Breakthrough hybrid tech set to further challenge diesels

December 07, 2016

Diesel could soon be in terminal decline as Volkswagen’s clever new hybrid system looks set to greatly improve petrol engine fuel economy.

The new 48V hybrid system improves petrol engine emissions by 6-8g/km of CO2.

As diesel costs keep increasing as OEMs seek to get their engines through ever-tougher emissions tests, small diesel-powered cars could soon become obsolete.  

‘Today diesel engines are more expensive [compared to petrol engines] and this distance is going to grow as we have to work to tougher standards,’ Volkswagen’s head of development Dr Frank Welsch told Auto Express.  

‘We have enough customers for diesel in cars like Polo now, but that might not be the case forever.’  

Welsch says that the 48V mild hybrid gives better recuperation and a near-silent start/stop, so you do not feel the engine cutting out and starting.  

Meanwhile, Toyota has announced that it will greatly expand its hybrid systems development over the next five years to speed up its lower-emission engine timetable to meet increasingly strict global emissions standards.  

The news comes as automakers reacted in dismay to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) decision last week to shorten an approval process for fuel economy, the 54.5mpg mandate, to the end of this year, rather than April 2018, which avoids it coming under the tenure of Trump’s presidency.  

Ford chief operating officer Mark Fields warned the decision will disrupt the review process, and would turn to Trump to reverse the decision and continue the dialog as planned.

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March 31, 2017

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