Today’s biggest race is to provide newer energy efficient engines and other systems for automobiles and planes and more. To their credit, the heavy duty trucking industry is adopting the use of the diesel engine and hybrids including them at a fantastic rate that is sweeping the country.
It’s all due to economics and concern over greenhouse emissions. The trucking industry is hot on the heels of the latest technologies and the latest technologies are zeroing in on the trucks.
Recently Elon Mus and competitor Nikola Motors announced the introduction of their advanced hybrid electric motors for trucking. Their claims are being put to the test however, Diesel engines are the ones that are being put to the test right now in many states. This ought to be a battle worth watching as the trucking industry is going to keep detailed statistics regarding all these technologies and when the rubber meets the road in about a year or so we’ll see just how much has been saved and what to predict down the road.
It’s also setting a good example that the heavy duty trucking industry is open to new innovations considering the legendary resistance to alternate fuels and energy systems once raged across the headlines.
Diesel engines are much cleaner and more fuel efficient. They may call for more maintenance but their efficiency means less money expended overall and leads to the better profit. Hopefully the diesel additions will set that profitable trend so that countries like China will see the benefits and employ them in their trucking as they’re horrid polluters and need to take responsibility as soon as possible.
The real test is also in what the truckers have to say about the new diesel engines. Are the trucks full of bugs and difficult to operate? Are there safety and operational problems that crop up? There’s going to be lots of field testing ahead and it can only lead to far more efficient diesel engine systems and technologies.
The next question is will the diesel applications be beaten by the new electrical hybrid systems? Or can both diesel and electric make a marriage that leads to better efficiency and profit?
You can bet your last dollar there will be experts pouring over the accumulated data and there’s no telling what they’ll end up as in the few short years ahead. Once that data is in, the designers and engineers are going to go to work developing all kinds of new applications of these technologies and the truckers will hard test them where the testing is done best, on the road, with real life situations.
The truckers themselves had better be included and listened to by the companies that support these new engines. Far too often the promise of extra profit from new technologies causes the big companies to overlook the value of the people who have to use these systems daily through harsh weather, traffic, obstacles. Without the trucker’s input some valuable information might be missed that leads to problems or disaster later on.
For right now, however, the promise of the diesel engines is resting on solid ground. The young up and coming engineer might find it a good idea to brush up on diesel and make sure they step into the industry if they’ve the skills and determination.
Image credit: Chatchai Somwat