Choosing a vehicle that’s more eco-friendly and more fuel-efficient than your average gas guzzler can be a daunting task, given the wide variety of options available.
When you think of diesel, you might find yourself imagining a huge construction vehicle expelling greasy clouds of black smoke as it rumbles along. How could that possibly be better for the environment than a gasoline-powered vehicle?
Believe it or not a modern diesel-powered car is actually greener and more fuel-efficient than your typical car.
Diesel engines are super efficient. If you plan to do a lot of high-speed driving (like long trips and highway driving), a diesel engine will get great mileage.
Diesel engines are undoubtedly more efficient than gasoline-powered ones, but how do they stack up against hybrids that run on a combination of gasoline and electricity?
The general consensus is, not so great. Diesel is more expensive than gasoline, so the fuel efficiency might not have as big an impact on your wallet as you hope. That said, this effect could be mitigated if you plan to do most of your driving on the highway, where hybrids are less efficient.
Research suggests diesel engines have higher levels of emissions than most gasoline-powered (and thus, hybrid) engines. However, many diesel vehicles can run on biodiesel, which has a number of benefits.
We know hybrids are efficient and a greener option than gas-powered cars, but where do they stand when we put them up against diesels? Let’s find out:
If most of your driving will be done in town or in traffic that stops frequently, a hybrid is going to be the way to go. Hybrids use the energy generated by braking to power the battery, meaning they use the battery more and gas less if you brake often.
At worst, they’re more efficient than a vehicle powered solely by gasoline — with the lower fuel costs to match. At best (plenty of stop-and-go city driving to recharge the battery), they’re far cheaper to drive than just about anything else out there.
Hybrids produce fewer emissions than diesel vehicles. However, they do still use fossil fuels, while diesel engines can run on biofuels with few or no modifications.