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A 10-week streak of decreases in the price of on-highway diesel fuel was snapped this week as the national average rose 2 cents to $3.86 per gallon. However, the Department of Energy, which compiles the price data, has forecast that diesel prices will continue to fall.
According to this week’s price data, diesel prices are nearly 14 cents cheaper than they were a year ago at this time. And as our sister site Overdrive recently reported, the DOE’s Short Term Energy Outlook Report sees prices falling considerably over the next year and a half.
Due to sharp drops in crude oil per-barrel prices, the 2013 average diesel price is expected to finish at $3.92, 5 cents lower than the 2012 average. And in 2014, the DOE sees diesel dropping another 14 cents to an average of $3.78 per gallon.
Recently, consumer interest in diesel has sharply increased. Diesel car and SUV registrations rose 24 percent in the last two years and automakers are increasing the number of models available with a diesel option.
Diesel interest has surged as consumers look for more fuel-efficient options, but the biggest barrier to widespread adoption remains price—both the upfront additional cost of a diesel engine and the price at the pump.
It will be interesting to see if additional adoption of the fuel contributes to the DOE’s forecast of continued decreases, or vice versa.