The United States lags far behind Europe in the use of clean diesel technology to improve fuel economy in passenger cars and light-duty trucks, according to a report released by the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF).

The report, “Demand for Diesels: The European Experience,” highlights the dramatic differences in clean diesel technology use and consumer acceptance of light-duty automotive applications between the two continents. In Europe, one of every three new cars sold today is powered by clean diesel technology: In the premium and luxury car categories, over 70% are clean diesels. However, in the U.S., light-duty diesels account for only 0.26% of all new cars sold, with only slightly higher figures in the light-duty truck markets.

“What we've found is that the Europeans are able to reap the rewards of clean diesel technology -- efficiency and environmental benefits -- while the U.S. has mostly regulatory roadblocks," said Allen Schaeffer, DTF executive director. “It’s completely understandable why clean diesel technology has such a high acceptance in Europe -- the engines provide more power, are more fuel efficient, are more durable, are extremely responsive with low-end torque, and have 30 to 60% lower greenhouse gas emissions.”