// Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate
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  1. #1

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    This discussion thread started in another topic. I copied it under this topic, so visitors could find and join the debate.

    Brad Berman, Editor

    You know people need to forget about HYBRIDS CARS and THINK DIESEL!!!!You can get the passat TDI 2.0 More Power Cost A HELL less the the Honda,Last longer,Get WAY BETTER MPG and it take 60,000 for the car to break in..But People are soo backward because thay think DIESEL are slow,stink and not at all powerfull.Well if that was the case why is soo hard to find a TDI VW DIESEl ..Because thay work and get the MPG if not better!.I live In Cary NC and I had a few TDI Diesel and I run Biodiesel Diesel in them.I ca drive the car @ 100 miles per hr. and still get 40 mpg..show me a car that can do that and not a 2 seater like the insite..and I drive a 03 Bug and I am 6'2 fit in it just fine make a great car to travel in...People Think Diesel for get the HYBRID CRAP Does not work in the long run.!!!Wake Up and Burn the BEAN!!BIODIESEL I can get 740 mls per tank wost was 715 on a 15gal tank! I get 45 to 48 city .50 + on the high way ....

    Got Diesel?
    Jan. 09, 2005

    Diesel doesn't make sense to everyone, as hybrids do not make sense for everyone either. To act as if either one is the best type of car for each and every person is ignorant. For example, so people don't like spewing out more (possibily carcinogenic) particulate emissions and nitrous oxide (that contributes to smog). Now perhaps biodiesel eliminates this emission issues, I don't know. I do know that biodiesel is not avialable in many areas of the country and that diesel is more expensive in some areas, at least partially eating up possible fuel efficiency benefits?

    BTW, perhaps you have some proof that "hybrids don't work in the long run?"

    Jan. 09, 2005

    The choice between diesel and gas-electric hybrid definitely depends on your commute. In city driving, hybrids are great, but OTR, I wouldn't have anything but a diesel. Oddly enough, I have a diesel and my daily commute is about 3.7mi of stop and go. Go figure. I guess I do take my fair share of road trips though.

    The question of particulate matter is not always as simple as A emits more than B. It is certainly carcinogenic, but the size of particulate matter is important also. Large particulate matter(diesel) usually falls to the ground quickly, or is caught by you body's natural defenses(mucus, hair, cough, etc). Small particulate matter(gasoline, also carcinogenic) is more likely to find its way into your lungs.

    NOx is an issue for smog, but it depends on certain conditions. Some scientists now think they see an effect called "weekend smog." As I understand it, this is where smog is actually more prevalent on the weekends because there is less NOx in the air. More time and research will tell if this is real or not. Hey, you never know... they used to think the world was flat!

    By saying "hybrids don't work," I think the earlier poster was looking at longevity(and costs). Right now, the inital cost premium of a hybrid is more than that of a diesel powertrain. Then you have the batteries. Eventually they will need replacement, and at what cost(replacement, disposal, and pollution)? It might be just the same as any other regular maintenance, but what happens if it comes out to be far more than that? You have yourself a throw-away car.

    Or maybe he was just saying that for most people, they don't get the highly touted EPA numbers. Diesels on the other hand, are spot on, if not slightly better for most people.

    I don't have a problem with hybrids, I'm just skeptical of their ability to live up to the hype(especially after seeing what most people are getting for mileage), and confused at why there is so much emphasis on them when diesels are proven technology and readily available.

    I'll delay judgement on the Accord Hybrid until they are present in greater numbers, but there is one question I have for Honda: Why not use some of the technology from the this hybrid on your other cars?

    I understand this car has advanced weight-saving techniques used, along with the ability to run on less than 6 cylinders while cruising. Why not do that on the normal V6? Or the 4cyl cars? I think the answer is because that's where a lot of the fuel savings is found, maybe moreso than the hybrid aspect.

    Ok, I think that's enough. See ya at the pumps(from the other side !

    Jan. 11, 2005

    I've had diesels and now have a hybrid. One factor that hasn't been mentioned so far is the repair frequency and long-term reliability of cars made by Honda, VW and Toyota. After looking at Consumer's Reports, a hybrid semed like a better choice for me.

    Jan. 11, 2005

    Car and Driver also did a comparo with the following three vehicles a couple months ago:

    Toyota Echo
    VW Jetta Turbodiesel
    Toyota Prius
    Honda Civic Hybrid

    The Jetta actually got worse gas mileage than both hybrids while being less responsive and less fun to drive than either of them. It was better than the Echo, but the Echo is a POS anyway. The other limitation is that the most powerful turbodiesels only have about 100 horsepower compared to the 255 that the Accord Hybrid has, and the Accord is far cleaner and doesn't smell bad like a diesel. Biodiesel is only available at about 0.03% of fueling stations compared to diesel which is available at around 30%.

    Jan. 11, 2005

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  3. #2

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    To compare the hybrid accord with its 255 h.p. with a VW TDI is nonsense. The VW Jetta gets between 44 city and up to 58 highway. The hybrid honda accord doesn't break even 40 mpg ever; 35 mpg highway is all it gets. My old acura legend use to get 32 and it was built in 89. The Honda civic hybrid has only 85 h.p. less than the VW TDI and only gets 46/51 mpg if that, since epa numbers seem to rflect ideal conditions. The civic hybrid is smaller, less powerful, and gets worse mileage overall than a VW TDI Jetta.

    As for soot that diesels are known for? My Jetta has a catalytic converter and only smokes when you first start it and very little at that. When you see a diesel blowing alot of smoke on the road, what you are seeing is an engine suffering from low compression in need of a rebuild. Another consideration is that it takes much more energy to crack pertroleum to make gasoline. So if you want to compare gas to diesel you should include the hidden energy consumption that is embedded in the manufacture of the gasoline. Subtract 10% from gasoline mileage numbers to correct for the fact that it consumes so much energy to manufacture gasoline and does not for diesel.

    Todays problem was always yesterdays bright idea.

  4. #3

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    I think a hybrid diesel would be fantastic, as soon as we get cleaner diesel fuel in North America. The high-sulfur stuff we have now is just too dirty.

  5. #4

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Would a hybrid-diesel work? I heard that it isn't good to start and stop a diesel engine, and the Auto-stop feature on my honda civic hybrid does that quite a bit.

  6. #5

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Since diesels sip fuel at idle it's not as big a deal to leave them idling. But you would save a lot of fuel not running them at full load.

    You could still take advantage of "rightsizing" the diesel engine by having electric boost available.

  7. #6

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    there are some diesel-hybrids out there. I don't know if they are in production.

    I think it is great that there is competition. A race to be fuel efficient and clean. In the end it looks like we, the consumers, are going to win out.

  8. #7

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    I'm not sure if everybody has noticed the redesign of this site, but if you go back to www.hybridcars.com, and look under "New Articles & Features," and go to "Diesel vs. Hybrid Markets," there is a fantastic, balanced, and informative write-up of the topic.

    Loaded with good data, presented in a mature and reasonable manner. And happily free from the typical "Jane you ignorant slut" (apologies to SNL) tendencies of other forums.

  9. #8

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Pragmatic reality forced my hand. I have cargo needs and was holding out for a Highlander. My in-town driving is better suited, in theory, to a hybrid than a diesel, but vehicular replacement couldn't wait.
    I purchased a (bio)diesel Passat Wagon, which can accomodate the 1500 mm cargo that the Escape hybrid cannot.
    After living with an older 300td wagon, the Passat is a veritable hot rod.
    The Passat is a wonderful road car. Overall, I am getting 32mpg in mixed driving.
    For the time being, wvo is plentiful, but I suspect this won't last forever. As far as conversion to biodiesel, it's like Peter Pan says: It's not work unless you'd rather be doing something else.
    In them meantime, since the auto manufacurers have such a weak committment to hybrid technology, I think there's a really good niche for commited environmentalists to opt out of consuming fossil fuel for personal transport with bio-diesel.

  10. #9

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    I agree 100%. Bio-diesels are the most practical fuel efficient cars. Until hybrids get better mpg numbers they don't make sense to me. People who are concerned about particle emmissions should note that in europe (where they have low sulfur diesel) emmisions are greatly reduced.
    Furthermore, if you were locked in your garage with a running engine you would survive a lot longer if it was a diesel.

  11. #10

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Hello, we are currently working on a prototype hybrid (bio)diesel 2-seat commuter car for Europe.

    -the car will give 100 miles per gallon
    -it will take you from 0 ot 60mph in under 5 seconds; top speed is 120mph.
    -our modified diesel engine can take any kind of diesel: not only any kind of blend (B20, B80, etc...) but also pure biodiesel made from cheaper exotic oils like palm oil and coconut oil (which would normally require pre-heating, since their iodine and cetane numbers are quite high. When the prototype's ready, we will be showing the car in exotic locations, using local biodiesel (jatropha, coco, palm)

    -we think there's a market for hybrid (bio)diesel cars in Europe. These cars will be the world's most efficient, cleanest and sexiest.

    What do you think?

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