Hybrid Diesel?

Diesel fuel gets great mileage. Hybrid cars don’t use diesel. Why don’t manufacturers offer diesel hybrids? That seems like a way to maximize the mileage.

It’s comming…

It’s coming. Right now there is the double cost whammy, and only recently has the diesel fuel been up to international quality in the US.

A diesel hybrid would get extremely good mileage, a mid size car like the Mercedes E class would get the same mileage as a Prius. Some performance would be sacrificed, however.

But we will need $5/gallon gas before Americans will feel the urge to buy one in large numbers, since it will have a hefty premium price.

I’m not sure the mileage difference between a conventional diesel and a diesel/hybrid is great enough to justify the additional cost/complexity. A diesel e-class only gets about 35 mpg, but it’s a pretty heavy car. If you compare a VW TDI to a Prius, they get similar mileage and have a similar price. i don’t know if there would be a big market for a hybrid version of the TDI if it only got 5-10 mpg more and cost an extra $3-5000.

The major difference is that gasoline engines are much less efficient at part-load than diesels, so the hybrid can actually make a significant difference. Personally, if I was looking for the maximum cost/benefit, I would just buy a small conventional diesel.

Good points. I think the diesel hybrid would excel for those who spend 50,000+ miles per year behind the wheel driving on the Interstate. Such a diesel would be only 4 cyl, using the battery for the push during acceleration.

The record-seeting 80 mpg hybrids sponsored by the US government under the PNGV were all 3 cyl diesel hybrids, but they would not be very good daily drivers.

Subaru is going to do this, aren’t they? I believe they are researching a 4 cyl. boxer diesel hybrid. I would buy one of these-- my neighbor brews his own diesel!
-John L.
02 Subaru Outback, 03 Subaru Outback & 72 BMW m/c

Somebody is going to ask you, John: Have you been drinking some of that “diesel” with your neighbor?