Reader Question: Diesel hybrids?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Helen asks: Currently leasing BMW X1 and looking at alternatives when lease runs out.  Are Diesel hybrids still available to lease in USA (I live in California!)? I like all European cars, BMW, Volvo VW, and some of the Japanese, e.g., Lexus.  I enjoy your articles, btw, on the Lew rockwell site.

My reply: To my knowledge, no one sells a diesel hybrid. The models available are all gas-electric hybrids. As to why – especially given the inherent efficiency advantage of the diesel vs. gas engine – I suspect two reasons:

One, diesels are being systematically targeted for termination via regulation. I suspect because they present such a threat to the Electric Car Agenda. Because they are superior in every way to electric cars. They are cost-effective and not functionally impaired, as EVs are, by range/recharge (and cold weather) issues. So they are being portrayed as not “clean” enough, which is nonsense. Current passenger car diesels – like passenger car gas engines – are so clean that they present no tangible air quality problem or threat to human health. Hence the schtick about “greenhouse gasses.” But, guess what? The total “carbon footprint” of an EV is at least as large and possible larger. An EV may not emit anything at the tailpipe, but the smokestack is another thing.

Two, diesels are more expensive than gas engines. Thus, a diesel-electric hybrid would be even more expensive than a gas-electric hybrid, and that’s a problem because unless gas prices at least double, you will probably never recoup your up-front costs by purchasing a hybrid, gas or diesel (if they ever make them).

If you are determined to get a hybrid I recommend the Kia Niro or the Hyundai Ioniq. See my reviews (here and here). These are outstanding vehicles that are also not overpriced or under-performing.

If you are interested in a luxury-brand hybrid, you have many options. BMW and Mercedes offer hybrid versions of almost every model they sell – with more coming. Volvo and Lexus, too. My only beef with these is their value proposition. You are paying a lot extra to save a little bit of gas.

Hope this is helpful!

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