US: Diesels soar 80%

By just-auto.com editorial team | 27 April 2006

The number of diesel cars, trucks and sport utilities on U.S. roads rose 80% between 2000 and 2005 as more vehicles hit the market and more buyers chose fuel-efficient diesels as an option, according to The Associated Press (AP), citing data from a diesel advocacy group.

Data compiled by auto information company RL Polk & Co. and released by the Diesel Technology Forum showed there were 543,777 new diesel vehicles registered in 2005, compared with 301,471 five years earlier, according to the report, which noted that was partly because there were more diesels to choose from.

Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Maryland-based Diesel Technology Forum reportedly said there were only 12 diesel passenger vehicles available on the US market in 2000 but, by 2005, that had jumped to 22 vehicles.

The trend of choosing diesel engines was most noticeable among buyers of heavy-duty pickups, including the Ford F-250 and F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 and Dodge Ram 2500/3500. In 2000, 54% chose diesels, rising to 63% in 2005, the news agency said.

Diesels accounted for 3.6% of all new vehicles in the US market in 2005, up from 2.3% in 2000 while hybrids took up about 1.5% of the new vehicle market last year, AP noted.