Ever since the Green Car Journal selected the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel and Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel as their Green Car of the Year back-to-back in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and having driven a Volvo XC60 D5 AWD diesel (pictured above) in Sweden for a week in 2010 with amazing fuel economy, I've become a big advocate of the new clean diesel powered vehicles, especially for those highway commuters who don't really benefit from the electric hybrids.
Clean Diesel engines, which are 20 to 40 percent more fuel efficient than comparable gasoline engines, will play a big part in the California Air Resources Board new tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions standards for new passenger vehicles. The California ARB's new Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV III) regulations, the most stringent in the world, will get phased in during model years 2017-2025. In that time, all vehicles sold in California will have to meet Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) tailpipe standards. The new ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel has reduced sulfur emissions by 97 percent.
Recent Diesel Award Winners:
- The all new 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI clean diesel was voted the winner of the 2012 Earth, Wind and Power Car of the Year of the Most Earth Friendly Vehicles at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit;
- The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel was named Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year;
- In 2010 Audi Q7 TDI Clean Diesel was voted the 2010 Earth, Wind and Power Truck of the Year and the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel was voted the 2009 Earth, Wind and Power Car of the Year.
- Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel in 2013 or 2014, and possibly other Jeep diesels later;
- General Motors Cadillac ATS diesel in the near future;
- Audi A8 TDI diesel in 2013;
- Porsche Cayenne diesel in 2012;
- GM Chevrolet Cruze diesel in 2013;
- Mazda SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine;
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class S350 BlueTEC diesel in 2012 after a 17-year absence;
- Volkswagen Passat, which was recently named the Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year, began production of the Passat diesel in its new Chattanooga, TN plant in the summer of 2011.
Source: The Diesel Technology Forum, a non-profit national organization, dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.