Though the recent surge in gas prices has consumers running for hybrid vehicles in record numbers, some carmakers are ramping up efforts to produce more diesel burning autos, as well, according to a Reuters report.
Diesel fuel had long been seen as a powerful pollutant, but researchers say cleaner diesels are making sense in the American market where trucks and SUV’s are popular purchases.
Ford Motor Co., already aiming to increase its fleet of hybrid vehicles, is particularly interested in diesel-powered vehicles to gain a competitive edge on companies like Toyota and Honda, the report said.
Diesel fuel is praised as proven technology that is a better fit for hauling and long-distance drives.
Diesels also have a better fuel economy than gasoline engines by anywhere from 20 percent to percent. And a case for diesels over hybrids is cost. Diesels are less expensive to produce.
Additionally, hybrids are suited for stop-and-go driving, but diesel vehicles are good for drivers used to cruising.
Currently, diesels have a 50 percent share of the European market, and automakers can see the fuel co-existing with hybrids in the next few years.