Saturday, September 29, 2007

Diesel Vrs Hybrid Vrs Petrol Cars - The great deception

I love to hear people talking about hybrids and buying them at many thousands of extra dollars! But do these people really understand what they are doing.

a) MPG from EPA. To calculate the fuel economy of a vehicle in the US to the best of my knowledge the EPA uses a rolling road and essentially eradicated the factors of wind resistance/ aerodynamics,
vehicle weight, tire width etc. This give highly inaccurate figures. This system is reputedly being changed during 2008 to give fuel economy figures that come in line with European and Japanese testing methods. I am certain that you will see a dramatic fall in the quoted average fuel economy of all cars, but hybrid in particular! The battery weighs a lot!!!!

b) Cost of ownership. Do you know what it costs to replace the battery on a hybrid car (if you keep you car 7-8 years then lease it don’t buy it) if you are buying a used car then it is a ticking time bomb as you could end up paying as much or more than the value of the car to replace the battery.

c) Disposing of the battery. Batteries are a combination of acids, lead and other toxic material, review a short article on what it takes to dispose of batteries and how dangerous they are and you will get the idea here.

d) Diesel. Diesel engines are not what they used to be, blutech and other technologies produce engines that have significantly lower emissions than older petrol cars and also get far better fuel economy. With fewer moving parts they are a lot cheaper to maintain and have longer service intervals (this is one of the biggest revenue centers for car manufacturers so they don’t want this)

e) California. California is seem as the progressive state, yet in this arena it is archaic, by pushing hybrids harder and harder (with access to hov (high occupancy vehicle) lane and free parking downtown they have created a boon for Toyota in particular with its prius and other hybrid manufacturers.)

f) Celebrity endorsement. Celebrities have been seen turning up to all kind of event in Prius' to show their concern for the environment! However check the license plate and you will invariably see a LCS tag which means they hired it and don’t own it!!!!

g) Alternative. Greenland has gone hydrogen, Brazil is using biodiesel. UK uses gas. Whilst these are the technology of the future American car manufacturer and oil companies have a strangle hold on the economy and political decision makers. Don't expect to see these technologies until oil starts to dry up, (they love gouging you at the pump.) or significant pressure is applied. Gas stations would have to carry these alternate fuels and have supply system and infrastructure in place which will involve considerable expense and therefore loss of profit to all important shareholders!

h) Electric cars. Have you seen how an electric power station generates power (baring solar etc) they spew coal or nuclear waste out to generate the electricity, I rather use the diesel thanks!!!!

So what am I saying with all this, don’t buy a Hybrid, the Europeans have it right, get yourself a state of the art diesel for the next car and save the environment and you pocket with significantly reduced expense!

Copyright Jonathan Rose 2007 - Creative Commons License

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1 comment:

jonsyrose said...

I saw a terrific article about this comparing a VW golf diesel to the Prius on a 525 mile run to Washington - the Prius ran out of gas after 400 miles averaging only 37 mpg whilst the golf made it on $20 with gas to spare