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May 25, 2006



I think it is almost insane that there is so little attention paid to diesel vehicles. The technology exists today. In Europe, about 50% of all cars sold are diesels. Vehicles familar to US drivers are commonly sold in Europe with diesel engines. The cost difference of diesels over gasoline engines is much smaller than hybrids. And with the introduction of ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD)in the US later this year, very clean diesels are possible with existing technology. The rejection of diesels by the US market is just irrational.


Mazda, 50 mpg. See http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=99&paId=199618108&pageNumber=0&numResultsPerPage=50&largeNumResultsPerPage=0&sortorder=descending&sortfield=PRICE+descending&certifiedOnly=false&recnum=0&leadExists=true&criteria=AFFILIATEADID-1858853%7CP-PRICE+descending%7CQ-descending&aff=national


I think the only awareness most people have about diesel engines in America comes from interacting with huge trucks (18 wheeled hauling rigs). They appear noisy and spew a lot of black nasty looking fumes. It's not very convincing to buy diesel after anyone has ever been stuck near one in traffic, which happens a lot.

I've always heard for years diesel engines are better, but I don't know why. While to a large degree its my fault not educating myself... there hasn't been any reason for me to be aware and investigate past seeing the Big-Rigs on the road. Combine that with little diesel options from any dealers, it equals huge consumer ignorance. No one has ever really pointed out in a clear and cocise manner to the public what advantages "going diesel" can provide them.

Harvey D.

Baker: You could add noisy smoky city buses, garbage trucks, trains and GM unsucessful attempt with V-8 nasty unreliable diesel cars as part of the built-in resistance to diesels.
Cold morning starting is another problem with diesels if you live in a cold area. Poor quality diesel fuel in USA and Canada is a third reason why diesel powered cars are not selling much yet.


Well I think the ethanol thing is as a result of a long time subsidy to ADM, which has incentivized corn ethanol in the US.

Don B

There is more than just market acceptance of diesels. The upcoming particulate emissions standards for the US are tougher than for Europe. My memory is foggy here, but IIRC, only Mercedes has committed to continue offering diesel automobiles in the US when the new standard comes into effect. Even with the ultra-low sulphur fuel, it will still be tough to meet the new standard.


More on diesels meeting the new standards:



Baker and Harvey D:

I think you do a good job at identifying the areas and sources of popular ignorance. People need to know that those perceptions are wrong.

Poor fuel quality is certainly a problem. Here in Texas, 100 counties in EPA non-compliance for air quality were forced to mandate a special diesel for our area. While the sulphur level is "low" (something like 300 parts per million, which is mandated nationally) rather than "ultra low" ( < 15 parts per million, mandated nationally starting later this year), this special fuel had a minimum cetane of 48 and a much reduced maximum for aromatics. This change alone made the clouds of black smoke from large vehicles disappear. With ULSD, we can slash diesel emmissions of NOx and particulates. Keep in mind that diesel are and were always cleaner than gassers in CO2 and VOCs. The particulates can be almost eliminated, but not 100%. That is the problem. I think particulate standards for diesels should be relaxed slightly and temporarily because of the enormous advantages in other areas.


Oops, never mind. It looks like they are going to make the grade anyway.


Robert McLeod

Theorectically the Otto cycle (spark ignition) is more efficient than the Diesel cycle. However, diesel fuel can be compressed much more than octane before it spontaneously ignitres. This allows the use of higher compression ratios in diesel engines which accounts for the superior efficiency.


Robert, you don't understand how diesels work. Only air is compressed. Diesel fuel is then injected a degree or two before or after TDC. That is why getting the fuel up to 20-30000 psi and using super fast injectors is critical. I can't imagine any theory under which a spark ignition engine is more efficient.

More on diesels meeting the new standards:



Excellent analysis Jim! Electric battery vehicles, powered with renewable energy, are the solution so many people are finally realizing solves all the energy problems at once.

And these vehicles will also procide distributed enerfy storage to smooth supply/demand problems exacerbated by renewable energy sources.

My long crusade is not in vane! Hehey.

Subaru will probably be the first to have a mass produced electric car. I think it uses the Hitachi quick charge nano-phosphate lithium ion battery.

It appears that A123 is in the hands of those who want to kill electric cars at any cost.

A 3 year delay and no release of the wh/kg of their battery tells the tale. It appear to be an attempt to patent and put it on the shelf, blocking Hitachi, Subaru or any other company that tries to come out with this technology.

Toyota and Honda are the new US carmakers, Detroit is nearly all chinese bow, just like Walmart. Forget the "BUY AMERICAN" garbage from Detroit, it is just as hollow as it was before Walmart gave up on it.


While educating us about Top Dead Center, an important point was overlooked. Neither more efficient, petrol-powered engines nor "guzzied up to be cleaner" diesels remain a good contingency plan for the United States if, in our environment, oil is scarce, either because the Chinese are buying it all or because there ain't no mo'.

Jim sets forward the argument that electric vehicles are a logical shift because the infrastructure exists. Agreed, but let's not overlook that a significant change in power structures must occur.

The Otto industry owes its success over the past 100 years to development of internal combustion powered by petroleum. Expecting the Big Oil - Big SUV complex to give up substantial wealth and power because it is now the right thing to do is naive.


The important point is what do we do now. Driving more efficient cars is part of the solution to the immediate problem. Electric vehicles are farther down the road.


Wasting the little time left to stave off global climate disaster and nuclear oil war/terrorism from dependence on oil and fossil fuel is a bad plan.

Wasting it on more internal combustion props like hybrids and agribizz liquid fuel is not helpfull.

We can spare the capital to get electric cars running on renwable power now, but those funds are being wasted quickly on more oil wars and more corporate welfare for big oil, coal, automakers, agribizz, nuclear, and ultimately recession or depression will finally delpete the capital necessary for any chance of sound energy policy.

The time to act was yesterday.



Make sure to get your whole head in front of the shotgun.


And here I thought I was the only one getting tired of amazingdrx and his hippy brand of doombat crap. ;)



Wasting the little time left to stave off global climate disaster and nuclear oil war/terrorism from dependence on oil and fossil fuel is a bad plan.

Wasting it on more internal combustion props like hybrids and agribizz liquid fuel is not helpfull.

We can spare the capital to get electric cars running on renwable power now, but those funds are being wasted quickly on more oil wars and more corporate welfare for big oil, coal, automakers, agribizz, nuclear, and ultimately recession or depression will finally delpete the capital necessary for any chance of sound energy policy.

The time to act was yesterday."

mmm, and what are we supposed to do in the meantime while we are waiting for global climate disaster, etc, etc, etc? How long before I see it from my window? If it doesn't get here in 12 months will you admit you are a fool? No? How 'bout 18 months? 24?

Harvey D.

Current on-road vehicles get from 5 mpg to 61 mpg with an avg of less than 20 mpg. We already have a wide choice. Many 40+ mpg vehicles are already available. Let's take our responsability and stop buying vehicles doing less than 40 mpg. Liquid fossil fuel consumption would go down drastically.


"How long before I see it from my window?"

Where's your window? On the east coast, gulf coast, bible belt?

As far as being a fool for mother nature. As Michael Park's character says to Uma in "Kill Bill II", "Being a fool for a woman such as yourself is always the right thing to do."

How many Katrina like storms, massive fires and crop failures caused by drought, abnormally high tornado seasons, floods, will it take ro wake you all up to catastrophic climate change?

The debate stage on global climate change is over, unless you are a weather "scientist" hired by the fossil fuel industry or a wing nut political shill. The rest of us have moved on to solutions.


I dont even know who you're talking to half the time. It would seem obvious that anybody on this board is already looking for answers to a sustainable future. But it doesnt stop you from wasting space with blind hippy blabbering like this.

And anyways who are you to point fingers at anybody else? Your blog says you went to a John Pence concert as a big political statement, typical. Im sure a forward thinker like you must have walked there with friends and insisted that the venue was powered by candles. So much for "being part of the solution". Let's hold hands and wear tinfoil hats as an expression of change. BS.

The best part about being a teenager is putting blame on society at large for whatever your cause is. The feds or your parents or whatever. Grow up and realize that your hands are as dirty as everyone elses.


"Let's hold hands and wear tinfoil hats..."


Absolutely! Hehey. (Sorry Jim, just addressing insult with comedy)


adx, let me explain myself to you. I get angry about your posts because, while you seem to be bright, you lack all wisdom. I should be more patient with you as you seem to be a bright 14 year old. Your driver’s license may say you are 24, but, nonetheless you are a 14 years old.

Let me give you an analogy. Let’s talk about the end of slavery. Would you rather be John Brown, or Abraham Lincoln? Since you are 14, and you have just graduated from Che Guevara Middle School in Berkeley, CA, I’ll assume you know nothing about American History. John Brown thought that slavery was evil and he could not compromise on that issue. While that is a morally self satisfying position to take, it did nothing to address or improve the then current situation. Years before the Civil War, John led an armed attack on slavery. The result was nothing more than the death of John Brown and several other people. Slavery was not ended one second sooner as a result. In fact, there is a reasonable argument that slavery was prolonged as a result of JB’s action. The net effect of John Brown’s life and death is the words to a song that few people know.

Let’s take Abraham Lincoln. Even a CGMS alumnus may have heard of him. I have in mind a quote of Frederick Douglas on ol’ Abe. I regret that I can’t remember the words, as I can’t put it as eloquently as F. Douglas did, but it was to the effect that while many were quicker to condemn slavery than Lincoln, no one could have ended it sooner.

Your call.


Hehey. Does this sound like I want any kind of violent revolution?


This is above all non-violent. anti-violence, anti-oil war, anti-global climate disaster.

I want good manufacturing jobs here in the good old US restored, I want the competitive capitalism that won WW 2 through mass production and inovation to be applied to a very peaceful renewable electric powered energy re-evolution.

I want small businesses flourishing all across the US installing renewable energy systems that save american families precious hard earned wages so they can have financial securirty.

I simply want corporate subsidies to big energy monpolists in fossil and nuclear power and internal combustion gas guzzling manufacturers to instead go to families, communities, and small businesses to incentivize distributed renewable power generation and storage, geothermal heating and cooling, and electric vehicles.

Yep I guess I must be as bad as Hitler eyhhh?

That's what the CEI (Competitive Enterprise Institute), an energy monopoly payed off "think tank" is saying about Al Gore and his global climate change movie.

We ARE evil, aren't we!! You're a funny guy, no really.. hehehehey. (14 huh, I wish!)


Good job illustrating his point to perfection. I sometimes wonder if you're suffering from MPD or something.

Good point or thoughtful argument completely undermined by stupid comment or conspiracy theory. Even 14 year olds are consistent.


If you have looked into solar energy as a method for heating your home, panels are usually the first things that come up.

There are, however, other unique methods.

The Solar Heating Aspect You Have Never Heard of Before

The power of the sun is immense. The energy in one day of sunlight is more than the world needs. The problem, of course,

is how does one harness this power. Solar panels represent the obvious solution, but they have their downside. First,

they can be expensive depending upon your energy needs. Second, they do not exactly blend in with the rest of your home.

Passive solar heating represents a panel free method of harnessing the inherent energy found in the sun for heating

purposes. If you come out from a store and open the door of your car in the summer, you understand the concept of passive

solar heating. A wide variety of material absorbs sunlight and radiates the energy back into the air in the form of heat.

Passive solar heating for a home works the same way as the process which overheats your car in the parking lot.


Search for in all major search engines simultaneously on the site http://www.iknowall.com.
Simultaneous search on Google, Yahoo and MSN Live Search.

Try http://www.iknowall.com


Solar energy is brilliant and if you can create your own to save you money on bills then even better.

Construction Materials

I think in the next 10 years comiming we will see massive advances in cat enginge development, and it is long overdue. If you get a chance check out the hydrogen car von youtube .........awsome!


Technology has moved on significantly over the latter 10 years, we now have electric cars which are present on a roads.


Hybrids are definitely the car of the future, however, we need to think about putting in more stations so people can recharge their vehicles.

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