Diesel Sales Thriving in US Pickup Truck Market

While sales of diesel engined vehicles in Europe continue to slide, the US full-size pickup truck is bucking the trend.

Data published by the Diesel Technology Forum claims US sales of diesel powered pickups rose by 23% in the first quarter of this year, more than double that recorded by vehicle sales overall. This comes as a welcome shot-in-the-arm for diesel fans left flummoxed over European consumers’ rush away from diesel citing urban air quality concerns while ignoring climate change issues with the consequent spike in extra CO2 emissions witnessed with the move to gasoline alternatives.

That said, it’s highly unlikely US truckers are placing global warming fears as their chief reason for increasingly demanding diesel powertrains. Relative to a comparable gasoline model, the diesel option offers much more fuel efficiency. However, some would argue they are still doing their bit towards lowering greenhouse gases thanks to advances in emission control technology, combined with the introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in 2006, bringing improved performance, reduced engine noise and fuel odor.

Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, said: “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 if all of Toyota’s passenger vehicle sales were all-electric. It demonstrates there are many ways to get meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and we should embrace them all.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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