When it comes to choosing a car these days, one of the biggest concerns will be what type of fuel it uses. The fuel you burn is not only your biggest expense, but it will dictate what type of car you can buy and where you can refuel it. Read on and we’ll try to shine a light on the pros and cons of each type of fuel.
According to statistics from 2016, Petrol engine cars are still the most popular with consumers, with 61.2% of all new cars sold running the powertrain. Diesel is a distant second with 37.8% of new registrations using it. Only 1% of cars were alternative energy cars with 247000 hybrid cars being sold and only 400 electric cars.
Costs of cars
For a supermini class car here are the RRPs from 2016:
Ford Fiesta (Petrol) – From £13545
Ford Fiesta (Diesel) – From £16045
Toyota Yaris (Hybrid) – From £14995
Nissan Leaf (Electric) – From £21530
As you can see newer technologies cost a premium. A fully electric car can cost up to 1.5 times the cost of a standard petrol car. Hybrids are still slightly more expensive than standard petrol cars, but only by around 10%.
Where can I fuel up?
Currently, there are roughly 8 and a half thousand fuel stations in the UK. There are 4181 electric recharging stations. By 2020 it is predicted that there will more electric charging locations than fuel stations. In my experience, there are not as many charging ports at electric charging stations as there are pumps at petrol stations, and in addition to this where it only takes a couple of minutes to fill a fuel tank it takes several hours to charge an electric vehicle.
What range will I get from one refuel/recharge?
The maximum range of the same cars we mentioned above is as follows:
Ford Fiesta (Petrol) – 607 miles
Ford Fiesta (Diesel) – 708 miles
Toyota Yaris (Hybrid) – 678 Miles
Nissan Leaf (Electric) – 155 Miles
As you can see, electric cars have a serious disadvantage when it comes to range. This probably isn’t a problem if you‘re only going to be using your car to dash around a city, but on country drives where charging stations aren’t available, this will become a major issue.
Pros and Cons
Petrol models are still the cheapest
There is the biggest choice of petrol models
Petrol cars have the most zip so are good for city and country driving
Petrol models produce the most co2/mile
Diesel models have the longest ranges
Diesel cars use 15-20% less fuel
Diesel cars are good for motorway journeys
Diesel engines produce the most pollutants
Hybrid cars have low emissions
Hybrid cars don’t need to be recharged, they only require fuel
You have the choice of petrol or diesel hybrids
There are very few hybrid models available
Electric cars have no emissions
Electric cars are quiet
Electricity is cheaper than fossil fuels
Electric cars need t0 be charged often
Electric cars electricity can be generated from fossil fuels with co2 emissions