backtop


Print 67 comment(s) - last by Keeir.. on Mar 14 at 3:22 PM


Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for global product development
Diesels just aren't the answer for Americans says Kuzak

While fully electric cars sound great in theory with their instant torque, near silent operation, and lack of fossil fuel emissions, many people are still apprehensive about "range anxiety" when the batteries start running low. Thankfully, we have a number of options on the table when it comes "green" vehicles.

Some manufacturers like to rely on hybrid technology to achieve crazy EPA numbers (Toyota Prius is EPA rated at 50 mpg combined). Others choose to put hyper-optimized traditional gasoline engines in their vehicles (the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Elantra, and Chevrolet Cruze can achieve 40 mpg+ on the highway depending on trim level).

Another option is to use diesel engines. However, according to Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for global product development, diesel engines will be relegated to its heavy duty trucks and won't be filtering down into its more consumer-friendly passenger vehicles.

Kuzak brags that Ford "could easily bring diesels to the U. S. market" since it already offers a number of diesel powertrain options around the globe in its vehicles. “It doesn’t make sense. We are not going to force it on customers,” he added.

Kuzak went on to tell Automotive News that there are a number of factors going against bringing diesel engines to mainstream cars including: 

  • Diesel engines are more expensive than their gasoline counterparts
  • Americans in general are apprehensive to diesel-powered cars
  • Diesel fuel remains more expensive than gasoline
  • The payback from the initial purchase price of a diesel vehicle versus the cost savings from increased fuel efficiency can take ten years

Interestingly, points one and four could easily be leveled against hybrid vehicles, yet Ford has an impressive hybrid in its stable already with the Fusion Hybrid (41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway).

According to Kuzak, Ford will continue to use advanced powertrains like EcoBoost (turbocharging + direct injection) and direct injection alone to achieve "near diesel" EPA ratings in its vehicles.

Despite Ford's reluctance to use diesel engines, archrival General Motors is reportedly eyeing a diesel engine for its U.S. market Cruze compact sedan. Likewise, Audi -- although it is a higher tier brand than Ford -- is looking to bring its diesel engines to three more nameplates within the next 24 months.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: I'd say he is wrong - very wrong.
By Keeir on 3/11/2011 2:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hybrids are more popular here.


Sigh. I really hate this very common misunderstanding.

Outside the Toyota Prius, Hybrids are not popular here.

Not a single Hybrid Model (outside the Hybrid only Prius, Insight, and CRZ) has a take rate of above 15%.

Diesel models on the other hand, have significant higher take rates.

http://www.hybridcars.com/hybrid-clean-diesel-sale...

Sales in 2011

Prius - 24,174
Jetta TDI - 6,342 (Excludes Golf, but includes SportWagen)
Insight - 3,276
Fusion - 2,348
CRZ - 1,985

The Jetta TDI is selling better than the #2 and #3 Hyrbid models in the United States. Throw in the Golf Sales, and the VW 2.0L TDI engine sells better than the Insight + Fusion + CRZ. This is despite comming from an "inferior" manufacturer (VW) and having significantly higher costs than the CRZ and the Insight. (Though the CRZ is certainly a limited appeal model)


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki