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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
American consumers are, by a wide margin, more interested in hybrid-electric powertrains than clean diesel engines, according to a J.D. Power and Associates survey on emerging technologies.
Of 20 safety, comfort, infotainment and powertrain technologies reviewed in the annual study released today, clean diesel engines finished dead last in terms of consumer interest. Just 6% of respondents were “definitely interested,” despite the fuel savings and performance benefits delivered by the technology.
So, its not on the radar, but somehow diesels slightly edge out hybrids in actual installation rates:

Ward’s engine installation data belies the disparity between hybrids and diesels. For model-year ’07, hybrids accounted for 2.3% of U.S. light-vehicle powertrains, compared with 2.4% penetration for diesels.
Article goes on to point out that this is the first year hybrids even appeared in the top 20. Considering the hype hybrids have been getting for several years now, compared with basically no advertising & sporadic availability of a few models of diesels in the US for , I'd say its a pretty good showing for diesels.

Rest of article: http://wardsauto.com/ar/clean_diesel_languishing/
 

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Boy, you sure got that right.

All of your above plus......

Hybrid 'Hype' plus some negative spin for diesel, diesel fuel prices, hybrid incentives, a pessimistic Epa procedure for diesel along with an incomplete and therefore optimistically misleading one for HSD hybrids....... the list just goes on and on.

And yet, there are the numbers.

It's a shame really, on a level playing field , diesel would be ahead - diesel can work for everybody - all the time - almost.

American derived Bio diesel augmentation and later more diesel stuff, including some fuel chemistry 'tweaks' that that bio sourcing makes more attractive to do - is an unbeatable combination for all the national goals - concerning fuel.
 

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Maybe, if we had more diesel cars and SUVs, people would be interested. I can't wait for the new diesels from VW and Honda (GM?) to start winning fuel economy tests against the Prius and Camry hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Exactly. Currently passenger car diesels have next to zero exposure in NA. Some objective real world compros should turn that around pretty quick IMO, or at least that's my hope--perhaps then we could actually get the media on the bandwagon.
 

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In most of Europe - Diesel costs less than gasoline. In the US - diesel costs more. As long as it stays that way - gas hybrids will be more popular in the US and diesels will be more popular in Europe.
 

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In most of Europe - Diesel costs less than gasoline. In the US - diesel costs more. As long as it stays that way - gas hybrids will be more popular in the US and diesels will be more popular in Europe.
Yeah, but a diesel Jetta is a nicer, faster and more fuel efficient car compared to a Prius. So - the extra $0.60 a gallon isn't a big deal.
 

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Yeah, but a diesel Jetta is a nicer, faster and more fuel efficient car compared to a Prius. So - the extra $0.60 a gallon isn't a big deal.

Your right - but the question is - is a turbo gas Jetta hybid as efficient as a diesel - and you dont have to pay the extra $0.60 / gallon.

By the way - I'm not a big hybrid supporter - just stating they way I think most people in the US will feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In most of Europe - Diesel costs less than gasoline. In the US - diesel costs more. As long as it stays that way - gas hybrids will be more popular in the US and diesels will be more popular in Europe.
...except that based on take rates diesels currently have the slight edge, despite the negative perceptions and near zero exposure to the NA market.
 

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Maybe, if we had more diesel cars and SUVs, people would be interested. I can't wait for the new diesels from VW and Honda (GM?) to start winning fuel economy tests against the Prius and Camry hybrid.
Or, what if someone actually made a decent looking hybrid? There isn't a single diesel or hybrid I would consider just because of the way they all look.
 

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Diesels are great and I considered buying one, but again I refuse to pay an extra dollar per gallon for fuel that is less refined than gasoline. It's a rip off, and I don't care for the excuses.
 

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Exactly. Currently passenger car diesels have next to zero exposure in NA. Some objective real world compros should turn that around pretty quick IMO, or at least that's my hope--perhaps then we could actually get the media on the bandwagon.

Heck the manufacturers aren't even on the bandwagon.

Honda brings its new high-tech clean diesel over from the UK then hides it in a closet. The TSX diesel will be a premium priced niche vehicle using very expensive fuel.

On the VW side it's only being offered as a strippie as I understand it. No upscale features are available. This to hold the price in line so that it doesn't get above the Prius when the expensive fuel is factored in. It will undoubtedly drive better but it won't save any money.

GM, Ford and Toyota are already on record as being against diesels for the NA market in light passenger vehicles. Now trucks are a different story.
 

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...

GM, Ford and Toyota are already on record as being against diesels for the NA market in light passenger vehicles. Now trucks are a different story.

And how many diesel trucks from GM, Ford and Toyota are now sitting in paddocks, unsold?



Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Heck the manufacturers aren't even on the bandwagon.

Honda brings its new high-tech clean diesel over from the UK then hides it in a closet. The TSX diesel will be a premium priced niche vehicle using very expensive fuel.

On the VW side it's only being offered as a strippie as I understand it. No upscale features are available. This to hold the price in line so that it doesn't get above the Prius when the expensive fuel is factored in. It will undoubtedly drive better but it won't save any money.

GM, Ford and Toyota are already on record as being against diesels for the NA market in light passenger vehicles. Now trucks are a different story.
You're right, and its maddening to a diesel fan. I can't believe that a state of the art diesel passenger car powertrain is more expensive than a state of the art hybrid passenger car powertrain.

IIRC VW is the only mftr that will offer an affordable diesel passenger vechicle. I also read that they are only planning on importing some 7,000 annually (again IIRC), which means they clearly have no plans on really pushing it.

If I were in charge at VW NA, I'd come up with some real world comparison between the Jetta diesel and some competitors hybrids & have a mini 'autoshow in motion'-esque hands on exhibit in some of the major markets. It would demonstrate that diesels are no longer smelly loud contraptions for weird people, that they drive very well and get excellent real world fuel economy. I'd even have some display where you could enter in your annual mileage & directly compare all costs. It wouldn't convert everyone into a dieselhead, but I think there is a significantly larger portion of the population that would find it an attractive alternative if they were jsut turned on to the benefits. It would undoubtedly do more than those stupid 'talking bug' VW commercials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
On other thing--the TSX diesel is on my radar too, but I think they'd have done better by putting it in the Accord, especially since the Accord name has MUCH more equity with the average NA consumer than TSX.

Then theres the value question. Though I am not specifically after the diesel to save money (otherwise I'd just buy a Civic, or better yet, keep driving mine), I don't want to throw cash down a hole. The '09 (gas) TSX starts at ~$29K which is ~$3K more than an Accord EX-L 4 cylinder. I am not aware of the specific content differences but I'd be surprised if it was $3K worth, and the local Honda dealer has excellent service so the whole 'premium dealership experience' arguement holds little water here. I guess it will depend on how much I like it, & how much more they tack on the price. Plus, I doubt Acura will be importing a ton of these, either--& I will not blindly buy, I need to experience it so it depends on whether there will be any local for me to try (hopefully, after all, this is Chicago).
 
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