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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

Clean Diesel Technology Tour to Stress the Benefits and Improvements of Modern Diesel Technologies

The Clean Diesel Technology Tour, the largest gathering ever of clean diesel executives, vehicles and technologies, will take place at the Sacramento Convention Center on Thursday, April 19, to spotlight diesel's role in meeting California challenges regarding clean air standards, climate change and fuel efficiency. The Tour, sponsored by the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), will offer industry, government officials and representatives from the environmental community the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas while reviewing the impressive improvements of modern diesel technologies.

Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, will speak at the event, along with state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Dan Skopec, Undersecretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, and executives from Caterpillar, Cummins, John Deere, International Truck & Engine, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and Robert Bosch LLC as well as the Engine Manufacturers Association.

In addition, the results of a survey commissioned by the DTF will be released. The results will show current California residents' attitudes toward the impacts of their personal vehicle choices on climate change, and their perceptions of the diesel industry's environmental progress over the past two decades.

At the Tour, Schaeffer will discuss the importance of clean diesel technology to California today and its future potential. Lowenthal, who has introduced legislation to help curb emissions at California ports, will talk about environmental challenges at the ports and in goods movement. Skopec, Undersecretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's spokesperson on the state's low-carbon fuel initiative, will discuss the Governor's views regarding climate change issues that industry needs to address.

Executives from Caterpillar, Cummins, DaimlerChrysler, John Deere Power Systems, Robert Bosch LLC, International Truck & Engine, General Motors and other diesel industry manufacturers also will make individual presentations and discuss plans for the introduction of new clean diesel vehicles, engines and related technology in the near future.

Ride and Drive

The event will feature an opportunity to see and drive some of the cleanest, most fuel-efficient clean diesel vehicles made, including several brought from Europe to demonstrate the state-of-art in light-duty diesel technology. Among the vehicles are a 2007 Audi A6 TDI, BMW 535d, European Chrysler 300, Mercedes E320 CDI Bluetec, diesel Smart car, 2008 Jetta TDI prototype, European Honda Accord diesel and a currently available Dodge Ram pickup with a Cummins turbodiesel engine that already meets 2010 emissions regulations. There will also be displays of 2007 emissions-compliant Class 8 trucks, Tier III off-road equipment and a wide array of emissions-control technologies that are making new and older diesels the cleanest ever, and ready for use in California's strict regulatory environment.

In light-duty cars, trucks and SUVs, diesel yields up to 40 percent more miles per gallon than unleaded gasoline, an important benefit with the challenge of today's high fuel prices. Diesel became even more attractive with rollout of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel in California last September and nationwide last October. The sulfur content of this new, clean diesel is 15 parts per million, down previously from 150 parts per million in California, reducing emissions from diesels and enabling a new generation of clean engines for the entire spectrum of diesel-powered equipment. These new engines are up to 90 percent cleaner than the previous generation of diesel engines. Cars and SUVs expressly designed to burn clean diesel, which will make them as clean as gasoline-powered engines, are expected to be introduced in California starting in 2008.

The Clean Diesel Technology Tour will start at 9 am on Thursday, April 19 in Hall B of the Sacramento Convention Center with a press conference including Schaeffer and executives from Diesel Technology Forum member companies. That will be followed by individual member company presentations and "ride-and-drive" demonstrations. A luncheon will feature keynote addresses by Lowenthal and Skopec.

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