Amidst the many recent advancements in clean transportation technology and policy, there are even more questions circling the next chapter in transportation innovation: What will our transportation world look like in the year 2030 with the goal to make half of all new vehicles sold zero emissions? Is it really possible to completely phase diesel out of vocational trucks and school buses? What fuels will take its place?
With a huge global and national push for clean air, here’s what we know: What it took the automotive industry to accomplish in 100 years will again happen over the next ten years.
In the next seven years, renewable gasoline, propane and renewable propane, compressed natural gas, electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen-powered vehicles will gain significant traction. Each of these reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.
More than 90,000 class 6-7 trucks were sold in North America in 2022. We need to take an all-encompassing strategy to replace that many diesel trucks with cleaner alternatives.
Accomplishing this transition will involve a combination of measures such as adopting multiple types of fuels within a fleet, improving charging and fueling infrastructure and offering financial assistance or tax incentives to fleet operators. We also have to ensure that the solutions adopted are resilient and can move goods and people in times of emergency when our electric grid has been compromised.
Some European countries have made significant progress in transitioning away from diesel. Countries like Norway and the Netherlands have been at the forefront of EV adoption, while other nations have implemented strict emission standards and regulations. Learning from their experiences, policies and initiatives provide valuable insights to help our nation accelerate the transition to cleaner fuels and transportation.
Lastly, it’s tough to predict American advancements that haven’t even been considered. With ongoing R&D in energy storage, advanced materials, autonomous vehicles and alternative propulsion systems, future technology will bring unexpected and exciting breakthroughs that will further reshape the transportation landscape.
The future of transportation is unpredictable yet filled with possibilities. Without research, innovation and the American spirit, we would still be driving horse-drawn buggies. Onward!