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Old 03-14-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,520,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbodiesel4x4 View Post
I think it will take a while for americans to come around to diesel engines. A lot of us still remember the diesels of past bellowing thick black smoke into the atmosphere. Tractor trailers were some of the worst offenders.
Yeah, between them and the slow old VW Diesels and Mercedes diesels, and the utterly craptacular GM "diesels" (that were simply converted gas engines, that barely worked, ever) in the '80s passenger cars, and teh sound/smell of them, we jsut cant' get excited. Most woudl rather have a gas hybrid or leectric than a diesel.

Ford's Kuzak: diesels "don't make sense" for Americans — Autoblog Green

Quote:
Sometimes, it's what automakers don't offer in the U.S. that creates a stir the diesel engine being one prime example. For years, U.S. buyers have been left out in the cold (mostly) while Europeans have had a vast selection of efficient, diesel-powered vehicles to choose from. With fuel prices on the rise, you'd think that automakers would at least consider adding diesel-powered vehicles to their U.S. lineup. Not Ford, though.

During a dinner last week in Geneva, Derrick Kuzak, Ford's vice president for global product development, told a handful of journalists that the automaker will rely on its fuel-efficient EcoBoost gasoline engines, instead of diesels, in the U.S.

Kuzak admits that Ford could "easily bring diesels to the U.S. market" but, he said, U.S. customers "are pragmatic" and most American car buyers don't want oil-burning engines. Plus, Kuzak told journalists, the automaker's EcoBoost engines nearly match the efficiency of its oil-burning mills. Furthermore, Kuzak said, since diesel fuel costs more than gasoline in the U.S., launching a lineup of diesel-powered Ford models simply "doesn't make sense."
What Kuzak said is true to the extend that Ford will only sell what consumers want to buy. Ford doesn't need to "force" diesel on Americans any more than Ford need to "force" hybrids and EVs on Europeans. If customer demand changes, Ford can bring the right technology to market pretty fast.

The VW Jetta is the only diesel passenger car that sells well in the US, with 44k of them sold last year. Just like the Prius (which sold 140k last year) is "the hybrid", the Jetta could very well be "the diesel." The fact that "the hybrid" sells pretty damn well is no guarantee that everything else with a similar drivetrain will do well, and the same may be true of diesels.

Especially if you're trying to sell them next to a gasser with a lower MSRP that gets within 5mpg - as Ford would if they sold a diesel Focus.

Let me put it another way. Adding up the total sales of ALL clean diesel passenger cars in the US last year, from the Golf to the BMW 335d to the top Mercedes and Audis, gives us 79,000 total cars. About HALF the sales of JUST the Prius. And only about twice as much as JUST the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:48 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,148,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnytang24 View Post
Isn't diesel easier to produce/more plentiful from a barrel of crude? Isn't the higher price at the pump due to tax?

I wouldn't mind a diesel hybrid.
American refineries are "biased" in favor of producing gasoline, thus, as diesel demand increases, diesel prices outpace gasoline prices. In most states, diesel road taxes are only around 10 to 15 cents higher than gasoline taxes, which only accounts for a small amount of the current price spread between gasoline and diesel. It has only been in the last 5 to 6 years that fuel prices in the US have been "inverted"--that is, diesel costing more at the pump than gasoline. You can blame that on increasing world demand for diesel fuel (especially in the developing countries); lack of refining capacity in the US to produce diesel; the lack of refineries in the US that can produce low sulfur diesel fuel from heavier, high sulfur crudes (which are what most of our remaining oil domestic oil reserves in the US are, including whatever oil is in ANWR); and the 15ppm sulfur maximum standard now imposed on all diesel fuel sold in the US, except for marine and railroad locomotive use (and they have to switch ultra-low-sulfur-diesel fuel by June 2012).

And, yes, a diesel hybrid would be nearly as energy-efficient as a full-electric car. Current "auto-stop" diesel engines sold in some non-hybrid diesel vehicles in Europe match or exceed the fuel economy of full hybrid gasoline-engined vehicles like the Prius sold in the US--with far less mechanical and electronic complexity.

Also, to correct an earlier comment, the diesel SmartForTwo is no longer sold in Canada. Canada has de facto adopted the US emission standards, so if a vehicle does not meet the US standard, it won't be sold in Canada, either.

Finally, we already have the technology to produce diesel fuel from coal, but people I know in the energy industry tell me that it would take sustained $5-$6/gal. diesel fuel prices to make that process profitable. Their feeling is that fuel prices of that magnitude would break our current highway-centric transportation system (and the economy) first. We may get to find out if they are right in pretty short order.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:59 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,148,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
Yeah, between them and the slow old VW Diesels and Mercedes diesels, and the utterly craptacular GM "diesels" (that were simply converted gas engines, that barely worked, ever) in the '80s passenger cars, and teh sound/smell of them, we jsut cant' get excited. Most woudl rather have a gas hybrid or leectric than a diesel.

Ford's Kuzak: diesels "don't make sense" for Americans — Autoblog Green



What Kuzak said is true to the extend that Ford will only sell what consumers want to buy. Ford doesn't need to "force" diesel on Americans any more than Ford need to "force" hybrids and EVs on Europeans. If customer demand changes, Ford can bring the right technology to market pretty fast.

The VW Jetta is the only diesel passenger car that sells well in the US, with 44k of them sold last year. Just like the Prius (which sold 140k last year) is "the hybrid", the Jetta could very well be "the diesel." The fact that "the hybrid" sells pretty damn well is no guarantee that everything else with a similar drivetrain will do well, and the same may be true of diesels.

Especially if you're trying to sell them next to a gasser with a lower MSRP that gets within 5mpg - as Ford would if they sold a diesel Focus.

Let me put it another way. Adding up the total sales of ALL clean diesel passenger cars in the US last year, from the Golf to the BMW 335d to the top Mercedes and Audis, gives us 79,000 total cars. About HALF the sales of JUST the Prius. And only about twice as much as JUST the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Well, it wouldn't be the first time that American consumers have had their heads up their you-know-whats. This is one of those cases where the Europeans have it right and we don't. A great experiment would be for the US to adopt the European diesel emission standards, as I have suggested earlier in this thread. I would bet that a number of auto manufacturers would begin offering their diesel vehicles in the US market. As some adventurous Americans bought them and figured out that they get as good or better performance out of the diesels with up to 50% better fuel economy than gas engines models, the word would get out. And even if diesels did not become big sellers, at least Americans would have a bigger choice of diesels to look at besides some VW's, BMW's, and Mercedes.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:41 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,606,813 times
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Most of it was already touched on here, but outside of consumer sentiment, the biggest issue is the U.S. emissions standards and ULSD fuel. The cost to build and certify U.S. specific diesel engines and then hope they catch on is too much of a risk. As Merc pointed out, it's not like diesel cars aren't available. Automakers look at total diesel car sales as something like .0065% of the total market and holding and they simply aren't willing to role the dice.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 23,013,332 times
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Diesel would be great for people who drive plenty of highway miles. I've heard that Audi makes a diesel powered race car. It's advantage is fewer fuel stops. I've never driven a diesel myself but I'd consider one for the fuel saving.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,676,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganto_2010 View Post
its the fisrts thing to break down when they make fuel. the reason its so expensive is because not to many people buy it. i myself prefer a diesel car over an eletric one better milage and the damm enging will go 3 million miles no prob well untill the floor boards fall out.
Hmmm....I haven't heard of anyone driving a M-B or VW diesel for anywhere near a million miles. Nor a Cummins or Powerstroke etc. I know people who drove old MB 240D cars for close to 500K miles, but that's it. Sure there may be a few others, but the rest of the vehicle will be long worn out so I think million mile engine durability is irrelevent for consumer vehicles.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:20 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,148,227 times
Reputation: 9066
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Diesel would be great for people who drive plenty of highway miles. I've heard that Audi makes a diesel powered race car. It's advantage is fewer fuel stops. I've never driven a diesel myself but I'd consider one for the fuel saving.
While diesels are quite fuel-efficient on the highway, where they can beat gasoline engines in fuel economy is in city traffic, because they can run on far less fuel per cubic inch displacement at idle and low throttle settings. Modern fuel injections systems on gasoline engines have narrowed that gap some, but diesels still beat gas engines in fuel efficiency at idle and low speeds. In addition, because modern turbocharged diesel engines have greater lower-end torque, they can accelerate a vehicle from a dead stop with less cubic-inch displacement than a normally-aspirated gasoline engine.

By the way, I've been driving diesel cars, SUV's and pickups for much of my driving career (40 year's worth)--as well as spending time around the large diesel prime movers found in railroad locomotives. I prefer diesel engines to gas engines for most all applications.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:57 AM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,210,251 times
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Persoanlly everytime I have a diesel near me at a stop liike I can't believe the stink.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,658,212 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
Especially if you're trying to sell them next to a gasser with a lower MSRP that gets within 5mpg - as Ford would if they sold a diesel Focus.

Let me put it another way. Adding up the total sales of ALL clean diesel passenger cars in the US last year, from the Golf to the BMW 335d to the top Mercedes and Audis, gives us 79,000 total cars. About HALF the sales of JUST the Prius. And only about twice as much as JUST the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
While the 5 mpg difference might be true for the Ford, what about BMW's engines? The 2.0L diesel has been throned as engine of the year 2 or 3 times in Europe.

As far as I know, even the Prius will struggle to get 65-70 mpg on highway and it will easily match the Priuses numbers in city/combined. Add to that that it has 170 hp, and 380-400 Nm of Torque, delivered over a (for a diesel) very wide powerband, and you have a car that will out accelerate far stronger gasoline cars, whilst still getting 50-60 mpg.

If the salespeople actually did a half decent job of getting people to try out the diesel too before they bought a BMW, I think it could be a massive hit, cause to tell you the truth, for everyday driving, it's a ton more comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Diesel would be great for people who drive plenty of highway miles. I've heard that Audi makes a diesel powered race car. It's advantage is fewer fuel stops. I've never driven a diesel myself but I'd consider one for the fuel saving.
VAG (Audi, VW, Skoda, etc) does use diesel engines in many of their applications, such as the Nur24h Scirocco, as well as in some of the higher end 24h racers. BMW also use diesel in some of theirs.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,520,826 times
Reputation: 4846
Actualy BMW sells almost a third of it's total sales in diesels, and that's only with the 335d and X5 3.5d

But they cost much more, so it's harder to get people to buy them than it first appears.

I'd like to see good diesels in the US, especially in bigger cars. Not a real fan of the smell of diesel fuel or the sound, even in the newest clean diesels in the US. Not sure I even like it in my diesel pickup truck, but there's no denying the torque they make.

I'm looking into modifying an older VW TDi engine to sit longitudinally in my MGB, and then converting it to run at least much of the time on waste vegetable oil. So I'm not anti-diesel. But I really don't see it as all that appealing here in the US. Not only from teh point of view of automotive purchasing options, but where the tax structure is so different that we can't really use the taxes generated to improve the inter-town and inter-city mass transit options to what Europe has.
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