7 Facts regar­ding Diesel

Reasons for the future of the Diesel engine

In the arena of conflicting priorities where fuel consumption, emissions, performance and vehicle cost all play a part, the respective strengths of gasoline and diesel engines lend themselves to different classes of vehicle.

1. Lower emissions of CO2, a climate-relevant greenhouse gas

Diesel engines consume up to 25 percent less energy than gasoline-powered engines. This corresponds to 15 percent less CO2 in terms of grams per kilometer and therefore an indispensable piece of the puzzle in meeting Europe’s climate protection goals. 

2. Major advantages for large and heavy vehicles travelling long distances 

The CO2 advantage cited above is particularly pronounced when it comes to large vehicles travelling at steady speeds for long distances. This applies not only to certification-relevant cycle consumption, but also to driving in everyday traffic on the road. Therefore, CO2-optimized long-distance driving is optimal for heavy vehicles. 

3. Low nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions  

Modern diesel vehicles that meet the current Euro 6-temp standard and comply with Real Driving Emissions (RDE) legislation are extremely clean with respect both to NOx and particulates (DPF, SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment, HP and LP EGR).This also applies to normal driving situations (RDE). By way of comparison, if all vehicles were equipped with modern RDE technology, the diesel-induced NO2 emissions we measure directly in the most heavily polluted spots in German cities would be no higher than a candle burning for several seconds in a room before being blown out. 

4. Effortless, relaxed driving thanks to high torque at low engine speeds 

Diesel engines deliver high torque even at low engine speeds. This makes them the ideal power source for comfort-oriented, relaxed driving.

5. Producing and transporting the fuel 

For technical reasons, a refinery can only produce a certain percentage of diesel and gasoline from crude oil. The share of
gasoline is in the region of 20 and 40 percent, with diesel accounting for between 25 and 40 percent. Therefore, the pro-duction of diesel fuel and its use in engines is essential for the efficient use of crude oil, a finite resource. A secondary effect of lower fuel consumption with diesel: fewer trips to the gas station in order to travel the same distance in kilometers, meaning that less fuel has to be produced in the refinery and transported to the gas station. 

6. Ideal combination with hybridization

The key characteristics of diesel combine perfectly with hybridization: On short distances in town, the advantages of electric driving such as local elimination of emissions, quiet, higher degree of effectiveness in transient operation, and on the other hand on longer distances, diesel propulsion: efficient in quasi-stationary operation, extensive range, which means a cost-effective solution that’s feasible in the short term.

7. Diesel is compatible with synthetic fuels 

Around the world, work is currently underway on processes to industrialize the production of synthetic fuels (e-fuels).The first facilities have already been built. Here, electric power (solar or wind) is used to produce synthetic fuel through chemical processes. As long as the electricity is produced sustain-ably (similar to the use in e-vehicles), this is CO2-neutral, because it’s a closed loop system (no more is released than was previously stored). E-fuels can be blended with normal diesel, meaning that they reduce CO2 emissions in the existing fleet of vehicles, and furthermore, they don’t require a separate logistic chain. 

// To sum up: The right propulsion technology for the right case

In the arena of conflicting priorities where fuel consumption, emissions, performance and vehicle cost all play a part, the respective strengths of gasoline and diesel engines lend themselves to different classes of vehicle: A modern gasoline engine makes especially good sense in compact cars, while an advanced diesel engine results in lower consumption in larger vehicles. Hybridization reinforces the advantages of diesel. In the short and medium term, protecting the climate means there’s no getting around diesel.