WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its updated annual energy forecast for 2005 through 2025, Energy Information Administration (EIA) paints of a picture of increasing demand for petroleum and fluctuating prices. The report – available at www.eia.doe.gov/ – highlights the need for increasing energy efficiency in the U.S. transportation sector. “This report reaffirms what experts are increasingly predicting to be a viable market for light-duty diesel vehicles in the United States,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “Diesels are an attractive alternative because of their superior fuel efficiency, ability to decrease dependence on foreign oil and lower emissions of carbon dioxide.” A new generation of diesel cars, trucks, and SUVs deliver power and performance, but sip 20 to 40 percent less fuel than comparable gasoline vehicles, according to the Diesel Technology Forum on December 9. A recent study by the Department of Energy (DOE) forecasts growth of 4 to 7 percent in light-duty diesel vehicles in the U.S. market by 2012. Previous studies by DOE have found that a gradual 20 percent penetration of diesel vehicles by 2020 would save the U.S. 350,000 barrels of oil each day. “Since light-duty diesels currently account for only about 0.2 percent of the market today, this growth prediction is substantial,” noted Schaeffer. While U.S. diesel penetration is still not on a par with that in Europe, where diesel technology accounts for nearly 50 percent of all new vehicles, today´s American consumers have more diesel choices than ever before. Four new light-duty diesel models were introduced in the U.S. in 2004 (Jeep Liberty CRD, Mercedes E-320 CDI, and Volkswagen Touareg and Passat), making modern diesel technology now available in four key market segments – from economy cars and family station wagons to luxury sedans and SUVs.