Diesels may account for half of all vehicle sales in Europe but in the U.S. their numbers still hover barely above the 3% mark. A lack of availability, a dirty image, and higher prices for the fuel itself have all had negative effects on the popularity of diesels in the U.S. but a new coalition has now formed that aims to promote the benefits of modern diesels and hopefully speed up the importation.

The new group is called the U.S. Coalition for Advanced Diesel Cars (USCAD) and their plan is to urge federal, state and local legislators and regulators to support public policies helping to foster energy independence, reduce CO2 emissions and create jobs in this alternative powertrain technology.

The founding members of USCAD include automotive parts suppliers BorgWarner and Robert Bosch, both of which produce many of the components required for diesel powertrains. According to their own research, modern clean diesels can perform with 30% better fuel economy, up to 25% lower CO2 emissions and 50% better torque than comparable petrol vehicles.

One policy already in place to promote the take-up of diesels in the U.S. is the IRS' own Lean Burn Technology Motor Vehicle Tax Credit, which is targeted at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the cars eligible for the tax credits include the BMW 335d and xDrive35d, Volkswagen Jetta and several of Mercedes' BlueTec diesels (both eligible under the Lean Burn program), plus the Ford Fusion Hybrid, eligible under new hybrid incentives.