by Richard T. Stuebi
My good friend Gerrit visited me last week from Canada, driving down his prized Mercedes diesel. We talked about diesel autos, and how they were likely to be an increasing part of the energy/environmental solution.
Gerrit told me that he had been hearing that auto manufacturers were losing enthusiasm for hybrids, coming to the realization that most Americans drive lots of highway miles, for which diesels are simpler, cheaper and more efficient than hybrids.
Certainly, diesel hybrid designs are beginning to show up for commercial vehicles, such as delivery vans and garbage trucks. For instance, Eaton (NYSE: ETN) announced earlier this year a pilot program for UPS (NYSE: UPS) involving a diesel delivery truck with a hydraulic (not battery) motive augmentation system.
But what about diesel hybrid autos? Is anyone doing anything interesting in that field? If not, why not?