From USA Today we learn that clean diesel is about to invade the US car market. For the first time the US is going to have fuel efficient clean diesel engines on the lots of car dealerships. GM, Volkswagon, and Mazda will all be offering diesel models this year that get very good mileage for the internal combustion engine.  For example the Chevrolet Cruze has been rated at 46 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway while the Volkswagon Jetta TDI gets 30 mpg in the city.

Energy and Environmental Management sees a strong future for petrol vehicles. A new report from the Royal Automobile Club Foundation and the UK Petroleum Industry Association believes in the short to medium term there will be many improvements to the efficiency of internal combustion engine-driven vehicles. This will enable petrol vehicles to continue their domination of the auto transportation market. As a result, sales of electric vehicles will not reach the high volumes predicted by some.

Ultimately, Powering Ahead says that “it is not clear which technology will ‘win’ in the long term”. Instead, there will be an increasing number of options for consumers to choose from in the future, both in terms of fuels and powertrains: petrol, diesel, natural gas, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles running on hydrogen, and so on.

They all have different strengths and weaknesses, indicating that they will find niches according to their owner’s dominant desired use for the vehicle.

See also InsideEVs, RAC Report Predicts Future Market Share of Plug-In Vehicles Through 2030 in UK, The Economist, Propulsion Systems: The Great Powertrain Race and Future Cars, Ford and GM jointly developing 9- and 10-speed transmissions.

The UK Guardian reports that the city of London is tightening up its congestion charge in an attempt to block diesel vehicles. Transport for London will replace the existing Greener Vehicle and Electric Vehicle Discounts with a stricter Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) as of July 1st. To qualify for the ULED, vehicles will have to either be pure electric or emit 75g/km or less of CO2 and meet the Euro 5 emission standard for air quality. TfL expects that no diesel car on the market can meet the new criteria for the discount now or in the immediate future. Diesel drivers already receiving the Greener Vehicle Discount will continue to be eligible until June 2016. Drivers have to pay a £10 daily Congestion Charge if they drive between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday in the London Congestion Charge zone.  See also FleetNews, Only ‘greenest’ vehicles to be exempt from London congestion charge.

Brazil faces a looming transportation fuel shortfall according to TheBioenergySite. A new report by Bloomberg concludes that Brazil will be unable to meet its domestic light vehicle demand for fuel as soon as 2017 if recent trends continue. The country must either make substantial new investment in sugarcane ethanol production or gasoline refining, or it must allow diesel light vehicles on the roads. It was only a few years ago that Brazil met the majority of its light fuel demand with ethanol produced from sugarcane. In 2009 sugarcane ethanol reached a high of 54% of all fuels sold. Because Brazil will not have enough gasoline refining capacity to supply the domestic market over the next several years, it will be forced to import gasoline.

“It was not long ago that Brazil was in a position to brag about nearing energy independence, in large part because of the strong growth of its ethanol sector,” said Salim Morsy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance lead analyst for biofuels in Latin America and the author of the white paper. “But investment has slumped since for a variety of reasons, making the country increasingly dependent on foreign gasoline refiners. It’s a costly and potentially untenable position, and it puts Brazil far off track as far as its energy security goals are concerned.”

See also Brazil’s Ethanol Future Questioned from the same source.

InsideEVs thinks low gasoline prices in the US are a significant barrier to higher EV sales in that country.

FutureCars explains electric car technology to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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