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New Volvo hybrid T5 engine means fewer diesel cars will be produced

New Volvo hybrid T5 engine means fewer diesel cars will be produced

From Autocar, 2016

"New plug-in petrol and electric hybrid powertrain and tougher diesel emissions standards will lower the manufacturer's diesel output- by Mike Duff 12 June 2016

Volvo's new three-cylinder T5 plug-in hybrid powertrain will significantly reduce the number of diesel cars it produces as it reacts to increasingly tough diesel emissions standards. The new T5 hybrid system was shown in Gothenburg last month, alongside two 40-series concepts, and it will appear for the first time in the production XC40 next year. It uses a 74bhp electric motor that can power one of the shafts of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox alongside a 180bhp turbocharged 1.5-litre three-pot petrol engine.

Electrical power comes from a 9.7kWh battery pack, which will give around 30 miles of electric-only range. According to Volvo’s head of R&D, Peter Mertens, the set-up is more efficient than rival hybrids and easier and cheaper to produce.

“It is a very attractive alternative to a diesel engine,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in Gothenburg. “It offers much lower CO2 levels but more or less the same performance in both horsepower and torque. On cost, I would say that within a couple of years, we will see a crossover, the diesel getting more expensive and the [hybrid system] going down.”

Volvo hasn’t released any emissions or economy data yet, but insiders indicate the T5 will manage substantially better than 95g/km on official tests and deliver diesel-rivalling economy in real-world use.

When asked if diesel cars will still be on sale in 10 years’ time, Samuelsson said: “Diesels will be more expensive. They will have much more advanced after-treatment, with additional fluids that have to be filled not once a year but probably every time you fill the car.

"It’s very realistic that the percentage will go down. If it will go down to zero, I think we don’t need to speculate; let customers decide. We are flexible enough that we can make petrol and diesel cars on the same line.”

The T5 system will be used in all the 40-series variants. Samuelsson said it is also likely to be offered in 60-series cars but not the largest 90-series models, where Volvo has a four-cylinder T8 that uses an electrically powered rear axle.

Two catalysts efficiently turn plastic trash into diesel

Two catalysts efficiently turn plastic trash into diesel

From Science Advances, 2016

"Recycling plastic can be difficult, but maybe we could squeeze something else out. by Scott K. Johnson - Jun 19, 2016

Plastics are great. They can take any shape and serve an endless variety of roles. But... the beginning and end of a plastic’s life are problematic. While some plastics are made from renewable agricultural products, most are derived from petroleum. Plastics are not as easy to recycle as we'd like, and a huge percentage ends up in landfills (or the ocean) where they can be virtually immortal.

The easy way to recycle plastic is to just rip it up, melt it down, and pour a new mold. But that only works when the plastic is all the same chemical type, which is a level of purity you rarely find in a recycling bin. Without separating plastics precisely into different types, you get a mixture that is much less useful than pure plastics. We’re limited in what we can make out of it. Other methods for recycling plastics require serious energy input, like high pressure and temperatures over 400°C. That can produce a variety of hydrocarbon compounds, but they can be difficult to work with.

Recently, a team led by Xiangqing Jia of the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry decided to try some chemical tricks to turn some of these plastics into something useful, even if it’s not more plastic. They worked with Polyethylene, which makes up the majority of the plastic we use. Polyethylenes are essentially long chains made of repeating links of carbon, with hydrogen hanging off the side. The challenge is to break that resilient chain into shorter pieces so we can use the pieces to make other compounds.

The new process involves two steps, each run by a catalyst. The first catalyst is a molecule including an atom of iridium. This catalyst pulls some of the hydrogens off the carbon backbone of a polyethylene. With the loss of these hydrogens, some of the single-electron-pair bonds between carbons become double bonds. That opens up vulnerability for the second catalyst.

That second catalyst, which can be based on atoms of rhenium and aluminum, teams up with some short chain petroleum compounds that the researchers added in. The long chain plastic is sliced at the double bond, and pieces of the short chain petroleum molecules are glued to either side. Where there was once a single, very long chain, there are now two chains.

But the whole process is cyclical and doesn't stop there. The first catalyst releases some hydrogens as it pulls them off the plastic, which can be used to convert any double bonds back to single bonds. The same series of reactions can play out again. Repeat this for a few hours, and only shorter chain compounds remain. Heat does still have to be added to fuel this process, but temperatures around 150°C are sufficient.

The end result is three basic types of compounds. There are very short chain compounds (things like butane) that can be used to get the reaction started for the next batch of plastic. (The catalysts can also be separated out and reused.) There are some longer chain wax compounds that are useful inputs for the plastics-making process. And in between, you get diesel fuel.

By tuning different parts of the process, the researchers were able to control the proportion of wax vs. fuel that came out, as well as the range of wax compounds. Most of the plastic can easily be turned into fuel. Some of the chemicals that are added to plastics to modify their properties should be recoverable, too, so they can be used again.

Of course, this isn’t as good as recycling plastics into further generations of plastics, particularly when the first generation was born of petroleum. But imagine if all the packaging your food came in could fuel the next shipment instead of clogging up landfills for centuries. And if we grew our plastics instead of pumping them from oil fields, we could get two for the renewable price of one.

Despite the VW fiasco, Diesel Engines are Still a Good Bet

Despite the VW fiasco, Diesel Engines are Still a Good  Bet


"Although Volkswagen single-handedly tried to torpedo the diesel engine market with its recent emissions scandal, diesel engines aren't going anywhere any time soon." - Ben Miller contributor / Denver Business Journal

Although Volkswagen single-handedly tried to torpedo the diesel engine market with its recent emissions scandal, diesel engines aren't going anywhere any time soon.

American truck makers still offer diesel engines in their trucks and for good reason: They deliver oodles of powerful torque for pulling trailers and for pulling trees out of the ground.

Ram, Ford, Chevy and GMC all have diesel truck engine options and although you probably won't need a diesel-powered truck in Seattle for its stump-pulling torque power, the diesel's better-than-gas fuel economy makes it worth looking into.

I recently tested a midsize GMC Canyon crew cab four-wheel drive pickup that was powered by an optional 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine.

If you haven't driven (or listened to) a diesel engine in the past few years, you may be surprised. The days of waiting for a diesel to warm up are long gone. And they no longer sound like a semi-truck under hard acceleration.

The Canyon's diesel engine sounded hardly any different than a gas-powered engine. When you let off the accelerator on the highway you could hear some "diesel-like" sounds, but not the rest of the time.

The Canyon's horsepower is rated at 181, but the truck's strength is in its torque: Its pulling power (in case you do have to pull tree stumps out of the ground) is 369-lb-feet of torque.

But what impressed me the most was the Canyon's mileage. With the diesel engine, I averaged about 27 miles per gallon in a test of combined driving. The official EPA mileage is 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, or an official combined EPA rating of 23 mpg.

For heavy-footed me to obtain 27 miles per gallon in a truck with four-wheel-drive was pretty impressive.

And this was no small, cut-down truck; it had a crew cab with a back seat where full-sized people could feel comfortable, and a long cargo box.

Inside (just like my full-sized pickup truck comparison last month), the interior was ready to work, with four USB ports, and a self-contained wi-fi hotspot that's free for the first three months.
All this room and good mileage doesn't come cheap, though. The base price of the 2016 GMC Canyon four-wheel drive SLE crew cab, with a long cargo box and diesel engine, is $35,585. The test model came equipped with these options: the diesel engine package ($3,730), an all-terrain package that included heated seats, an off-road suspension and other items ($3,585), a Bose audio system ($500), navigation system ($495), "cyber-gray" metallic paint ($395) and a trailering package ($250). The additions brought the final price to $43,790.

It's not just me. Friends of mine with diesel-powered trucks and cars swear by their vehicles' mileage, which will be especially important if gasoline prices begin climbing into the stratosphere again.

At less than $44,000, a diesel-powered midsized pickup truck that delivers 27 miles per gallon in combined driving (and totally devoid of any emissions scandal!) seems like a pretty good deal.

(View this press release online here.)

Future for Diesel Passenger Vehicles in U.S. Remains Positive Despite Recent Set Backs

Future for Diesel Passenger Vehicles in U.S. Remains Positive Despite Recent Set Backs

From Diesel Technology Forum

"To Meet New Government Fuel Efficiency Standards, Auto Makers Will Need Clean Diesel's High Mileage" - Allen Schaeffer, Diesel Technology Forum

While diesel passenger vehicles sales have decreased in recent months, there are some positive signs that indicate diesel sales will recover and expand in the coming years, according to Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Schaeffer made his comments during a speech to automotive writers at the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) this week in New York City. Auto analyst Alan Baum of Baum and Associates also addressed IMPA by audio from Detroit.

Schaeffer said that new federal fuel efficiency standards requiring higher vehicle mileage will be a significant boost for clean diesel vehicles, which have about 30 percent better fuel efficiency than gasoline vehicles. Schaeffer also noted that new diesel technology has helped diesel pickup trucks break the 30 mpg highway mark that will be key to reaching the new federal efficiency standards.

"Diesel is an important strategy for meeting future efficiency and fuel economy requirements for most major automotive manufacturers," Schaeffer said.

Auto Makers Are Committed to Diesels
He also noted that an overwhelming majority of U.S. and international auto makers have expressed support for diesel vehicles in the worldwide markets. In the next year, Schaeffer said, there could be up to 24 new diesel vehicles introduced in the U.S. including five new diesel cars, 12 SUVs and seven pickup trucks.

One specific highlight is the speculation of a diesel version of the Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Schaeffer said such a commitment from Ford for its top-selling vehicle was a strong indication of the commitment to diesels by automakers.

Diesels Compare Favorably With Other Fuel Efficient Vehicles
Schaeffer said U.S. diesel sales have declined significantly due to Volkswagen stopping sales of most of their diesel vehicles here due to the default mechanism in the emissions systems. To recover from this, Schaeffer said auto makers have to clearly demonstrate to consumers that new clean diesel technology compares favorably to other technologies like hybrids and electric vehicles.

Biodiesel & Renewable Diesel Further Improve Environmental Benefits
Another important positive for the diesel market was the continued use of cleaner-burning biodiesel and the emerging renewable diesel fuel market, which has attracted strong support from city leaders in San Francisco, Oakland and New York City because of its ability to significantly improve emissions without any modifications to existing vehicles.

"All Hands On Deck" Strategy Needed to Meet Fuel Economy Regulations
Auto analyst Alan Baum said the future fuel economy regulations will require auto make to adopt an "all hands on deck" strategy using a mix of internal combustion engines, diesels, hybrids, electrics, and even fuel cells. Baum also "light weighting" would be more common among all vehicle sectors to improve mileage.

By the year 2020, Baum projected that hybrids will move forward as costs and the technology improves, diesels would increase, but plug-ins and battery electric vehicles would remain a small sector of the overall market.

Baum also pointed to the continued popularity of diesel pickups – large and small – in the U.S. He said that Cummins is developing a 2.8-liter diesel pickup truck engine that gets 40 mpg on the highway and meets the same Tier 3 emissions standard as a Toyota Prius hybrid.

(View this press release online here.)

Mercedes eyes three-cylinder diesel engine

Mercedes eyes three-cylinder diesel engine

By Auto Express UK

Mercedes has expressed an interest in introducing downsized three-cylinder engines as part of its new modular diesel family.

Bosses at the company had previously ruled out launching the three-cylinder turbo due to concerns surrounding refinement. However, the new modular diesel which debuted in the new E-Class as a 2.0-litre four-cylinder could be developed to overcome this issue.

“Diesel is our weapon for the future, to help us reduce CO2 emissions,” Bernhard Heil, head of powertrain development at Mercedes, told Auto Express. “We will see different variants of the four-cylinder, you will see a lot more to come, but you will also see more cylinder numbers.

“We could also derive a three-cylinder from this [engine] family, no doubt. It could be an option – because in future there might come electrification where it might make sense to have a three-cylinder. Depending on the installed electric power, you could avoid [having to fit] an additional balancer shaft.”

Heil also hinted that following the introduction of the modular diesel engine family will be a modular petrol engine range, too. “I don’t want to tell the entire story,” he added, “but if we are talking about an engine family that covers all our engines for our C-Class, B-Class, S-Class and M-Class [GLS] cars, and all that stuff then…”

Mercedes has invested over 2.6billion Euros (£2.01billion) in development and production of its new modular diesel engine family, plus 500million Euros (£388m) in a new lithium-ion battery factory in Germany.

Bosses also confirmed a new plug-in hybrid diesel will be introduced to the E-Class range, to sit alongside the petrol-electric E 350e.

View the complete article at

Growing Global Trend: Lower Sulfur Content in Diesel

Growing Global Trend: Lower Sulfur Content in Diesel

Stratas Advisors Ranks Top 100 Countries

Sweden continues to reign at number one with advancements in policies followed by Germany, Japan and Finland. European countries dominate the top 40

From: - Stratas Advisors

HOUSTON, March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Stratas Advisors' annual top 100 rankings report affirms a continued global movement toward lower sulfur content in diesel. For decades, policymakers and industry leaders have placed emphasis on reducing sulfur limits in fuels. Sulfur compounds (naturally found in crude oil) have adverse environmental and health effects when emitted into the air through fuel combustion. Diesel de-sulfurization dramatically improves tailpipe emissions.

Stratas Advisors' report cites a number of countries that have positioned themselves through policy initiatives to make advances in the near future. Sweden continues to reign at number one followed by Germany, Japan and Finland. European countries dominate the top 40. Since January 2009, they have been required to implement 100-percent market penetration of sulfur-free (less than 10 ppm) fuels. Sweden led the way with full market penetration in 1990. Sixteen countries moved up or were newly added to the 2016 rankings.

"Sulfur continues to be a key parameter in diesel quality improvement around the world," said Huiming Li, Director - Global Fuel Specifications. "Eight countries moved up the ranking because of reductions in diesel sulfur limits in 2015-2016. These 8 countries came from the emerging economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America and the CIS, including Russia which moved to a diesel sulfur limit of 10 ppm starting January 1, 2016."

Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Sudan, Ukraine and Vietnam moved up because of changes in sulfur limits over 2015-2016.

Bahrain, Belarus, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea did not see changes in their sulfur limits during 2015-2016, but moved up as a result of Azerbaijan, Qatar, Turkmenistan and U.A.E. moving down the rankings.

Other than sulfur reduction, these elements are also important in determining diesel quality: cetane, lubricity, polyaromatics, density and cold flow.

To establish the rankings, four primary criteria were used (in order of importance):

  1. Maximum allowable limits in national standards and legislation
  2. Year of implementation for sulfur limits as required by legislation, and year of voluntary implementation — if any
  3. Limits in local or regional standards (such as specifications for cities or states)
  4. Market levels are also used wherever available to more accurately rank countries sharing the same legislated limit

To read a recent commentary on this report, visit

View the full article and photos at PRN Newswire.

2016 GMC Canyon Diesel Test Drive

2016 GMC Canyon Diesel Test Drive

By: Fox News Auto

The GMC Canyon is a little truck, but now it can act like a big one.

The 2016 Canyon and its twin, the Chevrolet Colorado, are the only small pickups in the United States that you can get with a diesel engine, and the first since the 1980s.

The timing could be better. Gas is dirt cheap, so efficiency is on the back burner for many truck shoppers. Meanwhile, diesel is still a dirty word, thanks to the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. GM hasn’t been implicated in that, but it’s put a fog over the fuel, which was riding high this time last year.

But in fact, as far as the EPA is concerned, the Canyon and Colorado are A-OK. The agency tweaked its testing after VW’s issues came to light, making it more rigorous, and the Canyon and Colorado were the first vehicles to be certified under the new procedures. So breathe easy, compression ignition fans, this one’s good to go.

GMC Canyon Diesel Engine - compliments of GMCThe turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been around the block, but is new to the United States. Its emissions are cleaned with a spritz of exhaust treatment fluid that needs to be filled up every 7,500 miles or so, just like every other diesel on sale these days. The 2.8-liter is rated at 181 hp and a V8-like 369 lb-ft of torque, which is 100 lb-ft more than the Canyon’s 3.6-liter, gasoline-fed V6. This lifts the Canyon’s already best-in-class tow rating from 7,000 to 7,700 lbs, but payload drops by 150 lbs to 1,420 lbs, in part due to the diesel powertrain’s extra weight.

Light it up and the engine settles into a soft diesel clatter that’s just loud enough to provide an unmistakable Keep on Truckin’ soundtrack and get you thinking about upgrading the size of your ball cap and belt buckle. There's even an elevated idle setting to help heat things up on very cold days, just like the big rigs have.

Hit the gas throttle accelerator and the motor pulls smoothly and as strongly as its specifications suggest. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only one available, but it has a thumb-activated manual shifter on the gear selector for extra control when you’re heavy hauling.

I didn’t get the opportunity to push its load limits, but I did take the little guy to some seriously steep hills, and it had no trouble scurrying up them. Ditto coming back down.

Like GM’s heavy duty diesel pickups, the Canyon has an exhaust brake that uses the turbocharger to create backpressure to deliver an engine-braking effect. It’s tied to a Tow/Haul mode that downshifts more aggressively when you tap the brake pedal and works with the cruise control to manage speeds better on downhill grades. It works very well and should be a boon if you often pull a trailer or have a full bed, which are the main reasons to choose this truck. For better or worse, it’s not the same as a semi's “Jake” brake, so it operates without the rapid-fire racket one of those makes as it silently goes about saving your brake pads.

As far as saving fuel is concerned, two-wheel-drive Canyon diesels have an unbeatable EPA economy rating of 31 mpg highway, while four-wheel-drive models come in at 29 mpg. Of course, that’s if you can trust the EPA. It turns out that I saw as high as 38 mpg over a 40-mile stretch in a 4x4, and was regularly getting 35 mpg as I fruitlessly searched for a convoy to join.

That’s impressive, but don’t expect to fill the bed up with stacks of cash. At today’s fuel prices, the diesel is pretty much a wash at the pump compared to the V6, which gets as much as 26 mpg. And the premium for the engine is $3,730. Also, it’s available for now only in higher-end trim level Canyons, and the cheapest one starts at $36,520. That puts you within spitting distance of a full-size Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which is more potent and nearly as efficient.

But the Ram’s been on sale for a couple of years now, so if you wanted one of them, you’d already be trying to stuff it into your garage. The Canyon should fit just fine, even if it doesn't sound like it will.

View the full article with test drive video at Fox News Auto

Diesel engine grant program nets major air, public health benefits

Diesel engine grant program nets major air, public health benefits

By Environmental Protection Agency March 24, 2016 

Clean diesel grants aimed at cleaning up old diesel engines have greatly improved public health by cutting harmful pollution that causes premature deaths, asthma attacks, and missed school and workdays, according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since its start in 2008, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program has significantly improved air quality for communities across the country by retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines.

Diesel exhaust significantly contributes to the formation of dangerous soot and smog and is likely to increase the risk of cancer. The funding from the program has helped clean up approximately 335,200 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 14,700 tons of particulate matter (PM), which are linked to a range of respiratory ailments and premature death. The program has also saved 450 million gallons of fuel and prevented 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from more than 900,000 cars. EPA estimates that clean diesel funding generates up to $13 of public health benefit for every $1 spent on diesel projects.

“EPA is making a visible difference in communities that need it most through the funding of cleaner trucks, buses, trains, and other heavy equipment,” said Janet McCabe, the EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “The report on DERA’s impact offers striking evidence that this program is succeeding in providing Americans with cleaner air where they live and work while also cutting the pollution that fuels climate change.”

Operating throughout our transportation infrastructure today, 10.3 million older diesel engines – the nation’s “legacy fleet,” built before 2008 – need to be replaced or repowered to reduce air pollutants. While some of these will be retired over time, many will remain in use, polluting America’s air for the next 20 years. DERA grants and rebates are gradually replacing legacy engines with cleaner diesel engines. Priority is given to fleets in regions with disproportionate amounts of diesel pollution, such as those near ports and rail yards.

This third report to Congress presents the final results from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and covers fiscal years 2009-2011. It also estimates the impacts from grants funded in fiscal years 2011-2013.

Additional report highlights include:

Environmental Benefits
  • 18,900 tons of hydrocarbon prevented
  • 4,836,100 tons of CO2 prevented – equivalent to the annual emissions from about 900,000 cars
  • 450 million gallons of fuel saved
Public Health Benefits
  • Up to $12.6 billion in monetized health benefits
  • Up to 1,700 fewer premature deaths
  • Although not quantified in the report, NOx and PM reductions also prevent asthma attacks, sick days, and emergency room visits.
Program Accomplishments
  • 642 grants funded
  • $570 million funds awarded
  • 73,000 vehicles or engines retrofitted or replaced
  • 81% of projects targeted to areas with air quality challenges
  • 3:1 leveraging of funds from non-federal sources

For more information on the National Clean Diesel campaign, visit:

To access the Report, visit:

Diesel fuel test can detect water content

Diesel fuel test can detect water content

Until recently “water detecting paste” was the only way to detect water in a fuel tank. Water detecting paste only tells operators they have water at the bottom of their tank. It does nothing to detect the suspended water that is doing damage to a diesel engine’s key parts.

The Dieselcraft Fluid Engineering, Auburn, California, Fuel Test #W-1 is the early warning system to test for 200 parts per million suspended water in diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene and gasoline. It tells the operator if water is suspended in the fuel and near the point where it drops out and becomes free water then causing major problems.

The results are immediate. The kit consists of one 2 dram glass vials with the reaction powder capsule in it and one transfer pipette.

For more information, contact Diamond Diesel and Turbo or visit

Source: High Plains/Midwest AG Journal

More Diamond Diesel News

Diesel passenger car sales go on life support - just 222 sold in January

Diesel passenger car sales go on life support - just 222 sold in January

Cheap fuel prices and the Volkswagen-Audi-maybe-others emissions flap have sales of diesel passenger cars down to almost nothing. About 200 diesel passenger cars were sold in January — less than, say, Bentley and Rolls-Royce sell in a typical month, and one-twentieth as many as were sold a year ago.

Diesel SUVs fared slightly better, about a thousand units in January 2016. The lone strong point was diesel engine light trucks (mostly pickups sold for work use), about 22,000 in January versus 26,000 a year ago. It’s all a drop in the bucket for a still robust US light vehicle market that sold 1.1 million vehicles.

Perfect storm overtook diesels

In good years and bad, diesels go farther on a tank of fuel (500 to 800 miles) and your hands smell bad after you fill up. They get better mileage than the same car with a gasoline-engine. That’s important when fuel cost $3-$4 a gallon. But now it’s down to $1.73 a gallon for regular, or $1.98 a gallon for diesel (as of the week of Feb. 22, average of all regions of the US). The best-selling 2016 Honda Civic (up 43% versus January 2015) gets 33 mpg combined, and a 300-mile trip sets you back less than $16 in gasoline costs. For a lot of people, that’s cheap enough.

The bigger hit on sales came from the diesel emissions scandal that started with Volkswagen, then expanded to corporate sibling Audi, then cast a shadow over all German automakers. They’re the ones supplying the bulk of diesel engine passenger cars to American buyers.

Volkswagen, Audi aren't selling diesels

Last September, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered VW had a pollution-control cutout that sensed when the car was being emissions-tested, via inputs such as driven wheels moving versus un-driven wheels not moving (as on a roller) and steering wheel always straight ahead. When it didn’t sense the likely test conditions, the EPA said, VW backed off on pollution controls and cars emitted nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times the US limit. The recall affects a half-million VWs and Audis here and the ripple effects may expand to cover as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide. There is talk about whether Porsche (part of the Volkswagen group) and BMW may be affected.

The upshot is that you can’t buy a new VW or Audi diesel in the US now. A year ago in January, VW sold about 3,500 diesels, Audi another 800. That was the majority of the early 2015 diesel passenger car market: VW plus Audi. For January 2016, the highest-seller among diesel passenger cars was the BMW 3 Series with 69 reported sales. The total of all diesel passenger cars sales — all brands, all models — was 222 last month, according to Diesel SUVs and crossovers fared a bit better, with about 1,300 January 2016 sales among Land Rover, Jeep, BMW, and GMC. The only lower numbers last month belonged to Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, and Martin O’Malley.

Good time to buy a diesel (if they’ll let you)

We still believe this is a great time to buy a diesel passenger car or diesel, if you can buy one. Think like baseball philospher Yogi Berra (“the place is so popular, nobody goes there anymore”) only in reverse: Diesels are so unpopular, you should go find one. Basically:

  • If the vehicle is for sale (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover sedans and SUVs especially), it’s not going to be in demand. Most people are put off by cars with possible emissions problems. Dealers will be anxious to dicker.
  • If there are problems that need fixing, the cost won’t put the automaker out of business. Only at VW does the total cost of repairs look steep relative to VW’s total worth (market cap).
  • If problems are worse than you expected, or if future repairs reduce fuel economy, you’ll get money back. If the car can’t be brought back into compliance, the car will be bought back.
  • The ability to do an entire day’s driving and still have fuel in the tank the next day is awesome. It’s true that you’ll still need bio breaks every couple of hours, but not having to refuel saves 10 minutes added on to one of the rest stops.
  • If demand is reduced, so too will be the price. Just remember: About a half-million sedans were sold last month. Only 222 of them were diesels. Many more are sitting on dealer lots.

Source: - Bill Howard -February 2016

More Diamond Diesel News


Marking its return to the diesel outboard market, engineering company Yanmar Marine International (YMI) has agreed exclusive distribution rights with German outboard manufacturer Neander Shark. YMI, whose headquarters are in the Netherlands, is to distribute Neander Shark outboards worldwide through its extensive network with access to more than 130 countries.

From 1985 until 2009 Yanmar manufactured three-cylinder diesel outboards rated at 27 and 36 hp, but ceased when EPA and EU RCD emissions regulations restricted their sales in key markets. "With the global economic downturn in full swing, Yanmar decided at that time not to invest in the outboard range even though it had been highly successful in many markets," explains Floris Lettinga, YMI Global Sales Manager. "Now, however, with Neander Shark we can offer a highly competitive outboard product with outstanding engineering."

The Neander Shark outboard develops 50 hp using a small 800 cm3 turbocharged, twin- cylinder diesel aluminum engine with common-rail fuel injection and a unique dual counter-rotating crankshaft. "This means that the outboard is not only light, powerful, clean and fuel-efficient, it is also remarkably smooth in operation as the two crankshafts counterbalance each other and cancel out most of the vibration that a conventional inline two-cylinder diesel block could be expected to produce," Floris Lettinga says. "Therefore the outboard can be easily, operated at the tiller as well as from a helm. The lack of vibrations and low noise level are remarkable, improving operation comfort yet delivering impressive performance”.

The prime applications for the Neander Shark outboard will be in the commercial offshore, military, fishing, rescue and charter-marine sector. It would also perfectly serve tender boat requirements on large yachts storing diesel fuel only.

As part of the Neander Shark distribution agreement Yanmar has taken an equity stake in Neander Motors, the company that wholly owns Neander Shark. Lutz W. Lester, Managing Director of Neander Shark and CEO of Neander Motors, comments: "The partnership with Yanmar is the very best situation for Neander to launch the turbo diesel outboard engine because the commercial market, in particular, demands a reliable partner for delivery, service and spare parts. Yanmar's longstanding global experience and strong position in the marine world completely fulfil those requirements, just as NEANDER fulfils the technical demands such as powerful performance, reliability, operational safety, durability, low fuel consumption and lowest vibrations."

Yanmar's first public presentation of the new outboard together with Neander Shark will be at“boot Düsseldorf” in January 2016.

Walnut Creek's 'renewable' diesel use a national first

Walnut Creek's 'renewable' diesel use a national first
By Andrew McGall

POSTED:   09/10/2015 12:22:17 PM PDT

WALNUT CREEK -- Walnut Creek has converted its diesel-powered vehicles to renewable diesel, a fuel even cleaner than traditional biodiesel, and says it is the first city in the nation to do so.

The switch to renewable diesel -- produced by a different chemical process than used to make regular biodiesel fuel -- will reduce the city's diesel emissions by more than 60 percent, lower its petroleum fuel needs by more than 20,000 gallons, and aid the city's campaign to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Fleet Supervisor Joe Jorgensen said in a news release.

Walnut Creek has 60 diesel powered vehicles and other equipment, such as street sweepers, dump trucks, tractors and mowers. All will take advantage of the new fuel.

Like traditional biodiesel, renewable diesel is produced from biological sources such as fats, oils and greases.

However, the renewable diesel production process makes it directly usable in any diesel engine without modification. Due to engine warranty limitations, traditional biodiesel must be blended with petroleum diesel.

Renewable diesel is more expensive to produce, said city spokeswoman Gayle Vassar, but federal and state credits make its consumer price the same or less than petroleum diesel.

Chemically, renewable diesel is indistinguishable from petroleum diesel, according to Pat O'Keefe, CEO of NEXGEN Fuel, which is producing the new fuel. O'Keefe is also vice president of Martinez-based Golden Gate Petroleum.

Walnut Creek's Climate Action Plan adopted in 2012 has a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020.

The city's top three sources of emissions in 2012 were transportation, residential, and commercial energy.

Jaguar Land Rover plans diesels for entire lineup

Jaguar Land Rover plans diesels for entire lineup
Article by Diana T. Kurylko
September 7, 2015 - 12:01 am ET

BARCELONA, Spain -- Land Rover's first U.S. diesel vehicles -- the Range Rover Td6 and Range Rover Sport Td6 -- will go on sale in October. And more diesels are on the way for the British SUV brand.

"Over the next couple of years, we will have diesel available on the entire sedan and SUV lineup," said Rob Filipovic, product planning manager for Jaguar Land Rover North America.

The V-6 diesel has driving characteristics similar to Land Rover's 5.0-liter V-8 supercharged gasoline engine, said Alan Jones, JLR's engineering director for diesel. But the 3.0-liter diesel is 32 percent more fuel efficient than the gasoline V-6. Combined fuel economy for both Range Rovers is an estimated 25 mpg.

The diesel generates 254 hp and 440 pounds-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. The Range Rover Sport accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds and the Range Rover in 7.4 seconds -- nearly the same as the gasoline V-6.

The two Land Rover diesel offerings will cost about $1,500 more than the gasoline V-6 models. The Range Rover Sport will start at $67,445 and the larger Range Rover at $87,445, including shipping.

You can reach Diana T. Kurylko at


'New diesel cars better for environment than petrol vehicles'

'New diesel cars better for environment than petrol vehicles'

Researchers noted that gasoline cars emitted on average 10 times more carbonaceous PM at 22 degrees Celsius and 62 times more at minus seven degrees Celsius compared to diesel cars.

By: PTI | July 15, 2017, 15:43 IST

Researchers looked at carbonaceous particulate matter (PM) emitted from the tailpipes of cars.

Toronto: Modern diesel cars emit less pollution than vehicles fuelled by gasoline or petrol, a study suggests.

"Diesel has a bad reputation because you can see the pollution, but it is actually the invisible pollution that comes from petrol in cars that is worse," said Patrick Hayes, an assistant professor at Universite de Montreal in Canada.

Researchers looked at carbonaceous particulate matter (PM) emitted from the tailpipes of cars.

Carbonaceous PM is made up of black carbon, primary organic aerosol (POA) and, especially, secondary organic aerosol (SOA), which is known to contain harmful reactive oxygen species and can damage lung tissue.

In recent years, newer diesel cars in Europe and North America have been required to be equipped with diesel particle filters (DPFs), which significantly cut down on the pollution they emit, researchers said.

They noted that gasoline cars emitted on average 10 times more carbonaceous PM at 22 degrees Celsius and 62 times more at minus seven degrees Celsius compared to diesel cars.

The increase in emissions at lower temperatures is related to a more pronounced cold-start effect, when a petrol engine is less efficient because it is not yet warmed up and its catalytic converter is not yet on, they said.

"These results challenge the existing paradigm that diesel cars are associated, in general, with far higher PM emission rates, reflecting the effectiveness of engine add- ons like DPFs to stem pollution," researchers wrote in the journal Scientific Reports.

"It is true that older diesel cars do pollute more than petrol cars, because they do not have DPFs, and diesel cars in general emit far more nitrogen oxides, which cause smog and acid rain, they noted.

New catalyst can reduce pollution from diesel vehicles

New catalyst can reduce pollution from diesel vehicles

These catalysts begin functioning at temperatures too high to capture a large fraction of the NOx produced, researchers said. They discovered the key chemical step that limits the performance of these catalysts at low temperature. (Image Source: University of Notre Dame)

By: PTI | New York | Updated: August 22, 2017 4:10 pm

The team focused on copper-exchanged zeolites, a particular class of catalysts used to promote the conversion of NOx into environmentally benign nitrogen gas. They discovered the key chemical step that limits the performance of these catalysts at low temperature.

Scientists have developed a catalyst that can curb emissions of nitrogen oxides from diesel-powered vehicles, an advance that may help reduce air pollution and smog. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) is a priority air pollutant that is a key ingredient in smog.

“Diesel engines power virtually all heavy-duty trucks, and NOx emissions control remains one of the key challenges facing manufacturers and operators,” researchers said. The team focused on copper-exchanged zeolites, a particular class of catalysts used to promote the conversion of NOx into environmentally benign nitrogen gas.

These catalysts begin functioning at temperatures too high to capture a large fraction of the NOx produced, researchers said.

They discovered the key chemical step that limits the performance of these catalysts at low temperature.

“We knew that copper ions trapped in the zeolite pores were responsible for the catalytic reaction, but we did not know what caused the chemical reaction to slow to such an extent at lower temperatures,” said William Schneider from University of Notre Dame in the US.

The team tracked the movement of the copper ions within the zeolite pores. They discovered that the ions were much more mobile than anyone had appreciated, so much so that they were able to swim through the zeolite pores and pair up. “We hypothesised that this pairing was key to the low-temperature performance,” said Schneider.

Researchers proved that this pairing was indeed happening during one step in the overall catalytic process. They were able to combine the experiments and computations to quantify the pairing and its influence on NOx removal. “This information paves the way to developing catalysts that outperform current formations at lower temperatures, allowing diesel engines to meet stringent emissions regulations,” said Schneider.

“Further, we think we can take advantage of the pairing process for other catalytic reactions beyond NOx removal,” he added. The study was published in the journal Science.

Ford F-150 Gets More Aluminum, Diesel Engine for 2018

Ford F-150 Gets More Aluminum, Diesel Engine for 2018

2018 Ford F150

By: Paul Ausick June 18, 2017 8:50 am EDT

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Friday introduced its 2018 model year F-150 pickup, sporting a smaller V-6 gasoline-powered engine the company says improves on its EPA-estimated gas mileage, along with the first-ever F-150 equipped with a diesel engine. The gasoline-powered version is expected to hit dealer showrooms this fall and the diesel is expected next spring.

The F-150 is the best-selling light vehicle in the United States and consistently contributes about a third of Ford’s total unit sales. In 2015, Ford began selling an all-aluminum bodied F-150 that weighed about 700 pounds less than the previous steel-bodied versions and the company’s sales leadership in pickups has solidified since then.

The 2017 two-wheel drive F-150 had an EPA mileage rating of 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, and the combined rating of 22 mpg was the best of any full-size pickup on the market. Ford has not revealed a mileage rating on the 2018 model but the announcement noted that customers would be receiving “additional benefits [in the 2018 model] — including improved performance, capability, and fuel economy.”

The biggest news in F-150 land for 2018 is the arrival of a diesel engine. After years of rumors and speculation—and the success of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel—Ford finally is joining the ranks of the half-ton diesels. Again, Ford is light on specifics, although the company does claim that the engine was “designed, engineered, and tested in-house.” Ford has announced that the new turbocharged 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V-6 will be mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission. The diesel won’t be available at launch but will appear shortly after the 2018 model goes on sale in the fall. In addition to the diesel, Ford recently announced plans for an F-150 hybrid, set to hit the market in 2020.

In addition to the changes to the F-150, Ford will begin selling an all-aluminum bodied Expedition SUV with the 3.5-liter V6 as the standard engine along with automatic start-stop technology and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Like the F-150, the new 2018 Expedition will be available in showrooms this fall.



Borg Warner Turbocharger

By: Borg Warner News Release

U.S. agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer John Deere relies on turbochargers with variable turbine geometry (VTG) from BorgWarner in keeping its engines fit for strict emissions standards.

The turbocharged PowerTech Plus™ diesel engines are fitted in agricultural and construction machinery, in machines for forestry applications and in OEM applications.

The background to the collaboration between John Deere and BorgWarner Turbo Systems includes the new Interim Tier 4/Stage III B emissions standard for "off-highway applications". This standard stipulated 50 % lower nitrogen oxide emissions than former standards. The boosting technologies from BorgWarner help ensure that John Deere equipment met the new standard.

Many years of successful cooperation.

The key collaboration between John Deere and the turbocharger specialist started back with the development of Tier 3 compliant engines. The two companies have set new standards in the off highway segment with the use of the cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and VTG turbocharger technology.

With cooled exhaust gas recirculation, the exhaust gases are initially cooled and then fed back to the fresh air feed to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide. Compared to the turbocharging systems of other manufacturers, BorgWarner's VTG turbochargers offer more accurate control of the exhaust gas recirculation. Precise opening and closing of the turbine vanes allows the exhaust gas pressure and inlet pressure to be optimally balanced.

With Interim Tier 4-compliant engines, all VTG BorgWarner turbochargers were also equipped with the compact brushless actuator (CBA) that is specifically designed for use in highly stressed turbochargers and EGR valves.

John Deere tractor sets new records

The VTG technology from BorgWarner has already allowed John Deere Power Systems to significantly reduce fuel consumption over Tier 2/Stage II engines - even in the toughest of operating conditions.

A good example of this is the PowerTech Plus™ 9.0L engine, which employs a BorgWarner S300V VTG turbocharger. Equipped with this high-tech engine, the John Deere 8430 Tractor was able to achieve an 8.8 % improvement in diesel economy, making it the most fuel efficient row crop tractor ever tested by the famous Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory.

The turbocharger specialist's commercial vehicle turbochargers with VTG technology are uncompromising designs geared to handling extreme environmental and operating conditions in tough off-highway applications and also offer the excellent reliability that customer in the commercial vehicle segment demand.

Diesel cars can improve air quality

Diesel cars can improve air quality

Photo: Diesel cars can emit up to six times more NOx on the
road than they do in emissions tests.
Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images


Car makers’ group SMMT claims latest vehicles are the ‘cleanest ever’ and vital in fight against climate change

Car manufacturers have hit back at the recent spate of negative comments about diesel vehicles, saying that the latest incarnations are “the cleanest in history” and “light years away from their older counterparts”.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said diesel cars could play an important role in helping improve air quality in towns and cities and in tackling climate change.

A government report published in April 2016 showed that diesel cars being sold in the UK emit an average of six times more nitrogen oxide in real-world driving than the legal limit used in official tests.

Since then, a number of schemes have been mooted to encourage drivers to give up diesel vehicles, including the possibility of a government-run scrappage scheme.

Last week, the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced a new charge on diesel cars driving into the city. Under the plans, drivers of diesel cars that are more than four years old in 2019 and petrol cars that are more than 13 years old will pay £12.50 a day on top of the congestion charge in an attempt to cut air pollution.

In a list entitled “10 facts you need to know about diesel”, the SMMT said that some recent reports had failed to differentiate between older diesel cars and those on sale today, which comply with Euro 6 emissions standards, adding: “This is unfair and dismissive of progress made.”

The organisation said the latest vehicles featured special filters and technology that converted most of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) from the engine into harmless nitrogen and water before it reached the exhaust. These cars will be exempt from the new London charges.

It added: “Contrary to recent reports, diesel cars are not the main source of urban NOx. In London, gas heating of homes and offices is the biggest contributor, responsible for 16%. While road transport as a whole is responsible for around half of London’s NOx, diesel cars produce just 11%, although concentrations will vary at different times depending on congestion.”

It said British car buyers registered almost 250,000 new diesel cars in March, more than in any month in history.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said: “Euro 6 diesel cars on sale today are the cleanest in history. Not only have they drastically reduced or banished particulates, sulphur and carbon monoxide but they also emit vastly lower NOx than their older counterparts – a fact recognised by London in their exemption from the Ultra Low Emission Zone that will come into force in 2019.”

He added: “In addition to their important contribution to improving air quality, diesel cars are also a key part of action to tackle climate change while allowing millions of people, particularly those who regularly travel long distances, to do so as affordably as possible.”

New Process Squeezes Sulfur Out of Diesel Fuel

New Process Squeezes Sulfur Out of Diesel Fuel

Photo: Premium Diesel Pump - Credit: Mark Goebel Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

By: By Katrina Krämer, ChemistryWorld on March 16, 2017

Sulfur emissions cause acid rain but a chemical reaction can remove almost all of the substance

US researchers have developed a method to dramatically lower the sulfur content of fossil fuels. Sulfur-rich fuels produce sulfur dioxide when burnt that reacts with water to form harmful acid rain, so the new work could cut pollution.

While there are reactions that can reduce fuel sulfur content to 10ppm—the current EU standard—these require high pressure hydrogen, a metal catalyst and temperatures of 400°C. Lower quality, higher sulfur content diesel is often exported to countries with less stringent standards.

Now, a US team, including John Shabaker from BP, Kendall Houk from the University of California and Nobel prize winner Robert Grubbs from the California Institute of Technology, has developed a simple, low-cost reaction that can cut the sulfur content of diesel from up to 10,000ppm to just 2ppm, well below all current emissions standards. The reaction breaks down dibenzothiophenes, hardy sulfur compounds that other methods struggle with. Two easily available chemicals—potassium tert-butoxide, a strong base, and triethylsilane, a reducing agent—promote the reaction at the comparatively low temperature of 165°C.

The team is now working on recycling the silane, which ends up as disilathiane after the reaction, and is optimising its method to work in industrial refineries.

Is Diesel Making A Comeback In

Is Diesel Making A Comeback In

Photo: Chrome Diesel Logo

By: Anton Wahlman | Mar. 6, 2017 10:28 AM ET

  1) Diesel car and light truck sales in the U.S. suffered a crushing blow when Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche abruptly left the market in late 2015.
  2) Mercedes has since disappeared, BMW has reduced its U.S. diesel offerings, and FCA is caught up in a regulatory disagreement.
  3) However, we are now seeing an onslaught of a new, long list of diesel offerings hitting the market from Chevrolet, GMC, Mazda, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Nissan.
  4) With all of these diesel offerings hitting the market in waves through early 2018, the next year should start to see massive increases in U.S. diesel sales.
 5) One reason this could accelerate even further from here would be regulatory relief from Washington D.C. away from electric cars.

Who would have thought it? The Volkswagen Group (OTCPK:VLKAY) diesel scandal broke in September 2015 and within a couple of months sales of all VW, Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) and Porsche (OTCPK:POAHF) diesel vehicles came to an end in the U.S.

It got worse, with BMW and Mercedes paring down their diesel offerings in the U.S. dramatically. You can no longer get a diesel in the BMW 5 and 7 series sedans, although the 5 series will be coming back later this year. Mercedes? It canned all of them for the U.S. market, even though it says it aims to bring the GLS diesel back sometime ...soon.

In January 2017, we found out what had been delaying the approval of the 2017 model year light vehicle diesels for the Fiat-Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) - one RAM pickup and one Jeep Grand Cherokee. Basically, the EPA and FCA are having a disagreement about regulatory compliance. Pending resolution of this conflict, FCA isn't selling any 2017 model year light vehicle diesels in the U.S. market right now.

So with Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes completely absent from the U.S. diesel market, and BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY) having pared back, availability of diesel cars must be fighting for a pulse, right?

Well, actually not. As it turns out, not at all.

What we are now seeing is a sudden resurgence to fill the diesel void left by Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes and (almost) BMW. This new diesel trend is coming from Mazda (OTCPK:MZDAY), Chevrolet (NYSE:GM), GMC, Ford (NYSE:F), Jaguar and Land Rover.

Let's discuss the specifics of these new diesel offerings. I am not counting the commercial-oriented heavy-duty trucks ("250"/"2500" weight classes and up), but rather the lighter trucks and cars.

First, General Motors:

GM launched the diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks in late 2015. Reviews have been rave and glowing. With up to 30 MPG highway, they are the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks in the U.S. market today. The diesel versions appear to start at $36,185, as I am unable to configure a less expensive version on Chevrolet's website.

GM is about to launch the diesel version of the popular Cruze compact car. It has already been rated for fuel economy - up to 52 MPG highway and 37 MPG blended. That may be the most frugal non-electrified/hybrid car in the U.S. market today. It will begin arriving in U.S. dealerships this year, and the price starts at $24,670.

GM also is launching two similar SUVs with diesel - the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. They will start showing up in U.S. dealerships in the third quarter, and there is no pricing or fuel economy data yet available. The base price of the gasoline version of the Chevrolet Equinox starts at $24,475, but the diesel is likely going to carry a premium.

Second, Ford:

Ford went directly for The Big Dog: The F-150, the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S., including the best-selling vehicle overall for income levels over $200,000 and $500,000 in the U.S. It is getting a diesel in the first quarter of 2018 with origins from a cooperation with Jaguar Land Rover, but has clearly been further developed and optimized by Ford for F-150 pickup truck duty.

What's Ford's market potential for diesel in the F-150? FCA at times talked about a diesel take rate for the RAM pickup truck as high as 20%. Translated to the Ford F-series, that could mean 160,000 or so diesels per year, although that's such a large number for the U.S. market that it would boggle the mind. It would dwarf all the rest of the U.S. light-duty vehicle market.

For further analogy, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) recently stated that the diesel take-rate on the Titan XD pickup truck - which is at least partially a higher weight class than the one we have been discussing here - is over 30% in its first year of sales. This is still interesting, because Nissan had not sold a diesel pickup truck in the U.S. market before, and this Titan XD is at least somewhat sitting just below the traditional "250"/"2500" weight class offerings.

However, with RAM out of the market at least temporarily out of the "150"/"1500" class diesel market, it could mean that Ford could rake it in here. Nissan seems to be doing its job in that regard with the Titan XD, one fractional weight class above.

Third, Jaguar Land Rover:

Jaguar Land Rover jumped into the diesel pool with full force after the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche debacles. It now has five diesel models in the U.S. market, with a sixth one arriving by June 2017. Here are the starting prices:

- Jaguar XE (compact sedan), $38,220

- Jaguar XF (midsize sedan), $50,270

- Jaguar F-Pace (midsize SUV), $47,270

- Range Rover (large SUV), $88,645

- Range Rover Sport (midsize SUV), $68,645

- Land Rover Discovery (very large SUV), $59,945 (coming in June)

Their fuel economy ratings are:

- Jaguar XE: 32 MPG city, 42 MPG highway, 36 MPG combined

- Jaguar XF: 30 MPG city, 40 MPG highway, 34 MPG combined

- Jaguar F-Pace: 26 MPG city, 33 MPG highway, 29 MPG combined

- Range Rover: 22 MPG city, 28 highway, 24 combined

- Range Rover Sport: 22 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, 24 combined

- Land Rover Discovery: 21 MPG city, 26 MPG highway, 23 MPG combined

As you can tell, there is no question that Jaguar Land Rover is offering the broadest range of diesel sedans and SUVs in the U.S. market right now, ahead of BMW. This is unlikely to change until at least early 2018.

Fourth, Mazda:

Mazda is launching a replacement for its best-selling vehicle in the U.S. market, the small-to-midsize CX-5 SUV, at the end of March 2017. In the fall of 2017, it will be joined by a diesel version. As such, and given the overall price point of this car, it will compete most directly with the two GM SUVs that will be in the market in the third quarter of 2017.

It will be Mazda's first diesel in the U.S. market. Fear not, however, as Mazda has already been dominating diesel sales in its Japan home market. For the year that ended March 2016, 45% of Mazda's sales in Japan were diesel. In calendar year 2015, Mazda had a 67% diesel market share in Japan.

There is no pricing or fuel economy numbers for Mazda's upcoming diesel CX-5 yet, but one suspects that while it will surely show meaningfully improved fuel economy over the gasoline version, Mazda may instead emphasize performance. According to Mazda, diesel isn't only about superior fuel economy - it also has to be something that at least matches the "fun to drive" aspect of the gasoline version.

Mazda is badly in need of a new differentiator that could help re-ignite U.S. sales, as it was down over 6% in the U.S. in 2016, driven by declines in the sedan models (the SUV sales held up). Becoming the first and only player side by side with GM in that particular best-selling SUV class, to offer a diesel, might be such an opportunity.

Why is this diesel renaissance happening?

With hybrids stalling out at around 2% of U.S. sales, below even the 2013 levels, it's clear that the consumer is looking for alternatives to good fuel economy cars and light trucks. Diesel has characteristics that are different than gasoline hybrids and they are suitable for those who drive a lot of highway miles. Witness the Chevrolet Cruze yielding 52 MPG on the highway and the Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks offering 30 MPG on the highway.

We may also see a change in U.S. government policy: here.

If this change in policy means a combination of reducing electric car subsidies/mandates, it could be favorable to the automaker economics of providing diesels instead. If these new policies are implemented - and we may find that out already this year - it could further drive offerings of even more diesel models for sale in the U.S. market, followed by actual sales numbers in the coming months and years.

Impact on the stocks: Positive

The U.S. has had a much lower adoption of diesel compared to Europe, where it has been around or even above 50% in some countries. However, the U.S. market has discouraged diesel in favor of electric cars as a result of regulatory actions and Congressional incentives. If that changes, which seems to be imminent, then automakers should benefit through higher sales and more importantly, higher profits.

And that would be good for General Motors, Ford, FCA, Mazda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and others who choose to join the U.S. diesel party in the next couple of years. Diesel fans, rejoice.
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