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  1. #41

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    I like my hybrid car.
    With last winter's mild Georgia weather I averaged in the upper 50's MPG. Now that Spring is here i'm back to averaging lower 60's.

    Last summer averaged 65MPG with one single tank going 941 miles!

    Lately I leave for work and drive 45 miles into Atlanta and usually get low 60's MPG almost all freeway.
    On the way home (2:00AM) is nearly abandoned freeways/roads and am really able to stretch it to upper 60's to low 70's MPG by exiting the freeway 1/2 way and taking the side roads.

    I drive about 600 miles/week and fill up every 8-9 days (13-14 gallons)

    This has really taken the sting out of higher fuel prices.

    My car has 65,000 miles on it and runs-drives as good as the day I drove it off the lot.

    In my area diesel access is almost completely limited to every few freeway exits. For example the side road I'll pass at least 14 fueling stations, zero sell diesel.
    I've never seen a biodiesel station.

    I would have bought a diesel car instead of my Honda Civic Hybrid back in January 2004 except for:
    *VW seems to be the leader in affordable diesel autos but didn't want to take the chance given their terrible breakdown/repair record.
    *Didn't want to find myself in the dead of night and out of fuel parked right in a "gas" station.
    *Didn't want to take the serious hit in MPG
    *Didn't want to take the chance in all of the above and pay more for the car.

    Who's cleaner?
    It always irks me while we're stopped at a light and the 4-inch exhaust pipe from a F-150 diesel is pumping toxic fumes against my drivers window glass...while my engine isn't even running.

    I've heard Honda might sell a diesel, which I'd consider in something like a minivan.

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  3. #42

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    A few more arguments in favor of diesels:

    1) They are available with a sunroof! NO hybrid is available with a sunroof.

    2) The battery packs cost upwards of $6000 every six years. And how hard will it be to dispose of it?

    3) I heard that firefighters actually refuse to rescue people out of hybrids.

    4) Of course, you don't get anywhere NEAR the EPA ratings. Diesels come closer.

    5) Diesels last FOREVER and have lots of torque

    I tend to value saving fuel over less emissions since the latter is more reversible than running out of oil. Also, the battery issue actually makes the case AGAINST hybrids' environmental-friendliness

  4. #43

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    1)True. NO diesels are available with fuel saving CVT's.

    2)Batteries should last the life of the car. 10yr/150K warranty. The 6yr/6000 is made-up.
    They are recycled. Nimh is non-toxic.

    Perhaps you were refering to an article which claimed that high voltage cables ran through the doors and roof?

    4)Honda Hybrids come within a few MPG of EPA, but are capable of far exceeding. See my previous post.
    Some diesels don't make it either.

    5)Wild unsubstantiated claims regarding diesel longevity won't advance your ideas.

  5. #44

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    The record for highest mileage is something like 2.4 million miles on a diesel mercedes-benz from the 70's (the excellent w123). It is used as a taxi in Greece.

    Also, does anybody know if the 79 cutlass supreme diesel was available with t-tops (the gas versions were)?

    My mercedes-benz w116 diesel from 1979 has approximately 330,176 miles on it. I bought it last year with about 227,228 miles. I installed a greasecar system at 254,112 miles. It has a sunroof.

    I also have a 77 conversion van diesel. It has a TV, DVD player, swiveling captain's chairs better than the furniture I got at home, a fridge, a folding bed, and two fuel tanks (it came with two) plus the one from greasecar. I can't really tell the mileeage of the van since the odometer only has five digits (the mbz has six digits). However, it reads 99176.

    I get the used oil from a restaurant I eat at reguarly.

    Diesels will be cleaner now that low-sulfur diesel is available. The old stuff was probably what was holding diesles back the most from meeting emissions standards.

  6. #45

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    Also, only the two-seat Insight is available with a manual transmission, which saves even MORE fuel (the previous civic hybrid had one, too but they stopped offering it).

  7. #46

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    I don't understand why Hybrids would be more poluting that biodiesel. Wouldn't biodiesel result in the same emissions that regular diesel has?


  8. #47

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    no, actually biodiesel's major advantage over petro diesel (aside form being renewable), is that it reduces emissons (particularly carcinogens) 60-90%.

    theres a lot of info on our website, simplefuels.com, about bd.

    in my mind, theres no contest, both BD and hybrids get 45-50 mpg, but biodiesel is renewable fuel, and hybrids are just a way of keeping people hooked on the petro junk.jami

  9. #48

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?


    Unfortunately, it isn't clear that there is enough biomass on the planet to fuel the US, Europe, China, and India's future demands for vehicular transportation. We'll need to improve efficiency as well and the only clear way to do that is with hybrids. The diesel (preferrably bio-diesel) plug-in (to allow use of other alternative energy sources) hybrid seems like the best solution to the world's needs that we presently know.
    Lets please not fight among the alternatives when in reality, all are needed.

  10. #49

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    Hey, the world is overpopulated and getting worse by the day, so I can assure you there will be PLENTY of biomass to go around, AND regular diesel can still be used, or any combo of the two. And regular diesel is now low-sulfur.

    As far as hybrids go, I don't think a diesel-hybrid would be feasible because diesel engines shouldn't be stopped and started repeatedly. As far as regular hybrids go, they should be E85 flex-fuel capable, and I heard they are trying to do so with the Ford Escape hybrid.

  11. #50

    Hybrids versus biodiesel; who's cleaner?

    Diesels win all the way around, EXCEPT in short-trip city driving. There a hybrid wins on emissions.

    Both fueled with petroleum.

    If you fuel the diesel with BIODiesel (100%) then the diesel wins period, because it has zero Carbon-cycle net emissions, where ALL petro fuels have long-cycle carbon emissions to the tune of about 22lbs/gallon of fuel consumed.

    Hybrids lose in highway driving because they suffer a weight penalty and weight = rolling resistance = lower economy. The weight penalty comes from the battery pack and extra drivetrain components and cannot be avoided.

    In city driving the hybrid wins because it recaptures some of the energy normally lost to braking and uses it to accelerate back to speed.


    Guys, this is a matter of thermodynamics and no amount of arm-waving changes it. Spark-ignition engines lose to compression-ignition due to throttling losses which cannot be avoided at part-throttle (which is where basically all gas engines spend their life) and no amount of armwaving can fix this. Diesel fuel also has a BTU content advantage over gasoline which, once again, cannot be gotten around.

    I own a TDI and have never seen a tank under 40mpg. Ever. My combined cycle driving yields a consistent 43-46mpg (tracked via Excel spreadsheet over the life of the car!) with highway mileage frequently exceeding 50mpg.

    All that in a car I LIKE to drive and with real cargo capacity - its a wagon, you see, and has the interior volume of a Volvo XC.

    Hybrids lose badly in an honest comparison, especially if you fuel with biodiesel.

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