Audi, in case you haven't noticed, is quite committed to diesel technology. It champions oil burners in both the racing world and to consumers, offering American customers a total of five diesel-powered models, which is more than any brand in the US market save for its parent company, Volkswagen. In a bid to prove that diesels aren't some passing trend and are actually gaining momentum in the US, Audi commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a poll of 1,600 American drivers, to see how they felt about diesel power. The resulting statistics are rather surprising.
  • 57 percent of the 1,629 drivers surveyed think the government has unfairly favored hybrids and electrics over diesel power
  • 65 percent of drivers support laws being passed to make diesel more accessible, while 66 percent support tax incentives for diesel-powered vehicles
  • 59 percent of drivers, aged 18 to 34, say they'd consider a diesel if fuel prices were on par with gasoline
  • 39 percent of people over 45 say they'd consider a diesel if prices leveled out

The study shines a light on some popular opinions on diesel technology, and shows that, were the circumstances right, the torque-tastic powerplants might be able to enjoy the same degree of popularity in the US that they have in Europe.

Audi of America's president, Scott Keogh, had this to say:

"Government has set very rigorous standards for future fuel economy, and we believe that clean diesel is perfectly positioned to help us achieve those goals. But, we argue that diesel needs an even playing field set by state and federal governments. Audi believes there are a variety of viable alternative fuel solutions, including electric, but diesel is readily available today. If you take away the disincentives that state and federal taxation policy create, we potentially could see a big uptick in clean diesel vehicles sales."


Now, we'll admit, we're taking these statistics with a grain of salt. While it's true Audi used a third-party surveyor, the fact remains that these sort of stats are very, very positive, which is a rather convenient outcome. Of course, if these figures are accurate, the prospects for diesel technology in the US seem even better than we'd ever hoped. You can read the entire press release from Audi down below. As always, we'd like to know what you think. Take part in our unofficial poll.

Show full PR text
Over half of American drivers think government has unfairly placed bets on electrics over clean diesel vehicles, new Audi survey shows
• Survey conducted by Harris Interactive among over 1,600 American drivers to gain insight into clean diesel perception and adoption
• 66% of drivers think the government should offer a tax incentive on clean diesel vehicles
• 59% of 18-34 year old drivers said that if the cost of diesel fuel was on par with gasoline, they would purchase a diesel-powered vehicle


A new poll conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Audi of America reveals that a majority of American drivers would support government initiatives aimed at spurring clean diesel vehicle sales in the U.S. The study was conducted in September, 2013 among 2,041 U.S. adults, among whom 1,629 identified themselves as regular drivers, driving their own personal vehicle at least once a once week or more often.

Long viewed as "the other" fuel, clean diesel in the U.S. is quickly becoming a viable everyday fuel choice for drivers seeking increased efficiency and performance.

Audi continues to be at the forefront of clean diesel with a dramatic expansion of new TDI® clean diesel offerings: the 2014 A8L, A7, A6, Q7 and Q5 models. Clean diesel delivers up to 30 to 30% lower carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline engines.

However, obstacles to mass adoption still exist. In fact, survey results show that 65 of drivers think the government should offer a tax incentive on clean diesel vehicles.

"Government has set very rigorous standards for future fuel economy, and we believe that clean diesel is perfectly positioned to help us achieve those goals. But, we argue that diesel needs an even playing field set by state and federal governments," said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. "Audi believes there are a variety of viable alternative fuel solutions, including electric, but diesel is readily available today. If you take away the disincentives that state and federal taxation policy create, we potentially could see a big uptick in clean diesel vehicles sales."

Government's bet on electric vehicles viewed as unfair by American drivers
A majority (57%) of American drivers feel the government has unfairly placed its bets in favor of hybrids and electrics over clean diesel vehicles, the survey also showed.

Unlike electric vehicles, with clean diesel there is no need for driver behavior change, except to move from one pump to the other, and no need for big infrastructure changes.

"I do believe that diesel owners should be included in alternative energy tax incentives. Most diesel owners buy the car for the increased gas mileage, and we deserve to be rewarded for our change in behavior in using an alternate fuel just as hybrid drivers are," said Stephanie Lewis, Audi TDI clean diesel owner since 2010.

Certain states provide HOV access to hybrid vehicles, while no states provide HOV access to clean diesel vehicles. HOV lanes are made for long-distance driving, better suited to clean diesel vehicles.

Clean diesel viewed as an innovative technology for younger American drivers
Survey results also showed that 59 of those 45+ said they would purchase a diesel car over a gas car if there was fuel price parity.

"One of the reasons we are seeing this disparity between age groups may be because younger generations don't have the same misconceptions about diesel as older generations," added Keogh. "The objective is to reward efficiency, and diesel is an efficient alternative available today. We need to level the playing field."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 231 Comments
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Diesel is still oil and gas based. It still costs a lot of money. Money that leaves your local economy. Money that individuals could use instead of burning it up in smoke every week. Electric from clean energy is the way to go for 85% of the vehicles out there.
        Sal Neri
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        You get Electric from burning coal, so your still polluting
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sal Neri
          Sal -- the same folks who tend to buy EV's are also the same folks who tend to buy solar panels and wind power, geothermal, etc. The amount of solar power now being pumped into the grid far outweighs the amount of electricity used to charge EV's. All those greenie EV owners and Solar Panel buyers you guys whine about are actually reducing how much polluting coal is being burned. What are YOU doing to cut polluting coal from being burned? Let me guess, you don't give a damn about coal pollution, except when you post about EV cars....
          Tweaker
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sal Neri
          No i don't get electric from coal.
          rubley00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sal Neri
          My electricity, for my Volt, comes from a nuclear plant. If I could, it would be solar panels. Get a clue Sal, or a GED
          Sal Neri
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sal Neri
          Bernie, do explain now
      JB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like Diesel lobby efforts. Since the 70's the US has known the problems with importing oil from overseas and pollution. Diesel helps over conventional a little bit but Hybrids and Electrics are the only ones that make a significant impact. Diesel is not cheap and it does have more oil per gallon in it.
        May
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JB
        Hybrids and electrics have batteries which have tons of toxic metals inside. They\'re all have to be imported as well.
      NamorF-Pro
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh stop whinning Audi... It's about time you make changes that everyone is making; lagging behind much?
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Electric + Solar Panels = Freedom I don't care what any company thinks. I'm sure the government will still figure out a way to tax the hell out of me, but what can you do?
        JB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        True, but the EROEI on biofules is still in the crapper. A break through is neede.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      "57 percent of the 1,629 drivers surveyed think the government has unfairly favored hybrids and electrics over diesel power" This is a stupid comparison. What if it is a diesel hybrid? Diesel v. hybrid is not an either/or thing. They are not orthogonal.
      toumard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Most of americans live in cities and diesels are particularly notorious for getting horrible city mpg. Electric cars are the way to go especially as their range goes up. People who say electricity still causes emissions dont understand that a million cars driving ina a city causes so much more pollution than one plant in a rural area.
        May
        • 1 Year Ago
        @toumard
        Of course you\'re aware of the fact that even if I live in the city, sometimes I go outside for a trip or something and it means that I need to have two cars instead of one. That\'s not eco at all.
          axiomatik
          • 1 Year Ago
          @May
          How about just having one extended range EV like the Volt. EV for daily driving, use gas when you need to go on a road trip. Everyone who goes from a gas-powered car to a Volt suddenly cuts their fuel consumption by about 70%.
      Charrop
      • 1 Year Ago
      Make a diesel hybrid then. 420 smoke tires errday
        William
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Charrop
        Charrop...See the new VW XL1 and subsequent developments.
      rubley00
      • 1 Year Ago
      Diesel is a gasoline alternative the same way that Kia is a Hyundai alternative - same stuff, slightly different package. Electric power is completely different - especially because I can generate my own.
      Herbie
      • 1 Year Ago
      In upstate New York, diesel is 30+ cents a gallon more than regular gas. In many rural areas it's 40 cents more..... I can't tell you how much that galls me............. http://www.albanygasprices.com/index.aspx?fuel=A
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      If we absolutely must burn something, then NG would be the best way to go. It has the benefit of being pretty cheap right now and it won't have to be imported. Going electric is still the long term smarter move. In the short term it will cost more, but it will position the US to be at the forefront of technology in the future.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      It takes 1 gallon of diesel to make 6 gallons of diesel. OR You could just the 1 gallon energy equivalent to DIRECTLY Power an EV. Not including all the energy needed to build and maintain the oil pipeline, shipping, distribution, port facilities and international war.
        tump
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Oil isn't going anywhere - even with all electric cars. People forget that it takes oil to make almost every product, including electric cars. Plastic alone guarantees it's a permanent problem.
          Ele Truk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @tump
          All the more reason to stop burning it up so there is more available for durable goods.
          Plunger 2x
          • 1 Year Ago
          @tump
          Hemp can make plastics as well..
          rubley00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @tump
          Only permanent if you're delusional enough to think the supply is infinite.
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Diesels are good on highways, hybrids are good in the city driving mode. Over 50% of all Americans live in large cities (not suburbs) so for them hybrids are great, those who live outside and do have a long commute on a highway should go in some cases for a diesel if it fits them.
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