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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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RE: How do they figure
By Kazinji on 4/3/2013 9:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
But so few diesels get sold here so you have to recoup the cost of developing the diesel. Taxes on diesel fuel is higher in US. Where in EU diesel taxes are lower to encourage the use of diesel. Since so many diesel version of the of a model is sold in EU they can recoup the cost easily with a minimal mark up for extra materials.


RE: How do they figure
By Strunf on 4/4/2013 7:58:23 AM , Rating: 2
The EU taxes less diesel fuel cause it's mainly used by companies, at first diesel was only used on trucks and agricultural machines, that's slowing changing and I don't have any doubt they will either tax both gas and diesel at the same rate or make it different prices depending on the use.


RE: How do they figure
By lagomorpha on 4/4/2013 9:06:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But so few diesels get sold here so you have to recoup the cost of developing the diesel.


Or, you know, this might be one case where the US EPA could actually work with whatever agencies are responsible for emissions controls in Europe to create unified emissions standards such that cars only had to meet one set of requirements instead of having to be approved seperately for both markets.


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