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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology


Leading Engine and Truck Makers Demonstrate Readiness to Deliver Clean Diesel


"We're ready" was the message echoed today by all six leading diesel engine and truck manufacturers, as they declared themselves on-track to deliver the next generation of clean diesel technology beginning in January 2007. Outside the Washington headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency, top industry executives today displayed these new generation trucks for EPA officials, environmental leaders and trucking representatives at an event hosted by the Diesel Technology Forum.

"We are using white handkerchiefs to demonstrate that the exhaust from these six clean diesel trucks contains no smoke or visible soot," explained Allen Schaeffer, DTF's executive director. "Diesel engines are cleaner than ever before, and in the next few years, the industry will virtually eliminate key emissions once associated with on- and off-road diesel equipment." Representatives from Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, International Truck and Engine, Mack and Volvo participated in today's technology demonstration and declaration of readiness.

Diesel's environmental progress is the result of the advanced clean diesel system -- combining cleaner fuel, state-of-the-art engines and effective exhaust-control technology. By October 2006, clean diesel fuel -- containing 97 percent less sulfur than today's diesel -- will be available nationwide. This new fuel is important because sulfur tends to clog exhaust-control devices in diesel engines, like lead once clogged the catalytic converters on gasoline cars. Just as taking the lead out of gasoline in the 1970s enabled a new generation of emissions control technologies that have made gasoline vehicles over 95 percent cleaner, so will removing the sulfur from diesel help usher in a new generation of clean diesel technology ultimately across all applications.

"New trucks and buses will be the first class of equipment to benefit from clean diesel," continued Schaeffer. "While today's trucks and buses already produce only one-eighth the tailpipe exhaust compared to those built in 1990, new engines will be even cleaner. It will take 60 trucks built in 2007 to equal the soot emissions of one truck sold in 1988."

Government officials and representatives from the environmental community confirmed that clean diesel will play a leading role in helping cities and states meet strict new air quality goals set by the federal government. The EPA predicts that these new trucks -- once they fully replace the existing fleet -- will reduce emissions of smog-forming gases by 2.6 million tons each year and cut soot emissions by 110,000 tons annually.

"These clean diesel trucks are the backbone of our economy powering the most low-cost and efficient distribution of goods and movement of people in the world," declared Schaeffer. "They're delivering fresh produce from coast to coast, powering the nation's school and transit buses, hauling bulk products like sand and gravel, picking up wastes for recycling, and powering emergency fire and rescue equipment."

While clean diesel will first arrive on new trucks and buses in 2007, many other diesel vehicles and equipment will soon benefit from this environmental technology, including:

      *  Cars, Pickups and SUVs -- By 2009, both gasoline and diesel cars,
         pickups and SUVs -- regardless of fuel type and engine size -- will
         meet the same stringent emissions standards. In the coming years,
         consumers can expect to see more diesel options in showrooms and will
         ultimately benefit from diesel's greater fuel efficiency (typically
         20 to 40 percent more miles per gallon than a comparable gasoline
         version).

      *  Construction Machines and Farm Equipment -- Emissions reductions on
         the same magnitude as those occurring for trucks and buses in 2007
         will be phased in for off-road construction and agricultural
         equipment later this decade.

      *  The Existing Fleet -- Many of the same clean diesel technologies
         developed for new engines can be applied to some older vehicles and
         equipment. The nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur fuel will
         help expand opportunities for these clean diesel retrofits.





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