Monday, September 08, 2008

The Ford 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic gets 65 mpg!

I want one! But you can't buy them in America, only in Europe:

The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have
If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon.


"We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.


Diesel vehicles now hitting the market with pollution-fighting technology are as clean or cleaner than gasoline and at least 30% more fuel-efficient.

Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. Add to this the success of the Toyota Prius, and you can see why only 3% of cars in the U.S. use diesel. "Americans see hybrids as the darling," says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, "and diesel as old-tech."


The question, of course, is whether the U.S. ever will embrace diesel fuel and allow automakers to achieve sufficient scale to make money on such vehicles. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) When we lived in San Francisco, some neighbors on our street, a lesbian couple who were very Green, bought a diesel car. We were shocked; wasn't diesel a smelly, high pollution fuel? We were surprised when they told us "no". They explained that they had done a lot of research, and ultimately decided that a car running on "clean diesel" was the best way to be both Green and economical.

When we moved here to Oregon, we began thinking about getting a diesel car. But as gas prices rose, we were horrified to see the price of diesel go even higher still. That pretty much nixed the idea.

So I have to ask: Why are we adding extra taxes to a fuel that's more efficient than regular gas? Why are we turning corn into fuel, when we already have a more efficient fuel right under our noses? Why aren't we making clean diesel, something we already know how to do, instead of regular gasoline, and promoting it's use?

Read the whole article to see all the details of why we can't have this car here in the US. Ford can't afford to do it the way things are now. But if we stop adding extra taxes to clean diesel, and start promoting it (instead of the ethanol boondoggle, which is wasteful and inefficient) we can create friendlier conditions that make clean diesel viable and practical.

It's time we start doing things that make sense. 65 mpg! I really do want one. It's within our reach, if we promote clean diesel. What are we waiting for?

Related Links:

McCain, Corn and Ethanol Mandates

Ford Motor Company changes production plans

Ethanol and high food prices: the warnings were there years ago, but very few listened


Brazzle said...

If the issue is freeing America from foreign oil, independent of what a gallon of fuel costs, then owning one of these new Fords and running it on B99 or B100 Biodiesel is the answer. If Ford would make it available in the United States I think they would be shocked how many people picked them up and ran them on Biodiesel. The 65 MPG would help to defray the higher price per gallon.

Walker said...

In this part of the country, you can always tell who has a diesel truck or car because it idles in the parking lot of stores (or even work parking lots ALL DAY).

Diesels have one problem: They don't start in the cold.

Brazzle said...

Good Point.

We don't have enough biodiesel supply to provide fuel for all 50 states anyway, so the Northern Tier states can keep running gasoline, and we can still put a huge dent in the amount of foreign oil we are using.