Bosch was at the the AFVI Expo in Las Vegas this week touting two things: that huge CNG hydraulic hybrid refuse truck and the company's work bringing more diesel vehicles to American roads. As Bosch announced early in the week, the push for oil burners is having an effect. We spoke with Bosch's director of marketing of diesel systems, Lars Ullrich, who said:
This is all partly Bosch's fault. For the last six or seven years, the company – which makes parts for all sorts of vehicle powertrains and other parts of the car, as well as industrial systems and household items – has been promoting diesels through things like ride and drives with diesel Smart Fortwos and some Audi and Volkswagen models. Diesels really made a comeback in 2009, and there are about a dozen diesel models currently available in the U.S.Especially in the age group between 25 and 45, people are really drawn to diesels. They do not have the opinion of the '70s, when diesels were loud, stinky and slow.
What does the future hold for diesels here? While J.D. Power predicts diesels will make up eight percent of the U.S. market in 2015, Bosch predicts it'll be 10 percent (down from a 15 percent prediction a few years ago thanks to the recession and some companies – i.e., Acura – canceling diesel models).
Will more diesels mean more biodiesel? Ullrich was hesitant:
In general, we are really focused on having the right fuel standards in place. From a Bosch perspective, the components can be adjusted to that, however, we wanted to sure that the right fuel quality and enforcement is in place to make sure we can bring components into a stable enough market where we don't see any big negative impact.