If you have spent any time in Europe recently, you know that more than half of all cars there are powered by diesels.
If there ever was a place on this planet that needed diesels, it's the United States.
Although you can create a very high-mileage car with a diesel engine, as they are doing in Europe, the appeal to the United States would be quite different.
Those engines would make good sense for almost all of our pickups and SUVs. When a vehicle weighs more than 5,000 pounds and might be towing something that weighs several more tons, a diesel simply makes sense.
I watch with great interest all the r&d on alternative fuels and hybrids and wonder why this country didn't embrace diesels years ago. It's interesting that Japan has the same dislike for diesels as the United States.
Even if for no other reason than to lessen our dependence on imported petroleum products, diesels would deliver.
Europe, which seems proud of its green attitude, has embraced emissions rules that permit those engines in just about everything.
Trucks still account for about half of U.S. new-vehicle sales, and there should be no reason that diesels aren't available in SUVs and other trucks.
We might have to modify the EPA rules somewhat. New technology eventually will allow some automobile companies to comply with the current rules. But if we want to reduce our consumption of oil, it's ridiculous to exclude current diesels from the United States.
It is up to the vehicle makers, domestic and transplant, to get more diesels in the marketplace.
If truck CAFE is raised more than just a token amount, diesels would be the quick way to meet the new fuel economy standards.
The folks who sell diesel pumps and injection systems would be happy. But it seems to me that the real push for diesels must be in trucks, not cars.
I have never understood why we can't seem to make diesels work here, particularly since they are acceptable to the European Community.
General Motors had a disastrous experience with diesels in passenger cars. Let's hope those memories don't poison diesels' potential.
Diesels would enable manufacturers to improve fuel economy overnight. It makes sense to get those engines in our overweight SUVs and other trucks.