Today’s diesel cars are cleaner and more efficient thanks to technological innovations by automotive suppliers, such as Bosch. Over the past decade, the increasing number of diesel cars fitted with advanced components, such as common-rail diesel and Start-Stop, have benefited from significantly reduced emissions and lower running costs.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ New Car CO2 Report, which was launched on 13th March, new diesel cars sold in the UK are 21 percent less polluting and 27 percent more economical than they were in 2003*, meaning that British motorists are saving money.
If diesel cars were only as fuel-efficient as they were ten years ago, the average annual fuel bill for 12,000 miles of driving would be £1,690 rather than the £1,330 it is today – so motorists are saving up to £360 per year**. In addition, modern less polluting diesel cars are reducing the UK’s CO2 emissions by more than 750,000 tonnes per year.
Peter Fouquet, President of Bosch UK said: “Motorists today benefit from much cleaner diesel cars than those that were on the market even ten years ago. As diesel car sales continue to rise, we are focused on constantly innovating new technologies that help reduce emissions from diesel cars and make them cheaper to run.”
One of the first major innovations in diesel car technology was the introduction of turbochargers in 1980s models, which helped reduce emissions and made the engines more efficient. The Audi 100 TDI was one of the first cars to use Bosch turbodiesel technology in 1989.
The next major change for diesel cars was the introduction of the common-rail system, pioneered by Bosch, which injected fuel into the engine at a higher pressure, making it more efficient. The first car to use this Bosch technology was the Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 JTD in 1997. More recently in 2004, Bosch further developed this system to inject the fuel at even higher pressures, making diesel car engines more efficient than ever before. This development has helped reduce emissions by up to 15-20 percent.
One of Bosch’s latest milestone innovations was the introduction of Start-Stop into cars from 2007, which turns the engine off automatically when the car comes to a stop, starting it again when the car drives off. Today, Start-Stop is fitted to every other new car manufactured in Western Europe and helps to reduce their emissions by up to 8 percent, saving the average driver more than £100 per year.
Bosch will continue to develop diesel technology to improve its efficiency and deliver improvements for the environment and for motorists, which is likely to include hybrid vehicles. The first diesel hybrid production car was brought to market in 2011 by Peugeot, using Bosch technology to help its crossover vehicle, the 3008 HYbrid4, achieve emissions of just 99g/km CO2. Hybrid diesel technology can reduce fuel consumption in diesel cars by around 40 percent and will help manufacturers to meet the European 2020 emissions target for new car CO2 emissions of 95g/km.
*Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
**Based on an average fuel price for diesel of 140.9 pence per litre in 2013