Invest VW funds in clean diesel: Forum

John G Smith

WASHINGTON, DC – The head of the Diesel Technology Forum has told state environmental officials that new diesel technology offers the most cost-effective way to reduce NOx emissions, and should be considered when investing the US $2.9 billion Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.

The funds are part of a settlement with Volkswagen, which admitted to equipping two-liter diesel engines with devices to defeat emission controls.

California has already found that updating the fleet of commercial trucks would make the quickest change in NOx emissions by 2035, Diesel Technology Forum executive director Allen Schaeffer told the spring meeting of the Environmental Council of States. The council includes the top appointed environmental officials from every state.

Projects should target the largest sources of NOx emissions, leverage verified technology, be timely, and reduce the most NOx per dollar, he said, stressing how modern diesel technology would do just that.

Replacing an old Class 8 truck with a modern version would reduce 1,282 pounds of NOx per year at a cost of US $86 per pound, according to the Diesel Technology Forum. One ton of NOx emissions can be eliminated by investing an average of $20,000 in clean diesel technology, compared to the same changes realized by investing $1 million in electric infrastructure, Schaeffer added.

The trust fund should also specifically be used to control NOx emissions, and not be shifted to another purpose, he said.

John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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