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.