As General Motors begins to offer a diesel engine in a car for the first time in nearly 30 years, it’s remarkable to note how much diesel technology has progressed in efficiency, power delivery, environmental friendliness, and overall refinement in the last two decades. Unfortunately, it seems that public perception of diesel technology has not kept up with actual engineering and technology advancements, as diesel technology seems to have a way to go when it comes to being recognized by federal and state green-energy policies and policy makers.
That’s part of the reason that a 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel shared a display with a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI at the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Atlanta this week. The NCSL hosts over 5,000 people such as foundation and think-tank representatives, legislators from all political parties, legislative staff, government officials, business representatives, and those who are interested in public policy in general. The diesel-powered cars are at the NCSL thanks to the Diesel Technology Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit.
“These clean diesel vehicles are excellent representatives of the latest diesel technology being offered in the U.S.,” said executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum Allen Schaefer in a press release. “Diesel technology has made tremendous advancements in recent years as manufacturers have invested billions of dollars in new research and development.”
Case in point: the 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel, for instance, is rated at 46 MPG on the highway, and offers a fun driving experience and plenty of passing power.
The goal of Schaefer’s group is to call attention to the potential contributions of clean diesel power to increasing fuel economy and reducing emissions of U.S. vehicles, which should be particularly helpful to legislatures as they deliberate ways to meet state and federal environmental and clean-air goals.
According to Schaefer, “The NCSL summit provides us an excellent opportunity to showcase the latest in clean diesel technology to policy makers from all 50 states.”
The GM Authority Take
It will be interesting to see if policy-makers will divert their attention from electric vehicles and vehicles with electrically-assisted internal combustion engines (hybrids) to diesel-powered cars. After all, there’s a reason that General Motors is making a diesel-powered Chevy Cruze available for U.S. buyers, a strategy that complements the automaker’s Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle.