Each year, The Association for the Work Truck Industry conducts a comprehensive Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey to better understand the commercial vehicle landscape, including interest levels for advanced truck technologies and alternative fuels. Insights from NTEA’s Fleet Purchasing Outlook, provided by fleet professionals across the United States and Canada, give the entire work truck industry perspective on anticipated purchasing intent and areas of greatest interest to fleet managers.
The new survey results for 2019 reflect positive trends for the use of biodiesel blends in the diesel vehicle technology.
“We anticipate a continuation of strong purchasing activity in 2019,” said George Survant, NTEA senior director of fleet relations. “The fleet community’s interest in vehicle technology and productivity is front and center in our latest edition of the Fleet Purchasing Outlook.”
Specifically, the 2019 NTEA Fleet Purchasing Outlook revealed that the majority of fleet survey respondents – 76% – anticipate maintaining or increasing use of diesel engine-powered trucks in their fleets, and more than 33% of survey respondents acknowledged currently operating alternative fueled trucks in their fleets. Survey participants named biodiesel as their top alternative fuel choice at 16%. Additionally, biodiesel was named as their top choice for future interest at 14%. NTEA’s additional anecdotal evidence suggests that though alternative fuel interest may ebb and flow along with fluctuating oil prices, the trend will likely turn upward in the long run. It is highly likely that clean energy solutions will remain relevant due to oil price instability. The National Biodiesel Board further credits the nation’s growing interest in reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as indicators for future growth in the use of biodiesel.
Proactive fleets like the Chicago Park District have realized significant benefits from using biodiesel blends in their operations. With one of the highest asthma rates in the country, Chicago was looking for an effective and sustainable way to reduce harmful vehicle emissions as well as address its carbon reduction goals. They found the answer in biodiesel. The Chicago Park District began using biodiesel blends in 2013 in its fleet of more than 250 diesel vehicles and now successfully uses blends between B10 – B50 year-round.
“Since we began our biodiesel program, the health impacts of Chicago’s park maintenance operations have been greatly improved for park visitors and staff,” said Pete Probst, of Indigenous Energy, who works as a contractor for the Chicago Park District Biodiesel Program. “The annual reductions in our CO2 emissions by using biodiesel are equivalent to planting over 1,709 trees per year, and biodiesel truly offers us a ‘low-hanging fruit’ option that has been both easy to implement and cost-effective.”