With automakers under pressure to boost fuel efficiency, diesel engines are beginning to look like a good bet.
Diesel fuel offers approximately 10 percent more energy per volume than conventional gasoline. It also provides about 25 percent better fuel efficiency. Yes, diesel’s long-chain hydrocarbons are more expensive to extract from a barrel of crude, and diesel engines are more costly to build, but these days, that’s mattering less and less.
As a result, automakers are more frequently looking to diesel engines. Two weeks ago, Chevrolet officially rolled out its compact Cruze Diesel. And earlier this year, Volkswagen showed off a diesel hybrid powertrain.
We’ve collected photos of recent entries in the diesel arena. From Audi and BMW to Chrysler and General Motors, we offer some of the best of past months.
Click on the photo below to start the slideshow.
A few weeks ago, Chevrolet rolled out the Cruze Diesel, said to be the first American-made diesel compact since the 1986 Chevette. The Cruze will be big on torque, offering 258 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm, compared to 150 lb-ft for the Cruze’s gasoline-burning version. (Source: Chevrolet)
Once i read that there are two kinds of feuls , winter and summer feul depending upon the temperature of solidification.When the feul freezes the flush is unable to pump it out and thts the end where you cant do anything however there are solutions for this but in petrol there is no issue of freezing. In diesel engines are there is problem of noise and vibration as well.
However every technology has advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage is this that it doesnot completely mix with the air and produces CH, NOX and carbon black during combustion process. This carbon black can be adjusted by the exhaust filter which is mounted between exhaust collector and catalalyst.
Thanks Charles for such an informative post, Some says that diesel engines are obselete these days however some says that they are the next upcomming engines . Deisel engines are inexpensive even expensive car owners have started to save the feul with diesel engines. Diesel engines have higher torque it helps in high traffic moving on minimal engine turnover.
Definetly deisel engine will provide more fuel effieciency for engines but it has many other consequences that we have to deal with, if diesel engine cars go into mass production. Like the higher price of diesel, if its demand gets high. Not that it is already less expensive. Other than that, as mentioned in a previous comment that it will also have more adverse effect on the environment due to the emissions of some fine particles in air.
Certainly makes a person doubtful of this decision.
Charles, thanks for the additional technical insight about diesel fuel. One other concern is that if it does become much more popular, the price will rise a whole lot, just because it can. And then there is till the concern about servicing the engines, which certainly are more complexed and more highly stressed in several areas. So it will be valuable to think out all of the secondary and tertiary effects of a larger percentage of vehicles becoming diesels.
There's a a lot of debate on the site about the availability and processing of diesel fuel. This is a contentious subject, with a lot of valid opinions on both sides. Here's what David Cole, founder of the Center for Automotive Research, former head of automotive engineering at the University of Michigan, a noted expert in engine design and the auto industry's premier consultant for the past 30 years, told us: "A barrel of crude has dozens of different hydrocarbons. Diesel fuel uses longer-chain hydrocarbons. You need those for auto-ignition. But it's hard to make, because you only have so much of that in a barrel of crude. It's easier to break it up into lighter hydrocarbons than it is to create long chains from the shorter ones. When you tamper with the mix and say, 'We need a lot more diesel,' you have to refine a lot more fuel. So it's important to keep a balance between the two."
"Big oil" would love to produce more diesel since they have the potential for higher profits (less processing for a more potent fuel), but since it is a tightly regulated environment they stick with the mix they have today. For a long time it has been public policy in the US to discourage diesel use (hence the higher taxes than gasoline and the regulatory preferences for gas). That is how we got to where we are. The public policy is not changing, so I would not expect to see any changes in behavior from the oil companies. The EPA has strict guidelines on the mix of motorfuels rigt down to how much of what additives are required on a seasonal basis. This is NOT a free market where some "Big Oil" cabal can do what they want to meet customer demand or their own selfish profit needs
God comment but where is second reason for more expensive Diesel fuel in the USA: this is big oil monopoly. Diesel fues is cheaper everywhere except in the USA.
Desig news staf: Where is revulutionary Diesel engine from Mazda? This engine is used in new excellent MAZDA 6, it features lowest compression ratio of any Diesel engine of 14:1, it is extremelly fuel efficient and does not require exhaust urea treatment. You missed-ignored one of the most important Diesel engine development news regarding MAZAD skyactive Diesel. Very superficial article.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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