US: Diesels get closer to official mpg figures

By just-auto.com editorial team | 15 December 2006

Diesel-powered vehicles deliver more real-world miles per gallon than the numbers on new-car window stickers currently indicate, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency's 'YourMPG' database, the Diesel Technology Forum said.

The findings were detailed in EPA's 'Final Technical Supporting Document' accompanying the agency's new fuel economy labelling rule released earlier this week.

The 'YourMPG' data, compiled by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, includes 221 diesel drivers measuring their own fuel economy and providing their real-world mpg to an internet database. EPA then compared this real-world data with the projected fuel economy calculations it requires for all new cars.

"As can be seen, diesels appear to perform the best with respect to their label fuel economy, outperforming the label by 4.3%," the EPA technical support document said. Diesel was the only power source to see an increase in real-world mpg. Petrol cars decreased by between 1.4%-1.7%, while hybrid owners saw their real-world mileage drop by over 8% compared to the current fuel economy label.

"It's long been known that diesel is the most fuel-efficient internal combustion engine ever produced, typically providing 20-40% greater fuel- efficiency than other technologies," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

"These reports from real diesel drivers across the country reaffirm diesel's superior fuel efficiency, and will help consumers make future buying decisions when the next generation of clean diesel vehicles arrives over the next several model years."

Automakers have recently announced a number of new diesel product offerings, and US consumers can expect to see more diesel options available in showrooms starting in 2008.

During the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen teamed together to produce clean diesel vehicles for their Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, VW and Audi brands under the Bluetec label.

BMW, Cummins, Honda, GM and Nissan all announced plans to bring new light-duty clean diesels to the US market starting from 2008.