diesel or HVO is 100% compatible with petrodiesel and cost competitive.
Currently Renewable Diesel has up to 80% reduction in GHG emissions.


@Gryf, OK, but will it scale - is there enough biodiesel, or will there ever be enough to replace (say) 50% of current demand?


@mahonj, there appears to be enough waste resources potentially available in the U.S. to produce >50B gallons of renewable diesel per year. See, e.g.,


Class 4_8 truck's are 20% of the fleet and use 45 billion gals gasoline equivalents per year. Why GGE? To normalize petrol use and diesel to a common energy point.

Biomass to liquid yields are in the 100 to 200 gal ethanol equivalent per tonne. Ethanol is 24MJ/L gasoline is 34.6/L a ratio of 1.4:1 so you would need 63 billon gal of ethanol equivalent to equal 45 billion GGE. At a low end of 100gee you need 630 million tonnes of waste biomass per year since the USA makes over a billion tonnes of waste biomass per year yes there is enough just in the wastes. You can also cover shipping 6.4 billion GGE, aviation 18.7 BGGE, rail 4.1 BGGE.

The elephant in the room is Light duty vehicles they use a massive 120 billion GGE per year those alone would take 1.2 billion tonnes per year of biomass waste won't cover that you would need to grow dedicated energy crops on a massive scale. Or electrify the LDV for all drives shorter than 40 miles that alone would.cover 96% of all drives. Leave the long distance drives to hybrids using only 4% of the previous total that's like 4.8 billion GGE perfectly do able with biofuels. Plug in hybrids are the answer to the short far problem.


@Carl, Thanks.
Would you have any newer references for this topic?



This is a recent biomass to liquid yields paper.

Not sure about the gross USA production. There is a DOE study from 2016 called the billion tonne report.

For perspective there is 900 million acres of farmland in the USA that's not including rangelands(grasslands,grazinglands, or scrub brush) nor forests. The potentials of the forests and grasslands are expense. That also doesn't include the semi arid lands nor the actual deserts. There again massive potential for biomass growth with the right species and human help. Add in saline / brackish aquaculture in the arid lands such as algae or drip irrigation of salt tolerant succulents. There will likely never be a shortage of biomass it's what is the cost per gigajoule vs drilling a hole in Saudi Arabia. China and India have to get on board for any real progress on leaving geological carbon to have meaning.

Look up the agave biomass project in Mexico.they have proven that Agave Weber can produce 100+ tonnes of biomass per year on semi arid lands on a 5 year rotational cycle.


@mahonj, here's a slightly more recent reference (USDOE "Billion Ton Study") that includes all potential resources for biofuel production :

According to that source, as much as 1.8 billion dry tons/year could be available in the most optimistic scenarios by 2040. At an optimistic renewable diesel yield of 100 gallons/dry ton (, well over 100B gallons of renewable diesel could be produced given sufficient processing facilities.

Of course, there will be completion for those resources for production of other products like ethanol.


@Carl, @jamesD, Thanks.
I have some homework now, in no uncertain terms.


"There will likely never be a shortage of biomass it's what is the cost per gigajoule vs drilling a hole in Saudi Arabia. China and India have to get on board for any real progress on leaving geological carbon to have meaning."
There you have it - "the west" could add taxes that make it sensible to use biofuels (certainly in the USA), but the rest of the world won't, as they don't have enough land, or are just getting their economies going and don't want to forego the efficiency of cheap oil.
So we can expect to keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere for the foreseeable future, even if not (or less so) in "the west".

Minor point - it is 2 MW hours from 55 gallons of diesel, not 2 MW.

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