On-Road Heavy-Duty Low-NOx Technology Cost Study

Lauren Lynch, Chad Hunter, Brad Zigler, Matthew Thornton, Evan Reznicek

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a cost analysis for emission control technologies under contract to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB sought incremental cost analysis for emission control technologies for on-road heavy-duty (HD) engines, used in vehicle greater than 14,000 pounds (lbs) gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) to achieve oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions rates significantly lower than those required by current emissions standards. Specifically, incremental costs (without any retail price mark-up) were estimated for representative diesel, natural gas, and gasoline engine and emission aftertreatment systems that were selected to represent potential technology packages that could achieve 0.02 grams per brake horsepower hour (g/bhp-hr) NOx on certification test cycles, including a proposed updated certification test cycle that includes additional low load operating conditions. NREL surveyed stakeholders including industry association groups, Tier 1 suppliers, and engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to estimate incremental direct and indirect costs. Incremental costs were considered for current engine full useful life (FUL) definitions, as well as with proposed increased FUL and warranty period. The incremental costs were subsequently incorporated in life-cycle cost analyses examining the incremental engine and aftertreatment costs along with life-cycle costs over the various engine FUL scenarios. Life-cycle costs analysis included the incremental upfront cost, fuel consumption changes (changes in fuel economy), diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) consumption changes, and the maximum FUL of the aftertreatment package (major overhaul intervals).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages81
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-76571


  • aftertreatment
  • CARB
  • cost study
  • emission control
  • emissions
  • engine
  • NOx
  • oxides of nitrogen
  • vehicles


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