BorgWarner Inc. and Robert Bosch LLC have founded the U.S. Coalition for Advanced Diesel Cars as an attempt to promote the fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness of clean diesel cars.
The coalition, organized last week, hopes to encourage government officials to promote multiple solutions to issues of fuel economy and emissions, Jeffrey Breneman, the coalitions executive director, said in a statement. Clean diesel vehicles often provide better fuel economy and torque than gasoline cars, the statement said.
Some public policies are steering consumers, and the auto industry as a whole, into specific technologies, Breneman said.
Automakers with clean diesel offerings, usually German companies, have complained that gasoline is undertaxed compared with diesel fuel. The average gallon of U.S. diesel costs $2.37 today, compared with $1.88 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Federal taxes account for 24.4 cents of that cost for diesel and 18.4 cents for gasoline, according to the American Petroleum Institute, a trade organization of oil and natural-gas companies.
Federal tax credits like the one available on Volkswagens Jetta TDI clean diesel sedan aren't enough, Stefan Jacoby, Volkswagen Group of America CEO, said last month at the Detroit auto show. He supports raising fuel taxes -- to levels similar to those seen in Europe, or four to six times higher than U.S. levels.
You have to encourage consumers to buy these products, Jacoby said.
The Jetta TDI, this years Green Car Journal Green Car of the Year, gets 41 mpg highway fuel economy, better than several hybrid competitors. The sticker price of $21,990 is cheaper than most hybrids.
Robert Bosch LLC is the U.S. subsidiary of Germanys Robert Bosch GmbH, the top global parts supplier to automakers. Bosch supplies common-rail fuel injectors for diesel engines.
BorgWarner, of suburban Detroit, produces turbochargers, which are used on most of todays advanced diesels. BorgWarner ranks No. 30 on the Automotive News list of top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $5.33 billion in 2007.
April Wortham and Mark Rechtin contributed to this report