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September 2012 Power Bits Diesel Industry News

Bio Diesel, New Apps, and New Diesels

Text By Tori Tellem

Free Fuel from Ram Trucks (500 Gallons!)
Ram Trucks is giving away fuel. How much? See above. That’s the grand prize, 500 gallons, and there are weekly prizes for 32 gallons (it’s a promo for the ’13 Ram 1500, which can hold that many gallons). Don’t worry, no one shows up at your house with containers of fuel; win the grand prize and you get a $3,000 Visa gift card. The 100 first prizes of 32 gallons will be in the form of a $192 Visa gift card. Go to Ramtrucks.com/gallonguarantee to enter. The sweepstakes ends on September 1.

Rumor of the Moment:
The Volvo V60 diesel plug-in hybrid is going for around $80,000 in Europe. It’s coming to the United States in 2013.

Men Are From Mars— or a Place with Flashy Cars— Women Are From Somewhere Else
A demographic study on car-buying habits was undertaken by Truecar.com, which learned that yet again, women and men never align. For example, 13 of the top 20 brands in 2011 with the most male buyers were exotic or luxury, and GMC and Dodge both had huge jumps in male buyers. The VW Beetle had more male buyers in 2011. But 16 of the top 20 brands last year with the highest percent of female buyers were imports. Women went after Mini, Nissan, and Kia, as well as small, fuel-efficient cars, while men swung the other way, wanting fast cars or heavy-duty trucks.

Cummins Expands
Cummins is growing its Seymour Engine Plant in Indiana—it’s investing $219 million in new construction and 290 more jobs. New warehouses, more engineering and production test cells, and a new manufacturing facility for aftertreatment components for its high-horse engines are among the plan. In other Cummins news, it will be producing dual-fuel engines ranging from 800 to 3,500 hp. The company says that by default the engine will run on diesel, then the driver can switch it to run on a blend of diesel and natural gas.

Isuzu D-Max
This all-new pickup packs 160 hp and 295 lb-ft of twist in its 2.5L twin-turbo engine and is available as single-, extended-, and double-cab configurations. There are three special packages: Eiger, Yukon, and Utah editions. Its wheelbase is 121 inches and towing capacity is around 6,600 pounds. Coming to the U.S.?

Best Diesel Fuel Ever Made?
Neste Oil is launching a new grade of diesel fuel called Neste Pro Diesel. It’s debuting in Finland and will meet the most stringent diesel specifications within the Worldwide Fuel Charter by auto manufacturers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. It’s said to reduce fuel consumption by up to 5 percent—no matter what kind of vehicle it’s in or how it’s being driven.

Trucker Tools App
This app can be found at the iTunes App Store, and while its handiness of alerting you to nearby truck stops and about promos on foods and services at them may not be appealing, it will help you find the lowest diesel price, which is appealing. And it’s free, also appealing.

Diesel Porsche Cayenne
Looks like the ’13 diesel Cayenne from Porsche will have a 3.0L V-6 and eight-speed trans, making 240 horses and 406 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city, 28 highway, equaling around 740 miles on one tank. Another estimate? Pricing around $55,000.

“Would you drive a diesel? #auto #Kia”
— Kia Motors America Public Relation’s Facebook page. As we went to press, the question had 67 likes.

Mean Green Sets World Record
Mean Green, the Volvo hybrid featuring an electric motor and the automaker’s D16 diesel (albeit it a super-tuned version, making more than 2,100 hp and about 5,000 lb-ft of torque), has set new world speed records: flying kilometer (147.002 mph) and standing kilometer (153.252 mph). It beat its own previous records of 135.943 mph and 152.253, respectively. MG, as we think maybe its friends call it, has a Volvo VN cab and frame and other Volvo components.

Trash to Diesel
Members of the Economic Development Commission in Columbus County in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are mulling over the concept of turning trash into diesel fuel, according to Fayobserver.com. The proposal from Standard Oil International is for a $20 to $40 million plant to do the deed. It’s said the project could save the county $800,000 annually—the amount spent to haul away trash for burial.

Nailing Diesel Trucks in New York State
We read a press release with a bit of an odd segue: “To mark the end of Earth Day celebrations last week, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released the results of the agency’s statewide clean air initiative, a week-long crackdown on smoke-spewing diesel trucks in checkpoint operations across New York.” Anyway…following hundreds of inspections, the DEC issued 206 tickets as part of its “Stop Smoking Initiative for Trucks and Buses,” and ticket-hander-outers hung around heavy truck traffic areas.

Rumor of the Moment:
Are all passenger vehicles going to have mandated black boxes like airplanes as soon as the 2015 model year?

VW Passat Sets Diesel Distance Record
The previous record for the most miles driven on a single tank of diesel? It’s 1,526.6 in Europe, via a VW Passat BlueMotion. Record-setters? John and Helen Taylor. The new record for most miles driven on a single tank of diesel? It’s 1,626.1 from Houston to Sterling, Virginia, via a Passat 2.0L TDI. Record-breakers? John and Helen Taylor. Where do we sign up to get their lives?

Ford to Put Money in Seat Cushions?
To get away from petroleum-based products (petroleum is used to make plastic), Ford is researching more types of sustainable materials, including paper currency out of service and pre-shredded. The Blue Oval already uses denim, soybeans, coconuts, dandelions, and water bottles in its vehicles.

Diesel Bits
The EPA has $20 million in grant funding available for the 2012 fiscal year for clean-diesel projects.

While we’re at it, the California Energy Commission awarded more than $15 million in grant cash to projects destined to advance biofuels in California. For example, New Leaf Biofuel will get $511,934 to expand its existing biodiesel facility.

Really? Stability control may soon become law for commercial trucks, buses, and other big rides.

Mercedes-Benz USA was named one of the best places to work in New Jersey.

The Railway Association of Canada has applauded the Central Manitoba Railway for its biodiesel fuel-blending solution that lets customers precision-blend traditional diesel with biodiesel.

Is this vehicle underappreciated? Cars.com named the 10 vehicles it thinks are underrated, and the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen made the cut.

And: Playboy has named the VW Beetle one of the 25 greatest cars of all time.

Only 32,310 people died in 2011 in traffic accidents. Hey, we can say “only,” because that’s the lowest figure since 1949.

Apparently, rants and threats by people in government positions about how there should be a law against cell phone use while driving have run into a tiny, itsy bitsy problem: No one knows which government agency is allowed to set such a law.

As of Willie Nelson’s birthday on April 30, fuel at Pacific Biodiesel’s Maui pump is designated BioWillie biodiesel.

By Tori Tellem
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