Speaking on a panel at Fuels2019, the annual meeting of the Fuels Institute, Diesel Technology Forum Executive Director Allen Schaeffer shared that he believes the future for diesel technologies in freight transportation is bright even as new fuels and technologies enter the marketplace. He believes that this is thanks to diesel’s improving efficiency, even lower emissions, advanced biofuel capabilities and its unique combination of value for moving freight.
“Forecasters seem to agree that, for the next five to 15 years and beyond, diesel will remain the primary technology for commercial trucking, thanks to its unique combination of features,” said Schaeffer. “Will there be some inroads made in niche fleets and operations using all electric, hybrid or hydrogen technologies? Yes, of course. Some of these technologies are in development and limited use today, as manufacturers are developing a range of fuels and technologies to best serve their customers. It’s safe to say we’ll also see an increasing use of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels, as well as the next-generation of diesel that is even nearer-to-zero emissions.”
Research from the Forum, conducted with IHS Markit, shows that numbers of the newest, most advanced and lowest emitting technologies in today’s commercial trucking fleet are rapidly on the rise, the Diesel Technology Forum says. Today, more than one-third of all the largest heavy-duty trucks in operation use the newest generation of near-zero emissions clean diesel technology. This translates into 26 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 59 million tons of carbon dioxide removed from the air; 98% fewer emissions of particulate matter; and an average $2,600 in fuel-cost savings per truck, adding up to 138 million barrels of crude oil saved, the Forum says.