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Will ethanol E85 catch on in the US? Will we Live Green and Go Yellow?

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Comments

  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Again, diesel sales comprise less than 3% of the total car market.

    You are trying to claim a mandate for a candidate who was clearly defeated in a landslide election. The consumers cast their vote with their money, and the diesel didn't get a lot of votes.

    Focusing on the 3% while ignoring the 97% is just wishful thinking by someone who views this as a religion, not just a technology. Even if diesel demand tripled to reach a level of less than 9%, you think that the other 91% doesn't mean anything?
  • I'm not reading this thread at all...but I saw some misinformation.

    E85 in MN is cheaper than unleaded.
    E85 last weekend in Mpls. suburbs was 2.35, unleaded was 2.89. That's not from a website, that's from my eyeballs.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    Did you even bother to read my post? Have you actually read anything about the USLD phase-in later this year and the resulting change in EPA regulations? You do realize that no manufacturer was going to invest to not be able to sell in the CARB states? The only big unknown I see is how hard and expensive the NOx emissions equipment will be to produce. Honda has already stated that they can accomplish this...so I'd be pretty confident.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see diesel penetration reach European levels over a decade or so. Half the cars sold there are diesels, and the petrol half are almost entirely 2.0L and smaller engines, mostly mated to manual transmissions. Americans, in general, don't like those cars much.

    I am hardly religious about diesel tetechnology... My wife and I drove a Jetta TDI on a lark and it is an amazing vehicle.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I wouldn't be surprised to see diesel penetration reach European levels over a decade or so. Half the cars sold there are diesels, and the petrol half are almost entirely 2.0L and smaller engines, mostly mated to manual transmissions.

    Yes, and as I have pointed out, the primary reason for this is because diesel is substantially cheaper than is gasoline, because fuel taxes on gas are set at higher rates to deliberately encourage the use of diesel and public transit. According to the EIA, as of late May 2006, average pump prices were as follows:

    Fuel prices ($US per gallon, incl. tax)
    Nation: Belgium/ France/ Germany/ Italy/ Netherlands/ U.K./ U.S.
    Gas: 6.33 / 6.18 / 6.30 / 6.45 / 7.07 / 6.71 / 3.07
    Diesel: 5.02 / 5.29 / 5.27 / 5.77 / 5.30 / 6.88 / 2.88

    You can see that with the exception of the UK, where the prices are about the same (and high in both cases), diesel is often $1 per gallon less, with a difference of about $1.80 per gallon in the Netherlands.

    If the US had similar tax policies to specifically discourage gas use and to choose alternatives, we could potentially similar results for diesel, biodiesel, E85, etc. But for now, diesel is roughly the same price, so there is no incentive to change.

    You have to consider the drivers of demand if you are going to create solutions that have a chance of succeeding. If you can't increase the demand for diesel in a meaningful way, then you can't look to diesel as a solution. None of this will matter if people won't use it, and there are no policy changes on the horizon that lead me to believe that demand will increase substantially.

    EIA: diesel prices
    EIA: gas prices
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > They had a tough sell at $20,000 a pop.

    That is absolutely not true!

    There were horribly long waiting lists, as long as 6 months for awhile.

    It's a good thing the blogs & newspapers document what actually happened, which is quite different from your claim.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,690
    Maybe in the Midwest. There was never a rush to buy the Classic Prius in CA. Not until the Prius II came on the market was there waiting lists in CA the largest hybrid market by far. Not everyone agrees with you on hybrid sales. So when is Toyota going to offer the hybrids as FFVs?

    Hybrid sales are cooling off in the US despite high gasoline prices, mostly because the fuel-saving vehicles are still too expensive, analysts say. "Most people who wanted (a hybrid) already have one," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst for Edmunds.com. "They bought one not to save money necessarily, but to make a statement. But that market is not unlimited.

    Hybrid sales
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > There was never a rush to buy the Classic Prius in CA.

    Your attempt to rewrite history won't work.

    My website was founded to help the very situation you claim didn't exist. People were going nuts dealing with the long deliver wait nationwide. In fact, many of us were frustrated by the reality that CA was getting more allocated to them because sales were so hot there.

    As for your absolutely hysterical "cooling off" nonsense, get over it. Lumping all types of hybrids into a single category is just plain wrong, and quite misleading. Prius will sell all 100,000 for this year without any trouble.

    JOHN
  • seniorjoseseniorjose Posts: 277
    All VW diesels have been canceled for 2007 -- the 2006's should be firesaled out...they are now orphans that probably will carry a really low price.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    There does appear to still be a strong demand for a Prius. I base this on Edmund's indicating that it is selling for $1,000 over MSRP. The question I have is why the hell is the government (meaning taxpayers) subsidizing a vehicle that is selling for over sticker price. Basically my tax dollars are going in the pocket of Toyota dealerships and their salespeople. Let's take away the subsidies and see what the demand really is.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,568
    But for now, diesel is roughly the same price, so there is no incentive to change.

    There is incentive to change, that being that diesel engines give better mileage and more power from the same size engine. The problem with diesel is government intervention. Almost 25% of the population are forbidden to buy new diesel engines due to state mandated bans on them. Federal regulations on the fuel and emissions don't help the rest.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,568
    All VW diesels have been canceled for 2007

    You can thank the airheads in DC for that.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,690
    All VW diesels have been canceled for 2007 -- the 2006's should be firesaled out...they are now orphans that probably will carry a really low price

    I know you are trying to be funny. I can tell you for sure I will buy a half dozen Jetta TDIs if they go on fire sale. As a matter of fact many dealers are gouging them. I guess they learned from Toyota dealers. Last I read from VW is they are making an extra amount of 2006 model TDIs to last until the 2008 model with the new diesel arrives.

    Guess what, they will not run on E85. That is the good news.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,690
    forbidden to buy new diesel engines due to state mandated bans on them

    Those bans are based on diesel cars using fuel that is 500 PPM sulfur. There have been no tests of the same modern engines using ULSD, diesel with less than 15 PPM.

    I wonder if the EPA & CARB have bothered to test older engines using E10 tainted fuel. How will that affect emissions?

    I see the American Lung Association is distancing themselves from ethanol.

    (The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest is not responsible for misinformation reported on the E85 Price Forum.)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,568
    Those bans are based on diesel cars using fuel that is 500 PPM sulfur. There have been no tests of the same modern engines using ULSD, diesel with less than 15 PPM.

    Regardless of that those bans are in effect, which means nearly 25% of the population cannot buy them.

    Its also my understanding the the new requirements for diesel fuel means that new diesels (2007 MY and on) need to be redone and would cost more. Thats one of the reasons VW is not selling diesels for the 2007 MY.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    What I read is that VW is changing the fuel systems on its diesels from, to coin a term, "divided paths" to what is called "common rail". Common rail is what is used by Mercedes (and maybe Volvo) and it allows very precise and instaneously controlled fuel injection.

    VW is currently using other fuel delivery systems, one of which is "pumpe deuse" (spelling?), abv. PD, Eng. trans. pump nozzle. The VW fuel systems presumably had certain relative advantages over common rail, but it has turned out that common rail allows much better management of tail pipe emissions especially NOx and particulate matter. VW could not meet the emissions requirements without changing to common rail.

    But overwhelmingly VW diesel buyers don't care if their vehicle pollutes more than a Mercedes diesel; they want a diesel. The regs evidently allow VW to continue to sell 2006 models in what would ordinarily be the 2007 model year if the 2006's were imported before a certain date. So VW is increasing its inventory of 2006 diesels so it can continue to seel them throughout the 2007 model year.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    It is exactly the opposite -- there is so much demand for the TDI that they are selling above MSRP in a lot of the country.

    And VW is extending the build cycle through the end of the year. They anticipate supply of the '06 models through next spring.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I see the American Lung Association is distancing themselves from ethanol.

    Really? Then how do you explain this from their own website?

    Ethanol is a liquid alcohol fuel produced from biomass (which consists of trees, grasses and wastes), grain or agricultural waste. For cars and other light-duty vehicles, ethanol is typically sold as E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Ethanol produces lower emissions of ozone-forming compounds and toxic air pollutants.

    JOHN
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    There is incentive to change, that being that diesel engines give better mileage and more power from the same size engine.

    This has been true for decades, yet diesel remains a very small part of the US market. Perhaps this mileage benefit would be more appealing if fuel prices were higher, but demand is obviously very low now.

    Diesel proponents have been pounding this drum for years, but clearly, consumers don't agree or care.

    The problem with diesel is government intervention.

    Actually, it's the opposite -- it's the lack of government intervention that has allowed gas to remain most popular in the US.

    Europeans buy diesels in large part because the fuel is much cheaper than gas. This price advantage exists because of their higher fuel taxes on gas, and lower fuel taxes on diesel. Their governments have intervened to encourage the use of diesel, rather than gas.

    Yet even with this advantage, diesels are still the less popular of the two fuels. One dollar per gallon just isn't enough of a benefit even for many Europeans.
  • seniorjoseseniorjose Posts: 277
    All VW diesels have been canceled for 2007

    You can thank the airheads in DC for that.


    Amen to that...CA led the charge to ban all new diesel autos...does the ban also knock out the large pickup truck models?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,690
    Its also my understanding the the new requirements for diesel fuel means that new diesels (2007 MY and on) need to be redone and would cost more.

    Actually the current VW diesel engines run great on ULSD. It has been available at ARCO stations for a couple years in CA. the engines were developed for low sulfur diesel. Most of the problems people had with the VW and the Liberty diesel was related to crappy diesel. The reason for the change is the new regulations that are going into affect for 2007 are much stricter for both gas and diesel engines. Cars that now pass the SULEV II standard will be OK, all others will have to match that from what I am reading. Not sure how engines running on E85 will fare.
This discussion has been closed.