FORBES | Steam did the heavy lifting of the Industrial Revolution. Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, diesel began to take over the load and to expand into uses that steam wouldn’t have reached, from corn mills and electric generators in remote villages to transportation vehicles and ocean-going yachts. Shipping, railroads, and road haulage all went diesel.
Diesel, even in the age of alternative energy, is the workhorse of the world. By one calculation, there are 400 million diesel engines in use worldwide; by other calculations, there are nearly twice that number.
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