WASHINGTON – If you drive a gas car, don’t snicker when you see another driver at the pump filling up with more costly diesel fuel.
A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study indicates the diesel driver is saving big bucks in the long run.
Nationwide, the price of diesel is averaging 26 cents a gallon higher than regular gasoline, yet diesel cars can be cheaper to own and operate than gas cars.
The study, funded by Bosch LLC, a manufacturer of diesel engines, estimates savings between $2,000 and $6,000 in total ownership costs in a three- to five- year period.
When computing total cost of ownership, the researchers included the price of fuel and vehicle miles per gallon, depreciation based on resale, maintenance and repairs, insurance, fees and taxes.
The government has ordered car makers to increase fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025.
Because diesel engines are more fuel efficient than gas engines, proponents of diesel believe diesel-powered vehicles will make up a growing segment of the U.S. fleet in the years ahead.