Print 81 comment(s) - last by freedom4556.. on Aug 27 at 5:30 PM

VW wants more incentives

Volkswagen AG (VW) wants diesel vehicles to get federal and state incentives similar to those for electric vehicles (EVs). Instead, the automaker feels diesels are "penalized." 

“We’re not feeling the love,” said Anna Schneider, vice president for industry and government relations at VW Group of America. “This is one of the greenest choices... It’s time the U.S. government included clean diesel in its ‘all of the above’ strategy’ for greening U.S. roads. Putting these vehicles on the road should be incentivized and not penalized, and that’s our goal.”

Diesels are about 30 percent more fuel efficient than gasoline vehicles, but the problem is that diesels have a higher carbon content than the gasoline-powered cars. For that reason, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that diesels only cut carbon emissions by 7 to 20 percent.

Hence, diesels don't get the same treatment as EVs. EVs receive many advantages, such as federal and state tax credits, access to carpool lanes, etc. This is because EVs are seen as key contributors to "greening" the auto industry, and that's especially important right now with the new 54.5 MPG CAFE standards in place for 2017-2025 model years. 

In fact, these new standards don't give diesels additional credits the way it does other vehicles. The EPA said it doesn’t believe diesel vehicles push the commercialization of technologies that will help autos reach zero (or even near-zero) emissions. In addition, the EPA doesn't seem to think that diesels have an issue with "consumer acceptance."

Further hurting the cause of diesels is that 15 U.S. states place additional taxes on diesel, and federal taxes for diesels are 6 cents higher than those of gasoline-powered autos. 

EVs, on the other hand, are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. 

VW is a known promoter of diesel vehicles. For instance, the company confirmed its XL1 hybrid for production earlier this year. The two-seat Volkswagen XL1 has a plug-in diesel hybrid system that allows it to achieve 314 MPG and 31 miles on electric power alone. The CO2 emissions sits at 21 g/km, and it is considered the most aerodynamic car with a Cd figure of 0.189. It's also very light at just 1,752 pounds.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Logic driven by profit
By Argon18 on 8/22/2013 12:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's true, it's the *combination* of capabilities that makes diesels such a compelling buy:

The 20% reduction in carbon emissions *AND* the much improved fuel economy AND the much better durability/reliability.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By euler007 on 8/22/2013 1:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget the huge torque at low-rpm where most daily drivers operate (as opposed to the 5.5k rpm where the gasoline engines get their peak hp).

RE: Logic driven by profit
By Samus on 8/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: Logic driven by profit
By Motoman on 8/22/2013 3:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's not an issue you can broadly throw against all diesels.

My 2003 Dodge 3500 with the Cummins turbo diesel has well over 150,000 miles on it - and there's never been any trouble with it at all. And similar experiences from other people.

I'm not sure that US diesel is any different than European diesel, but I'd be interested to see data on that.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By euler007 on 8/26/2013 10:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
I don't ULSD is everywhere yet, but all it takes is one law and it's done.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By HangFire on 8/26/2013 3:06:02 PM , Rating: 1
Since the passage of ULSD (Ultra low-sulfer diesel fuel) regulations, the quality of US Diesel has been superb. The problems with Ford F250 diesels is that they are designed and made by Ford. Cummins diesels in same-size trucks have no such problem. Volkswagon diesels are superb. Ford is well known for blaming others for their quality problems; F150 spark plugs, 2012 Focus transmissions, etc.

Of course any underground fuel storage can be subject to water infiltration; including gasoline. That is a known issue and nothing to do with the quality of the fuel itself.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By superstition on 8/26/2013 5:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
Since the passage of ULSD (Ultra low-sulfer diesel fuel) regulations, the quality of US Diesel has been superb.


While the quality, in terms of sulfur content, dramatically improved, the lubricity and cetane are subpar.

The EMA (Engine Manufacturers' Association), of which VW and Bosch are a part, came out with a white paper in 2005 arguing that the lubricity of US diesel is inadequate and will lead to premature wear (longevity problems) for fuel pumps. The same thing has been reiterated by the EMA since then. It's interesting how so many car buffs know nothing about this.

In addition to poor lubricity, the cetane standard (40 minimum) isn't as good as what's available in much of Europe.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By Solandri on 8/22/2013 4:36:21 PM , Rating: 3
Let's not forget the huge torque at low-rpm where most daily drivers operate (as opposed to the 5.5k rpm where the gasoline engines get their peak hp).

That's actually a disadvantage of diesels in cars.

To move a sedan at highway speeds only requires 20-25 hp. With a gasoline engine, you can generate that at low RPMs, but still have 200+ hp accessible at 5k RPM. i.e. The car normally operates at about 10%-15% its peak potential hp.

With a diesel, either you put in a small diesel engine so it can operate efficiently at low RPM but lacks hp at high RPM for highway passing. Or you put in a big diesel engine so it has the power for highway passing, but that lowers efficiency most of the time when it only needs to generate 20-25 hp.

That's why diesels are predominantly found in trucks - there's less of a difference between average and max power expectation on trucks. Having gobs of hp on tap for highway passing isn't a priority for trucks, so they go with the "small diesel" option. Their engines are designed to operate continuously higher up in the diesel engine's power band. That gives them efficiency, but costs them passing and acceleration power.

On diesel cars, they have to play tricks like turbocharging or supercharging to spread out the power band and make it more like a gasoline engine's power band.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/22/2013 7:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget in this age of CVTs and 6-8 speed automatic transmissions, the low-biased diesel torque curve becomes less of an issue. Remember that passing in a diesel does not automatically mean you need to kick down a gear to get your torque peak. You are already there! Add in the turbocharger and you can seriously feel that torque in the seat of your pants. Diesels really don't need to rev at 5k+ to produce power.

And if you think the turbo diesel would have a hard time passing, I will leave you with this u-tube:


RE: Logic driven by profit
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/22/2013 7:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
Here's another for giggles :D

RE: Logic driven by profit
By JediJeb on 8/22/2013 8:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe I have taken an engine over 3k rpm except maybe five times in my life, even when I owned a 99 Trans Am. Heck the Trans Am would make 70mph at maybe 1800rpm, even when passing it would never need to go above 3K rpm.

A guy I work with though has a Focus and I think he hits 5k rpm just leaving the parking lot. It sounds so stupid revving it up so high to only have to let off once he hits the speed limit of 25mph on the road in front of work.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By Reclaimer77 on 8/22/2013 8:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe I have taken an engine over 3k rpm except maybe five times in my life

No offense but that is extremely difficult to believe.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By aliasfox on 8/23/2013 10:44:30 AM , Rating: 2
Why? For someone who never street races, it's perfectly believable. My parents never seem to exceed 3.5k RPM, even when passing on the highway. In most cars, you can accelerate from a dead stop to highway speeds and barely go above 2k RPM, in fact.

If you run an engine with decent torque on the bottom end, have a transmission that shifts early for fuel economy, and (importantly) you don't care about looking/sounding/feeling fast, staying below 3k is pretty easy. Even 2k is possible (I did it in my GTI a few times just for giggles).

RE: Logic driven by profit
By JediJeb on 8/23/2013 4:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
The little 4 cylinder Mustang I had in high school would to 70 if you wound it up near 3K, but back then the speed limit was 55, so rarely got anywhere near it.

The truck I drive now screams and sounds like it is flying apart over 2500 rpms(4.9l I6) and I usually shift it in a 1,3,5 pattern, hitting 5th gear by the time I am doing 30mph so never wind it up either. When you have the torque, why do you need to use the low gears much anyhow?

RE: Logic driven by profit
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/23/2013 4:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
Have to ask...

Why would you buy a 1999 Trans Am if you are never stepping on it. You would have saved yourself a big wad of gas money with a 1999 Hyundai Pony instead.

(At I had a 2005 Trans Am, and yes, I put my foot into it on occasion -- and not street racing either. Just kicking it down into passing gear getting on a freeway will hike it up to 4000).

RE: Logic driven by profit
By freedom4556 on 8/27/2013 5:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
...I had a 2005 Trans Am...
You're either a liar or a bad typist. You know how I know? The T/A went out of production for forever in 2002. RIP Pontiac

-2000 Firebird owner

RE: Logic driven by profit
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2013 5:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
Street races? We're talking 3,000 RPM. Not 6 or 7. 3K is extremely low. I didn't say it wasn't "possible" to not go above it. But I think most everyone does. Routinely. To claim otherwise is just silly.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By jmarchel on 8/23/2013 10:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong about fuel economy. Diesel burns less gallons of diesel fuel but you need more barrels of oil to make it. From barrel of oil you can get 18 gallons of gasoline but only 9 gallons of heating oil and diesel fuel combined.

RE: Logic driven by profit
By euler007 on 8/26/2013 10:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand the refining process at all. Yes from a barrel of crude you will get a fixed amount of diesel and of gasoline (and other heavier and light products).

The american refineries use cracking technologies (usually FCC) to increase the gasoline output of the barrel.

It's not like they throw away the gasoline. This article is just about getting a fair taxation structure for Diesel versus Gasoline and Hybrids.

The gasoline will be used. If your daily drive is getting up in a cold climate and driving 4 miles, gasoline is the way to go. If you get up and drive 400 miles on the highway regularly, diesel is the way to go.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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