Car Wars! Diesel vs. Electric

Electric vehicles are getting a huge amount of attention these days because of their energy efficiency and low emissions. But there's another emerging technology out there that makes the same claims: Would you believe... diesel? As Rex Moore reports in this video from the Washington Auto Show, today's clean diesel cars are a far cry from the noisy and smelly vehicles of a few years ago, and they're a fast-growing segment in the U.S. auto market.

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  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2013, at 4:59 PM, TMFAlison wrote:

    We love our diesel and would definitely buy another. Nice to hear there will be more options once the jetta tdi gives up the ghost.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2013, at 11:06 PM, TulipSpeculator1 wrote:

    I have not personally driven a diesel car but have heard from owners who have had good things to say about them. I drive a Volt on a daily basis and am very satisfied with the electric set up.

    Long Tesla shares!

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2013, at 3:47 PM, James478 wrote:

    I cannot wait to drive my 4 kids and 1 wife around town and to church on Sundays in a diesel van (or mini-van?!) someday. I am racking up mileage on my Grand Caravan hoping something will be available on the market (other than a behemouth diesel that can carry 10 kids and pull a trailer) in the next few years.

    My diesel excitement is due to a new technology being developed in Minnesota. The McGyan Process makes biodiesel cleaner and cheaper than the traditional method. I have been following this for about 2 years. BioCat Fuels ( made pure biodiesel from pond scum for about $1.50 gal! They can also use weeds that grow on the side of the road.

    I cannot wait to drive a van fueled by cheap, clean 100% biodiesel that does not compete with foodstocks!

    (I currently have no investment in this company)

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2013, at 4:12 PM, MikeMark wrote:

    Diesel is the answer from a tech, cost, refueling and safety standpoint. Pure electrics are just not ready for mainstream. Hybrids are a good possibility, just not from a cost point of view. I'm an electrical engineer. I drive a diesel.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2013, at 6:26 PM, Kiffit wrote:

    If you look at the history of the transition from sail to steam on the high seas in the nineteenth century, you will see a very good template as to how the automobile market will transition in the coming years.

    Hybridization transitioned from sail with steam auxillary power in the 1820s through to steam with residual emergency sail in the 1880s. It wasn't until 1890 that sail was completely dispensed with and the modern marine above deck superstructure emerged complete.

    It is interesting to note that sail clipper ships were still able to compete with steam on some routes until the Suez canal shortcut rendered them obsolete in 1869.

    Hybrids and sail co-existed for a long time until the steam technology had reached speed, efficiency and reliability levels that rendered sail reduntant for all but leisure purposes.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 12:15 PM, RRGY2K wrote:

    Diesel? Yeah. Except that those commercials about sad faced swimming polar bears because of Arctic melting are as much victims of soot from the industrial northern hemisphere as they are from global warming (Antarctic ice has actually been growing lately). Diesel exhaust is a large source of atmospheric soot.

    Diesel engines are a little more efficient than gasoline engines, but most of their magic is attributable to significantly more btu's per gallon than gasoline (and more CO2 per gallon and per mile as well). Virtue is more directly found in fuels with far fewer carbon atoms in their molecules by using compressed natural gas as a motor fuel).

    So it's OK to love diesel cars, but let's not pretend that diesel fuel is going to be saving any nearby planets.

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