GM told Design News that the Cruze's diesel engine solves some of the notable problems that previously constrained diesel popularity in this country. The noise, exhaust soot, and foul smells were engineered out a long time ago.
Still, the cost of a diesel engine is markedly higher than that of a gasoline-burning engine. The engine's block, pistons, crankshaft, and connecting rods must be beefier as a means of dealing with the higher operating pressures necessary for compression ignition. "If you look at a 2.0-liter common base size pistons, you can see that the diesel will cost more," Siegrist told us. "It comes down to the higher cylinder pressures that the whole engine sees."
Moreover, engine control is a significant issue. "European diesels are wonderful engines," David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, told Design News late in 2012. "But they do have a costly problem with nitrogen oxide control because diesel exhaust has a lot of excess oxygen in it. That's tricky and expensive to do."
The fuel itself is also more costly in the US, where it doesn't enjoy the tax advantages provided by European markets. The reason for the higher initial cost is that diesel fuel uses longer-chain hydrocarbons with a relatively low self-ignition temperatures, which are needed for compression ignition.
"Diesel fuel is harder to make," Cole told us. "There are only so many long hydrocarbon chains in a barrel of crude." The result is that diesel fuel typically costs between 25 cents and 40 cents per gallon more than gasoline in the US, he added.
Chevrolet expects buyers of the Cruze diesel to be drawn to it by its performance, however, rather than its pure economic advantages. "The Cruze diesel won't be focused on the pure business case," Siegritz said. "You're getting a premium product -- a more powerful product -- that still gets great fuel efficiency."
All this from THE Company that single handedly soured the American public opinion for Diesel powered Autos with the ill conceived Olds Deisel onversion of the late 70's.
There has not been any legislation against Diesel autos in this country, just a long held prejudice against them stemming from that ill fated excusion that lingers to this day.
Two things are the death of diesel engines, both related to poor filtration, and that engine sufered from both and was doomed from the start. Inadequate oil filtration and inadequate fuel/water separation.
Both of these things are amply covered in all true heavy equipment, truck and marine applications and have helped to make diesel use in those fields the mainstay of those industries.
Is GM to be trusted a second time, only time will tell. One can only hope they learned from thier earlier fiasco.
It may be that it's just a little to techie in the US. Here you need to use a DEF additive to reduce NOx emissions. This may be a put off.
VW TDIs are fairly common though. Currently the Cruze ECO gas engine is a better deal economically since it gets 42MPG on regular Gas. Diesel is more $ so 42 MPG would not be competitive. I don't find 55 MPG HWY too hard to get with the Cruze ECO but I do need to be careful.
BUT, the torque could be a game changer. I think the target is the VW TDI here. Not the broad market so much.
In Latin America, it's common to see diesel Toyota Camrys and Corollas, among other small Japanese passenger cars. Any idea why the diesel models of these cars aren't sold in the US? Is there a regulatory reason, or do they just not sell well in the US?
Germany has been at the forefront of diesel engine technological advances for years. The design and application of the diesel engine takes a different mindset and also a different customer base. GM virtually singlehandedly destroyed the desirability of passenger car diesels when they "dieselized" the 350 small-block. Cummins helped bring it back with the 'B' series developed with UPS and others for small and medium size trucks but that is much too large and heavy for a passenger car. Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW have outstanding diesel engines which operate exactly the same as a gasoline burning engines to the point that your typical driver will not notice the difference until they go to a filling station. I am confident American manufacturers can adopt European engines for installation into American cars. I am much less confident American manufacturers will be able to design and manufacture a diesel engine from 'scratch' and would be extremely reluctant to buy one. Engine design seems to be somewhat intuitive and achieveing the 'optimum' design is an iterative process which needs a good starting point and years for improvement.
Tesla Motors plans to roll out a “compelling, affordable electric car” that will sell for about half the price of its high-profile Model S by the end of 2016, company chairman Elon Musk said last week.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.