It is clear from the environmental and public health policies being adopted by most administrators and regulators around the world that diesel powered vans and trucks will make up a much smaller proportion of commercial vehicle fleets in the years ahead. It is also clear that, despite a wide range of alternatives, not one single form of fuel or technology will be able to replace diesel across the board.
This paper will summarise some of the main alternatives to diesel powertrains, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. It will also discuss briefly the initiatives taken by commercial vehicle manufacturers, their claims and the reality. It will also look at the role of some of the largest fleet owners and operators in providing a market for the vehicles and the input they have had in the development of alternatively powered vans and trucks.