CLEVELAND, March 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Diesel engine cars have gotten a lot of bad press recently. In 2015, Volkswagen was caught cheating on emissions tests, calling into question the ability of new diesel engine technologies to reduce emissions and comply with strict environmental regulations. The EPA accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of doing the same thing earlier this year.
However, automakers have not given up on diesel technology. General Motors recently announced plans to essentially exit the European automotive industry by selling its Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial European operations to PSA Group, but the company's Torino engineering center in Turin, Italy was not part of the deal.
GM's Torino engineering center develops diesel engines and was responsible for designing the engine used in the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel compact car and in the Chevrolet Equinox Diesel being introduced this spring. The 2017 Cruze Diesel can comply with strict emissions standards while also boasting a 52-miles-per-gallon highway fuel economy rating, the highest fuel economy of any non-hybrid, non-electric vehicle, according to the EPA. By the end of 2018, GM plans to have 10 diesel-powered vehicles in its North American lineup.
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"This is a smart move on GM's part," reports Freedonia industry analyst Gleb Mytko. Diesel engine vehicles have a number of advantages over gasoline-powered models. Diesel engines offer greater torque, are more fuel efficient, have lower maintenance requirements, and are more durable than comparable gasoline engines. "Advanced diesel engine cars can also get better mileage than some gasoline-electric hybrid models," Mytko adds, pointing out that the 2017 Toyota Prius c has a highway fuel-economy rating of 43 miles per gallon, 9 miles less than the Cruze Diesel.
The future for light vehicle diesel engines is bright, according to a recent Freedonia Group study written by Mytko. Global demand for diesel engines used in light vehicles is forecast to climb 3.7% annually through 2020, about the same as during the 2010-2015 period, shaking off the negative effect that the Volkswagen emissions scandal has had on consumer perceptions over the last couple of years.
The Freedonia Group's Global Diesel Engine Market study can be accessed here:
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SOURCE The Freedonia Group