• May 14, 2009



As of Monday, May 11th, the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel in the U.S. was $2.216, while the average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline was $2.240. That's a big deal, as diesel fuel has historically cost a least a bit more than premium gasoline here in the United States. Obviously, that trend is slowly changing. Towards the end of March, there were many areas of the country where diesel fuel was less expensive than gasoline, and today, that trend has taken hold on a national level.

Although this may seem like excellent news for automakers interested in selling diesel vehicles in the States, it has pretty much proven impossible to accurately predict what fuel prices will be more than a few weeks in advance. So, while it may seem likely that automakers would be more willing to bring efficient oil-burning cars to the American market in light of these favorable diesel prices, we wouldn't recommend getting your hopes up. However, if you already own a whirling derv, you may just have enough extra scratch at the end of the week to get yourself that cup of Starbucks.

[Source: Energy Information Administration]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bet the reason for this is that we have hundreds of regulated formulas for gasoline, particularly summer gas, while diesel is more standardized. The problem is that gas is too high, not that diesel is low.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Diesel is still more expensive here. And the two gas stations in my town are charging $2.39 (Kwik Fill) and $2.45 (Mobile) for 87 octane gasoline.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here in Anchorage, AK, diesel is $3.30/gallon. 87 octane gasoline is $2.50/gallon.

      Sooo..... that's annoying.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmm, up until the past few years Diesel was always cheaper near Chicago. I almost bought a Ram 2500 for the purpose. Diesel was cheaper, an gave better milage than my Bronco could ever hope to return. I'm glad to hear that trend might be coming back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great News hopefully it stays like this for a while. I don't understand why people don't see the advantages of diesel powered cars there's clean diesel which pollutes less than a gasoline engine, less maintainance on the engine and also the torque some of these engines produce is amazing. Well the diesel jetta already set a Guinness world record of 58mpg and is about 5000 cheaper than a prius.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mark,

      I used the EPA combo to keep measurement/comparison equal. I normally use a more conservative 30% as the efficiency advantage of diesel.

      I'm getting old and don't have the patience to teach basic math anymore (or bother that new diesels (>2007) are required to have the same emissions as gas cars...)

      It really comes down to a lesson in how to play the guitar:

      Nigel Tufnel: You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
      Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
      Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
      Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
      Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
      Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
      Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.
      • 5 Years Ago
      PSA- isn't it the name of the french Automaker??
      RobbieTDI
      • 5 Years Ago
      "diesel fuel has historically cost a least a bit more than premium gasoline here in the United States."

      what? Diesel has historically been cheaper than regular unleaded in the US.......only until recently (the last year or two) have we seen prices of D2 make leaps and bounds above gasoline......good to see it settle down, but doubt it will last.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @RobbieTDI
        Maybe that's due to what part of the country you live in. In Indiana, over the last 10 years since I started paying attention, it was more around and over the level of premium gas.

        We definitely see the manufactured demand increase in the winter due to the "use of home heating oil/diesel". So it probably all boils down to refining capacity more than anything.

        I think it will take the feds doing something like pegging the price of diesel to premium fuel to make any auto maker bring mass quantities of diesel to the us to joing the VW party. Then we may actually see some new refinery action going on for the first time in a few decades.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @RobbieTDI
        that's what I remembered too! Before the gas price skyrocked, it had always been diesel cheaper than gas. Now it's just back to the old trend.
      • 5 Years Ago
      in other words, winter is over and demand for heating oil decreased
      • 5 Years Ago
      For the tenth time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It would be nice to see the United States get their act together about having more clean diesel fuel available. Then the general population can enjoy the high milage vehicles that Europe have.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You have to look at perception. People still have this idea that car diesels still smell like old Mack trucks.

        Diesel was how much cheaper than regular for how long and I rarely saw any diesel cars tooling around. You would think with VW being pretty much the only mainstream car company with diesels, they would be selling them left and right. But I have seen maybe two or three diesel Jettas within the last couple months.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Diesel engines may be more efficient, but it is far from cleaner. Unless you put a bunch of expensive equipment on it to scrub the exhaust for a 50-state legal diesel.

        The exhaust from a modern gasoline engine is much cleaner than a diesel.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Capacity is a huge problem
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bought gas yesterday (Sachse, Texas), and both regular and diesel were $2.199
        • 5 Years Ago
        In these here parts, near Rose Bowl fame Pasadena...diesel goes for nearly a quarter less than regular grade. It's been like this for months since the Recession took hold.

        Must be some diesel glut overspill from EU...
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's still a good 10 cents more than 87 octane everywhere here in Dallas.
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