Diesel Engine vs. EV: Which is better?

With the significant rise in electric vehicles and the growing availability of renewable energy, it’s become a question that many people have been asking. Here we compare the pros and cons of an electric engine on an EV to a diesel engine on an ICE vehicle. Spoiler alert: Diesel wins out!

Diesel Engines vs. Electric Vehicles: Which is Better?

In February of 2015, Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] announced that its Model S received the highest safety rating of any car ever tested by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is the same organization that awarded a 5-star rating to the new 2015 Chevy Corvette. This development will reassure many consumers who are still on edge about electric vehicles. However, some people still remain skeptical about electric vehicles being safe and efficient.

In a recent study by the University at Albany (UAlbany) and the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), it was determined that electric vehicles can be just as safe as traditional gasoline-fueled vehicles. This study compared the safety ratings for all passenger vehicle types, including cars, SUVs, light trucks, vans, and hybrids. The researchers used Consumer Reports to determine how safe the cars were in terms of front, side and rear collisions. They also looked at rollover accidents.

Some key findings from this study:

  • Electric cars are safer than conventional vehicles when it comes to collisions with other objects such as trees or poles and with perpendicular impacts against other objects such as walls or poles.
  • Electric cars are the safest when it comes to collisions with other vehicles.
  • Electrically powered cars have a lower rate of rollovers than conventional automobiles.

The current issue many people have with electric vehicles is their inability to travel in “extreme weather and road conditions”. With rising oil prices, most consumers are looking for an alternative to gasoline/diesel engines and electric vehicles just might be that alternative. According to the UAlbany study, diesel-powered vehicles do not suffer from these problems. Electric vehicles also do not require any regenerative braking systems or hybrid technologies that can potentially cause wear on the componentry of the vehicle or increase maintenance costs.

The good news for those of you who are looking to buy a new gas-powered vehicle is that diesel engines are becoming more popular than they were just a few years ago. In fact, the number of diesel vehicles sold in the United States grew by 9% in 2014 over 2013. As consumers start to buy more and more of these vehicles, the incentives offered by governments and oil companies will not only increase, but will also make them more affordable. Here are some of the key factors that fuel demand:

  • Demand for heavy duty trucks has increased due to tougher emissions regulations for trucks and vans.
  • Fuel prices are rising, which will cause consumers to start buying more diesel-powered vehicles.
  • Rise in oil prices will cause more manufacturing and usage of diesel.

Diesel Engines vs. Electric Vehicles: Which is Better? – Conclusion

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular around the world thanks to the popularity of green energy and renewable energy sources. There are many advantages to electric propulsion systems such as zero tailpipe emissions, zero local emissions and low operating costs, which all make them an appealing option for many consumers in many countries around the world. However, people who want to purchase a new vehicle do not want to pay for extra touches that make their vehicle run as cleanly as possible.

One of the major issues with electric automobiles is the charging time. In order to run for a longer period of time, it is necessary to charge the battery a few times. Some people are also worried about being stranded if their vehicle battery dies while they are driving and there isn’t an E-Stop nearby. According to research by the UAlbany and UCB, these concerns are unfounded as electric cars can be driven safely in almost any circumstance.

Unfortunately, economic factors such as oil prices and tax incentives were not taken into consideration during this study.

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