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Diesel Passenger Vehicle Population Set to Grow

(Akron/Tire Review – SEMA News) There has been much talk about the future of diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S. Many industry leaders have predicted increased market share for diesel cars and light trucks for some time, so how much growth are we to expect?

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An article published on www.dieselforecast.com gives some perspective on the prospects of the diesel market. Below is a portion of that article.

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New midsize diesel SUVs and a prediction of 20% diesel passenger vehicle mix by 2015 for the U.S. guide Bosch, according to Bernd Bohr, Bosch board member responsible for diesel systems. In a frank interview with Diesel Forecast, Bohr also explains Bosch’s progress with homogeneous combustion, its view on hybrids, as well as the effects of surprise European particulate level legislation.

Q: What is your prognosis on the future of diesel cars and trucks in the United States?

A: Things are moving forward in many areas. We are very positive about the energy bill, which explicitly mentions clean diesels along with hybrids. And diesels are eligible for tax breaks. We’ve always lobbied to have a technology neutral tax scheme. ‘Let the technologies compete’ was our message. So this is a good step. We are moving forward on the technology side and in the development side; Bin 8 is done, without de-NOxation. We can do it with just a particulate filter. We started a lot of combustion development to make that work.

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We are working very hard on coming up with an economically feasible system for Bin 5. Technically, we can do it. But, of course, we need to keep the add-on costs for the aftertreatments at bay. We are trying to convince the legislation that the urea/SCR catalyst is technically the right way to go. It’s a very stable system; it has very good efficiency and NOx conversion rates. So we and the OEMs are working on taking the same direction. So it’s moving forward; increasing gas prices make energy-efficient engines more interesting to the public.

Q: What passenger vehicles are being developed?

A: Light SUVs. We’re looking at the midsize SUVs, so these would be 4.0-liter engines.

Q: So overall, do you think in the U.S. you are starting to see some movement on the diesel front?

A: We are as optimistic as we have been. We always said we could see 20% diesel share in 2015; that may be an aggressive prognosis. The media asks every three months, ‘Has it moved?’ Yes it has moved. We have increased by one percentage point last year on diesel. These are mainly diesels in heavy pickups. Now we need to go the next step down.

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Source: John McCormick, “Bosch Sees Brighter Diesel Technology Future,” www.dieselforecast.com

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