UK vehicular history was made last July. For the first time ever the number of diesel vehicles sold outpaced the number of gas powered vehicles sold. Diesel vehicle sales rose to become 50.6% of automobiles sold in the UK in July while gas powered vehicles plummeted by 13.2%.
The diesel engine has made amazing strides in recent years with it becoming consistently clean and efficient compared to its gas counterpart. Point and fact, the Green Car of the Year Award has gone to a diesel powered vehicle (like the Audi A3 TDI pictured above) for the last two years in a row.
A likely cause for the sharp change in buyers preferences has to do with the recession the UK is experiencing. As new car buyers are looking to save in any way possible they are taking note of the impressive efficiency offered from the new lines of diesel cars which often out perform their gas cousins by 15 – 20%.
So the only question remaining is, why haven’t American car buyers caught on to the solid quality offered by modern diesel engines?
The Toyota iQ is a diminutive four-seater. It runs off an impressive 1.0 liter engine that can get up to 67 mpg and has already won its own share of awards, including Japan’s Car of the Year Award.
The Mitsubishi iMiEV is an all-electric vehicle that has boasts outstanding handling and impressive acceleration. This sub-compact electric vehicle has an 85-mile range and a top speed of 80 mph.
The Honda FCX Clarity, is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with a 270 mile range on a full tank. Why calculate the range? Because you need to always be in range of one of the few filling stations out there. California, one of the few places to make a concerted effort to establish hydrogen fuel stations, still only has 24 to date. Will hydrogen be able to make the leap to a feasible infrastructure? Who knows, but it sure is tempting considering they run completely emission-free. Yes, I know, generating the hydrogen and running the stations isn’t emission free. If you have a problem with hydrogen fuel-cell cars take it up with the Governator.
Last year’s winner was the BMW 118d – a diesel car that gets 60 mpg. This year’s winner will be chosen on April 9.