Jim Resnick:

The modern wave of diesel cars took root 60 years later, and it required several planets aligning properly: highly precise fuel metering, sophisticated turbocharging, better machining of tiny but durable fuel injector pintles—the injector’s business end—and very high, yet manageable fuel pressures (up to 29,000 psi or 2,000 bar). But even with those technical hurdles passed, a foundation was laid in the 1990s that allowed the modern diesel engine to ascend in popularity in Europe, its home ground.
 So what exactly caused this rapid transformation from gasoline engines to diesels in an enormous market?