Reader Question: The Future of Diesel?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Charlie asks: I impulsively bought a Ford F-150 diesel on a year end close out without much research – including DEF issues and fuel costs. I have some buyers remorse after reality hit me. What do you think is the future of diesels in America and in California?

My reply: In two words… not good.

Diesel engines have already been effectively banned from passenger cars via regulations which have all but erased their efficiency advantages while raising their costs such that it’s not worth buying them – which make it not worth building the. Diesel-powered trucks are still being offered, of course – but I wonder for how much longer. Their buy-in cost is titanic (generally, a $4,000 or so “package,” as you have come to know) and their ownership cost is higher due to higher fuel costs as well as additional costs, such as DEF and also more over-the-road maintenance costs now that they’re electronically injected, just like gas engines.

Also, gas engines now approximate the torque output of light-duty diesel engines, which eats away at their towing advantages.

I also expect states like CA – and then the Federal Clovers – to impose new taxes and restrictions on diesels, including those already in service. This won’t happen right away, but the chances of it happening within the next five years are pretty high – especially if the Orange Man isn’t re-elected  and, somehow, the “climate change” cult can be disbanded or at least marginalized and the remaining adherents treated like the Hare Krishnas which they are.

So, what to do? Well, you’ve already paid for it and the initial depreciation. So I’d drive it for awhile longer if it were me. And the good news in re depreciation is that trucks usually hold their value better than cars, too – so you hanging on to it for awhile longer shouldn’t cost you too much that way.

And there’s much to be said for refusing to be voluntarily “nudged” out of vehicles like your F-150 and into an electric Turducken – far worse in every way as regards cost/value, longevity, etc.

Let’s make the bastards try to take our non-electric vehicles away. Maybe enough of us will get mad – and maybe something will get done!

. . .

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  1. I need to get my shit together and start collecting oil from local eateries “for nothing” since it costs them to have it taken away. Biodiesel has a good sound. A heater for the fuel tank isn’t a killer for cheap fuel.


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