Diesels Are Alive And Well In America's Pickup Trucks


Diesel engines may be disappearing from passenger cars, but not from trucks.

Think diesels are dead? Well they may be finding little quarter left in the passenger-car market, but when it comes to pickup trucks, they're alive and well.

According to the Diesel Technology Forum, there are more than 6.6 million diesel-powered pickups on the road in the United States. And that number only stands to grow as a growing array of pickups are offered with the torquier oil-burning engines. "Hands down, diesel pickups offer some of the best value for consumers," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, according to PickupTrucks.com.

"On top of gaining 20 percent to 35 percent more torque and towing power, diesel pickups can go an extra 150 miles per tank of fuel, and can save owners an average of 200 gallons of fuel per year,” continued Schaeffer. “We calculated these benefits out across the full pickup truck segment, and if every full-size pickup truck in America used diesel fuel, we'd save more than 500 million gallons of fuel each year — the same as if 15 percent of all cars in the U.S. switched entirely to electric power."

Diesels have long been a mainstay of the heavy-duty truck segment.

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Now they're becoming more popular as well in smaller pickups as well. Fiat Chrysler, for example, offers a big 6.7-liter six-cylinder Cummins diesel in the Ram 2500 and 3500 HD, and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 in the Ram 1500. And Chevy offers diesels in the Silverado HD, the light-duty Silverado, and even the mid-size Colorado.

Add to that the availability of diesel engines in vans like the little Ford Transit Connect and the big Ram ProMaster, and the future of diesel engines looks secure – even as automakers (like Porsche for example) work to replace the diesels in their passenger cars with electrified powertrains.