US Can't Have Ford's 65-MPG Car

US shuns hyper-efficient diesel vehicle
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2008 1:34 PM CDT
Two new Ford Fiesta is shown at the 78th Geneva International Motor Show, March 4, 2008. A diesel version of the car will soon hit dealerships in Europe; the US will get a less-efficient model.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Sandro Campardo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Ford may be best-known for its fuel-guzzling trucks and SUVs, but this November it’s releasing the Fiesta ECOnetic, a sporty subcompact that gets an astonishing 65 miles-per-gallon, BusinessWeek reports. There’s just one catch: It’s not being sold in the US. “We know it’s an awesome vehicle,” says Ford’s president. “But there are business reasons why we can’t sell it.” The biggie: It runs on diesel.

For years, European automakers have been touting “clean diesel,” the end result of  new technology that makes diesel cars at least as clean, and 30% more efficient, than their gasoline counterparts. In fact, half of all cars sold in Europe last year run on diesel. But Ford still fears America will shun the fuel, which can cost up to $1 more per gallon thanks to truck-targeted taxes. Foreign automakers are betting the opposite, however; if they’re right, Ford could wind up playing catch-up on its home turf. (Read more diesel stories.)