As the number of automakers selling diesel vehicles rise, the amount of motorists buying the oil-burning machines will increase, too, claims Jeff Breneman, executive director of the U.S. Coalition for Advanced Diesel Cars. That statement seems to be simple common sense, right? Well, not so much in recent times here in the U.S.
Automakers selling diesel vehicles in the U.S. have seen demand slowly rise but, Breneman claims, it’s the 2025 54.5 mpg CAFE standard that will truly fuel demand for diesels here in the States. Breneman says Mazda and Chevrolet are two of the next automakers that will offer diesel sedans in the U.S., with more to come:
Ford, Toyota or Honda haven’t got a diesel for the U.S. yet, but get ready for 2013-2014. That’s when we’re going to see a lot more diesels. And with the 54.5-mpg regulation coming in 2015, the auto makers have a 14-year window to invest the capital in diesels without U.S. regulations pulling the carpet out from under them.
CAFE regulations aren’t the only driving force behind the diesel insurgence. Breneman says infrastructure is key and, with 80,000 gas stations here now offering diesel, the U.S. is ready for oil-burning automobiles.
But will the diesel’s rise be a step in the right direction? Well, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $50 million for diesel projects designed to reduce harmful emissions, but diesel engines still emit 7.3 million tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 333,000 tons of soot annually. And diesel pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, asthma attacks and lost work days. So, it’s unclear whether or not the diesels rise to fame will be as beneficial as thought.