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  1. #101

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    Not true. Biodiesel emissions are extremely low, and lower in most categories than the emissions of gasoline powered vehicles. Additionally, given similar displacements, diesels will use less fuel per mile, and total output of pollutants will be less as well. With new emissions standards imposing similar limits on both gasoline and diesel engines, the emissions argument against the diesel engine is simply bogus.

    Diesel-fued, biodiesel engines are a necessary part of the mix to any near-term solution to cleaner skies and energy independence, as they are far more versatile than hybrid-gas designs. You can have anything from a vegetable-oil powered VW Lupo getting 90mpg to a double-tractor trailer running soy B100. Four-seat hybrids can only supply a part of the vehicles required for national use. They can't carry any sort of load, nor can they serve as tow vehicles, full-service ambulances, work, police or emergency vehicles nor pull semi-trailers of cargo.

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  3. #102

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    Hi MOS

    Your statement May03..regarding dependence
    on Mideast oil..
    "A hybrid owner chooses to no longer be part of
    those problems"
    Where the heck does he get the gas from???

    Also is a hybrid cleaner than the NEWEST
    technology in diesels running on sulphur free
    diesel mexed with biodiesel?

  4. #103

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    MOS's statement is nonsense. It's not by offering hybrid SUVs that only get a few MPG more than the standard version, that the US will be weaned off imported oil.

    What is needed is a radical shift in US driving preferences. The notion that "big is better" is the real malady, not gasoline or diesel vehicles, hybrid or not. Cars like the Accord V6 Hybrid or Highlander Hybrid or Escape Hybrid are not really what's needed to wean the US off foreign oil.

    Diesel engine options available across the board would in fact do better than putting a hybrid drivetrain in an SUV. All things being equal, oil consumption for the diesels will drop 30% compared to the equivalent gas engine.

    To make a really radical difference though the shift will have to be from "big is better" to "good things come in small packages".

    One hybrid I just read about on these pages, and which I'm excited about (even though I'm lukewarm to hybrids in general), is the Honda Fit hybrid.

    Here's a hybrid that should deliver Insight-like efficiency. But the beauty of it is that it comes in a brilliantly designed package that redefines space efficiency with a small footprint.

    Theoretically the brilliant use of space in the Fit (I hope the battery pack doesn't compromise this, like it does with the Civic Hybrid which doesn't have a folding rear seat) should convince drivers of larger cars that a smaller car like the Fit could meet their needs very well indeed. After all European families can manage in cars like the VW Polo; a Golf in Europe is a "standard" sized automobile whereas it's a compact here.

    However I think there's a long way to go before North Americans (including we Canadians) adopt a "small is beautiful" mentality. Quebec (where I live) comes closest due to higher taxation and higher gas prices.

    The real way to get off foreign oil, is mutual coercion in the form of punitive taxation for large vehicles/large displacement engines. This will force us in to smaller cars. High gas prices will help but the gradual increase in prices tends to not be felt as much as if suddenly you're slapped with a $5000 a year penalty to register your SUV.

    A Fit gets about 42 mpg on the highway in a non-hybrid drivetrain. The Toyota Yaris gets similar mileage. A diesel allows you to get the same mileage but in a larger car (for those with larger families), like my Passat TDI which is rated 42 mpg (Canadian rating, and yes, it can do it in normal driving), or our 48 mpg Jetta wagon. A hybrid in a Fit or Yaris should allow these cars to be the N. American mileage champs (until cars like the Polo diesel come over here with features like auto-stop).

    But as long as we continue to delude ourselves that squeezing a hybrid drivetrain into an SUV somehow makes us "green", we will never win the battle.

    Oh and do something about GM that still thinks monster SUVs are the way of the future.

  5. #104

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    Johntinson wrote:
    "Diesels last longer before major overhaul. The average diesel will far outlast a similar gas engine given similar use. Anyone who would attempt to argue that gas engines outlive diesels hasn't studied automotive technology for very long.

    Ok, enlighten me. Show me the proof.
    Show me a definitive study which shows this more than the popular myth portrayed by diesel enthusiasts.
    I also believe you've posted that 50% of all diesel cars are still on the road today.

    Just because it is said doesn't make it so.
    The moon was made of cheese years ago wasn't it?

  6. #105

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    The government and certain companies dont want
    us to use less fuel. It could be achieved quickly
    by saturating the market with modern diesel cars
    like in Europe where practically all cars are offered
    with diesel engines and most of those the last 20-30
    years. Even American cars. This is a proven,reliable and off the shelf technology that
    can be implemented right away. Much easier than
    hybrid and will save most cars mpg from 30 to 60%. There will also be a big saving in maintenance. As most of us understand and know
    the diesel engine is much more durable and have
    a much longer life span. This is what we need until
    a new fuel can be implemented.
    I would like to suggest all readers to put in
    the brand of a car in the search engine with "diesel" behind it (like "Toyota diesel"" and
    we can all see what is available for everone else
    outside N.A.

  7. #106

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    We import 60% of our oil from a dwindling number of available countries who pump at max ouput. By drving a hybrid, I have decreased my gallons of gas by 67% by moving from a 20 MPG car to a 50 MPG vehicle.

    A siziable chunk of folks driving hybrid vehicles that get this mileage or better ( like the 2007 Honda Fit Hybrid) can clearly and easily impact dependence on foreign oil. When the army of truely affordable high mileage hybrids become avialble as the next few years progress less efficient cars are going to be replaced by ones with MUCh higher fuel efficiency. The transition is actually going to be fairly quick.

    Biodeisel is great don't get me wrong. But most diesel engines ( as in 99%) dont fill up on animal fat throwaways. They go to the gas station and pollute the air badly, basically about as far away as you can get from a partial zero emission vehicle like the hybrids.

    A hybrid owner in the US is clearly making a statement and becoming part of the solution, instead of prolonging a problem.

  8. #107

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    As I said you're assuming that everyone will go from a 20 mpg vehicle to a 50 mpg hybrid.

    The N. American tendency of "big is better" means that the reality is that they'll trade in the 20 mpg SUV (if they're lucky enough to have one of the few that gets mileage that good), for a hybrid version that gets maybe 25 mpg. This will have a minimal impact on dependence on foreign fuel.

    You may think you're making a statement by driving a 50 mpg hybrid like a Civic or Prius, but that's unlikely to result in anything more than Americans saying "oh, wait he has a hybrid, it gets great mileage, my next car will be a Highlander hybrid".

    A hybrid Fit is a great idea because it is practical enough for *most* people (don't get me going on the "I need an SUV to pull my powerboat" crowd). But I fear that few will be willing to trade down from their SUV to a Fit unless *forced* to do so. I very much doubt that driving your hybrid will provide the motive force to get people to change their habits.

    On the other hand diesels offer a very real way to save 30-40% in fuel *right now* even if people don't downsize their vehicles. Even more so if people are coerced into smaller vehicles.

    I do think you greatly exaggerate diesel polution. Mercedes will have Tier 2 compliant diesels by 2007, thanks to ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD), and others will soon follow.

    In any event diesel engines are here to stay. There's no realistic way to have a gasoline hybrid provide the motive force needed for an 80-ton tractor trailer and our economy is too dependent on them. Of course I'm a rail buff and the best way to solve that problem is to load 'em up on railcars for the long distances.

    Diesels are *not* part of the problem, they are a proven part of the solution. Go to Europe and see for yourself. Long-term, it's not NOx or particulates that are killing us but CO2. For this diesels are extremely effective, because not only do you generate less on usage of diesel fuel, but the diesel refining process uses less energy than the gasoline process as diesel is a heavier distillate than gasoline. Throw in biodiesel into the mix and the situation improves even more.

  9. #108

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    You may think you are making a statement. But the statement most big SUV drivers are hearing is that "you're just a dorky dweeb blocking the carpool lane". The only people who are hearing the statement you think you are making already get it.
    Try focusing on doing the right thing for the right reason rather than just being so snooty. See the link in the Brad's "smugness" thread on this site.

  10. #109

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    "Ok, enlighten me. Show me the proof.
    Show me a definitive study which shows this more than the popular myth portrayed by diesel enthusiasts."

    You know Steve, you've really worn out that 'playing stupid' strategy. You have some kind of phobia against diesels from god-knows-where, (perhaps your Prius car note?), and if you want to intentionally refuse to face facts, that's fine, but you're not getting anywhere with it. You were called on your feeble used car ad statistics and you are stuck with them.

    One LAST time: diesels are more longer-lived overall than petrol-fueld engines because of inherent design and operational parameters. They produce peak power at lower rpm. Even a moron can grasp that reciprocating parts moving more slowly over time wear less. Not coincidentally, most of the high-mileage gas car mileage records are held by people who drive well below power peaks, shifting early, rarely over 45mph. Higher rpm of gas engines also results in valve springs losing strength and which is why high-mile gas engines often need a top-end overhaul at 150,000 miles or so or else they lose power, followed by catastrophic valve failure. Diesels also tend to be much more durable and long-lived than gas engines, b/c the fuel in a diesel provides lubrication as well as power. Gasoline, in contrast, is a highly volatile solvent -- and can (and often does) wash away the thin film of oil that keeps internal engine parts from grinding themselves into an early grave.

    "I also believe you've posted that 50% of all diesel cars are still on the road today.'

    Actually, it's more than 50%. Source: Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian, vice president of engineering technologies and regulatory affairs at the Mercedes car group. Dr. Balasubramanian did his Mechanical Engineering (Hauptdiplom) at the technical University of Karlsruhe and obtained the degree `Diplomigenieur' with distinction in 1977. He did his Ph. D. at the technical University of Karlsruhe and obtained the degree `Doktor-Ingenieur' with distinction, along with a degree in computational studies.

  11. #110

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    Mike G and Ex EV-1 driver

    Thanks you are right on target.

    Pollution can be sharply reduced with sulphur
    free gasoline and diesel starting this fall.
    For gasoline engines to take advantage of that
    they need a direct injection system. Not many
    cars come with them in the US. I know the FSI
    system in VW and Audi in their 2.0T engine
    will benefit from sulphur free gasoline.
    A great way to reduce fuel consupmtion and
    pollution on gasoline engines is to install
    a plug is water jacket heater for about $100
    on a gasoline car. Before going to work in the morning the car has already warmed up making
    the cat work immidiately. It also reduce gas use
    and there is much less wear on engine.

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