A Strong Future For Diesel Vehicles In the U.S.
With 37 new clean diesel car, truck and SUV models available now in the 2016 model year, and the potential for nearly 40 more models to enter the market in the near future, the outlook for diesel technology in the United States remains strong. Add to that the more than 25 other automotive brands supplying hundreds of diesel engines models and over 120 different diesel vehicle models for the Medium- and Heavy-Duty truck, bus and RV markets, and the future looks even brighter.
The Diesel Technology Forum notes that, despite the disappointing Volkswagen emissions situation in late 2015 that has temporarily suspended certain VW, Audi and Porsche diesel models from sales in 2016, Diesel technology remains a key strategy in the lineup of transportation solutions for the future. Diesel engines remain the undisputed primary power source for medium and heavy heavy-duty on and off road vehicles, rail and marine applications, industrial, agriculture and construction applications. In fact, over 90 percent of heavy duty trucks are powered by diesel engines. Additionally, aided by low fuel prices and strong consumer demand, sales of diesel pickup trucks and SUVs continue to climb in these number one selling vehicle segments in the U.S.
Biodiesel is a Key Differentiator for Diesel to Compete in a Low-Carbon, Alternative Fuel Future
Consumers and fleets are finding great value in the diesel powertrain option due to its proven fuel economy, power and performance, as well as the ability to seamlessly use clean, renewable biodiesel blends in their existing diesel vehicles and equipment. In addition, because diesel engines deliver up to 40 percent better real-world fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts, more and more automakers are turning to diesel vehicle platforms to help them meet the aggressive new U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which mandate a fleet average of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
Biodiesel is the first commercial-scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the EPA’s definition as an Advanced Biofuel – meaning the EPA has determined that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel. In addition, as a low carbon Advanced Biofuel included in the Renewable Fuels Standard, Biodiesel is an effective policy solution to reduce CO2 emissions in the transportation sector, supporting the U.S. commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 26 percent by 2025. As 100 gallons of biodiesel = 1 metric ton reduction in CO2 emissions relative to diesel, increasing biodiesel production by 350 million gallons per year would provide CO2 reduction in 2025 of 56 million metric tons. Nothing else can bring this displacement of fossil carbon to the heavy duty transportation sector.
OEM Support for Biodiesel Continues to Grow
The U.S. biodiesel industry has invested over twenty years of research and development activity to provide the highest quality biodiesel fuel, fit for purpose and OEM-approved for use in their diesel engines and equipment. With widespread support across all diesel applications, the biodiesel industry is perfectly positioned to deliver even more cleaner burning biodiesel into the marketplace.
All major OEMs selling diesel equipment in the U.S. support at least B5 and lower blends, provided they are made with biodiesel meeting ASTM D 6751. In addition, more than 78 percent of the diesel vehicles coming off production lines today are approved for use with B20. In the GVW Class 5-8 vehicles that account for 92 percent of on-road diesel fuel use, nearly 90 percent of the medium- and heavy-duty truck OEMs support the use of B20 biodiesel blends. For more information and a complete listing of OEM position statements on biodiesel, visit http://biodiesel.org/using-biodiesel/oem-information.
– Information was current at the time of this publication in March 2016.
– Check with the manufacturer or your local dealer to confirm model listings and availability.
– Vehicle specifications for 2016 diesel models were obtained from information available on manufacturers’ websites and product literature – follow links to their official company sites. Additional details can be found at www.edmunds.com.
– Fuel economy information can be found on the vehicle manufacturers’ websites, or for vehicles of GVW >8,500 it can be calculated by visiting www.Intellichoice.com. Actual fuel economy may vary, depending upon vehicle options chosen and driving behavior.
– Additional information on Powertrain, Torque and Horsepower ratings has been supplied by vehicle manufacturers.
– Information on future diesel models has been provided by manufacturer contacts and/or other media and industry sources and may be subject to change.
– Stay tuned to the National Biodiesel Board website at www.biodiesel.org/using-biodiesel/oem-information for more details on these and other diesel models which may be on their way to the U.S. market soon.