Originally Posted by BrianLSU
There has to be a freakin conspiracy here.
If you go to Europe, almost every vehicle is diesel. All these SUV's and cars are sold here in the US, just without the diesel option. They get motors with 30-60 mpg and a life of 250,000 miles; we get 20-35 mpg and engine life spans around 150,000, if you’re lucky. This is in a country with hardly any pedestrian or bicycle access and a miserable mass transit system. We are completely vehicle dependant.
People are talking about the future possibility of hydrogen vehicles, hell even ethanol like Brazil. We haven't even been given the option of more diesel engines. My 05' doesn’t even accept ethanol !! Do the new JK's? Ethanol which is made from corn or sugarcane, the stuff we pay farmers millions of dollars to allow their crops to rot in the fields so the market isn't flooded, is $0.30/gal cheaper here than basic gas. Even this would be an improvement!!
Sorry for the vent.
Not getting into the whole ethanol discussion, but the two main reasons we do not have diesel options in the US are:
1) The fuel. In order to make diesels quiet and clean you need to have a low sulfur content in the fuel. In Europe they have had this for over a decade (it was pushed through because of acid rain problems). Here it is not until now that the high sulfur diesel is being phased out. It is mainly thanks to trucking and oil industry lobbying that we have not changed until now.
2) In Europe there are strict regulations on CO2 emissions while the EPA choses to be stringent about NOx emissions instead. Diesels are good at keeping a low CO2, not so good at the NOx. Personally, I think this is also a handout to the American oil and auto industry. See CO2 emissions is directly proportional to the fuel consumption of the engine since the C part comes from the fuel. The NOx doesn't actually come from the fuel, it's the gasses in the air that reacts with eachother under the high pressure and temperature in the combustion chamber.
Diesels have a much higher compression than gasoline engines so they have higher NOx emissions.
By regulating NOx instead of CO2, they do not penalize fuel consumption, something that would be bad for both oil and american auto makers.