While we wait for the transition to electric vehicles to reach more than a niche market, finding cleaner ways of powering combustion engines has taken on added importance: and it appears that Volkswagen is leading the way.
According to a new report by Pike Research, Volkswagen is the leader in the clean diesel vehicle market, thanks to its efforts with both the VW and Audi brands (such as the VW Golf TDI Clean Diesel, pictured).
A clean diesel vehicle is one that meets limits for NOx or particulate matter emissions set by the US Environmental Protection Agency Tier 2 or by the EU’s Euro 5 standards. Each of these standards requires a significant reduction compared to previous emission levels that were permitted.
Currently, Europe is the largest market for clean diesel cars – there were around 7.3million diesel passenger cars sold on the continent in 2011, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Indeed diesel’s share of the Western European market has been on the increase since 1997 and according to Pike’s estimate, diesels will grab a slightly higher percentage of new vehicle sales compared to hybrids throughout the 2012-2018 period.
It is predicting global growth in annual clean diesel light duty vehicle sales from 9.1million in 2012 to 12million in 2018: that’s a compound annual growth rate of close to five per cent. Western Europe will continue to dominate and will account for around 75 per cent of global sales.
As for the manufacturers, they were ranked in terms of strategy; partners; production strategy; geographic research; and technology. Volkswagen came out on top ahead of Mercedes, BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors respectively. The top 10 was rounded out by, in order: Renault-Nissan, Ford, Mazda, Fiat-Chrysler and Mitsubishi.