Consider this informed comment from a loyal reader:
Hey check out this PDF on the new BMW Diesel. I found out about it fromI could go diesel in a heartbeat myself. But it's important to remember we are a corn nation, not an oilseed continent like Europe. Rapeseed works well in their climate and for biodiesel. But one larger problem for diesel fans is that it is the second, even if better idea, and the guys that got to the filling station first are selling ethanol. They won't cede territory easily, making the "shelf space" issue significant for fuel retailers.
a science show I watch and went to the website and did some further
research. I find this kind of development very encouraging as it will
serve to change the opinions about diesels which in general are far more
fuel efficient than a Gasoline engine of similar output.
I know we will see this country continue down the "too long and too the
slow road" adoption of Diesel unless someone at the government level
forces migration by some forms of motivations in the form of tax credits
or subsides to make the distribution networks change over. In contract
the European community has been moving this way for quite some time and
currently companies such as BMW see 70-80% of their new cars sold in
Europe use Diesel instead or gasoline.
One a side note for those wondering about Diesel it is actually easier
to refine than gasoline, and produces more energy per gallon thus more
efficient. It should also be noted that it would not take much effort to
distribute it (unlike Hydrogen which Rick Wagoner of GM says is at least
10 years away) since most stations have several different grades of
gasoline that are simply marketing tricks and make very little
difference to most cars.
I myself have owned cars in the past that did require a higher octane
than 87 RON and understand we need a 91 RON slot on the pump, but do we
really need all the other grades besides 87 RON (minimal RON required by
most engines) and anything else other than 91 RON (the minimal required
by most higher performance sport cars) this is to say do we really need
5 grades of gas as is the case on my local 7-11 pump. Could we replace
one of the mid grades with with E85 and the other with Diesel or
BIO-Diesel. +++ BTW E85 is about 105 RON +++.
The market dynamics argument is simply another form of the famous
"Chicken and Egg" argument ; as why would people buy a Diesel or Ethanol
burning vehicles if they simply can't find fuel. This limits the market
from the very beginning, and makes the "Market Dynamics" statement
inappropriate. If we want to give generous tax credits like "W" has to
the Oil Industry it should be for something they actually did that was a
positive thing , like building a more easily available distribution
network for Alternative Fuels of which unfortunately in the USA Diesel
apparently is considered.
Still, the inherent efficiencies of the machines (diesels) themselves will have impact, especially on the larger engine market sector. as noted in some other posts, fuel prices are roiling the whole transportation industry, and forcing big changes.