Which is the Best of the Four Engine Types?
For over 100 years now, the decision to be made about the type of motor you want in your car has been pretty simple –an internal combustion engine. Today, there are more choices. You can consider one of four types: Internal Combustion; Hybrid; Plug-in Hybrid or Electric Vehicle (EV). Like most choices, there isn't a best one. Consulting our experts at Gainesville Dodge of Gainesville, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Gainesboro, FL, there are pros and cons to each type. Care to dig in and take a look with us?
Internal Combustion Engines
The internal combustion engine is your standard fossil fuel-powered engine. Even though it's been around for a long time, it has some significant issues.
Cons - The most obvious downside to the internal combustion engine is the fact that they pollute the air. Most scientists today agree that climate change is real; the only argument left is what role the internal combustion engine plays – a minor role or a major role. If the environmental impact isn't enough of a negative, consider that the fossil fuels used to power internal combustion cars will eventually run out.
Pros - Internal combustion engine vehicles have been in production for over a hundred years; if you have been building something that long you tend to get pretty good at it. As a result, we can make high-quality, internal combustion engines quickly and cheaply. And let's not forget the infrastructure. The United States is covered in gas stations. If you have a car that runs on gasoline or diesel, you can be confident you will be able to find fuel just about anywhere you go.
Hybrid vehicles combine traditional combustion engine technology with an electric motor. Typically, a hybrid vehicle uses an electric motor to power the vehicle at lower speeds and then uses a combustion engine for faster speeds. The Toyota Prius is one of the most successful examples of a hybrid vehicle.
Cons - Of course, hybrid engines are still reliant on fossil fuels and all the negatives that comes with that. Hybrid vehicles are also more expensive than their internal combustion engine counterparts. (Although that gap is becoming smaller.)
Pros - The pros of a hybrid vehicle are similar to those of an internal combustion engine. You can make use of the existing fossil fuel (gas and diesel) infrastructure yet drive short distances on electric power alone.
Plug-In Hybrid Engines
A plug-in hybrid vehicle is basically a hybrid with the added advantage of being able to charge the battery pack when needed. This is a very important point for some car owners.
Cons – Well, very few. Plug-in hybrids can utilize fossil fuels when necessary or be plugged in and charged. This is the best of both worlds.
Pros – Plug-in hybrid cars have the advantage of not being entirely reliant on fossil fuels. Though they are designed to use gasoline or diesel fuel, they can also be charged via an electric outlet.
Electric Engine (EVs)
Electric vehicles have no internal combustion engine at all. They are just a vehicle with a large battery pack and an electric motor.
Cons - The range of an electric vehicle is limited by its batteries. Your driving range could be less than other vehicle types and this could be a problem for some commuters. However, the range of EVs is getting longer and longer as battery technology advances.
Pros - Absolutely zero direct impact on the environment when you drive. That's pretty cool. Of course, the electricity you're charging your car with could have come from a powerplant that uses fossil fuel. Then again, if it comes primarily from hydropower, you have generated almost no pollution!
Which would you buy? Which should you buy? Let's sum up. The two most significant issues for many consumers are vehicle cost and commute distance.
Cost - If you are limited in the amount you can spend on your vehicle, you will be probably looking at an internal combustion engine or hybrid vehicle.
Commute distance - If your vehicle will be used for long trips, you may have to rule out all electric vehicles. The technology in EVs isn't up to road-trip length drives. And charging stations are not yet ubiquitous.
Ultimately, the best choice is a vehicle that best meets your needs and that may take a bit of analysis to sort out.