|SOver the past decade, the heavy-duty vehicle fleet kept
diesel demand growth higher than gasoline.
Jet demand fell back after 9-11, which kept its average growth over
the past decade down to 1.2%. (Future
jet fuel growth is projected at 2.3% over the next decade.) Transportation distillate demand grew on
average 3.0% per year. The other
sectors were flat or declined.
|SIn 2004, diesel-fueled vehicles were 3.2% of new light-duty
vehicle sales. Most of them were the
heavier light-duty trucks within the light-duty vehicles.
|SWhile automakers have announced a number of new light-duty
diesel-fueled models becoming available in the next few years, there are no
clear signs of how many U.S. buyers will opt to buy a diesel-fueled
light-duty vehicle. The price
advantage diesel fuel had over gasoline seems to have vanished, and U.S.
buyers have memories of the unattractive features of older diesel-fueled
vehicles that must be overcome.
|SStill, the new diesel-fueled vehicles are very different
than the old models, offering both power and efficiency without the old
diesel-vehicle smell. Interest in
light-duty, diesel-fueled vehicles could increase substantially. J.D. Power
and Associates estimates light-duty diesel sales will exceed 10% of new
light-duty vehicle sales by 2015.
|SLast year we presented a high diesel-penetration case (15%
of light-duty vehicle sales by 2015).
That growth in penetration dropped gasoline sales by 192 thousand
barrels per day in 2015 and increased diesel by 139 thousand barrels per day
relative to the base case that kept diesel penetration at roughly today’s
rate. Should this kind of adoption of
diesels by Americans occur, it could impact gasoline and diesel growth rates -- increasing diesel by +0.3% per year, and
decreasing gasoline by -0.2%.
|SRegardless of the diesel penetration rate into the
light-duty fleet, U.S. diesel demand should still see high growth rates from
the heavy-duty vehicles alone.