When you look at a new car, you focus on its design, interior comfort, safety features, performance, and technology. You almost never consider what makes the vehicle move: fuel. However, with all the new engine technologies available now or coming soon, the following fuel options are becoming more critical.
Gasoline still stands out as the most common fuel source for modern vehicles. Despite its issues with emissions, gas is plentiful, relatively inexpensive, and gets you further faster. Continuing improvements in engine technology eke out additional miles from this fuel source every year. One example is Start/Stop Technology that shuts down the engine when you stop and restarts when you release the brake pedal. You’ll find this feature on the Subaru Forester or any Ford with an EcoBoost® engine, among others.
Diesel fuel packs about 10 percent more energy per gallon than gasoline, making it more efficient. Giving diesel engines greater fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts, often by as much as 20 percent or more. This translates to less money spent at the pump overall. Diesel motors often feel more powerful during acceleration because their engines do not require high revving. Popular models from almost every manufacturer include diesel variants such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Colorado, or Ram 1500.
A hybrid vehicle typically adds an electric motor and battery to the typical internal combustion engine. The cells are recharged through the use of the engine and braking. This then brings about fewer CO2 emissions, less fuel consumption, and greater gas mileage. The Toyota Prius pioneered hybrid engineering for consumer cars, but other models with hybrid variants include the Ford Fusion and the Kia Optima.
At first glance, a plug-in hybrid vehicle seems similar to a conventional hybrid in having an engine, electric motor, and batteries. However, a plug-in hybrid can recharge its batteries using electricity from home or a charging station. Depending on driving condition, the vehicle can use the electric motor, the internal combustion engine, or a combination of both to move forward. Its range will typically be better than the hybrid or gasoline engine, and being able to plug in reduces trips to the gas station. Examples include the Hyundai Ionique and the Honda Clarity.
Electric vehicles eliminate CO2 emissions and trips to the gas station because they derive their power from electricity. They contain an electric motor and batteries that recharge by plugging into ordinary household outlets or, for faster results, a 240-volt charger installed at home, or a public charging station. Because electric motors react quickly, electric vehicles are typically responsive with excellent torque. With fewer moving parts, they are less costly to maintain. Well-known electric models include the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Hydrogen fuel cells are the more efficient option than gasoline or diesel, eliminate emissions when used or produced, and can be created wherever water and a source of power exist. Their distribution does not depend on any supply or electrical grid. However, the technology is so new that only a few, nearly-experimental vehicles have been produced for consumers.
Make your way down to Beach Blvd. of Cars and find out which vehicles match your fuel consumption needs.