Germany to expand nationwide network of hydrogen filling stations from 15 to 50 by 2015
New cars sold in Europe in 2011 were 3.3% more fuel efficient than those sold in 2010; increasing diesel uptake

Pike Research forecasts clean diesels to represent more than 12% of global light-duty vehicle sales by 2018; outpacing hybrids in North America

Annual clean diesel ldv sales by region, world markets: 2012-2018. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

A new report from Pike Research finds that rising fuel prices and stronger fuel economy regulations will stimulate increasing demand for clean diesel vehicles in markets around the world, and forecasts sales of these vehicles will increase from 9.1 million in 2012 to 12.1 million annually by 2018, representing 12.4% of all LDV sales by the end of that period.

With rising gas prices and stronger fuel economy regulations coming into effect, the United States should see rising demand for diesel cars and trucks, Pike suggests. North America has been a weak market for diesel for 20 years, due to the low price of gasoline as well as diesel’s reputation for being smelly, dirty and unreliable. Additionally, US LDV emissions regulations do not treat gasoline and diesel cars separately, and US NOx levels for LDVs are very low and challenging for diesel vehicles to meet.

However, Pike notes, in 2011, the diesel market began to show signs of revival, with 27% growth over 2010. The overall LDV market in the United States grew by just 10% and hybrid vehicle sales actually dipped slightly.

From 2012 to 2018, Pike forecasts that North America will experience a cumulative diesel growth rate of 22%, reaching annual sales of just under 1 million LDVs, with the US leading Canada. Pike expects annual clean diesel sales volumes in this region to increase from 282,000 vehicles in 2012 to 928,000 by 2018. Between 2012 and 2018, diesels will capture a slightly higher percentage of new vehicle sales as hybrids, although both will remain niche drivetrains, according to Pike.

Demand for diesel cars is primarily driven by their fuel economy. A diesel vehicle typically gets 20% to 40% better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline car. This factor, along with favorable tax treatment for diesel fuel, has made diesel cars tremendously popular in Europe, where they have accounted for around 50% of LDV sales over the past several years. Due to Europe’s very high fuel prices, the price premium of a diesel car can be paid off quickly.

—Pike senior analyst Lisa Jerram

Globally, Pike expects clean diesel LDV sales to grow from 9.1 to 12 million, representing a CAGR of 4.8%. Western Europe will continue to constitute the majority of clean diesel sales even with slower growth over this period, as diesel captures slightly less market share than it has over the past decade. This slowdown will be due to increasing availability of fuel efficient alternatives to diesel and the anticipated increase in diesel prices, Pike suggests. Nevertheless, Western Europe will remain, by far, the biggest market for clean diesel LDVs, accounting for around 50% of global sales.

Medium- and heavy-duty. For medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, Pike anticipates that in the North America, Europe, and Japan markets, diesel will see its market share erode slightly, as hybrid, plug-in, and natural gas (NG) vehicles begin to see more demand. This will be driven largely by new fuel economy regulations governing MD vehicles in these regions.

In North America and Europe, Pike forecasts that clean diesel will drop from close to 99% market share to 93% in North America and 91% in Western Europe.



That's very bad news, if it ever comes true. We would be much better off with more clean efficient HEVs like the Prius III or future IV+++, PHEVs and BEVs. Dirty/noisy diesels are not the best solution.

John McAvoy

"Clean diesel"...George Orwell would be proud!
How about "slightly less filthy and carcinogenic than the crap we've been burning for a century."

John McAvoy

cross reference prior article:
WHO IARC classifies diesel exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)13 June 2012

Roger Pham

Supposedly, clean diesel's exhaust is cleaner than ambient air, due to the diesel particulate filter and the SCR NOx treatment.


>>Dirty/noisy diesels are not the best solution.

The new clean diesels are nether dirty nor noisy. They are as clean as gasoline cars, and as the article says:

>>US LDV emissions regulations do not treat gasoline and diesel cars separately, and US NOx levels for LDVs are very low and challenging for diesel vehicles to meet.

In other words, the clean diesels for sale in CA and NY (two of the strictest states) are as clean as gasoline models. VW and Audi and Mercedes have MET the requirements!

>>We would be much better off with more clean efficient HEVs like the Prius III or future IV+++, PHEVs and BEVs.

If I have said it once, I have said it a million times. A hybrid diesel-electric is even better. And will leave a gas Prius in the dust. The solution is not either hybrid or diesel, it is hybrid AND diesel in the same car. A hybrid-diesel Prisu size car will get 70mpg easily with today's technology. The euro Mercedes E-class hybrid diesel gets 54mpg, which is comparable to Pruis (subtract ~11% for fuel energy density), and it is a MUCH bigger car !!!


Jus7...the idea is to progressively move away from all ICE vehicles in favor of partially and/or fully electrified vehicles. As storage units (batteries/ultra caps etc) performance goes up and their price goes down, the need for an on-board genset (gasoline, ethanol, NG, FC or diesel) will fade away within a few more years.

Alternatively, lower cost FCs may be used as gensets on larger heavier vehicles such as long range buses and heavy long haul trucks.


A study by R.L. Pock&Co. ( shows that the overall percentage of sold into the new vehicle market fell from 2.9% to 2.4% over the past three years. Two thirds of hybrid owners who returned to the market in 2011 did not buy another hybrid. The study reveals that only 35% of hybrid owners chose to buy another hybrid when returning to the market once more in 2011.

The reason for the lack of interest is stiff competition from conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles whose manufacturers have increased the fuel efficiencies of their new products. Car buyers are looking at the bottom line cost of operating their vehicles and are less inclined to buy a hybrid as a result.


I just wish there were diesel choices in the small pickup truck market; I'd love something like a Tacoma with a diesel!


I agree! Of course, diesel hybrids will be better than gasoline hybrids, although HarveyD does not like the idea. When more diesel hybrids come out on the market, this will manifest itself. Cost is an issue but, as new models from Peugeot will show, cost can be reduced to an affordable level.


@John McAvoy
IARC classification? This is the exhaust from old diesels without any kind of aftertreatment, which is pointed out by the authors if you bother to read that. You get a completely different picture if you look at modern vehicles. Since 2004 (LD) and 2007 (HD) new diesels in the USA have particulate filters (and catalysts). In fact, the toxic level from modern engines/cars is so low that it is no longer possible to measure. Look at the latest results from HEI via the link below! Should modern clean diesels be banned for sins in the past? I think not!


Mann...that study is probably limited to specific areas within the USA. It is not like that in Japan where the majority of new cars sold are hybrids and more and more so month after month month. USA will/may catch up within about 5 years or so if the current DEBT BUBBLE can be avoided.


Another view on the IARC assessment and its obvious flaws:

Sean Prophet

None of this takes into account the increasing participation of a variant on Moore's Law in the auto market. Battery capacity will soar and price will drop precipitously in the next several years. Electric motors, power silicon, and CVT/power split devices have become fully mainstream. Having said that, a diesel range extender on a PHEV would be fantastic.


@Sean Prophet
“None of this takes into account the increasing participation of a variant on Moore's Law in the auto market.” Well, the study below does… It does not really show a good case for BEVs but PHEVs come out somewhat better.



I know that what you want is an all EV fleet of cars. The problem is, as I have pointed out to you before (see link below), that with the current electricity generation mix (coal, natgas, nuclear, solar, wind, etc), an EV (Nissan Leaf) produces more indirect CO2/distance than a 50mpg gas/hybrid car (Toyota Prius).

So no matter how much you love electrical vehicles, promoting them is exactly the WRONG way to go. The right way to go, as I have to repeat ad nauseum, is DIESEL HYBRIDS. See today's article about the hybrid/diesel Peugot 508 that gets 65 mpg and therefore beats the Nissan Leaf hands down in CO2/distance.

Here is the link again to the article that contains the orginal claculation. Search for Nissan Leaf in the comments.


@Sean Prophet

>>None of this takes into account the increasing participation of a variant on Moore's Law in the auto market.

This is just plain wrong. There is no Moore's law in batteries, autos or energy in general. There are some very fundamental limits to how good batteries can get, and that is the end of that.

I refer you to

for more details on fundamental limits of batteries.

>> Battery capacity will soar and price will drop precipitously in the next several years.

Sure battery capacity will get better, but capacity will not "scale" indefinitely in the the way silicon devices (MOSFETs) have for 50 years now. It just is not physically possible. And diminishing returns in battery technology is already on the horizon.

Jerry John

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