Cummins, the company credited with popularizing diesel engines in light-to-medium-duty pickups, has been honored with Chrysler Groups’ Supplier Award in the Sustainability category.
Cummins revolutionized light truck powertrain efficiency in 1989 with a new diesel for the Dodge (now Ram) pickup. Ford followed with a diesel in 1994 and GM added a diesel in 2004. Today, 80 percent of Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup buyers opt for Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel.
Sales of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids, electric and clean diesels, took off in April. Total green car sales rose 58.6 percent and accounted for 4.69 percent of total U.S. light vehicle deliveries.
Pure electrics and plug-in hybrids posted a 237.2 percent increase as the new Toyota Prius PHV took the top sales spot in the segment. Sales of the Chevy Volt were up 196.6 percent last month. Sales of Nissan’s Leaf fell 35.4 percent, but the deficit was made up by the BMW Active E and Mitsubishi iEV.
Hybrids reported the largest sales volume: 39,901 vehicles in 34 different models claimed 3.4 percent of the total market. Compared to April 2011, hybrid sales rose 60.9 percent.
Clean diesels from German manufacturers claimed nearly one percent of light vehicle sales in April, up 28.2 percent from last year.
While the overall numbers are impressive, the story continues to be two manufacturers: Toyota and Volkswagen. Toyota’s share of the hybrid market increased to 77.5 percent in April and to 76.5 percent for the first four months of 2012. The Toyota Prius PHV plug-in-hybrid took the top spot in the EV/Plug-in segment. Volkswagen’s share of the diesel market dropped to 70.8 percent from 80.0 percent in April 2011, thanks to strong competition from Mercedes-Benz where diesel sales jumped 142.4 percent, but VW and Audi are still the market leaders.
GM’s hybrid sales were up 679.0 percent, thanks to the mild hybrids from Buick and Chevrolet.
Despite a strong performance from the Civic, Honda’s total hybrid sales fell 59.9 percent last month. Ford’s hybrid sales dropped 58.9 percent.
While the Toyota juggernaut looks to continue its winning ways, overall near-term sales of green vehicles may begin to soften. Nationwide average gas prices are now 25 cents lower than they were at this time last year and oil is trading at prices not seen since before last Christmas.
John and Helen Taylor, the world’s most fuel-efficient couple, have set a new world’s record for the farthest distance traveled on a single tank of fuel. The Taylors have lots of experience with this sort of thing; they’re professional “hypermilers” with more than 90 world fuel-economy and vehicle-related records to their credit.
For the attempt they decided on a road trip in the U.S. in a stock, Chattanooga-built 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE with a 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder diesel and a six-speed manual transmission.
Starting in Houston, Texas, on May 3, the Taylors drove through nine states over the course of three days, ending their journey on May 5 in Sterling, Virginia and setting a new record of 1,626.1 miles on a single tank of diesel fuel. The husband-and-wife team averaged 84.1 miles per gallon. Even with fairly stout prices for diesel, the cost per mile worked out to be 4.6 cents.
Prior to the drive, the speedometer and odometer were calibrated by a state-certified testing station in Houston. Officers from the Houston Police Department oversaw validation of mileage, fuel fill-up, and gas tank sealing at the beginning of the drive. In Sterling, a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy verified completion of the drive and mileage prior to removing the fuel tank seal.
To ensure their experiment was reasonably realistic, the Taylors added 120 pounds of luggage and did most of their driving during daytime. They took turns driving and kept each day’s drive under 14 hours.
“We’re excited to have broken the record for the longest distance driven on one-tank of fuel,” said John Taylor. “The Passat TDI was the perfect car for the trip. It offers plenty of interior and cargo space, yet is frugal enough to help us achieve this record.”
The previous record was 1526.6 miles and was also set with a Passat: a European model equipped with a 1.6-liter diesel.
The Taylors have made a career out of driving efficiently and conducting workshops globally on fuel-efficient driving techniques.
Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroën today announced the two companies will now independently develop diesel engines of 2.0 liters and larger displacement.
The companies, which have jointly developing two families of diesels (1.4- to 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter and above) over the past 12 years. The cooperation has produced more than 20 million engines in the two families.
The change will have no affect on the existing jointly-developed engines, or the derivatives planned for Euro 6 emissions legislation which comes into effect in 2014. The decision will initially impact only commercial vehicles planned for mid-decade.
While it was not cited in the announcement, it’s likely the new alliance between General Motors and the French carmaker was a factor in the decision.
Volkswagen will be presenting its new Cross Coupé Concept at the Geneva Auto Show opening next week. The Cross Coupé is a plug-in hybrid powered by mating one of VW’s TDI direct-injection turbodiesel engines (TDI) with two electric motors. Its combined fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is 1.8 liters per 100 kilometers or about 130.67 miles per gallon while CO2 emissions are just 75 grams per mile, 57 percent lower than a Chevy Volt.
Even while it’s shrinking its carbon footprint, Volkswagen says the Cross Coupé is a very functional crossover weighing in at 4,087 pounds. The power system produces the equivalent of 301 horsepower, giving the Cross Coupe a claimed top speed of 136 miles per hour.
Bad Behavior has blocked 1234 access attempts in the last 7 days.