Volkswagen on Diesels: Where is the Love?
August 22, 2013 10:26 AM
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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.
The Detroit News
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RE: Logic driven by profit
8/22/2013 6:17:56 PM
There is a reason for that.
In North America, gasoline is about half the price that it goes for in other continents -- except maybe in the Middle east where full size SUV's are really popular.
Realize also that roads in the older parts of many European cities are narrower than the average road in North America. Larger cars simply don't fit on them.
You are pointing at 1.4-1.6 liter cars in Europe. What kind of engines do you think are going into very popular cars like the Chevy Cruze? (hint: It's not a 3.0 liter V6). For the Ford Fusion, you can't even get one with a V6. The Hyundai Veloster and Elantra have retty small engines as well.
My Focus is 2.0 liters - and if it came in Diesel, I would have bought that.
I have already said this too: It was not until the last couple of years that automakers that sell cars in North America have even considered diesel. That is because there were no diesels out there that met our emission standards. In short they ran dirty. Now that diesels have been designed that can meet our emission standards, perhaps we will see more of them.
And yes a 1.0 liter car is not out of the question here. There are plenty of the following cars sold in North America:
You are making an assumption that North Americans would not be caught dead driving something that is cheap to run. Sadly car makers are looking at the North American market pretty much the same way you are. They are just recently getting the message that we like being able to drive 800+ miles on a tank of gas and not having to spend $80US to fill it.
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