By 2015, 20 percent of vehicles sold in the United States could be diesel powered, said Kevin DeHart, senior vice president of diesel systems for Robert Bosch Corp. J.D. Power and Associates predicts that diesel’s share of light-vehicle sales will reach 15% by 2014 from its current share of 3.9%.
Here’s why diesel is in demand: diesel offers more torque and uses thirty percent less fuel than gasoline. Diesels emit twenty-five percent less carbon dioxide than gasoline engines.
Europeans are quite aware of this fact, since forty-three percent of the vehicles sold in Europe are diesel. More surprisingly, sixty-seven percent of company cars registered in the United Kingdom are now diesels, up from forty-nine percent two years ago. In many European markets, vehicles with diesel-powered engines outsell those with gasoline-powered engines.
The Chrysler group announced recently that 14,000 consumers expressed interest in the 2005 diesel-powered Jeep Liberty going on sale in early 2005. That interest level is nearly three times greater than the automaker expected, DeHart said.
Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have developed diesels for the United States. Bosch provides fuel system parts for the Mercedes and Jeep diesel models in the United States and for diesel-powered vehicles in Europe.