The paper includes the results of a cost-benefit analysis of alternatives to gasoline-powered internal combustion engines.
For midsized cars, midsized sport-utility vehicles and large pick-up trucks, RAND found advanced diesel offers the highest savings over the life of the vehicle among the options considered. 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 pickup truck.
RAND's paper also suggests hybrids have smaller but still considerable savings, especially for SUVs but vehicles operating on E85, ethanol, cost more over the vehicle life than traditional fuel.
"While it is assumed that the hybrid vehicle will save more fuel than the advanced diesel, the overall advantage goes to the diesel because of its lower technology costs and better performance such as increased torque," said John Graham, dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School and senior author of the research paper. "For E85, it is the cost of producing the fuel, not vehicular changes, that drives the negative results."