Home Page About Us Contribute

Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto

By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Diesel Cars Making a Comeback

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


Diesel Cars Making a Comeback

Mil Arcega
Washington, D.C.
August 23, 2006

Video Version  3,256KB (Large)  RealPlayer
Video Version  702KB (Small)  RealPlayer

Drivers looking for alternatives to high gasoline prices are increasingly turning their attention to hybrids and so-called "smart cars". But as VOA's Mil Arcega reports some are taking a look back at older technologies and finding a new generation of cleaner, more efficient diesel cars.

Thirty years ago they were the noisy, smelly alternative to the fuel crisis of the 1970s. But with gasoline prices once again hitting new highs, auto engineers, such as Don Hillebrand, are hard at work -- cleaning up the diesel engine's dirty reputation.

"Literally, they're 98 percent cleaner. I mean, what used to be a bucket of emissions is now a drop," says Hillebrand.

The selling point was fuel efficiency for new car owner Chris Hynes. "The car is paying for itself. I believe the money I am saving in the fuel is going toward the payments for the car."

Hynes says he now spends $200 less per month and gets 30 extra miles per gallon since trading in his gas-powered pick-up truck. Diesel's fuel economy is about 30 percent better than gasoline-powered vehicles.

At a Volkswagen dealership in Chicago, Chris Willuweit says demand has tripled. "Anybody and everybody is looking at diesels now," says the salesman.

Auto analyst Anthony Pratt at JD Power & Associates says that's one reason why automakers have shifted diesel car production into high gear. "Currently, diesel penetration in the U.S. is right around three and a half percent. We anticipate that demand to increase to approximately 12 percent by 2015."

But some environmental groups question the future of diesel power. Brendan Bell of the Sierra Club calls it a waste of time and money. "Do we invest in a new generation technology, which is hybrid technology, or do we look backwards and go to diesel vehicles?" he asks.

Despite recent improvements, the new diesel engines still don't meet emission standards in five U.S. states, including California and New York. But automakers say they expect to reach full compliance by the end of the decade.

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute