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November 10, 2008

Why won't the US import efficient diesel cars?

I came across this article a few days ago (www.autobloggren.com), which demonstrates the efficient capabilities of new diesel cars on the market.

The new Audi A3 TDIe outlined in the articled averaged over 70 mpg (US) whilst racing across Australia. Being French, and going back to Europe every so often, I have come to realize European's embrace of cleaner and more fuel efficient diesel technology in cars, which Americans (and Canadians) have failed to accept. Why would a cleaner, more environmentally friendly solution to the global climate crisis, be ignored completely from the US and Canadian Automobile industry.

I don't know if American Automakers are lobbying to restrict the import of diesel cars, by pushing Congress to impose uncompetitive quotas and tariffs, or if Americans simply hesitate to embrace this technology which has a checkered past. And yet I realized after all of this, that Ford actually does sell diesel cars. Just not to Americans. According to the following article, it seems Ford is caving in to European demand and supplying the UK market with a highly efficient diesel cars (www.treehugger.com - Ford)

So then we must ask ourselves why would Ford go out of its way to sell diesel cars in Europe, but wouldn't even implement a similar strategy in the domestic automotive market? It seems that the current federal administration (one which does not wholeheartedly recognize global warming) does not see the benefit in disturbing the market equilibrium by offering diesel cars. While our European counterparts race ahead of us in the green car technology, America is left behind because of petty politics. Auto industry lobbyists have obviously convinced the government to protect the American industry, which has not yet caught up to international corporations in this technological field.

A clear demonstration of the government's protectionist policies, is its refusal to allow California to pass its own more restrictive green house gas emissions control on cars. According to the following article, California is suing the EPA to reverse the Bush administration's belief that 'states have no authority to set standard emissions' (California Sues EPA). The article also goes on to talk about the administration's goal to improve fuel efficiency to 35 mpg by 2030. This seems comical when a German sports hatchback (A3 TDI) can double that with today's current technology. The future government should really look more into the research and development of diesel and alternative fuels and encourage states such as California to pass stricter emission laws.


Audi A3 TDI, courtesy of autobloggreen.com:


Posted by curag at November 10, 2008 07:19 PM

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