Bosch Predicts Diesel Sales To Reach 10 Percent Of U.S. Market By 2015

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2010 Audi A3 TDI

2010 Audi A3 TDI

Diesel models may account for more than half of all new car sales in Europe but in the U.S. their numbers still hover around just 3 percent of the market. This in part because of a national memory of the noisy and polluting diesels of three decades ago, and in part because diesel fuel and engines are still too expensive to make good business sense.

This latter issue is something we’ve touched on several times before here at GreenCarReports, but thankfully, the tide is starting to turn.

One of the biggest suppliers of diesel technology to the automotive industry is Bosch, which is predicting that as much as 10 percent of new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. by 2015 could have a diesel engine under its hood.

The information was revealed by Peter Marks, the chief of Bosch’s North and South American units, who revealed the figure to the Detroit Free Press.

He went on to reveal that by 2015, diesel fueled cars could be returning fuel economy of more than 54 mpg, which is significantly better than what most gas cars are achieving today, including hybrids. Additionally, by that time, the cost premium for diesel over a comparable gas model, which currently stands at between $1,200 and $2,800, could be reduced.

Another factor helping diesel’s cause are fuel prices. Currently, diesel costs around 10-15 cents more per gallon of gasoline but this too could be reduced over the next five years.

The automakers are playing their part too, which we haven’t seen much of in the past. Marks said that he expects the number of diesel cars on sale today to double by 2015, growing from the 20 or so models on sale today to around 40.  

Now if only consumers have enough fuel stations to supply diesel adequately.

[Detroit Free Press via TheCarConnection]


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Comments (10)
  1. The diesel versus hybrid comparison misses one key point. Hybrids are almost certainly going to have significantly better city MPG than diesels.
    Also, diesel puts out 10% more CO2 per gallon, so from a global warming perspective, diesels have to be 10% better than gasoline engines just to break even.

  2. @John Briggs,
    Diesels are A LOT more fun to drive than hybrids, as well as having more power and torque despite similar fuel economy (combined at least).
    You're forgetting that a lot of people also buy cars because of the way they drive, not just how much fuel they consume or CO2 they emit.
    I want a diesel because of the torque they deliver, but also because they are more fuel efficient than gas cars.
    I haven't driven a hybrid I like yet, and I don't think any electric car under $50K is going to satisfy me either for a while still.

  3. @John Briggs,
    You're forgetting that a lot of drivers, even green-minded ones like myself, buy cars because of the way they drive, not just how much fuel they consume or CO2 they emit.
    I'm yet to drive a hybrid car I like.
    Diesels, on the other hand, offer the power and torque that I want and they can be as fuel efficient as hybrids, on the combined cycle at least.
    And in the case of highway driving, they can be even more efficient. Case in point, the Skoda Fabia that traveled more than 1,200 miles on a single tank.

  4. "Now if only consumers have enough fuel stations to supply diesel adequately."
    Is this really a problem? I don't know if this is the same all over the country, but when I searched for diesel stations in my zip code (just outside of Orlando, FL) I came up with 18 stations.
    Search was done with

  5. @Damien Thomas,
    I didn't forget anything.
    According to the EPA, 45% of driving is done in the cities. The best diesels currently gets a dismal 30 MPG in the city and the best hybrid gets and awesome 51 MPG city. So anyone interested involved in city driving is better serviced by a hybrid rather than a diesel. The comparison is not even close, with hybrids way ahead.
    Also, diesel particle traps cannot be cleaned without highway driving. So if driving is exclusively city driving, diesels are a problem as clean diesel trucks that do city driving are now finding out.
    Also, I enjoy driving my hybrid.
    John C. Briggs

  6. @John Briggs and @Damien Thomas is this really the point of this article? 10% of the market doesn't mean oh look diesel beat hybrid so hybrids shouldn't exist anymore or vice versa? Damien you like diesels and other pure ICE vehicles that is great and @John we realize you like hybrids but at the same time its not a competition they both fill a specific market niche and there is nothing wrong with that. Just having alternatives makes me happy.

  7. @Tyler Lipa,
    That is exactly my point. I wholeheartedly support hybrids but not for the performance driver--at least with the current market offerings.
    Diesels can be very quick, especially in off the line acceleration yet they are considerably better than gas cars for mileage and can, in some cases, match or better hybrids.
    To use a cliche, you can have your cake and eat it too.

  8. @Tyler Lipa,
    All I was trying to do was add a little counter balance to the article which suggested future diesels would be more efficient than even hybrids.
    I think the author was only considering highway MPG when he wrote that. It leaves the reader with a false impression.
    John C. Briggs

  9. @Damien Thomas,
    "the performance driver"? Is that the !?*&^ driver that floors the accelerator at the light, slams on the brakes at the next light, and cuts in and out of lanes in between?

  10. I do not see diesel and hybrid as two conflicting concepts. Why there is no diesel hybrid? I believe both the fuel economy and torque should satisfy everybody. The manufacturing cost would be a bit higher than gasoline hybrid, but I believe the extra investment would be well worth it.

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