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.