Breaking down the difference between petrol gas and diesel fuel.

Have you ever stood at the pump and wondered why people pay more for diesel fuel and what its advantages might be? Whether your business is trying to decide between gasoline or diesel for your fleet, or you’re just genuinely curious about the difference between the two fuels, in this article, we break it down.  

What is the difference between gasoline and diesel? 

Both fuels are what can be found at your typical gas station and are used in internal combustion engines. However, they have different chemical makeups and ignite differently.  

Gasoline – or petrol – is made from the crude oil petroleum, and is designed to burn quickly and cleanly in spark-ignition engines. While diesel is also made from petroleum, it contains a different hydrocarbon composition, and is designed to burn slowly and efficiently in compression-ignition engines.  

What are the benefits of diesel? 

Diesel typically costs more than petrol gasoline these days, so what are the advantages to using it? Here are some of the benefits to diesel fuel: 

  • A higher energy density than gasoline, meaning it provides more energy per gallon/liter, and therefore better fuel-efficiency.  
  • Lower flammability, making it less dangerous when transporting and storing.  
  • Widespread availability in most parts of the world. 

It’s all in the engine.  

Many vehicles are also made for diesel due to the benefits of a diesel engine. These include: 

  • A higher torque output, making them better suited for heavy-duty applications such as towing and hauling. 
  • A typically higher durability and longevity than their gasoline-burning counterparts. 

Which fuel is more environmentally friendly? 

There has been a lot of controversy over which fuel – diesel or petrol gasoline – is better for the environment. While neither of them are as clean as, say, an electric vehicle, it is still important to consider which fuel burning process makes less of a negative impact.  

For a long time, diesel was considered to be more environmentally friendly due to its higher fuel efficiency. However, in recent years, research has found that diesel engines emit a more polluted exhaust than their gasoline counterparts, resulting in governments considering banning diesel engines for densely populated areas altogether.  

Today, the largest concern with diesel engines remains the use of older vehicles, as newer vehicles are typically manufactured to meet current emissions standards.  

Should your business use diesel or gasoline vehicles? 

There is no one-size-fits-all right answer to this question. Whether diesel or gasoline engine vehicles make the most sense for your business is going to depend on what you do, how far your fleet drives, and where it is driving.  

For example, a restaurant with a delivery driver in an urban area would likely be best to use gasoline vehicles. However, a fleet of long-haul trucks would likely save money on fuel and repairs by using diesel vehicles.  

In conclusion… 

Petrol gasoline and diesel are both petroleum-based fuels, differentiated by the way they burn in different engines. While there are many benefits to diesel, there are environmental concerns with its emissions, as well. Whether or not your business should use diesel is truly dependent on your unique circumstances.