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Gap in fuel efficiency and torque between diesel and gasoline engines is dwindling

Diesel engines are very popular around the world, and are used in both passenger and commercial vehicles due to their efficiency advantages over gasoline engines. In the U.S. passenger vehicle market, they’re largely relegated to heavy-duty pickup trucks (although companies like Volkswagen have maintained a diesel engine lineup for a few decades). 
 
However, diesel fuel averages roughly $0.36 a gallon more than regular unleaded gasoline in the U.S., which can erase some of the cost advantage.

While many diesel-powered vehicles do have better fuel economy than comparable gasoline vehicles, even that benefit is beginning to disappear. In spite of this, many automakers are preparing to launch diesel-powered cars in the U.S., including GM, Chrysler, and Mazda.


Volkswagen Passat TDI

Detroit News reports that diesel engines in cars no longer have a major advantage in torque and they don't offer significantly better fuel economy. Technology for traditional gasoline engines is improving and the gap in fuel efficiency and torque has vanished due to the proliferation of direct injection and turbocharging.

With this in mind, Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai are staying out of the diesel-powered car market; instead focusing hybrid technology. Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik says that the cost of adding hybrid technology for the consumers about $1,500 compared to a cost of about $5,000 to add diesel power.
 
"When we ask if consumers are willing to pay that, they ask, 'What are you smoking?'" said Krafcik. "We all have great diesel engines available to us, but gasoline engines are growing."
 
However, Ford says that it is ready to begin offering diesel-powered cars in the U.S. if there is enough consumer demand

Source: Detroit News



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Doesn't make sense
By Dorkyman on 4/3/2013 11:34:58 AM , Rating: 3
I'm a bit mystified by the premise of this article.

Diesels are BY NATURE more "efficient" than gasoline engines:

(1) No manifold vacuum
Gasoline engines are essentially vacuum-pump devices, constantly trying to pull in more mixture than the throttle butterfly allows. Efficiency is good only at full-throttle, lousy in high-manifold-vacuum conditions, such as idle.

(2) Higher compression ratio
By definition a higher compression ratio will deliver more efficiency.

(3) More energy per gallon
Not an engine characteristic per se but it still means more miles per gallon.

I can see a gasoline engine trying to minimize the idle inefficiency issue by shutting down at those times but even so I think diesel will always beat gas.




RE: Doesn't make sense
By russki on 4/3/2013 12:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100%, this article is total BS.
You also don't have any spark plugs, wires, distributors, or coils to worry about.
I have a diesel F350 that came at a 8k premium over the gas engine. They have about the same hp but the diesel makes double the torque. I drove both, the gasser was a real dog compared to the diesel. I get about 12~15 mpg depending on my driving. This is a 8k pound truck on 35" tires.
I can only imagine what fuel economy the gas engine would get.


RE: Doesn't make sense
By Spuke on 4/3/2013 4:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You also don't have any spark plugs, wires, distributors, or coils to worry about.
No you just have glow plugs, piezo-electric fuel injectors, HFCM's and VFCM's, FICM's, fuel filters, and EGR's.


RE: Doesn't make sense
By sorry dog on 4/3/2013 3:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
Especially item #3.

Diesel has around 10% more BTU's per gallon.

Which is part of the reason it costs more per gallon as some energy consumers (i.e. power companies) are more interested in price per unit of energy than a liquid volume measurement.

So...if you want a more fair comparison, then you should take that 10% in to account in a miles per gallon comparison.


RE: Doesn't make sense
By FITCamaro on 4/3/2013 11:24:16 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel costs more because less of it is produced in the states and the higher taxes.


RE: Doesn't make sense
By rhangman on 4/3/2013 6:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Odd no mention of HCCI either. In theory that could get you fairly close efficiency wise.


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