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May 12, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Monster Truck Sales for April Mean Fuel Savings and Clean Air for All

For the first time in years, pickup truck sales have outpaced sedans.


April was a monster month for pickup and SUV sales. For the first time in years, pickup truck sales have outpaced sedans.  According to April vehicle sales, pickups and SUVS made up almost 60 percent of passenger car sales.  In fact, the top selling pickup, the Ford F-150, outsold all Toyota Camrys and Honda Civics combined.  Americans are seeing a new entrant into the light truck segment (that includes pickups and SUVs)….diesel.  Light truck owners choosing a diesel model are rewarded with the power and performance they are looking for coupled with award winning fuel economy.  In fact, diesel pickups on the road since 2005 are a component to our strategy to reduce carbon emissions and underpin energy security.

As more consumers are taking a second look at a light truck for their next vehicle purchase, they just might find a new option on dealer lots – a diesel.  Since April 2015, FCA offered a six-cylinder diesel option for its popular Ram 1500 that provides owners with 39 miles per gallon, impressive towing capabilities and racking up a list of awards. Since February 2016, GM offered a diesel option for its Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon light pickups that provides owners with equally impressive benefits. Still yet, Nissan is set to offer an eight-cylinder diesel option for its Titan that will provide owners with impressive torque provided by a much larger gasoline engine.

The fuel economy benefits provided by diesel in the pickup segment are impressive. According to research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, light diesel trucks on the road since 2005 have saved one million tons of C02 and almost six million barrels of crude oil. These benefits have nearly doubled since the introduction of the diesel option for the Ram 1500. More diesel options in a growing vehicle segment will add to these benefits. 

Today, diesel accounts for about 3 percent of vehicles on the road. These diesel cars, SUVs and pickups on the road since 2005 have eliminated 70 million tons of C02 and saved 261 million barrels of crude oil.  According to research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, if the share of these diesel vehicles on the road expands from 3 percent today to just 4 percent by 2025, we can expect diesel to deliver another 17 million tons of C02 reduced. If diesel’s market share expands modestly to just 7 percent by 2025, we can expect diesel to reduce another 20 million tons of C02 and displace over 3 billion gallons of gasoline.

As diesel options expand in a growing market segment, we can expect diesel to deliver impressive fuels savings placing us in the path to energy savings, and security while providing significant greenhouse gas reductions. 


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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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