WASHINGTON, DC – As the U.S. marks the 50th anniversary of National Transportation Week, clean diesel power continues to power a large amount of the freight transportation in the U.S. and throughout the world.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of National Transportation Week, it’s interesting to note that diesel power continues to be America’s number one freight transportation energy source — just as it has been for the past five decades,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a non-profit association that promotes the use of clean diesel technology. “And, like America, diesel has transformed over the past 50 years. It now has virtually zero emissions and the new clean diesel technology is most efficient and cost-effective of all transportation modes.”

According to the Diesel Technology Forum, diesel-powered trucks, trains, ships, and intermodal systems move 83 percent of freight by value and 85 percent by weight. Internationally, that number is over 90 percent of global trade is moved by diesel-powered vehicles.

The growth of diesel power is being seen throughout the automotive and light truck segments with domestic diesel sales for these vehicles increasing by 35 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

“More than 10 new clean diesel cars and light duty trucks will be introduced in the U.S. in the next two years by Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes and Volkswagen. This renaissance in new autos in the U.S. market will greatly increase the popularity of clean diesels domestically. The high fuel prices have played a major role in this renew interest in diesel automobiles. New clean diesel cars are 20 to 40 percent more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts and they reduce the CO2 footprint. In addition, standard diesel cars can use renewable diesel fuels like biodiesel which reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 60 percent and also reduce petroleum consumption,” Schaeffer said.

According to the Diesel Technology Forum, the future of diesel-powered vehicles will undoubtedly be coupled with changes in the country’s energy policy. “National fuel economy standards for cars and light-duty trucks beginning in 2017 are expected to be met in part by an increasing number of clean diesel passenger vehicle choices. Similarly, first-ever fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks and buses beginning in 2014 will drive further innovation and efficiency gains in diesel technology as a key compliance strategy,” Schaeffer observed.