American motorists have a particularly good reason to celebrate the New Year, unleaded regular gasoline averaging barely $2.40 a gallon across the country, according to federal data, as low as the price has been in more than half a decade.
But not everyone is sharing in the good news. The relatively small number of motorists – along with the nation’s truckers — who depend on diesel are paying an average of $3.28 a gallon, according to the most recent survey by the Energy Information Administration. That figure did mark a decline of nearly 60 cents since the beginning of 2014, but was nowhere near the 87-cent plunge in gas prices.
And there are signs that the widening cost gap is starting to short circuit the nascent comeback of the diesel market. Demand for so-called clean diesels had been growing a significantly faster rate than the overall U.S. automotive recovery through mid-2014, but sales are beginning to slip as lower gas prices offset the higher mileage diesels offer.