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Re: Will ICE efficiency breakthroughs hamper EV adoption?

Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:59 am

It looks like Toyota is getting in on this trend, as well:
GreenCarReports wrote:Toyota’s new Dynamic Force Engine adopts high-speed combustion technologies and a variable control system. It also achieves greater thermal efficiency, resulting in high output, due to a reduction in energy loss associated with exhaust and cooling systems, the movement of mechanical parts, and other aspects.

As a result, the newly developed 2.0-liter gasoline vehicle and hybrid vehicle engines achieve world-leading thermal efficiencies of 40% and 41% respectively. In addition, compared to existing engines, the new engines achieve increased torque at all engine speeds—from low to high rotations—and will comply with expected future exhaust regulations in each country in advance.
With both hiigher efficiency and higher torque, Toyota could be well-positioned to pick up previous diesel-owners who were burned by dieselgate.

Here is a short video on Toyota's technology:

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Re: Will ICE efficiency breakthroughs hamper EV adoption?

Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:14 pm

I doubt there will be any ICE efficiency breakthroughs that will amount to anything.

As of now, there have been a gasoline car prototype that got 120mpg (Aptera) and a production diesel car that gets 240mpg (VW XL1). The $30,000 Toyota Prius Prime gets +50mpg. Technologies, like free pistons, ceramic engine materials, and filtering out the nitrogen so that compression ignition, lean burn, stratisfied charge and high compression technologies and be used to their full potential without the production of NOx emissions do exist, although costly.

So the breakthroughs are out there. And 300mpg cars are possible. But the problem always seems to be that in order to get better efficiency the price goes up considerably. It's cheaper to buy and own a non-hybrid, like a Toyota Camry, that gets a lot worse fuel mileage than a car like a the ones mentioned above, even the Prius. If you're pinching pennies it doesn't make much sense to spend $30,000 on a car that will only save you $3,000 in fuel in the next five years compared to a $15,000 or $20,000, or even $25,000 car. Add to that the added maintenance and repair costs of the more efficient yet more complex vehicle.

For this reason, the majority of "breakthroughs" aren't true breakthroughs, but simple tuning techniques. With all due respect the ICE really hasn't changed all that much over the past couple centuries. They mix fuel and air, compress it with a piston and ignite it with a spark plug. Yes, fuel injection is better than carburetion. Yes, there have been improvements. But there's nothing that's really all that great about modern day ICE technology except the exuberant price.

When you take the ICE out of the equation then EV technology becomes quite competitive. EV technology keeps getting less expensive, yet ICE technology keeps getting more expensive, outweighing any improvements in fuel mileage. And EV technology is generally much less complex and much more reliable. Really the only hurdle is the battery life, and solving that in something as simple as the right chemistry and you might just have a very reliable, simple, cheap and efficient vehicle that will appeal to the masses.

Actually the main reason why I got my Leaf is because it was the only car on the market that I could afford that got better fuel mileage than my 1985 VW diesel. And sadly a lot of people still think 30mpg in a small car is awesome fuel mileage.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

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