Volkswagen Group has made an announcement that might raise a few eyebrows and change some perceptions. The VW Group just announced that it has sold 100,000 clean diesel vehicles in the United States this year. This combines the TDI Clean Diesel sales of both Volkswagen and the group’s Audi premium brand.
Many have lumped diesel in with hybrids and electric vehicles as niche market cars, but the combined VW and Audi sales numbers may suggest otherwise. Audi has made a big marketing push for diesel in 2013, and it seems that it paid out in increased sales. This was the first time in the history of either brand that it had sold this many diesels in America in a year span.
But hybrids and electrics are selling in larger numbers too. The electric car market accounted for about 100,000 vehicles sold in America. Of that 90K, 15,000 sales were the Tesla Model S.
Volkswagen wisely pointed out that you don’t need to plug anything in to gain the added efficiency of its TDI vehicles. According to the announcement, those benefits include 30% better fuel economy and 12%-30% lowered carbon dioxide emissions. It should also be pointed out that diesel can be more expensive than regular unleaded gasoline in many areas around the country. With anything in the realm of efficiency, everything is a tradeoff and a compromise.