On Mon, 9 May 2005 10:42:32 -0400, Benjamin D. Bloom <[log in to unmask]>

>Evan Osler wrote:
>> But Jim, aren't there rules prohibiting registration of new diesel autos
>> in Vermont? I have a friend with diesel Jetta that gets similar mileage
>> your deceased Audi, but he was forced to register it in Maine because
>> despite better mileage, such diesels are overall more polluting (and
>> therefore not allowed).
>Doesn't that have something to do with sulfur levels in the diesel fuel?
>  I believe when US diesel improves to the levels of European diesel,
>these restrictions will go away.
>I believe it's sulfur and particulate emissions, but don't quote me. :)

The U.S. diesel particulate and sulfur emissions requirements are higher
than Europe's, believe it or not.  Also, in Europe diesels get a big tax
advantage that makes diesel much cheaper at the pump.  Also, auto taxes
over there are based on engine displacment, so a turbo diesel with it's
inherently better low end torque characteristics than a normally aspirated
gas engine of the same displacement is more attractive.  Financial
incentives to the direct consumer do work.  Diesel is a huge chunk of the
Euro market.  I'm not sure of the overall envior. implications of that,

Over here the $ of diesel fuel needs to be equal to or less than regular
87 octane for diesels to gain a real foothold, I believe.  It used to be
back in the dirty-diesel heydey of the early 80's.  There's also a
technology on the drawing board that combines diesel and gas engine
technology (diesel-type function at cruise, normal four-stroke gas
function under load) to make the best of both worlds sort of scenario.
Projected market date is about 2015, though.  :-(

Basically, cars will continue to get smaller and lighter and gas engines
more efficient and cleaner for the foreseeable future.  Hybrids and
diesels will be part of the picture for sure, but gas prices are
essentially what's "driving" things at the moment.  Honda should
reintroduce the CRX HF...

-Jim B.

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