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Diesel cars are plentiful in Europe

As the demand for more efficiency in vehicles increases with the government and some consumers in the U.S., some drivers are starting to consider vehicles that previously weren't popular options. One of the efficient options that consumers are starting to take notice of is the diesel engine. Clean diesels are one of the technologies that several major automakers are now looking into.
The Detroit News reports that as of now diesel sales in the U.S. are less than 3% of the total sales, which is expected to change. One of the new diesel vehicles coming to the market is from a domestic manufacturer; Chevrolet will introduce a diesel version of Cruze in 2013. For GM, bringing the diesel Cruz to the U.S. has little risk since it already sells diesel cars in other countries.
The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel will arrive in '13 

Other automakers are looking to diesel cars as well with Mazda expecting to launch a new diesel engine in 2013, and the recipient is likely to be the all-new CX-5 small crossover utility vehicle. German automakers Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes all offer diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S.
Some suppliers to automakers like Robert Bosch LLC are predicting that diesel sales will grow to be 10% of the U.S. market over the next decade. Diesel cars are very popular in Europe where gasoline is expensive and diesel is more cost effective.
And it's not only economy cars that will be going diesel -- some performance cars are moving to diesel engines. BMW is expected to launch a diesel version of the M5 next year.
Mazda is widely expected to bring a diesel version of the new CX-5 to the U.S. 

The big draw for diesel engines is that the engines are often more durable, produce more torque, and they are 20 to 30% more efficient.

Source: Detroit News

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By Argon18 on 11/28/2011 1:00:35 PM , Rating: 0
We definitely need more diesel cars here. Modern turbo-diesel cars are amazing - monster torque, prius-killing MPG, greater reliability and longevity than gasoline engines, and higher resale value. It's win-win-win with no downsides at all. The newest models are even *cleaner* than comparable gasoline engines - the UK's top 10 green cars list last year saw diesels in 8 of the 10 spots!

Unfortunately, selling them here is not as simple as it sounds.

The US DOT treats each engine and transmission combination as a unique model that must be crash tested, certified, etc. That's a very expensive process. This is why a VW Jetta is sold in the US with just 2 or 3 different engine options, but in europe there are 11 engine options. Eleven!

Secondly, the Big-3 domestic makers are in bed with Big Oil. Big Oil wants to keep us on gasoline, because that way they can continue to sell as much diesel as possible to Europe, where it commands a higher price. They get nearly double the $ when they sell that gallon of diesel to Europe, compared to selling it in the US. Two proof points of this, are the Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler cars sold in europe - they sell tons of small cars in europe with awesome turbo-diesel engines. Some of the exact same models they sell here in fact. Focus, Fiesta, PT Cruiser, etc. are all available in europe with really nice turbo diesel engine options. But not here. When Ford CEO was asked why they didn't offer them here, his response was that he "doesn't want to force diesel onto Americans". Right. Because offering it as an option is the same thing as forcing it on us. :rolleyes:

RE: definitely.
By Gungel on 11/28/2011 1:27:06 PM , Rating: 4
They get nearly double the $ when they sell that gallon of diesel to Europe, compared to selling it in the US.
No they can't. Prices are higher in Europe because of higher taxes added to gasoline and diesel fuels than here in the U.S.

RE: definitely.
By mcnabney on 11/28/2011 1:54:52 PM , Rating: 3
Current price at the pump in my midwestern city:

Regular unleaded - $2.95/gallon
Diesel - $3.85/gallon

While diesels are generally more efficient, they aren't THAT much more efficient. Especially when European stats are adjusted for Imperial/US gallons and the extra 500 pounds of safety equipment are added on.

/still wouldn't mind more diesel choices

RE: definitely.
By FITCamaro on 11/28/2011 2:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah lowest I've seen here is $3.03 for regular (Shell) and about $3.80 for diesel.

RE: definitely.
By icrf on 11/28/2011 5:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, better fuel economy doesn't necessarily mean cheaper to operate when changing fuel types. I saw something about Nissan making a 14:1 compression gas engine, for efficiency, when that will almost surely require 92 octane.

Maybe it's all about CAFE standards compliance and not TCO at all.

RE: definitely.
By ClownPuncher on 11/28/2011 7:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel doesn't cost more to produce, actually it costs less. The price difference is artificial.

RE: definitely.
By abzillah on 11/28/2011 10:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
The cheapest gas I can find in California is $3.65 for regular.

FITcamaro now I understand why you are so conservative, because you only pay $3.03 for gas.

RE: definitely.
By Pneumothorax on 11/29/2011 9:27:03 AM , Rating: 2
What's funny is that here in California (IMHO one of the most anti-diesel states), through a combination of taxes and not using heating oil as the east, diesel is only about 10c more expensive than premium, which would the fuel I'd be using in my BMW anyway. While I like the fuel economy, I bought my car more for the instant torque and not having to rev up to 4000 rpm to have good passing power uphill.

RE: definitely.
By FITCamaro on 11/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: definitely.
By corduroygt on 11/28/2011 2:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
Plus there are disadvantages to diesels, such as a usually heavier and more complicated engine. The block and the pistons would last forever but the turbos and the high pressure DI systems have higher maintenance costs.

RE: definitely.
By Spuke on 11/28/2011 10:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
The block and the pistons would last forever but the turbos and the high pressure DI systems have higher maintenance costs.
There is no maintenance on these systems.

RE: definitely.
By corduroygt on 11/29/2011 1:00:24 AM , Rating: 2
I consider "replacing it when it breaks" as maintenance :)

RE: definitely.
By Spuke on 11/29/2011 2:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I consider "replacing it when it breaks" as maintenance :)
This tech is already proven in pickup trucks and class 7/8 commercial tractors. I'm not worried and I have put my money where my mouth is and purchased a DI, turbo vehicle. I have nearly 100k on it and have only had one recall (rear differential seal) and a failed thermostat. It's the most reliable car I've ever owned. My so-called "less complicated" previous cars have had WAY more problems.

RE: definitely.
By JediJeb on 11/30/2011 1:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
If you consider that a diesel needs no ignition system then they are only as complicated or maybe less complicated as an equivalent gasoline engine. Used to be diesel engines were dirt simple compared to gasoline engines even with a turbo. My father was a school bus mechanic for 30 years and he was never so happy as when they switched from gasoline engines to diesel engines, and even didn't complain when they began to add computer engine controls to them, always said they were much better to work on.

RE: definitely.
By TSS on 11/28/2011 5:01:04 PM , Rating: 3
The diesel price here in holland (we have the most expensive gas prices in the world) is 1,37 euro a litre near here.

Which translates into $6,90 a gallon.

which compares to the 1,660 euro a litre average for Euro95, which comes to $8,37 a gallon.

Diesel used to be much cheaper, atleast half of gas. That's why diesels are used all over europe. But since 2008, the price of diesel has only gone up. And that's not completly due to taxes. More likely to do with more usage since gas was $11 a gallon at the oil high in 2008. Notably, we also have LPG gas which used to be around 30 eurocents a litre, but now is also toutching 80 cents a litre.

That's the reason why diesels are used so much in europe. I don't know anybody that doesn't drive a diesel. Funnily enough, if you want EV's to compete with the polo here, the price of diesel has to rise to around $8 a gallon. And that's considering elecricity is taxed around 35% here... but gas is taxed for 77%-80%.

RE: definitely.
By VERBW on 11/28/2011 8:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
The diesel price here in holland (we have the most expensive gas prices in the world) is 1,37 euro a litre near here.

PETROL over here costs about £1.35. Diesel is currently about £1.41 at my most local station, and we're in the suburbs of London.

Convert GBP into EUR and you get... more

RE: definitely.
By silverblue on 11/29/2011 9:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
I think I read once that in Europe, diesel is more expensive than petrol in only two few countries, the UK and Switzerland. Unfortunately (in terms of fuel prices, that is!), I live in the former, and the petrol -> diesel price gap is starting to rear its ugly head again; it used to be about 3 or 4p and is now about 8p at my closest garage (I'm in Yorkshire), which, for reference, is £1.31 for 95 octane, and £1.39 for city diesel. In Germany, diesel is much cheaper, albeit diesel vehicles are taxed more, which isn't an issue if you're driving a decent amount of miles per year.

I really, REALLY wish it was €1.37 a litre, that'd be a huge cut.

Here's the Wiki link for reference, makes very sobering reading if you're a European:

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