A study by the RAND Corporation recently evaluated diesel, hybrid, and traditional gasoline technologies. The three vehicle types were analyzed on "consumer factors" such as technology cost, fuel savings, mobility, and performance. They were also evaluated on the "societal perspective" that looked at tailpipe pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and "energy security costs" for the fuels (i.e. the costs to society as a whole).
Here are the notable results:
"Among the key findings from the consumer perspective:
- For all three vehicle types, the advanced diesel offers the highest savings over the life of the vehicle among the options considered. These savings increase with the size and fuel use of the vehicle: $460 for the car, $1,249 for the SUV and $2,289 for the large pick-up truck;
- The hybrid option has smaller but still considerable savings for SUV applications ($1,066), moderate savings for pick-up applications ($505) but minimal savings over the life of the vehicle for car owners ($198);
- The vehicles operating on E85 cost all three owners more over the vehicle life, with a greater net cost burden for larger vehicles and increased fuel consumption: (-$1,034 for cars, -$1,332 for SUVs, -$1,632 for pick-ups).
The key findings from the societal perspective are similar to those of the consumer perspective, including:
- The advanced diesel again shows the most promise, particularly for the larger vehicles: $289 for cars, $1,094 for SUVs and $2,199 for large trucks.
- The net benefits for hybrids are somewhat less positive, with moderate-to-small values of $481 for SUVs and $132 for light trucks, and an increased cost for cars (-$317) over the life of the vehicle
- Results for E85 remain uniformly negative, even more so for larger than smaller vehicles: -$1,046 for cars, -$1,500 for SUVs and -$2,049 for light trucks" (News Release, 8 November 2007)