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24 percent more drivers go diesel

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Posted: 11 am ET

Diesel cars and pickups are definitely catching on across the U.S. There has been a 24 percent increase in diesel car and pickup registrations from 2010 to 2012, according to the Diesel Technology Forum, which analyzed car registrations collected by R.L. Polk and Co.

Diesel car, pickup and sport utility vehicle registrations increased from 640,779 in 2010 to 796,794 at the end of 2012, a 24.34 percent increase. The increase is dramatic, since total vehicle registrations increased by just 2.75 percent over the same time period.


The Diesel Technology Forum noted that the fastest growth purchasing diesel cars and SUVs over the last two years occurred in California with 55 percent, Massachusetts with 45 percent and New York with 43 percent. The fastest growth of diesel pickup trucks during the same time period occurred in Montana with 10 percent, Nebraska and Maine with 9 percent, and Pennsylvania with 8 percent.

While those states have the fastest growth of diesel vehicles being purchased and registered in the state, the state with the highest number of diesel passenger-vehicle registrations in 2012 was Texas with 775,395 vehicles, followed distantly by California with 572,303 vehicles and even more distantly by Florida with 292,692 vehicles.

The number of diesel cars, pickups and SUVs will more than double within the next two years as automakers work to meet the new 54.5 mpg fuel-efficiency standards. Currently, there are 27 diesel vehicles available for sale in the U.S.

Do you own a diesel vehicle? What made you make the switch?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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not a math geek
February 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm

The title is misleading in that it implies that 24% of all car owners switched while in truth there was only a 24% increase in the total number of diesel owners. So, "IF" 5% of all car owners owned diesels in the base year, that would be a WHOPPING increase of all car owners! I said "IF" because none of the articles on Google's first page of hits showed the true percentage of total car owners that own diesels. I for one would like to see the real percentage for all car owners and not more hype.

While the cost of diesel fuel is higher, so is its energy content and that is how energy should be sold, adjusted for the cost of providing the fuel in that form (e.g. how much crude does it take to make plus storage & distribution costs).

Golf TDI
May 03, 2013 at 11:16 am

I have 11,000 miles on my 2012 Golf TDI. It is so much fun to drive with the 6-speed manual mated to the turbocharged 2.0 liter diesel. Plus I've never averaged less than 40mpg on a tank of gas.

Enos W. C. Darling, II
May 01, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Diesel power is surperb in all aspect of driving compared to gasoline. Ford F250 Superduty 7.3L has out performed my F250 5.4L triton in all aspect of drivability or fuel consumption per miles, loaded, unloaded or innercity or highway driving.'chipout'7.3L... Dodge 5.9L or 6.7L is no match for 7.3L or the Chevy duramax in any aspect.

May 01, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I also have a 2003 ram diesel. Love my truck and get 15.5 mpg city, 17.5 mpg @73 mph and 21mpg @ 60mph. Pulling a 13500# 5th wheel we will get 12 mpg. A friend with the same truck in gas never got over 12 mpg city or highway and 8 mpg with a 9500# fifth wheel. Looking for a big three, suv or cross over vehicle in diesel for the wife with no luck. Not happy!!!! Just do not understand why diesel is more expensive than gas. It was $.40 cheaper than gas when I bought the truck and is less expensive to produce. It is still less expensive in Europe. Just another scam by the gas companies that the government allows.

Sparky 575
May 01, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I own a 2009 VW Jetta TDI. 200k+ miles. I chose a diesel for the mileage and longevity diesel engines are known for. When I bought my Jetta it was the only Diesel sedan on the market in my budget. If had to make the decision again I would choose the Jetta.

Grant Sampier
May 01, 2013 at 7:38 pm

I have a 2012 dodge 3500 diesel truck... formerly owned a 1999 dodge V-10 2500... love the difference in mileage, I get 14-16 towing my 10300 lb fifth wheel(18-23 solo), and before I got maybe 7-8 mpg while towing with the gas, and a whole lot more power also, 800 ft lbs torque compared to 460 ft lbs with the gas V-10... both great trucks, but love my diesel dodge! here in colorado, today, diesel is only .12 cents higher than regular!