Agricultural Diesel (with red dye) is much cheaper for farmers...under $2.00 last time I checked but nobody says raise it and the price of food!
I think off road diesel is about $0.40 cents cheaper, really depends upon the state tax. Wisconsin has high fuel taxes. Off road diesel is used by construction companies and landscapers for their equipment that isn't used on road.
Diesel fuel is one of those unique things that has a direct affect on everything consumable. Milk, computers, cars, food, toys. They are built, processed, grown, and transfers from some place, then it's got to go to other places before it gets to the end user. That gets transported by truck or rail in the US, both of which use diesel.
With ever increasing demand for products, regardless of what individuals say about the US economy, things have to get places, and diesel's demand continues to move lots and lots of product. The price rises as a result of that demand for the supply.
Biodiesel has been touted as a savior, but as demand for biodiesel has increased, so has it's price also.
As for the price of food prices, we buy milk for our kids. It's up a lot. Additionally, a project I'm working on requires the purchase of some farm land. The cost per acre has gone through the roof compared to about five years ago. Of course, that makes the land valuable to an owner, but then the taxes go up too, so...
Oh, and rail travel will get me no where. It's a nice thing when I'm in Chicago, but outside of crowded places, a bus is still less expensive to put into use, operate, and the routes can change too.
Last election ('06) here in FL there was a vote to repeal the High-Speed-Rail Act. It passed, no more plans to start a high speed rail line in FL (I voted to keep it). I researched all the plans at that time and found that every state south of VA (NC, SC, GA,FL) had similar plans. You see, VA, MD, PA, NY, CT, NJ and MA already have high speed rail, in some form. If all the southern states had it too then there could be continuous high-speed rail line all the way from Boston to Miami (at least in theory). There was a big push to convince voters that it was all a waste of money and no one was ever going to ride it. Nobody saw the big picture or understood the benefits. Or believed that gas would get over $3 a gallon.
Yeah, the real problem is that it still is handled by states like that. We need a federal-run program that could tie the country together with rail. I still think that Americans are too spread out for that to ever work though. Our population density just isn't suited to rail.
SD26: Over here in Japan, the prices on many items are set to increase next year. These are based on percents, fixed costs, and a couple other ways. End result is the same though... I get to pay more for everything. Oh, to put things in perspective... I pay about $1.50 for a liter of milk here. That works out to a little under $6.00 for a gallon. When was the last time you paid anywhere near that? Oh, and this is just average run of the mill cheapo milk. Nothing fancy. You make do though, and life goes on. Out of curiosity, what are you paying now for a gallon? I used to be able to pick one up for about $1.80 a couple years ago.
Milk? Well, I don't do all the shopping all the time, and I'm not a milk guy.
But, it wasn't so long ago, two years ago, that a lot of stores would offer "a free gallon of milk" with a $20 purchase. Well, we don't have that anymore. I know that a gallon of chocolate milk is over $5 now, where it was about $3. I wanna say that milk is just above $3 a gallon. Again, nothing special, just plain ol' no name, least expensive milk in the fridge.
I agree that the US population isn't suited to rail. People are mobile, and they work at different places or have to carry stuff to work. Lots of manufacturing isn't around anymore either, so that makes it less likely that there will be people that need to be transported to a factory or something.
I've spent some time in Chicago, and I've used the trains there. I like it when I need it, which has been about nine times. Oh, and they need a $1 Billion dollar upgrade so it's being reported. As an investment, I'd rather they do something to the roads there. I use those freqently, as do others, and it would do more for local and interstate commerce.
if you look at fuel consumption you see that since diesel has more torque its fuel consumption is RELATIVELY speaking lower in a bigger car. I don't mean, of course, that you should buy a bigger car but if you HAVE TO buy a bigger car diesel would be a good choice..
ah yes, poor planing on their part... rail IS a much better way to move things but it's poor planing that keeps it from working, then look at the state of Oregon, great public transit, great rail transit for goods, why does it work for them and not the rest of us? urbon growth boundries, just like this thred started out saying, people don't plan ahead, and when it bites them in the *** they whine, if more cities/states had anti-sprawl laws we would all have a better life.
I am personally with landon on this. The Lupo with a three cylinder TDi would make a nice addition to my garage that currently contains a 2005 Prius and a 1998 Jetta TDi. In fact, it would blow these two top performing (in the US at least) cars out of the water. It is a shame that we have to be content with cars like the Prius and TDi-equipped large VW offerings while our neighbors on the other side of the Atlantic are getting cars that give 80mpg+ off the dealer's lot.
While niiloma is on the right track, diesel-fueled engines are not ONLY good for applications in large vehicles. They help ANY size vehicle to achieve better FE. Look at the Tiguan offerings to see how this works in big trucks. Look at some of the offerings in Europe (maker really doesn't matter) to see how this applies to small cars.
Whether diesel is the right choice or not, it only makes sense to put more of these cars on the market and let people buy them if they want them.
Perhaps one could build a LUPO. Get a Golf gasser then do a swap with the Lupo engine / trans?
OMG! Wait don't do that! It won't meet EPA standards. The engine will put out more NOx per gallon than the US version of a Golf TDI. Let's see the Golf TDI does around 0.052 g/mi of particulate matter [PM] and 0.82 g/mi of NOx.
Ok, let's say the Lupo is double that! (I doubt it) But it consumes half the fuel for the same distance. Hey, wouldn't that make it even with the Golf TDI?
Seriously, I say total BS. Freakin retards in the EPA and GOV.
Bring in the cars/trucks that get double the average FE then mix in 5% BioDiesel. That would reduce the overall fuel consumption, lower emissions, save consumers $, boost car sales, put people to work, maybe even boost the economy. It's a win / win.