US diesel car registrations up nearly 25 percent 2010-‘12

By Ron Kotrba | July 10, 2013

Clean diesel car registrations increased by 24.3 percent in the U.S. from 2010 through 2012 following similar trends of double-digit diesel car sale increases throughout the country, according to recent data compiled for the Diesel Technology Forum. The national registration information was compiled by R.L. Polk and Co. and includes data for all types of passenger vehicles—cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans—in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2012.

Diesel car and SUV registrations increased from 640,779 in 2010 to 796,794 at the end of 2012, a 24.34 percent increase. During this same period, hybrid car and SUV registrations increased from 1,714,966 to 2,290,903, a 33.58 percent increase. In contrast, the total car and SUV registrations in the U.S. increased by just 2.75 percent during the same period.

“When all passenger vehicle registrations are included—cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans—the diesels currently account for 6,658,399 vehicles while hybrids account for 2,295,500 vehicles throughout the U.S.,” says DTF Executive Director Allen Schaeffer, who notes that there are currently 27 diesels available in the U.S. market compared to 46 hybrids. “While total diesel vehicle registrations are slightly less than three percent in the U.S., auto analysts and market researchers virtually all agree diesel sales are going to increase significantly as the number of new diesels made available domestically will more than double in the next two years. Some analysts predict diesel sales will reach 10 percent of the U.S. market by 2020. In addition, clean diesel vehicle sales are also projected to increase as the U.S. moves toward increasing fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Because clean diesels are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than gasoline engines, diesel cars and trucks will play a major role in achieving these new standards. And an interesting wild card will be the emerging market domestically and internationally of clean diesel hybrid vehicles that will achieve astounding mpg numbers.”

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