3. Why Diesel Is Better Than Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars
One word: infrastructure. A lot of filling stations already have a diesel pump or two, therefore it wouldn't be much of an issue to have a few more on the forecourt. Good luck trying to find somewhere that dispenses hydrogen. The simple fact is that diesel technology is already here and already accessible.
Hydrogen needs to be stored in highly compressed form at low temperatures. Also, since it is not something that occurs naturally, where does hydrogen fuel come from? A lot of it comes from fossil fuels-natural gas and gasoline-or from methane.
There's no denying that vehicles whose only emissions are water vapor would be a good thing, but how long before fuel cell cars are affordable and available? We don't have the luxury of time or the ability to pay for anything like a Honda FCX, which is basically a pleasant runabout that costs $1 million apiece to produce.
MINI One D
4. Why diesel is better than ethanol
Apart from the moral aspect of diverting foodstuffs into fuel production when a shamefully large proportion of the human race is starving (852 million, or 13 percent of the world's population according to the U.N.), there's a cold, hard, technical fact: Corn-based ethanol production takes more energy than it gives out. Yes, some of that energy is sunshine, but there's also natural gas, liquid propane gas, coal, electricity, and diesel to go in there too. To make ethanol with the same amount of energy as 8.5 gallons of gasoline requires the equivalent of 6.3 gallons to come from one or more of those sources. So why use diesel to make ethanol when diesel can already go straight into a car? This cuts out a whole time-, money- and energy-consuming process. And we can drive our kids to school knowing that we haven't taken food out of anyone else's mouth.
5. Why Diesel Is Better Than Hybrids
Diesel cars are less complex than hybrids, with fewer things to go wrong. Diesel engines are heavier than their gasoline-chugging counterparts, but not as heavy as all the hybrid paraphernalia thrown in there as well. The life of a battery pack is shorter than that of a diesel engine, so there's the expense of replacing it and disposing of spent cells. Recycling a diesel engine is far more straightforward. No doubt there will be diesel hybrids in the near future for even cleaner, more frugal vehicles. Great and all, but there's still that battery issue.
Fuel consumption for hybrids is often claimed to be in the 50-mpg range. In the real world, that rarely happens. On the other hand, regular european car readers will know that we've often had 44 mpg from our long-term Jetta TDI without even trying. And when did anyone describe a hybrid as a fun drive? The Jetta is nice enough, but there's an intriguing development on the horizon: a diesel MINI. Naturally, there's a version already out in Europe, but BMW is seriously considering bringing something with a new-generation engine over to the U.S. The combination of MINI-type thrills and a possible 60 mpg seems like a no-brainer.
6. Why Diesel Is The Next Frontier For Tuners
For one thing, they like a challenge. Most of the non-engine stuff is pretty much worked out. These guys can almost set up a suspension and design aero appendages in their sleep. So getting more power out of a diesel engine while still preserving its raison d'etre of low emissions and decent economy is something for a tuning house to sink its collective teeth into. At the same time, diesel's superior energy density and higher torque characteristics play into the tuners' hands.