?The Future of the Diesel Fueling Industry
In the past twenty years, diesel engines have the connotations of pollution, heavy machinery, and uncomfortably loud noises. This image that many people have is beginning to take a turn for the change as several automakers are reinventing the diesel engine with remarkable results. Nearly 25 years ago, General Motors unveiled diesel powered Chevrolet Caprices and a few Oldsmobile models. These cars soon became the center of attention as the diesel engines were shaky, unreliable, and a total nightmare for the consumer. General Motors backed itself into a corner and paid a hefty amount to outfit the vehicles sold with new gasoline engines. Ever since the ‘diesel disaster’ as some automotive enthusiasts have come to call it, diesel engines have taken a back seat to many consumers’ minds. General Motors failure in the 80s combined with increasing efforts to clean up the air and minimize pollution while maximizing engine efficiency pushed the diesel engine back years, but at the same time allowed it to be reinvented and instituted in an entire new way.
European car makers were among the largest importers of diesel engine cars and remain so today. Mercedes and Volkswagen were the largest of the importers and the success they have been experiencing has not gone unseen. There was a large dip in the number of these cars over a decade ago, but the diesel is reemerging as an efficient, cost-effective, and super reliable means of powering any car and not just a truck. Diesel engines have been implemented in sports cars, luxury vehicles, and even small cars such as Honda Civics and Chevrolet’s Geo.
Chrysler has been trying diesel engines within its Jeep division and has seen great results, along with Ford who has been dabbling into pushing diesels into the smaller caliber vehicles such as the Taurus and Focus. What makes the new diesel engine system so attractive is the combination of a much improved fuel mileage, higher torque output, and an extremely reliable engine. Also, with the cost of diesel fuel often being cheaper than regular unleaded, it would cost less to fill up. As mentioned earlier, diesel engines are much more reliable than most gasoline engines. However a well taken care of diesel engine will often run for hundreds of thousands of miles longer than a gasoline engine.
Within five or ten years, the number of vehicles using diesel engines will likely jump a great deal and dominate a good portion of the automotive market. Asian automakers including Isuzu, Toyota, and Nissan are upping their investments in the North American auto industry, and the overseas car industry has been experimenting and implementing diesel engines longer than the United States. As the number of these imported cars increase, so will the likelihood of these automobiles running on diesel fuel.