Mazda is Working on a Diesel to Go Head to Head with Hybrids

Mazda announced today that it is working on a new diesel engine that will be as fuel-efficient as some hybrids in 2011 as part of its plans to improve fuel mileage without the aid of expensive electrical systems.

Mazda has set a target of raising its global car fleet’s fuel economy by 30 percent by 2015. It plans on doing so by relying on advances in internal combustion engines, automatic transmissions and through weight reduction.

The diesel engine that Mazda is working on is a 2.0L engine that would be as fuel efficient as a 660cc microcar or a mild-hybrid.

“We believe that improving today’s conventional engines at a low cost is the most effective way to get fuel-efficient cars to proliferate,” R&D Chief Seita Kanai told reporters in Tokyo.

According to Toyota tighter emissions regulations in the future could mean that the costs to clean diesel emissions from engines will be near or more expensive than gasoline-hybrid technology.

Kanai states that Mazda’s diesel technology will cost less due to its proprietary single-nanotechnology, which reduces the use of precious metals in emission cleaning catalysts, and a new diesel particulate filter that means there will be no the need for expensive after treatment parts.

Mazda also plans on reducing the weight of its vehicles by 10 percent after 2011 and another 10 percent or more after 2016.

Full Story: Reuters