Automakers and regulators are currently debating how many more model years of diesel trucks you will be able to buy. It may seem that the future of the diesel truck is doomed. But the current generation of diesel trucks will hold their value better than anything else on the road. And for future generations, diesel trucks will be one of the most popular vehicles to restore.
Is California banning diesel trucks?
Back in 2020, California proposed a diesel engine ban. This is because diesel-powered buses and heavy-duty trucks cause more pollution than most other vehicle classes. But you can still buy a diesel truck in California and the state has set no date to ban them.
California is not the only place proposing a ban on some vehicles. The member countries of the European Union are considering a ban of new internal combustion engines to go into effect in 2035. If the E.U. passes this ban, old cars and trucks would be allowed, but dealers couldn’t sell any new combustion engines inside its borders.
How comprehensive would this E.U. ban be? Italy is already lobbying to allow “boutique” automakers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini to continue building and selling internal combustion engines. If the U.S. passed a similar ban, it might create a similar loophole for handbuilt diesel trucks and other such vehicles.
Will old diesel trucks be outlawed?
Buying a new diesel truck may soon be against the law. Luckily, no regulators have made plans to ban old vehicles–including old diesel trucks.
RELATED: Will Old Cars Eventually Be Banned?
Hagerty Insurance’s Hagerty Insider publication actually quizzed an unnamed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official about the future of classic cars. The official said there are no plans to ban classic cars.
This makes sense, as antiques make up a relatively small amount of the auto fleet. The unnamed official specified, “The public policy focus is on the future fleet.”
There may be another reason regulators are unconcerned with classic vehicles. As the automobile fleet goes electric and gas stations disappear, classic car collectors may have so much trouble filling up they give up driving. Even if you can find gas, it may be very expensive.
Fuel is one of the reasons diesel trucks may be favored vehicles for future restorations.
Will you be able to buy diesel fuel in the future?
Thanks to the long shelf life and variety of sources for diesel, it may actually be the longest-lived internal combustion fuel. Long after it’s near-impossible to fuel up old gasoline cars, drivers may be commuting in diesel trucks.
As gasoline production slows, gas prices will continue trending upwards. Electric planes are proving more of an engineering challenge than electric cars. Therefore, aviation fuel may be available for many years.
Classic car collectors will still be able to fill up at the airport, but it will be expensive. Once airplanes go electric, gas may be nearly impossible to find: it is not only expensive to refine, but only lasts for a few months once it’s produced.
Diesel, however, is less refined than gasoline and thus easier to produce. Once you buy a gallon of diesel fuel, it remains stable enough to use for several years.
Long-haul trucking is proving nearly as problematic to convert to electric as aviation. This is because of how long it takes to power up an electric truck. Therefore, diesel trucks and diesel range extenders may be the norm for some time. Future diesel pickup truck enthusiasts will likely still be able to fuel up at truck stops.
In a pinch, diesel enthusiasts will be able to convert their trucks to vegetable oil. With a fuel tank heater, they will be able to run their classic trucks on filtered vegetable oil. As most drivers convert to electric, restaurants may produce plenty of surplus oil for the remaining diesel truck enthusiasts.