Chuck, diesels have been very popular in Europe for some time. About 12 years ago, when i was taking my driver's test in the UK my examiner started waxing on anout a turbo diesel car he had. He was a bit of a gear head and I got him talking about performance cars by mentioning my Alfa Romeo. My understanding is that about half of the cars sold in Europe are diesels. They get much better gas mileage, and new ones do not put out the soot that older models did.
Diesel offerings are definitely gaining ground in the US. Many environmentally minded consumers are enamored with hybrids and electric cars.
But, a small, and determined, group is very interested in diesels. Not every biodiesel user wants to drive a 30 year old Mercedes.
Not surprisingly, VW/Audi have the best offering. BMW and Mercedes also have great options. I don't think any of the Japanese brands have moved in that direction for the US market yet. Chrysler is set to launch an EcoDiesel Range in the US but I haven't seen any new details on that.
Al, there's definitely a trend toward diesel here. How big a trend, I don't know. The new Jeep Cherokee SUV offers a diesel option. So does the soon-to-arrive Mazda6. I think it will be a long time before we get to Europe's 40% diesel penetartion rate, though.
Not sure of your source, but i have seen many times the take rate in Europe is 60% diesel not the converse that you offer (40%). I am an admittantly diesel enthusiast before we go any further. I drive a 2011 BMW 335D. Chrysler has indeed anounced the diesel Grand Cherokee using a 3.0 L V6 from VM Votori (sp?). Dodge has also announced the 1/2 ton Ram truck will get same engine as Grand Cherokee. No mileage figures released for the full size with smaller diesel but we enthusiasts are "stoked".
My car gets 38 to 40 mpg crusing at 70 mph. When i need to pass, lets just say no downshift of transmission is necessary with all of that torque (425 lb-ft). BMW stopped making the 335D after 2011 due to switching to the new 3 series. BMW has announced 3 new coming diesels to the states. 535D using similar 6 cylinder as my 2011, 4 cylinder 328 sedan (2 wd and AWD), 328 wagon (2wd and AWD). All versions will start manufacturing in July 2013. This is not a rumor, it is confirmed.
In order for Diesel to pick up in the USA the prices of Diesel fule must go down, but oil companies here have monopoly. Diesel is cheaper than gasoline everywhere but in the USA. Diesel fuel is heavier fraction than gasoline and from the same amount of crude oil one can extract more Diesel fuel than gasoline.
It is amazing how people like to comment but don't know the matter they comment. Yes Japan's Mazda just introduced new 6 with most advanced Diesel engine on the market that does not need urea system to meet toughest emission standards.
Diesel powered cars are much better solution than electric/hybrid cars. USA just need to copy Europe, not in Diesel car technology but in home building, (no hurricane would blow away concrete house) health care, social security, mas transportation, high speed railways, politycal system solutions whre senators and congresmans are not bribed by interst groups to make deals for them but for country and many more things that are simply better there.
U.S. motorists always react to higher diesel prices but don't take the math into account. Let's say you own a fairly new 2010 or later economy car with a normal 4 cylinder that uses regular gas..gets 32 mpg. Compare to my diesel which gets 40 mpg cruisng at 65 mph. Regualr around here is running $3.49/gal and deisel is $3.88/gal. One needs to compute the $/mile to compare fairly. Normal car: ($3.49/ gal)* (gal/32 miles)=$0.109/mile or 10.9 cents/mile. Same drill but using the diesel numbers: ($3.88/gal)*(gal/40 miles)= $0.097/mile or 9.7 cents/mile.
Now, go buy the correct competitor of diesel 4 cylinder like a Jetta TDI and the comparsion comes out even better. EPA rates them at 42 mpg but I talk to those guys and they routinely get 46 on highway. ($3.88/gal)*(gal/46 miles)= $0.084/mile or 8.4 cents/mile.
Compare the 10.9 gasoline to the 8.4 diesel. % difference is (10.9-8.4)/(10.9)= 22.9%. Please bare in mind the cost difference has been accounted for. People need to stop freaking out about the higher "green numbers" at the pump. The normal difference between regular unlead and diesel is highest in the winter. In the summer, the difference is more like 20 cents/gallon. The American public just needs to be educated in this manner.
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