With gasoline prices continuing to skyrocket at gas pumps across the United States, motorists and car manufacturers alike have been searching for a new alternative to gasoline powered cars. However, just what the best alternative really is seems to be a debate that has been brewing amongst those who are most knowledgeable on the topic. With hybrid cars seeming to gain more and more popularity over the past year, some car manufacturers are wondering if electric cars are really the way to go. An alternative to both hybrid cars and typical gasoline powered cars comes in the form of diesel powered cars. Much cheaper than gasoline, diesel has long provided an alternative fuel for motorists around the world. However, diesel powered cars have not been as successful within the United States.
This has baffled many car manufacturers for a long time, given that diesel cars have been prevalent in other parts of the world including Europe for the last seven decades. Many consumers assume that diesel is comparable to gasoline, given that on the surface it seems the same - after all, you can pump both diesel and gasoline at your local gas station. However, diesel powers cars in a somewhat different way than gasoline. While gasoline uses spark plugs to ignite the gasoline and produce fuel for the vehicle, diesel powered cars use compressed air. Diesel powered driving has long been associated with the big rigs.
Eighteen wheelers and other large trucks are fueled by diesel for one main reason - the excellent gas mileage. Diesel cars are also excellent on gas mileage, something that is seemingly lacking from standard gasoline powered cars in the United States. Diesel cars typically get between forty and fifty miles per gallon, anywhere from twenty to forty percent better than the average gasoline powered car.
With regular gasoline prices rising, you have probably noticed that lower diesel price at the gas station while you are filling up your tank. Diesel prices do rise when regular gasoline prices rise, but diesel prices are always lower than gasoline prices. This is perhaps one of the most appealing characteristics of diesel for consumers that are tired of paying upwards of three dollars per gallon of gasoline to fill up their car's gas tank. However, diesel also has its downfalls.
Environmental studies have shown that diesel fuels omit considerably harmful fumes into the atmosphere. Given recent environmental concerns, this gives gasoline one up on diesel fueled engines. However, car consumers will find that these are not the only options. Many car manufacturers are now marketing hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles are powered by a combination of gasoline and electric power. By combining gasoline with electric power, hybrid cars omit considerably less harmful fumes into the atmosphere.
In fact, while running on their electric battery power, hybrid cars omit no fumes into the environment at all. The hybrid presents an alternative that is not only cheaper at the gas pump, but also more environmentally friendly than gasoline fueled cars. Certain places in the United States that have been plagued by heavy pollution, like the state of California; have seen a growing trend in the purchase of hybrid vehicles over regular vehicles. In fact, millions of Americans are currently living in areas that have poor air quality.
Hybrids could provide the beginning of a solution to this problem. Without a doubt hybrid vehicles will provide somewhat of a reprieve from dire air quality. However, the environmental pluses of hybrid vehicles do not stop there.
After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina at the end of the summer of 2005, many people were left wondering what caused such a horrible hurricane season. Many scientists and environmentalists have blamed the increase in major hurricanes in the negative affects global warming has had on the environment. The excessive use of fossil fuels, including gasoline, in our society has caused an extremely detrimental affect on our atmosphere.
Hybrid vehicles that use less gasoline and therefore omit less detrimental fumes into the atmosphere are perhaps the first step to a cleaner, healthier society and more breathable air. By providing low gas cost and little harm to the environment hybrid cars seem to be the newest trend in smart driving.
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. Get patented car care products at http://www.5starshine.com