As I said, gas is cheap. It is less so in the UK and Europe, but as long as people are still saying the price difference of a hybrid will buy X amount of fuel, it is low enough to have a negative impact on high efficiency and alternate fueled vehicles.
Diesel is around the same price or lower than premium gas in California. It has been higher in the Northeast since ULSD came out though. It is currently about 60 to 70 cents higher than regular gas per gallon now. In the winter, when gas hit its low point, it was a dollar or more in difference. Used diesels still hold their value, but now VW is willing to make deals on their TDIs.
I think the battery lease only policy of Renault has really messed up the price of their BEVs in the used market. The Leaf will be a better judge of much BEVs depreciate. I believe Nissan built a factory for them to avoid the import tariffs that the other plugins will have.
The main benefit of leasing the battery is that when it's time for replacement, it's free of course. Given the uncertainty of battery pricing, it's probably a good idea in theory. Whether it's cheaper to lease a battery and get it replaced for free, or pay for the battery outright, then pay for another when replacement is due, only time will tell. Of course, as hybrids become more advanced, so do diesel. As I have mentioned a few times lately, it's not uncommon to be able to soon get a small diesel that can do in excess of 90 to 140 MPG in the near future, as Europe is already hooked on diesels, it's likely to prove these small economical simplistic engines will still be favoured over hybrids.
To be precise you have to remember that a US gallon is smaller, 0.8326 of a UK gallon.
According to the AA's April fuel price report the average price of unleaded is 113.3 or £5.15 a gallon , up from 111.9 in March. The average diesel price is 118.8, (£5.40 a gallon) 5.5 pence a litre more, or about 25 pence a gallon.
To get a US gallon equivalent price you have to multiply £5.15 by 0.8326 which comes to £4.29. I just looked up the exchange rate and its $1.55. £4.29 *1.55 = $6.65 per US gallon.
Mind you, where I live (rural) the only garage within 8 miles is 119.9 for unleaded and the SAME for diesel. I used to think they were giving us a good deal on diesel, but now I can see they're actually ripping us off on unleaded. Last week I had to buy petrol from the motorway services thieves and it was £1.23.
Still, petrol here is cheaper than its been since 2009. 3 years ago it was roughly 30 pence a litre more than now!
It's a good idea to ban diesels in cities, they should have done it years ago. Diesels are best suited to country crossing motorway users, and those like me, who live rural and are forced to do a lot of miles per year because everything is far away, economy becomes very important. If you want to check average, min and max fuel prices for the UK, then visit petrolprices.com, you can also put you postcode in and it will tell you where the cheapest fuel is in your area
I agree that there are some advantages to leasing the battery for a BEV, and offering a choice can make public adoption of the technology quicker. But few car makers offer the choice. Renault doesn't offer that choice. It is lease only, which may have lead to a negative impact on resale value that is indictative of all the other BEVs out there.
I asked how much you would be willing to pay for a used car if the engine wasn't included, but had to be leased from the manufacturer(Renault has been pretty mum about specific specs for the battery, so building your own will be difficult). Yes, you would get a whole new(more likely refurbished) engine if something went wrong, but engines generally don't go wrong during a car's life these days. if it does, it is likely something minor that would easily be covered in the savings of just buying the engine vs leasing it. It might even be something that you can fix your self.
In terms of reliability and lifespan, a BEV battery is pretty close to the ICE or transmission. It will eventually need to be replaced, and likely sooner than those traditional parts, but it may not be as soon or as sudden as many fear.
A traction pack is considered dead when capacity is reduced to about 80% for a BEV. That isn't low enough to kill the car and leave it unusable. If the range is still long enough for a person's needs, there isn't a need to replace the battery. The same is true of a transmission that won't shift into OD. There is no real need to replace or repair it if the owner doesn't need it for highway cruising on a regular basis.
Considering that the above conditions likely won't crop up in the car until it is approaching ten years of age, then the cost to fix them might be more than what the car is worth. Or it might be a cheap fix for those with the skills and time.
That's the problem with selling a used BEV in which the battery is lease only. Yes, the battery will get replaced if it goes bad, but you are basically prepaying for that part on a car that still has the worn suspension, squeaks and creaks, faded paint, and maybe rusty body panels of a used one.
It shouldn't be a diesel vs hybrid question. Both have strengths and weaknesses, and more hybridization will come in time. In some quarters, the basic auto stop device is called a micro-hybrid.
I think diesels have the best prospects for renewable fuels, but they still need to improve on emissions. Onboard emission testing of vehicles out on public roads is now economical. While diesels are conforming to regulation testing, these real life tests have shown that the regulation tests are off from have the cars are driven. Gasoline cars may exceed their NOx limit by 10% out on the public roads. Diesel are emitting twice as much, maybe more, on the same routes.
Without better emission testing that reflect the actual conditions a car is driven under, and diesels then meeting them, the cars' days are likely numbered in many European cities.
Thanks, that's where I got my "best" local price 119.9 from. We get our diesel fuelled up locally, but we can usually fill up the hybrid when we pass somewhere cheaper.
Devon's very expensive for fuel, how is it in mid Wales?
Probably much the same, semi rural, very little competition between the two petrol stations here. It's a touristy place much like Devon, so garages charge higher prices because they know people need to fill up somewhere.
Trollbait, thanks again for the info, very interesting
If you enjoy tinkering with cars, like manual transmissions, go Gen1 Insight. The unofficial "King of the Hypermilers" according to Jack Martin is Wayne Gerdes from Chicago. He drove "2,254 miles on a single 13.7-gallon tank of gas during the Honda Insight Marathon in Oklahoma last year." That's an average of 164.53 miles per gallon over the whole distance.
If you get tired of the mpg, you can throw a 2.4 liter Honda engine in and beat Turbo Porsches in acceleration.