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Old 08-21-2008, 09:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The upfront cost of a diesel engine plus the cost of fuel more than offsets any fuel economy benefits.
I have to disagree. Fuel is the often single biggest expense over the lifetime of a road vehicle, sometimes exceeding the purchase value of the vehicle itself. Diesel would have to cost a whole lot more than 16% over gasoline to offset FE benefits.

I own 2 compact sedans, one a gasser and the other a TDI, so it's easy for me to compare. I think it's a fair engine comparison, both being 4 cyl engines with pretty much the same displacement.

Doing the same type of driving with both my cars I get the following:

Highway only
TDI: 65 MPG
Elantra: 43 MPG

City only
TDI: 50 MPG
Elantra: 33 MPG

In a 50/50 city/highway mix and gas at $4/gal while diesel at $5/gal, a 25% difference, the TDI cost $1830 less per 100k miles than the Elantra.

The premium you pay for the diesel engine is partly transferred to the resale value so it's not a sunk cost.

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Old 08-21-2008, 10:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The death of the small diesel engine has already begun in europe.
Quote:
19 May 2008
GERMANY: Diesel share has peaked - study

A new study has found that the diesel share of the German car market has peaked and that it will start falling from around 48% today to 30% by 2020.

The study by the Centre Automotive Research (CAR) at the college of Gelsenkirchen, and headed by Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, cites seven reasons for the future fall in diesel share which it says will be damaging to the competitiveness of the German automotive industry, which is a world leader in diesel technology.

The study, reported by Automobilwoche, said the main reason for the end of the diesel boom is the improved efficiency of petrol cars, downsizing, second generation technology and double turbocharging. In addition the price differential between diesel and petrol is falling.

The third reason is falling values of used diesel cars. CAR attributes this partly to the fact that private used car buyers generally drive fewer kilometres than new car owners and this, combined with the reduced price advantage, means that diesel no longer adds up as an alternative.

Company car buyers are also turning away from diesels, partly because price rises for diesel cars have been higher recently, as new technology such as Bluetec (Mercedes) and BlueMotion (VW group) has been added to newly-launched models.

From 2010 all diesel cars will be required to have NOx filters, which will add further cost. These filters will require servicing, too, leading to even more cost for owners.

Petrol hybrids will put the final nail in the coffin for diesels. Hybrid technology will be enough to give petrol a firm CO2 emissions advantage over diesel.

For 2015 CAR is forecasting a 38% share in diesel, falling to 30% by 2020.
GERMANY: Diesel share has peaked - study: Automotive News & Comment
 
Old 08-21-2008, 11:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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In France, gasoline is more expensive because government get less taxes on diesel since 70's. I heard that at this time petrol companies had too much diesel they had to export and not enough gasoline so they had to import a lot.

Currently, always in France, without taxes the diesel is more expensive than the gasoline, but with the taxes it's the contrary.

When prices began to climb this year, gasoline and diesel were roughly at the same price. I heard it was because we had to import more diesel. Since a few week, diesel is again less expensive.

About low sulfur gas, it's 50ppm max since 2005 all over Europe, but 10ppm is available since then, noticeably because some particle filters do need them. It will be mandatory at 10 ppm at 2009/01/01, except in some eastern European countries that joined Europe lately. Some northern European countries have 2-5ppm available.

So in France we prefer diesel because if you drive more than the average it's cheaper, except when you buy an old second hand diesel car so it's immediately cheaper whatever how much you drive.

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Old 08-21-2008, 12:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
I have to disagree. Fuel is the often single biggest expense over the lifetime of a road vehicle, sometimes exceeding the purchase value of the vehicle itself. Diesel would have to cost a whole lot more than 16% over gasoline to offset FE benefits.

I own 2 compact sedans, one a gasser and the other a TDI, so it's easy for me to compare. I think it's a fair engine comparison, both being 4 cyl engines with pretty much the same displacement.

Doing the same type of driving with both my cars I get the following:

Highway only
TDI: 65 MPG
Elantra: 43 MPG

City only
TDI: 50 MPG
Elantra: 33 MPG

In a 50/50 city/highway mix and gas at $4/gal while diesel at $5/gal, a 25% difference, the TDI cost $1830 less per 100k miles than the Elantra.

The premium you pay for the diesel engine is partly transferred to the resale value so it's not a sunk cost.
I agree. A lot of us pay a lot more a month for fuel than what a car payment would be. Plus you pay the car off eventually, you never stop using fuel.

It cost more to fill the tank in my Pontiac 6000 wagon than what I paid for it.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I suppose it all depends on which flavor of Kool-Aid you prefer. Those who prefer the EPA Kool-Aid will never believe anything else so are beyond reasoning with.

Foreign gasoline and diesel prices are tricky to use because local taxation varies a lot. However one thing is clear. In 2006, before ULSD in the US, gasoline and diesel cost about the same (with some regional and seasonal variations) within 25 cents a gallon at the most. In 2007, ULSD came along and within a couple of months, diesel in the US cost 80 cents to a dollar more per gallon. If that does not make you smell a rat then you have been snorting the EPA Kool-Aid as well as drinking it.

If it were truly a supply and demand thing the change would have been far more gradual. A sudden change indicates a single powerful cause. If the link in post #17 is credible, then demand in Germany – a place where diesels have always been popular – is dropping. I’m not buying the “supply-and-demand” myth a bit.

One thing for certain: Diesels built before Tier II (needs ULSD) are considerably more efficient than Tier II engines. My old school bus motor has zero emissions controls on it and no pickup diesel engine today can get close to it for MPG. You can take a International 6.4 or a Cummins 6.7 or the Tier II Duramax and put them in a truck of similar configuration to mine, drive it the same, and at best you get 21 MPG. Most guys are seeing 16 MPG – about what a gas F-150 gets. Tier II has wrecked diesel performance. If past is prologue, it will be twenty-five years for diesel performance to recover.

Post number 8 had a map showing nonattainment areas for PM 2.5 and the statement was made that these areas are at an “unhealthy” level. Who says they are “unhealthy?” The EPA? The EPA is not credible. These areas have been submitted to arbitrarily set ambient concentration levels. These levels have nothing to do with health – hospitalizations for respiratory problems today per 100,000 population are about the same as they were in 1970 when the EPA was established. The air quality is certainly better today than in 1970 and half as many people smoke as in 1970, but hospitalizations are about the same. The EPA’s statistical medicine does not add up. The air quality is better but there is no metric for any health benefit. The real dynamic here is that the EPA is fighting for its survival. Like many governmental organizations, it was established for a specific purpose, and like many governmental organizations it has been too effective at slaying its dragon. Air quality is the best it has been in living memory, but the EPA needs to keep coming up with new “health scares” to justify its existence. If it fails to do so, the EPA becomes like the Rural Electrification Agency or TVA – backwater agencies subject to sunsetting whenever congress ever feels the need to actually cut something.

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with both oil companies and with the EPA and I find the oil companies to be a great deal more believable.

What will you guys do if the McGyan process and algal biodiesel work out? Would you prefer the US make biodiesel and export it rather than using it domestically? Your precious spark-ignition engines will not run on biodiesel.

In the scheme of getting better MPG the efficiency advantage of non-Tier II diesels over gasoline engines is so great that all the other stuff mentioned here (duct tape over air intakes, etc) looks like peanuts by comparison. For instance low-rolling resistance tires might gain you a 5% MPG improvement but a pre-Tier II diesel in the same vehicle gives you a 25-50% improvement in MPG. Post #11 and my experience bear that out. One does not throw away an advantageous technology without getting a substantial benefit, but that is precisely what ULSD and Tier II – both promulgated by the extremists at the EPA – have done.

In addition to the increase in fuel cost, and the reduction in engine efficiency the cost of added equipment makes Tier II diesels command a $12,000 premium over a gas engine in the same car. IF Honda, M-B, and VW import diesels in the near future, how much of a premium do you think these engines will fetch? I’d bet the M-B diesel will cost $20,000 more than the same car with a gas engine. The barrier filter on a Ford diesel pickup costs $4,500 (dealer’s price) alone. By comparison my old school bus motor cost me an extra $2,700. I think that pretty much kills fuel-efficient diesels in the US and condemns most people to driving inefficient gas pigs.

Go to blazes, EPA.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Diesel premiums in Canada:

The 2009 Jetta 2.0 TDI is $2300 over the 2.5 gasser.

Oddly enough the 2008 MB E320 3.0 BlueTEC is also $2300 over the 3.0 E300 gasser.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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common sense says that the algal biodiesel is the ONLY RENEWABLE alternative gasoline performance. I can only hope to construct a 1000 sq.ft. hydroponic alge farm in my backyard, cause when my kids can drive, gas will be 15 bucks a gallon
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
This just in: PM2.5 levels in many areas of the Country are at an unhealthy level:

That map really puzzles me. I don't see anything on the source, but if it's recent, say the last couple of months, there's a more likely explanation than diesel for most of the areas west of the Rockies, and that's all the forest fires. Most of California was smoked out for a month or more.

And the rest of those red areas, like northwestern Utah. Why are they so high? Maybe all those speed record attempts on the Bonneville Salt Flats, you suppose? The northern corner of Montana, and south central Oregon? Areas not exactly noted for a lot of diesel engines, but with a lot of forest or rangeland subject to fires.
 
Old 08-22-2008, 02:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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jamesqf -

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
That map really puzzles me. I don't see anything on the source, but if it's recent, say the last couple of months, there's a more likely explanation than diesel for most of the areas west of the Rockies, and that's all the forest fires. Most of California was smoked out for a month or more.

And the rest of those red areas, like northwestern Utah. Why are they so high? Maybe all those speed record attempts on the Bonneville Salt Flats, you suppose? The northern corner of Montana, and south central Oregon? Areas not exactly noted for a lot of diesel engines, but with a lot of forest or rangeland subject to fires.
It's from 2006 :

Area Designations for 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) Standards | US EPA

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Old 08-22-2008, 02:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Actually, it was released just a few days ago (August 19, 2008). Check the link in my post with the picture ...

Regulatory Actions | Area Designations for 2006 Fine Particle (PM2.5) Standards | US EPA

And the map with explanations and datestamp from that page: EPA Response to State Recommendations on 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 Designations | Area Designations for 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) Standards | US EPA

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post

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