In 2017, nearly 900,000 heavy-duty diesel engines were manufactured in facilities across the United States, according to the latest research conducted by Rhein and Associates, with additional data provided by the Diesel Technology Forum.

“American-made heavy-duty diesel engines are the workhorse of the U.S. economy, fueling half the economic sectors in the United States with proven, economical, efficient and near-zero emissions technology,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Forum. “From agricultural, mining and construction equipment, to commercial vehicles (trucks and buses), locomotives, tug boats and other goods-movement equipment, diesel is the powertrain of choice.”

Thirteen states are home to heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturing, with North Carolina leading the way, producing 327,000 engines last year. Other key states include Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and New York.

“The workforce in these states are not just manufacturing the most advanced, high-tech diesel engines for their customers, they are producing advanced technology that when put into service, contributes substantially to cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said Schaeffer. “Today’s diesel engine has advanced dramatically in design and overall performance, doing more work, producing more power using less fuel and with lower emissions than ever before. Diesel’s continuously improving unique combination of energy efficiency, power, economical ownership and operation, reliability, durability and now near-zero emissions are the features that ensure it will continue to play a lead role in both the U.S. and the global economy.”

Diesel Powers the American Economy

In 2017, heavy-duty clean diesel engines directly supported $3.4 trillion in U.S. economic activity. The agricultural, fishing, forestry, mining, construction and logistics industries are directly dependent on heavy-duty diesel engines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, these diesel-dependent industrial sectors have grown by 10 percent since 2008. These sectors represent more than 11 percent of all private-sector industrial activity, equivalent to the utility and information technology sectors combined.

“U.S.-based heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturing facilities are producing the latest new-generation diesel technologies, which reduce emissions and contribute to improving air quality,” said Schaeffer. “The more the newest, most-efficient, near-zero emission engines can be put to work, the greater the fuel savings and emission reductions delivered to the communities in which they operate, whether that be from a commercial truck, a tugboat, a pickup truck or an ambulance.”

Diesel Means Well-Paying American Jobs

According to the most recent economic estimates compiled by the Diesel Technology Forum, manufacture of clean diesel engines, along with the vehicles and equipment they power, maintenance of technology and production of fuel, support 1.25 million jobs across the United States. These include the more than 260,000 diesel engine and bus mechanics employed across the country.

On average, these jobs pay 60 percent more than the average national salary. Recently, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers concluded that the production of diesel-powered equipment will support 1.3 million jobs and generate $158 billion in economic value. Overall, the average wage in the diesel manufacturing industry exceeds the national average, paying workers about $78,000 per year.

Diesel Fuels Progress

A key indicator of economic growth is energy consumption. It is noteworthy that the six-month average (Jan-June 2018) of 3,003 thousand barrels per day for distillate fuels is the highest since 2007, up 4.12 percent from 2016 and 2.63 percent compared to 2017.

Diesel Contributes to Cleaner Air

The latest diesel innovations rolling off manufacturing lines today help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A newly manufactured engine in a single Class 8 commercial truck can reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), an ozone-forming compound, by two tons each year, compared to an older generation of technology. Much larger diesel applications, like tugboats, can reduce 48 tons of NOx emissions per year.

While the latest innovations to reduce emissions are rolling off American assembly lines, these innovations are also boosting efficiency. That same new-generation diesel Class 8 truck will save 960 gallons of fuel. Combined, new diesel trucks on the road since 2011 have saved 5.8 billion gallons of fuel.

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