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The push for more diesel vehicles in North America is finally starting to pick up momentum from non-German automakers like Chrysler, General Motors and Mazda, but there are still hurdles automakers face in winning over American car buyers. To combat this, The Detroit News says that Volkswagen is attempting to get government officials to help level the playing field and even create incentives to promote diesel vehicles.

Aside from trying to get the federal diesel fuel tax lowered, VW is looking to get additional credits for diesel vehicles in the stricter 54.5-mpg fuel regulations and trying to get the EPA to adjust how it calculates its combined fuel economy rating. The current ratio takes into account 55-percent city driving and 45-percent highway driving, which a VW exec claims does not "reflect real-world driving." Diesels perform better on the highway, so on paper, altering the formula could provide a boost for diesel vehicles in the form of a better combined mile-per-gallon rating. This all comes after recent news that VW is working on its next-generation EA 288 TDI engine, a powerplant expected to further increase highway fuel economy to the tune of at least 45 mpg.


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  • 72 Comments
      sinistro79
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should also push lawmakers to abolish the chicken tax so they can start selling their Transporters here again at a competitive price!
      DooMMasteR
      • 1 Year Ago
      see there are fuel efficent cars: Audi A2 e.g. (the 3L) gets about 67mpg REAL LIFE average with a TDI, it is worlds lowest real life fuel consumption of any production car http://www.spritmonitor.de/en/overview/3-Audi/1063-A2_3L.html?fueltype=1 even the maximum consuming car gets 55mpg the A2 never made it to the US, but I recon the highway real life consumption would be even lower :)
      edward.stallings
      • 1 Year Ago
      Diesel soot is carcinogenic.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @edward.stallings
        [blocked]
        sfast
        • 1 Year Ago
        @edward.stallings
        If a 18 wheeler could run on gas, I'm sure the same could be said about it. After all, both fuels contain cancer causing benzene.
      Jeff Gilleran
      • 1 Year Ago
      Totally agree.. Diesels don't get the proper recognition for their current very clean burning designs. In fact, I think some of those rules are way too strict, and should be relaxed. Not everyone wants a Diesel, but maybe if the costs were a little less prohibitive, they would be much more popular. For instance, a good Diesel Hybrid would really boost Mileage, and the size of the engine wouldn't need to be very large to push around your average car. I see it as a good thing to embrace a change for the better with it. Even if it doesn't apply to everyone out there.
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jeff Gilleran
        Clean at the tailpipe <> clean overall. Just cannot change the laws of physics and make diesel a clean fuel. The crap that went into the air before is just captured. What do you do with an ash filled DPF at the end of its life? Put it in a landfill? What about seepage? At the end of the day, diesel is still dirty.
      jz78817
      • 1 Year Ago
      they *are* on a level playing field. they now have to meet the same emissions standards as gas engines. previously, they didn't.
      mcc1975
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's one reason why diesels never took off in the USA or Japan: while diesels are treated equally on those countries based on CO2 emmissions, in Europe, diesels, to reach the same Euro5 level, can have higher emmissions levels, especially in NOx but also in CO2. Should the EU ever treat diesels the same as gas cars, they would immediatedly become obsolete... I know you americans love the forbidden fruit of diesel cars we have in Europe but believe me, beyond the cool torque down low, there's a lot of disadvantages with this technology... unless you drive more than 25000mi/y and mostly on the highway.
        RGT881
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mcc1975
        We do drive quite a bit on the highway and secondly NOx itself is really...well...harmless.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will NEVER buy a diesel, ever. Diesels are prone to unreliability and maintenance problems. My dad had an Olds 88 diesel in the 80's, biggest POS ever. It was a POS BECAUSE of the diesel, and I'm sure most diesel cars are no different. Besides, diesels emit particles which contribute to the risk of cancer. No wonder that cancer rates in Europe are much higher than in the US. Maybe if they stopped buying diesels, the rate would lower.
        RGT881
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Wow - do you also think the earth is flat?
        ImpulseGTO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        You have no idea how a Diesel engine works do you? Or how far they have come since the 80's.
        dovegraybird
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Umm, you do know that GM never put a true diesel engine in an Oldsmobile right? They took a gasoline engine, converted it to diesel, which on paper made sense, but in reality, didnt work out.
          dodge
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dovegraybird
          The Olds Diesel is a "true" diesel. The problem was GM management cheeped out and saddled it with weak head bolts. Then they failed to train the dealership staff on how to work on diesels. I've got an 82 Delta 88 Diesel in my driveway, threw a set of ARP head studs on it and it hasn't been a problem.
          Smoking_dude
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dovegraybird
          VW did the same thing, but they converted the engine right so it was robust and almost indestructible.
      Justin Campanale
      • 1 Year Ago
      In Europe, the price of diesel fuel is comparable or similar to the price of gasoline. On the other hand, the price of diesel fuel in the States is artificially high. Look up the ULSD mandates; they are what caused it. Yet another example of corporations, especially big oil, buying and selling our politicians. This is yet another example of the undercover corporate fascism that seeks to monopolize our industries and limit our freedoms.
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Diesel is cheaper in Europe because they subsidize it. And they are paying for it with higher air pollution.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @knightrider_6
          [blocked]
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        ULSD isn't artificial. It is needed to make sure that catalytic converters work on Diesels. And we need those catalytic converters to keep exhaust clean. Europe has even tighter sulfur restrictions than the US.
      bcsaxman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Those "clean burning designs" are part of the problem - for trucks in particular. Can't tell you how many rig drivers I've talked to who curse the particulate filters to high heaven. Maintenance problems, and higher fuel expenses due to lower fuel economy (not so bad for regular drivers, I suppose, but for commercial ... it's a killer) are the two biggest gripes. And urea fluid is a nice gouge in the neck for most diesel owners going forward. I half-way think it was the oil companies that pushed for these new stringent exhaust regs on diesels. Anything to keep us slurping the dino-juice at higher levels is a boon for them, and that's about all these regs seem to have really accomplished.
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bcsaxman
        Most of the tier 4 on-highway diesels and industrial diesels use less fuel. 5-10% for CAT. They tuned the engines to run more efficiently, but that means smokier. The DPF catches all the extra particles though. That was one improvement from the new regulations. The DPFs themselves are reliable, but the on-board or dealer owner burnout cleaners are what cost a lot and break a lot.
      paulr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hope that if they make some changes, this allows for more automakers to bring their diesels over, the more the merrier!
      Arsb
      • 1 Year Ago
      Considering our love for SUVs and extensive highway driving, if the US auto market is naturally suited for diesels. SUVs means more weight. Ergo, Diesel engines are particularly suited for heavy vehicles. When was the last time you saw a locomotive or eighteen wheeler with a gasoline engine? More torque means low rpm cruising speeds. Combined with a higher energy density density, the result is excellent fuel efficiency and astonishing range. The usage is backwards. Hybrids and electric make the most sense in city driving or short trips, yet Europe gets all the diesels while we have more hybrids. It seems highly counterintuitive. I truly hope VW succeeds, because fewer restrictions on diesel will lower their cost and incentivize automakers to federalize more engines/models. Now if only the FMSS and Euripean standards would fall in line...then I could have a 130d hatch with m-sport package. But I digress. Modern diesel cars are excellent. I convinced my parents to buy a 335d. They loved it so much that they pulled the trigger on a diesel X5 (with the same 3 liter I6) later that year. 265 hp, but 425 lb/ft of torque at about 1900 rpm. The oil burner gives the x5 decent hustle...and then you remember that it has a 5200lb curb weight. Combined mpgs in the mid 20's with high 20's on the highway. It's absolutely bonkers in the 3 series. Borrowed it for a road trip and got 40mpg +/- .2mpg going 70mph with the A/C on full blast. In non highway driving, it was closer to 28-30 mpg while driving like a complete madman. Combined mpgs in the 30's is easily doable. If diesel had no potential in the US market, it would have died a long time ago. Instead, diesel sales have been on an upward trend. Year over year diesel sales are up about 29% and will likely follow that trend as they have. Godspeed, VW. Godspeed.
        skierpage
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Arsb
        The European diesels that beat hybrid mpg are mostly 1.4L and below econoboxes with stop-start, i.e. they're micro-hybrids. Car makers are probably correct to believe they won't sell in the USA. The trend ISN'T diesel, it's electrification. Electrical accessories are more efficient, energy from regenerative braking is free, and electricity from a plug is cheaper (and overall better for the environment) than burning fuel. So as batteries steadily improve, combustion cars will inexorably move through micro-hybrid -> mild hybrid -> hybrid -> plug-in hybrid. Adding the cost and weight of a diesel engine to that system is not a recipe for success. That's why VW says in the future they will make a plug-in hybrid version of every model.
      Jim1961
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let me get this straight. VW wants green cred for giving us the technology to switch from one form of fossil fuel to another? Forgive us unrealistic "greenies" for being unimpressed.
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