Trucks & SUVs

Your Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Will Be the Last to Go

With the rise of hybrid and electric vehicle technology, many speculate that vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines are being phased out. Especially as emissions laws and diesel regulations tighten around the globe, we are bound to see increasing changes. The recent California mandate shows that things in the US are becoming more strict, as well. But heavy duty diesel trucks will likely be the last to go.

2019 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn Mega Cab
2019 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn Mega Cab |Ram Trucks

What will happen is new standards will be set so that automakers are forced to manufacture higher numbers of hybrid and electric vehicles in order to offset their emissions deficit. Heavy duty pickup trucks are eventually going to disappear, but not at least for a few more years. As emissions laws tighten their grip on automaker’s manufacturing regulations across the country, what will happen to the diesels?

Heavy duty diesel truck ban

A proposed California law would put a halt on diesel pickup trucks, due to emissions. Apparently, these beasts aren’t just heavy haulers. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, they are heavy contributors to carbon emissions.

“Heavy- and medium-duty buses and trucks make up 7 percent of the vehicles on California’s roads but contribute 20 percent of the heat-trapping carbon emissions spewed into the atmosphere, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization.”

San Francisco Chronicle

You can read more about the California mandate by clicking here. Fellow MotorBiscuit author Thom Taylor has already covered its stipulations in detail. But now we are wondering what will happen in other US states. Will the rest of the country follow suit? Could these laws move to the federal level?

A gridlock city highway traffic jam shows why diesel regulations may be more important than ever before
Standstill traffic on a highway | Tim Graham/Getty Images

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Other emissions regulations

Other states such as Michigan have also proposed stricter emissions regulations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has cracked down on anyone trying to skirt the rules. Illegal parts installation has become more serious. Michigan’s proposed diesel legislation was years ago.

Ultimately the proposal paved the way for today’s Michigan Clean Diesel Program. We can certainly expect the entire country––and maybe even the entire globe to follow suit as the years go by. As EV and hybrid manufacturing becomes more accessible and more widely available to a larger number of producers, we will probably see many more regulations that increase the making of hybrids and EVs. This will simultaneously reduce the number of diesel trucks on roads.

Tesla Semi Truck will produce zero emissions
Tesla Semi Truck | Tesla

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Heavy duty trucks of the future

The Tesla Semi is already available to reserve on Tesla’s website. If semi trucks start making the move to EV technology, there’s no doubt we will see this happen to the heavy duty segments like the Ram or Chevrolet 3500 trucks. Or the Ford F-350. Big trucks are being phased out. There’s almost no doubt that they will be all but gone by 2030, though that is speculation.

Ford F-350 at the work site
Ford F-350 Super Duty | Ford

The last to go

In terms of which diesel engines become outlawed or more strictly mandated, the big heavy duty trucks will probably be the last to go. Cars and SUVs that the EPA sees no reason to outfit with a diesel engine will probably be the first ones to exit the stage. That doesn’t mean that the EPA won’t have its eye on large diesel trucks. We will see intense diesel regulations affect heavy-duty trucks. They will likely just be the very last to go.