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-   -   What happened to diesel fuel prices? (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=19047)

frontrange 01-25-2013 04:56 PM

What happened to diesel fuel prices?
I know a lot of diesel fans out there on this forum, so though I'd get the bottom line here.

I'd just convinced myself to look for a diesel for the next DD and checked the cost of the two stations near my house that sell diesel and was shocked to see the price was a full $.90/gal higher than regular.

Now I don't usually look at diesel prices, but looking back at older articles people talk about the price being a 'tad' higher than gas since the 70's and 80's when it was lower. It's still lower than gas in Europe apparently.

The 30+% uplift completely cancels out the better mileage, and then some. So is this something that is a temporary phenomenon, a local one, or is it a longer term trend I missed?

SteveH 01-25-2013 05:55 PM

From what I have heard, worldwide demand is pretty solid for diesel and the price varies little these days. I doubt it has any reason to go down much. Sorta takes all the fun out of speculating about a TDI VW, and makes filling up the PowerStroke less fun, too.

In some European countries, it's subsidized, but that may change:


Here's something about the high price:

One of the best explanations can be found within the pages of the Energy Information Administration web site:

"Historically, the average price of diesel fuel used in motor vehicles has been lower than the price of regular gasoline. However, this is not always the case. In some winters where the demand for distillate heating oil is high, the price of diesel fuel has risen above the gasoline price. Since September 2004, the price of diesel fuel has been generally higher than the price of regular gasoline all year round for several reasons:
  • High worldwide demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils, especially in Europe, China and the U.S. and a tight global refining capacity available to meet demand.
  • The transition to low-sulfur diesel fuel in the U.S., which is affecting diesel fuel production and distribution costs.
  • The Federal excise tax on diesel fuel is 6 cents per gallon higher (at 24.4 cents/gallon
) than the tax on gasoline."

rover67 01-25-2013 06:02 PM

We made it to memphis this winter (1200 miles) with only one fill up on Allison's '06 Jetta TDI. Fully loaded and going 75-80 the whole way. One stint at 100+ for a while where it was pretty wide open. We got 43MPG calculated wit GPS and all.

It's quick too (chipped).

I like the power and the economy.

No idea what a gas vehicle would have done in the same conditions.. maybe half the mileage?

On the way back we were tracking similar mileage in the Jetta and I was following in a subaru (2000 Legacy) struggling to get like 20mpg. We were pushing pretty hard but still, the jetta was getting decen mileage.

Not sure if diesel tow rigs double mileage over gas counterparts but I bet they get close. That's not the only attraction though... diesels seem easier to drive and work less hard to do the same stuff... kinda translates to less stressful driving IMHOP.

frontrange 01-25-2013 06:10 PM

Actaully I was looking at the Mazda CX-5 with there being some rumours it may be availible in the summer with the turbo diesel. The gas version gets 32mpg with AWD. To be comperable, the diesel would have to score about ~43 given the third higher cost of the fuel, setting everything else aside.

I could wait till summer to get the diesel (if it's really coming out), and I agree it may well be better than the gas engine on many counts, but fuel economy doesn't sound like one of them. Kind of takes the desire to wait off the table when I'm otherwise ready to buy now.

Corbet 01-25-2013 06:29 PM

Generally speaking the PM on a diesel is higher.

Personally if a vehicle I liked was offered with a diesel state side I'd buy it just on how a diesel drives, especially in the mountains. I wish Toyota would leave the hybrid to stuff with unibodies and slam a diesel in everything with a ladder frame. I be signing up for a new rig now if that happened.

Jenny Cruiser 01-26-2013 10:05 PM

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I love diesels. Cruise all day long at triple digits and still get great mileage. Diesel is significantly less expensive in Europe. The US seems to be the only place where it isn't. This was my most memorable moment in a diesel hoopty :o

Red_Chili 01-28-2013 11:56 AM

If you are worried about 30% higher fuel costs you will save a good deal more by NOT buying new... ???

frontrange 01-28-2013 12:02 PM

Except I want the next vehical purchase to carry me for the next 10+ years, into retirement.

60wag 01-28-2013 02:22 PM

The current dip in gasoline prices likely won't last long. I've heard it's mostly due to low demand and too much produced. It should be back to more than diesel before Spring.

spectre6000 01-28-2013 04:45 PM

I started my career in biodiesel and know a bit about fuels and US regulations. The most important thing in the list above in the second post is the low-sulfur requirements. The other really big thing is the oil company profits. If you do the math you'll see that the price delta almost exactly coincides with the economy delta. That's by design so that you, the consumer, are effectively paying the same per mile. Your pain threshold for $/mile is one of those things that's studied very closely along the same lines as what 18-24 year old males watch on television.

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