>European fuel prices are that high in large part because of very high taxes.
>The tax revenues are used for the roads and also to subsidize bus, transit
>(Metro) and rail service. Unlike the USA, public transportation in Europe is
>not expected to make money or even to meet its own expenses.
Don't look now, but ALL public transit in the United States exists mainly due
to state and federal subsidies which provide virtually all of the funding
for the procurement of vehicles, facilities, communications systems, and most
of the operating costs. If public transit had to "pay it's own way," I, for
public transit employee, would not have a job. I drive Paratransit in Kent
County, Delaware, and the cash I turn in from my fare box at the end of the
day would not pay for an hour's worth of my wages. At best, a few of our
more heavily utilized fixed-routes in Wilmington might just possibly pay for
the fuel consumed and other routine expenses, but wouldn't even come close
to covering all of the essential overhead.
>>Thats why Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes and all the other non-US Car
>>manufacturers sell their "premium edition" multi cylinder high consumption
>>vehicles to the States. They never could sell lots of them over here.
>>Modern Diesel engines have a mileage per gallon of 60 or 70.
>Only in small cars.
True, and that's part of the reason why diesel engines are not more common
in U.S. passenger vehicles. Partly by necessity but mainly by preference,
us Americans prefer to drive massive, heavy, inherently inefficient vehicles
such as all those 4-wheel drive SUV's being driven exclusively on perfectly
clear dry roads and highways. If only we were a lot smarter in our choices
of vehicles, we could probably benefit from the many advantages of diesel
engines, which can now be made as "clean" as gasoline engines.
>>performance is not less the gas engines.
>Agreed. But the first-cost is greater. And at US fuel prices, the difference
>may not be worth it.
It would be if we started viewing our vehicles as the mere transportation
appliances they should be, and not as outward extensions of our personalities
or demonstrations of our wealth.
Quote:>Suppose the diesel car gets 60 MPG and the equivalent gasoline car gets 40
>And suppose the car is driven 12,000 miles per year. That's 300 gallons of
>gasoline vs. 200 gallons of diesel. If both fuels cost about the same (as
>usually do in the USA), the saving is only $150-200 per year. Compared to the
>price of the car, insurance, repairs, maintenance, etc, that's not much
Now consider a driver who must drive anywhere from 25 to 30,000 miles a
year, for business purposes or just a particularly long commute from a rural
area to the city where he/she works. Now the fuel cost savings of a diesel
start to look very attractive indeed!
>>So, now you can rest back at your next refueling stop, let the gas go into
>>your tank, and when at the cashier, just SMILE.
>>You know, you are filling up CHEAP.
>Back in 1980 I bought a VW Rabbit Diesel. Over its 17 year lifetime, I got 43
>mpg combined (I kept very accurate records). An equivalent gasoline Rabbit
>would have probably done about 30 mpg.
>But the diesel engine cost $900 more back then. Considering all factors, I
>didn't save very much driving an oil burner.
If a high mileage diesel-engine version of the Ford Focus, Honda Civic,
Toyota Corolla (my automobile!) and every other econo-box in the same
class as the VW Rabbit were available, then the additional cost wouldn't
be so great as to skim the potential savings off from the top. Modern
diesel engines are clean, efficient, and have more than adequate power for
vehicles that would adequately serve over 80% of the American travelling
public. They are no more difficult to maintain than a gasoline engine of
equivalent power, and generally last longer because they are, out of
necessity, built stronger. There's gotta be some reason why we aren't
using more diesel power here in the U.S., but I am at a loss to explain it.
73 de Larry, K3LT
2003 Toyota Corolla LE (Automatic)
Averaging 30 MPG City, 41 MPG Highway