Fleet News

One in three new cars to be diesel by 2005

BY 2005 one in three new cars sold in the UK will be a diesel and the UK car market will reach a 50:50 petrol diesel split by 2008, says diesel injection system manufacturer Bosch.

In key fleet sectors such as the upper-medium and junior executive cars, diesel already fuels half of all new company cars.

Dr Manfred Mueller, MD of Bosch's UK Automotive Original Equipment Division, said the expansion of diesel was due to fuel economy, tax benefits and a burgeoning appreciation for the high torque driving characteristics of the modern direct injection diesel engines.

'In mainland Western Europe, where the latest engine technology reaches the consumer earlier and where diesel fuel is significantly cheaper, there is already parity between petrol and diesel, and in some countries diesel is more popular,' he said.

The development of diesel technology is being driven on by the commitment made by Europe's vehicle manufacturers to reduce emissions levels to a fleet average of 140 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre driven by 2008.

'They will only be able to do that with a high percentage of diesels in their portfolios,' said Markus Schmidt, vice president, application and sales, for Bosch's Diesel Systems Division.

'Large powerful cars will remain popular for years to come, but they will almost certainly continue to emit more than the agreed 2008 level. For this reason, vehicle makers will rely heavily on sales of diesels emitting less than 140 g/km of CO2 to redress the balance.

'We will, therefore, continue to see more new diesel models in all sectors of the car market, with particular efforts being made to create one or 1.2-litre diesel engines for small cars.'

The Euro IV emission race

  • New technology will ensure that diesel engines will meet Euro IV emission standards by 2005 and avoid the three percentage point tax supplement imposed on them under the current UK company car tax system.
  • Higher injection pressures, dual pre- and post-injections and an electronic metering system designed to make de-NOx catalytic exhaust systems more effective will all clean up diesel emissions.
  • Bosch is also starting series production of the diesel lambda sensor, which is to appear first in Volkswagen's new Touareg 4x4.
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