With the express name of the game being “zero emissions”, how to get there remains relatively unclear. When a vehicle is pulling a trailer, fuel efficiency (and cleaner air) are even more difficult to achieve. And as lofty a goal is zero emissions is, it is a good one. But achieving this goal isn’t the only thing that matters.
The Government Weighs In — Naturally
Uncle Sam can’t help but have his say when it comes to how to achieve zero emissions. Here are some of the country’s company and government agency deployed strategies:
- improving diesel technology
- clean-air requirements
- use hybrid, electric, and cleaner fuel powertrains to address customer needs
With that said, what is the task at hand? Communities, fleets, and manufacturers must balance the demands of government, advancements, and end users – demands that are frequently in competition with each other.
So how is the country planning to achieve the lofty goal of cleaner air when it comes to the trucking and transportation industry? Basically, there are three areas of discussion.
Rules and Regulations
Government agencies would have you believe that the rules and regulations set down regarding vehicle emissions are 100% geared toward cleaning up the atmosphere. And, truth be told, they are (for all intents and purposes) effective and necessary. But even with the rules and regulations through which to clean up the air, many heavily polluted United States regions still have room for far greater improvement. And without regulations and technological advancements, there is little chance of that happening.
By the year 2050, through regulations and improvements, it is hoped (and anticipated) that transportation (including heavy duty trucks) NOx emissions will face a reduction of 80%. But without investment, regulations, and excessive planning, these goals are unrealistic and unachievable.
HVIP (Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project), Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act are just some of the bills being introduced to clean up the air.
Are Fully Electric Engines the Answer?
Every breakthrough imaginable has been embraced by any number of companies at any given point in time. These include fuel-cell electric, fully electric, factory electric, hybrid, and diesel powertrains. Determining how slow or fast electrification adoption occurs are four specific keys:
- Total Ownership Cost
Even with those four keys specified, customer needs, varied regions of the world, and different applications will have an express effect on the adoption of electrification. It was once thought that by 2030 all vehicles of the world would be 100% electric. Now… Not so much. And even when all vehicles are 100% electric, will there be enough available generation of electricity to power everything?
So, will electric vehicles be the answer or will they simply pose another problem?
Can It Be Done with Diesel?
Depending on who you talk to, for heavy-duty equipment and trucks, the gold standard is still diesel. Though its demise has been predicted by its detractors, there is still a distinct concentration on furthering diesel technology innovation. There is no foreseeable diesel substitute for applications such as long-haul. Electric vehicles may be fine for transit buses and last-minute delivery applications, but the heavy-duty, long-haul trucking industry will be depending on diesel for a long time.
Even with California’s (and other regions like New York) attempt at regulatory mandates, (which have, by the way, failed) diesel has endured. Back in the early 90s, there was supposed to be a switch from diesel to methanol in the heavy-duty truck migration. Obviously, that never happened.
Plain and simple, diesel offers the following positive characteristics:
- Low carbon capabilities
- Economical in terms of operation, acquisition, and resale of diesel trucks
- Re-manufacturable and durable
- Reliable and proven
- Readily available with extensive repair, fueling, and servicing networks
- For internal combustion engines, it is energy-efficient
Whether electric, gas powered, or diesel, many of today’s trucks pull trailers. Are you in the market to buy a trailer but need to save money? No problem. At Mickey Genuine Parts, we routinely carry a good selection of used trailers of all kinds. Click here to view our current selection, or speak to one of our customer service representatives today. Remember, new or used, everything we sell offers the Mickey guarantee.