The Roemer Report
November 2018: Electrifying News! World Continues to Spin; of diesel engines and electric motors.
When it comes to operating a fleet of commercial of trucks, seeking ever-greater fuel efficiency has been a financial and operational imperative since the Saudi’s squeezed off the oil supply in the 1970s. That energy shock commenced the economic malaise of Jimmy Carter’s America and sent a galvanizing message to oil “gluttons” in the U.S. And just like that the entire globe started trying to think up ways get more from a drop of fossil fuel than ever before. For America’s trucking industry, this impelled a wave of innovation that continues to this day.
Alternatives and Otherwise
The Oil Crisis jump-started the green revolution and prompted governments to compel vehicle and engine manufacturers to accelerate the adoption of technologies that would both reduce fuel consumption and reduce harmful tailpipe emissions. The list starts with electronic engine controls for better fuel delivery and more efficient combustion using reduced Sulphur fuels; engineers further busied themselves trying to reduce wind resistance and friction from the roadways and voila: today’s vehicles are lighter, and with much-improved aerodynamics.
Since soon after Rudolph Diesel exclaimed, “Mein Got, look at it go!” commercial vehicles have been powered by pressure-ignited diesel reciprocating engines. These piston-powered pack horses have been converting the stored energy of fossil fuels into the mechanical energy required to turn the wheels of industry. Today, their central role of primarily powering America’s trucks is being challenged in a big way as practical advances in Electric Vehicle (EV) and electro-motive drivetrain technologies are burgeoning.
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