Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) play a crucial role in the cold chain industry, but their diesel emissions contribute to climate change and public health risks. With increasing global focus on sustainability, transitioning to active diesel particulate filter (DPF) technology for TRU fleets has become an essential part of meeting environmental, social and governance goals.
The current scenario
It’s estimated over 250,000 TRUs operating nationwide release over 0.1 grams per brake-horsepower hour (g/bhp-hr) of diesel particulate matter (DPM) into the environment. While many businesses have set targets to achieve zero emissions in the future, it’s important to consider the here and now — diesel engines will be part of the industry for many years to come.
According to Fleet Equipment Magazine, although electric truck orders are opening across the board from many truck OEMs, the hard fact is most fleets (especially for on-highway, long-haul applications) will be operating diesel for the near future.
Following emissions standards within the state of California
For TRU fleets operating in California, there is an added layer of importance regarding transitioning to active DPF technology. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has set stringent regulations and deadlines fleets must meet to comply with emissions standards.
Due to the nature of these regulations, businesses must stay current with ongoing CARB updates and industry news related to their fleet’s transition. Companies that do not follow the regulations could face stiff fines or other penalties, so it is crucial for businesses operating in California to take all the steps necessary for compliance.
The CARB website provides fleet owners access to tools such as TruckStop, which helps identify eligible vehicles for retrofitting or replacement as well as other incentives available from local governments.
Complying with emissions standards in other states
Even if your company operates TRUs outside California, it’s crucial to ensure your fleet meets the 0.02 g/bhp-hr PM emissions standard. Fortunately, there are new TRUs available in the market that meet this standard, and retrofitting existing TRUs with cost-effective technology is readily achievable. Rypos active DPFs offer a seamless solution which doesn’t require driver intervention and is compatible with popular TRU brands like Thermo King® or Carrier®.
The benefits of active DPF technology
TRUs can emit up to 29 times more carcinogenic particulate matter (PM) and six times more nitric oxides (NOx) than larger, modern diesel truck engines. Rypos’ active DPF technology can reduce PM emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines by more than 90% — immediately. Rypos’ ULETRU DPFs produce an impressive 10-12 cumulative metric tons of CO2e credits per year and over 150 metric tons of CO2e credits for the life of a diesel TRU.
Retrofitting versus purchasing new TRUs – which is right for you?
Businesses transitioning TRU fleets to active DPF technology must weigh the pros and cons of retrofitting existing engines or purchasing new ones with the technology already installed. Retrofitting can be a cost-effective option, as it usually requires less upfront capital than buying a new vehicle.
On the other hand, investing in a new TRU may provide long-term savings compared to retrofitting. Newer models offer improved engine efficiency, advanced emissions control systems for better fuel economy and lower emissions over time. In addition, new TRUs come with warranties which guarantee optimal performance and the durability of the technology.
Three steps to an actionable active DPF transition plan
Transitioning to active DPF technology is a significant opportunity for companies to demonstrate environmental consciousness through tangible steps to reduce emissions. It allows businesses to meet their ESG goals and promote environmental consciousness as part of company culture. It is also an excellent way to “future proof” your company as emissions regulations continue to tighten as we move toward net zero goals.
Whether you chose to retrofit or replace your TRU units, here are three actionable steps to making the switch:
- Understand Emissions.
Major TRU providers offer both clean and less-than-optimal diesel emission units. Educate yourself on the differences.
Retrofit: Obtain quotes from reputable active DPF manufacturers or retrofit specialists to assess the retrofit costs for your specific TRU fleet. Prices can vary based on the complexity of installation, any necessary modifications, and the selected DPF technology.
Replacement: Obtain quotes from TRU manufacturers for purchasing new units in compliance with the desired emissions standards. Compare these costs with the retrofitting estimates to determine which option is more cost-effective.
- Promote your commitment to clean air.
Meeting ESG goals is only part of the benefit of reducing PM emissions. In addition to traditional ROI factors like reduced maintenance costs and improved fuel efficiency, sustainability investments can improve your brand value and increase employee satisfaction. Increasingly, employees, customers and investors seek companies that are environmentally and socially responsible. Sustainability investments should be clearly documented in your ESG report and promoted to your employees and customers.
- Create a financial plan.
Whether retrofitting or purchasing new TRUs, consider creating a budget and financial plan to spread out the costs over time. Options may be available for environmental upgrades or energy-efficient initiatives. These could include grants, loans or leasing arrangements to minimize upfront expenses and manage cash flow effectively. Contact local, regional, or national environmental agencies, financial institutions, or industry associations to inquire about potential funding programs or incentives which can help offset retrofit costs.
Moving forward with active DPF technology for your TRU fleet
Transitioning to active DPF technology for TRU fleets is a wise decision beneficial to both the environment and business operations. By actively reducing diesel emissions, TRU fleet owners contribute to a cleaner future and protect the health of communities. This tangible effort in combating climate change improves the overall sustainability profile of businesses, enhancing reputations and attracting environmentally conscious partners, investors and customers.
By equipping TRUs with Rypos’ DPFs, fleet owners can anticipate a substantial reduction in black carbon emissions of up to 95%. Want to learn more about active DPF technology? Contact us.