Last Friday Pike Research released a report on the global clean diesel vehicle market, and highlighted an expected 22-percent sales growth for light duty vehicles (LDVs) in the U.S. between 2012 and 2018.

The forecast says diesels will “capture a slightly higher percentage of new U.S. vehicle sales than hybrids” in that time.

Globally, Pike projects nearly 80 million clean diesels will be sold in this time period – including light and medium duty trucks. Cumulative sales of clean LDVs will reach a little less than 1 million units in the U.S. according to Pike.

The report cites rising gasoline costs and strengthened fuel economy regulations coming online as partial drivers of U.S. diesel market growth. Also pushing things, Pike said, will be the 20-40 percent greater fuel efficiency diesels offer compared to gasoline engines.

“Makers of diesel vehicles have had two primary barriers to overcome, particularly in the United States: the price premium, which can be from $1,000 to $3,000 more than gasoline vehicles, and the perception that diesels are dirtier than gasoline cars,” said senior research analyst Lisa Jerram. “New clean diesel models are helping automakers overcome those characteristics and are being rewarded with a more positive impression among car buyers.”

Pike Research