Why Diesels Are More Popular In
Europe Than The U.S
Petroleum. Ethanol. Methanol. Unleaded. Diesel. What immediately comes to mind when you see,
hear, or read those words?—Fuel, gasoline, fuel economy, mpg, right?
At least it should. Depending on
where you live in the world, federal and local governments have different
regulations, guidelines, and standards regarding automotive fuels, the allowed
emissions they may or may not emit, and different reasons for their primary
choice or source of automotive fuel.
It’s because of this that a majority of European provinces and vehicles
primarily operate on Diesel fuel, while the United States primarily uses
Gasoline. You’re probably asking
yourself one, simple question—“Why?” Well,
let’s examine this more closely.
The biggest difference between diesel fuel and gasoline is
how fuel ignition is achieved. Gasoline
engines and fuel rely on “spark” for
ignition, whereas diesel engines and fuel rely on “compression”. Also, the air/fuel mixture which is
infused simultaneously in gasoline engines, are triggered at separate stages
within diesel engines. Diesel engines
compresses air at a significantly higher compression level, and therefore are
heated at higher temperatures than a gasoline engine. Once maximum pressure and temperature has
been achieved, the diesel is ignited.
Because the air/fuel infusion occurs at separate intervals; diesel
engines maintain higher air compression ratios which ultimately results in
better fuel efficiency. Since diesel
engines do not require spark, sparkplugs, or sparkplug wires; maintenance costs
are less expensive and service intervals are spread farther apart. Diesel engines are also quieter and more
durable than gasoline engines, get better gas-mileage, cost 30% to 50% less to
supply, and typically have longer lifespans. When you are purchasing a higher mileage used vehicle, remember that the diesel engine will run for many hundreds of thousands of miles with good maintenance!
Diesels In Europe
There are a number of factors that goes into explaining how
and why diesels are more popular in Europe than the U.S. For one, diesel is more “cost-efficient” for Europeans due to the fact they have a smaller “auto-market” and therefore tend to own
their cars twice as long as the average American car owner. European diesel tax is significantly lower
than that of the United States. Perhaps
this is because diesel is more fuel-efficient, cost less, and Europe has less
than half the automobiles on their roads than the U.S. has on its. According to Scientific American and the American
Petroleum Institute (API), diesel is taxed about 25% higher in the U.S.
because 95% of American cars are gasoline powered, but not surprisingly in
Europe, these statistics are reversed.
Diesels In The U.S.
As we have mentioned and shown, diesels are definitely less
common in the United States, despite the benefits and advantages they hold over
gasoline. Diesel is also less-favorable
in the U.S. because of the strict regulations of the federal government
regarding vehicle emissions, air pollution, and overcrowded highways. Another reason diesel left a horrible first
impression with the United States. is because of poor engineering which led to
decreased power and performance. Of
course today’s diesels are much more efficient, but still not the “choice” vehicle or fuel-type of the
United States. The API has recorded the
average price per gallon for diesel is 24.4 cents, while gasoline is at 18.4
cents. As a used car buyer in the United
States, diesel powered cars are typically three to four thousand dollars more
expensive than gasoline vehicles, gas prices are higher, and there are fewer
diesel pumps at local gas stations.
After reading the article, it’s fairly easy to see why
diesel has a more popular stake in Europe than it does in the United
States—it’s just flat out better than gasoline.
But let’s just do a quick “recap”
to better put it perspective. Diesel
fuel lasts longer than gasoline, cost less in Europe, requires less maintenance
than gasoline vehicles, and has about the same emissions. Diesel vehicles have better gas-mileage, are
more cost-efficient for Europeans, who own their cars much longer than
Americans, and new technology such as the study of bio-diesels are placing new
advancements on the horizon. When you
take that into consideration, you have to ask yourself—why isn’t the U.S.
putting a better and more concentrated focus on diesels?