Honeywell Turbo Findings on U.S. Diesel Perceptions. Really?

Gary S. Vasilash

According to a survey conducted for Honeywell Turbo Technologies, while a majority of Americans—70%--have never driven a diesel-powered car or truck:

59% say that using diesel fuel is more fuel efficient that using gasoline

65% say that diesel engines can output more power than gasoline engines

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel 

And what is even more fascinating is that when Millennnials (under 35 years old) were asked about how they determine whether a car is “fun to drive,” fuel economy (23%) trumps both speed (16%) and horsepower (8%).

Presumably “fun to drive” has a different connotation for those of us who are older than 35.

But fuel economy as fun? Isn’t that sort of like defining flossing as a “recreational activity”?

Honeywell is interested in the perceptions of diesels for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles because it makes turbochargers—from 0.8-liter engines all the way up to 7.0-liter mills—for diesels, and the company points out that all passenger car diesels in the U.S. are turbocharged. The company also makes turbochargers to gasoline-fueled engines, so it has both sides covered.

Honeywell is feeling particularly bullish about the prospects for diesel penetration in the U.S. market, as it has upped its estimate for the number of diesels sold in the fleet from 3% in 2018 to 6%. What’s more, the company reckons that by 2018, the combined share of diesel and gasoline turbo engines in in U.S. will be on the order of 20 to 25%.

Which is an increased amount of fun, to boot.