Bring Back the Diesel Hybrids

| 12/10/2009 4:57:12 PM

Tags: diesel, hybrids, cars, mpg,

Hybrids are great little cars and trucks. I know, I’ve been driving a Toyota Prius in the mountains of Colorado for over four years now. I’ve been amazed by the car. This car’s got serious pep, gets great gas mileage, and handles snow and ice extremely well (with a good set of snow tires). I can drive to western Colorado and back from my home in Evergreen, climbing two mountain passes in the process, and get 53 miles per gallon – if I drive at about 60 miles per hour!
I get even better mileage when driving 60 to 65 miles per hour back and forth from my home in Colorado to my educational center, The Evergreen Institute, in east-central Missouri. During my last trip, I got 55.7 miles per gallon!

Great as the gasoline-electric hybrid is, they could do a lot better. Fuel economy could be increased dramatically by using lighter weight, but equally strong, composites (that is, high-strength, high-tech plastics) to build much lighter, but extremely strong (crash worthy) bodies. Lowering the weight could dramatically boost their mileage, as any auto engineer who understands fuel economy will tell you.

Fuel economy could also be improved by replacing gas engines in hybrids with diesel engines. Although diesel engines cost more, they are significantly more efficient and more durable (longer-lasting) than gasoline internal combustion engines. They also require less maintenance, the savings from which also help to make up for the higher cost.

Interestingly, three major US auto manufacturers developed extremely fuel-efficient  diesel hybrids during the Clinton administration.  They achieved an amazing 70 to 80 miles per gallon! (See accompanying table.) To learn more about these vehicles, visit Autospeed

The French car manufacturer, PSA Peugeot Citroen, is currently developing two diesel-electric hybrid cars.

Diesel Hybrids


Ejikeme Nzeka
4/18/2013 12:46:14 PM

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12/31/2009 7:36:23 AM

I've got one of these trucks sitting in the yard waiting on an engine replacement, it finally died at 550,000 due to a mistake I made. I measured my mileage in that truck carefully and over a year of driving it averaged right around 50mpg. It's not the cleanest design of diesel around, and maximum speed was around 60mph but as long as I wasn't in a hurry, well I didn't mind 4 dollar a gallon fuel quite so much driving it. When I moved, I used the truck to pull a utility trailer from the east coast to Oklahoma, and the truck, with the bed loaded, the trailer full and also considerably taller than the truck, riding with the throttle to the floor most of the way the mileage dropped to a horrific 45mpg. :) I've no clue why your mileage was so bad, but it sounds like something was wrong. They're small inside, sure, but so was the Dodge D-50 gas pickup I used to drive and that got comparatively lousy mileage, besides. >kreg mendus wrote: I ran a 1981 naturally aspirated VW diesel pick up truck for 167k miles as a commuter. Averaged 37 mpg. You had better be prepared to go no where fast AND like the person sitting beside you. Vehicle has a tiny cab, as small as a MG Midget.

12/29/2009 11:44:33 PM

First off Dan you hit this on the head 100%, but anyone that has watch any TV reports or the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car" will tell ya that DETROIT does not like change, EVER... They want to do what ever makes them the most money no matter what the COST to you, me or the environment. It has only been in the last 10 years that Detroit has acted like they care, because the rest of the country about being green. Right now Chevy, Ford and Dodge all have a small V-6 diesel for the full size pickups that they could sell, but there all waiting on the other one to start selling them. Albert, if you think that the EPA is so bad I go to Peru and see there air pollution and any 3rd world country. I do feel that the EPA has gone over the edge with Tier II and soon to be released tier III. The EGR valve is the dumbest thing that was ever put onto a car or truck. One more little thing to watch for, EcoFuel the worlds first and virtually emissionless fuel to be on the market. This fuel has 93% less emissions than any unleaded fuel on the market in the world. And yes we make a diesel that is the same. A change is coming to the fuel world. More power, better emission and cleaner for every one.

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