The push for more diesel vehicles in North America is finally starting to pick up momentum from non-German automakers like Chrysler, General Motors and Mazda, but there are still hurdles automakers face in winning over American car buyers. To combat this, The Detroit News says that Volkswagen is attempting to get government officials to help level the playing field and even create incentives to promote diesel vehicles.
Aside from trying to get the federal diesel fuel tax lowered, VW is looking to get additional credits for diesel vehicles in the stricter 54.5-mpg fuel regulations and trying to get the EPA to adjust how it calculates its combined fuel economy rating. The current ratio takes into account 55-percent city driving and 45-percent highway driving, which a VW exec claims does not "reflect real-world driving." Diesels perform better on the highway, so on paper, altering the formula could provide a boost for diesel vehicles in the form of a better combined mile-per-gallon rating. This all comes after recent news that VW is working on its next-generation EA 288 TDI engine, a powerplant expected to further increase highway fuel economy to the tune of at least 45 mpg.