Volkswagen will push clean-burning diesel fuel over gas-electric hybrid and fuel cell technology as a means to meet ever-tightening emissions requirements, especially in California, according to an Associated Press report. VW chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder told journalists VW plans to produce diesel-engine cars that burn new, cleaner fuels as an alternative to gas-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which the company said would not be practicable for at least two more decades. Pischetsrieder said the company is working with Archer Daniels Midland on a soy-based fuel that could be blended with conventional diesel to reduce emissions by 10 percent to 20 percent. The company is also backing research into liquifying natural gas into a cleaner-burning diesel fuel. A third alternative would be converting plant life into a synthetic fuel that could be blended with diesel, according to the AP report. He said that while diesel cars have become popular in Europe, an education campaign would have to be launched in North America to overcome perceptions of diesel cars as noisy and foul smelling.
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