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Old 12-20-2008, 09:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Annapolis, MD
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Mom's Taxi - '05 Toyota Sienna LE 8-passenger
90 day: 22.59 mpg (US)

Diesel - '09 VW Jetta TDI
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Diesels are the future! But not the way you may think- read on.

Back when I was stationed in Europe in the 90's, we enjoyed renting incredible diesel vehicles. On the longer trips we would often wonder if their fuel gauges had broken!

I wrote numerous letters to Ford and GM urging them to bring their incredible "clean" Euro diesels back to our home market. I always got the same reply: it was cost prohibitive to meet EPA pollution requirements with our non-Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD)-at the time.

After too many years of delay, ULSD became required by law in the US. When it finally became mandated in Oct 2006, I thought "Great, now we should see a plethora of "clean" diesels in the US market!"

Well, a couple of things had happened between the 90's and Oct 2006:
1. During the Clinton administration, taxes on diesel fuel were levied at a rate 50% higher than gasoline. As a few of you have experienced, diesel fuel costs ~20-35% more than a gallon of regular unleaded.
2. The economy has delayed US diesel programs at the Detroit 3, Honda, and Hyundai, among others.

I am certain of the inevitability of "clean" diesel proliferation in the US market. And I am not alone in this assessment: US refiners are following the lead of Marathon Oil in investing over $2 billion to expand their diesel refining capacity in the US. (even the big ExxonMobil has announced a +$1 billion diesel refining initiative for the US).

Last edited by DieselHybrid; 12-20-2008 at 12:49 PM..
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