May 25, 2007

Diesels set to outsell hybrids in U.S., report says

Detroit, Michigan – A report published by international technology provider Ricardo says that diesels are poised to outsell hybrids in the U.S. by 2012. The company says that amid concerns for energy security and greenhouse gas emissions, it expects combined annual diesel and hybrid gasoline vehicles in the U.S. to reach 2.7 million by 2012.

The report, “Is diesel set to boom in the US?”, says that hybrid gasoline technology appears to be the preferred route in the country, “not least due to its attraction as a visible badge of green awareness amongst higher income purchasers,” the company says in a release. However, while many OEMs plan to launch hybrid products in the next few years, the report says that the technology faces substantial manufacturing cost penalties, which are “unlikely to be eroded even in mass production.” Diesel has a clear cost advantage over hybrids, even when fitted with complex exhaust after-treatment technologies necessary to meet future stringent emissions regulations.

Ricardo forecasts that combined diesel and hybrid gasoline will represent 15 per cent of the U.S. light vehicle market by 2012, but that diesel sales will reach 1.5 million units, compared to 1.2 million hybrids.

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