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Diesel image

I think a major factor is still the stinky, noisy, smoke producing image of a diesel Mercedes in the past and city buses in more recent times. Several people I've talked to still don't believe diesel passenger cars of today are just as clean, if not cleaner than their gasoline counterparts.

Another factor is that they can't tell the difference between horsepower and torque. People buy horsepower, but they want torque.

So, when it comes down to crunch time, people looking for performance, they saw the lower horsepower (but ignore the higher torque), slower acceleration times on diesel cars and the price premium -- they'd rather go with a price/performance of gasoline car. For those shopping for economy, they saw the comparable MPG, but still have that dirty image diesel of the past in mind, compare that with the image of electric-power futuristic miracles of a hybrid, which would they pick?

With regards to the "unfamiliarity with diesel", I'm sure, if people can learn to press a button to start a hybrid car, they can learn to put diesel fuel in their tank. I'm wondering whether the author him/herself knows anything about the difference between diesel and gasoline at all (whatever the difference the author was referring to), to suggest that as the reason for diesel's lack of popularity.
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