Diesel fuel dips below gasoline price in more than 20 states

(July 31, 2015) WASHINGTON, D.C. — With diesel fuel prices dipping to the lowest levels since 2009 the U.S. vehicle market is prime for potential market increases as several new 2016 clean diesel cars and pickup trucks prepare to hit showrooms in the coming months, according to Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Last week, AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report indicated that diesel fuel was cheaper than regular gasoline in 21 states and significantly cheaper than midgrade and premium gasoline.  Today, California is the state with the largest gap as diesel is 70 cents cheaper per gallon than regular gasoline.

“The major decreases in diesel prices have emerged at a perfect time for drivers as almost 20 new clean diesel cars and pickup trucks are preparing to enter the U.S. market,” Schaeffer said.  “And when you combine the lower cost of diesel fuel along with its 20 to 40 percent higher fuel efficiency than gasoline, clean diesel vehicles make more economic sense for buyers than ever.

“These low diesel prices are also great news for America’s truckers, farmers and construction firms.  With 98 percent of all heavy-duty trucks in the U.S. running on diesel the price drop is having a major positive impact on the transportation of goods and agricultural production.”

To further highlight the economic benefits of clean diesel vehicles, Schaeffer noted that a University of Michigan study released this month “found that the total cost of ownership — depreciation, fuel costs, repairs, maintenance, insurance, and fees and taxes — is often much less for diesel vehicles as compared to gasoline versions of the same vehicles, mostly ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 over three-to-five years.”

“We currently have a new generation of clean diesel passenger vehicles with proven real world fuel efficiency,” Schaeffer said.  “These vehicles are clean with low CO2 emissions, they provide great performance, they are renewable fuel-ready and most important they are available to the American public right now.

“Clean diesel is not a ‘bridge’ concept or ‘down-the-road’ expectation – these vehicles are on the road right now providing impressive hybrid-like mileage and meeting the same emissions standards as gasoline vehicles.”

According to research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, diesel cars and pickups are expected to make up about seven percent of the market by 2020 saving almost eight million tons of carbon emissions and about 24 million barrels of crude oil.

“Low diesel fuel prices that come in under already-low gasoline prices are sure the send signals to interested car and truck buyers to consider the diesel option,” Schaeffer said.  “More new clean diesel cars and trucks will help improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions and promote energy independence.”