Why Not Diesel, Say Automakers


Wall Street Journal - January 22, 2013

In the race to make cars go far­ther on a gal­lon of fuel, diesel is sud­denly gain­ing some ground, accord­ing to some of the top auto manufacturers.

Find out where automak­ers are on using diesel.

Today, diesel engines account for about 3% of U.S. vehi­cle sales.

Mazda’s Mazda6, the first Japan­ese branded diesel pas­sen­ger car in the U.S.

But diesel is about to get some help. Gen­eral Motors, Chrysler Group LLC and Mazda Motor Corp. are all prepar­ing to offer diesel mod­els in 2013, expand­ing the choices avail­able to U.S. drivers.

The U.S. gov­ern­ment has set a goal to get the U.S. fleet to aver­age 54.5 miles a gal­lon by 2025, roughly dou­ble today’s stan­dard, so car com­pa­nies are scram­bling to improve mileage. Some have focused on hybrids and elec­tric vehi­cles. Diesel engines can get 30% bet­ter effi­ciency than a gaso­line engine of the same size, and most auto mak­ers have devel­oped the engines for Euro­pean customers.