According to this Malaysia Sun article, a study was conducted which compared the benefits and costs of three alternatives to the standard internal combustion engine powered by gasoline. The alternatives studied were the hybrid technology that combines gasoline and electricity, advanced diesel technology and E85 (a fuel which is made from 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol). The study also included a large pick-up truck, a mid-sized SUV and a mid-sized car, all of which were gasoline-powered.
The study took into account the benefits for the environment and society in general, and cost-benefit for the individual over the life of the vehicle.
The article doesn’t give any figures from the study; however, it was the advanced diesel technology that came out on top.
“Advanced diesel and hybrid technologies show very well in this study, in terms of benefits to the individual and society overall,” said John Graham, senior author of the research paper. “E85 simply doesn’t provide the same benefits;” he added.
“While it is assumed that the hybrid vehicle will save more fuel than the advanced diesel, the overall advantage goes to the diesel because of its lower technology costs and better performance such as increased torque,” said Mr. Graham. “For E85, it is the cost of producing the fuel, not vehicular changes, that drives the negative results,” he adds.
Well, the test comes out with something different to what I would have expected, but there you have it. Diesel came out the winner followed closely by the hybrid, and pulling up the rear is gasoline-powered vehicles and the E85 fuel. I guess the results are a bit arbitrary based on priorities; some people just don’t appreciate the torque-factor. With a little Green Plus though, you can get a much cleaner burn – that helps the environment and your hip pocket.