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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

Clean Diesel Offers Substantial Savings at the Pump this Memorial Day

As more than 38 million Americans take to the roads this Memorial Day weekend, diesel drivers will see significant savings at the pump due to lower diesel prices and greater fuel efficiency compared to gasoline.

"Diesel's inherent fuel efficiency translates into cash savings for consumers -- without sacrificing the power or performance Americans demand," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. "And while gasoline prices are approaching an all-time record high, the price of diesel is dropping -- meaning additional savings for drivers."

Diesel cars, trucks and SUVs provide 20% to 40% better mileage than comparable gasoline vehicles, and clean diesel fuel is currently priced 41 cents less per gallon than regular gasoline -- a national average of $2.80 for the new ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel compared to $3.21 for regular gasoline -- according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Consider the following:
  • Filling a 15-gallon tank with clean diesel currently costs $42.00 compared to $48.15 for regular gasoline. That's an immediate savings of $6.15 or nearly 15% per tank.
  • A family driving from Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA can make the entire trip on one tank of diesel fuel. That same family driving a gasoline vehicle would have to refuel in Charlotte, NC -- four hours shy of Atlanta.
  • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, America could save up to 1.4 million barrels of oil per day -- an amount equivalent to the oil we currently import from Saudi Arabia -- if one-third of U.S. cars, pickups and SUVs were diesels.
  • There are 4.8 million diesel cars on the road today according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
  • J.D. Power and Associates predicts that diesel sales will triple in the next 10 years, growing to more than 10% of U.S. sales by 2015 up from 3.6% in 2005.
  • Diesel drivers can also fill up with blends of biodiesel -- a domestically produced, renewable fuel.
Schaeffer continued, "Hybrids and flex-fueled ethanol vehicles aren't the only environmentally-friendly choices on the roads today. The expanded use of clean diesel technology would help the U.S. reduce petroleum consumption, improve energy security and decrease greenhouse gas emissions."

Numerous manufacturers, including Dodge, General Motors, Ford, BMW Group, Mercedes, Jeep, Audi, Volkswagen, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Mitsubishi are planning to introduce new clean diesels in the next two to three years. The nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel in October 2006 provided 97 percent cleaner diesel fuel, enabling manufacturers to engineer the cleanest diesel cars, trucks and SUVs ever.

"Drivers who have not yet experienced the new generation of clean diesels are in for an awakening," Schaeffer concluded. "Today's diesels are clean, quiet and performance oriented -- plus they deliver 20% to 40% better fuel economy -- so consumers can spend their summer vacation money somewhere other than at the pump."

The price of diesel fuel tends to fluctuate independently compared to the price of gasoline and is not always cheaper. U.S. EIA has developed a comprehensive "Primer on Diesel Fuel Prices" that is linked from the DTF website.

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