Give consumers a vehicle with a choice between a gas engine and a clean diesel engine, and about 30 percent of them will choose the diesel. This statistic comes come from analysis by Bosch, a leading supplier of diesel systems, based on date from R.L. Polk & Co., and reported today by Green Car Congress. Bosch studied the buying trends for a one-year period starting in January 2009.
The clean-diesel “take-rate” is much higher than the percentage of consumers choosing the hybrid version, when a vehicle is offered with both gas and gas-electric hybrid options.
Nearly half of the buyers of the Volkswagen Jetta opted for the clean diesel engine. Meanwhile, about 8 percent of Toyota Camry buyers chose the Camry Hybrid, and the take rate for the Ford Escape Hybrids was about 10 percent.
Bosch’s analysis of Polk data shows these clean-diesel take rates for 2009:
- Audi A3 TDI: 20%
- Audi Q7 TDI: 30%
- BMW 335d: 8%
- BMW X5 xDrive x35d: 17%
- Mercedes-Benz GL 350 Bluetec: 18%
- Mercedes-Benz ML 350 Bluetec: 13%
- Mercedes-Benz R 350 Bluetec: 12%
- Volkswagen Jetta TDI (Sedan and Sportwagen): 49%+
- Volkswagen Touareg TDI: 33%
Any conclusion about the overall relative popularity of the two alternative powertrains is complicated by the fact that the Toyota Prius, which represents about half of all hybrid sales—as well as the Honda Insight—are only offered as hybrids.
In April 2009, Toyota sold 12,555 Priuses, while the most popular clean-diesel vehicle was the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which tallied 3,622 sales.