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Old 09-09-08, 10:38 AM   #1
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The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have

Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic gets an astonishing 65 mpg, but the carmaker can't afford to sell it in the U.S.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...ge_top+stories
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Old 09-09-08, 10:44 AM   #2
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What a bad headline. It's not that Ford can't afford to sell them in the US. It's that nobody wants to buy it in the US. They all want their "darling" hybrids that do more damage to the environment than their normally-driven counterparts.
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Old 09-09-08, 10:45 AM   #3
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diesel is denser than gasoline, which is why it gets more mpg... but cheaper to refine than gasoline. Too bad it costs more than gasoline now than it did before.

VW Lupo gets even better mileage than that ford does.
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Old 09-09-08, 10:47 AM   #4
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VW Lupo gets even better mileage than that ford does.
I didn't remember the model name, but I do remember hearing recently about a really high MPG VW diesel.
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Old 09-09-08, 10:56 AM   #5
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Old 09-09-08, 10:59 AM   #6
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So Nissan and Honda are bringing diesels to the U.S. in 2010 but Ford can't make a business case to bring one?!?! This is why Ford and other U.S. manufacturers are in their financial positions today. Instead of leading, we'll just let someone else come in and get that market share first and maybe in a few years, we'll bring in our now old technology Fiesta in to the market and hope it will sell.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:04 AM   #7
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Geez, that's a $hame that govt. regulation would limit our choice$. I wonder how our elected official$ could allow $omething like that to happen?
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Old 09-09-08, 11:14 AM   #8
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So Nissan and Honda are bringing diesels to the U.S. in 2010 but Ford can't make a business case to bring one?!?! This is why Ford and other U.S. manufacturers are in their financial positions today. Instead of leading, we'll just let someone else come in and get that market share first and maybe in a few years, we'll bring in our now old technology Fiesta in to the market and hope it will sell.
when I was buying my new small pickup back in '89, I went to ford, dodge and Chevy first. all of whom had much worse reliability records than Toyota or Nissan, but I figured, buy a new car, do the right thing, buy American.

I was just starting school again and needed something cheap and reliable (with bed, for hauling music gear). I remember at Ford, the guy was saying I could have this one with AC? I said 'no, just a stripped economy model'. He showed me one with fancy wheels and paint. I said 'thank you, but no no thanks.' He showed me all sorts of trucks on the lot with radios, mag wheels, big engines, 4x4, etc etc etc.

I persisted in saying I really wanted a base model, with no frills. He looked at me like I had three heads, and said every car on the lot would have some sort of option or trim package.

I said listen, I have a car; I don't need a new car right this second (I entered a three year program thirty miles from home and didn't trust my 12 year old car to make the trip 4 times a week). I said I have $1000 cash in my pocket - I will give you it today for a down payment; can't you order a stripped down model for me from Detroit? I'll wait 6 months, a year or whatever.

He said he could order whatever I wanted but there would be some sort of options or package trim.....

any wonder why detroit is going under?

Oh yeah - I took my $1000 down the block to Toyota and had my pick of several colors, bare bones 2wd pickup, just like I wanted. Got it for about $3000 less than the cheapest trucks the US companies sold, it ran superbly for the ten years I owned it, and when I sold it upon moving back to the city I got about 40% of the original price I paid.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:17 AM   #9
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My mothers 1979 VW rabbit managed 51 MPG's....of course it was a dirty diesel. LOL
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Old 09-09-08, 11:17 AM   #10
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diesel is denser than gasoline, which is why it gets more mpg... but cheaper to refine than gasoline. Too bad it costs more than gasoline now than it did before.

VW Lupo gets even better mileage than that ford does.
Diesel gets better MPG for many reasons. First, it has a higher volume energy density than octane fuel. Second, the diesel thermodynamic cycle is more efficient than the otto cycle at or near maximum thermodynamic conversion rates, so more of that energy is converted to mechanical energy per cycle when the engine is under high load, such as during acceleration or very very fast driving.

Anyway, so there's more energy per gallon of stuff, and under heavy loads, more of that energy is converted into mechanical energy. This is why diesel generators are so darn efficient.. they are used at/near their maximum loads to maximize efficiency...
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Old 09-09-08, 11:19 AM   #11
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My mothers 1979 VW rabbit managed 51 MPG's....of course it was a dirty diesel. LOL
Modern diesels are very clean because computer control has become so advanced. Smoke occurs when the fuel injection continues beyond the bottom of the power stroke. That fuel is wasted. Modern controllers are fast enough to read the position of the crank in realtime and cut off fuel before the bottom of the power stroke, thereby preventing smoke and wasted fuel.

Also, the new low-sulphur formulations prevent a lot of the smellyness we're used to detecting from diesel motors..

Even some General Aviation aircraft are starting to be fitted with diesel engines due to the impending loss of leaded fuel for gasoline engines and the lack of a suitable replacement.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
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diesel is denser than gasoline, which is why it gets more mpg... but cheaper to refine than gasoline. Too bad it costs more than gasoline now than it did before.

VW Lupo gets even better mileage than that ford does.
Which I was wondering about. Why is it more expensive then gasoline? As you said it's cheaper to refine, and I believe quality of oil doesn't have to be as high.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:27 AM   #13
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As any American fan of Top Gear knows, this is incredibly frustrating to see all sorts of really nice looking, good driving, economical Ford and GM vehicles that aren't available here.

Like the Ford Mondeo Estate (station wagon to us colonials). I'd buy one in a minute if it were available in the USA.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:35 AM   #14
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Which I was wondering about. Why is it more expensive then gasoline? As you said it's cheaper to refine, and I believe quality of oil doesn't have to be as high.
supply and demand I guess?

diesel is used by trucks, trains and military, mainly for the NA market.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:38 AM   #15
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Which I was wondering about. Why is it more expensive then gasoline? As you said it's cheaper to refine, and I believe quality of oil doesn't have to be as high.
The cost of refining is a very very very small part of the cost of fuel.

Diesel has higher taxes than mogas, and less of it is refined, so it is more sensitive to fluctuations in supply. Remember, mogas is essentially made from diesel (by cracking the diesel into smaller hydrocarbon chains), so also if the demand for mogas goes up, so goes the demand for diesel.

Some heavy consumers of diesel:

Commercial and Military Aviation (Jet fuel is basically Kerosene which is basically #2 diesel fuel)
Locomotives and other Trains
Trucks
Home Heating (mainly in the north east)
Industrial Power Generation
Commercial and Industrial Environmental Heating
Boating and Cruise Ships (They burn #2 or sometimes #6, but #6 is getting harder to obtain)
Military Naval Operations
the list continues
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Old 09-09-08, 11:38 AM   #16
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why does diesel cost more than gasoline?
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Old 09-09-08, 11:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Which I was wondering about. Why is it more expensive then gasoline? As you said it's cheaper to refine, and I believe quality of oil doesn't have to be as high.
Supply and demand as the above post noted, but also tax:

"As of July 1, 2008, the average amount of tax imposed on a gallon of gasoline sold in the United States was 49.4 cents per gallon, up 2.4 cents from the January 2008 report. For diesel fuel, the national average amount of tax was 56.4 cents per gallon, up 2.8 cents from the January 2008 report."

Quoted from:

http://www.api.org/statistics/fueltaxes/

Most of Europe puts a much lower tax on diesel than on gasoline, which is part of the reason diesel engines are so much more popular over there.
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Old 09-09-08, 12:06 PM   #18
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want.
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Old 09-09-08, 12:25 PM   #19
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That's crap about hybrids being darlings by consumers because they are hybrids. Talk about scape-goating!

Hybrids are darlings because they get better/best gas mileage of the cars that are currently available in the USA.

Another thought: Europe has lower safety regulations, making it easier to build lighter vehicles and thus get better gas mileage. I just don't wonder if like the SmartCar, when/if the ECOnetic it comes to the US, the mpg will be less than those sold in Europe, and like the SmartCar the mpg could very possibly be worse than a hybrid, and like a SmartCar more expensive to fuel (SmartCars run on premium only).
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Old 09-09-08, 12:43 PM   #20
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What a bad headline. It's not that Ford can't afford to sell them in the US. It's that nobody wants to buy it in the US. They all want their "darling" hybrids that do more damage to the environment than their normally-driven counterparts.
OK, I'll bite...are there any facts behind this statement?
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Old 09-09-08, 12:45 PM   #21
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Makes for some interesting reading

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/sea...lConSearch.asp
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Old 09-09-08, 12:49 PM   #22
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That's crap about hybrids being darlings by consumers because they are hybrids. Talk about scape-goating!

Hybrids are darlings because they get better/best gas mileage of the cars that are currently available in the USA.

Another thought: Europe has lower safety regulations, making it easier to build lighter vehicles and thus get better gas mileage. I just don't wonder if like the SmartCar, when/if the ECOnetic it comes to the US, the mpg will be less than those sold in Europe, and like the SmartCar the mpg could very possibly be worse than a hybrid, and like a SmartCar more expensive to fuel (SmartCars run on premium only).
it's not necessarily lower, just a different view

the average vehicle size equation is also different between Europe and NA
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Old 09-09-08, 01:46 PM   #23
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Geez, that's a $hame that govt. regulation would limit our choice$. I wonder how our elected official$ could allow $omething like that to happen?
By giving in to environazis who have long opposed diesel vehicles... because they're loud, stinky and smokey.
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Old 09-09-08, 02:14 PM   #24
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OK, I'll bite...are there any facts behind this statement?

Anytime a Auto topic on DU comes up some poster will make this same claim....However.com since I could care less I never check to see if there are any facts to back it up.

Maybe it's in the process for making the batteries? Or disposal of batteries?

I'll check it out next time it comes up.
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Old 09-09-08, 03:35 PM   #25
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Europe's safety regulations aren't lower, just different than U.S. The problem with the U.S. is its litigation happy society and its need to coddle to the lowest common denominator.
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