Apples to Apples or Apples to Oranges Edition – Combustion Engine or Alternative Fuel?

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January 22, 2016


Apples to Apples or Apples to Oranges Edition – Combustion Engine or Alternative Fuel? 


Combustion Engine or Alternative Fuel?
Image courtesy of wikipedia

Combustion engine or alternative fuel? Combustion engine or alternative fuel? Over the last decade, the debate has gone round and round. I am firmly in the camp of combustion engine. Especially since a cost effective alternative fuel option has yet to be found.

For example, the Honda Clarity, the newest hydrogen fuel cell vehicle made to be a good option for the alternative fuel category, comes at a retail price of $60,000 and an “under” $500 a month payment. I’d like to point out (like the below linked article does) that the Honda Clarity is one of only three models in the entire hydrogen fuel cell category and the payment is “under” $500 a month, a high price to pay for alternative fuel. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are also limited to California sales, so while the tech might be useful, the limited market access makes it not-so-viable and costly.

You could go electric to access alternative fuel markets but a lack of range and infrastructure make EVs less than attractive for most buyers. (Unless of course you are a Tesla owner but how many Teslas are on the road and accessibly priced?) Not to mention the quite large carbon footprint left by “clean vehicle” production.

Consider then, the much maligned combustion engine. I guess it could be argued that this article is apples to oranges comparisons, but I don’t think so. The combustion engine, which the green vehicle camp loves to hate for its eco-unfriendliness, is getting more and more efficient. Even pick-up trucks are getting better fuel economy.

The Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle on the road. And now its mileage is improving even more than it was with the efficient eco-boost engine. Lower gas prices and now better efficiency in a truck? How many hydrogen cell vehicles are on the road? Or EV vehicles? Not many, given the current infrastructure, production and retail cost.

Additionally, the alternative fuel camp has to legislate giveaways in the form of rebates and tax breaks for green vehicles that aren’t more efficient but do produce more pollution in their production processes—but why bother with that, right? Honestly, I think it’s time we stop government rebates on green vehicles and focus on what we have and clearly what people want: making increasingly efficient combustion engine vehicles even more efficient.

But what do you think?

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My Final Thought:


Stop playing with our emotions, Buick. Last year, Buick teased us with their Avenir concept car: This year they offered us the Avista concept:

Both cars are gorgeous and I love that the Avista concept is a luxe Camaro. Regardless of the hip Matt & Kim songs featured in Buick commercials, Buick is rather ho-hum when it comes to car design. Except in the case of its concepts. Build the concepts, Buick!

We want them. We’d buy them. And we’re tired of not getting the cars we want from you.

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Love Your Car! See you next week!

–Lauren Fix

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