Diesel continues to fight past

By Automotive Staff | February 25, 2008
Diesel was never a good alternative in the U.S. but they sure do love it in Europe. European car makers have made improvements and now it is even looked upon as a green alternative to gas engines. And now American car makers are looking into using diesel engines in some of their models.BMW now offers a diesel version of its 3-Series. Audi is including a diesel on its Q7 SUV while Mercedes, with Bluetec, has the GL-Class, the M-Class and the R-Class SUVs. There are a host of reasons why diesel is gaining attention. First, it offers better fuel economy than gas engines, important as the price of gas has gone up . Second, more diesel is available than any other fuel alternative. Third, pundits are saying that diesel engines are less expensive than hybrids. Fourth, diesel’s power and performance is better. Fifth, diesel has 30 percent more range than hybrids.
So what's the problem? The big one is that diesel engines require complex emission systems in the U.S. which drive up the cost 30 percent more expensive than a gas engine. And only about half of the filling stations in the U.S. offer it. Our take? So, will all of this translate into sales of diesels in the U.S.? J.D. Power and Associates think so. They forecast that 17 percent of Americans will be driving a diesel in 10 years. That’s a five times increase over 2007.