There was an article about a new turbo-diesel powered car from Honda in The Detroit News today. That was hailed as a breakthrough because Honda has always focused on gasoline-powered cars.
There was also an article about a new, turbo-diesel Mercedes in that same paper. The engine was praised for its power, economy and cleanliness.
The reason I bring this up is two-fold: 1) I had brought up the issue of turbo-diesels as a lower-cost, better performing, more durable alternative to ethanol (E-85) in a discussion yesterday and 2) I have written about this a couple of times in this weblog:
Sure, diesel fuel is oil based. But diesel engines can cut consumption significantly and be produced in large numbers by all manufactureres. That Mercedes is rated at 26 mpg city/37 mpg highway. Not bad for a larger car considering the numbers for that same car with a gasoline engine is 19/26. That's better than a 1/3 improvement in fuel economy... or a lot of barrels of oil.
And the key word here is clean.