hybrid vs. gas engine

This or That: Gasoline-Fueled or Hybrid Car?

Hybrids seem like a perfect answer for better mileage and a better environment, but are they really the greenest cars you can buy?

This or That: Gasoline-Fueled or Hybrid Car?

Are hybrid cars all they're cracked up to be?

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Is that gas-guzzling clunker in your garage older than the hills? If it is, you might be able to get paid to trade it in for a more efficient model, thanks to a measure that was just passed by Congress. The “Cash for Clunkers” bill would give people $4,500 to trade in 10-year-old cars that get less than 18 miles per gallon (mpg) for models with a modestly improved mileage of 22 mpg.

Whether that bill becomes law or not, upgrading a car with an abysmally low 18 mpg will save anyone money on gas. Even 22 mpg is pretty low these days, with new hybrids and fuel-efficient gas models that can go twice as far on a gallon. But when it comes to the choice between a hybrid and a fuel-efficient gas engine, does the green-cred of hybrids always equal savings over nonrenewable-gasoline-powered cars?

This: Hybrid Car

Pros: In most cases, hybrids get incredibly high gas mileage; the 2010 Toyota Prius, gets a combined (city + highway) gas mileage of 50 mpg. That incredible gas mileage helps defray some of the car’s higher upfront cost. According to’s “True Cost to Own” analysis, a 2009 Toyota Prius that costs $22,000 will cost $32,760 over five years. Compare that to the most fuel-efficient gas vehicle in the same class, the Hyundai Elantra. The Elantra costs a mere $14,120 at the most, but in five years, your costs will rise to $32,236, thanks to added gas and maintenance. Plus, hybrids are larger and a little sturdier than fuel-efficient gas cars, and therefore provide more storage space and rank higher on crash-safety tests.

Cons: Hybrids have come to symbolize a certain cachet, and unfortunately, car manufacturers have started exploiting the technology to sell inefficient “hybrid” cars loaded down with features like coolers in the glove compartment, or fancy—and heavy—wood dashboards. Some hybrid SUVs and luxury sedans get a fuel economy that’s only marginally better than similar vehicles in their class, and nowhere near the mileage you’d get in a truly efficient Prius or the new Honda Insight. Plus, eventually, the world will have to handle the dead batteries from all these hybrids.


Published on: June 23, 2009

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nice post minds go

nice post
minds go

Three months ago I've bought

Three months ago I've bought a hybrid car and I am very satisfied of it.It is a great car and it is very easy to drive it.Yesterday I've visited a smog check san diego store as I want to buy some auto parts and a friend of mine who works there told me that he has such a car too and he saved a lot of money since he bought it.

What is your opinion about

What is your opinion about using a power window regulator? Some people say that such a gadget can help with fuel economy. What do you think? I'm really curious about this one because I haven't found a straight answer yet.

Although I love being able to

Although I love being able to buy a green car, I have to think about car insurance quotes as well. I don't know what insurance companies offer at the moment for hybrid cars, but they could do better, right?

When it comes to saving the

When it comes to saving the environment, the bit of savings you get when you use a gasoline fuelled car is negligible. In time, the technology that does into hybrids will get much more efficient. Hybrids will turn out to be the cheaper alternative. As they improve fuel efficiency in cars, I hope they do so for caravan and other heavy vehicles as well.

Hybrid cars

Well I think hybrid cars would have a more successful faith on the market.Electric cars still have some issues to address.Plus,hybrids are more affordable.For example I saw a Toyota Prius at an used car dealers West Palm Beach shop that was cheap,well maintained and quite frankly "cool" as my son would put it.Electric cars will not be able to compete with conventional cars on price until 2030.The total cost of ownership - the upfront price and running costs such as fuel and insurance - of environmentally friendly electric vehicles is currently around £5,000 more than petrol and diesel cars.

Without sounding rude,

Without sounding rude, this is a no brainer in todays climate. The hybrid is one of the most popular styles of motor car on the worlds motorways. Gas is a poor option and is fraught with low mileage and ongoing cost issues that will eventually cause the market to rethink the greener options.

Jerry - Carid


Its really required to reduce pollution and we all really start working on it soon.A gasoline car meets these requirements but produces a relatively large amount of pollution and generally gets poor gas mileage. Your post is good. custom kitchen cabinets sunbury pa

The toyota prius

The toyota prius may not be the greenest car on the road, but it is certainly a comfortable car and it is soft of the petrol!

Diesel tuning

Hybrid car has the advantage!

With the skyrocketing prices of gas out there - doom and gloom, people should stick with the perception of using hybrid cars. Not just to save money but also to help the environment facing the harms global warming has brought. On the first place, hybrid cars are fuel efficient and safer to the environment rather than gasoline operated vehicles. Regardless of the price, hybrid electric vehicles could be easily maintained since the replacement auto parts such bumper and towing mirrors are not that pricey compared to the OEM. Despite the goods, it's sad to know that hybrid cars are still under different studies and analysis.

Just t think about it

Just t think about it, hybrids are here to solve our reliance on fossil fuels and the subsequent health implications of pollution caused by gas spewing vehicles. Hybrid manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota and BMW promises strong guarantees to offset the perceived reliability problems such as mile warranty on the battery or the hybrid systems. This is already a lot more concrete than what petroleum and government organizations have promised to do. If you ask if the savings in gas is worth worrying about where do the spent batteries go to after they are done, then I’d say yes, it’s worth it, especially if you are a city dweller. You have to look at the big picture, not just the penny savings you will receive.

Electric cars

Let the world deal with dead batteries from hybrid cars than dealing with polluted air and constantly increasing temperature of the earth. I sustain the Eco-movement and in my opinion, changing the fuel powered cars with hybrid ones is one of the best choice. A friend that works at Fox Rent A Car told me that he observed how more and more people are interested in hybrid cars. This will make car manufacturers think about their sales, customers and implement new technologies by introducing full electric cars with a lifetime that will allow us to travel where we want, not thinking about distance anymore.

Low gas consumption

Nowadays people tend to buy cars with low gas consumption and with low Greenhouse gas emissions. Very little people actually care about their car carbon emissions. I own a Conversion Van that I travel casually in with my family and a low gas consumption car I use to go to work. The main problem about low gas consumption is about money that people spend for their everyday journey with their cars from home to work. How the price of oil is growing from month to month people observe that a very good part of their budget gets pumped in a car that gets 14 MPG. Why not buy a car that gets 35 MPG? With the savings from gas you can buy something else, even a present for your wife is better than giving unnecessary money for gas.

a stick shift gives best milage

We have a 92 nissan sentra manual transmission that STILL gets 30-40 mpg on the highway 25-30 in traffic...why are the newer cars offering less? It is very frustrating.

No, wood is NOT the problem.

I also have to take issue with this article on the comment about the "heavy wood dash" on the luxury models. The heavy wood dash panel is not heavy because it's wooden, it's heavy because of incompetent design.
Components made from wood can be just as light, and a lot more eco-friendly than components made from steel or plastic, like most automotive components. Pound for pound, even a soft wood like spruce has a higher tensile strength than a piece of steel of the same weight. As noted by others, the wood on the dash is only a veneer less than 1/16" thick, but if it were applied to a plywood panel, like on the old MG, it would be lighter than the typical plastic composite dash, but could be just as curvaceous.
When it's time to junk the car, you would remove the wood, chip it, and burn it for fuel. The resulting CO2 would reenter the environment and be absorbed by the trees that will make up the next generation of wood products.
Also, keep in mind that during WWII, when resources were scarce, some of the best aircraft ever made were made partly or principally from wood, including the British mosquito fighter / bomber. The natural resilience of wood and plywood construction made these planes able to take heavy battle damage and still get their crews home, as well as easy to repair and get back in the air again. It stands to reason that the same material could make some pretty safe and durable cars.
The main obstacle I see to the making of more environmentally freindly cars is actually the american consumer, whose love of the cheap-but-luxurious items that have been made possible by plastic has resulted in the decline of American manufacturing and skilled labor as the products are shipped offshore to be made by semi-skilled labor in locales that couldn't care less about the environmental impact of manufacturing plastics.
You should really check out the wooden car, Splinter, made by Joe Harmon Design. It weighs less than most, at ~2500 lbs., and everything on it except for the engine, drive train, tires, and windows are made from solid wood and woven veneer body panels. And when you junk it, you just recycle the metal and mulch the rest!
If the auto industry would just do their homework, they could find a whole lot of ways to make cars lighter and more efficient, without sacrificing safety, using materials and technologies we've lived with for so long that we've forgotten about them. The other obvious advantage to wood and some other "unorthodox" construction materials would be bringing jobs back to many parts of the U.S., where some of the old knowledge of how to work with these materials still resides.

Hybrid Cars

Batteries can and should be recycled. Find the locations of the recyclers online.
Some car makers are trying to cash in on the popularity of hybrids. There will always be opportunists trying make a buck. Do your research.

hybrids and conventionals and sustainability

We have a Prius that is about 3 years old, and typically get 50+ mpg when my wife drives, and 45 when I drive. I usually drive a 10 year old Nissan pickup. It gets about 35+ mpg when I'm paying attention. But, it's better to use it less frequently and as long as possible because a new "anything" and scrapping the PU is much more harmful/wasteful of resources.

Better yet, for many communications and meetings we can work across the web as a conference "call". And, the technology for multimedia and internet conferencing is coming along. I suspect it will become a "standard" eventually. Of course, computers require electricity, and then rcycling. Keep them as long as possible!


"Plus, eventually, the world will have to handle the dead batteries from all these hybrids."

This, and manufacturing "costs" should be taken into account when making this decision.

Oh, by the way, when fossil fuels run out, your hybrid won't work anyway. Through most of the article you act like it doesn't use gasoline.

As for your comment about "fancy—and heavy—wood dashboards" and other luxury items added to the high end hybrids, you're kidding right? 90% of that "wood" is probably the same plastic that would normally be in that spot. The cars that use real wood use a new-fangled product called a veneer. I doubt there is a car in productions that contains much wood over 1/16" thick. And if I spend an hour a day driving in my car, I would prefer the environment be comfortable and the handling be decent (which improves safety).

You guys should really stop writing articles that make you look stupid.

P.S.: Bees feed nectar to their young. Not pollen.

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