Fox News recently published an article (Fox News) on the rise of diesel fueled vehicles in America. Diesel fueled vehicle sales have risen by 40% to 2% so far in 2012. This might seem like a very small number but statically American diesel sales have rarely been over 1%. In the rest of the world the average sales of diesel cars is closer to 50%. The disconnect between America and the rest of the world is primarily because many Americans still have a bad diesel taste in their mouth from the 1970s when American car companies released a bunch of poorly built and smelly diesel cars. So why are American’s finally waking up to the reality that modern diesel fueled vehicles are the superior mode of transportation?
Diesel fueled vehicles make a lot of cents because:
- Diesel has over 10% more energy per gallon of fuel. Gasoline has 114,000 BTU per gallon and Diesel has 129,500 BTU. This means that although Diesel costs more, you are receiving more energy/mass for your dollar. So Diesel does not actually cost more dollar per dollar then gasoline. Below is a comparison chart that shows the equivancies to a gallon of gasoline. Source
|Fuel – Liquid, US Gallons||GGE||GGE %||BTU/Gal||kWh/Gal|
|Bio Diesel (B20)||0.9000||111.11%||127,250||37.12|
- Diesel engines are more energy efficient. Although there is only about 10% more energy in the fuel, diesel engines are often up to 30% more efficient then a gasoline counterpart. An examples is the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Gasoline model which achieves 24MPG City and 34 MPG highway, while the TDI clean diesel model alternatively gets 30MPG city and 42 highway or a combined increase in MPG of 20%. That is quite a jump for a car that has the same shape nearly 2x the torque output and weights 300 lbs more then the gasoline model. Source
- Ultra low sulfur Diesel also known as Diesel #2 in the US has cleaned up diesel vehicles. America was one of the last countries in the modern world to clean up their diesel fuel, but in 2007 the US joined in with providing a cleaner diesel. Starting in 2007 the maximum sulfur content was lowered from 500 ppm to only 15 ppm. This was great for the environment and human’s health, but this newer fuel does not have the same lubricity properties of the old fuel. It is highly recommended to run a diesel fuel additive with your Diesel fuel to help the engine run on the newer fuel.
So why is doesn’t everyone buy diesel vehicles?
- Cost: The diesel engines usually cost about 2k more then a gasoline engine. This is partly because the low volume of diesel sales, but the components to build a diesel vehicle are more.
- Diesel fuel is less common then gasoline. Although most service stations do have a diesel pump, it is much less prevalent then gasoline pumps. As America chooses to use diesel more, this will change.
What is next for Diesel in America?
- Starting in 2013 GM is planning to offer a diesel version of their Chevy Cruze.
- No other American automotive manufacturer has plans to offer a diesel car.
Diesel VS Hybrid
- Today a diesel vehicle is a great alternative to a hybrid like the Toyota Prius. Many diesel vehicles cost less and get very similar fuel economy without using new overcomplicated technologies.
Diesel fuel prices
- Even if American consumers decide to start purchasing more diesel fueled vehicles, there should not be a huge spike in diesel fuel prices. America produces much more diesel fuel then it can use, so the majority of it is exported.
Diesel fueled vehicles are a great alternative to gasoline and if you decide to spend a little more when you purchase your new car, you will reap in the benefits of owning a diesel very quickly.
-Josh M.- DieselPowerProducts.com
For more information on the rise of diesel checkout these 2 sources: