With the release of the 2013 Cayenne Diesel, manufactured by Porsche, the US will get its first taste of the popular European car that runs on diesel fuel. The Cayenne Diesel, which has been sold in Europe since 2009, has undergone an upgrade in order to pass US emissions standards. It may sound strange that a diesel car has passed emissions standards, but this is yet another strand in the web of bringing more fuel-efficient cars to the fore. The emission-reducing feature in the Cayenne is known as SCR, or selective catalytic reduction. SCR uses the car’s catalytic converter and diesel exhaust fluid to reduce the vehicle’s emissions.
How is Diesel Fuel Efficient?
When it comes to efficiency and expense, diesel fuel has proven more advantageous than standard gasoline. This is due to the energy density of the fuel. The higher energy density in diesel means that the fuel provides more energy to an engine than the same amount of standard gas. Diesel also burns hotter than standard gasoline, which results in energy-efficient fuel combustion. So, a car that runs on diesel fuel gets more miles to the gallon than a standard gas-powered car.
Trucks have been utilizing diesel exhaust fluid for years, but the technology has only recently been engineered for consumer vehicles. The energy-efficiency of the Cayenne Diesel’s engine doesn’t just save on immediate fuel needs, it saves on the amount of fuel the vehicle will use over its lifetime. This helps conserve resources overall, a major boon to a world that is running low on fossil fuels. Add to that the reduced emissions provided by SCR, and the Cayenne Diesel becomes even more environmentally friendly.
Energy-Efficiency and Eco-Consciousness
Time will tell, but one of the biggest potential advantages to the release of the Cayenne Diesel in the US isn’t the car itself, but what the car represents. The US has been slow in adapting to the dwindling resources and changing needs of the environment when it comes to the automobile industry. The release of the Cayenne Diesel to the market forces other car manufacturers to compete, which could result in the introduction of new – possibly even more fuel-efficient and eco-conscious – cars to the market.
In the US, a lot of people are on the playing field when it comes to new car technology. The car manufacturers that could work on technology to reduce fuel consumption are up against oil companies, which thrive on the public’s need for auto fuels. Both car manufacturers and oil companies have their lobbyists working to sway the government, the government hasn’t been putting ample pressure on American car companies, or those companies who produce American imports, to make more eco-friendly vehicles.
With each new fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicle, the public becomes more aware of the technology available. As the public becomes more aware of the technology that already exists to increase miles driven per gallon and reduce emissions, without reducing the car’s power or speed capabilities, they may begin to demand more fuel-efficient vehicle options.
Porsche’s Cayenne Diesel – priced above many middle-class Americans’ price point for a new vehicle – may not change the way US car manufacturers, oil companies and the government views vehicle manufacturing, but the increased exposure of such an efficient, clean-burning diesel vehicle may at least be a waypoint along the road to more reasonably priced and available diesels in the U.S..