Costs of emission reduction technologies for heavy-duty diesel vehicles

Published: 2016.02.29
By

Francisco Posada, Sarah Chambliss, and Kate Blumberg

This report presents the manufacturing costs of emission control technology used to meet recent U.S. and European emission standards for heavy-duty diesel engines and vehicles. The costs assessed include both the in-cylinder technologies to control engine-out emissions and the aftertreatment technologies that act on the exhaust stream. With the benefit of hindsight, this report focuses on the primary technology pathway that was or is in widespread commercial use, to provide reasonable cost estimates for the increasingly sophisticated technology packages used in each regulatory stage.

The analysis treats Euro II and US 1994 standards, the first in which 500 ppm sulfur diesel was required in each region, as the baseline for technology determination and cost estimation. In the final regulatory stage considered, Euro VI and US 2010, the two regions are again well aligned in fuel sulfur levels, emissions limits, and technology pathways. While the interim regulatory steps and their incremental costs differ, the cumulative costs for compliance with Euro VI or US 2010 (compared to Euro II or US 1994) are the same: $6,937 (in inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars). A conservative approach was used in the analysis, which does not incorporate learning, scaling or emerging technologies.

The current Euro VI and US 2010 standards achieve an approximately 95% reduction in emissions of the primary pollutants of concern from heavy-duty vehicles, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and nitrogen oxides (NOX), from the Euro II and US 1994 baselines. These stringent standards have been implemented even as fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from heavy trucks decline. The strong benefits and reasonable costs of full implementation of Euro VI and US 2010 standards, along with some of the downsides and the reduced cost-effectiveness of the interim standards, suggest that other regions should move as quickly as possible to harmonize with these world-class standards.