For 20 years there have been rumors about Cadillac releasing a new diesel engine, but with the hiring of Johan De Nysschen as their President (he was the President of Audi-USA and was responsible for bringing diesel Audi’s to the states many years ago) and the recent formal announcement, it looks like it will finally happen. This is a major statement about the status of drive trains for U.S. car makers. For nearly 100 years, Cadillac has lead the industry for innovations and technology selection and while they have been ever so slow – they have finally selected the best all-around drive train solution.
Finally, Cadillacs that are responsible regarding fuel consumption (compared with gasoline versions), have lower emissions (than gasoline versions) and will be far safer from fires and explosions (than gasoline, hybrid and EV versions). This announcement is a major milestone in the U.S. Migration to diesel powered vehicles.
Edmunds has published several articles over the past 3 years with the statistics for vehicle price recovery between diesel, hybrid and EV technologies over the traditional gasoline powered version of the same or similar vehicle. Typically, the purchase price of a diesel powered vehicle will be recouped in 2.5 years over a gasoline powered car, 7-9 years for a hybrid and literally never (far beyond the life-cycle of the car) for an EV (as the result of the higher purchase price and the $9K-$28K battery replacement cost). So while the diesel version is roughly $1,500-$3,500 more expensive to purchase, once you have owned the vehicle for 2.5 years and if your driving habits are in-line with national averages, the diesel model becomes less expensive to own and operate than the gasoline version. For those people who own and drive a vehicle for more than 5 years, a diesel powered vehicle is an incredible bargain – the lowest cost/mile in the market. Many diesel owners choose to drive their vehicles for more than 10 years as the typical diesel engine life-cycle is 200,000-500,000 miles. Longevity of a vehicle trumps virtually all other forms of “Green” and the combination of lower emissions than both a comparable gasoline and hybrid vehicle with this longer life cycle makes advanced diesel the environmentally friendly choice.
We find it amazing that the public is unaware that on average (over the past 10 years), 154,000 vehicles catch fire each year in the U.S. with hundreds of deaths and many thousands of injuries. The comparison between gasoline powered vehicles on fire/explode vs. diesel vehicles is 98% vs. 2%. We are dumbfounded why anyone still drives a gasoline powered vehicle.
The time-line for purchase in your local dealership is still a few years out as Cadillac has committed to developing their own diesel engines – both 4 and 6 cylinders for their entire line of vehicles. They also have stated that they will release their diesel powered vehicles in Europe before the U.S., but this long awaited decision will make the Cadillac Division competitive and profitable once again.
It is very simple really – 2nd generation feedstock sourced biodiesel is the only replacement for petroleum we currently have that is scalable, environmentally friendly, economically viable and truly sustainable. Therefore, we must migrate our vehicles to diesel engines to take advantage of this solution.