// Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed - Page 12
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  1. #111

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    I am convinced diesel is the best alternative, but wheter
    there will be a hybrid or diesel solution it is easy to
    keep the tax base. As cars gets more efficient taxes
    must be raised accoridingly. This is for a couple of reasons.
    First of all if gas or diesel taxes per driven mile becomes
    less we will be increasing our use of gasoline instead
    of increasing the demand for even better fuel saving
    techologies or inventing new ways of running our cars
    such as renewable fuels.
    Secondly if taxes remains the same per gallon the
    goverment will loose revenue and will look to other
    ways of compensate for that (like income tax).
    As a matter of fact we should already have increased
    oil taxes and reduced income taxes accordingly.
    This would have spurred a demand for fuel efficient
    cars and also have given us the choice of using the
    tax savings on the more expensive fuel or on something else. I know I would like to use that
    saved income tax towards a diesel miser.
    Others will use the money towrds a hybrid.

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  3. #112

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    This discussion has gone on a long time for one of so little value. The best solution is many solutions. diesel electric hybrids are the tickect for highway driving. Total electrics are the short trip commuter soultion. Gasoline or propane electrics are best for longer city commutes. Straight high effiency diesels are best for long trips with few hills. With improvements in battery technology and use of super capacitors you will see more plug in electrics that have a removeable generator for long range use. One solution will not fill all our needs. That is the missed point.

  4. #113

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    "Straight high efficiency diesel are good for long trips
    with few hills". What is that supposed to mean?
    Diesels are great in mountains with steep hills.
    This is another area where they beat the hybrids
    since they run out of battery power.
    Wish people got the facts together before they write
    in this blog. TORQUE!!


  5. #114

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    Some comments were posted regarding the "poorly built Olds diesel" engine. Contrary to popular belief, this engine is fine and will run for hundreds of thousands of miles in the hands of an experienced diesel owner. My daily driver is proof of that: A 1983 Buick LeSabre with a 5.7 diesel with 231,000 miles. Even a diesel engine built in 1983 gets better fuel economy than the gas engines of today.

    A good solution might be for everyone to drive diesels running on bio-diesel. That would clean up the air and help farmers at the same time.

  6. #115

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    Here's the latest in diesel technology from Europe, the VW Polo BlueMotion, 1.4L 3-cyl TDI with 80 hp and 143 lb-ft of torque (not bad for the size of the car).

    It's rated at an average of 3.9 liters/100 km. That's 60 mpg folks, 73 miles per imperial gallon for those of us in the colonies...


    Too bad we can't get those here, it's a practical little package, better than a Smart, and being a diesel, it will probably actually deliver the promised mpg figures. Unlike the Escape Hybrid in a recent newspaper road test up here, that got 11.3 l/100 km instead of the promised 7.3. Hell our '98 Odyssey van gets less than 11 l/100 km...

  7. #116

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    Looks like a great diesel.

    Some of the sailing ships that the old shipyards produced to counter the threat of steam ships were pretty impressive too. It's amazing to watch what the builders of antiquated technology will do when their entire existance is faced with extinction. Too bad the auto manufacturers don't put as much effort at just getting hybrids on the road as they do trying to preserve their obsolete conventional internal combustion engines.

    Another example of extreme measures to protect the traditional power train is the Ford Mondeo TDCi diesel I'm driving now (rental of course). It has a 6-speed manual transmission. My foot gets so exhausted shifting at least (assuming I don't down shift - but why waste the effort downshifting since I'm not recovering any of the braking energy anyway) 7 times every time I stop that it would probably be easier to walk. But I guess you need to do desperate things when trying to coax a little extra performance and efficiency from such a limited platform as a conventional diesel drive.

    Even with the 6-speed, I still occasionally stall the engine when starting up. After getting used to my HCH (M5), I sometimes forget how much revving is necessary to get these dinosaurs to move.

    Why can't these trogolodytes just come out of their caves and add an electric motor to their power train? They could easily put in half the engine, remove the transmission, and get more than twice the hp out of a well designed hybrid.

    Performance up
    Efficiency up
    cost down (if designed properly)

    what's not to like?

  8. #117

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    I've been averaging around 58MPG in my HCH this winter, but can hardly wait for the warmer weather. Last summer averaged around 65MPG.

    Not bad for a 2,000lb 5 star safety rated Motor Trends car of the year and arguably the nicest Civic.
    In my case I wouldn't want to fuss with a diesel, get lower mileage and pay more for fuel.

    I've heard GM is working on a new hybrid system based not on batteries or electric motors, but on hydraulics. They are saying it is realistic for their full size pickup trucks to get around 60MPG.
    Be great if it's true.

    EV1 I also think the next generation EV is right around the corner.

  9. #118

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    Let me shed a little light on the diesel vs biodiesel discussion here.

    I am located in a smaller farming community that has several 'home brew' bio coops. I am also just across the border from a state that is pushing hard for alternative fuels (MN). I have many chances to operate my buisness truck, a 14,000lb 2005 Nissan UD, on bio. The results are astounding!

    The odors are non-existant (smells like popcorn more than anything). There is NO smoke (only a little white puff when I'm starting it really cold). The engine runs smoother, gets better mileage, and produces much less soot in the exhaust system. My mechanic has also commented that it is much easier on our motor and will dramatically help engine life (ok, so I'll get 650K instead of 450K!).

    Here's the kicker: this stuff is made, at least in my own town here, from waste cooking oil and fats from restaraunts and food processing plants! A waste product being used to make a better, cleaner fuel!!!! It also cost about 15% less than taxed petro diesel. The bio that's produced commercially is being made from the crops of local farmers; hmmmm, no foreign oil AND money in our local economy! It's also a much MUCH cleaner fuel to refine with practically no odor or waste discharges. Try driving through Port Authur TX some time and see what the petro plants put out!!!

    As to the CO2 question; when burned biodiesel releases the same amount of CO2 that the plants used up when they were growing. That makes it a eco-neutral product (doesn't add to the problem!). It also has basically non-existant levels of contaminents that petro diesel has.

    This will be big, soon! It is growing in huge leaps in smaller communities now. You will start to see large scale, commercial systems in place soon (there already are a few now).

    Just imagine for a moment a country of clean burning, fuel efficient cars operating on a fuel that channels all ALL of it's cost of production back to the hands of this countries citizens.

    It's humorous; the strongest argument that I have heard against biodiesel is that we currently don't have enough capacity to grow the crops needed to fuel the entire country. How lame of an excuse is that? Gee, let's see.....we can't get this program going full swing because we'd have to pay our struggling farmers to actually expand and become more efficient?!?!?!? Instead, lets hand out huge tax breaks along with obscene profits to hugely polluting oil companies and refineries!

    There is no money for in bio for the 'decision makers' right now, so it will take some time for it to become a reality...but I personally thing that reality is soon.

    In the meantime, if you're sitting on the road in NW Wisconsin and suddenly a truck passes you that smells like fresh popcorn, wave....I'll be happy to wave back!

  10. #119

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed

    Question to Steve in Georgia...if hybrids are so great
    why do they need to be supported by tax reductions
    (the rest of us will pay for it) and even get to drive
    with one occupant in the HOV lane. All the while diesels
    costing about the same or a little more than the gasoline
    version gets no subsidies ?

  11. #120

    Diesel vs. Hybrid: A Point Missed


    I agree that diesels (which actually obtain their EPA ratings for mpg compared to the false advertising allowed by hybrids) should get tax breaks. The government says no because of emissions. By June 2006 (3 months from now) cleaner diesel with lower emissions will be mandatory at all pumps. Add this with the biodiesel and no more complaining by environmentalists about the emissions of diesels. No one likes to admit that diesel engines stop 25% to 50% less often to fuel up which means lower emissions overall than their gasser counterparts. Anyway, things are looking brighter for diesels in the U.S. It is just taking a long time. When we see biodiesel TDIs with hybrid electric motors getting 70 mpg and costing like $25,000, then we have reached a new plateau. We have the technology today to do this no problem. It comes down to dollars. Bush is still in office and controls much of the oil. He and many others in the government do not want us to bail out all at once on oil and move to biodiesel fuel (little to no oil used in production since it comes from recycled plant oils currently). Also, car companies are hoping to make money and are afraid that sales will not be there if they don't offer more traditional gassers. Anyway, by 2010, we will have diesel hybrids in the U.S. and possibly a lot more biodiesel pumps. Of course, you can always make the biodiesel yourself for less.

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