Posted by: David Welch on January 13, 2008
I promise I won’t ride the diesel hobby horse too much longer. But the gas-saving engines will get a boost in the next couple of years as Honda starts selling diesel cars in the U.S. Company President and CEO Takeo Fukui backed away from last year’s comments that the Accord sedan will get a diesel. But he did say at the Detroit auto show today that an Acura sedan will get one pretty soon. And the auto maker will sell it in America.
The reason is pretty simple, Fukui says. For cars like the Civic compact and smaller, a hybrid makes sense. But for anything larger, he says, diesel is the better way to go. You get at least as much improvement in fuel economy, he says. But “there will be a significant cost advantage” over hybrids, Fukui told BusinessWeek. Honda has said that it will launch a diesel engine that can trap carcinogenic particles and oxides of nitrogen (a component of smog) without having to have a separate tank of urea as a cleaner like some European models do. In other words, Honda will make its diesels clean enough for U.S. clean-air rules and with less of a cost premium than hybrids. Bring it on, Fukui-san.