New report reveals logistics industry cracks over diesel replacement

sustainable logistics

20th July, 2021, Bath, UK – No clear consensus on which technology will replace diesel; lack of charging network identified as biggest barrier to adoption of e-Fuels and government targets seen as unrealistic by a third of survey respondents.

A global survey of logistics and supply chain executives has found that there is still very little consensus on which alternative power system will replace diesel for the heavy duty truck sector over the coming years.

The survey, contained in the Logistics and Supply Chain Sustainability Report 2021, published jointly by Ti Insight and the Foundation for Future Supply Chain, found that 44% of respondents favoured hydrogen, 34% Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and just under a fifth electric.

There was far more clarity about the future of the light commercial van sector. Almost four fifths (77%) said that battery electric would gain the widest adoption followed a long way behind by LNG and hydrogen (12% and 11% respectively).

When asked what the biggest barriers were to adopting new e-fuels, respondents returned a variety of issues with the lack of charging network being the most frequently cited. Cost of new vehicle acquisition and the range of electric batteries were also regularly cited.

It also seems that a sizeable minority believes that government targets to phase out the use of fossil fuels in engines are unrealistic. Over a third of executives were skeptical of plans to ban petrol and diesel engines by 2040 (many countries have earlier deadlines) suggesting that there will need to be considerable progress in e-Fuel technology if a significant proportion of the industry is to be convinced that a ban is workable.

According to John Manners-Bell, Director of the Foundation for Future Supply Chain, the fact that there is still no consensus on which technology will replace diesel, at least in the heavy duty sector, is very worrying. ‘We know that the all-round utility of diesel engines across a wide range of operational settings will make it difficult to replace. However, whilst demanding targets are being set by governments, the survey has found that there is still no clear vision on which technology to adopt. Given the investment time horizons for trucks, charging networks and the resources which go into creating a technology eco-system, it is unsurprising that such a large proportion of the industry thinks meeting these targets is unrealistic.’

About the Logistics and Supply Chain Sustainability Report 2021:

The Logistics and Supply Chain Sustainability Report 2021 analyses the progress the logistics industry is making, current attitudes towards sustainability within the industry, and the measures businesses must adopt to achieve net-zero emissions. To find out more about the report please visit:

About Transport Intelligence (Ti): Ti is the research partner for the Foundation for Future Supply Chain and the world’s leading source of market intelligence for the logistics and road freight industry, providing data and analysis through its European Road Freight Transport report series, Global Supply Chain intelligence (GSCi) database and expert consultancy services.

Twitter: @Ti_insight

Linkedin: Transport Intelligence 

Instagram: @logistics_briefing

About the Foundation for Future Supply Chain:

The Foundation for Future Supply Chain is a not-for-profit organization created to address and advise on many of the world’s most pressing societal, environmental and economic problems. Through its thought-leadership, the Foundation for Future Supply Chain will challenge the ‘legacy-thinking’ which often characterizes public policy debate and corporate strategy. It will publish regular policy papers, organize webinars and provide access to a knowledge resource. For more information about the Foundation visit:

Twitter: @foundation_fsc

LinkedIn: foundation-for-future-supply-chain

Instagram: @foundationforfuturesupplychain