In the past few years, consumers have dealt with rising fuel costs and a recession by seeking out more fuel-efficient vehicles. Automakers have obliged them by revamping their lineups with better fuel economy, hybrids and, increasingly, fully-electric vehicles.
But what many likely didn’t see coming was a renewed interest in diesel. For decades now, it’s been a fuel viewed as dirty and expensive. Nonetheless, new diesel engines, especially like those from Volkswagen, have proven to be clean, fuel-efficient powerhouses that quickly win over whoever is in the driver’s seat.
We’ve written a ton of articles in recent months about diesel’s resurgence even wondering aloud whether 2013 will be “The Year of the Diesel”. But we’d like to go a bit further into that resurgence and diesel’s future as well as discuss how that future will be affected by Chrysler’s announcement that it will offer the first modern half-ton pickup with a diesel in the 2014 Ram 1500.
That’s why on Thursday, May 30th at 12 p.m. CT, we’ll be hosting a live chat on Twitter with guests Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, and Bruce Smith, editor of our sister publication Pro Pickup. Allen will be chatting via the Diesel Technology Forum Twitter account @DieselTechForum and Bruce will be tweeting from his personal account, @4x4editor.
We’ll have plenty of questions for our guests, but we want to hear from you as well. To submit a question for the chat, fill out the form to the right if you’re on our #EQWchat page, or click here to visit that page.
In the past two years, registrations of diesel cars and SUVs jumped 24 percent in the U.S. and this year Chrysler announced that the 2014 Ram 1500 was announced, and during a recent Reddit Q&A, Ford was flooded with questions about diesel.
Despite the fact that VW doesn’t yet sell a truck here in the U.S., two of the most popular articles we’ve posted to our site have dealt with the prospect of the automaker doing just that, largely because readers know it will likely have a diesel option. The first article simply asked readers if they’d be interested in a VW pickup and the second, even more popular post, dealt with VW’s diesel-powered Amarok R Style concept pickup. The response on our Facebook page was positive as well.
Will 2013 be looked back on as “The Year of the Diesel?” Will this renewed interest lead to diesel becoming the world’s top transportation fuel, as ExxonMobil predicts? Will diesel vehicle sales continue to climb? What effect will the Ram 1500 have on the half-ton truck market?
Join us at 12 p.m. CT on Thursday, May 30th as we try to answer those questions, and any questions you may have, live on Twitter.
Allen Schaeffer is the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to raising awareness about the economic importance and essential uses of diesel engines. The forum represents engine and equipment makers, key component manufacturers, fuel producers and emissions control technology manufacturers. Be sure to follow Allen and Diesel Technology Forum on Twitter at @DieselTechForum.
Bruce Smith is the editor of Pro Pickup, a sister site and publication of Equipment World focusing light-duty trucks, gas and diesel for the construction contractor. Content includes aftermarket products, new truck tests and reviews, maintenance, installations, tire tests, truck-related news, shop skills and technology issues. Be sure to follow Bruce on Twitter at @4x4editor.