A recent Wall Street Journal article [Ed. Note: Scroll down in the window that opens, but this link may have a short shelf life!] talked about how many in the auto industry see the even higher cost of diesel fuel compared to gasoline stifling the push by European automakers to market clean-diesel powered cars in the U.S. One GM wag (whose company has no announced plans for diesel cars, by the way) is quoted as saying the economic justification for buying a diesel is just not there for many peopleto which I politely say, "Baloney!"
As you may remember from some of my previous blogs, I have a 2004 Volkswagen Passat diesel wagon. Even with the higher price of the fuel, the cost of fuel per mile traveled for me is still pennies less than if I took my 1997 BMW 528 on the highway (where it gets 30 miles per gallon of premium). Also important, the over 40 mpg I get with the diesel gives me such a large range that I can avoid fueling in states where the taxes are higher (as on my trips to upstate New York from Massachusetts).
As an example, returning last weekend, I averaged 43.5 mpg over 200 miles under the following conditions: Air conditioning was off for the first third of the trip; on the Interstate, cruise control was set at 70 mph rather than 75 to save fuel; the trip went from about 2,000 ft altitude to near sea level; and three adults were in the car. (We even saw a driver on the Interstate in a hybrid Prius with his windows down in a mistaken attempt to increase mileage without using the air conditioning.)
Bottom line: The industry has a strong case to make for diesel fuel efficiencyso get off your duffs and start making it!