With rising fuel prices all those who do not yet have a "green" vehicle will be asking themselves the all important question - Convert, buy a new Diesel powered car or buy a petrol-electric hybrid?
Hybrids are trendy. Knowing this, friends and acquaintances have asked me if they should buy a hybrid.
The first thing I do is ask them a question: how much city and traffic driving do you do? Because that's where hybrids have the most advantage in fuel economy.
When a hybrid is stopped at a light, or in traffic, where a regular car will get zero miles per gallon, it doesn't use any fuel. And when running at slow, steady speeds and
light engine loads, as in under 50Kmph or so on level ground, a hybrid will run under electric power, using no petrol.
Under acceleration and at highway speeds, the hybrid uses its gasoline engine, perhaps with an assist from the electric motor while accelerating. Because the gas engine
is smaller than the one in a similarly-sized petrol only car, it may be running under a higher load, particularly under acceleration or while climbing a hill. Because of that,
fuel savings might be less than expected.
The dirty little secret of the hybrid world is that EPA highway fuel economy ratings are more than a little optimistic. Because of the abstract way that the ratings have
been calculated, internal-combustion engine fuel economy is also inflated, but not usually by as much. Changes in calculation methodology have been announced, which
is good, because most of us do not drive at a steady 60Kmph on level ground when on the highway.
Still, if you do a lot of city driving or commuting, a hybrid makes sense. If you want better fuel economy and do more highway driving, buy a diesel.
Yeah, you heard that right. Modern diesels are less like the ones we'd rather not remember from the 80s than modern gasoline engines resemble their counterparts
from the 1950s. They are quiet, smooth, and smoke-free, thanks to new design and construction technology and new ultra-low sulfur fuel. Spark-ignition (gasoline)
engines have been the focus of development for passenger car use, especially in the US, for the past century. Compression-ignition (diesel) engines are just beginning
a period of development. Consider the diesel of today to be where the gasoline engine was in about 1970. New fuels and emissions technologies are about to make some
major changes for cleanliness and efficiency - and the diesel is already more efficient than the spark-igniton engine.
Of course, the modern diesel car is not cheap. A mid-sized diesel would probably cost upwards of Rs six lakhs!. On the other hand, you could easily convert your existing
vehicle into a bi-fuel hybrid using either petrol-CNG or LPGpetrol-LPG by installing an inexpensive commercially available, government approved kit. Also, do the math! Use the conversion calculator
as well our Auto LPG filling station list and then give us a call - it will be our pleasure to help you.