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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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Perfect for Volt-like vehicles
By DT_Reader on 4/3/2013 3:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
There's a reason Diesel locomotives work the way they do: Diesel engine drives a generator, which powers electric motors which drive the wheels. This is essentially the Volt model, but the Volt uses a gasoline engine. Diesel's are far more efficient when run at an optimized RPM under variable load, as in a locomotive. Gasoline engines are not very good at fixed RPMs with variable load. The Volt would be much better off with a Diesel engine.




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