On Sept. 15, Pilot Travel Centers, the nation's largest retail operator of travel centers with more than 350 owned or licensed retail interstate locations in 41 states, began operating the nation's first Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) fuel island pump in preparation for serving vehicles equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet near-zero emissions requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency to begin in January 2010.
Located on the West Coast in Brooks, Ore., the initial fuel island DEF pump is fully operational and ready to serve vehicles traveling through. At a 2 percent consumption rate of diesel, a typical full 23 gallon tank of DEF will cover approximately 7,000 miles, nearly twice across America.
"The installation and operation of the first DEF pump marks a major milestone for Pilot and the commercial vehicle industry," said Mark Hazelwood, executive vice president for Pilot Travel Centers. "Buying and dispensing DEF in bulk quantities allows for greater handling efficiencies and more effective DEF pricing for our customers. This adds to the economic payback of using SCR which is proven to provide up to 5 percent in fuel efficiency while reducing emissions to near-zero levels at the tailpipe."
Initial pricing for DEF at the Pilot fuel islands is $2.79 per gallon, which is comparable to the price of diesel today.
Pilot's commitment to dispense DEF at the fuel island will make DEF refilling ultra-convenient for drivers, eliminating the need for additional maneuvering of their trucks or searching for pre-packaged DEF quantities. Drivers can fill-up with DEF while they are filling up with diesel fuel and will pay for DEF using the same charge processes they use today.
Pilot was the first travel center chain to make the commitment to offer diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) "at the pump."
"Pilot is committed to its customers and communities. Both will be served by the fuel efficiency and near-zero emissions of SCR and enabled by DEF in 2010," said Hazelwood. "We've worked with Daimler Trucks North America and Detroit Diesel Corporation to prepare for entering this new emissions market and believe it only makes sense given the benefits customers will get in fuel economy, optimized engine performance, reliability and simplicity of SCR technology."
Pilot's roll out plans call for the installation of 100 bulk dispensing pumps at a rate of 25 pumps per quarter beginning in the 3rd quarter of 2009 through the 2nd quarter of 2010.
Virtually all of the heavy-duty engines in volume production today, that will continue to be sold after the new standards take effect, will utilize SCR to comply with the new 2010 standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. SCR technologies optimize engine function and, in turn, reduce fuel consumption and improve reliability and drive-ability for their owners.