Suppliers tout necessity of diesel engines at Clean Transportation conference, while Ford CEO comes to the defense of electric, hybrid cars
The CEO of auto parts supplier Bosch today told a crowd at the National Summit for Clean Transportation that U.S. automakers must adopt diesel technology in order to meet the strict new CAFE standards the Obama Administration has laid out. The new legislation will see fleet averages for passenger cars rise to 35.5 mpg for 2016, up significantly from 27.3 mpg for 2011.
The words of Bosch CEO Peter Marks were echoed by Borg Warner CEO Tim Manganello, who noted that diesel engines get 30 percent better fuel economy over gasoline engines, with 50 percent more torque, while emitting 25 percent fewer emissions.
Marks then called on General Motors, Chrysler and Ford to act now to bring diesels to the U.S.
Both men, whose companies make parts for fuel-efficient cars like the Volkswagen TDI (pictured above), also expressed their lack of optimism in both the electric car and hybrids, noting that there are still several roadblocks in getting the electric car to the mass market and that hybrids don’t often deliver the fuel-economy they are touted to.
Manganello said that, “hybrids are not as attractive as the PR hype,” noting that 72 percent of hybrid owners choose not to purchase a second one.
Of the Big Three, Ford Chairman Bill Ford was in attendance and came to the defense of both hybrids and electric vehicles, noting the critical acclaim that the 2010 Fusion Hybrid has achieved – not to mention its fuel-economy. And to rebuff the suppliers skepticism about bringing electric vehicles to market, Bill Ford stated that the Ford Motor Company has a pure electric vehicle coming out this year and an electric Focus the year afterward.
Using the opportunity to promote Ford’s EcoBoost engine, a turbocharged V6 that gets V6 fuel economy and V8 power, Bill Ford did say that FoMoCo was ready with diesels if the North American market was open to them.
Ford is the second largest producer of diesel engines in Europe, he told the audience, before stating that if there was demand FoMoCo could easily bring them over for use in U.S. vehicles.