Vehicle Electrification

By Rud Istvan,

This possible guest post was inspired by Andy May’s recent post concerning mainly internal engine combustion (ICE) alternatives. Since I am a SME in the general field (including several basic supercapacitor patents), thought I would provide some factual engineering perspectives to WUWT.

First, combustion engines come in two basic forms: internal, and external. External (1819, Sterling) was never proven practical despite Dean Kamen’s fairly recent trying to get me as head of Motorola strategy and innovation at the time to invest. His fundamental engineering problem was simple. In ICE, most of the necessary thermodynamic cooling exhaust heat leaves via the tailpipe. The remainder (about 20%) is in the big car radiator. In a Sterling ECE, ALL the working exhaust heat must leave via a REALLY BIG radiator. NOPE.

Second, ICE engines come in various stroke flavors. For purposes of this simplified discussion, just two fours: Otto cycle and Atkinson cycle. Otto cycle is your ordinary 4 stroke piston car. A compression fuel upstroke, a combustion downstroke, an exhaust upstroke, then an intake fuel downstroke.

An Atkinson cycle uses the same four strokes slightly differently. The compression upstroke air intake varies (via complicated valve timing). So delivers more fuel efficiency (about 15%) but less torque efficiency on the combustion downstroke. (Oversimplified explanation: more uptake air, less fuel, less combustion downstroke torque.)

In what follows, we learn full hybrids can fully compensate for that Atkinson cycle fuel efficient torque deficiency.

Hybrids

There are several flavors:

  1. Mild
  2. Moderate
  3. Full (Prius)
  4. Plug in (New Prius, Chevy Volt)

We will define all, but only consider to any extent full and plug in.

  1. Mild hybrids basically just do engine off at idle. NOT simple with conventional automatic transmissions, which is why FORD went with all DCT by 2018. Now this also (as BMW learned) still kills SLA battery life despite DCT. Turns out the necessary additional AH battery sizing (even at low PbA battery cost) “killed” that simple’s application. Valeo’s system is just one ‘dead’ example.
  2. Moderate hybrids add regen braking. The problem is, unless a really big battery, regen kills PbA even if PbA is oversized for starts) battery life by ‘overcharging’. Kills that application also.
  3. Full hybrids work, as posted here previously. Downsize the ICE (mine is a small I4 Atkinson cycle), make up the torque loss with the electric machine. Idle off at stop is free, and regen braking is free. For comparison, the HP and towing 2007 equivalent 4WD Ford Escape V6 got about 20 MPG average, our full hybrid equivalent gets about 30. Plus, we use regular, the v6 equivalent used hitest. About a dollar a gallon difference in these parts, and about 1/3 less gallons for a HP and towing equivalent small SUV.
  4. Plug ins. (like Chevy Volt and new plug in Prius). These by definition have larger, more expensive, and heavier batteries, yet still have all the heavy range extending backup ICE equipment. At the present (unnecessarily elevated) price of gas, still a very bad economic tradeoff. And, there is a hidden subtly. In full hybrids, the traction battery floats between about 60% and 40% charge. Nevermore, never less. That maximizes its life by design.

In a plug in, you drain the battery until the charging engine cuts in. That guarantees a much shorter battery life. Not a good thing economically.

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Tom Halla
April 17, 2022 10:08 am

I definitely did not know that about plug in hybrids. The battery is definitely the most expensive part of the drivetrain. Stories of people getting five figure prices for battery replacement are common.

Paul C
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 17, 2022 6:01 pm

But the next revolutionary battery improvement is just around the corner – like it has been for perhaps a hundred years. https://www.freethink.com/environment/lithium-sulfur-battery . Maybe this time the breakthrough will happen – forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

Dennis G. Sandberg
Reply to  Paul C
April 18, 2022 9:23 pm

The Tesla 4680 is about as far as lithium batteries are going to get. Hard to imagine a competitor spending $billions tooling up to pick up a possible single digit saving in mineral requirements or manufacturing process. How much has PB/Acid improved in the last 50 years? Same thing. EV battery costs are going up not down, that phase is passe.

fretslider
April 17, 2022 10:18 am

In 10 years time my 50 litre tank will still hold 50 litres…

Bryan A
Reply to  fretslider
April 17, 2022 11:00 am

And ultimately won’t cost 5 figures to eventually replace should it ever get damaged (or drilled due to the over inflated price of petrol)

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  fretslider
April 17, 2022 11:44 am

Fredslider,
in ten years time your fuel tank will be the same but quite likely give you a significantly improved distance hence less exhaust fumes per km. 65 years ago my parents were forced to downsize and bought a Morris Minor. A top entry level small car today has improved considerably since then and though the rate of improvement may slow I believe it will contiue and justify not abandoning cars that run on fossil fuel. I just do not know if the improvement in diesel engines has been as good because they have a bad reputation in the media.

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 17, 2022 12:03 pm

CO2 has a bad reputation in the media. Nonsensically.

A properly designed and well maintained diesel engine is absolutely fine.

The only reason I no longer drive one is because I don’t trust gormless politicians not to ban them

Coeur de Lion
Reply to  MARTIN BRUMBY
April 17, 2022 11:23 pm

My Citroen diesel with AdBlu additive only pays £20 a year road tax. Because it’s so clean

StephenP
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
April 18, 2022 12:26 am

If you are only getting 30 mpg from a hybrid, how does that compare with 50 mpg from a 1.6 Kia diesel that can pull a trailer and has 400+ mile range from a tank full?
With a revamped diesel engine and AdBlue it could complete with total lifetime (manufacturing and running) CO2 and particulate emissions from most ICEs and EVs.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  StephenP
April 18, 2022 6:35 am

I think you meant compete rather than complete?

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  StephenP
April 18, 2022 6:39 am

Thanks for informing me about AdBlu. This is what I call adapting. What puzzles me is why the media has avoided informing the public about the changes and benefits and reason no longer to discredit diesel.

Dennis G. Sandberg
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 18, 2022 9:29 pm

Your not puzzled, you know only wind, solar, batteries fit the liberal agenda. Facts about technology and science are not pertinent.

John Hardy
Reply to  StephenP
April 18, 2022 11:15 am

Steohen P – are you maybe comparing apples and oranges? The author takes the trouble to give us data for hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the same vehicle

Brian J. BAKER
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 19, 2022 9:24 am

Bad reputation pumped up by Greenpeace.

atticman
Reply to  fretslider
April 18, 2022 10:06 am

Mine holds 53 litres and I can still have some left after 500 miles of touring. When an electric car can do that, I might just be interested…

John Aqua
April 17, 2022 10:19 am

Forgive me but what is SME?

H.R.
Reply to  John Aqua
April 17, 2022 10:36 am

Subject Matter Expert

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
April 17, 2022 11:01 am

Mr Smee, take the Princess back to her People

Reply to  H.R.
April 17, 2022 11:04 am

re: SME

He thinks he is, but he has blown it when it comes to something called the Hydrino; A hydrogen atom with the electron coerced into a _lower_ energy state. Energy released using this technique exceeds that of simple ‘combustion’ by a factor of 100x to 200x.

Lab work demonstrating this is now quite extensive, yet Rudd (will probably) deny every inch of it … lab work, experimental evidence *used to* at one time (in the past) trump ‘the theory’ (like, say Quantum Mechanics), but not any more. QM has become both ‘lord and law’ it seems, throwing Feynman ‘out on his ear’ when it comes to choosing between verifiable, bona fide experimental evidence and the assembled multitude’s chosen ‘pet theory’ like QM.

Bob
Reply to  _Jim
April 17, 2022 11:27 am

How does lab work relate to cars on the road?

Scissor
Reply to  _Jim
April 17, 2022 11:41 am

For good reason. How long have you been promoting Mills hydrino? I looked at a couple of reports your posted a long time ago and concluded that they were garbage.

Nevertheless, year after year, decade after decade, Mills has been pushing the same story since when, the early 1990’s? The continuing saga is that a new demonstration and prototype is just around the corner.

It’s pretty much the same formula as used by Andrea Rossi and his ECAT.

Rick C
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2022 12:23 pm

Those who claim to have broken the second law of thermodynamics should be charged and tried for fraud.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Rick C
April 17, 2022 5:18 pm

These unverified ideas (cold fusion, ECAT, hydrino, etc.) don’t necessarily violate the second law of thermodynamics. However, they do not pass the reproducibility test. Some, like many of the global warmingists do not want anyone to look at the data closely. That is always a warning sign

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
April 17, 2022 7:16 pm

I’ll make you eat those words mister,

as soon as I finish my hydrino, cold fusion, flying car!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2022 12:45 pm

30 years is not quite long enough.

Scissor
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 17, 2022 12:54 pm

He’d better hurry. The world ends in less than 8 years.

Derg
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2022 2:36 pm

That was 3 years ago.

TonyL
Reply to  _Jim
April 17, 2022 12:15 pm

I can not speak for Rud. He would give you a smack down far better than anything my poor efforts could achieve.
In any event I would like to welcome you to WUWT by just saying “Horsefeathers!!” Here we go again. Randell Mills with his “Brilliant Light Power” scam. By the way, did you know that Mills called it “Black Light Power” back in the early days. The name change was “interesting”, to say the least.

Science: provable by experimental testing of theory. Like all fields of intellectual endeavor, science has it’s share of practitioners out on the fringes. The outermost fringe of science is occupied by Science Fiction literature. An enduring, fun and quite harmless aside to actual science. That No Mans Land between actual science and science fiction is the Lunatic Fringe. This is a place where, IF the practitioners declared their work fiction, would be welcomed into the Science Fiction community. But they do not do this, so they are just Lunatic.
This Lunatic Fringe of science is where Randell Mills has made his home and the Hydrino Lives. Here they keep company with Star Trek fans, “Treckies” who have gone off the deep end and insist Warp Drive, Phasers and Shields are real.
The rest of us have been waiting for over a decade for Mills to give his public demonstration of his scalable power source coming “Any Day Now”.
Enjoy your stay in the Lunatic Fringe. I know you will like the company you keep there.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  TonyL
April 17, 2022 1:16 pm

I decided not to respond. mill’s hydrin scam (now in its third version), Rossi’s E-Cat scam, and Weir’s EESTOR scam were all deconstructed very brutally in the Details chapter of my ebook The Arts of Truth. Even the title is deliberately illustrative of the books main lessons—there are many artful untruths.

TonyL
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 17, 2022 1:43 pm

I have to remember to get these ebooks. They sound like really fun reads.

Bryan A
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 17, 2022 2:33 pm

They do sound a lot like the Steorn OverUnity promise premise of massive amounts of energy output from little input

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 2:49 pm

How did you know that was my fourth example in that chapter?

MarkW
Reply to  TonyL
April 17, 2022 4:08 pm

Science has shown that warp drives are possible.
The only problem is that you need the output of a small star to power one.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  MarkW
April 17, 2022 7:18 pm

I can’t quite figure out the math, can somebody help me?

How many windmills does it take to equal the output of a small star?

Bryan A
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
April 17, 2022 8:56 pm

Those would be Solar Wind Mills

paul courtney
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
April 18, 2022 8:31 am

Mr. I: Only one windmill, if you model it “correctly.”

Meab
Reply to  _Jim
April 17, 2022 12:47 pm

Total twaddle. If you could, somehow, coax a hydrogen atom’s electron into a lower energy state (hint: you can’t) the atom would have LESS available energy than a normal Hydrogen atom in its ground state.

Don’t be a dupe – this is a scam.

TonyL
Reply to  Meab
April 17, 2022 1:26 pm

I was thinking….. (I know, I know, Bad Idea)
If you were to call the sun home, living perhaps 2000 miles below the surface, here is how things might be.
You would have an abundance of hydrogen all around you. All of it would be in the +1 ionization state. You could theorize about an energy state lower than the “normal” one you see all around you. A “ground state” if you will. But how to get there?
You build an absolutely *super* refrigeration unit and start cooling some hydrogen. At a certain temperature on the way down, you see it. The electron drops down from it’s +1 excited state, plummeting in energy as it goes to it’s ground state. The electron loses energy by emitting a photon at a sharply defined wavelength. It turns out that the energy of the emitted photon *exactly* matches the energy difference between the +1 excited state and the ground state. You understand that the reverse is posssible, as well. A sample of hydrogen in this new ground state can be exposed to light of this correct wavelength and can promote the electron back up into the +1 excited state. Your theory of a “ground state” below the usual observed one is proven correct in stellar fashion. You have discovered Atomic Spectroscopy as an aside.
Not a bad afternoon.

No such evidence for the hydrino exists.

meab
Reply to  TonyL
April 17, 2022 4:26 pm

I understand your thought experiment and understand that you’re arguing against the (phony) hydrino.

To finish your argument – Hydrogen has been taken down to just about absolute zero. There is no state below the ground state. We know why that is. It’s because of the quantum mechanics of an electron trapped in the electrostatic field of the nucleus. We can calculate it from first principles given just a few physical variables.

TonyL
Reply to  meab
April 17, 2022 6:02 pm

Indeed. Absolutely correct.
As my Quantum Mechanics prof. explained: “Ab-Initio”, that is “from nothing”, apon which we launched into the derivation of the first orbital energy of the first orbital of the hydrogen atom.
Nightmares seem a daydream compared to that course. (I did survive, although several others were injured).

Meab
Reply to  TonyL
April 18, 2022 9:55 am

QM was a walk in the park compared with electodynamics. In electrodynamics there was a double-humped distribution to test scores and I was always in the lower hump. I figured I just wasn’t getting it, so I took ithe class again. The second time, after the first test, I was at the top of the upper hump. I figured out why there were two humps – most of the test questions were the same as the year before.

MarkW
Reply to  _Jim
April 17, 2022 4:04 pm

Repeating the same disproved claims many times, doesn’t make them any less disproved.

Last edited 5 months ago by MarkW
Pillage Idiot
Reply to  MarkW
April 17, 2022 7:20 pm

Obviously, you are not a graduate of a school of journalism!

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  _Jim
April 17, 2022 10:22 pm

In the engineering world, we have a concept called Technology Readiness Level (TRL). TRL = 0 is, basically, the idea is a gleam in somebodies eye. TRL = 9 is the technology is deployed widely and works as advertised. The hydrino sounds like a 1, maybe a 2.
There is also a concept called Integration Readiness Level (IRL). Less well defined than TRL, but, again, the same idea. IRL = 1 is that state ionwhich no one has done more than thinking about integrating two devices, or two technologies. IRL = 9 is, basically, the integration is doine, proven and widely deployed and working as advertised.

Slowroll
Reply to  _Jim
April 18, 2022 11:50 am

This falls under the category of ‘you can build anything once.” Mass production is another story.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  H.R.
April 17, 2022 12:47 pm

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 99% of all businesses in the EU.

AndyHce
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
April 17, 2022 1:37 pm

And 3% percent of the money?

Sam Capricci
Reply to  H.R.
April 17, 2022 5:04 pm

As long as we’re playing this game, can I play too, how about Smug Moneygrubbing Environmentalist?

HotScot
Reply to  John Aqua
April 17, 2022 10:42 am

Small/Medium Enterprise as far as I’m aware. Or a character from Peter Pan.

Danley Wolfe
Reply to  John Aqua
April 17, 2022 10:43 am

Sausage and Egg McMuffin. No seriously as I understand, Rud is a “small and medium size enterprise” … the common acronym / interpretation of SME. As usual … Rud adds great comments on climate change etc. !!

H.R.
Reply to  Danley Wolfe
April 17, 2022 11:13 am

Society of Manufacturing Engineers. I are wuz one (retired).

mkelly
Reply to  John Aqua
April 17, 2022 2:00 pm

Society of Manufacturing Engineers or Senior Mechanical Engineer.

Richard Page
Reply to  mkelly
April 17, 2022 3:32 pm

Smug Mechanical Engineer?

Reply to  John Aqua
April 17, 2022 4:01 pm

Forgive me but what is SME?

Small to medium enterprise

Last edited 5 months ago by Phil Salmon
Terry
April 17, 2022 10:24 am

Would be nice if there was a definition of most of the acronym’s used here.

H.R.
Reply to  Terry
April 17, 2022 10:37 am

Well, I got SME and ICE, but there were a couple of others I didn’t know.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Terry
April 17, 2022 11:47 am

SLA sealed lead acid
PbA lead acid
DCT dual clutch transmission
AH amp hours (?)

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Terry
April 17, 2022 11:51 am

Ditto.
I have no idea what DCT means.
Also, SLA and AH.
AH could mean amp hours, but it is better not to have to guess.

Erik magnuson
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 17, 2022 1:14 pm

Dual Clutch Transmision – typically has more “gears” than a standard automatic which eliminates the need for the torque converter.
AH is amp hours
SLA Sealed Lead Acid battery
PbA Lead Acid

Richard Page
Reply to  Erik magnuson
April 17, 2022 3:35 pm

Never seen it written as that – if it had been aH it might have been clearer.

stinkerp
Reply to  Terry
April 17, 2022 1:31 pm

Yeah. Lost me after two or three acronyms and a handful of incomplete sentences. Where’s a good editor when you need one? There were probably interesting ideas here, but no…life is short..

Last edited 5 months ago by stinkerp
Derg
Reply to  stinkerp
April 17, 2022 2:42 pm

My father was in the military and growing up he would say “there goes a B1rd.” I would look intently for military trucks or planes. He would throw in the “ boy they are fast.”

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  Terry
April 17, 2022 2:32 pm

Rud is a man of letters. 🙂

rbabcock
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
April 17, 2022 5:40 pm

few letters

Gunga Din
Reply to  Terry
April 17, 2022 3:14 pm

There is a glossary under “Reference Pages” in the title bar.
But it would be nice if the the authors would spell what the acronym stands for the first time it’s used in a post. Particularly for those new to the site.
IE “I’m a citizen of the USA (United States of America). As a citizen of the USA over 18, I have the right to vote.

Robert of Texas
April 17, 2022 10:31 am

Hmm, when I am talking about an Electric Car, I am referring to one that has to be plugged into something to charge. These put a huge drain on the electric grid, have limited range that is usually hidden (a 400-mile range usually means half of that with an AC running and normal traffic).

Killing the engine at idle and regenerative breaking are just add-ons in this way of organizing cars. For example, you can stop and start an engine in a normal gas vehicle – I just wouldn’t do it.

In my vehicular, you have two kinds of hybrids – one has all the basics of a normal car (drive shaft, differential) with an electric motor slapped in somewhere for an alternate source of power (gas/electric powered mechanic hybrid), and one has a gas engine that does not do anything but provide electricity for the otherwise electric car (so gas powered electric).

A gas-powered electric hybrid seems the next logical step. You can build and tune and engine to generate electricity the most efficiently and have a small number of batteries for electrical storage. They never need to be “plugged in”. Gas efficiency can be greatly improved as you can still use regenerative breaking and other tricks to extend the milage.

Until I am convinced the battery technology is mature, I do not plan to own a hybrid (or electric). I do not want to be saddled with a huge cost after 7 or 8 years of use. They might want to work on the battery fire-hazard as well – most gas-powered cars do not burst into flames while sitting quietly unused in a garage (recharging).

TonyL
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 17, 2022 12:18 pm

most gas-powered cars do not burst into flames while sitting quietly unused in a garage (recharging).

That is a Feature, not a bug.
It adds Zest to your life. It keeps things interesting.

Rick C
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 17, 2022 12:29 pm

A Tesla is an electric car. A Tesla towing and plugged into diesel generator is a hybrid.

Richard Page
Reply to  Rick C
April 17, 2022 3:37 pm

And a Tesla sitting by the side of the road burning away merrily is an invitation to buy an ICE car next time.

MarkW
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 17, 2022 4:14 pm

Battery technology is already mature.
And that’s the problem.

Chaswarnertoo
April 17, 2022 10:33 am

I would put up a picture showing an ‘electric’ ( diseasel generated ) car does 5.6 mpg but the fie is not allowed…

John Bell
April 17, 2022 10:37 am

Have you read about FORD building a car plant just for hybrids, spending billions, seems risky to me, but maybe that is how they meet their fleet MPG target.

william Johnston
Reply to  John Bell
April 17, 2022 11:40 am

Does the hybrid count for MPG target when manufactured or must it be on the road? That is; sold.

Rick C
Reply to  william Johnston
April 17, 2022 12:33 pm

And, importantly, do you still get credit if they end up at the bottom of the Atlantic?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  william Johnston
April 17, 2022 1:18 pm

Manufactured fleet average.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  william Johnston
April 18, 2022 6:01 am

In the US, my understanding is that is has to be sold to get credit. Dealers in the US are separate business entities so as soon as they are invoiced, you get credit.

HotScot
April 17, 2022 10:40 am

A study was done a few years ago on business use of plug in hybrids in the UK. Evidently no one bothered plugging them in.

Last edited 5 months ago by HotScot
Sean
Reply to  HotScot
April 17, 2022 12:38 pm

I debated weather or not to get a plug-in hybrid. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly as it adds 6-800 lbs to the weight of the vehicle.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Sean
April 17, 2022 1:21 pm

Don’t. By definition, when plugged in the battery goes to 100% state of charge (SOC). In the Chevy Volt, for example, the ICE generator only kicks in when the battery is below about 30%SoC. That big swing shortens the battery life. And the more rapid the plug in charge, the shorter the life.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 17, 2022 3:24 pm

Rud,

Never had one, but I would have thought the Volt made some sense due to the elimination of ‘range anxiety’. Would it have been more viable if there had been a way to limit the range of battery charge / discharge?

Mark D
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 18, 2022 11:21 am

Volt owner here. 16 kw battery conservatively limited to about 10kw.
99K miles driven so far. Battery delivers about 10kw just as it did new in 2014. Oil change every 30k miles whether it needs it or not. Great suburban commuter car. Wife dove it to work 25m round trip on electric with battery to spare. Frequently drive 1032 mi trip to place in Florida just like any other ICE car because it is and ICE car in that mode. Can’t keep up with my MR2 but does handle reasonably well and bottom end torque makes it fun to drive.

It’s also aggravating at times but only because of nannystate interference with one damned alert or another.

It may not be THE answer but for our needs it is a very good answer.

My 2cents

Last edited 5 months ago by Mark D
David A
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 18, 2022 5:52 pm

Yet the Toyota RAV 4 Prime has a 150,000 mile warranty on the battery. It is only 18 KW, and consistently gets above its 43 mile EV range. Its charging rate is slow, 12 hours to full charge from the hybrid reserve level it does not drop below, to 6 hours if you upgrade. ( a common 15 amp circuit is adequate) Most folk for most driving have zero issue with the slow charging. Also, the charging is programmable, set it to reach full charge for when you depart, which also conserves battery life. But it is the best of both worlds, and it accelerates like a BOOH (“bat out of hell” for the acronym crowd)

I do not know the replacement cost after 150,000 plus miles. Who knows the cost of anything eight to ten years from now?
With low electricity costs the economics can be quite good, especially if one considers the rather inane government incentives. At 11 cents per KW and 15 KW to full charge, that is $1.65 for 50 miles.

MarkW
Reply to  Sean
April 17, 2022 4:17 pm

I’ve heard it said that many people talk about the weather. You are the first person I’ve met who’s debated with it.

Solar Mutant Ninjaneer
April 17, 2022 10:40 am

The internal combustion engine is hard to beat. Not only does most of the heat rejection go out the exhaust, but the compressor, combustion chamber, and the expander are all the same part of the engine, an engine that can be manufactured and maintained using common materials and manufacturing techniques. Another problem with Stirling engines (Stirling engines and cryocoolers are spelled with an i, not an e) is heat transfer into the working fluid, typically high pressure (up to 20 MPa) helium or hydrogen. The fact that IC engines burn liquid fuels means vehicles can be refueled in minutes instead of hours. The energy flow from a fuel pump is on the order of 5 to 10 megawatts, a rate impractical electrically.

In the 1970s president Carter initiated the automotive Stirling program in another attempt by government to pick winners. While the program was technically successful, advances in conventional IC engines made it non competitive. IC engines got a lot more efficient.

Doonman
Reply to  Solar Mutant Ninjaneer
April 17, 2022 11:24 am

There are undeniably valid reasons that ICE engines swamped all other types of locomotion design in history.

Remember, the entire operational system of any engineering is always factored into the end results and that’s why we have the ICE method of locomotion today. Mitigation of operational systems for any one reason always causes system problems, increases costs and requires gov’t subsidy of some sort. No one designs and builds locomotion systems for charity.

F=MA all day everyday. You will pay to accelerate your body and possessions. The question is and always has been how much.

Old Cocky
Reply to  Solar Mutant Ninjaneer
April 17, 2022 5:09 pm

Adding a turbocharger makes use of some of that waste heat in the exhaust to increase the thermal (and fuel) efficiency.

Nick Graves
Reply to  Old Cocky
April 18, 2022 1:52 am

You can add a second (low-pressure) turbo & gear it into the crankshaft for even more waste energy recovery. A couple of truck manufacturers have offered them.

There is also an electric turbo, which spools up using electricity and then regenerates it with the surplus boost pressure. Only problem is that the electric bits don’t like being so close to near-red-hot bits.

HotScot
April 17, 2022 10:52 am

Volvo just brought out a study done on one of their SUV’s, one fully electric, one ICE, both produced on the same production line so direct comparisons were less fraught with uncertainty.

The conclusion was that it would take about 90,000 miles running before the EV would be on parity with the ICE relative to cradle to grave emissions.

They reckoned that would be reduced to 50,000 miles in some European countries with lots of renewables. But I guess they don’t understand how renewables work and, of course, never include the back up sources required. I doubt they included the government subsidies to buy the car and the fact none of them are paying fuel tax etc. which contributes to the upkeep of our roads infrastructure.

Vuk
Reply to  HotScot
April 17, 2022 11:29 am

Volvo says emissions from making EVs can be 70% higher than petrol models – and claims it can take up to 9 YEARS of driving before they become greener
comment image
Volvo’s report shows the higher CO2 impact of manufacturing (grey) its C40 Recharge electric car (three bars on the right) compared to a petrol XC40 model (left bar). However, the EV has a far lower carbon footprint during use (light blue) – no matter how green the electricity mix is
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-10161697/Volvo-says-electric-car-making-emissions-70-HIGHER-petrol.html

Last edited 5 months ago by Vuk
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Vuk
April 18, 2022 5:55 am

“Volvo says emissions from making EVs can be 70% higher than petrol models – and claims it can take up to 9 YEARS of driving before they become greener”

Nine years. That would be about the time all the batteries would need to be replaced with new ones.

Scissor
Reply to  HotScot
April 17, 2022 11:47 am

I’d bet they didn’t include the installation of charging infrastructure in their analysis. There’s a reason why the metal content of a U.S. penny is worth about 3 cents.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2022 2:50 pm

There’s also a reason that the Copper Penny is Zinc 97.5% with a 2.5% copper coating…
Hint, the price of copper

Steve Cushman
April 17, 2022 10:54 am

Mild hybrid battery life would be the same as non hybrid ICE vehicle if the vehicle had one lead acid battery & a super capacitor sized to start a warm engine.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Steve Cushman
April 17, 2022 11:36 am

Valeo actually designed and prototyped such a system for Peugot diesels. Problem was, the system cost more than the fuel it saved, so Peugot never adopted it for production.

Bryan A
April 17, 2022 10:58 am

Slightly O/T
I filled up at Costco yesterday 4/16/22 $5.05 per gallon while the Chevron on the next corner was $6.29

H.R.
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 11:17 am

Then you might want to get a coal powered car, Bryan. 😉

Scissor
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 11:50 am

That’s more expensive than in Hawaii. I guess you filled up in California.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2022 12:28 pm

You are Wise beyond your years

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bryan A
April 18, 2022 6:07 am

Gasoline is about $3.50 per gallon here. It was $1.84 per gallon at one time, while Trump was president.

It’s estimated that for every increase in the price of gasoline of $0.80 per gallon, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States is reduced by about one percent.

Biden’s war on oil and gas is already harming the United States and it’s only going to get worse as long as he directs the nation down this destructive path.

His war on oil and gas has not only driven the price of gasoline and diesel higher, it has also contributed to the rising costs of everything we buy, since everything we buy has to be transported and that transportation is more costly today and those extra costs are passed on to the rest of us. Bidenflation.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 18, 2022 10:21 am

It was Trump’s policy to raise the price of oil, because the trade war between Russia and Saudi Arabia along with the lack of demand due to the pandemic was driving the price down and causing the US oil industry to cut production. As a result he pressured them both to cut production which he hailed as a success for the US economy.

HotScot
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 12:47 pm

I hate to say it but America is beginning to know how Europeans feel. In the UK diesel is around £1.70 per Litre, so £8.50 a gallon (imperial).

Bryan A
Reply to  HotScot
April 17, 2022 2:55 pm

I’ve seen reports of U.K. gas taxes being between $2.80 and $3.35 per gallon. California is at $1.18. Taxes do make some differences

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 11:58 pm

‘Gas’ tax in the UK is around 250%. They even charge VAT on the tax….

Bryan A
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 18, 2022 1:47 pm

Yikes…no wonder the Tea went into the Boston Harbour

Gunga Din
Reply to  HotScot
April 17, 2022 3:42 pm

“Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s refusal to retract his statement in 2008 that their goal is to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe, goes to show that, contrary to President Obama’s phony reelection rhetoric, he and his green team remain just as committed to their aggressive, ongoing war on affordable energy,” Senator Inhofe said. “Of course, Secretary Chu must have been feeling the pressure from President Obama’s reelection team to walk back what he said in 2008, yet he still refused to retract his statement that they want $8 to $9 dollar-a-gallon gas because that is the only way they can force Americans into their dream of a costly green economy.”

Don
Reply to  HotScot
April 18, 2022 12:01 pm

£8.50/gal = $11.06/gal, about double the typical price of diesel around here (SE Michigan)

Bryan A
Reply to  Don
April 18, 2022 1:48 pm

The diesel at some California stations is over $7 per gallon

HotScot
Reply to  Don
April 22, 2022 2:43 pm

Our gallons are bigger than your gallons. 🙂

markl
April 17, 2022 11:08 am

Hybrids are a waste of resources despite the popularity. Hauling around batteries/weight for minimal use doesn’t make sense. Either all ICE or all EV is more efficient from a cost/use perspective. If you rarely need the ICE with a hybrid then you are an EV candidate. Likewise, if you always run out of battery then you should be straight ICE. But hybrids are good for virtue signaling.

Scissor
Reply to  markl
April 17, 2022 11:53 am

Compromises can be made. Various performance characteristics can be optimized. There’s room for hybrids for people who want to virtue signal, for example, but want a vehicle that is more reliable than an EV and at half the price.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2022 3:42 pm

‘There’s room for hybrids for people who want to virtue signal, for example, but want a vehicle that is more reliable than an EV and at half the price.’

I take the word ‘reliable’ as meaning not being marooned on I-95 in winter, or being able to drive a couple of hundred miles without worrying about re-charging the battery.

Scissor
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 17, 2022 5:32 pm

Yes. Hybrids are quite reliable, more so than EVs.

David A
Reply to  Scissor
April 18, 2022 6:03 pm

And many find they use pure EV daily, for their commute, and the ICE range for longer non commute drives.

mkelly
Reply to  Scissor
April 18, 2022 6:15 am

Any compromise is based on a lie. That lie being CO2 causes warming. Why should anyone compromise with a lie?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  markl
April 17, 2022 12:04 pm

I disgree.
I did the analysis, bought one, and it is still going strong after 14 years and 90k miles. I’ll explain, since have only posted the analysis in comments before.
We own a 2007 Ford hybrid Escape, AWD with class one tow hitch. 208 hp, 130 in the I4 Atkinson cycle engine, 78 in the 390V electric machine backed by a NiMH traction battery. We get about 32mpg city and 28 highway at 70mph with AC on. Say 30 on average. The hybrid premium was (Ford planned) exactly $3k over the comparable; we got that back day 1 via that years hybrid tax credit of $3k.

The comparable was the 2007 Escape V6, 206 hp. Class 2 tow hitch. The AWD version got about 18 city and 22 highway, say 20 average.

So we use about (30-20)/30 1/3 less fuel. And the I4 uses regular while the V6 needed premium. The price difference is about $1/gal. So we have already saved over $10k, 40% of the then new price.

Both cars weight within 200# the same. The hybrid traction battery and electric machine extra weight is offset by the much smaller engine weight, plus the hybrid doesn’t have a separate starter motor. It starts using the electric machine and traction battery. It has a PbA for lights, wipers, horn, windows and such. So cannot be jumpstarted by AAA—but no matter, never any need for that.

The Ford hybrid is basically the Prius architecture. (Ford gave Toyota its European Diesel engine tech in exchange for the Prius tech, an exchange involving no money and saving both considerable engineering investment.) In that architecture, the ICE is always on at more than 18mph or when accelerating from stop. Otherwise it is off. We have driven several miles on gravel mountain roads in the north Georgia mountains without the ICE at speeds under 15mph. It comes on when the traction battery charge (measured by voltage drop) drops to about 45%, to insure it always floats above 40 but below 60 SoC.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 17, 2022 12:41 pm

I don’t know about the rest, but if you’ve only driven 90k miles in 14 years, I submit you’re not really “driving” that vehicle.

That’s “little old lady from Pasadena” miles.

Scissor
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 1:05 pm

Batteries tend to degrade with age even when not in use. So, 14 years is impressive in that regard.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 1:28 pm

Not quite. We are retired since some years with two cars here. The other is my MY 2000 BMW convertible, which we use around town. The Escape is used mainly to go to and from our mountain cabin in north Georgia and to goof around on mountain roads (to get to fly fishing spots) while there.

Bryan A
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 18, 2022 1:51 pm

I got my 1998 Dodge Durango back in 2000 with 44,000 miles on it. It now has just turned 100,000 (100432) so 56,000 miles in 22 years (for the last 22 years my commute to work has been 4120′ each direction)

Last edited 5 months ago by Bryan A
Joe Crawford
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 17, 2022 2:28 pm

Maybe I’m too old-school but I’ve always heard that in an ICE machine (diesel or gas) 80% of the engine wear occurs during startup, and that’s why truckers usually leave the engine running for short and even medium length stops. Because of that I’ve always been wary of any vehicle that implements stop-while-idle.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Joe Crawford
April 17, 2022 3:52 pm

Hard on the engine, hard on the starter motor, hard on the battery. What’s not to like for a piddling improvement in mileage. I look forward to the day when CAFE standards, whether to achieve energy ‘security’ (original justification) or to reduce GHG ’emissions’ (current justification), gets tossed on the ash heap of history.

Steve Richards
Reply to  Joe Crawford
April 18, 2022 1:43 am

You are correct. To prevent excessive wear, large slow speed diesel engines 5 stories high in a container ship etc, are warmed through for 12 hours prior to starting. We did this by either connecting the diesel generator cooling water to the main engine or using steam heating.
While the ship is still close to port and at risk of being stopped or reversed, the engine power is limited to about 69% of maximum.
Once away from land, the engine room staff will slowly increase power to 100%. Perhaps taking 5 or 6 hours.
Large ship engines last the life of the vessel and are incredibly reliable.

David A
Reply to  Joe Crawford
April 18, 2022 6:07 pm

The Toyota RAV 4 Prime does not have the ICE stop feature, thankfully.

Phineas
Reply to  Joe Crawford
April 18, 2022 10:32 pm

Diesel equipment operator here. Caterpillar many years ago began putting a combination starter motor and oil pump on their equipment. When the starter is engaged, only the oil pump operates until full engine oil pressure is attained and then the starter turns the engine over. This greatly increases bearing life. Back in the 60s some car companies put oil accumulators on their high performance engines so they could be started after full oil pressure was attained by opening the accumulator.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 17, 2022 8:15 pm

I second Rud’s rebuttal. I used to be dismissive of hybrids because I did not fully understand how they worked. I was enlightened by reading Rud’s post at Judith Curry’s site some years back, and I now own one. I bought it on purely economic grounds: gas prices were (I thought) historically low at the time and that depressed the resale price of use hybrids. In reality gas prices stayed low and even dropped for the next three years (all Trump’s fault), so the benefits were less than I calculated, but I’m still ahead and I really like the car (2013 Avalon).

Hybrids require no upgrades to existing infrastructure; the total cost is fully covered in the purchase price.

Hybrids offer genuine value to the owner at a reasonable cost premium, and depending on the electric generation mix where you live they might actually pollute less than a battery EV. They will eventually win over the bulk of the buying public if left to decide for themselves.

Sadly, the debate over Hybrids vs. battery EVs is another example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. We could have most of the benefits of full EVs much faster and at a fraction of the cost, but the zealots insist of the “pure” solution and don’t care how much it costs or how long it actually takes.

OweninGA
Reply to  markl
April 17, 2022 1:01 pm

Standard CRV – 27mpg highway/ 23 mpg city. Hybrid CRV – 36-38 highway / 40-42mpg city. The battery is much smaller than an EV battery as well because it isn’t meant to run the whole thing. The hybrids, when managed properly, control battery wear to the point that many of the early Accords are still on the original battery 15 years later. Now it will take about 6 years on normal gas prices to make up the difference in sales price, (more like 3 with current gas prices,) so it isn’t an option for those who trade in cars every 2-3 years. For people like me who drive a car until it won’t anymore it works out well.

Fran
Reply to  markl
April 18, 2022 10:47 am

If hybrids were so inefficient, why is almost the whole taxi fleet in Vancouver using them?

Vuk
April 17, 2022 11:12 am

This is an electric car I wouldn’t say no to as an Xmas present:
Mercedes-Benz has taken its new Vision EQXX electric car more than 1,000km on a single charge, throwing down the gauntlet to Elon Musk’s Tesla
The test drive from Germany through Switzerland to the Côte d’Azur in France used the electric power equivalent of just nine litres of petrol at a cost of about £14, the German car maker said.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/04/14/mercedes-electric-car-does-1000km-trip-single-charge/
Mercedes took the car over mountainous terrain and spent a spell cruising above 85mph on the German autobahn to show off the car’s real-world credentials. It arrived at the seaside with 15pc charge to spare.
comment image
The average electric car is already about £10,000 more expensive than a petrol or diesel equivalent, mainly due to the cost of batteries. High capacities will be reserved for the luxury end of the market. 

Last edited 5 months ago by Vuk
Rich Davis
Reply to  Vuk
April 17, 2022 11:44 am

My Jetta is almost 6 years old. Guess that’s the best replacement for me. Now that cost me $17k new, I suppose it might be a bit more for the Mercedes?

Reply to  Vuk
April 17, 2022 11:51 am

60% more to buy, 60% more range. (Compared to Tesla Model S, Long Range trim.)

Also – the Mercedes is a half ton lighter. Think that makes up part of the difference?

Scissor
Reply to  Vuk
April 17, 2022 12:00 pm

If it ran on hydrinos, you’d only need to charge it every couple of years or so.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Scissor
April 18, 2022 1:58 am

If it ran on green hot air we would have perpetual motion….

Bryan A
Reply to  Vuk
April 17, 2022 12:35 pm

1000km – 600mi … still won’t make it from my home in Santa Rosa to my timeshare in Las Vegas 642 miles without stopping for several hours to quick change the battery which means 12 hours in my ICE powered Charger with 3 refueling stops is still faster
For the cost of the EQXX I could buy my Charger and have over $80,000 to spend on fuel for the next 120,000 miles

Last edited 5 months ago by Bryan A
Scissor
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 1:10 pm

One could make up that loss in no time at a Caesar’s Palace blackjack table.

HotScot
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2022 1:13 pm

1,000km = 621 miles.

Charging time for the extra few miles, especially when the battery is low, wouldn’t take long, 30 minutes tops?

My VW Tiguan diesel (150bhp), fully loaded, would do your trip with one stop. Average speed probably 60mph, and I cruise at about 90mph on UK motorways – when I can. Mind you, the fuel cost is around £150 at todays pump prices.

The test drive from Germany through Switzerland to the Côte d’Azur in France used the electric power equivalent of just nine litres of petrol at a cost of about £14, the German car maker said.

Entirely unrepresentative and a complete con as EV’s run Tax free on roads paid for by ICE vehicles. Around 60% of gas in the UK is tax, then there’s 20% VAT.

The only Tax on domestic electricity in the UK (and I suspect most of Europe) is 5% VAT.

The solution is, of course, a mileage charge for EV’s and you can be sure that the British government, at least, will not surrender revenue they generate from road users, so we can expect a steep mileage charge and enhanced charges for electricity supplied to dedicated EV chargers.

Those EV fanatics crowing about their cheap cost of ‘motoring’ won’t be crowing for long.

Bryan A
Reply to  HotScot
April 17, 2022 3:17 pm

http://Www.Caranddriver.com/features/a15112705/2013-tesla-model-s-vs-1915-ford-model-t-race-of-the-centuries-feature/
Imagine how differently the race would have gone had the Tesla been racing a Brand New 1915 Ford Model T instead of one that was 99 years old

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Bryan A
April 18, 2022 6:17 am

They also thought that EVs were new and wanted to race against a “new” ICEV. Since, in reality, EVs were around before ICEVs, they should have raced a 2008 Tesla against a brand new ICEV. Then see who would win.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  HotScot
April 18, 2022 7:13 am

Until relatively recently the VAT on German Electricity bills was 16%. Not sure what it is now.

mark d
Reply to  HotScot
April 19, 2022 6:51 am

Ohio, USA is hitting us with a $200 tax as a user fee to pay for the roads. Problem is if you do the math $100 is closer to parity. We are being penalized for doing what gvt says it wants us to do.

Gvt giveth and taketh away w/o any logic.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Vuk
April 17, 2022 2:10 pm

What ahideous jumble of confusion.
they’re not telling any flat-out porkies but are still lying through their teeth

Let’s say 9 litres of petrol is 90kWh of energy, same if its in a battery or a petrol tank.
They claim 15% remaining so that’s the size of their battery – 90kWh =85% of total capcity thus battery = 105kWh = not a lot to write home about.
OK, they had an 85mph motorway blast but for how long.
We all know – somebody didn’t let them ‘push in’ coming down the entrance slip-road so they had to floor it to squeeze into the available gap and briefly nudged 85 in their self-important rudeness

How long doid the whole trip take- We hear about 85mph but did they stay at 8,5 for the rest of the way? Crawl uphill at walking pace and freewheeel all the way down.
What sort of tyre pressures did they use – I’ll bet closer to 100psi than the recommended 32psi

Then, 9 litres of ‘energy’ from petrol equates to 27 litres of ‘real petrol’ in a real engine
Over 640 miles = 107miles per UK gallon

Hotscot sounds like he has the same (VW Bluemotion 2 litre turbo diesel) as I have in my Caddy.
I get 60mpg constantly and it’s well known that if all the Exhaust Gas Recirculation, the Ad-Blue catalyser and Diesel Particle Filters were taken out, those engines will do 100mpg easily

Mercedes are FoS and selling to niave and gullible folks – the ones who are ‘Easily parted from their money’
Would you, classic vernacular, :buy a 2nd hand car off of folks like that, let alone blow away 100K+

FoS = what happens constantly to the toilet bowl in a houseful of vegetarians
Tends to be a lot of ‘gas’ also

#

Last edited 5 months ago by Peta of Newark
rbabcock
Reply to  Vuk
April 17, 2022 5:57 pm

Why do people insist on using metric values? I’m not sure what the big deal is on the Vision EQXX since 1000 km is only 340 miles and my ICE car will do that in 11 gallons (8.5 liters for you metric people).

Reply to  rbabcock
April 17, 2022 7:18 pm

Sorry, but 1000 km is about 621 miles.

Graeme#4
Reply to  rbabcock
April 20, 2022 3:23 am

Could it be that most of the world is metric? Having gone through the change from imperial to metric, it’s not difficult.

Gordon A. Dressler
April 17, 2022 12:09 pm

Rud,

I appreciate your post but have to take issue with your statement that ”

There is this basic definition:
“External heat engines are generally steam engines, and they differ from internal combustion engines in that the heat source is separate from the fluid that does work. For example, an external combustion engine would use a flame to heat water into steam, then using the steam to turn a turbine. This is different from internal combustion, like in a car engine, where the gasoline ignites inside a piston, does work, and then is expelled.

All external combustion engines are external heat engines. There are EHEs, like solar thermal power plants, nuclear power plants, and geothermal power plants, that are not external combustion engines. Despite this, external heat engines, like nuclear reactors, are sometimes referred to as external combustion engines.

External combustion engines are the most common form of external heat engines, because of their use in power plants.” (source: https://www.engineeringchoice.com/external-combustion-engine/ , my underlining emphasis added) 

TonyL
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 17, 2022 12:26 pm

In both military aviation and commercial aviation, external combustion engines are generally referred to as “jet engines”. They seem to be rather common.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  TonyL
April 17, 2022 12:45 pm

But doesn’t their fuel combust internally?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  TonyL
April 17, 2022 12:47 pm

Sorry, TonyL, but your statement is not true . . . jet engines are classified as internal combustion engines.

As but one definition example:
“Internal-combustion engines are the most broadly applied and widely used power-generating devices currently in existence. Examples include gasoline engines, diesel engines, gas-turbine engines, and rocket-propulsion systems.”
(source: https://www.britannica.com/technology/internal-combustion-engine )

Last edited 5 months ago by Gordon A. Dressler
TonyL
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 17, 2022 2:00 pm

My mistake. I see that “external combustion” refers to a working fluid heated remotely. As opposed to a jet which does not have an enclosed combustion chamber.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 17, 2022 12:32 pm

Sorry, I needed to expand upon my post above, but the edit period expired before I could complete the additional comments. Here is the complete, updated post:

Rud,

I appreciate your post, but have to note that your second sentence in this phrase is somewhat misleading: “First, combustion engines come in two basic forms: internal, and external. External (1819, Sterling) was never proven practical despite . . .”

It is true that the Sterling cycle (using a single gas phase that is recycled in a closed loop) has never been practical for electrical power production or for use in mobile engines, but other external combustion engine cycles (in particular, the Rankine cycle) have proven to be extraordinarily important to human civilization.

There is this basic definition and commentary:
“External heat engines are generally steam engines, and they differ from internal combustion engines in that the heat source is separate from the fluid that does work. For example, an external combustion engine would use a flame to heat water into steam, then using the steam to turn a turbine. This is different from internal combustion, like in a car engine, where the gasoline ignites inside a piston, does work, and then is expelled.

“All external combustion engines are external heat engines. There are EHEs, like solar thermal power plants, nuclear power plants, and geothermal power plants, that are not external combustion engines. Despite this, external heat engines, like nuclear reactors, are sometimes referred to as external combustion engines.

External combustion engines are the most common form of external heat engines, because of their use in power plants.
(source: https://www.engineeringchoice.com/external-combustion-engine/ , my underlining emphasis added) 

And, yes, there have been steam-powered (i.e., Rankine cycle based) cars and other road vehicles. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_steam_road_vehicles )

Last edited 5 months ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Old Cocky
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
April 17, 2022 5:04 pm

Dredging up ancient memories, the Stirling engine only really comes into its own in a multi-stage configuration. That requires additional space.

April 17, 2022 12:22 pm

Has anyone ever built a vehicle where the ICE only runs a generator to power electric motors at each wheel?

Mike Lowe
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 12:46 pm

Worst of both worlds, if they include an apparently essential (if small) battery.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 17, 2022 1:12 pm

Yes,
ICE —> DC generator —> DC battery and/or DC-to-AC inverter —> AC electric drive train & wheels
is MUCH less efficient than
ICE —> drive train & wheels.

The Web can inform you as to why almost every BEV car today uses AC drive motors rather than DC drive motors.

AndyHce
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 17, 2022 2:14 pm

Yes, batteries are essential parts of the modern locomotive.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  AndyHce
April 17, 2022 3:40 pm

AndyHce,

You comment depends greatly on the definition of “modern locomotive”.

Currently, nearly all train engines in service are straight diesel-electric, which do have batteries but these are used only for starting the massive diesel engine and running on-board control, diagnostic, lighting and communication electrical/electronic systems.
They do have batteries, but not for storing excess power. They’re used for starting or providing power to auxiliaries and control circuits. The engine charges the batteries. That’s essentially the same as the battery in a car with an internal combustion engine.
“The diesel engine only runs fast enough to supply the electrical load at any given moment. It doesn’t generate any “spare” electricity.” *

In other words, the diesel engine drives a generator that in turn provides electric power directly to the locomotive engine’s electrically-driven wheels. The main reason for using electric drive (via the intermediate diesel-driven electrical generator) is to provide (a) high starting torque and (b) smooth power control over a wide range of speeds without having to use a mechanical transmission and clutch.

There are new hybrid diesel-battery-electric locomotives now entering service.
“Having said that, things are changing. Battery-diesel stock is starting to be introduced. Basically battery technology has now improved to the point that large traction storage batteries can be included. The main advantage of this is that they can use regenerative braking to recover some of the energy normally lost during braking or downhill inclines. It also allows the diesel to run at its most efficient speed more of the time. Again, that’s pretty much the same as a hybrid powertrain in a car.” *

*Source of above quoted text:
https://www.quora.com/Do-diesel-electric-locomotives-have-batteries-or-do-they-just-use-all-the-electricity-they-produce

AFAIK, there is no currently-in-service long haul (say, 100 mile-or-longer single segment) commercial freight or passenger train that uses only batteries for moving the train over such a distance.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 1:14 pm

James
Here’s a 14 year old article to bring you up to speed
https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/0804dp-10-largest-dump-trucks/

HotScot
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 1:17 pm

What would be the point? No such thing as a free lunch. The losses from the conversion from gas to electricity would just be daft.

Erik magnuson
Reply to  HotScot
April 17, 2022 2:12 pm

Probably no worse than a torque converter without a direct drive lockout. Locomotive electric transmissions reportedly are 95% efficient. A motor per wheel arrangement would be an ideal way to do an al wheel drive as torque at each wheel could be optimized.

Main driver for improving efficiency in electric transmissions is reducing the amount of heeat needed to be removed from the alternator, inverter and motors.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 1:20 pm

I believe that British Rail used Diesel-Electric locomotives, Class 66 for example.

Erik magnuson
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 1:26 pm

Perfect description of a diesel-electric locomotive. For all but the smallest locomotives, an electric transmission is more flexible and economic than a mechanical transmission.

Le Torneau built a lot of earth moving equipment that used an electric transmission instead of mechanical. This allowed for much more flexibility in engine (prime mover) placement.

USN diesel subs have exclusively used electric transmissions since the early 30’s, this allowed the engines to avoid running at critical speeds (torsional vibration resonances).

AndyHce
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 2:13 pm

How many trains are not run by diesel electric locomotives these days?

Joe Crawford
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 2:37 pm

Yep, most railroad locomotives.

Davidf
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 3:37 pm

Isnt that essentially how the Teslas ran at COP26? /s

Gunga Din
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 4:07 pm

Diesel-eclectic locomotives is what replaced steam locomotives.
But I wouldn’t consider them to be a ROAD vehicle. 😎

RobK
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 5:01 pm

High unsprung weight of each wheel is a problem for a smooth ride at all but the slowest speeds. Inboard motors at each wheel gets messy.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 17, 2022 9:07 pm

James:

There were several classes of US capital ships around WWI which used turbine-electric drives. The reason was the inherent mismatch in efficient turbine speed and maximum large propeller speed (~125 RPM). The early direct-drive turbines such as used on Lusitania had vibration problems that were never completely solved. Having the turbines connected to generators and running at their most efficient speed solved the vibration issue and made the propeller speed much more controllable.

The downside was the considerable extra weight, which is why after the Washington Naval Treaty went into effect turbine electric drives were abandoned in favor of reduction gears. It took a while to develop reduction gears that could stand up to the stresses imposed.

The French luxury liner Normandie launched in 1932 was the largest turbine-electric ship ever built — 160,000 horsepower driving four shafts.

The Gato and Balao class diesel-electric submarines of WWII also had no direct connection between the engines and the propellers; they just ran the generators which powered the motors.

LeTourneau was a major manufacturer of earth-moving equipment founded in 1929 and in the early 1950s developed a diesel-electric drive that used an electric motor for each wheel. The advantage was full power to all wheels without the losses incurred by a transmission, transfer case and differentials.

Dean
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 18, 2022 5:47 am

Used all the time in large scale off road mining equipment.

Though they usually only have electric motors on the rear wheels.

Dean
Reply to  Dean
April 18, 2022 5:52 am

They are the vehicle of choice when noise is an issue.

AC drive is used a lot more today, they have instantaneous braking which the old DC drives didn’t have.

Nothing like coming up to the top of a ramp and using the retarder and not having any braking for a couple of seconds, or then one wheel braking before the other and giving you a wild ride on a freshly watered road…..

Mike Swenson
Reply to  James Schrumpf
April 24, 2022 8:29 am

Yes, Chevy Volt! I have owned 2 of them. Best of all worlds

Meab
April 17, 2022 1:21 pm

Rud,

The things that accelerate Li-ion battery degradation are heat (controlled by battery cooling systems in most EVs), full charges, full discharges, and storing the battery for extended times with a full charge. It’s true that a hybrid’s battery undergoes an easier life than a Battery Electric Vehicle’s (BEV’s) battery, but a plug-in is expected to last longer than a BEV.

When a plug-in gets to the minimum acceptable charge level (say ~10%) the car’s control SW will automatically start the ICE motor. You don’t have this luxury with a BEV, you have to run the battery down until you reach a charger – that can sometimes mean discharging the battery to levels that cause increased degradation. Likewise, a plug-in is not dependant only on the battery to achieve acceptable range and does not need to be either fully charged or stored with a full charge.

Since some plug-ins have battery ranges that exceed the average commute, you might be able to drive on battery power most of the time but still have the ICE for long trips. They also have the advantage of using a much smaller battery than a BEV, maybe 1/4 as big, so much less need for rare elements than a BEV.

Bruce Cobb
April 17, 2022 1:24 pm

If they’re so great, why do they need to be subsidized? Hint, they aren’t.

Tom Gasloli
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 17, 2022 2:52 pm

👍👍

Richard Page
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 17, 2022 6:02 pm

You’re right, they’re not. Here in the UK ICE cars have extra taxes and penalties loaded onto them, making them far more expensive than they need to be, whilst EV’s get one or two small tax breaks and incentives. It’s still not a level playing field.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Richard Page
April 18, 2022 5:04 pm

And here in the US you can get an income tax credit if your car is a green thing.

Ben Vorlich
April 17, 2022 1:42 pm

I’ve had two loan cars in recent weeks while my car is waiting a part, a brake caliper damaged by galvanic corrosion, which is being brought from Japan by a back packer. Both were/are automatic hybrids.
Both are more economical than my current petrol vehicle, but are smaller vehicles and not as economical as diesels I’ve owned in the past. The second a Kia Niro averaged 60mpg on a trip to Scotland from the East Midlands of England. But I got a similar figure from a diesel Xantia with an XUD turbo engine at a higher average speed.
That particular Xantia completed about 180K miles only requiring some spheres and clutch cable.What concerns me about a hybrid is you have two, or more power trains, fuels and braking systems. No matter how reliable they are individually, there must be a higher probability of an expensive breakdown.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
April 17, 2022 1:56 pm

The high gas prices in the 70s & 80s drove people to specks & the lower prices through the early
00s drove them to SUVs. My niece’s Hundai was bigger than my 80s Pontiac. I always bought cars
at least 5 yrs old as I saved much, much more on depreciation & insurance than I could on gas.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Old Man Winter
April 18, 2022 7:07 am

I worked with a physicist several years ago who never paid more than $150 for a car. He performed no maintenance (e.g., oil change, etc.) and drove the car until it quit, at which point he’d pull it off to the side of the road, remove the license plate, call a taxi and go buy another junker. While working with him he had an old Buick that he’d had for two or three of years that wouldn’t quit. He was getting tired of it and complained almost daily.

Old Man Winter
April 17, 2022 2:05 pm

Thanks for the informative information on different types of EVs.
I think what would be useful for many of us would be a list of
some good sites that would include formulae, specs, data &
conversion tables, rules of thumb (ROTs) etc. that can be used
to help us analyze the practicality of ideas presented about
EVs. It could be a list of reference data, tables, etc., that has
information we can find ourselves.

For example, one needs to know the forces acting on a vehicle when
driving down the road to know how big a battery is used for different
vehicles. First, the forces are- battery power, transmission losses,
rolling friction, & drag- & any others I may have missed. How much
do Li batteries weigh? ROT- __#/kwh. battery ratings @ different Ts-
-40F, -5F, 32F, 70F, 100F. Heater/AC/radio/stereo/ CD/power/seats/
windows, head lights, etc? Transmission & drive train efficiency
ICE vs EV; How to compute rolling friction f(weight) => How much do
small & large cars, SUVs, 1T, 2T, … 30T, Semi tractors weigh? 20,
50 pax city & school buses? battery sizes & weights already in use
for any of these.; How to compute drag- proportional to (speed)² =>
A vehicle going 50 has half the drag as one with a 20 mph headwind
(25 vs 49). One going 70 mph has half that of one with a 30 mph
headwind (49 vs 100).

From these data you can calculate a minimum battery size- hence
weight- needed for each type of vehicle. So when a vehicle has a
___ mi range & ___ kwh battery, that means it weighs ___#, can
go ___ mph with ___ headwind. It will take __ hrs to recharge.
It has a ___ volt battery using ___ amps. Compare practicality of
ICE vs EV. There are places where EVs are more economical- stop
& go traffic & smaller short-haul; & those where they’re absurd- long
distance & large equipment, especially 24 hr driverless tractors.

I just listed some of the information that may be useful to analyze
ICE vs EV with my limited knowledge. There may also be a better way
to categorize the information & sites.

I also think a “how to tips” on different aspects of EVs- regen
features, improving battery life expectancy, etc. would be useful
to help those with EVs get maximum performance.

It’s possible this information/where to find it could be done as a
series of articles, too.

NOTE- Please correct me where I’m wrong. THANKS!

BTW, what can they realistically do with all those old batteries-
ICE cars can get ~250k mi so EVs ~ also.

Last edited 5 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
April 17, 2022 7:59 pm

An EV lipo battery should be 1/3 GVW.

April 17, 2022 2:42 pm

ICE is a mature, functioning system. Prove to me that there is a serious problem with it.

Richard Page
Reply to  Jim B
April 17, 2022 3:53 pm

It beats me why the Green crowd haven’t looked at some form of emissions control or carbon capture system for the individual cars (something like the push for catalytic converters) rather than diving off the deep end over electric vehicles.

Gord in Calgary
April 17, 2022 3:33 pm

What kind of SME uses terms like Mild, Moderate, Full to describe a drive train??? The terms should be series or parallel or series/parallel.

https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/all-about-drivetrains

Nick Graves
Reply to  Gord in Calgary
April 18, 2022 2:10 am

Well, by far the majority are currently parallel systems.

But you have the complexity of a mild system (usually an almost-pointless strap-on 48V with a conventional ICE drivetrain) a more sensible ~144V system with an electric flywheel and a conventional drivetrain, or the eminently sensible ‘gearboxless’ systems used by Honda, Toyota et al, which closer resemble a diesel-electric locomotive – particularly the Honda version.

Or ultimately, the absurd plug-in-hybrid.

Of course, the battery sizes have to be scaled according to the degree of parallel-hybridity.

So the added sophistry is helpful.

April 17, 2022 4:08 pm

It seems rather silly that gas engines use a restrictor valve on the air intake to control RPM. In effect you are wasting energy at low throttle trying to compress an artificial vacuum.

catcracking
April 17, 2022 4:23 pm

There are also practical problems with tho EV mandate that don’t seem to be addressed.
Just on particular problem is that not everybody has has a garage to charge their car indoors.
How many places are safe enough to plug in the EV car in the driveway or on the street overnight. even if one has a driveway it may not be safe or how do you stop others from stealing electricity.
Would that concern itself be a killer especially where people have to park on the street.
Even in my neighborhood where many have a garage, nobody has any room in it for a EV car.

This is one of many practical considerations that seems not to be addressed beside the cost of an EV car.

Reply to  catcracking
April 17, 2022 6:36 pm

Some EVs should be parked a the end of your driveway….if catching on fire is a possibility…and your insurance company would appreciate it too.

dk_
April 17, 2022 5:35 pm

Excellent post Rudd.

Full hybrid vehicles also have the advantage of being proven technology. Trains and ships have been using electric motor drive for over a century. Electro Motive (founded 1922) was a GM division for 50 ish years. Jay Leno’s Owen Magnetic was built in 1916 ( some WAG will say that Owen went out of business, I will answer that every contemporary battery electric and steam engine car manufacturer, AND most IC vehicle manufacture went out of business as well — due to cheap gasoline and production line manufacture).

Happily we live at a time where the internal combustion engine is probably at peak efficiency per pound and electric motors and controls are cheaper as well as lighter than the mechanical components they replace.

Full hybrid vehicles are more honest than the other sorts of electrical drive vehicles as well — the power is generated right there at the point of use, and not by burning coal in someone else’s back yard.

Another advantage might be that electric drive AND energy storage are a large hurdle to take together, but an established electric drive vehicle manufacture capability and platform standardization would make it simpler to convert to an alternative practical energy delivery system should one ever be developed.

RobK
Reply to  dk_
April 17, 2022 5:52 pm

Standardised protocols are needed for plugins to buffer mains connected renewables and options for islanding homes during outages. I can see some merit in plug-in hybrids if they can also power your home in an extended outage.

dk_
Reply to  RobK
April 17, 2022 6:51 pm

I like that idea, too Rob K, but I’m also a fan of cogeneration and dispersed generation capabie grid. If most nodes on a networked energy distribution system at least occasionally generated as well as used electrical power, leveraging additional generation capability from the transportation subsystem would be quite useful. Mostly well beyond the scope of Rudd’s excellent post, however, and definitely not ready for delivery — unlike well developed full hybrid vehicles which could be (are being ) implemented now.

niceguy
April 17, 2022 6:04 pm

Nearly all parked cars charging in Paris are hybrids.
And I have never seen as many very large cars! All hybrids of course…

Rob
April 17, 2022 7:47 pm

No battery has the energy density of combustible fuel. This means that you are always spending more energy simply carrying the extra weight.

The second issue is how quickly you can re-fuel a vehicle with a liquid combustible fuel vs recharging a battery.

For these two reasons, batteries are simply not appropriate for most vehicle transport. Reference to hybrids as electric vehicles is hiding the fact that the energy source is still a combustible liquid.

Whether there will be an energy system which can compete with an ICE in terms of energy density and refuelling time in the future is unknown. Hydrogen fuel cells have been touted for some years, especially if you can use methanol as the hydrogen source, but it remains unproven.

April 17, 2022 8:08 pm

A diesel electric train locomotive works because the grade is less than 4%. With a mechanical transmission you are never overloaded so long as you have another gear to shift down.

Electric bikes have gears for a similar reason.

Keven Jackson
April 17, 2022 10:23 pm

My experience: I started in 2006 making blends of vegetable oil and kerosene for a diesel vw jetta 2000 and a 2006 Mercedes benz. It was messy but I saved thousands on gas in the 10 years I did it. I got a Nissan leaf in 2012 and got rid of the mercedes.If I had kept the mercedes I would probably still be doing it but the vs died because a timing belt. I got a 2005 prius after that that was great but my kids destroyed it. Replaced with a 2010 prius that I liked even better but had head gasket problems and died. Replaced it with a Kia optima plug in hybrid that is pretty fantastic. At 60000 miles this 2017 Kia has no noticeable battery degradation. I think that is mostly because it has a liquid cooled battery. The leaf on the other hand that has 107000 miles on it will only go about 50 miles now instead of 73 when new because the battery is air cooled. Still we drive it about 45 miles on weekdays to work and the combination of the Kia and leaf we figure save us at least 200 a month on gas. I wanted to get tesla but my wife does not want to sit there and wait to charge on road trips.

Steve Richards
April 18, 2022 1:32 am

I was surprised by point 2:
“battery life by ‘overcharging’. Kills that application also.”
Uncontrolled current flowing into a battery!!
Don’t car companies employ electronic design engineers yet?

OweninGA
Reply to  Steve Richards
April 18, 2022 7:07 am

You would think a decent battery monitor could sense the battery approaching max charge and divert the energy to a resistor. You lose the energy, but you don’t kill the battery.

Peta of Newark
April 18, 2022 6:00 am

How many people have commented here about “Climate Change Mental Disorder Madness Insanity, Derangement etc” even before we encounter Brandon, Greta and (self-inflicted via pasta and booze) Boris?

We should be eating Lithium, not making cars out of it.

Quote:A fourteen-year study in England that analyzed the health records of 30,000 adults over age 50 demonstrates that the people who took lithium prescribed by their doctors to help them cope with depression and other mental issues were significantly less likely to develop dementia than the people who didn’t take the mineral.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2649277

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0289-0

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01329-3

observa
April 18, 2022 7:23 am

ICE HEV PHEV or BEV 68% of sales have to be zero emissions by 2030 in Californy-
California Proposes 68 Percent Zero-Emission Vehicle Sales By 2030 (msn.com)
There’s a bit of catching up to do-
Is This The Future? Waiting To Charge At Tesla Supercharger Station (insideevs.com)

Now I know you’re wondering why only 68% and not 70% zero emission cars by 2030 but not everyone will be able to afford them right away-
‘A metastasizing crisis’: can Karen Bass end street encampments in LA? | California | The Guardian
They’re going to change the climate.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  observa
April 18, 2022 7:50 am

If they’re going to mandate zero emissions it should be for the full life-cycle of the vehicle, from mining the materials through disposal of the vehicle at end-of-life plus the total amount and source of energy used at each step. It would be quite interesting to watch the legislative discussions as the actual data came in.

Diogenese
April 18, 2022 8:58 am

To increase efficiency why has no one tried hooking a steam turbine into the exhaust system , there is enough heat and redesign of traditional cooling systems could make even more heat down the exhaust to drive a turbine . Stop wasting all that lovely heat .

Old Cocky
Reply to  Diogenese
April 18, 2022 1:49 pm

Most diesel motors and quite a few petrol motors already use turbochargers.

Phineas
Reply to  Diogenese
April 18, 2022 10:52 pm

Actually there is at least one company that makes thermocouple generators that simply attach to the tail pipe and hook to the battery. They replace the alternator.

April 18, 2022 9:03 am

I will never buy an electric car. Ever.

John Hardy
April 18, 2022 10:19 am

Good article although full hybrids have a couple of sub-flavours: series hybrids where the ICE drives a generator and the electric motor drives the wheels. The Volt can, I believe, operate in both modes.

Agree with his comments on Pb. Leads acid has an absurdly short cycle life in this type of application

observa
April 18, 2022 4:05 pm

These climate changers sure do love their computer models-
“World first” trial to integrate electric bus charging with grid in Sydney (thedriven.io)
Maybe one day someone will explain to them the lesson of the tale of the tortoise and the hare with their constant oohing and aahing-
Victoria reaches record wind and solar share of 83.8 per cent | RenewEconomy

Jake J
April 18, 2022 7:55 pm

In a plug in, you drain the battery until the charging engine cuts in. That guarantees a much shorter battery life. Not a good thing economically.

I’d love to see some backup for that. It makes sense to me that such frequent charges would reduce battery life, maybe radically. To my knowledge, which might very well be woefully lacking, each recharge is a cycle, and there are a limited number of cycles.

But I’m not seeing any evidence from the field on the longevity of the batteries of plug-in hybrids. I am all about the facts, so if you have backup then please present it. For what it’s worth, you could have an impact.

Phineas
April 18, 2022 10:10 pm

Efficiency increases with compression ratio which was reduced to prevent nitrogen fixation. So they burn more fuel to avoid making fertilizer. Then they use more fuel to make fertilizer.
What’s wrong with this picture?

Brian J. BAKER
April 19, 2022 9:22 am
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