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Oil-sippers failed to make even the slightest of dents in the U.S.' hybrid-heavy green vehicle scene.

Through the end of September 2011, sales of diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S. were up 30.9 percent, compared to the same nine-month period in 2010. However, at only 7,663 total units sold last month – a decline of 13 percent compared to August's numbers – the diesel's take-rate rings in at a mere 0.73 percent, compared to hybrid vehicles at 1.68 percent and plug-ins at 0.17 percent.

Led by the Volkswagen Jetta TDI and Golf TDI, diesel vehicles have slowly inched their way up the sales charts. No U.S. automaker sold even a single diesel passenger vehicle in September of 2011.

Sales of the segment leader, the Jetta TDI, checked in at 4,158 units in September, bringing the diesel sedan's year-to-date total to 41,083. The oil-burning Golf didn't fare nearly as well, but its sales of 694 units in September landed the diesel hatchback in second place. In third, with 610 sales, was the diesel-fueled BMW X5 xDrive35d. And coming in fourth, with 449 units sold, was the spectacular BMW 335d.

Looking for more details? Head over to Hybrid Cars for a model-by-model breakdown of diesel vehicle sales for September 2011.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      skierpage
      • 4 Months Ago
      From Hybrid Cars dashboard: "Sales of plug-in cars broke the 10,000-unit mark in September [for 2011 to date] " Pause for a moment and think about that. Reality inexorably leaves behind the naysayers and their ridiculous blanket statements "No one will buy one", "They won't work", "Nobody besides {eco-celebs/greenies/some other group I despise} will want an electric car", etc.
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Months Ago
      @ Jim Hubert What an odd post! Polite, well written, reasonable, and yet full of the most erroneous assumptions. I don't have any idea where in the US Jim lives, but a "scrap metal only" price for a five year odd Prius is just not consistent with any used car guide I have ever read! Just because Toyota only warranty the battery for 8 years, doesn't mean that's it's life expectancy! There are lot's of Prius owners happily driving 10 year old cars. All economy vehicles depreciate in value! Battery prices have dropped considerably, NiMH replacement packs can be brought very cheaply from Gold Peak of HK. New LiPo batteries are vastly improved technology. Jim, all new technologies are built at a premium. That's why nearly every ICE sophistication was first introduced into the luxury version, and once established with the R&D cost recovered, was fitted to economy models. EV/hybrids are no different. The GS Lexus 450h retains better resale value as a 3-4 year ex-fleet trade, than its ICE version. But, your argument is doomed! The 'Age of Oil' is slowly entering it's final phase. Yes, Gasoline tech will improve, but only marginally. Oil depletion will be so severe that within 17 years the Oil Industry estimates that 30-40 million EV's will be needed in the World fleet to alleviate Oil supply shortages. This isn't some enviro-pest, tree-hugging, crazy talking, but the best science and logistics experts employed to advise the worlds 5 biggest Oil companies. Hybrids, EREV's and EV's have some limitations, but the ICE is facing a terminal fate.
      wxman
      • 4 Months Ago
      Once and for all, the current generation of diesel vehicles in the U.S. (since January 2007) are not only NOT worse than gasoline engines with respect to particle emissions, they're far BETTER! And there are at least 30 scientific studies which confirm this, most independent of each other. A few selected citations... "...The Particle Number emissions reinforce the effectiveness of the DPF on all of the test cycles. For all test cycles the uncorrected Particle Numbers for the diesel vehicle with DPF [were] at least one order of magnitude lower [than the gasoline vehicles] at 1*10^9 to 9.9*10^9 per km...." (Bosteels, D; May, J; Karlsson, H; de Serves, C; “‘Regulated’ and ‘Non-regulated’ Emissions from Modern European Passenger Cars.” SAE 2006-01-1516) "......gasoline engine exhaust particles consist of similar materials and have a comparable morphology to Diesel particles. However, the number size distribution shows for homogeneous gasoline engines compared to Diesel engines typically a higher number of particles at smaller sizes... ...In principle, particulate filters already in standard use on modern Diesel engine powered passenger cars can be applied to gasoline engines as well [10]. The typically smaller particles generated by gasoline engines require a finer filter characteristics (e.g. cell density, mean pore size and porosity) which consequently leads to a higher exhaust system backpressure with a negative impact on performance, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions...." (Walter Piock, Guy Hoffmann, Axel Berndorfer, Patrick Salemi and Bernd Fusshoeller; “Strategies Towards Meeting Future Particulate Matter Emission Requirements in Homogeneous Gasoline Direct Injection Engines.” SAE International, 2011-01-1212) "...particulate filtration may be necessary for future gasoline engines... ...The ACES program showed that [diesel] nanoparticle emissions during the 16-hour test cycle were undetectable except during regeneration...." (The Future of Vehicle Fuels and Technologies: Anticipating Health Benefits and Challenges, HEI Special Committee on Emerging Technologies, Health Effects Institute) There is a now a particle number regulation that has just gone into effect in Europe (1 September 2011) imposed on all diesel cars that most gassers wouldn't be able to meet (Piock, Figure 1). I have a clean diesel car (2010 model) and there not only have never been any instances where it emitted any "black smoke", the inside of the tailpipes are essentially as clean as they were when I drove it off the dealer's lot a year and a half and 20,000 miles ago. Meanwhile, my son's 2011 Ford Mustang GT had a significant coating of black soot inside the tailpipes after a few hundred miles on it. How do you explain that if diesel still has problems with particle pollution that gasoline powered cars do not?
      mexicanjetta
      • 4 Months Ago
      Just keep drinking that diesel koolaid suckers
        denverdave
        • 4 Months Ago
        @mexicanjetta
        hahah mexicanjetta is just a troll.....
        Vimicus
        • 4 Months Ago
        @mexicanjetta
        Better gas mileage, better reliability, more efficiency, more torque? Yes, I'll keep my koolaid, sucker.
      krisztiant
      • 4 Months Ago
      "No U.S. automaker sold even a single diesel passenger vehicle in September of 2011." The reason is immensely simple: U.S. fuel prices are cheap and gasoline is even cheaper than diesel, unlike in Europe, where fuel is extremely expensive (usually more than 2x), in addition, gasoline is even more expensive than diesel (so diesel is "cheaper"). Applying some elementary logic, it is easy to figure out why more than half of the vehicles in Europe are diesels and why diesels won't be popular in the US until gas prices (i.e. taxes) would near EU levels. Under EU conditions Diesels would be the same 'vehicle extraordinaires' in the US too. It"s that simple. Think Gas is High? Try Europe (Time Magazine): http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1809900,00.html
        Actionable Mango
        • 4 Months Ago
        @krisztiant
        Cherry-picking comparisons has no meaning. Here are some in the other direction: Puerto Rico, USA: $1.74 Venezuela: 12 cents Nigeria: 38 cents
      Ford Future
      • 4 Months Ago
      Can you make your own bio-diesel? Do these cars run on veg-oil?
      Jim Hubert
      • 4 Months Ago
      Gosh, these numbers indicate that 5 of every 200 cars sold in the US are diesels, hybrids or plug-ins. That's amazing! Given another 10-15 years or so and these comfortable, inexpensive, value-retaining and reliable vehicles could easily make up as much as 20% of the US car market. Of course, that assumes that a manufacturer actually produces one of the above which is comfortable, inexpensive, value-retaining and reliable. I suppose you could make a weak case for the Volkswagen diesels, but I'd challenge the 'reliable' part, and even the 'inexpensive' one. People, understand that when you buy a hybrid, or especially a PHEV, you're agreeing that in 5-8 years, your 'inexpensive' 'reliable' car will require a $12,000.00 battery replacement if it is to continue to operate at all. You can buy used 2003-4 Priuses around here for less than a thousand dollars, basically their scrap metal value, because their batteries no longer charge reliably. These cars were sold 7-8 years ago amid huge public reassurances that 'oh, battery prices will fall, rapidly, now that the cars are using them'. Well, Prius battery prices haven't dropped one cent. In fact, they've gone up a bit. I don't mind people who believe in false answers to knotty problems, but when they mislead others to forward their various causes, it's really annoying. Hybrid battery prices are not going to drop for decades, and anyone who buys ANY hybrid vehicle thinking that replacement batteries will be cheap, by the time they need one, has been lied to, and that's just wrong. . I realize everyone in this forum thinks I'm just another troll, but I'd buy a truly usable hybrid, if it accelerated, handled and cost like a comparably sized and available gas powered car. None such exist. The ones that accelerate and handle like a gas powered car cost huge amounts more, and the ones that cost like a comparable gas powered car...and yes, a Ford Fusion Sport and Fusion Hybrid cost exactly the same, but you can't even start to make a case they offer the same performance with the Sport offering 263 HP. and the heavier Hybrid having about half that...basically don't offer the same comfort and performance as the gas powered cars. Someday, technology will catch up enough to allow both drivetrains to compete. Ii's going to be years, because electric technology might be advancing, but so is gasoline tech, and it's going to be a VERY long time before they're equal. When they are, I'll be interested. Until then, I'm not. My money is too important to me to drive a public eco-political statement as my form of transportation. Have a nice day, all of you, and remember...winter's coming...remember your batteries are gonna lose about half their juice.
        Ford Future
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jim Hubert
        The Electric Motor is 90% efficient, the gas engine will NEVER catch up. Batteries are improving every year at 8% with no major breakthrough. But, with one major breakthrough they will Double in Capacity. Drive an electric motor car, and you will NEVER go Back to an ICE. Global Warming is destroying the US South, We Don't have a Choice. http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ Global Drought Monitor http://drought.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/drought.html?map=%2Fwww%2Fdrought%2Fweb_pages%2Fdrought.map&program=%2Fcgi-bin%2Fmapserv&root=%2Fwww%2Fdrought2%2F&map_web_imagepath=%2Ftmp%2F&map_web_imageurl=%2Ftmp%2F&map_web_template=%2Fdrought.html
        Dave R
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jim Hubert
        Hey Jim, one can easily get a refurbished good as new battery from a couple different suppliers for $1000-$1600. You can buy a brand new one for about $2000. But hey - don't let facts get in your way! BTW - if you're looking for a "sporty" hybrid - check out Infiniti's and Lexus' hybrids. Faster than the non-hybrid and ~25% more fuel efficient. Quit 'yer trollin!
          Marco Polo
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave R
          Dave R Absolutely! Excellently put. (But, one thing, to be fair to Jim, he did say affordable. Lexus may fall outside his description of 'affordable' )
        Ford Future
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jim Hubert
        Yes, Jim, can you give us your source for your $12,000 battery? Look at it this way. Peak Oil is happening now. Otherwise, only the insane would allow Tar Sand operations, as their MASSIVE Polluters, destroy the local environment, have a bad EROEI number. Where sweet crude takes 1 gallon of fuel to produce 6, tar sand's is down to 1 gallon producing 3. Your next exploration attempts will be in the arctic, which will be Massively Expensive. BP's Gulf Well was the Deepest and most expensive well they ever drilled, they did it on the cheap, and turned it into a disaster. You can either double your mpg or you can double your price, take your pick.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Diesel still has a problem with particulate pollution that gasoline powered cars do not. Newer diesels have "improved" filters supposed to reduce particulate pollution. But have you ever seen one of these accelerate in a hurry? A little cloud (and sometimes not so little) of BLACK smoke behind it. You don't get black smoke if there are no particles in the exhaust. This particulate pollution affects your lungs far worse than non-particulate pollution. Anyone with asthma, heart disease or any other breath-related issue will not be served by diesel vehicles on the road.
      Paul P.
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'd love to buy a diesel vehicle....if a manufacturer would make a diesel vehicle I'd want to buy. Right now, our only choices are heavy duty pickups/vans, a few expensive luxury vehicles, or Volkswagens. It's such a limited selection it's ridiculous.
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