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December 04, 2019   |

Press Release

New Diesel Options in Pickup Trucks Deliver More: 33 Percent More MPG, 30 Percent More Driving Range

December 4, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – New diesel options now available for consumers in America’s most popular selling vehicles – pickup trucks – are delivering more benefits for their owners to include fuel savings and performance gains that turn into energy savings and clean air benefits across the economy.

According to new research from IHS Markit, consumers choosing a diesel engine option in full-size half-ton pickup trucks can achieve on average 33 percent more miles per gallon (24 mpg diesel vs. 18.1 gasoline, combined fuel economy) saving about 200 gallons of gasoline every year.  Beyond the fuel savings, the diesel options have greater vehicle driving range before refueling at 550 miles per tank for a diesel compared to 420 miles for gasoline.  Additional performance gains for diesel come in the form of higher torque, 450 lb.-ft for diesel compared to 394 lb.-ft for gasoline.   

If all full-size pickup trucks in the U.S. were to be powered by a diesel engine, the research found that we would realize a savings of ~500 million gallons of fuel for one model year; an amount equivalent to 15 percent of the U.S. car fleet switching entirely to EVs.

“New diesel engine options now available in full size/half-ton pickup trucks, including those from Chevrolet, GMC, and Ram Trucks, now bring important new fuel savings opportunities to America’s most popular selling vehicles, ” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.   

Diesel’s unmatched and unique combination of power, performance, driving range, reliability and fuel efficiency has been well documented in the heavy-duty pickup truck segment for several decades.  Now with these new options, manufacturers are bringing the diesel advantages to more consumers.  

“The new diesel engine options already have some impressive accomplishments.  The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax diesel posted EPA combined fuel economy numbers of 33 mpg.  And just a few weeks ago the 2020 Ram 1500 was named the 2020 Green Truck of the Year™ for the second consecutive year from Green Car Journal, due in part to its new EcoDiesel engine option. 

The benefits and diesel options don’t stop with full-size pickups.  In the midsize pickup truck category, for example, a Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon with a diesel engine option will achieve on average 34.7 percent better mpg (26 mpg diesel vs. 19.3 mpg gasoline), saving about 200 gallons of fuel annually, with 37.5 percent greater driving range over gasoline (550 mile range diesel vs. 400 mile range gasoline).  Beyond fuel savings and greater driving range, diesel pickup truck owners will get more performance in the form of torque, about a 26 percent improvement (350 lb.-ft diesel vs. 257 lb.-ft gasoline).  If all mid-size pickup trucks were to switch to diesel engines, the U.S. would realize a fuel savings of about 150 million gallons of fuel for one model year.

Relative to a comparable gasoline truck model, a diesel option offers more fuel efficiency, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Recent advances in engine and emission control technology, have improved performance, reduced engine noise and fuel odor, and decreased emissions.  Clean diesel technology in today’s properly maintained vehicles emits near zero levels of emissions.

“If every full-size pickup sold today in America were a diesel, we could realize more than 500 million gallons of fuel savings in year.  This would work out to be the same greenhouse gas emission savings gained as if 15 percent of the car fleet switched entirely to electric vehicles.  This analysis demonstrates how more sales of diesels in medium and full-size pickup trucks, the vehicle types American car and truck buyers prefer, can deliver big benefits to both consumers and society.  There are many ways we have to use less fuel and get meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and we should embrace them all.”

Forecasted diesel savings for new light-duty diesel vehicles in the U.S. market are expected to save approximately one billion gallons of fuel by 2025.

All told, there are nearly 50 diesel-powered choices for American consumers in 2019.  Current diesel offerings range from light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks to crossovers and sedans.

An added advantage of these new diesel engine options is that they can all utilize blends of advanced biofuels including biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel, thereby further lowering their carbon footprint, beyond the fuel efficiency advantage over gasoline.  Pickup truck owners value options, and the option of using biofuels is an important one that boosts sustainability of their personal vehicle choice and our transportation system.    

Check out more details on alternative-power vehicle sales in the United States with the Forum’s newest resource, the U.S. Vehicle Sales Dashboard: https://www.dieselforum.org/vehiclesales/u-s-vehicle-sales-dashboard.

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About The Diesel Technology Forum

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information, visit http://www.dieselforum.org.


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Media Inquiries:
Allen Schaeffer
Executive Director
(301) 668-7230

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