There is a worryingly one-dimensional view that if you want to save the worldâ€™s precious oil reserves and also our planetâ€™s ability to cope with vast amounts of CO2 which is pumped into the atmosphere daily, then you should buy an EV (Electric Vehicle) or at the very least some sort of plugin hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
They are touted as the future of motoring. Toyotaâ€™s Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle is also another compelling proposition. But, with very limited markets around the world set to receive the Mirai (Japan, California and select European cities), mostly due to the refilling requirements, the Mirai is a very long term solution.
There can be no denying that the future of motoring will ultimately look a whole lot different to the one we experience today. The BMW i3 and i8 and Mirai already allow us to see, and if youâ€™re fortunate enough, experience the future of tomorrow, today.
They are comparatively very expensive though and you might asking yourself what new car is the right one for you if youâ€™re concerned about the planet.
The short answer to that is a small turbodiesel.
Such a car, a Volkswagen Golf TDi has set a new Guinness World record by managing to travel 13196km whilstÂ using just $300 worth of diesel. That equates to roughly 2.90l/100km which is even better than the 3.5l/100km the Toyota Mirai achieved recently.
The 16-day trip around the U.S. set a narrowly-defined world record for â€œlowest fuel consumption â€” 48 U.S. contiguous States non-hybrid carâ€ by averaging 34.50km/l in the Golf TDI. The car was driven by automotive journalist Wayne Gerdes and electronics engineer Bob Winger.
â€œVolkswagenâ€™s TDI Clean Diesel engines are just amazing,â€ Wayne Gerdes said in a statement. â€œI donâ€™t think people realize the potential mileage you can get from them. In our experience, it is possible to get truly impressive mileage results by using just a few simple fuel-saving techniques.â€
Granted, achieving such figures requires a monumental restraint and effort from the driver, and a willingness to not exceed 55km/h, but the proof is that if you want hybrid-like fuel consumption, a small efficient turbodiesel engine is the way to go.