Ask someone about alternative fuel sources for automobiles and they’ll likely start talking about hybrid technology and the long awaited plug-in electric vehicle, finally making it’s debut in carmaker’s showrooms across North America.

According to their proponents, these cars are going to save the environment, and at the same time save customers tons of money in fuel costs.

Those who’ve done the math are finding out that this might not be the case. Hybrid and plug-in electrics are available, but at a huge cost premium. Many cost as much as $15,000 more than their conventionally powered counterparts. Even with the considerable cost savings they provide in fuel, it would take years longer than they’re expected to serve to repay the significant premium at purchase. This makes them a relatively poor investment, narrowing their appeal considerably.

There are also some concerns regarding the battery technology in these new vehicles. Their longevity is still unproven, and a costly battery replacement will certainly drive up total cost of ownership.

The smart money is on diesel. As the original “alternative fuel”, diesel owners experience considerable saving at the gas pump for a relatively small (2-3 thousand) increase in vehicle cost. In fact, because it’s widely accepted that diesel engines are more durable, diesels of all types retain their value better than gasoline-powered vehicles, which can make the increase in MSRP a non-issue.

If you’re in the market for a more fuel-efficient vehicle, sharpen your pencil and have a good look at all the alternatives to gasoline. Dollar for dollar, diesel might just be your best bet. New models are coming to North America all the time, with cars from Mazda and General Motors joining the strong Volkswagen fleet that’s been available for years. As far as pickups are concerned, all the major players make diesel one-tons, with the new 2014 Dodge Ram bringing a 3-litre diesel to the smaller ½ ton segment.

At IamDIESEL, the newfound popularity of diesel powered passenger vehicles doesn’t surprise us. We’ve known how versatile diesel is for a long time. As diesel aficionados, we appreciate diesel vehicles of all sorts. Our trained technicians are standing by to take care of the repair and maintenance needs of your diesel vehicle, no matter how large or small.