Honeywell Turbo Technologies recently conducted survey revealing 70 percent of Americans have never driven a diesel-powered vehicle. Among the Millennials (those under the age of 35), 73 percent have never ventured on American roadways in a diesel car or truck, yet 56 percent recognize that running diesel fuel is more fuel efficient than using gasoline, according to the survey.
Despite this lack of diesel driving experience, consumers were familiar of the benefits of diesel, most notably that diesel engines can produce more power than traditional gasoline engines (65 percent), Honeywell reports. Nearly three in five adults (59 percent), and more than half of Millennials (56 percent), said they believe running diesel fuel is more fuel-efficient than gasoline.
“Turbocharged diesel engines have an opportunity to make an impact with today’s younger car buyers who understand and even prioritize the fuel economy advantages of the technology, but have not yet been able to drive one,” said Honeywell Transportation Systems President and CEO Terrence Hahn. “Turbodiesels and downsized turbocharged gasoline engines provide both automakers and consumers a no-compromise solution of greater fuel economy and performance with the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly.”
Modern diesel passenger car engines in the U.S. are all turbocharged, the company adds. Honeywell turbodiesels boost a wide range of light vehicles — from bi-cylinder 0.8L engines to 7.0L pickup trucks.
Honeywell’s survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Honeywell from Sept. 25-27, 2013, among 3,014 adults ages 18 and older. The survey indicated:
• While not often considered a factor in the driving experience, fuel economy (23 percent) was ranked the second most important factor for Americans when determining whether a car is fun to drive – behind only good handling (47 percent).
• When Millenials determine whether a car is fun to drive, they are more likely to say fuel economy (23 percent) contributes to this more than either speed (16 percent) or horsepower (8 percent).
• Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) said they believe diesel engines can output more power than traditional gasoline powered vehicles.
For the U.S., Honeywell has doubled its estimate for diesel sales penetration by 2018, to 6 percent from 3 percent. By 2018, diesel and gasoline turbo engines combined are expected to account for about 20 to 25 percent of U.S. new-vehicle sales.