I was looking at the fuel figures for the world's most well know hybrid - the Toyota Prius on fuelly, and wasn't that impressed with the findings. I am lead to believe that diesel cars are still more economical than the hybrid rivals, especially with more and more manufactures developing new "green" technology such as different gear ratios, weight saving, low resistance tyres, stop/start technology etc.
The top 20 diesel cars in Europe all do a minimum of around 70 MPG, all the way up to 85 MPG, but recently i read about a couple who travelled around the UK and averaged 126 MPG in a diesel car, almost double what some hybrid owners are getting! I once got 82.2 MPG in my old diesel car. A lot of the time, the diesels are so economical, the emissions are embarrassingly lower than the Hybrids too!
So considering hybrids are more expensive to buy, and what with the harmful chemical filled batteries that need replacing every few years, (not to mention environmental cost during production, the electricity they use, and the fact that you have to lease the batteries on some models!) aren't we all better off just buying a modern economical diesel? And these days, it's not like we have to sacrifice performance either, the new Jaguar XF diesel does 0-60 in 5.9 seconds and still returns up to 51 MPG!
It always seems to be the eternal argument and unless a diesel hybrid comes along, which should smash all records, we'll never know.
I'm in the UK and gone from a 2.2 Diesel to the Prius Hybrid for various reasons, MPG being one of them. There's lots of diesels out there that will claim to do 70-80mpg but the one I had struggled to do 40mpg and Id had it for three years since new. I suspect a lot of the diesels that claim to do high MPG are just the small cars (Polos, Fiestas in the UK - not sure what's in the U.S.). The Prius is classd as a medium sized family car over here. If they did the same set up in a little mini car I suspect they could get some astounding MPG figures.
The battries don't need replacing every few years, you don't have to plug them in and as far as I am aware the production of the batteries and their effect on the environment have come on a long way since they first started to produce this type of battery. At the end of the hybrids are just another option for the motorist day.
I suspect if you drove the Jag XF diesel doing 0-60 in 5.9 seconds from every time you stopped you might not get 51mpg out of it.
Everyone will have an opinion but there's no right or wrong answer and I'm as much against eco campaingers plugging the hybrid as the saviour of the world.It's just a car with a petrol engine that just happens to have a battery that helps it out now and again!
I am partial for Diesel here in the US but we don't have the killer little diesel cars that get the great fuel milage. I would think around town the hybrid would win hands down but on a long haul accross he country the diesel would be king. Trains are Diesel Electric and are pretty effiecent. I think in the near future that diesel and electric will come together and give is crazy good MPG. I really want the jeep wrangler 4 door hybrid with the diesel generator. But it won't happen. oh well.
There is also something else that the Europeans get with their diesels: dirtier emissions. Current passenger car diesels have to meet Tier II bin 5 if they're being sold in the USA, and they're just barely making that. Current Euro 5 standars are less strict. But once Euro 6 standards hit, watch the European diesel MPG numbers go down.
I never understood the emission regs in the US. For example, i saw a 6.2 litre V10 diesel truck over there, now are you seriously suggesting that a truck that gets 12 MPG and has high C02 emissions, emits less N0X than a tiny European diesel that gets 120 MPG?
I know C02 and N0X are completely different, but surely a car that emits up to 5 times less C02 is surely not going to emit more N0X than a truck 5 times it's size?
European standards are very strict indeed, but they're different to US ones, hence why there's so much confusion and misunderstanding and why they're hard to compare directly. If you look at the Euro 5 standards for Europe, you can see that passenger cars (diesel) must emit only 0.080 grams per kilometre of N0X, but if anybody can compare that to US ones as i am struggling to find any N0X measurements for US passenger cars!
Notice I said "passenger car." Trucks are in a completely different class. In the USA, not only do they not have as strict emission standards, but they also have much less strict CAFE standards. It's a big mess that should be change in a few years.
Well either way, the fact that boats and planes (the biggest polluters) are exempt from any kind of carbon taxing in the EU just shows that governing bodies are just taxing people for the sake of it!
The 16 largest ships in the World create more pollution than every car in the World, and yet in the UK we are expected to pay between £35 and £400 a year in carbon taxes for our cars, even if we only drive a few miles a year...
And then the government wonders why we have little faith in them!
Something that everybody should be conscious about when comparing fuel mileage between European and American cars is that the gallons used are different.
1 MPG (UK) = 0.83 MPG (US)
1 MPG (US) = 1.2 MPG (UK)
A 50 MPG car in Europe only makes out 41.5 MPG in America. The metric L/100km doesn't suffer from this, but I think more people are comfortable using miles and gallons. Just be careful when you're talking to someone across the pond that you're both speaking the same "language".