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Study Shows Diesel Engines Recuperate Extra Cost Quickly

Carnegie Mellon University has released a study of diesel engines that show they recuperate their extra cost quickly.

In a study released at the Washington Auto Show, the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business showed that purchasers of diesel engines could recuperate the extra cost of their purchase within 18 months because of greater fuel efficiency and end up with vehicles worth up to 30 percent more than their gas-engine equivalents.

The study was funded by Bosch, which manufacturers clean diesel fuel injection systems for passenger cars, light-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Carnegie Mellon said at a press conference that Bosch funded the study to get real-world data to validate the fiscal advantages of diesel engines.

"It's been generally known that diesel vehicles typically post lower operating costs because of their increased fuel economy. But that's only one element of the equation. Our study considered a vehicle's initial price and resale value along with other operating and maintenance costs."

The study made additional findings (not all related to diesel engines):

  • For passenger cars, the Volkswagen clean diesel technology and the Toyota Prius retain a greater percentage of initial purchase price than conventional gas vehicles
  • For trucks, the diesel engines retain a higher percentage of their initial price than the gas options with the exception of the Ford F250
  • As cabin size increases, more trucks are installed with diesel engines, which, not surprisingly, retain a greater portion of their total price.

Even though the study was funded by a company that makes clean diesel fuel injection systems, it's still fairly accurate in showing a diesel vehicle will recuperate its extra cost quickly and start saving an owner money.