Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/28 - Tomorrow's World, Why Americans Don't Drive Diesel

Monday, January 28, 2013, 11:33 AM

Economy

Tomorrow's World: A guide to the next 150 years (westcoastjan)

As we begin a new year, BBC Future has compiled 40 intriguing predictions made by scientists, politicians, journalists, bloggers and other assorted pundits in recent years about the shape of the world from 2013 to 2150.

At Fed, Nascent Debate on When to Slow Asset Buying (Dana T.)

Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, was among the most outspoken advocates for asset purchases last year. In a speech earlier this month, he said that the Fed’s efforts to suppress interest rates were producing clear benefits, increasing sales of homes and cars.

Egypt’s Morsi Declares State of Emergency (jdargis)

At least another 11 died on Friday elsewhere in the country during rallies marking the second anniversary of the anti-Mubarak uprising. Protesters used the occasion to renounce Morsi and his Islamic fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which emerged as the country's most dominant political force after Mubarak's ouster.

The curfew and state of emergency, both in force for 30 days, affect the provinces of Port Said, Ismailiya and Suez. The curfew takes effect Monday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day.

Italians Have a New Tool to Unearth Tax Cheats (jdargis)

In a country that is desperate for revenue to straighten out its ailing public finances — and where newspapers routinely publish articles about Lamborghini-loving proletarians — one might expect the redditometro to attract some support, at least among Italians who file truthful tax returns. Yet the redditometro has run into strong opposition, not least from the nation’s suffering retailers, who are worried that it will discourage consumer spending and sink their businesses further. Others have criticized it on civil rights grounds, saying it is overly intrusive.

An Oil Boom Takes a Toll on Health Care (jdargis)

Over all, ambulance calls in the region increased by about 59 percent from 2006 to 2011, according to Thomas R. Nehring, the director of emergency medical services for the North Dakota Health Department. The number of traumatic injuries reported in the oil patch increased 200 percent from 2007 through the first half of last year, he said.

Requiem For A Dreamliner? (jdargis)

In the past, the F.A.A. was remarkably hesitant to take planes out of service. The problems with the DC-10 were well known to regulators for years before a 1979 crash forced them to ground the plane. But, again, those standards no longer apply. In the nineteen-seventies, after all, airplane crashes occurred with disturbing regularity. Today, they are extraordinarily rare; there hasn’t been a fatal airliner crash in the United States in almost four years. The safer we get, the safer we expect to be, so the performance bar keeps rising. And this, ultimately, is why the decision to give other companies responsibility for the Dreamliner now looks misguided. Boeing is in a business where the margin of error is small. It shouldn’t have chosen a business model where the chance of making a serious mistake was so large.

Why do Americans not drive diesels? (westcoastjan)

n the UK of the 1980s, diesel drivers were outcasts. They were required to fill up around the back of the station, over by the truckers, to be looked upon by gasoline burners with a mixture of pity and smugness. And that presumed diesel drivers could even find somewhere to fill up, as not every filling station bothered to stock their fuel.

Britain Excited by Potential Oil and Gas Boom in the North Sea (James S.)

Increasing domestic production of oil and natural gas will greatly improve the strength of the British economy and its position in geopolitics, especially as increasing demand from China as its economy starts to rapidly grow again in 2013 will leave the oil markets tight.

Dung Beetles, Dancing To The Milky Way (jdargis)

In 2003, Dacke, Warrant, and others discovered that nocturnal dung beetles can navigate by the polarized light of the moon—the first animal shown to do so, although many probably can, Warrant said. “But we noticed that on many nights the moon didn’t come up until much later,” he said. “Yet our beetles kept on rolling in straight lines—not quite as straight, but pretty straight.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 1/27/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

20 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Why do Americans not drive diesels?

I'll tell you why I don't drive a diesel...because the ones I want to buy are illegal to sell in the US and are therefore not available.

In Europe there are enviable choices in diesels ranging from the tiniest of smart cars to full sized SUVs.

Somehow I don't really think that it's as much a question of diesels really being any worse for the environment as it has to do with Detroit lobbying to keep diesels out (because they would lose out to better European designs maybe?) and perhaps even some larger agreement where Europe and the US have each tuned their refining processes to optimize for diesel and gasoline, respectively, and then selling the unwanted/surplus byproducts to the other.

If the US suddenly started consuming a lot of diesel over gasoline it would upset a long-standing arrangement in refining and product flow.

Who knows?  All I know is the US doesn't buy that many diesel cars because there are not that many to buy and, furthermore, you can't even if you wanted to.

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Doug
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diesel price

I don't follow diesel prices closely, but last I checked diesel was about $1/gal more than regular unleaded, largely negating the 30% better mileage.

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woomera
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Toyota is the go

G'Day,
In the bush, where you need a vehicle that just doesn't break, you want a toyota 4wd diesel.  I'd make a rash statement and say over 90% of the vehicles in the bush are Toyota diesels.

http://australia.trovit.com/cars/toyota-landcruiser-ute-diesel-4x4

Regards, 

Woomera

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cmartenson wrote: I'll tell

cmartenson wrote:

I'll tell you why I don't drive a diesel...because the ones I want to buy are illegal to sell in the US and are therefore not available.

In Europe there are enviable choices in diesels ranging from the tiniest of smart cars to full sized SUVs.

I couldn't agree with you more.  This past year I drove an Audi A4 Avant (i.e. sport station wagon) turbo-diesel with a 6 speed in Europe.  Driving at autobahn speeds (meaning fast) with 4 adult passengers and our luggage, we got the metric equivalent of 50 mpg.  It was comfortable, smooth, quiet, not smelly, started up easily on cold mornings, handled well, and had plenty of torque for passing and climbing the mountain roads ... plus, a diesel engine will outlive a gasoline engine and require less maintenance.  I'd pick one up in a heartbeat if they were available here in that configuration. 

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Doug wrote: I don't follow

Doug wrote:

I don't follow diesel prices closely, but last I checked diesel was about $1/gal more than regular unleaded, largely negating the 30% better mileage.

It's 50 cents per gallon more in Pennsylvania. I read a report recently on a new Volkswagon Jetta TDI getting 43 MPG in mixed driving, which is much better than the window sticker of 32/ 42 MPG. The standard Jetta is 23/29 MPG. To be nice to the gas engine, let's give it 29 MPG and assume 4.00 per gallon gas and 4.50 per gallon diesel.

Diesel Jetta Cost: $23,500 - 200,000 Miles= 4651 Gallons = $20,930 + inital cost $23,500= $44,430 

Gas Jetta Cost: $17,000 - 200,000 Miles= 6897 Gallons = $27,588 + inital cost $17,000= $44,588

***While the life cycle costs are almost identical, the diesel will last much longer. The gas engine would be less likely even get to 200,000 miles. Resale is much higher for a diesel. Oil changes are more expensive for a diesel, but they are only every 10,000 miles, so it equals out. Also, if gasoline prices go higher, the diesel starts to do much better. I had a business where we had a lot of gas and diesel trucks. I bet you can guess which ones broke down the most.  

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Diesels in France

cmartenson wrote:

In Europe there are enviable choices in diesels ranging from the tiniest of smart cars to full sized SUVs.

The main reason there are so many diesels in Europe (at least in France) is diesel is taxed less than gasoline. The first car I bought in France was a diesel for this very reason.

From an environment stand-point as far as I know, there is less CO2 emissions with diesel but more particules that are more armful to breath.

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Diesel vs Gasoline

Diesel is 11% more dense (11% more reduced carbon to burn) than gasoline so you have 11% more energy in that gallon of diesel than gasoline.  (is there less refining costs? probably.... )
Diesel engines are much  heavier (require more energy to push around more steel, but how significant is this?)
Diesel engines are usually left on (idling) when gasoline engines are turned off for short  periods, although new engine types probably alleviate the need to keep the large metal mass engine so hot for best performance.  Japanese diesel buses now actually turn off for the sub-minute periods of loading passengers at bus stops.

Diesel really shines for hybrid cars, where optimum and highly efficient performance conditions (eg. 3k RPM for typical 5-10 hp motor) can be maintained for long periods.  Diesel locomotives and  ships, where optimum operating points can be maintained for long periods, are good uses for this reason. One challenge with cars is the requirement of light weight (frequent acceleration/deceleration) coupled with frequent heating up and cooling off and change in motor output, which matches the lighter weight gasoline motors better.  I also prefer diesel for everything and look forward to small, highly efficient diesel motor use here.

Thank you for the overview about US vs Europe fuel supply differences etc.  didnt know that.

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Why Americans don't drive diesels

For one thing, selling new diesel cars is illegal in one the nation's largest automotive markets, California.

Years ago my father had two German built diesel rabbits, one right after the other. They were very decent cars, although a little slow on acceleration. They more than made up for this with their very superior high altitude performance. They were actually quite pleasant to drive.

The polllution argument against them is somewhat silly, given the incredible pollution created by the exhausted batteries of hybrid and electric cars. These seem to wind up dumped on Indian reservations, where the film for this millenium will be "Dances with Toxic Waste", not "Dances With Wolves."

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cmartenson wrote:I'll tell

cmartenson wrote:

I'll tell you why I don't drive a diesel...because the ones I want to buy are illegal to sell in the US and are therefore not available.

In Europe there are enviable choices in diesels ranging from the tiniest of smart cars to full sized SUVs.

Who knows?  All I know is the US doesn't buy that many diesel cars because there are not that many to buy and, furthermore, you can't even if you wanted to.

chris,

I am not sure about illegal in the US or just Mass. (maybe Cali too)

I happen to drive an '06 Jeep Liberty turbo diesel  that could not be sold in Mass "new" because of the laws. I was able to buy it "used" as long as it was one year old and had at least 12K miles. (every good law has its loopholes!)

They are made in Toledo, Ohio and have been sold around the world in diesel power since 2002. (Jeep only offered the diesel in the US  for the 2005 and 2006 model year)

Mass EPA laws restrict the sale of new "small" diesel passenger cars. But, you can buy a new 3/4 ton diesel pick-up that gets maybe 18 -20 mpg.

Since I have moved to NC, we can buy any diesel that is offered in the US. 

I too have had the "European" experience of driving the diesel "saloon" - a full sized Audi A8 - great comfort, speed, agility AND fuel economy. 

I think, just like our markets, our fuel choice is rigged as well.

I just thought about the "new" EPA regs that require extra treatment of the exhaust. All in all, once again, over regulation has killed a good idea in the US - Just for the sake of "lower emmissions". 

Shouldnt the amount of pollution be tied to the miles per gallon and not just "by the gallon"?

My Jeep gets let's say 25 mpg combined. However, it was illegal to purchase it new in Mass. However, I coul buy a new Cummings diesel 3/4 Ton pick-up that barely got 18 mpg. How does that make sense concerning air pollution? Now, compare that to a VW Jetta of the same vintage that scores 38-40 mpg (it was illegal too...

Add this to the list of, "Folks, that just ain't normal."

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diesel cars in CA

yakimabelle wrote:

For one thing, selling new diesel cars is illegal in one the nation's largest automotive markets, California.

Is this new? Because a freind of mine bought a Mercedes diesel in San Diego less than two years ago.

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SailAway wrote: yakimabelle

SailAway wrote:

yakimabelle wrote:

For one thing, selling new diesel cars is illegal in one the nation's largest automotive markets, California.

Is this new? Because a freind of mine bought a Mercedes diesel in San Diego less than two years ago.

I didn't know Mercedes "blue-tec" diesel was Cali certified. What was the price tag? $80K?

Also, was it fresh out of the wrapper? Or was it "used" and fell in a loophole?

I have driven that Benz. While it is snazzy, it is out of reach for the majority of Americans to drive. A new diesel Passat has much more utility, better fuel economy, almost as much comfort, at almost a third of the cost. 

Diesel outshines gasoline in almost every way. Overall, less fuel would be burnt that would lead to overall fewer emmissions, which would lead to less oil use.... 

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Seconding the Observation...

I spent a fair amount of time in the Middle East and Africa, and my observations mirror yours: If your life depends on the funcitoning of your vehicle, there were usually three badges (depending on particular country) in order of popularity: Toyota 4x4, Range Rover, and Puegeot, all diesels, all manuals, all with snorkels.

JMC

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More taxes...

Gas powered cars are also taxed considerably more, usually as a function of engine displacement.  Very country dependent, but that's why there are so many 500-1200cc gas motors about.

JMC

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Oil Burners in California...

VW sells every TDI it can roll into the state.  No discount, no haggle, frequently with the dreaded "market adjustment."  If I recall TDIs are making up about 20-25% of VW's US sales.

Mercedes sells the BlueTec. Porsche and Audi are now or soon will be selling their TDI

Mazda is introducing Skyactiv Diesel in the new Mazda6 in the next few months.  A first stab at a 'low compression' diesel and it's inherent lower NO profile and lighter weight.

In my opinion, it's the 10-20% premium for the diesel versions that slow the acceptance... and the memories of those disasterous GM diesels of the early 1980's.  But both are changing pretty quickly.

Now, how do we overcome the stigma of the character down the block who's converting used cooking oil for his 1978 300D?

JMC

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Selling Cars.

Which vehicle has the lowest co-efficient of drag? The last car designed by the engineering department was the Citroen DS back in 1972.

These days its all about the shape of the headlights and the number of drinks holders. The marketing department know their customers. It is all about subtle signalling, about who has just the right amount of difference to make the neighbour envious.

Happy smiley faces on the brochures frighten me.

Not the panacea to all our problems, but it might help. A little.

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I resent the

"character" remark. (insert happy face) our '77 non-turbo 300D manual trans,windows,etc. gets 35mpg's if i baby it and 32 regularly. Its mfg'ing foot print was years ago and is still quite seviceable. Our farm trucks are both 7.3 navistar diesel powered fords easil 18mpgs and i recently got 13+mpgs pulling 12,000lbs of hay to Charlottesville,VA (some mountains) The total over the road mileage of our diesel vehicles is 3/4million miles and still climbing.

robie (might sell the benz for a chev cruze diesel due out 2013) my teens really hate the Benz as it has no social panache

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jmcsd wrote: I spent a fair

jmcsd wrote:

I spent a fair amount of time in the Middle East and Africa, and my observations mirror yours: If your life depends on the funcitoning of your vehicle, there were usually three badges (depending on particular country) in order of popularity: Toyota 4x4, Range Rover, and Puegeot, all diesels, all manuals, all with snorkels.

JMC

Agree entirely, which is exactly why I agree with:

Quote:
I think, just like our markets, our fuel choice is rigged as well.

Planned obsolescence requires that the things we buy break, require constant repair, and have relatively short lifespans. 

Wouldn't do for our 'economy' if people started driving diesel Toyota Hi-lux's that require almost no maintanence, will run forever and are near literally bomb-proof. [Note: Earlier in the episode, this same HiLux was set out to sea, hit with a wrecking ball, driven through a mobile home, crashed into various parts of London and set on fire].

In places where no such pretenses exist, things that last are worth a lot more. 
Our love of oil/gasoline will be a crippling agent in the event of a collapse. 

I'd love to get a solid diesel vehicle. Afterall, I can't make gasoline in my garage in a pinch, and it seems like a waste of time to plan for the best case scenario.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Mercedes "blue-tec"

RNcarl wrote:

I didn't know Mercedes "blue-tec" diesel was Cali certified. What was the price tag? $80K?

Also, was it fresh out of the wrapper? Or was it "used" and fell in a loophole?

I have driven that Benz. While it is snazzy, it is out of reach for the majority of Americans to drive. A new diesel Passat has much more utility, better fuel economy, almost as much comfort, at almost a third of the cost. 

Diesel outshines gasoline in almost every way. Overall, less fuel would be burnt that would lead to overall fewer emmissions, which would lead to less oil use.... 

Yes just checked with my freind, he bought it new. It's a E350 "blue tech" and as you said out of reach for most people.

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Diesel Cars

I think one of the reasons might be the increase in the price of diesel. This probably encourages people to buy electric vehicles. Other reason might be the environmental pollution, which creates a thinking of avoiding these diesel vehicles. Diesel, most probably the fuel which pollute the environment very much. So, Government sometimes bans such vehicles from the road. So i think these are the possible reasons. 
BMW Repair Santa Monica

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