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Does a diesel engine equal fuel cost savings?

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Author's Note: Does a diesel engine equal fuel cost savings?

People always want to know if these new fuel technologies "pencil out." They want to see the math and really know if it's worth paying extra up front to keep on saving for the next 10 years (or however long they intend to keep their car). The answer I've found just about every time is that if you're in it for sheer dollars, it doesn't pencil out. Not for hybrids, not for diesels and not for E85 or whatever else you're into. You have to have another reason to want these cars. These alternative fuels use less oil than gasoline cars across the board, so if reduced drilling or foreign oil dependence is important to you, then put your money where your mouth is, bucko. They also run cleaner -- even clean diesels emit less CO2 than gasoline cars. Welcome to the 21st century! So if greenhouse effects are your bugbear, then you'll have to pay to produce less of them while you drive to work. Just don't expect to finance your solar panel project with the fuel savings.

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Sources

  • Federal Highway Administration. "Average Annual Miles per Driver by Age Group." (Aug. 12, 2013) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm
  • U.S. Department of Energy. "2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen." FuelEconomy.gov. (Aug. 12, 2013) http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2014&year2=2014&make=Volkswagen&model=Jetta%20SportWagen&srchtyp=ymm
  • U.S. Department of Energy. "Compare Side-by-Side: 2014 Chevrolet Suburban K10 4WD." FuelEconomy.gov. (Aug. 12, 2013) http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33895
  • U.S. Energy Information Administration. "Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update." (Aug. 12, 2013) http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/
  • Vw.com. "Jetta SportWagen." Volkswagen. (Aug. 12, 2013) http://www.vw.com/en/models/jettasportwagen/gallery.html

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