We all know that Diesels are efficient, but have a problem with increased emissions in the NOx and Particulate Matter (soot) categories -- which are quite harmful to the respiratory health of anyone who breathes the tailpipe emissions.
After digging around the EPA website, I came across a collaberative effort with the International Truck and Engine Company. The following chart is adapted from their online brochure on Clean Diesel Technology (which can be found at http://www.greendieseltechnology.com...re_2004_r2.pdf).
Why are we wasting our time with Ethanol? The infrastructure is there to manufacture, distribute, store, and dispense ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) fuel and cut our emissions, while improving our fuel economy in not only the commercial side of the biz, but potentially for passenger cars as well.
It's unfortunate that the only one making a diesel hybrid is VW, and they made it so that it only boosted FE 15% of the tdi (I think just so they could say "hybrids suck, we hate hybrids" cuz they do). If they made a full hybrid system into something like the lupo or polo it would have the potential to acheive 100mpg epa.
Chrysler's stylish Dodge ESX3 lightweight diesel-electric hybrid, part of the PNGV program, combined a direct-injection diesel with an electric motor and an advanced battery to achieve 72 miles per gallon (30 km/litre). The 5-seater body was made of thermoplastic -- the same cheap plastic used to make soft-drink bottles. Carbon dioxide emissions were 56% lower than a conventional petrol engine, with 50% less particulate matter than a conventional diesel and 70% less nitrogen oxides. Range was 420 miles (672 km). Unlike totally electric vehicles, hybrids have unlimited driving range and never need to be plugged in for recharging.
Also a neat article here on possible diesel-electric minivans for Canada: