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What is the future of the diesel engine


Trainman
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I was listing to a automotive broadcast last Saturday on the radio and the subject of the diesel engine came up and the general feeling among the dealers on the program was the the diesel engine is going to be pretty much dead in the future. Now let me say here they are not talking about diesels for the full size trucks, but they were referring to the passenger car and smaller size trucks diesels that are offered in todays vehicles. One thing they sited was the cost of manufacturing these diesel engines is very high cost and as the electric vehicle becomes more popular is the biggest reason for the diesel decline. This is just what heard on the radio, so I just thought I would pass in on and wondering if you view it the same way in the future. 

 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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I sure like the Cummins diesel in my Ram 2500.  Makes towing so much easier than with my previous gas V8’s.  I also get better gas mileage, both towing and not towing.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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Interesting forecast…….however I’m not certain how accurate that may be.  There is a large demand for the diesel truck, not only by RV owners, but mostly construction, agriculture, and general use.  The diesel develops much more torque at lower RPM’s than a gas engine and that gives it an advantage over a gas engine.  The lower RPM also gives longer life to the engine, just on reduced wear.

Auto manufacturers will do almost anything to squeeze more profit from the product, and yes the diesel is more costly to manufacture.  I would not be surprised at all if you see the V8 engine (gas or diesel) eventually go away.  That will be a sad day for many.

I have owned several diesels in the pick-up truck offerings and have been very pleased with them.  The current truck is a Ford F-250 with a 6.7 diesel and I have been very pleased and impressed with that truck.  Before that I had a 2001 Dodge with a Cummins diesel and a manual 6 speed transmission, possibly the best and most trouble free vehicle I have ever owned.  I am 73 and have had many vehicles over my driving history.  The Dodge (pre catalytic emissions) was almost bullet proof.  In the 15 years I owned it, the only problem was the A/C compressor and a water pump; both around the 150,000 mile mark.  I have no doubt that truck will drive on for many more years and miles.  If your needs are to only run down to the Home Depot on the weekend to pick up a few gallons of paint, or a sheet of plywood, then the electric truck may work for you.  However if you are planning to pull 6,000 pounds or more cross country, and up and down steep inclines, then the electric truck will not do.

The auto manufacturers love to push the electric vehicle concept, mostly because there is more profit and less production cost involved.  I will never own one, and hope that my latest diesel truck will be my last, as I intend to drive it many, many years (or at least as long as I possibly can).  Think about the major differences between electric and diesel powered vehicles and you can quickly see where the production and manufacturing cost advantages are.  For an electric vehicle, you eliminate the cost and expense of an internal combustion engine, a complex transmission, as well as the final drive.  All profit areas for the auto manufacturer to take advantage of.  They are already adding a premium cost of about $10,000 to add the diesel package to a truck, and that is a huge profit margin for them as it is.  Just imagine the profit advantages if they can design and manufacture just the battery pack and a couple of electric motors for the drive; and still sell the vehicle for the same, or possibly more, as a standard pick up being offered today.

Electric trucks will have no place in the heavy duty truck market, nor in the over the road type of market.  The endurance, and pulling limitations just to not work.  

My personal suggestion would be to find a new 3/4 ton, diesel powered, truck and plan on keeping it as long as you can.  Having a good preventive maintenance schedule for it will insure you will drive it for many, many miles. 

Not all will agree with my perspective, and these are simply my personal feelings.

Steve R.

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2015 Oliver Elite 2

Hull #106

2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty, 6.7 diesel 

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I am certainly no expert.  But the battery technology will continue to improve and they are already working on electric trucks to haul trailers (tractor trailers) autonomously.  It looks like electric may replace most of the gas and diesel over time.  TFL just released a video of a Rivian that tows 11,000 lbs drag racing a Ram.  So for a while Diesel will be the way for heavy equipment and trucks but I see this changing.  Both ford and Chevrolet have sold out all of the pre orders on their yet to be released electric trucks.  These trucks will become more capable over time.  Ford and GM are betting their futures on it.   In 20 years when the next thing is replacing electric trucks we will look fondly back at them just as we look back fondly at our diesels now.  The Marine industry is also looking at electric.  Most commercial and large personal boats and ships run diesel.  We have a very reliable John Deere diesel in our boat.  It will out live me by a lot!! But there will be new technology and right now it looks electric.  

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I was skeptical about electric but now family and friends have cars, they seem happy with them.  I also agree that towing a trailer we’re going to need gas or diesel for awhile.  i think the point of all the electric vehicles is that with enough solar, wind, and nuclear power we can transport ourselves without dumping more pollutants into the atmosphere.  

 

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I think some of you miss read my post, they was not speaking of the 3/4 ton truck diesel and larger, it was for the smaller diesels in the cars and smaller midsize trucks like the Colorado, etc. VW has already announced the ending diesel production in the coming years as many manufactures are doing for both gas and diesel powered engines. My only reason for  purchasing a battery power vehicle is to drive it to Walmart to pickup supplies for daily use and you know there is one on just about every corner, so hopefully it will make it there and back. 

trainman 

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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My wife drives a plug in hybrid now, and so far it’s been ideal. It runs on electric for her trips to work and back, but the engine is there for the occasional long trip - which we now do in her car since it uses so much less fuel than the truck.

For larger vehicles and towing, I guess more torque is always better, but the high output ecoboost in our truck provides ample power for an Elite II, regardless the altitude or incline.  I’d appreciate the range of a diesel, not so much the power, and definitely not the fuel or upfront costs.

I’d take a hybrid version of my raptor long before I’d buy a diesel. 

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A primary limitation with electric trucks pulling heavy trailers (e.g., Olivers) is the battery weight -- it requires a large, heavy battery pack to carry enough energy to pull more than a hundred miles between charges. In contrast, it seems more manufacturers (e.g., Cummins) are looking at hydrogen fuel cells.  A hydrogen-electric system packs more energy with less weight.  

From an environmental perspective, generating hydrogen with solar, winds, etc. is clean; generating hydrogen with fossil fuels less so.  The same, though, is true with electric vehicles: generating electricity for vehicle batteries with solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear is emission-free; charging batteries with coal-fired electricity does not represent an environmental gain.

I don't understand much about fuel cell technology, but I'm intrigued.  Given large distances in America, and the large amount of freight being hauled (and yes, RVs and travel trailers, too), I suspect that something like fuel-cell technology will be needed to further reduce the burning of fossil fuels.  Something that I'm not sure large electric trucks can provide.

A Google search for "Cummins fuel cell" brings more information, e.g., https://www.airproducts.com/news-center/2021/07/0726-air-products-and-cummins-to-accelerate-development-and-deployment-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-trucks

John Welte commented on Sunday, "I wrestle with the idea that hauling a trailer around is bad for the environment,  but I rationalize that over the years our average mpg has gone up as we get more fuel efficient vehicles.   Is that a concern that's shared by others?"  I suspect that a number of us do share his concern.  Yes, vehicle efficiencies have improved, but so far there is no viable technology to tow with drastically lower emissions.  The only current alternative is to stay closer to home, or perhaps tow something much smaller, lighter, and/or more aerodynamic.  But that would not address the need for a world-wide, systemic improvement for hauling freight, construction equipment, travel trailers, etc.  I, for one, am looking forward to towing technology (e.g., fuel cells, or perhaps hybrids with bigger batteries designed for towing up mountain grades) that uses much less fossil fuel.  

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2021 Oliver LE2
Ram 2500 diesel

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Like most things, I think the future light duty diesel trucks will be the result of marketing and if consumer demand continues.  The average U.S. fleet turnover is 12 years with people holding onto pickups a bit longer.  So, many light duty diesels sold today will still be on the road through 2035 and beyond.  But from a marketing perspective, diesels have a reputation as being "dirty" and expensive.

I found this website from MIT interesting and surprising (plus fun to play with).  https://www.carboncounter.com/#!/explore?classFilter=Pickup Truck    Filtered for just pickups, it shows the diesel versions (gray dots) emit fewer greehouse gases per mile than the gasoline powered versions (black dots).   Hover over the dots to see where your vehicle stands.

The real fun will be to watch the development of advanced fuels and battery technologies.  That will probably determine the winner.

 

 

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Big Texas – 2018 Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #306

2015 RAM 1500 3L EcoDiesel, Anderson hitch
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2 minutes ago, BigTexas said:

The real fun will be to watch the development of advanced fuels and battery technologies.  That will probably determine the winner.

Reminds me of beta vs vhs. And the winner is.....?

We'll continue to see advancements in battery tech. I'm sure of that. 

I'm not a huge fan of traditional hybrids, because of the necessity to maintain two systems.  But, they've definitely made headway, and reduced emissions.  

We're still in baby step stages, imo. Even with major advances in the last decade. Our kids and grandkids will see a very different way of powering vehicles. My money is on electric.  

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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Add to this discussion the impact of government regulation with and without extensions of deadlines for various things like MPG and emissions.

I've read that the demise of the Tundra's famous V-8 was due primarily to efforts by Toyota to get their line of vehicles at or under proposed emissions standards.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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And, it's another " concept " vehicle.

We'll see how it goes .

With Thor, there has to be a big demand to make it work.

Witness early demise of the Nest.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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I'm definitly interested in the advancement of electirc vehicles including trucks but I'm not seeing the cost/benefit/capability equation for tow vehicles in the near term.  I will be watching and cheering for development while I continue to drive my 2021GM 3.0L diesel 1/2-ton pickup for awhile.  I have been extremely happy with it so far including the 30mpg highway (unloaded) and 16-20mpg towing my LEII.  Most new vehicles have been in short supply/high demand but I understand Silverado/Sierra/Tahoe/Suburbans with the 3.0 Duramax Diesel have to be custom-ordered or are sold before they even arrive at the dealer.  The demand is there and the combo of capability/range/value/price will be hard for electirc to match for a good number of years (for a tow vehicle).  Passenger cars and light SUVs are another story though...

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2020 Elite II #627, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax, Colorado

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21 hours ago, Trainman said:

I think some of you miss read my post, they was not speaking of the 3/4 ton truck diesel and larger, it was for the smaller diesels in the cars and smaller midsize trucks like the Colorado, etc.

I do feel the buyer of a 3/4 ton+ diesel pickup is less concerned about mpg and more about power and towing capacity. They are paying an additional $10k for the capability vs the $1k upgrade on the Tahoe. My guess the small duramax is a low profit margin option and might be replaced with a hybrid in the future, but I sure hope not. 

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  • 1 month later...

I just purchased a 2021 Ford F150 Powerboost.  Uses the Ecoboost twin turbo V6 Hybrid with 430 hp, 570 ft/lbs of torque. 0 to 60 in 5.3 seconds and has a built in 7200 watt generator driven by engine with a 240v, 30 amp outlet and three 120v, 20 amp duplex outlets.  Gets around 24 miles per gallon without trailer.  Range of 700 miles.  I do thing hybrid and EVs are the future.  

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14 hours ago, Saintaug1 said:

I just purchased a 2021 Ford F150 Powerboost.  Uses the Ecoboost twin turbo V6 Hybrid with 430 hp, 570 ft/lbs of torque. 0 to 60 in 5.3 seconds and has a built in 7200 watt generator driven by engine with a 240v, 30 amp outlet and three 120v, 20 amp duplex outlets.  Gets around 24 miles per gallon without trailer.  Range of 700 miles.  I do thing hybrid and EVs are the future.  

Can you share what your payload capacity is one your new F150. I have a 2014 F150 and I have been going back and forth with staying with  F150 for TV or moving to 3/4 ton truck.

 

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Vincent, Ohio | 2022 Elite ll, Hull #1182, 2014 Ford F150 EcoBoost, Max Towing PKG

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