Doubling down on diesel: CA regulations will slash nitrogen oxide emissions

Last week, the California Air Resources Board unanimously passed new regulations to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. The new legislation, aimed at diesel trucks, will reduce NOx emissions by 90 percent. This is the equivalent of taking 16 million light-duty vehicles off the road.

The new regulations include requiring manufacturers to comply with tougher emissions standards, overhauling engine testing procedures, and extending engine warranties.

Large diesel engines produce the most NOx emissions when idling, moving slowly, or making frequent stops, but with technology changes and adaptations, a vast amount of these emissions can be eliminated. When it comes to the trucks themselves, manufacturers will be required to build with better engine calibration, improve selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, and implement new fuel-saving technologies like cylinder deactivation.

These are big changes for the trucking industry, but the regulations will be phased in slowly and not entirely adopted until 2026, giving the industry time to adapt to the new standards. Additionally, the estimated cost for the new and vastly greener diesel trucks is only 6 percent higher per vehicle than current rates.

Building a greener future means investing in new and innovative systems, but it also means adapting our older technology to reduce the amount of emissions these vehicles produce while we transition to entirely renewable energy systems.

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