Petrol or Diesel: which one to choose?
In France, around 50% of cars use diesel fuel whereas this fuel is forbidden in Japan. The choice between a diesel car and a petrol one is not so obvious.
How does the ecological aspect make a difference?
The bonus/malus scheme for car purchases encouraged to buy diesel vehicles rather than petrol ones. However, both pollute but in a different way.
Gasoline-powered cars even endowed with a catalytic converter, produce more CO2 than diesel engines. CO2 is not the only one responsible for the air pollution: nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particles (as benzopyrene) are also dangerous greenhouse gases. And diesel rejects them much more than petrol engines. Moreover, those carcinogenic fine particles are all the more harmful for health as CO2.
The particle filter for diesel cars can eliminate up to 90% of fine particles and the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology add to exhaust gases a urea based liquid flow (AdBlue) to convert the nitrogen oxides into simple nitrogen harmless for men. In contrast, new gasoline direct-injection engines emit up to 10 times more carcinogenic fine particles than recent clean diesel engine.
What is the financial aspect in the choice between petrol and diesel?
In France, diesel fuel is cheaper per liter than petrol fuel. Diesel-powered cars tend to consume less, which gives an important advantage to diesel. However, this advantage is compensated by the vehicle price itself which is often cheaper in petrol model than in diesel model.
Furthermore, as a result of the Volkswagen case, French government decides to gradually reconcile diesel taxation with petrol one.
Lots of comparators exist on internet for each car model as the website http://www.essenceoudiesel.com. The decisive aspects in the fuel choice are obviously the pump price but also the driving style and whether trips are mainly urban or extra urban.