Amazing: the US automobile industry discovers the Diesel engine...
Robert E. Seastrom
rs at seastrom.com
Mon Apr 30 12:44:30 CDT 2012
Alex Fraser <beatnic at comcast.net> writes:
> I was excited about the diesel smart car when I saw them first in
> Canada. They never made it to the US, only the gas version. I've
> heard they get 80mpg out of them in Germany.
According to friends who have the Canadian spec 450, 80 is a bit on
the high side. 68-70 per (US, not imperial) gallon is a reasonable
expectation in mixed cycle driving. Now, a 451 with MHD (basically
the "turn off the engine at the traffic light" technology) may do a
I can get 41 or 42 on my (Mitsubishi-powered, gas) Smart on "byways".
Mileage is (unsurprisingly) down to 39 or so when I'm moving at speed
> There is interest in diesel here in the US. Diesel pickup trucks
> are available. 1st generation dodge trucks with the Cummings
> engine are going up in price, that 1989-1993 with the old body style
> and the 12 valve engine and old style injector pump.
> I have 3 Mercedes diesels from the early 80's. They are hard to kill. I'd
> love to do a conversion and put the 5 cylinder turbo in a small pick up. 4
> wheel drive people love the engines and kits are available, ah if I were
You kind of have to be a bit "special" (I know, I've owned a diesel
Rabbit) to be interested in mechanical diesels. Current technology
common-rail computer controlled diesels have a lot better "wife
The real crime here is that Euro 5 and US emissions standards are not
harmonized. An investment of a million bucks to certify a power plant
for US use is a lot to ask a manufacturer to do "on spec".
> There is a biodiesel coop in Baltimore. The 2 attempts at coops in the DC
> area have failed so far. For some odd reason biodiesel prices fluctuate with
> dino diesel prices, in lock step by demand.
Why do you consider this to be odd? My Kubota dealer says B5 maximum,
but there's a lot of stuff out there that will eat B10 or B20. If you
think of it as a fuel additive rather than as a fuel unto itself (like
B100), then it's easy to see why the price fluctuates. Not as if
there's a huge amount of excess supply out there...
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