Diesels may burn less fuel, but pollute more than gassers

2009 Volkswagen Jetta Tdi

Would you rather have extra torque, or lower emissions?

One of the most frequently cited strengths of a diesel engine is reduced fuel consumption. All things being equal, a gallon of diesel will get you farther down the road than a gallon of regular gas. Naturally a report has surfaced to change that perception.

How is that possible? Isn't the reduced consumption a fact? Yes, sort of. It takes more oil to produce one gallon of diesel fuel than it does to make one gallon of gasoline. The ratio gets even worse when you're making ultra-low sulfur diesel, which is required for all diesels that meet current emissions regulations in the U.S. Oh, and burning that same gallon of diesel will release about 15 percent more greenhouse gasses than a gallon of diesel.

It looks like diesels may receive another setback if consumers start worrying about greenhouse gas emissions and how much oil it takes to produce a gallon of fuel. Does this information dissuade you from purchasing a diesel in the future, or would you trade some greenhouse gasses and oil for the extra torque and fuel economy?

Source: Slate

The question is misleading. Diesel is simpler and cheaper (25-30%) refine from petroleum than gasoline.Diesel-powered cars have a better fuel economy than equivalent gasoline engines and produce less greenhouse gas pollution.Their greater economy is due to the higher energy per-litre content of diesel fuel and the intrinsic efficiency of the diesel engine. While petrodiesel's 15% higher density results in 15% higher greenhouse gas emissions per litre compared to gasoline, the 20–40% better fuel economy achieved by modern diesel-engined automobiles offsets the higher-per-liter emissions of greenhouse gases, and produces 10-20 percent less GHG emissions than comparable gasoline vehicles.Nicked from Wikipedia to save time responding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel
Meh. Where's my compressed air car? At least what I put into it I can expel right back out.

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