Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hybrid, Diesel, or Electric?

Gas not only costs a hefty sum over the years, but it is also a detriment to the environment. Thus, many consumers are trying to go green and make their way into the hybrid, diesel, or electric car markets. Overall, the kind of car you choose should depend on how much you drive and how you drive.
  • Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius are cars that use both electric and gas motors, and generally get better gas mileage. Hybrid cars are best for city driving or in high-traffic expressways, since the stop-and-go motion and braking recharges the battery that powers the electric motor and they can maintain fuel efficiency at slower speeds than diesels
  • Battery-electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf use electric motors to propel the car. These are best used in big cities that are concentrated with charging stations, seeing that range limitations will keep you relatively close to home. For longer trips (such as weekend and holiday getaways), plug-in hybrid or extended range electric vehicles have a secondary power source to provide additional range once the electric battery is depleted.
  • Diesel cars such as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI run on diesel engines, which typically return better fuel economy than gas engine. Diesel cars are best for high-mileage driving, especially on the highway, due to extra features such as improved sound deadening and aerodynamic active grille shutters. They also have the best trade-in values.
If you do not drive that often (less than 7,500 miles/year), you should stay with gasoline cars because the savings on fuel wouldn't be enough to cover the premium you'll pay for a hybrid or diesel car.