Hybrid vs Diesel vs Petrol #1
I was disappointed by the article written by
Julian Edgar on the diesel vs hybrid situation.
While it was
generally balanced, he made some serious misstatements, as well as leaving
factors out I the selection process.
Diesel Pollution: He made ther
statement diresel are polluters, no matter what. In the US, the
passenger diesels (and by 2010 the trucks as well) have to match gasoline engine
pollution levels. At this point, any new car brought into the US has to meet a
45 state level, and they all have gone to the so called California
emisons (California and 4 other states use those standard). Those
levels are lower than the EPA specifies. VW, Mercedes and Audi will
meet the 50 states limits.
Size: Not everyone can fit into a
given size car. Small cars are out for my wife, she simply cannot
fit into anything smaller than the 2005 size Passat (which changed size after
that year, as did the Jetta of that year which we tried and was simply too
Comfort Ride and Handling: While the
economy is an issue, how the car rides, hanldes and the safety features are
Safety: The VW has excellent safety
ratings as well as more air bags than I can count.
Auto vs Manual: Not every one can
drive a manual (physical limitations in our case).
Our choice in this
debate was to go to a VW Passat Turbo Diesel Station wagon to replace a
SUV. The Passat was the only vehicle that had a diesel, an automatic
and was large enough for my wifes comfort (and myself as well frankly) that we
could still do most of what the SUV did cargo wise.
My wife has driven a friends hybrid (Prius) and
both agreed that it was ok, but it was not up to the comfort levels nor as fun
to drive as the VW (or close types).
And I will also say, that the VW TDI
has plenty of get up and go, so there is really no compromise there.
We average 7.35 l/100km in town and 5.6 L/100km on the highway.
That’s very good with no compromises in a diesel with an automatic
We didn’t say “diresel are polluters, no matter
what”. What we said was: “Diesels, intrinsically, have higher polluting levels
of oxides of nitrogen and particulates. The latest diesels are vastly better in
these regards, but they still struggle against the quality of petrol engine
emissions, let alone hybrid emissions. Band-aids such as the widely-billed
Mercedes BlueTec treatments are all well and good, but the emissions road for
diesels is still steeply uphill.” We stand by that statement.
Hybrid vs Diesel vs Petrol #2
Damn. The article is short on facts. You just
brushed off the petrol engine. A Jazz can do 4.5l/100km. If that was a debate
then it is a poor quality one at that. What was the conclusion?
hybrid is a wanky car. What happens to all those batteries do you think? They
become a toxic waste. Where do we put all those thousands of huge batteries? In
landfill? What is green about that! Pttttffff.
So what should I buy
if I have to spend $40000 on a new car? Maybe I should buy an old Jazz and the
rest of the money buy solar panels to put on my roof. They, the solar panels,
last 25 years at least.
My 3 cents. (Inflation)
In any situation where a Jazz can achieve 4.5
litres/100, a similar size diesel or hybrid will do much better. And where,
precisely, are all those hybrid batteries in landfill? As one Prius enthusiast
said on a discussion group: tell me where they are so I can go dig them up! In
other words, recycling and repacking will see few or any go to landfill.
Hybrid vs Diesel vs Petrol #3
I read this article with an open mind and am
somewhat puzzled by a couple of comments.
Mazda, like all manufacturers
actually charge a significant premium for their diesels - Petrol Hatch $33K,
Petrol Wagon $34K, diesel Hatch 35K, diesel Wagon $38K - so how long does it
take to repay that difference using just fuel savings - figure on about
70-100,000 kms at current fuel costs. This doesn't take into account the dearer
servicing costs either!. So at end of life assuming similar depreciation there
is still around $2000 in fuel savings that you have to find - work out the ks
required to be travelled to save this 5.9l/100 vs 8.8l/100 leaves a difference
The idea that environmental decisions are
assessed solely by financials (in this case, payback time) hasn’t been current
since at least the 1980s. The story used the cars I own as examples: none was
bought on the basis of a payback period on fuel savings.
Performance is similar so again think you
might be reading wrong data? As you know our motoring companies are a little coy
with performance data but I think you will find thers not much in
Lets take an intangible - at what cost are the replacement batteries
to the environment, you say that Toyota are replacing them as is Honda - what of
the old batteries and the chemicals, lead etc that these discarded batteries
hold. Needless to say the additional cost and inconvenience to have to have them
replaced, both personally and cost t the company. On same thread what extra cost
do these cars cost to develop and build against conventional vehicle – that is
what is total carbon footprint per manufactured vehicle?
Your conclusion states " (I think that
conventional petrol engine cars are now right out of the race for economy and
emissions.)" yet in opening paragraphs you state "Diesels, intrinsically, have
higher polluting levels of oxides of nitrogen and particulates. The latest
diesels are vastly better in these regards, but they still struggle against the
quality of petrol engine emissions, let alone hybrid emissions." so
contradicting your own argument.
Not at all. We identified which pollutants
diesels have difficulty with – oxides of nitrogen and particulates – but in
terms of what is now the most important emission – CO2 – the lower fuel
consumption of diesels gives them an advantage over petrol engine cars.
The statement "What people might believe they
are saying is that, in the same vehicle and with the same power, a diesel will
give better country road results than a hybrid. That may in fact be the case...
except we don’t currently have cars that fit those criteria." contradicts many a
word of previous autospeed articles that power is not only factor, torque and
how these numbers are developed play a crutial role in how a vehicle drives and
I believe has a direct impact on fuel economy. Car with good low down torque
doesn't need> to work as hard to get to speed thus
potentially using less fuel as a car developing less torque at higher revs
needing more energy to produce similar amount of work. The closest comparable I
can think of at moment is say a VW 2.0 TFSI and 2.0 TDI same sweep volume
different power and torque - but achieve vastly different results in performance
and fuel economy, throw in the 1.6 TSFSI and argument becomes even more
Sure – we should have said ‘average power
through the most used rev range’ but that’s a bit clumsy isn’t it?
You brag about your insights economy yet how
practical is it for daily family commuting. That is a driver and two kids to
school – normal stuff done by millions each day around the world.
It’s my car – and it suits this family’s
commuting very well.
You'd have to make two trips so even at 3.0l/100,
two trips make it really 6l/100 so not as flash as initially thought - not to
mention time lost, irresponsible parenting with leaving a child at home on
their own etc, etc And this is only using the best economy you've
achieved. Hell we have a Liberty 3.0 R-B and I've done a trip with
6.6l/100 as average but that doesn't tell real story of 10.2-10.4 as being our
real normal average over 35000+ kms
The Insight averages high Threes in winter use,
low Fours in summer use with the air con running continuously.
I don't dismiss the technologies outright I think your ownership of said
vehicles makes you perhaps least qualified to be objective. Yes I know you've
had a range of "conventional" cars as well (you can see how long I've been a
subscriber as reference to this) how ever I think your being overly dismissive
about the pros and cons of said technologies with out considering all green
impacts and for that matter some of the inaccuracies throughout your
Hybrid vs Diesel vs Petrol #4
The REAL winner [always take not of what taxi
drivers use, no matter where u are in the world]
Is the AUSSIE made
fuel..............L P G. Stand up and be counted LPG, cleanest, cheapest,
local-made = WINNER
You definitely need to update your HOW-TO
article, DIRTY AIR FILTER WARNING, as well as POWERING UP THE PRESSURE SWITCH
and any other articles that use the Micro Pneumatic Logic switches, especially
the newer ones, aka MP-500 series.
If anyone, like myself, is using one
of the newer switches, then the instructions MUST be changed in the articles.
These switches come with blade terminals that can most easily accommodate
bayonet-style slide terminals -- there is no need to take the switch apart and
solder any leads to it.
Also, if users are not going to use the switch to
power heavy loads, like in the case of the Dirty Filter Warning, then they can
use a low-power LED and a penlight battery (one or more AA or AAA batteries) as
the power source.
Intake Modification Relevance
I'm a big fan of your magazine and I love all
your fantastic, in-depth technical articles. Recently I've been enjoying your
intake experiments - but I often wonder how relevant these articles are to the
type of people who own these particular cars.
I wish you could do an article like this with
something more geared toward the performance market. I personally own a MkV Golf
GTI, and currently there is much debate amongst members on whether a forced
induction car would even benefit from a "cold air" intake. The general consensus
seems to be that these "filters on a stick" are there more for looks and noise,
as opposed to any real performance gains.
Anyway, it would be nice if we could see some of
these articles aimed at (I believe) drivers who would more likely be interested
in these types of modifications to improve their cars. Just my .02c.
The intake modification and testing techniques
that we have shown are able to be done on all cars, at little cost, by anyone.
It’s up to you to apply those techniques to the cars of your choice.
No More Disjointed Individuals
I do not normally write to magazine editors,
but I am doing so this time because I seriously believe that the current
narrow-minded attitude that the government shows towards reducing the road toll
through bullish enforcing speeding related offences is not only short sighted,
but moraly wrong. You know something is wrong when the majority of people are
classed as "criminals" by the authorities! The current climate is one of
restlessness on behalf of both enthusiasts and regular motorists alike and I
believe that a large enough "push" from the public will cause politicians in the
government to take notice, or at least be a catalyst for change.
propose is an industry wide movement in trying to get the public to take action,
whether it is through emails, letters, or phone calls. By releasing a
coordinated series of articles throughout a wide variety of interest groups,
many more readers can be influenced into action where otherwise there would only
be a few disjointed individuals.
Let me make it clear, that I am no way endorsing
dangerous or unsafe speeds, but rather a more "mature" look at the whole issue
of road safety, with pre-concieved ideas and budget left aside.
think that if you could include both a "template" letter to send, along with the
names and addresses of all major political persons this could kick-start a
movement (obviously local government officials are to numerous to mention, but
perhaps you could include where to find this information).
In addition to
this "template" I think it would be a good idea to forward something like this,
which is very direct, and to the point:
do believe very strongly about this issue, as there have been so many problems
and mistakes on behalf of the speeding cameras/guns/etc, and so many
well-documented and professional studies into the *decreased* rate of fatalities
through better roads and higher motorway speed limits.
Just wanted to add
to your Cutting Edge Aerodynamics story: In 1990 VW developed a similar system
on the Corrado.... An "active" rear spoiler extended automatically when the car
reached 45 mph to reduce aerodynamic lift. As speed dropped below 12 mph, the
spoiler retracted again." And again in 1998 with the New Beetle:
"The speed-activated rear spoiler, which comes standard with the Turbo S and
other Beetle turbos, is located just above the rear hatch. The spoiler pops up
when the car exceeds 45 mph and lowers when speed drops below 10 mph."
I was reading your article
on the evolution of the 4G63 mitsubishi motor and I believe the 4g63 turbo
Starion as featured in some of your other articles precedes the Vr4 in it's use
of a turbocharged 4g63 factory application. It may be a black sheep of the
Mitsubishi family but not totally invisible I hope.
I have seen a
few articles on aerodynamics and I found this article on the New Inventors
webpage claiming it is a fuel saver. Who know if it works, ut it looks
similar to the thing on BMWs, which I have assumed is a car phone antenna. www.abc.net.au
See our four-part series that starts at
Blowing the Vortex, Part 1
I think it is a pity that autospeed appears to
be republishing a lot old material these days and what new content there is, is
quite lame. It looks to me like there is only one person left on deck and that
person is waiting for the order to turn off the light switches.
There has been no change in 12 months in the
use of old articles. We’re very happy with how AutoSpeed is currently going -
perhaps you are not aware of our changes – see
Also: in the last blog of the year we will be covering our plans for 2008.
I was just wondering if you ever used the fuel
adjuster (Jaycar) kit with your R32 GTR? If so how did it go? I don't have
enough money to get a PFC or Haltech just yet. All i'm keen to do is lean out
the high load mixtures down to something a bit more realistric.
The GTR was sold many years before the DFA was
developed. We suggest it would work well but since the GTR has two airflow
meters, you’d need two of them...
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