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Thought Leaders

Diesel technology continues to be an important part of future mobility planning. Hear from thought leaders across industry, government and education on the progress and role that diesel plays now and will continue to play in the future.

“A Biden-Harris Administration will promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and our nation’s farmers, and will honor the critical role the renewable fuel industry plays in supporting the rural economy and the leadership role American agriculture will play in our fight against climate change.”

 President Biden

“I’m not in favor of demonizing the oil and gas industry. Because like we can’t stop instantaneously and not have oil and gas. You know, like, we’ll likely die of starvation basically. We’re going to need to burn fossil fuels for a long time—the question is just at what rate do we move to a sustainable energy future. So, I think we should probably move there faster than slower." Elaborating further, Musk explained that demonizing the oil and gas sector would be unfair to those who have spent their lives building a career in the industry. The Tesla CEO noted that many of those who have worked for the industry have likely made a career trying to do useful things. Thus, having them vilified today would be unfair, especially considering that the oil and gas sectors were not regarded as immoral in the past. 

Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla

“If we're gonna get to net zero emissions by 2050, we cannot do it without coal, oil, gas being part of the mix. We must use those technologies to keep people employed, to clean up and to remain energy independent."

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm (in her confirmation hearing)

“More efficient internal combustion engines and a diverse set of fuels will have to be a significant part of the solution. That is especially true for – heavy trucks, buses, trains, and vessels. In trucking and rail, diesel engines are likely to remain the technology of choice for decades. We can reduce emissions through the use of clean diesel and even renewable diesel."

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR)

“An opportunity is being missed if renewable synthetic fuel derived from hydrogen and CO2 remains off-limits in road transport. Climate action is not about the end of the internal-combustion engine,” he continued. “It’s about the end of fossil fuels. And while electromobility and green charging power make road transport carbon neutral, so do renewable fuels.”

Volkmar Denner, CEO, Bosch

There will be a need for heavy-duty engines in trucking, shipping and air transport well into the future. “Low-carbon fuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel are reducing transportation carbon emissions today―a valuable step to achieving climate goals down the road. For example, nearly a quarter of California’s diesel pool today is made up of low-carbon biodiesel and renewable diesel. California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program cut 14.6 million tons of carbon in 2019, with biodiesel and renewable diesel use in existing engines and infrastructure accounting for 45 percent of the cuts. Policymakers need to pay attention to what’s working today.”

Paul Winters, Director of Public Affairs and Federal Communications, National Biodiesel Board

While Mack’s Walsh doesn’t see diesel suddenly disappearing, the OEM is “excited about the potential for further innovations making diesel even cleaner and more efficient than it is today.” 

John Walsh, Vice President of Marketing, Mack Trucks

“These results show that the opposed-piston technology is able to meet our sustainable transportation goals, reducing criteria pollutants while also emitting less carbon dioxide. At a time when the industry is contemplating many technology options to address clean energy, it’s important to have pragmatic solutions in the conversation that can have more immediate impact, and meeting or beating the most stringent regulations with less cost and complexity and no reliance on enabling infrastructure is compelling."

David Crompton, President and CEO, Achates Power

“What’s the future of diesel?” While the role of diesel power moving forward will continue to evolve, we believe it has a long life ahead for off-highway. Diesel power is currently the only source that can provide the energy density needed in these rugged applications. Future iterations of diesel engines will leverage new technologies, smarter engine designs as well as enhanced virtual models and telematics data.” 

Michael Lefebvre, Worldwide Manager – Marketing, John Deere Power Systems

“We’re in an exciting time for diesel engine development. After years refining our technologies to meet subsequent levels of emissions regulations, we can now leverage those technologies in new ways to achieve impressive results.

"The demands of the off-highway market will continue to remain the same – which requires the energy density that comes from diesel and is not currently available from fully electric solutions.

“The role of diesel use will likely evolve when smaller applications can meet the same off-highway performance requirements with alternative systems. However, diesel will likely continue to be the main energy source in heavy-duty applications.”
The feasibility of implementing alternative power systems in off-highway equipment will depend on being able to optimize an overall power solution – balancing mechanical, hydraulic and electric power systems and cost."

Michael Lefebvre, Worldwide Manager – Marketing, John Deere Power Systems

“As we think about zero emissions and the path to zero emissions, that change will depend on the energy sources that are available — and also on the applications and regional infrastructure and local regulations around the world. That path to zero will involve a mix of energy-convergent technologies that will use diverse carbon-neutral and renewable energy sources.”

Wayne Eckerle, Vice President of Research, Cummins Inc.

“A consistent message we convey is that we see diesel being around for many years to come, we also expect it to become cleaner and more efficient. Diesel also meets specific power requirements for customer needs that current alternate technologies are not able to competitively meet. Major improvements have been made and there is no reason to expect engineering to slow down now. Emissions reduction is still possible with technologies coming from the on-highway sector focused on reducing NOx output and other constituents. Efficiency gains will be realized through downsizing opportunities, smarter powertrain integration, wider adoption of features like Start/Stop, etc. Diesel still has a long runway and many exciting future advancements should be expected.”

Eric Neal, Executive Director, Cummins Off-Highway Business

“We’re in an exciting time for diesel engine development. After years refining our technologies to meet subsequent levels of emissions regulations, we can now leverage those technologies in new ways to achieve impressive results.”

Michael Lefebvre, Manager, Global Marketing Support, John Deere Power Systems

Ultra-low NOx and PM emissions are attributed to Cummins Single Module aftertreatment system which integrates DPF and SCR technologies into one easier-to-install package. “The result is a win-win for OEMs and end-users. As well as meeting the power requirements of the sector and the need to reduce emissions, these smaller, lighter, cleaner diesel technologies lower installation costs for OEMs, giving them the opportunity to improve machine capability. Operators can also reduce emissions at the point of use without impacting productivity.”

Steve Nendick, Marketing Communications Director, Off-Highway, Cummins Inc.

“Cummins Stage V Performance Series engines deliver a particulate matter (PM) reduction of near-99%, alongside 96% reduction in NOx, compared to engines at EU Stage 1. These engines, ranging from 100 to 675 hp, meet both EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage V emissions regulations, the toughest emissions legislation globally.”

Cummins Performance Series delivers on average 10% more power and 20% more torque across the 100-430 hp range when compared to its predecessors, Nendick said, pointing to their increased power density that encourages the installation of smaller and lighter engines, with no loss in performance.

“Operators can also reduce emissions at the point of use without impacting productivity."

Steve Nendick, Marketing Communications Director, Off-Highway, Cummins Inc.

"Electric mobility is on its way – and that’s good news. This year alone, Bosch is investing 500 million euros in this domain. At the same time, we’re also continuously refining the internal combustion engine – because it’s still needed.”

Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector

“Incentivizing modern combustion engines can accelerate the vehicle fleet’s renewal, which would also help the environment and the climate.”

Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector

Jeremy Baines, president of Neste U.S., the American unit of a Finnish energy company, is more optimistic. He expects large companies like Amazon, Walmart and UPS to increase their use of the fuel as they look to reduce the carbon emissions of their truck fleets.

“Even if you want to go 100 percent electric, renewable diesel is the only thing deployable and scalable today,” he said.

Jeremy Baines, President of Neste U.S

“The fuels industry continues to reinvent itself. With sweeping changes to emissions, aftertreatment devices, and limits, as well as electricity generated from renewable resources, NBB works to ensure biomass-based diesel fuels provide the performance and benefits required by users, regulators, and the public. We designed each element of our technical program to help ensure higher volumes of biodiesel and renewable diesel may be used in every diesel market segment, growing market access for our members.”

Scott Fenwick, Technical Director, National Biodiesel Board

“The science supporting the carbon reduction potential of renewable fuels grows in importance by the day. Studies documenting the lifecycle emissions of biodiesel—including feedstocks, potential indirect land use change, and the fuel production process—show that the carbon reduction potential of our member’s products is increasing. Our consistent message to all stakeholders, Biodiesel: Better, Cleaner, Now, is backed resoundingly by current science. Our sustainability team will continue efforts to ensure laws, regulations, and voluntary carbon reduction pledges properly reflect the sustainable nature of the fuels our members produce.”

Matt Herman, Director of Environmental Science, National Biodiesel Board




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