Commercial trucks and vehicles in public fleets that use diesel fuel on highways will begin a four-year transition this fall to a new diesel formula designed to reduce particulate emissions from diesel engines.
Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (USDL), which will reduce the amount of sulfur in on-highway diesel from 500 parts per million to a maximum of 15 ppm, will begin appearing at fuel pumps this fall. Eighty-five percent of all on-highway fuel sales must be ULSD by October 2007. New diesel engines, produced in model year 2007 and later, must be designed to use the ULSD fuel. Only ULSD fuel will be available for highway use beginning Dec. 1, 2010.
ITD will begin making it available at most of its diesel fueling stations later this year, said Rex Hufford. The cleaner burning diesel will cost between 7 and 20 cents more per gallon, he predicts. A slight decrease in fuel economy also may result from using the USDL.
In addition to increased cost of the fuel and perhaps lower fuel efficiency, the conversion will have a dramatic budget impact on new equipment purchases.
The new engine design will add $7-$10,000 to the cost of a new diesel-powered vehicle, Hufford explains. ITD is scheduled to purchase 55 new 10-wheel dump trucks for District 3 (including some for District 6) next year. That means the change in engines alone potentially could add up to $55,000 to the purchase total price.