Its no secret that gas is getting expensive and making efficient clean diesels look more attractive, but a new study is estimating that diesel light-duty vehicles will account for 12.4 percent of global sales by 2018.
“Demand for diesel cars is primarily driven by their fuel economy,” says Pike Research senior analyst Lisa Jerram. “A diesel vehicle typically gets 20 percent to 40 percent better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline car. This factor, along with favorable tax treatment for diesel fuel, has made diesel cars tremendously popular in Europe, where they have accounted for around 50% of LDV sales over the past several years. Due to Europe’s very high fuel prices, the price premium of a diesel car can be paid off quickly.”
Diesel sales in Europe are nothing new, and the idea that demand is growing in the U.S. isn’t really either. What might be more of a surprise, however, is the study’s prediction that North America will be the fastest growing market for diesel fuel. It expects the number of oil burners to jump from 282,000 in 2012 to 928,000 in 2018.
While the study doesn’t go so far as to suggest that diesels will be able to break away from being a niche fuel, it does expect people to prefer the cars over hybrids, at least slightly, by that time. Peering into our crystal ball, that prediction seems reasonable when you consider options like Mazda’s SkyActiv D, which uses a slightly lower compression ratio to offer higher rpms than competing engines.
[Source: Hybrid Cars]