The Diesel Debate Faced with ever morestringent environmental legislation, the construction equipment industry has retained its faith in the trusty diesel engine. And for good reason according to CEA consultant, Alex Woodrow. As an independent consultant with over 20 years in the automotive and related industries there has never been a dull moment, with a constant ebb and flow of technology, mergers and acquisitions and other challenges to face. One of the constant factors over the 20 years, however, is the continuing pressure on OEMs in all the segments - light vehicle, commercial and non-road mobile machinery to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Working for stakeholders throughout the industry, focussed on powertrain and emissions related technologies, we’re very much in favour of an environmentally friendly automotive industry and related sectors, from powered two wheelers, passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles, buses, construction equipment, agricultural vehicles, and materials handling. In many of these segments all electric, or hybrid is practical, cost effective, and will lead to improved air quality. However, the future isn’t all electric, at least not yet and it’s not all internal combustion engine, each fuel has its place. For industrial segments, where the end-users are concentrated on productivity, ‘clean’ diesel should, and will, remain the dominant fuel for the foreseeable future.
of passenger car manufacturers, whose actions will have negative consequences for the broader industry for some time. These are cleaner diesels that produce considerably less than 10 percent of pre-regulated diesels noxious emissions, in machines that on average are at least 15 percent improved in terms of fuel efficiency, operating in an industry where optimising operating costs means the difference between making a profit, and staying in business, and losing money and disappearing. In essence, they are a productivity tool that makes a positive contribution at all levels of the economy. So why do we stick with the view that diesel is the fuel for construction equipment, and what have the OEMs done to reduce their environmental impact?
It should be said as well that these diesels aren’t the diesels that emit black smoke and high levels of NOx, which is invisible, until it forms smog with other pollutants. They aren’t even the ‘clean’ diesels that were heavily promoted by a number
Published on Dec 20, 2017