By Jon Scharingson, executive director, sales and marketing, Renewable Energy Group Inc.
From luxury sedans to light-duty trucks, automobile manufacturers are turning to diesel to provide more fuel-efficient options for drivers. This influx in diesel-powered cars, trucks and SUVs means that travel centers and c-stores need to be ready to answer the growing demand for more diverse fuel options.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), diesel vehicles can deliver 20-40% more miles per gallon than gasoline-powered vehicles, and leading brands from across the automotive industry have expanded their diesel-powered offerings. Audi, BMW, Chevy, Jeep and Dodge have all launched new diesel models in 2015. Many models are capable of over 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
In 2015, there is expected to be 40 more diesel-powered, light-duty vehicle (LDV) models available in the U.S. In the eight years following, the Energy Information Association (EIA) anticipates a 349% spike in diesel-powered LDVs in the U.S. According to a study recently released by the Diesel Technology Forum, 24.3% of Americans opted to purchase diesel-powered vehicles from 2010 —2012, and several analysts are now predicting that overall light-duty diesel vehicle market penetration could hit 10% by 2020.
What does this mean to the travel center and c-store industry?
- Over the next 10 years, more consumers will turn to diesel-powered vehicles, and this can create unique opportunities for the industry. These consumers will be in search of a trusted brand to fuel their vehicles. They are also environmentally conscious ― meaning they are interested in alternative fuels, such as biodiesel.
- EIA forecasts that drivers will consume 17.1% more diesel fuel by 2023, and 26% more by 2040. Those outlets offering biodiesel blended fuels will have an advantage with this new and emerging customer base.
To learn more about diesel vehicle trends that could affect your fuel business, watch this short video interview featuring Ezra Finkin with the Diesel Technology Forum.
Also check out regi.com to learn more about biodiesel.
Jon Scharingson — Jon oversees the sales and marketing efforts for Renewable Energy Group, Inc., a leading biodiesel producer.