U.S. Taxes Put Brakes on Ford’s 65 MPG Car

Ford Motor Company is set this fall to launch the Fiesta ECOnetic, a subcompact automobile that gets an astounding 65 miles per gallon, but the car will be sold only in Europe.

The problem is the new car runs on diesel fuel which the U.S. tax structure strongly discriminates against. As Business Week reports:

Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline.

Moreover, apparently environmentalists, governments, and consumers don’t much like diesel either:

“Americans see hybrids as the darling,” says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, “and diesel as old-tech.”

But will Americans continue to shun diesel if fuel prices keep skyrocketing?

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