Diesel, Gas, or Electric Powered Vehicles – Which is the Smarter Option?

Finding the right car for you is one of the hardest choices we have to make especially if it’s your first time buying, or it has been a long time since you purchased one. What is the best option for 2022? What are the difference between diesel, gasoline, and the newer hybrid & electric type vehicles? With the limitations most of us have financially, we have to be smart about the options available to us, as well as being considerate about the amount of carbon footprint we contribute and its impact globally. Sustainability is also one of the most important factors the world is concerned about as we are trying to reduce the greenhouse gasses we produce collectively.

Private Transportation in the Pandemic

Since 2020, there has been a significant need for private transportation as we are trying to live through the pandemic. This significant change in the way we look at our daily commute greatly affects our carbon footprint and the greenhouse gasses we produce. The reason most of us have is that we want to be, and stay guarded, from the corona virus and from all of its mutated variants. Being safe now is more important than it is to save a couple of thousands of pesos from your monthly budget. We are taken hostage by the fact that we need to be protected in order for our family to be that as well.

Read Also: 10 Essential Tips for First-Time Drivers in the Philippines

So, now that we are looking at our options, which of the vehicles available in the market are the right fit for you? How can we be smart about choosing what you need and which of these choices will make life more comfortable as you hustle?

Bria Homes, Inc. is one of the few developers in the Philippines that is concerned about sustainability and the environment. The company firmly believes that choosing the smart option will help not only us, but the legacy of the Filipino family by providing smart and timely articles in the News & Articles section of their website.

What is Petrol Anyway?

Petrol (or petroleum) is what is also known as crude oil, and is a type of fossil fuel. This is mined from the remains of marine organisms, bacteria, and plants. The crude oil is one of the most significant discoveries from more than 2000 years ago that led to the evolution of our modern society, and is a strong sustaining factor for all countries since the invention of internal combustion engines used for transportation. Today, the crude oil and its abundance in certain territories determine the economic strength of a country. Jobs are being created directly and indirectly because of this.

The distillation of crude oil leads to the different types of fuel in the market that we use every day. From Gasoline (Which other countries call ‘petrol’), diesel fuel, LPG, butane, jet fuel, to kerosene, all of which are greatly useful in the modern world. We are going to dive deeper and understand the difference of the two main type of fuels (Gasoline & Diesel fuels) in this article, as well as comparing both to the newer electric type vehicles, now that Tesla is changing the way we view transportation. Oh, and by the way, they are now being seen in the streets of Manila, which is exciting!

Diesel Engines – What Are They?

If you are an elder millennial, do you remember that nostalgic sound of starting the engine and the smoke it produces when you pump the gas after? Those are the things we remember most when we talk about diesel engines. These are the type of engines that really roars and purrs when started. These types of vehicles are mostly known for its efficiency and affordability, and are more popular for as long as we can remember here in our country.

Vehicles running on diesel have what we call an internal combustion engine (like gasoline engines). These type of engines are more specifically referred to as compression ignition engines. This so called compression is how the engine achieves torque, by compressing the air mechanically and injecting the fuel to ignite it. By compressing the air, it reaches high temperatures inside the engine’s cylinder. The engine will then inject the fuel in the cylinder and together with the hot air, it ignites. The small explosions inside the engine will make the pistons work to rotate the crankshaft by converting the energy of combustion to torsional force. So, think of it like this, imagine pedaling a bicycle. The pistons are your legs and the energy that makes the muscles work to pedal are those small explosions to make the gears rotate. Both gasoline and diesel engines work this way. The difference is how they are ignited.

As far as we can remember, diesel fuel has always been cheaper than gasoline. The amount of output also makes diesel engines more efficient due to its fuel economy. This means that a gallon of diesel will take you farther in miles (or kilometers) than a gallon’s worth of gasoline. Since the amount of electrical systems needed in a diesel engine is also fewer than of gasoline engines, they have fewer parts that can break or malfunction. Though diesel engines sometimes have a bigger repair bill for when something goes wrong, it can deliver more operation hours before you need to have any type of major service.

You can also go for a more environment-friendly approach in terms of fuel alternatives by choosing the option of biodiesels. This is the type of diesel fuel that is derived from recycled products like vegetable oil, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. You don’t have to change cars for you to use biodiesel as this type of diesel can be used in all diesel type engines.

Gasoline Engines – Are They More Efficient?

The more common types of vehicles are the vehicles with gasoline engines. They are saturated in the market with a good deal of choices for your everyday use. It is easier to remember that most of the sedan type cars and vans being sold right now are mostly gasoline engine type automobiles.

Gasoline engines are pretty much the same as the diesel type engines, with the difference of how they ignite the fuel in their combustion chambers. They are a class of what’s called an internal-combustion engine that generate power by burning gasoline with an ignition initiated by the spark plugs (you may have heard of it before). As the mixture of air and fuel is injected to the combustion chamber, the engine will then create a spark that will ignite the mixture and create a small explosion inside the combustion chamber. This will in turn convert the explosion’s power to mechanical force through the pistons making the crankshaft rotate. This is how you get power to move the car forwards or backwards.

The efficiency of gasoline engines greatly changed from when we are still using carburetors to fuel injected engines. This upgrade significantly changed how fuel is delivered to the engine from dripping to spraying and atomizing the fuel to have a better burn. However, when compared to diesel engines, gasoline type vehicles are still less efficient even when their pistons, crankshafts, and connecting rods are lighter than that of a diesel engine. Even when the compression ratios are lower, due to the shorter strokes and lesser time to complete it, gasoline engines only have an average of approximately 30-35% thermal efficiency – just half of diesel engines. This means that the power produced by gasoline combustion is mostly lost and not transferred to mechanical power.

You might be thinking, but why buy gasoline type vehicles? Basically, gasoline type engines are still the most common and I must say, the most purchased types of vehicles in the market now. This is because even if there are obviously a lot of disadvantages when it comes to fuel efficiency, it’s not the only factor to consider when choosing what to buy. When it comes to cost of purchase, cars running on gas is far more affordable than diesel type vehicles. There are a lot of choices as well that is offered by different manufacturers unlike diesel cars or trucks. In addition, it is a little bit hard to find diesel powered sedans that is being sold today. Gas cars are also powerful since their engines are much lighter and outcompetes diesel powered vehicles when it comes to speed and responsiveness. Furthermore, maintenance cost in the country will be much cheaper since spare parts are readily available and manufactured. Last but not least, they are less noisy and will not wake your neighbor up when you’re late to arrive from work, or even when you’re too early to go there. Consider buying a gasoline engine-type vehicle when your lifestyle matches what the advantages of it can give you.

The Electric Vehicle Revolution

The electric vehicle’s invention has led to the revolution of electric vehicles worldwide. Since its introduction more than a hundred years ago, electric vehicles are getting more popular now than it has been since the first decade of the 21st century. With the rise of companies like Tesla and Lucid motors, together with the big car companies joining the fray, the evolution of transportation is within the public’s reach. Now that more and more electric car enthusiasts are importing their vehicles in the Philippines, and together with that, companies like Honda and Toyota are also manufacturing electric and hybrid versions of their popular cars, we are optimistic about our options and being smart about our finances in the long run.

Electric vehicles are divided into 3 categories currently:

1. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

First, we have what we call the Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), which is powered by an internal combustion engine in combination with one or more electric motors that is in turn powered by a battery pack near the fuel tank. This type of electric vehicle charges its battery with the help of the internal combustion engine as well as the regenerative braking done when driving. This type of vehicle can’t be charged by plugging a charger in it like the newer models now, but it will still save you a lot of fuel especially in the state of traffic in the metro.

2. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

The second one is called Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). The difference of this type of electric vehicle is that it has two sources of its main power. Batteries power the car as it runs until it’s nearly depleted; the car will then turn to the internal combustion engine when this happens ensuring that you get most of the car’s performance and mileage before it burns gasoline. The car can be charged using the regenerative braking system when the car runs, but, as to what the name of this electric vehicle implies, you can also charge it at home or wherever you find a charging station. This could be the best type of electric vehicle that can work in our country due to its versatility even when we don’t have a lot of charging stations in our CBDs. As of now, only a few automobile manufacturers like Mitsubishi offers a plug-in type of electric vehicle in the market. You can explore the options for PHEVs online or go directly to Mitsubishi’s website.

3. All-Electric Vehicles (EVs)

The third and the final type of electric cars are the All-Electric Vehicles (EVs). These cars are more popular now in other countries like the USA and is slowly getting attention from the rest of the world. These type of vehicles is solely reliant to electric power since it replaces the internal combustion engine with just its electric motors to power the car. Since the power comes from just electricity, the emission from the exhaust system of the internal combustion engine is removed from the equation, leading to an environment friendly and of course, a smoother and more responsive car. The only downside to this is that not all locations in the cities in Manila offer charging stations for whenever you need to charge it.

Whatever options are available to you when buying a vehicle, make sure to check all of its advantages or disadvantages that will directly affect your life. The benefits of either choosing gasoline, diesel, or electric relates to the needs of the user and their lifestyle. For more information about the different articles that makes life better, visit here.

Written by Gene Llanes