The requirement to be more environmentally responsible is impacting many technical and service professions, including in transportation fields. The Diesel Mechanics Technology program at Honolulu Community College (HonCC) is actively working to prepare its studentsʻ to meet the more rigorous regulatory laws and mandates.


As recently as the 1980s-1990s, more than 50% of vehicle emissions were produced from diesel fuel, even though only 5% of vehicles on the road were fueled by diesel. Today more stringent federal and state regulations are reducing emissions impacts from diesel vehicles.

In 2017 almost one-fourth (23% ) of fuel used for transportation was diesel,[1] Despite this increased reliance on diesel fuel, diesel engines produce lower emissions (per ton of weight carried) than gasoline engines. Carbon dioxide production by diesel engines is 20%-40% less than gasoline engines. Reduction in diesel emissions  is also due to an increased use of biodiesel fuel.

As a program certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) the HonCC Diesel Program is responding to rigorous regulation and technical changes by using a curriculum that is producing a workforce trained and ready to work with emission testing devices and to repair/maintain components that control/reduce emissions.

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In an earlier blog, The Garden that Fuels the Diesel Program, we shared how the program is also supporting their students environmental awareness and commitment through the programʻs campus garden. The garden was started in the Fall of 2015 by Bobby Salvatierra, a professor with the program. The mālama (care) that the faculty, staff and students provide has allowed the garden to flourish, slow evaporation from the soil, and produce a variety of fruits, sugar cane and crown flowers.

HonCCʻs Diesel Program is preparing its students to lead a more sustainable lifestyle in their profession and their personal lives.


[1] Wright, G (2017) Fundamentals of Medium/Heavy Duty Diesel Engines: student workbook. Vancouver, B.C.: Langara College.