An Analysis of the Federal Government's Role in the Research and Development of Clean Diesels in the United States 2004-01-1753
Due to limited oil reserves and threats to our national security, US oil consumption must be reduced. Diesel engines use oil-based fuel 25-40% more efficiently than gasoline engines. Therefore, they provide a promising means of lowering consumption until a more sustainable solution is found. Currently, diesels have a very low (less than 1%) penetration of the light duty vehicle market in the US. One likely cause for this low penetration is the lingering memory of the “dirty diesels” of the early 1980s. Recent developments in technology have permitted diesels to be cleaner than ever, and possess performance characteristics rivaling their gasoline counterparts. Automakers are examining the possibilities of a larger US diesel penetration, but public acceptance of the new diesels is critical. Investment by the federal government is a must to ensure the technology has its chance to help in reducing the nation's oil consumption.