As predicted
Jul 18, 2007

Modern diesels are coming to the US. As I've predicted and hoped for, the availability of low sulfur diesel fuel in the US (which, I might add, is what we put in our car) is at long last spurring the introduction of new diesel US models beyond the heavy duty truck range. Toyota, Honda, BMW, the Chrysler group, Nissan, Audi, and GM all plan to release new diesels in the next few years, and Volkswagen apparently plans on selling diesel versions of the Jetta and new Beetle starting next year. I'm hoping that some of the other European manufacturers such as Peaugeot, Renault, and Citroen end up coming back to US shores as well—more competition is always a good thing—although at the moment I believe only Fiat has plans to do so. It will be interesting to see what this does in terms of the 'we can't be more efficient' line the US manufacturers have been giving us for years. In the course of one year we could easily see the maximum fuel efficiency of non hybrid models jump from something like 30 mpg to closer to 70 mpg. Something tells me that we won't however, as the US manufacturers are going to want to slowly edge towards their true maximum efficiency at a snails pace. Hopefully the introduction of the diesel Jetta, which in Europe gets something like 50 mpg, will push them to do better. At any rate, it should be an interesting couple of years in the US automotive industry as the amazing advancements in efficient and clean diesel technology battle it out with the preconceptions about diesel most Americans formed in the 80s.
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