Car Engine Type (Motor Types) How to choose the right engine?

Car engine type

Car Engine Type

Before going to the dealership to buy a new vehicle, it is better to ask yourself the right questions about your needs. This aricle can help you select the car engine type that suits you best, especially in terms of budget.


For who ?
Those who travel less than 12,000 km per year in a city car or a compact. Gasoline will meet many of their needs while remaining the cheapest option.

Advantages: cost to purchase and versatility.
The gasoline engine is certainly the one that has evolved the most in 15 years. It has seen its displacement melt away like snow in the sun (this is called downsizing, or size reduction) and has also been supplemented with a turbocharger (in order to increase driving pleasure and improve pick-up), a direct injection (promoting consumption control) and, more recently, a particulate filter (to become cleaner). With all this, it can now be suitable for almost all types of use, including long journeys (unless they are very regular, then diesel remains the most suitable). In terms of prices, this engine is also the most affordable in the manufacturers’ catalogs.


Advantages: fuel price and range.
Running on bi-fuel, the engine can use gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Much cheaper, the latter is quite common in gas stations. The disadvantage of this engine is that it requires the installation of a supply circuit reserved for LPG alongside that dedicated to petrol: a second tank (which encroaches on the loading volume or eliminates the emergency), pipes and injectors. If the autonomy in LPG mode alone stagnates around 350km, the combined use of the two fuels allows, on the other hand, to travel around 1,000 km without going back to the pump.


Advantages: ecological and economical.
E85, or superethanol, is a mixture of lead-free and alcohol (up to 85%). Its use requires a suitable motor. Either it is installed as standard (in rare cases), or a conversion unit must be fitted (on petrol cars since 2001). With fuel at less than €1 per litre, the cost of this assembly (up to €1,300) will be amortized fairly quickly. Two disadvantages: overconsumption of around 20% and an underdeveloped distribution network (barely 30% of stations offer E85). Fortunately, the engine is capable of swallowing any gasoline, which makes it possible to avoid running out of fuel.


Advantages: ecological and economical.
Hydrogen is an element present all around us and in this sense, it is probably the source of the best possible renewable energy. It does not produce CO2 or pollutants when it is used to power a fuel cell, a veritable small electrical factory on board the vehicle, which creates an oxidation reaction with oxygen, generating a current which powers a motor electric.

The only release from this reaction is water! Everything would be perfect if, to be transformed into H2 fuel stored under very high pressure in on-board tanks (700 bar for a full tank in 5 minutes and 650 kilometers of autonomy for the Toyota Mirai), hydrogen did not require a great amount of energy. And depending on the origin of this energy, the carbon balance of hydrogen is more or less virtuous… Today, it is mainly generated in a process using good old fossil fuels, the reforming of methane gas or the gasification of organic materials.

They can carry enough fuel for 402-563 km (250-350 miles) of range and their tanks can be refilled as quickly as that of standard vehicles’ gasoline tanks. Few think they will replace battery-electric cars, which can make a lot of sense for drivers with short commutes. But they are expected to become a significant part of the alternative-fuel fleet in coming years.


For who ?
Heavy-duty riders who travel more than 15,000 km per year. Under the hood of a road car or SUV, it offers great autonomy. To be avoided in town.

Advantages: sobriety and autonomy.
In very marked decline in sales of new cars, the diesel engine nevertheless retains strong advantages for those who drive a lot. The main ? Consumption approximately 20% lower than that of a gasoline engine of the same power, resulting in lower running costs. Even if its profitability is currently eroded with the price of fuel at the pump rising sharply (year-round, you have to drive several thousand additional kilometers to amortize the additional cost of purchase), diesel remains advantageous on the long term. In general, its sobriety also translates into greater autonomy than that of other types of motorization. In addition, thanks to exhaust gas treatment devices such as the particle filter, the Nox trap, or the use of the AdBlue additive, it has become much cleaner. This type of vehicle is extremely rare (Mercedes is the only manufacturer to offer it). Be careful, a diesel does not support short trips made cold as well as multiple restarts in town. This is also where it poisons the air the most since pollution control systems do not necessarily have time to reach their maximum efficiency. In short, this engine is to be banned in urban areas and must remain reserved for road use.


For who ?
Those who do a lot of kilometres. With a generally higher selling price, hybrids are losing interest for small riders.

Advantage: reduced consumption.
The hybrid also makes the internal combustion engine more versatile. This is associated with an electric motor. There are three variants: micro-hybrids, mild-hybrids (mHEV) and full-hybrids (HEV). This latest version allows you to drive in all-electric mode for only a few kilometres. Micro-hybrids only offer the stop & start function (cutting off the engine when stationary and automatic restart). With the other models, during acceleration, the engine is assisted in order to reduce consumption and improve performance.


For who ?
Those who drive short distances every day (about 50 km), provided they can recharge the battery. It is very suitable for the heaviest cars, road cars and SUVs.

Advantage: the best of both worlds.
It’s the ultimate. The plug-in hybrid combines the advantages of electric over short distances (zero local pollution, driving pleasure, etc.) and those of combustion (autonomy, ease of fuel supply, etc.) for longer journeys. Most manufacturers having abandoned diesel, it is generally a gasoline car engine type combined with a medium capacity electric motor. This allows you to drive around fifty kilometers in 100% electric mode, therefore without using fuel, up to a speed of close to 130 km/h. In other situations, the electric motor assists the internal combustion engine if necessary, in order to (slightly) reduce its consumption. But to take advantage of all the advantages of this engine, it is essential to recharge the battery regularly. Otherwise, its interest is null. Worse, it can lead to overconsumption of fuel.


For who ?
Motorists who have access to a socket to charge their city car or compact, whether they live in the countryside or in town. They can even afford road trips if they travel less than 300km in one go. Beyond that, they will have to accept the extension of the travel time.

Read also: Self-Driving Car (Autonomous Vehicle) | LIST OF ACTIVE COMPANIES (brands and car makers)

Advantage: zero pollution in the city.
The electric car? It is “The” solution that is on the rise and is growing significantly in sales. To its credit, several very attractive arguments: unequaled driving pleasure, more economical maintenance (there is no gearbox, clutch or oil), sometimes lower cost of use (depending on the charging mode) , zero pollution when it is running, financial aid which makes it a little more affordable to buy. However, its manufacture, and in particular that of its batteries, is not yet completely virtuous. The electric car is especially suitable for those who live in single-family homes and travel short distances. In this case, progress in terms of autonomy (about 300 km on the highway) allows it to become the main vehicle in the household. Provided you anticipate departures and accept the significant lengthening of travel times when traveling, due to stops to recharge the battery. In order to reassure buyers, some manufacturers offer, in the event of a breakdown, the loan of a thermal model or immediate support.

Levels of Autonomous Car (Self-driving Vehicle) From 0-5

Sources: PinterPandai, GreenCarGuide, Renault Group, CarTreatments

Photo credit: TayebMEZAHDIA via Pixabay

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