Survey finds customers concerned about DEF’s impact on fuel economy

DALLAS, Texas — Many truck operators still have concerns about the impact diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) has on fuel economy, according to an industry survey conducted by PEAK Commercial and Industrial in August.

PEAK is the maker of BlueDEF. It asked truckers to rank their top concerns related to DEF usage, including: performance in freezing temperatures; effect on fuel economy; additional cost to overall maintenance budget; ease of accessibility; and contamination. Respondents indicated impact on fuel economy was their top concern, followed by added maintenance costs and performance in freezing temperatures.

Frank Cook, senior vice-president of new product development with PEAK, responded by saying: “With the use of DEF with SCR technology, the engine can be tuned to run at optimal conditions, which gives a more complete fuel burn and better fuel economy.”

He also provided the following information to alleviate concerns:

  • If you get better fuel economy as a result of SCR engines and save 3%, that would be three gallons of diesel at $4 a gallon for every 100 gallons of fuel (about $12 saved);
  • At a 3% treat rate you would use three gallons of DEF for that same 100 gallons of fuel (about $8.37 spent);
  • Since DEF is less than the cost of diesel, operating costs are actually lower. For every dollar spent on DEF, it is about 40-50 cents less you are spending on diesel fuel, which is a solid return rate.

Cook added that you typically only have to fill your DEF tank once every 6,000 miles, which can be via truck stop pumps, company storage containers or retail containers.

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  • I don’t know they figure DEF is cheaper to burn than diesel. Because up here DEF costs $1.10 per litre and diesel is $.939. My math says that is higher cost than the diesel. But then again I don’t get how the new math works LOL