As the future of the transportation industry continues to evolve, one thing remains the same—work still needs to get done, and multiple studies show that diesel engines will continue to be the industry’s preferred workhorses for many years to come. However, new research revealed this week by NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry confirms that fleets across the country are increasingly relying on the power and performance of biodiesel, America’s advanced biofuel, to get the job done in their existing and new diesel vehicles. For the third time in four years, surveyed fleets named biodiesel as their top alternative fuel choice both for current use and future interest.
Each year, NTEA conducts a comprehensive Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey to better understand the commercial vehicle landscape, including interest levels for advanced truck technologies and alternative fuels. Insights from NTEA’s Fleet Purchasing Outlook, provided by fleet professionals across the U.S. and Canada, give the entire work truck industry perspective on anticipated purchasing intent and areas of greatest interest to fleet managers. The new survey results for 2019 are being announced this week at The Work Truck Show held in conjunction with Green Truck Summit and Fleet Technical Congress in Indianapolis. They reflect positive trends for the use of biodiesel blends in the diesel vehicle technology of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
“We anticipate a continuation of strong purchasing activity in 2019,” said George Survant, NTEA senior director of fleet relations. “The fleet community’s interest in vehicle technology and productivity is front and center in our latest edition of the Fleet Purchasing Outlook.”
Specifically, the 2019 NTEA Fleet Purchasing Outlook revealed that the majority of fleet survey respondents—76 percent—anticipate maintaining or increasing use of diesel engine-powered trucks in their fleets, and more than 33 percent of survey respondents acknowledged currently operating alternative-fueled trucks in their fleets. Survey participants named biodiesel as their top alternative fuel choice at 16 percent. Additionally, biodiesel was named as their top choice for future interest at 14 percent. NTEA’s additional anecdotal evidence suggests that though alternative fuel interest may ebb and flow along with fluctuating oil prices, the trend will likely turn upward in the long run. It is highly likely that clean-energy solutions will remain relevant due to oil price instability. The National Biodiesel Board further credits the nation’s growing interest in reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as indicators for future growth in the use of biodiesel.