Car Manufacturers Go Green and Present Powerful, Fuel Efficient Models for 2008 And Beyond
What: The buzz at the 2008 North American International Auto Show centered around the major effort put forth by the auto industry to bring green auto technology to the next level. Many new concepts were introduced, but the most promising models ran on clean diesel, thanks to their powerful engine technology and excellent fuel economy.
This year, 12 auto manufacturers including General Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Jeep, Toyota, Audi, Honda, Subaru, Kia, and Mitsubishi announced or introduced at least 13 diesel models to the U.S. market and unveiled four concept cars with a diesel powertrain.
Who: Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director, Diesel Technology Forum
Mr. Schaeffer is primed to discuss the trends coming out of NAIAS and other American auto shows, the expected growth in the diesel vehicle market, and how clean diesel technology can help save consumers money, reduce America’s petroleum consumption, and improve the environment. He frequently comments in the national media on all issues relating to diesel and also writes a blog on the Diesel Technology Forum website (http://www.dieselforum.org/diesel-blog/).
Why: Major diesel announcements from NAIAS include:
- BMW Group unveiled two vehicle models equipped with the BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance
- Volkswagen will introduce an updated clean diesel Jetta into the U.S. market this year
- GM has plans to put a diesel engine in the Chevy Silverado beginning in 2009
- Audi unveiled the A4 sedan and expects to start selling the Q7 3.0 TDI by the end of 2008/early 2009
- Honda announced plans to put diesel engines in Acura vehicles starting in 2009, with the Honda lineup to follow
- Kia introduced the Borrego SUV, which will offer consumers a diesel version in the next 2 to 3 years
- Several automakers also revealed concept cars such as the Land Rover LRX, Chrysler’s Jeep Renegade, the Audi R8 V12 TDI, Mercedes GLK Freeside and the Mitsubishi RA, further widening the field for the future of diesel
Key facts about diesel include:
- Diesel cars, trucks and SUVs provide 20% to 40% better mileage than comparable gasoline vehicles.
- The nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel in October 2006 provided 97 percent cleaner diesel fuel, enabling manufacturers to engineer the cleanest diesel vehicles ever.
- According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, America could save up to 1.4 million barrels of oil per day – an amount equivalent to the oil we currently import from Saudi Arabia – if one-third of U.S. cars, pickups and SUVs were diesel-powered.
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the economic importance and environmental progress of diesel engines and equipment. Forum members represent the three parts of the modern clean diesel system: advanced engines, cleaner diesel fuel and effective emissions control systems. For more information, visit www.dieselforum.org.