Are Diesel Vehicles Really Better on Gas?
It’s no surprise that Canadians feel the pinch of rising gas prices. While we’re a little better off in Saskatoon than cities like Vancouver or Nanimo, our wallets don’t exactly love the price of gas. Carpooling? We like the idea. The execution, not so much. If you’ve ever tried to make carpooling work on a daily basis, you’ll know that it doesn’t. And at 7am when you’re already over your workday, shuffling around with near random people can be less than a great time. Hybrid cars, or electric cars are awesome- except their price tag is just shy of terrifying and these beauties can’t do anything for those going on long hauls or powering up to move some serious weight.
May we suggest biking? Honestly though, there’s hundreds of debates about whether alternatives to petrol vehicles are actually viable. We aren’t saying rush out and sell your car, but if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you may want to consider other options if gas prices are getting to you.
Diesel Fuel Consumption vs. Petrol Fuel Consumption
Diesel vehicles have somewhat of a shoddy reputation, with older models and the hell-ish black smoke (internally link to other blog) putting people off diesel cars and trucks.
But as with most things, product developments and industry improvements over the year have now made diesel cars sleek, powerful and energy efficient.
Gone are the pollution rampant beasts of the 90’s. Diesel engines these days are quite a bit more fuel efficient and have low-end torque compared to their gasoline counterparts. Diesel fuel is 15% more energy filled than gasoline fuel giving diesel vehicles a 0% to 35% head start on how long a gallon of fuel will last you. With energy efficiency and fuel consumption both taken into consideration, a diesel vehicle is 25% more fuel efficient than a gasoline engine.
Why Are Diesel Vehicles That Much Better on Fuel?
A petrol engine requires a fixed mixture for a spark plug to ignite it. A diesel engine always has full amount of air for adequate compression pressure, which generates enough temperature for ignition. Diesel fuel has a slightly higher calorific value than petrol. When you combine this with higher compression AND the surplus of air in the cylinder to heat up and produce greater pressure on the power stroke, less diesel fuel is used while running and somewhat while idling as well. While a petrol engine uses a spark to ignite a mix of air and fuel, diesel engines inject fuel into air that is heated by having been intensely compressed, where it then ignites spontaneously. The high pressures inside a diesel engine, together with the fact that it does not “throttle” the air that it draws in, creates a higher fuel efficiency. While fuel consumption is, of course, influenced by the amount of power being produced, higher fuel efficiency means that a diesel engine will use less fuel while producing the same amount of power. Less fuel consumption on a diesel vehicle makes them a solid choice for long hauls, or larger commercial vehicles- but everyday, regular drivers are looking at diesel vehicles to save quite a bit in annual as prices. The gap of fuel economy is closing in, we hate to admit- diesel now costs almost as much as gasoline- but you simply get that much more out of your tank.
Diesel Fuel is Energy Efficient Too
A litre of diesel fuel contains roughly 15% more energy than a litre of petrol. This means that even if the efficiency of the two engine types are the same, a diesel vehicle would go further on each tankful.
If you consider both the energy density difference of the fuel, and the efficiency of the engine itself, that leaves the overall efficiency of the diesel engine about 20% greater than that of the petrol engine.
These are the kind of stats we like.
Did we mention that the resale value of diesel vehicles does tend to be a little higher? More fuel and energy efficiency means a little less deprecation on the motor itself and decreased costs on running the car.
Are Diesel Vehicles Only Good for Long Distances?
Nope! While diesel vehicles are typically a clear choice for long haulers, and commercial fleets, city goers can also reap the benefits of lower gas consumption through diesel engines.
Shooting around the city doesn’t seem that far or strenuous, but the constant stopping and starting really does suck up your gas without you even noticing. Diesel vehicles can save city dwellers money at the pump too, with the clean engine design of recent models not posing a threat for pollution.