In Europe, especially Germany, diesel engines are quite popular. The oil-burning combustion motors get far better fuel mileage and the price of fuel in the country is some 20% cheaper than gasoline – thanks to lower taxes.
With fuel prices today at the lowest level they’ve been in quite some time, German motorists are once again enjoying the low-cost motoring and are thus more inclined to take extra trips with dem Auto. Lately the price of diesel fuel has even dipped below 1 euro per liter (about $4.30 a US gallon) – in heavily taxed Europe a real bargain compared to a just a few years ago.
But not everyone is happy about the low fuel prices. Yesterday Spiegel opined on the falling diesel prices, complaining that “the low-cost fuel is no reason to celebrate“, warning that “for the low cost diesel, we are going to pay a heavy price“. This is typical of the German media. As soon as something good happens, they have to find a way to rain all over it.
Why does Spiegel think this is going to cost a “heavy price”? The center-left flagship weekly thinks the extra driving that Germans will do as a result of the low prices is going to cause more emissions of dangerous “cancer-causing” fine particles and nitrous oxide, which in turn of course will cost “human lives”.
Ridiculously Spiegel uses smog-choked China as an example as to why Germans are going to die from higher emissions. In reality, German smog is only a small fraction of a small fraction of Chinese smog, and so Germans aren’t at all concerned about a few particles.
Those in favor of cheap diesel outnumber those against it by a margin of 2 – 1!
For now Germans are quite content with the latest diesel fuel price trend, just as an online poll of its readers that accompanies the story now shows. So far as of 8:20 p.m. CET, some 95,000 readers have answered their one-question survey question:
Diesel is cheaper than it’s been in a long time. What’s your opinion on this?
The result: Over 60% say that this is good news for motorists or that the fuel should be even cheaper.
Less than one third say diesel fuel should be more expensive. This is hardly good news for the environmental activists.
Overall even green-conscious Germans prefer low cost fossil-fuel diesel by a margin of 2 to 1! Of course this is not a scientific survey. Yet the results show that people are generally fine with the low fuel prices. Electric cars face yet another obstacle.