(Updated on April 17, 2020)
When people think of hybrid cars, they are usually thinking about the ones which have gasoline engines in them. These people forget that some hybrid cars are built with diesel engines instead of gasoline engines. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of a diesel engine on faster roads while still using your electric motor for your slower driving needs. But does that mean you should immediately run out and purchase a diesel hybrid vehicle? Some people will find a gasoline hybrid car more beneficial than a diesel hybrid car and vice versa. You need to examine the pros and cons of each type of hybrid car below in order to determine which one is right for you.
Pros of Diesel Hybrid Cars
If you are familiar with regular diesel vehicles, then you will enjoy most of the advantages of them in the diesel hybrid vehicle. Below are some of the main advantages that you will find.
Powerful – Diesel hybrid cars are more powerful because they can produce a vast amount of torque. This gives them the ability to haul more weight around. That is why diesel hybrid cars are often bigger vehicles in general, such as sports utility vehicles and buses.
Series Diesel Hybrids Use More Electricity – Since these are bigger vehicles, you might assume that more diesel fuel is required to run them. However, some diesel hybrid models feature an engine which only powers the generator. The generator will create electricity and then transmit it to the electric motors. It is these motors that push the vehicle forward.
Cons of Diesel Hybrid Cars
Diesel hybrid cars certainly have their benefits, but they also have their downsides too. Below are some of those downsides.
Cost – Like with conventional diesel cars, the diesel hybrid cars are more expensive than gasoline cars. It costs manufacturers 15% more to create a diesel hybrid engine. Therefore, this extra cost is carried on over to the market price which consumers must pay. Plus, diesel fuel costs more than gasoline.
Some Models Use More Fuel – If your hybrid diesel car is not a series model, then it may consume more fuel as it is moving forward. Roughly 35% of diesel fuel is converted to allow a forward motion for the vehicle. A regular gasoline hybrid only uses up to 30% of its fuel for this.
Pros of Gasoline Hybrid Cars
Most people choose to purchase a gasoline hybrid car over a diesel hybrid car. Below are some of the advantages of the gasoline hybrid car which motivate them to make this choice.
More Affordable – Gasoline hybrid cars are much cheaper than diesel hybrid cars. In fact, the cheapest gasoline hybrid starts at about $22,000. The cheapest diesel hybrid would be at least $10,000 to $20,000 more than that.
Fuel Efficient – Gasoline hybrid vehicles are built to be fuel efficient. No matter which model you purchase, you will still be saving money on your gas bill.
Regenerative Braking – You can recharge your hybrid battery each time you step on the brake pedal. In some models, this prevents you from relying on the engine too much for this purpose.
Cons of Gasoline Hybrid Cars
Gasoline hybrids may be affordable, but they do have their limitations.
Speed Limitations – If you are trying to produce fewer carbon emissions, then you will need to do a lot more in-town driving with your gasoline hybrid vehicle. The electric motor and battery packs in most of these models will not be able to power your vehicle to faster speeds. And if your hybrid has an “electric only” mode, you will be lucky to get 10 to 15 minutes of driving time before you are forced to go back to gasoline power again.
Bad Handling – Gasoline hybrid cars are usually manufactured to be much lighter. You won’t be able to transport too much weight on these vehicles without affecting their fuel efficiency.
Higher Maintenance Costs – Not only do you need to worry about maintaining the engine, you also must worry about maintaining the electric motor too. And if the car battery goes dead, you are looking at thousands of dollars for the replacement cost.