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Honda Odyssey

Honda Pilot

Honda Ridgeline
Honda to introduce a new 3.5 liter V6 diesel by 2010

While many domestic and foreign automakers are looking to hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency across their auto lines, Honda is looking towards the tried and true: diesel engines.

It was reported last month that the next generation Honda Accord would forgo its slow-selling and poor-performing Accord Hybrid with a diesel variant. The oil-burning Honda Accord will feature a 2.2 liter i-CTDi Tier 2 Bin 5 diesel engine along with an ammonia-filled catalytic converter to reduce NOx emissions.

Honda is also poised to make a new 3.5 liter V6 diesel engine available for its larger vehicles including the Odyssey minivan, Pilot mid-sized SUV and the Ridgeline mid-sized pickup truck. The new Tier 2 Bin 5 diesel will first be available in 2010 according to the Japanese Nikkei newspaper.

The engine is said to be 30 percent more fuel efficient than Honda's current 3.5 liter V6 gasoline engine (rated at 17/24, 15/20 and 15/20 respectively in the Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline based on 2008 EPA estimates). The new motor is also said to produce 20 percent less carbon dioxide as the 3.5 liter V6 gasoline engine.

Honda's new diesels likely won't come under as much scrutiny for failure to achieve EPA estimates as has been the case with hybrids. Honda knows this first-hand as it recently became the target of a class-action lawsuit regarding poor fuel economy on the Civic Hybrid.



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What utter crap.
By mongrelchild on 7/11/2007 11:19:28 AM , Rating: 3
This isn't an article, it's a press release.

"While many domestic and foreign automakers are looking to hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency across their auto lines, Honda is looking towards the tried and true: diesel engines."

This is just untrue. Both domestic automakers are pouring money into fuel cell development. If they are developing hybrids nbow it's because of market pressure. both have stated that hybrids simply aren't viable from a cost/performance standpoint. They have not lived up to mileage expectations. A parallel hybrid system is much more useful in the real world, and costs significantly less.

Honda along with toyota have been the biggest proponents of Hybrids. They have not had viable diesel tech for years. Now after collaborating with various companies (GM, Isuzu, Ford)they have a design to sell. How newsworthy.

To present this as a news item is simply advertisement.




RE: What utter crap.
By Griswold on 7/11/2007 11:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
Have to agree here. If one wants to see impressive diesel technology, you dont look at japanese cars, you look at european, particularly german and french, car makers - they're at the bleeding edge of this technology in every aspect, be it fuel efficiency or high performance diesel sports- and racecars.

I must have missed the news when Audi won Sebring and Le Mans in 2006 with their R10 diesel. :p


RE: What utter crap.
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 11:55:28 AM , Rating: 1
Automakers outsource most of this "technology" development to automotive suppliers and companies that specialize in consulting and development. Very little is developed by the automakers themselves.

You only see greater expression of this in German and French brands, since opressive fuel taxes in Europe have driven fuel economy to be #1 priority. This is different than in the U.S. and Japan which have enjoyed relatively low fuel prices.

But my point is that the technology is available to any auto manufacturer - they just have to get it from their suppliers.


RE: What utter crap.
By Samus on 7/11/2007 1:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
Have you been to Japan. Petrol is every bit as expensive there than here. That's why their car's are already so efficient, and historically most Japanese auto manufactures have roots in motorcycles (especially Honda)


RE: What utter crap.
By TomZ on 7/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: What utter crap.
By cpeter38 on 7/11/2007 2:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Although component technology is in the hands of the suppliers (of the components), the automaker is in complete control of the engine assembly. You would be severely stretching reality if you claimed that 1 component would make a extremely significant change in the engine assembly's performance (i.e. the world's best turbo will still be limited by the capability of the piston, block, etc. to handle the mean peak cylinder pressure [+ 3 sigma]).

The only way your assumption is true is if the engine assembly is supplied by an outside source. At the moment, the domestic automakers ONLY outsource large diesels (and there are many rumors that most of that even that production will be brought in house).

I am not trying to flame you, but, I do not see it that way (and I spent almost 7 years in engine engineering).

As far as the technology being available, I will agree that it is common knowledge - the components are nearly a commodity. Getting them to work together reliably is a cat of an entirely different color ...


RE: What utter crap.
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 2:56:34 PM , Rating: 1
Component technology is mainly what I'm talking about, like the SCR systems needed for modern diesels.


RE: What utter crap.
By cpeter38 on 7/11/2007 3:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
In that case, I agree with you that the technology is in the hands of the supplier.

However, that technology is available from many companies. What needs to be done is well known.

There are very few technical unknowns in spark/compression ignition engines - almost everything has been demonstrated many times in laboratory conditions. The big questions are how to do it cheaply and reliably in mass production.


RE: What utter crap.
By encia on 7/13/2007 7:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Automakers outsource most of this "technology" development to automotive suppliers and companies that specialize in consulting and development

Toyota partly owns "Panasonic EV Energy Co,.Ltd"...

Refer to "The Prius That Shook The World" book by Hideshi Itazaki for Prius drive train development i.e. for Toyota, R&D is mostly in-house.


RE: What utter crap.
By CupCak3 on 7/11/2007 11:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately EPA regulations prohibit the euro "ultra" efficiancy cars from making it to the US market :(


RE: What utter crap.
By Hoser McMoose on 7/11/2007 3:04:34 PM , Rating: 1
... and for good reason! Air pollution is what is causing respiratory problems and killing people who are at high risk. The US rightfully focused on this problem instead of some potential issues that could occur over the next 100 years with climate change.

The EU has also seen the light and is in the process of updating their emission regulations to be as stringent as those in the US, and it's damn near time! Air quality in most major European cities is TERRIBLE!


RE: What utter crap.
By Lonyo on 7/11/2007 11:57:19 AM , Rating: 1
You can also look at manufacturers like Volvo and Saab, who happen to be owned by... US companies!


RE: What utter crap.
By mdogs444 on 7/11/2007 1:20:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If one wants to see impressive diesel technology, you dont look at japanese cars, you look at european, particularly german and french, car makers - they're at the bleeding edge of this technology in every aspect


You are correct - when it comes to fuel efficiency. When it comes to power, well the US has that beat, but its for a different market (towing, trucking, etc).

What people here are failing to recognize, is that the Japanese manufacturers don't invent anything. They take what is already on the market, and refine it to be better.

Computers invented in US, now refined and produced in japan, china, korea. Cars invented in US, now refined in Japan & Korea.

The diesel engine was invented and first used in the US. Europe has been forced to make it much more efficient due to the price of gasoline & cars out there.

Japan will take the Diesel engine, and refine it to be more efficient, better quality, and cheaper than Europe. Honda will make a motor that is second to none in quality as they have been for the past decade, and produce it cheaper than you can a diesel for a VW/Audi, Benz, etc. Japanese wages & workforce VS. European wages & workforce. Its hard for any company to step up to that kind of competition.


RE: What utter crap.
By simong123 on 7/11/2007 3:28:00 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Computers invented in US, now refined and produced in japan, china, korea. Cars invented in US, now refined in Japan & Korea.

Computers - very debateable
Cars - Invented in Germany (Benz)
quote:
The diesel engine was invented and first used in the US. Europe has been forced to make it much more efficient due to the price of gasoline & cars out there.

The diesel engine was invented in Germany (Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel, working for Linde)


RE: What utter crap.
By EnderJ on 7/12/2007 7:44:17 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Cars - Invented in Germany (Benz)


Nope sorry, Benz may have invented the first Gasoline powered vehicle in 1885/1886, but the French (Cugnot) had a steam powered vehicle in 1769.

They're all based off Da Vinci's 15th century designs anyway.

As for the USA. Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile, he introduced the automobile assembly line which finally put cars in a position where everyday people could afford them.


RE: What utter crap.
By rcreyes on 7/11/2007 6:24:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Japanese wages & workforce VS. European wages & workforce. Its hard for any company to step up to that kind of competition.


What nonsense. Don't confuse Japan and China. There is no greater difference in two countries so close together geographically than Japan and China. Japanese wages are very high, perhaps higher than America's. Japanese industry is being hollowed out because of cheap Chinese labor. Of course, they keep the best, most complex work in Japan, as only the Japanese workforce can produce products with such high quality and complexity. Japan is to Europe what Europe is to China.


RE: What utter crap.
By kkwst2 on 7/11/2007 2:21:34 PM , Rating: 4
Not really. It has less to do with the manufacturers than the market. Ford is one of the more popular diesel makers in Europe. You might argue it's a different design group, but it's a U.S. company. The Fords are very competitive on fuel efficiency, performance and cost. I believe in fact that they've won

I assume the reason they don't make them here is a combination of different regulations(?EPA? as mentioned elsewhere) and market demand - either perceived or real.


RE: What utter crap.
By cpeter38 on 7/11/2007 2:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, you are correct.

Percieved (most important) and real demand has been lower. The push from Hollywood has been for hybrids (regardless of the real world payback).

I have heard of some incredible fuel economy results when a group did the engineering excercise of putting Ford's 2.0 liter European diesel in a small SUV. We can only hope that they would release a vehicle like that for production.

Here's a couple tidbits for the Prius lovers - According to EU testing specifications, the Fiesta with the 1.6L Duratorq diesel gets 54.3 mpg in the city and 72.4 mpg on the highway. The C-Max (a Crossover/Sport Utility Vehicle) gets 37.2 mpg in the city and 58.9 mpg on the highway (with a 2.0L Duratorq diesel) ...


RE: What utter crap.
By Sulphademus on 7/12/2007 9:49:29 AM , Rating: 2
2 weeks ago I rented a CMax diesel in Italy. Drove almost 600km and that ate 3/4 of a tank. Ford UK says the thing holds 53 liters. So thats what? 15.1 km/L or about 40mpg.


RE: What utter crap.
By encia on 7/13/2007 7:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
"Hybrid taxi paid for itself in no time", refer to http://autos.canada.com/green/story.html?id=738538...


RE: What utter crap.
By Hoser McMoose on 7/11/2007 3:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
While the European car companies have generally lead the way in diesel tech, Toyota is no slouch here. They've offered pretty decent diesel engines throughout their line-up in Europe for several years now. They might not have the high-end that Audi and Mercedes have, but they do have some of the most fuel efficient diesel's on the market.


RE: What utter crap.
By kenji4life on 7/11/2007 4:12:49 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree completely with you.

Toyota (the #1 car company as of this year) Has been making excellent diesel engines for decades, and hasn't stopped. Look at the TLC. In countries that aren't stupid (sorry but the US import laws are rediculous) makers like Toyota and Nissan export some of the top diesel vehicles in the world.

That being said, Mercedes invented the diesel and I have no doubt in their ability to produce top quality diesel engines. Their new 2.2 diesel proto c class is a perfect example. If only it was more than just a proto.

Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and even shitsubishi are perfectly capable of producing high quality diesel engines.


RE: What utter crap.
By kenji4life on 7/11/2007 4:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
I was disagreeing with the statement that "only Europe" makes good diesels. Not the post above mine.

On another note, American big 3 (although some through contractors) have made good diesels for years as well.

Cummins for example.

The American companies would have had the ability to further develop diesel had they been given that chance.


RE: What utter crap.
By rcreyes on 7/11/2007 6:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like someone who cannot accept that Europe isn't what it used to be. See this article about the new Honda diesel engine: http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/driving/st...

Japan's auto industry is kicking everyone's ass and has had a monopoly on the highest quality and highest reliability for 20 years now. Just read one issue of any Consumer Reports or look at any quality study. I'll take a Lexus over any rattle-trap Mercedes or crappy Audi any day.


RE: What utter crap.
By Comdrpopnfresh on 7/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: What utter crap.
By Anh Huynh on 7/11/2007 11:56:40 AM , Rating: 1
The Bluetec diesels are available in the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD and was available in the Liberty for a while. No car usage though.


RE: What utter crap.
By Desslok on 7/11/2007 1:07:26 PM , Rating: 4
That is incorrect. The Diesel engine that was in the Liberty was not a BluTech engine.


RE: What utter crap.
By NEOCortex on 7/11/2007 12:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
All engines need an "energy carrier" to function. What do you think gasoline or diesel is?

Yes they do need rare metals, such as platinum, but catalyst are being developed every day that use less platinum and other rare elements.

Hydrogen can be stored as metal hydrides and in ultra-high surface area materials. Don't forget that fuel cells can also run on methanol and formic acid.

I'll admit that fuel cells there are still alot of things to be worked out and improved on, and they may never work for all situations, but they'll have there place. They are most definitely not a big lie.


RE: What utter crap.
By cpeter38 on 7/11/2007 3:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
What is your point about fuel cells using energy carriers?

Although battery vehicles directly store energy, they need a HUGE battery to get a reasonable range. Even the purpose built Tesla (a very light 2 seater) will have a big range issue (~200 miles). Lifetime??? I wouldn't want to be the one giving it a 100,000 mile warranty ...

Cars use energy carriers because it increases fuel efficiency (energy density is much higher and you end up with a much better fuel economy because you do not have to pay the cost of accels/decels of a huge battery).

If somebody developes a miracle battery (light weight, infinite energy storage, & totally safe energy release) only then will we have battery cars.

Fuel cell vehicles will have a range of 300 miles within the next 5 years. This range has been demonstrated with purpose built fuel cell vehicles.

Fuel cells have demonstrated efficiency of ~60% (energy extracted/chemical energy of H2). What other technology can do this? You think Hybrids can?????? Battery vehicles?????

If you think any other energy conversion process is as efficient, I want to see your data! If you try to throw batteries at me, compare it on an apples to apples basis (i.e. the vehicle will have to have an existing battery technology with enough energy capacity to get the range - the vehicle weight will have to include this capacity. Also, include the chemical energy required to produce the electricity at the power plant and the transmission losses to get the power to the vehicle).

IF you had bothered to do that excercise, you would not have made that post.


RE: What utter crap.
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/12/2007 8:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, Honda developed the Accord Hybrid to be a performance hybrid, not a mileage hybrid. So it would never have the mileage numbers that a Toyota hybrid would, for example. Not even a GM hybrid (which isn't, BTW).

Honda failed using hybrid technology and wants to back off of it and save face. So this is their way of doing it. Diesels also offer fuel savings as well as a good mileage hybrid. I am always saying here I average 38 mpg in my Camry hybrid *sniff*, which isn't phenominal, when you consider the old Echo gets way more than that without a hybrid system, but then who wants to drive an Echo?


Typo + comment
By dreddly on 7/11/2007 11:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
"Honda's new diesels likely won't fall come under as much scrutiny"

So with ethanol a bust for energy consumption and hybrids failing on mileage and future component waste, are diesels the only option out there? I need to invest in some oil companies and military contractors....




RE: Typo + comment
By Martin Blank on 7/11/2007 11:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily. There are several sources for diesel under development that require neither oil nor harvesting, including (but not limited to) thermal depolymerization. With a few hundred million tons of municipal, industrial, and farm waste available each year, the amount of oil used could drop precipitously.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/11/2007 1:59:22 PM , Rating: 1
How is ethanol a bust? It takes 85% of our current fuel needs and converts it to 100% renewable resources. This is the easiest and quickest solution of the bunch. Not to mention the US produces 15% of its current fuel supply so E85 and Biodiesel could in the short term eliminate dependency on foreign oil.

Ethanol and Biodiesel are created using extremely similar process and the same bio mass anyway, so I ask again how can one be a bust and the other a success?

Either way they are both a step in the right direction and avoid the costly/rare/hard to produce materials needed for hybrids.


RE: Typo + comment
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 2:18:04 PM , Rating: 3
Ethanol is a bust because it requires government subsidies to make it economically viable, it requires more energy to produce than non-renewable sources, and it produces less energy = lower mileage at the same "pump" cost.

I don't see how biodiesel has really solved any problems, either. Similar issues there.

And these fuels have higher emissions when you burn them, if you are about things like that.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/11/2007 3:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
The lower fuel efficiency is more than made up for by renewable resources. We are talking a few MPG's here, a few percentage points dude.


RE: Typo + comment
By Hoser McMoose on 7/11/2007 3:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ethanol contains approximately 30% less energy by volume. This can partly be made up for by the fact that ethanol allows higher compression ratios, but you're still looking at about 20% fewer miles to your gallon.

Ohh, and ethanol from corn is NOT a renewable resource, it requires vast quantities of natural gas to produce and electricity (75% of which is from fossil fuels in the US) to distill the corn to ethanol.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/11/2007 3:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
As I have stated below there are many other sources of biodiesel and E85 that do not require the use of natural gas. They are all renewable and some like algae actually eat other harmful materials during the process.

Secondly where I come from ethanol is much cheaper than gas so I would be more than happy to give up 20% efficiency and end up paying the same amount anyway if I cut my overall oil usage by 85%.


RE: Typo + comment
By Hoser McMoose on 7/11/2007 5:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
I do hold out some hope for ethanol from other feedstocks and especially for biodiesel. In particular the biodiesel from algae you mentioned holds tremendous promise, though it's still many years away from anything resembling widespread use.

Unfortunately though the reality of today (in North America at least) is that biofuels = ethanol from corn + $BIG$ government subsidies. While you say the ethanol is cheaper than gas, that isn't entirely accurate. You just happen to be paying for that ethanol partly through you income taxes instead of at the pump.


RE: Typo + comment
By Hoser McMoose on 7/11/2007 3:19:17 PM , Rating: 2
There are three big reasons why ethanol from corn is a bust:

1. Cost. It just isn't cost competitive without the $10B/year in corn subsidies plus the additional billions in actual ethanol subsidies vs. gasoline which is TAXED instead of being subsidized.

2. It's does next to nothing to reduce foreign fuel dependency. Producing ethanol from corn requires a LOT of natural gas (to the point that it's only BARELY energy positive, ie it takes nearly as much energy to make as you get back), and natural gas supplies in North America are in decline. The major suppliers of the world are Russia and Iran.

3. It's extremely damaging to the environment. Farming corn not only has the high energy requirement mentioned above and uses lots of natural gas, but it also requires lots off fertilizers which can leach into the water. And this is all BEFORE you try to burn it in your car!

Ethanol from feed crops other then corn does hold some potential. Same goes for biodiesel, but for right now ethanol from corn is PURELY vote-buying among farmers and a feel-good idea for people who aren't interested in the reality of things.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/11/2007 3:54:36 PM , Rating: 3
Its bad because its grown from corn but OK by any other means. So, you denounce it as terrible??? Makes no sense man.

I watched a very recent special on producing algae from a waste byproduct that in turn generated biodiesel. Was the damnedest thing I've ever seen.

1. Your accusation about ethanol not being competitive is the only bust here. Its being subsidized to increase the growth of the technology at a faster rate than it would on its own accord. It was there before subsidies and would have continued on a growth pattern regardless of subsidies. At this point any and all technologies that will rival gasoline will need heavy subsidies in order to make up ground, so your point is really invalid.

2. The US has very large natural gas reserves. Canada, US, and Mexico hold 46% of the worlds estimated natural gas reserves so your argument is baseless. Check out naturalgas.org

3. You've already pointed out that there are alternatives to producing ethanol other than corn so you've already invalidated your entire argument here. One of the newest discoveries is that algae is capable of producing biodiesel and its only side effect is producing oxygen and did not require the use of natural gas in the process.

Most cars produced today are capable of using E85 and it would be stupid to not take advantage of this rather than giving money to the psychotic region that is the middle east.


RE: Typo + comment
By Hoser McMoose on 7/11/2007 5:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Biodiesel from algae is a VERY different thing than ethanol. Ethanol from other feedstocks does hold some promise, but unfortunately it is not being widely explored while governments are very literally pumping billions of dollars into ethanol from corn.

quote:
The US has very large natural gas reserves. Canada, US, and Mexico hold 46% of the worlds estimated natural gas reserves so your argument is baseless.

I don't know where you're getting that 46% number, but the link you provided states that North America has 5% of the world's proven reserves. The US government numbers are slightly worse:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/reserves...

Beyond that though North American reserves are in decline while demand has increased. That is why there are so many Natural Gas ports being proposed. Of course, NIMBYism has reared it's ugly head here and MANY of those proposed ports are being blocked.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/11/2007 5:55:51 PM , Rating: 2
It hasn't been widely explored because it is practically brand spanking new. They just got one small plant in operation and as small as it is (size of a mobile home) fuels their entire fleet of vehicles. In any means you are equating the short span of ethanol to the 100+ years of gasoline production and trying to draw a meaningful conclusion and time frames. Its simply isn't a practical argument.

And the 46% number is the total of North America.


RE: Typo + comment
By Hoser McMoose on 7/13/2007 1:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry for the late reply, been busy at work.

quote:
And the 46% number is the total of North America.


Uhh, unless you're "North America" includes Russia, then you're 46% figure is totally wrong. The US has about 3% of the world's reserves and Mexico and Canada have about 1% each.

See the link I provided above for more details.


RE: Typo + comment
By dluther on 7/11/2007 10:30:13 PM , Rating: 3
Ethanol, especially from corn has a negative (or neutral, depending on who you talk to) energy footprint because the amount of energy used to produce it in terms of growing, harvesting, and distilling is either less than or equal to what you get out of it. There's also only one crop per season, which immediately makes this fuel source reliant on extreme weather conditions like floods and drought.

Additionally, corn products and other products that rely on corn products are now more expensive because the very corn that would normally be used in these products is being diverted to ethanol production. So things like the ubiquitous corn syrup we use as sweeteners in everything, animal feed (cows, chickens, turkeys, fish), corn meal, and even shampoo has a reciprocal increase in price because generally speaking, more corn isn't being planted, and in the specific instances that it is, corn is replacing other crops.

Simply put, ethanol is a bust, with a capital 'B'. We currently have much better and more adaptable technologies such as biodiesel from waste oil to actually making light crude from thermal depolymerization of all the nasty parts of produce, poultry and livestock (heads, feet, guts -- you know, the things that get put into hot dogs) which have a much higher energy footprint and immediately available end product.

Just because it's "renewable" doesn't make it good, logical, or even green. I can't understand why that concept is so hard to understand.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/12/2007 10:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
we moved past corn yesterday. get with the program.


RE: Typo + comment
By TomZ on 7/12/2007 1:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
Practically all the ethanol produced in the U.S. is made from corn. Get with the program!


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/12/2007 1:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
and tomorrow it might be made mostly by something else. do you have a point or are you intent on pointing out the obvious.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/12/2007 10:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
Using any of the other sources of ethanol that were stated numerous times in this conversation simply puts your argument to rest. We don't have to use corn. Get it already???

It's only a bust if you look at it with the blind and stupid argument that corn is the only source of ethanol. Try to keep up with the rest of us here ok?

Biodiesel from waste oil is ludicrous. I sincerely hope you realize that the raising of livestock has a much higher energy consumption than growing corn/switch grass/algae and all the other forms of ethanol.

You really need to go look at this algae study and try to use any of your arguments against it. They will all fail horrendously.

Whatever we choose as a new fuel has to be first and foremost renewable. Otherwise its a dead end. We have to start there and move outward. Why is that so hard for you to understand?


RE: Typo + comment
By dluther on 7/12/2007 4:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
No, we don't have to use corn, but that's what we use. It's why all our flex-fuel cars and gas stations have a BIG PICTURE OF AN EAR OF CORN. Get it already???

Do some research and stop regurgitating your daytime talking points; you'd be surprised what you find out when you do even the most rudimentary research.

quote:
Biodiesel from waste oil is ludicrous.


Tell that to the thousand-some-odd people who are already making this stuff themselves.

That pretty much shows your bias. You'd rather stand and advocate the devotion of enormous resources, expense, and time into producing an end product that *could* be generated from waste products, while at the same time shortchanging the rest of the economy by using a product that is needed elsewhere.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/artic...

"...139 million metric tons of corn will be needed for ethanol by the 2008 harvest season, or roughly half of the nation's crop, according to US Agriculture Department estimates."

If ethanol were primarily produced from algae, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But it's not, and never will be because the USDA doesn't subsidize algae farming.

Ethanol production, the way we do it, is a Bust. The price effect of ethanol (E85) production is already in effect. Poultry, beef, dairy products, eggs, HFCS -- all are already between 9% and 17% higher this year than last, directly as a result of ethanol production. It will be worse next year.

Is the point I'm trying to make clear enough now?


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/12/2007 5:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
blah blah blah

the algae farming is brand new. If it gains traction it will be subsidized. If its subsidized quickly and is easy enough to produce then it will take the place of corn based ethanol.. We've been here before... You can regurgitate the corn argument all you want but the rest of us are moving on to other resources. We'll talk when you catch up to the newer innovations.

thousand some odd people??? I think there may be a few billion cars on this little chunk of rock we call earth. I'm pretty sure we will run out of left over cooking oil before then.


RE: Typo + comment
By dluther on 7/12/2007 10:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
blah blah blah

Well, at least you're consistent...

quote:
the algae farming is brand new.

But ethanol production isn't. Mankind has been distilling alcohol since the middle ages, getting drunk off ethanol from fructose yield in grains, wood, fruit, or any other thing that has some kind of fermentable component. The first combustion engines burned ethanol, because gasoline hadn't been around at the time.

quote:
You can regurgitate the corn argument all you want but the rest of us are moving on to other resources.

The point I'm trying to make, the point you can't seem to get through that thick skull of yours, the point that you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge even in the face of an overwhelming preponderance of evidence, is that you're NOT moving on to other resources.

I'm in 100% agreement with you on ethanol -- it's a great idea in both theory and practice. It reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and reduces emissions. I've never argued this point.

But, ethanol from CORN is a BAD IDEA . You have literally no grasp on how dependent our society is on the corn we produce, and now we're about to use half of that crop to produce ethanol, and there's literally nothing we can do to stop it. I want you to take a few minutes to try and digest what it is I'm trying to tell you here. Go and pull any product out of your refrigerator or pantry and look at the ingredients; 99% of the time you'll find corn .

We're about to face a crisis that will make hurricane Katrina look like a fart in a bathtub because nobody wants to use common sense and look two steps ahead at what will happen when we run out of corn to make all this other stuff.

quote:
thousand some odd people?

And growing every day.

I like ethanol. I really do. But for all of its good points, it's simply not as efficient as gasoline, which, if we just concentrated on foreign oil, and took into account the energy it takes to ship it from the other side of the world, refine it, and truck it to your gas station, has a 94% energy yield. Nothing else can say that.

Which is why I advocate thermal depolymerization over ethanol production. It takes a variety of abundantly available waste resources and with very little processing, produces a refinable light crude. It's still crappy for the environment, but it fits nicely into our existing infrastructure, and won't cause a global catastrophe in two years.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/13/2007 11:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
what an idiot.

quote:
is that you're NOT moving on to other resources.

Cant move on till you actually have something to move on to. DEE DEE DEE

quote:
Which is why I advocate thermal depolymerization over ethanol production.

Sorry man but you are going to run out of things to break down before you are even close to powering the billion or so cars on the face of the planet. Your idea is novel but a bust.

The solution needs to be abundant and renewable. Your solution is lacking.


RE: Typo + comment
By SandmanWN on 7/13/2007 11:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
Your entire argument about corn is that we will somehow not be able to use corn for our daily needs. This can be solved with simple legislation stating that food and other items that currently depend on corn production gets first dibs on the corn supply. All the excess with then be funneled into the fuel system. Your entire argument goes out the window at that point.

And don't be naive. It took a very long time to get the energy yields of gasoline to the efficiency levels they are today. If you don't think efficiency can be brought up to higher levels over time with ethanol then you are just plain fooling yourself.

And what difference does it make if we start with corn, one of the easiest and most readily ways to get ethanol, and transition to something else later? Big friggin' whoop. Boo Hoo our price of corn goes up a little. It's a drop in the bucket compared to oil prices.

quote:
Which is why I advocate thermal depolymerization over ethanol production. It takes a variety of abundantly available waste resources and with very little processing, produces a refinable light crude. It's still crappy for the environment, but it fits nicely into our existing infrastructure, and won't cause a global catastrophe in two years.

Yeah thats great man. Trade one problem for an even worse one. Great technology you decided to back there. And how the hell is ethanol going to cause some major catastrophe. You surpassed sipping the kool aid and went straight to sucking down the whole bottle.


RE: Typo + comment
By dluther on 7/13/2007 1:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
It appears to me that you have a finely developed "all or nothing" mentality regarding alternative energy sources. Why is that? I fully support alternative energy sources, especially ones that are clean and renewable. Honestly, I really like the concept of ethanol, it's just that our current source is, well, no need to rehash that conversation.

quote:
This can be solved with simple legislation

Okay. "Simple legislation" is an oxymoron -- there's no such thing as simple legislation, especially when you are neglecting the concept that these markets aren't regulated, merely subsidized It's called a free market economy, and a legislation that says someone can call "dibs" sounds logical, it just never will happen. It's obvious to me that you don't have a grasp of how futures, spot markets, independent sources, and farmer coalitions work to determine crop prices. You need to do some research on this. The farmer gets to sell his corn to the highest bidder. If the ethanol manufacturer wants to pay more than the feedlots, guess who's going to get the corn?

quote:
Big friggin' whoop. Boo Hoo our price of corn goes up a little. It's a drop in the bucket compared to oil prices.

Oil and gasoline prices are already at historic highs, with no relief in sight, which already has a deleterious price effect of almost everything else because transportation and manufacturing costs are tied to these costs. That you don't care about raising the prices of other items independently tells me that you are either stupid, heartless, or are simply unaffected by the changes that are happening.

quote:
Trade one problem for an even worse one.

How can augmenting our crude supplies with a cheaper supplement even remotely to be considered 'worse'? If crude oil is priced at $72/bbl, and TDP crude can be priced at $56/bbl, where is the problem? How in anyone's mind can a process that takes almost every organic waste we produce, and turn it into crude oil be considered bad?

Ultimately, I envy you -- I really do. You seem to live in a dream world where everything is possible, unaffected by the vagaries of political and economic downturns, and the effects those cause. If I were in that position, I'd stay there for as long as I could. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we have to live and work in the real world.


RE: Typo + comment
By Hoser McMoose on 7/13/2007 2:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This can be solved with simple legislation stating that food and other items that currently depend on corn production gets first dibs on the corn supply.

Ouch, there's a plan that's absolutely doomed to failure before it even gets out of the gate! If you truly believe that this sort of thing can be legislated then you are being VERY naive!

Every time governments have tried to force such things they have failed miserable.
quote:
It took a very long time to get the energy yields of gasoline to the efficiency levels they are today.

We've been making ethanol for about a thousand years. We've only been making gasoline for about a hundred years. There really isn't much new technology that is going to significantly improve the energy yield we're going to get for producing ethanol from corn because it's an extremely well understood process.

Genetic engineering of the corn crops themselves is the only area that we're likely to have good payback on this, though we'd still be better off genetically engineering OTHER crops then corn.

quote:
It's a drop in the bucket compared to oil prices.

That's only because ethanol currently amounts to about 1% of the world's fossil fuel energy use (not counting the rather direct use of it as a 'fuel' when we drink the stuff!). If it were to make up a larger percentage of the fuel use in the world then the price would go up SIGNIFICANTLY and would become much more volatile.

Besides, corn is so thoroughly integrated into our food system that any small increases get passed along to the consumer in nearly every food-based product we buy.


Diesels rule
By vzemployee on 7/11/2007 5:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Its about time another automaker enters the US diesel market.

Having driven various TDI's, MB's, Jeep CRD's, I can only say that there were NO sacrifices made. Power was pleny. Noise was minimal. Personal satisfaction was extremely high. And, the diesels do so much better when loaded or at altitude. When compared to similarly sized gasoline competitors, you just don't notice the 4 extra passengers and the trunk full of luggage with a turbo diesel, and altitude(for those of you living mile high or more) doesn't kill the powerband.

Total pollution seems to be less. The diesel tailpipe pollutes a little more. But, if you burn 1/2 the fuel, you have to import half the fuel, transport 1/2 the fuel, refine 1/2 the fuel......I'm more then willing to allow slightly higher tailpipe emissions when compared to the gasoline engine. Home grown fuel are also options. Waste to fuel processing, vegetable oils, biodiesels.....don't need importing.

And, for you hybrid fanatics. Think of the MPG if you provide some hybrid assist to a diesel engine. Toyota Prius + VW TDI =====????




RE: Diesels rule
By encia on 7/13/2007 7:24:21 AM , Rating: 2
"Toyota Exec Says Diesel Prius Hybrids Possible"
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleI...

Toyota already has 1.4L DICE for Yaris/Aygo. Both Toyota drive trains are already in mass production.

Toyota and Hino already has DICE-Hybrid for the truck segment.
http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.as...

This DICE-Hybrid is powered the same Toyota-developed hybrid-power computer software and parallel/series hybrid (Synergy drive)system.


RE: Diesels rule
By encia on 7/13/2007 8:11:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Think of the MPG if you provide some hybrid assist to a diesel engine. Toyota Prius + VW TDI =====????

For improvement hints…

Refer to
quote:
http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.as...

This Toyota hybrid-diesel drive; delivers 50 percent better fuel economy than conventionally powered trucks of equivalent capacity.


Fascinating
By glitchc on 7/12/2007 1:56:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's amazing how people on DailyTech have passionate discussions about the minutae of diesel emission standards of personal automobiles in the States, Europe and elsewhere, yet no one has brought up fuel consumption and emissions standards for tractor trailers.

North America transports a far larger percentage of its freight via tractor-trailers, compared to the EU and other nations in the world, which favour smaller trucks over the 18-wheelers. Until recently, emissions standards on tractor-trailers in North America have been anything but lax, and fuel economy is a non-existent metric. The cost of fuel is, in fact, passed on to the consumer in the form of increased prices. They are the largest perpetrators of smog in our major cities, and worst contributors when idling. Over 150,000 trucks cross the Canada-US border *daily*.

I worked at a gas station (poor student in Canada) for a while, after which I upgraded to a supervisor's position at a truck stop. The amount of diesel consumed everyday by tractor-trailers compared to gasoline by automobiles, is staggering. The amount of engine oil bought on a daily basis is also rather shocking. Contrary to popular belief, diesel is a popular resource in North America. It's just not popular in the personal automobile segment. Furthermore, once the price of diesel goes up, it hardly ever comes down. When it does, it drops by a couple of cents, but invariably in a week or two, jumps up by ten more.

People may feel that this is comparing apples to oranges, but when one is trying to judge the viability of biofuel, ethanol, or other alternatives to gasoline, it would be prudent to consider the impact such choices have on the largest consumer of fuel: the trucking industry.

Just my two cents.

Stats/figures borrowed from this link: http://www.energycommission.org/files/finalReport/...




RE: Fascinating
By glitchc on 7/12/2007 1:58:50 AM , Rating: 2
"anything but lax" to "anything but tight "...


@Honda
By encia on 7/13/2007 7:58:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Honda (snip) to introduce a new 3.5 liter V6 diesel by 2010

Honda might get killed (again) by Toyota's in diesel hybrid (also for 2010).

http://www.autoblog.com/2006/11/21/toyota-to-sell-...




haha honda efficiency?
By ttnuagadam on 7/12/2007 5:09:24 AM , Rating: 1
when people pretend like hondas are efficent i remind them that neither the accord nor civic hybrid get much better fuel mileage (or better at ALL in the accords case) compared to their regular counterparts. I also laugh at the S2000. it gets similar city figures as a 400 hp corvette and WORSE highway mileage, all while weighing less. The ridgeline also has puny v6 power while still getting v8 gas mileage. Honda = overrated, hardcore, and dont even get me started on the tools who think Hondas are fast or that HP/L means dick to anything at all.




It amuses me
By TheWizardofOz on 7/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: It amuses me
By ziggo on 7/11/2007 11:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
These diesels do contain "new" technology. The diesels in Europe would not pass our stringent emission requirements, failing mostly due to NOx and particulate emissions.


RE: It amuses me
By TheWizardofOz on 7/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: It amuses me
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 12:16:23 PM , Rating: 3
Newer VW/Audi TDI engines only pass new U.S. regulations when they are combined with NOx storage catalyst or urea-based SCR systems.

Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI will manage without a urea injection system by using a NOx-storage catalyst.
http://www.caranddriver.com/previews/12424/first-d...

Other VW/Audi engines will use BlueTec SCR.


RE: It amuses me
By hubajube on 7/11/2007 12:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In terms of efficiency and being a "clean" engine, EU passed US long time ago.
Wrong! CARB is STILL the most stringent emissions regulation on the planet. Most diesels can't pass CARB regs and can't be sold in CARB regulated states.


RE: It amuses me
By TheWizardofOz on 7/11/2007 1:00:41 PM , Rating: 1
Yes they do.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CYH/is_5_7...

The only thing that diesel is not popular in US is:

1.) Because DC and GM cannot produce proper diesel technology and their non-efficient gasoline cars cannot compete with a 50+MPG europen diesel cars

2.) People think that diesels are low powered, dirty engines, which made infamous by GM in 70s and 80s, for the first reason that I pointed out.


RE: It amuses me
By Samus on 7/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: It amuses me
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 1:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently making up "facts" is also the American way.

[Catalytic converters were] first widely introduced on series-production automobiles in the US market for the 1975 model year to comply with tightening EPA regulations on auto exhaust, catalytic converters are still most commonly used in motor vehicle exhaust systems.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalytic_converter

The rest of your post is also crap - what is all that drivel about "lifestyle is much more wasteful..."? If you don't like the U.S., then by all means please move to Europe. That's freedom which truly is "the American way."


RE: It amuses me
By FITCamaro on 7/11/2007 2:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that recycling programs aren't up to snuff here, the rest of what you say is pure crap.

I don't drive a huge SUV, don't use extremely power hungry tech (how exactly do you classify this when European's use largely the same electronics we do), and try not to waste.

As the above poster said, if you don't like things here and love the way things are in Europe, why do you go there? Another part of the American way is giving you the freedom to leave.

Just because some drive giant SUVs when they don't need them, doesn't mean the general consensus of this country is that is whats best. If I needed an SUV, I'd drive one. But I likely never will, so I won't. Now if I eventually have 4 kids, then I'll consider it.


RE: It amuses me
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 1:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how that link supports your statement.

Here's a quote for you from that article:

However, the PSA [European] car doesn't meet LEV-2 or EPA Tier 2/Bin 5 emissions limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx). As one California Energy Commission (CEC) official commented to us following the SAE presentations, U.S. EPA calculates that the PSA car "emits NOx at 0.6 grams/mile versus 0.08 g/mi as required in the U.S."

quote:
Because DC and GM cannot produce proper diesel technology and their non-efficient gasoline cars cannot compete with a 50+MPG europen diesel cars

Who owns DC? Who owns Opal? Hmmm...


RE: It amuses me
By TheWizardofOz on 7/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: It amuses me
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 1:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
My point about ownership is that Chrysler is owned (now sold however) by German Daimler-Chrysler (previously Daimler-Benz), and Opal is owned by GM. In the case of Chrysler, obviously the parent company "had the ability to make decent diesels," as is the case with Opal.

So it's not like the U.S. automaker's "can't" make decent diesels - they just haven't yet for the U.S. market because there is pretty low demand. U.S. consumers largely don't want diesels, right or wrong, and it will take some time for that demand to potentially grow. And the tension on the other side is of course the U.S. emissions standards that make diesels more challenging, as discussed elsewhere on this thread.


RE: It amuses me
By Hoser McMoose on 7/11/2007 3:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It passes also California's emission standards, which is the most strict in US.

There is not a single diesel-engine passenger vehicle of the 2007 (or 2008) model year that has passed California's emission standards. You can find the list of vehicles here:

http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/ccvl/ccvl.htm

The only diesel-engine passenger vhielce that passes ANY of the US standards is the Mercedes "Bluetec" E320, but it's sold as a "45-state" vehicle because it didn't meet the emission tests in the 5 states (California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont) that go above and beyond the US Federal requirements.

This upcoming Honda engine is a Tier 2, Bin 5 vehicle which means it should pass the California requirements, while Mercedes certainly has plans on fixing their emissions to meet those requirements as well. I don't know about VW/Audi yet though, as of right now ALL of their diesel engines fail on the US Federal requirements, let alone the CARB ones.

quote:
In terms of efficiency and being a "clean" engine, EU passed US long time ago.

Sorry but that's just 100% false. The current US Tier 2 standards are most definitely more stringent then the current EU Euro4 standards.

The upcoming Euro5 standards, to be implemented in 2009, should more or less match current US standards.


RE: It amuses me
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 11:37:58 AM , Rating: 4
No, the difference is that the U.S. insists on having clean diesel for its passenger car fleet. European diesels don't meet U.S. emissions standards. That is why you see all these "new" diesels having some sort of additional selective catalyst reduction (SCR) technology like the ammonium-filled catalyst mentioned in the article.

Without these newer technologies, the diesels wouldn't be street legal in the U.S., although they would be perfectly acceptable in Europe.


RE: It amuses me
By etriky on 7/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: It amuses me
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 12:55:15 PM , Rating: 3
The U.S. has required 100% on-road low-sulphur diesel since October 1, 1993

http://www.ec.gc.ca/cleanair-airpur/CAOL/OGEB/fuel...


RE: It amuses me
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 12:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, forgot to add that SCR systems require low-sulfur, not "zero" sulphur.


RE: It amuses me
By Martin Blank on 7/11/2007 11:45:23 AM , Rating: 2
The avoidance of diesel was not an avoidance of efficiency. Reliability problems with diesel engines a few decades ago -- including those imported from Europe -- lingered in the minds of American drivers, and pollution problems (sulfur and PM10 emissions in particular) made it difficult to pass smog requirements in some areas. Those issues were solved, but there was no pressure in the US due to low fuel prices to re-examine them carefully.


RE: It amuses me
By Anh Huynh on 7/11/2007 11:55:06 AM , Rating: 2
The old GM diesels of the '80s left a sour taste in a lot of people.


RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 12:23:53 PM , Rating: 1
You mean the 6.2 liter diesel that gm put in its trucks. that same diesel that I have seen for myself get 30 mpg in a full size truck. That feat has not been reproduced since. If you referring to it being not as powerful as the competition, well then it would leave a bad taste (it was fuel efficient not a stump puller). But, who wouldn't mind seeing that motor come back in a mid 200 hp variant that could still do those numbers in full size trucks today. Oh wait, it probably wouldn't, most truck buyers want a parachute on the front of their truck now (see new Ford superduty front grille). No motor will make good mpg with that much drag on the front.


RE: It amuses me
By mongrelchild on 7/11/2007 12:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the 1978 Cadillac diesel motor with the archaic CCC engine control module. Get real.

Since the mid-late 80s diesel motors have had a definite place as they are still unrivaled for torque output. Modern designs like the duramax or powerstroke series are very powerful, efficient, and above all have great drivability.

The only reason diesel isn't more popular is because the motors are massively more expensive. Most car buyers today have never even seen one of the smoky early-mid-70s diesels, so they don't have any opinion either way.


RE: It amuses me
By FITCamaro on 7/11/2007 12:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about old diesels, but I know the diesel's in Ford's F250 line are loud as hell. GMs are at least quieter.

That said, I'm all for diesel's. I love torque. And a turbo diesel is basically a magnet for boost. But yes they are more expensive and heavy due to requiring iron blocks instead of aluminum and the insanely high compression ratios required.

Biodiesel is definitely a good alternative to gas. Just the problem is producing it.


RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 1:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
The new 6.4l powerstrokes as of this year are much quieter. The problem with them is they had to increase the front grille and radiator by 20% to accomodate more heat dissipation. I don't know about anyone else, but to need that much more cooling on a refresh of an existing motor tells me they may be pushing the envelope of that design with that much power. Or, they have a design flaw. It should not run that hot. The dual turbocharger may have something to do with it.


RE: It amuses me
By bhieb on 7/11/2007 1:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is probably due to the ultra-low sulphur fuel requirements. The engine has to reburn the exahust then run it through a catalyst. All this adds heat to the engine. Not saying it couldn't be done differently, but with turbos and all the exahaust temp would be outrageous.


RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 2:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
That could very well be the case, but, they do not have the same stringent requirement due to being only sold in heavy duty class trucks, therefore get exemptions from the government on fuel and emissions. Any vehicle over 8600 lbs. gvwr is exempt from the most stringent standards. So if Ford went ultra low emmission on this motor, good for them. But I doubt it as they can't package it to the size of vehicles that could benefit from it.


RE: It amuses me
By mongrelchild on 7/11/2007 2:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
EGR actually lowers combustion temperature slightly. Just sayin ;)


RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 1:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong, they are not more popular because they won't pass emissions. Ever wonder why a duramax diesel, with all it power, and better gas mileage than most of the gas engines, only gets used in heavy duty trucks? Its because half ton trucks, and suvs have a higher epa standards, and cannot use them. Period. Heavy duty trucks get a pass. That's why you can put a 8.1 liter big block that gets 9 mpg in a 3/4 ton suburban, but not the diesel(particulate emissions). You want to talk about the reliability, go nuts, they did suck. This thread is more on the efficiency and emissions, and that 6.2 diesel was amazing for its time in efficiency. It wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell passing current epa standards though. And if you think a diesel engine is monumentally more expensive to build, then you don't understand the nature of how they work. They are expensive, because they are not produced in quantity as gas v8's and companies recoup r&d with high option tags, because the people who really want them, are gonna pay for them.


RE: It amuses me
By Zapp Brannigan on 7/11/2007 1:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
Naa man, Diesels are more expensive because they cost more to make. They are an overbuilt design because diesel isn't just ignited like a Gas/Petrol engine, it's exploded. the pressures it has to stand are much higher then a gas/petrol engine has to and so they design the engines to be way more durable, this is also way most diesels have turbo's because they can cope with the increased stress.

In America though, your probably right, diesels arn't as mass produced, in europe, that's completely different, pretty much all HGV's, Buses and LGV's sold now are Diesel, but are still more expensive then Gas/Petrol variants.


RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 1:52:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sure they need to be overbuilt in comparison to a gas engine, but, when you look at all the vvt and now active fuel management tech used in gm's gas engines, are they really more expensive? it really does come down to the fact that if they were viable options in half ton and small pickups, they would be produced in mass quantity and not nearly as expensive. If our Epa standards weren't so ridiculously high, I could at least have the choice. the standards on diesel are so high now that I believe even the vw tdi cannot be sold in 2007. They want the exhaust cleaner than the air it takes in, lol


RE: It amuses me
By mongrelchild on 7/11/2007 1:56:46 PM , Rating: 3
"And if you think a diesel engine is monumentally more expensive to build, then you don't understand the nature of how they work."

I'm an ME, so i have a better than average understanding of the diesel ignition cycle and the associated componentry stresses. The fact is that the engines are built tougher with more expensive grades of iron/steel and to tighter tolerance. The injection system and associated componentry is also more complex. They cost more as a result.

Efficiency is not a big issue, as most diesel designs are very efficient under steady-state loads. Where the advantage falls apart is under transient conditions where efficiency is obliterated.... Though this is getting better as the control system becomes more sophisticated and precise.

A gas motor in most applications is cheap and relatively easy to get working efficiently and with good drivability. And the powerband is much wider and arguably more useful. This is why they are so widespread. Also, forced induction for small displacement motors is a luxury for gas motors.To get acceptable (by north ameriacn standards) output and emissions out of a small diesel, it's basically a requirement.


RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 2:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'll agree with you totally on the high compression fuel delivery systems used nowadays. That does come at a cost. I also agree on the forced induction systems necessary for output. But, having spent 7 years working for a ductile iron foundry can assure you that mettalurgy cost and the materials needed to increase the strength of components is really a null issue. It is a very minimal cost to increase the amounts of copper used to increase the hardness of engine components(yes copper actually hardens cast iron when mixed), its more in finding the right mix initially, and not a long term expense. But just look at the active fuel management used in the gas engines, that is a complicated computer controlled valve body added into the manifold assembly that shuts down the oil to the hydraulic lifters and therefore shutting down cylinders. This kind of tech can add a significant cost to a motor except for the fact that it is mass produced and doesn't leverage a high dollar option due to large volume. if the diesels were sold in higher volume, I don't believe they would have the high price tags they do either. But, I suppose they can always charge a premium for high mileage motors now too ;)


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














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