Volvo to Preview Five-Fuel Vehicle; Includes Hythane (updated)
GM FlexFuel Vehicle Sales Triple in E85 Fuel Card Promotion Markets

Mitsubishi Developing Clean Diesels for US and Japan in 2009

Kyodo. Mitsubishi Motors plans to develop a clean-diesel engine for the US and Japanese markets by 2009. Mitsubishi is considering applying the diesel to SUVs and minivans.

Honda has said it will introduce a 4-cylinder clean-diesel engine into the US market within the next three years. The company has patented a plasma-assisted catalyst system for NOx reduction that may play into its product plans. (Earlier post.)

Honda has said that it will focus on hybrids for smaller vehicles, while looking to diesels for its medium- and large-sized segments. (Earlier post.) The only MY2007, 50-state diesel passenger car projected to be on the US market is the Mercedes E320 BLUETEC, due to arrive later this year.

Mitsubishi discontinued sales of diesel vehicles in Japan in 2004. In Europe, Mitsubishi sells some models with diesels from Volkswagen.


allen zheng

Here comes the three punch combo of hybrids, clean diesels, and more efficient conventional cars from Japan. How will Detroit respond?


Detroit will respond by subsidizing gas prices more.

Harvey D.

Now that Peugeot has created a practical diesel Hybrid and Japan is catching up with Europe with high performance clean diesels, who will market the first high performance diesel hybrid and light weight gas/diesel PHEVs?

Where are GM, Ford and Chrysler? What are they doing to meaningfully increase efficiency and pmg? After the $1 a pound discounts and limited free gas for their dinos, what will they come up with to convince us to buy their big SUVs and Pick-Up trucks? Bigger, heavier 500+ HP, V-10 or V-12 with 8 or 10-speed transmissions may sell well?

Harvey D.

GM newest effort = $1000 E85 fuel card promotion for their dinos

Joe Rocker

I don't think this will help world oil consumption as it takes more crude oil to produce diesel fuel than it does gasoline.


I heard diesel is actually cheaper and easier to produce than regular gasoline, plus diesel engines are more efficient than their counterpart ICE. Plus biodiesel is less harmful to the enviroment. Can anyone comment on that?


I don't think this will help world oil consumption as it takes more crude oil to produce diesel fuel than it does gasoline.

Absolutely, if you use 1990 technology.

Nowadays, it takes about .85 gallons of gasoline-equivalent-petroleum to make 1 gallon-of-gasoline-equivalent ethanol. So, that means that there is some efficiency there, albeit not a tremendous amount. However, as technology improves and the market expands (to provide economy of scale efficiencies), I expect that number of .85 to keep creeping downward. Some major improvements on the (short? long? never?) horizon would drop that number significantly, but small improvements along the way will help too.

* The "equivalents" are because it takes like 1.06 gallons of ethanol to move a car as far as 1 gallon of gasoline, etc.


There is no Clean Diesel. ALL vehicle ICE's should have to meet Best Available Control Technology. That means
A california PZEV-AT for gasoline. SO many grams of pollution per mile or per Kw-Hr or BHP-Hr. Anything more than that does not meet specs.
I am a realist and understand the SCR urea (Adblue) is the best we are going to get for trucks, boats, ships etc, but for cars and other light duty engines, why pollute 10 times as much to get a 30% fuel savings?
Using Natural gas in a CNG or LNG optimized engine, taking advantage of the higher octane rating, would lower your costs 30%...
For those of you not too familar with the EPA, try to get a new plant permitted telling them you are going to make more pollution but it is going to save you money and see how far you get.
Major companies lost this battle 30 years ago, only a few industries are still getting away with it other than cars. Off road vehicles, pleasure boats, Large ships. The car companies have had the best congress they could buy (Dingell) and they have been able to get public, support to keep polluting.


The weekend ozone effect studies cast considerable doubt that the Tier 2/LEV II regs will result in any improvement in urban ozone (smog) and may actually make it worse. The assumption that these light-duty vehicle regs are a "magic bullet" wrt air quality is...just that, an assumption.

Rafael Seidl

iPadula -

"I am a realist and understand the SCR urea (Adblue) is the best we are going to get for trucks, boats, ships etc, but for cars and other light duty engines, why pollute 10 times as much to get a 30% fuel savings?"

The US uses 25% of the world's crude oil, some 20 million barrels per day. About two-thirds of that is used in the transportation sector, about 12 million barrels a day. If it were possible for all US on-road vehicles to make do with 30% less, 3-4 billion barrels per day would not be needed there. This is Iraq's current oil production two or three times over, or about half of Saudi Arabia's.

Reduced US demand would burst the speculative bubble hanging over oil markets, re-establish spare oil production capacity to go up and Saudi Arabia to resume its moderating role within OPEC. Iran could no longer get away with its brinkmanship on the nuclear issue. Venezuela would have to moderate its attitude. Plus, the US' CO2 footprint becomes smaller, denying others (e.g. China) the option of flying under the radar.

Diesels are one way to get there, hybrids another. There are other options as well, each with its pros and cons for the various market segments. It would be nice if consumers could choose rather than have the government deny them any options.

The point is that air quality is important but so is total consumption. You have multiple conflicting objectives and need to balance them, find a sensible compromise.


If someone really wants to try to show the negative effect of diesel powered vehicles I suggest you try to get some data. Go to the world health organization's website and look for incidence of respiratory illnesses in Europe compared to the USA. Make sure you also check it against specific urban areas. Then get data on population density, vehicle miles driven in the city and estimated mix of engines used in that city. Since particulate matter has an impact on your lungs (even in very small concentrations) and many large urban centers in Europe have 5-10 times as many diesels on the roads as urban centers in the US you may be able to draw a correlation. I'd throw in smoking rates and lung cancer at the same time to try to limit alternative causes (and any other possible air pollution sources such as a large industrial/chemical/(fossil fuel)power plant, etc).

Tony Chilling

The total integration of life styles can be found in the recent study showing even poor Brits have better health then rich Americans. It really shows the differences of government policies.

Joseph Willemssen

The weekend ozone effect studies cast considerable doubt that the Tier 2/LEV II regs will result in any improvement in urban ozone (smog) and may actually make it worse.

This again?


Yes, Joseph, again.

What's YOUR explaination for it?

Joseph Willemssen

Yes, Joseph, again. What's YOUR explaination for it?

We've already covered this foolishness.

Let's say that the theory that at current pollution levels, adding NOx can reduce smog. So - is the "solution" to add more NOx to reduce smog? Or is it to radically reduce it to get out of that weird zone where there's a counterintuituve increas in smog when NOx goes down?

The whole basis of the argument is ridiculous, as pollution is a failure.


What's ridiculous is to ignore empirical data. NOx is reduced by an average 40%-50% on weekends, yet urban ozone (smog) levels not only don't decline, they often increase. It's not a theory, it's demonstrable fact.

Why is the only “solution” to “increase” ambient NOx levels? I certainly don’t advocate that. Wouldn’t it be more logical to decrease NOx emissions slowly while dramatically decreasing VOC and CO emissions, almost exactly the opposite of what the Tier 2/LEV II regs mandate (something through which increased use of clean diesels could be achieved)? And I would suggest including evaporative emissions (VOCs) in all the regulatory Bins and classifications, not just the PZEV classification (diesel fuel is virtually non-volatile relative to gasoline, thus there are essentially no “smog-forming” evaporative emissions from diesel vehicles). While it’s true that ambient NOx levels can be reduced to a point where they become the limiting factor, modeling has shown that it will require nearly an order-of-magnitude reduction overall, something that’s not attainable in the foreseeable future in urban locations.

Speaking of pollution, why do the current Tier 2/LEV II regs do essentially nothing about CO emissions from the previous regulatory iteration (Tier 1)? Tier 2 mandates a reduction of over an order-of-magnitude for NOx from Tier 1 (effectively since the fleet average has to meet Bin 5), a “tailpipe” reduction in NMHC (VOCs) by a factor of about 3, and no (zero) reductions mandated for CO. Isn’t CO “pollution”? CO is highly toxic and an ozone precursor, and there areas of the southwestern U.S. that are still in “serious” nonattainment with the CO NAAQS ( The nonattainment with the CO NAAQS should have been justification for a mandated reduction in CO emissions by itself, never mind that CO is an ozone precursor. By the way, there are no areas in the U.S. that are currently in nonattainment with the NO2 NAAQS (, so the regulatory assault on NOx is not warranted for that reason.

I stand by my assertion that the weekend effect casts considerable doubt on the potential effectiveness of the Tier 2/LEV II regs, and that clean diesel vehicles should be encouraged, not regulatorily discouraged, if clean air is truly the goal.

Joseph Willemssen

Then Carl, perhaps you should be lobbying the EPA instead of going through this here time and again.

And I don't deny there's a weekend effect. I've now said that half a dozen times. It's still a theory as to causation and what is the best course of remediation.


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