I said in an earlier blog that I was a Ford guy. Today I think I am changing my identity a bit. I think I am starting to consider myself a Diesel guy. I drive a gas-powered F-150 every day and keep thinking about what my fuel costs are going to be this summer. I would sure love to have a small diesel-powered car to commute with. Unfortunately being in California, it doesn’t look like that will be available to me anytime soon. The only readily-available diesels in this Left Coast state are full-size trucks. I can’t quite justify the purchase of a diesel pickup right now, and even if I did, I don’t think I would be saving much in fuel costs. I am currently getting 14-16 MPG at a fuel cost of around $2.40/gal (and that’s optimistic), which works out to an operating cost of about 16 cents a mile. Our Test Group Manager commutes in a Duramax dually and reports an average of about 18 miles to the gallon. At a fuel cost of $2.50/gal, that’s a little less than 14 cents a mile. A savings indeed, but not quite enough to justify the purchase of a $40,000 vehicle in my situation.
Now what if there was a diesel-powered car for around $13,500 that got around 55 MPG? That brings us down to 4-1/2 cents per mile. Now we’re talking. That car is available in Canada. It’s the Smart car. We had an opportunity to drive one that Bosch brought to the states for show-and-tell. It was cool, but so far, it’s not available here. I say, bring them on! With that car, I would be a full-fledged card carrying Diesel guy.