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Hybrids vs Diesel Engine Cars : Which is More Eco Friendly?

speedometer -Hybrids vs Diesel Engine CarsIt is generally unquestioned that hybrid car models are invariably good for the environment. They run, at least part time, on electric energy. How could that not be a good thing? On the other hand, diesel cars are almost vilified as being inherently against the planet. Diesel engine cars, as they run exclusively on gas and diesel, are seen as being gas guzzling monsters for the environment. Recent research, however, has been used to show that cars with small diesel engines, such as those found in hybrids, are vastly outperformed in terms of environmental care when compared to more average size engines that are found in diesel cars. Overall, the effect on the environment is not determined by what cars have diesel engines, it’s determined by what you are driving, whether it be hybrid or diesel.


Common Misconceptions of Hybrid Vehicles

It is commonly advertised that hybrid cars always have a higher MPG than other cars, as they gather some of their energy automatically through the natural resistance developed during braking. This advertised rate, however, is only relevant when the car is starting and stopping often at low enough speeds. When the hybrid car is on the highway, for example, it will actually under-perform in terms of MPG than most other modern cars. This is because the manufacturers of hybrids dedicate so much time to maximizing the efficiency of their energy gathering system that they sacrifice quality of engine. As a result, when the engine of the car is exclusively used, such as on an open road with little stops and high speeds, the car will have to rely on its poorly designed engine.

However, modern diesel engines are created with the intent of optimizing engine performance. As a result, these diesel engine car are most efficient on open roads. This means that cars with average sized diesel engines will have a much higher MPG, even when the electric charge is taken into account.


Transportation Differences and Advertising Errors

Hybrids and diesels operate very differently depending on the method of transportation and average movement of a person. For example, if someone is on a congested highway, the hybrid will be more fuel efficient. If you are on an open highway, the diesel will be more fuel efficient. If you generally operate in residential areas, the hybrid, again, will be more efficient. If you have two hour travel distances to get to your job, a diesel will be the right car for you.

The reason for this advertising falsehood is that most tests run on new cars are generally performed on small closed circuit courses. Very small distances are taken into account, and those distances generally do not consider the effects of highway driving. As a result, hybrid cars get an artificial boost in their numbers. In practice, it depends on the type of driving someone does. For example, an independent study was run, and the hybrid Toyota Auris travels at 58.7 MPG, which is lower than the average diesel engine running car, such as the Mazda 3. When tested for various conditions, these values, as expected, fluctuated.

As pointed out by this review of hybrid and diesel cars, it is important to know your own habits before buying a new car. When compared to traditional petrol cars, either option will perform better. However, knowing your driving style and needs will greatly assist you in picking out the correct car for you.


Additional Factors

In addition to the fuel economy of each car, it is important to take in considerations such as upkeep needed and the cost of replacement parts. In general, hybrid cars have more extensive and expensive repairs necessary than matching diesel cars. This often goes hand in hand with your driving style. Long distance drivers should not choose hybrid cars. They are less fuel efficient by a significant percent, and the cars themselves were not made to be long-distance driven. Past 100,000 miles, for example, hybrid cars run into the problem of needed a new battery, which for a hybrid could cost around 4,000 dollars. On the other hand, diesel cars were not made for the constant starting and stopping of residential driving. This puts stress on the engine and can cause a greater amount of damage quicker.



Overall, if you are a long distance and frequent driver, consider buying a car that utilizes kubota diesel engines, for example. If you are a short distance and residential driver exclusively, consider buying a hybrid. Know however, that the advertised rates for hybrids are often not what they appear.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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