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Five Facts About Diesel

NACS explains why diesel historically costs more than gasoline and provides other key takeaways.
July 6, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The diesel vehicle emissions scandals a few years ago led many industry analysts to predict that diesel engines, and by association diesel fuel, would disappear—at least with respect to the U.S. light-duty vehicle market.

And as other countries move to ban diesel vehicles from certain metropolitan areas, or attempt to shift consumers away from diesel vehicles altogether, the future for diesel fuel may appear bleak. However, the market for diesel-powered vehicles has recovered in the United States, and consumer interest remains steady.

At the NACS Fuels Resource Center, “Key Facts About Diesel” offers five takeaways about the diesel fuel and vehicles market in the United States, including three factors as to why diesel fuel historically has been more expensive than gasoline.

The Fuels Institute found in a 2017 consumer survey that interest in diesel was limited, but not because of emissions scandals. Nearly half (45%) of potential car buyers said they were very or somewhat likely to consider buying a vehicle equipped with a diesel engine. This matches the number of consumers so inclined in 2016 and is higher than any time during the prior three years.

For those interested in diesel-equipped vehicles, the dominant reasons were economic, with better fuel economy far outpacing any other positively identified attribute, per the Fuels Institute survey. And this has been consistent since the Fuels Institute began asking the question. Possibly reflecting the fact that the current light-duty market for vehicles equipped with diesel engines is dominated by pick-up trucks, men were much more inclined to consider a diesel-powered vehicle than women.

To help consumers and the media better understand the U.S. retailing fueling market, The Fuels Institute provides dozens of primers, white papers and infographics at the NACS Fuels Resource Center.