10/27/2004

Diesels & Hybrids combine

Trying to make the most fuel-efficient vehicle is a challenge. Right now with the prices of gas, it is a good time to try and introduce a new product. Hybrid vehicles, which use an electric motor that is powered by batteries, are merging with diesel. These two complement each other in giving a car with power and acceleration. The diesel engine gives the "torque" necessary for pulling a heavy load, and hybrid motors draw electricity from the batteries providing sudden acceleration.

Diesel engines could be improved by up to 10 miles per gallon. Nothing has been set in stone for producing hybrid-diesel vehicles. School buses and large utility vehicles will be first to test out the hybrid-diesel technology.

Money is always an issue. By buying a hybrid-diesel vehicle one may save hundreds of dollars on gas. But, will these cars be cheaper? No. These hybrid-diesel cars will cost a couple thousand more than a regular diesel or gasoline engine car. Metropolitan areas can benefit because the air will be of better quality. Are people willing to spend thousands more on a car in order to help clean the air? Will these cars just be out on the market with few buyers? Are these cars a step towards a new car of the future?

6 comments:

Bryce Larkin said...

I really don't believe that most of the people buying these new diesel/hybrid cars to help with pollution. Most people are concerned with their wallets. Money talks to most people.

Bryce Larkin said...

Also, I do believe that these cars do have a great advantage even with a high price. I know the price for these cars many cost a few extra thousand but in the long-run it will pay off, especially if gas prices keep on increasing.

natty said...

I think that the long term solution to our fuel economy woes will be something completely not expected. The hybrid cars are just a short-term, lightening of the load. Someday we will see new technology that is not at all related to oil prices.

John West said...

I think that the diesel-hybrid combination is a good idea. School buses and other heavy equipment would provide a great start in trying to gauge whether or not this could work. If it does, the country will be able to use a considerable amount less of crude oil.

Maudi said...

I agree a diesel-hybrid car would be ideal. With fuel prices and consumption the way they are we need to find a way to cut costs. This combination would be a great idea because diesel burns at a cooler temperature and the diesel is set up with a turbo can burn fuel that didn't get burned the first time.

Dr. Tufte said...

I think the problem with hybrid cars is that they are being pushed by four groups: the media, environmentalists, bureaucrats, and technology buffs.

Economists are missing from that list.

I don't want to claim that economists know everything, but they might be able to tell you why other technologies failed versus gas and diesel. That technology has been around for a long time - because it is cheap and effective.

Notice how the environmental movement has been most effective in combatting automobiles - by pushing through requirements for smaller engines and more pollution control devices that make gas propulsion less cheap and less effective. But they've been doing this for decades.

Unfortunately, you can do the reverse - you can't legislate lower prices and higher efficiency.