[–] FrozenFire74 7 points 28 points (+35|-7) ago 

Of course they aren't going to announce any advancements in engine development. The only reason Thomas Eddison attacked Tesla's AC/DC system was because it lowered profit margins for copper companies, which he had invested in. Same with hemp cultivation pissing off the Du Ponts and Hearst families, who had invested in Timber and Nylon industries.

[–] diodine 1 points 29 points (+30|-1) ago 

Of course they aren't going to announce any advancements in engine development.

You couldn't be any further from the truth. Plenty of advancements have been made.

Better manifold design, overhead cam, turboes, variable valve timing, variable valve lift, variable compression, knock sensing, aggressive ignition timing, lean burn, atkinson-like cycle from commercial engines, lower viscosity oil, greater accessory efficiency (95+% efficient alternators, electronic power steering yuck but more efficient), lighter weight engines made from stronger aluminum, etc, just to name a few.

Engines have been improving significantly and consistently. Power and torque per unit displacement has virtually doubled in 30 years, indicating huge increases in efficiency and performance.

The reason you don't see 70 mpg cars is because people wouldn't buy them. Whenever these improvements occur, power and efficiency per unit of displacement goes up, and people generally are just okay with that. Ford has tried engine downsizing in the US with the 1.0 liter turbo and it barely sold - this mind you was an engine that made more power than the 1.6 N/A - something like 120 hp. If people have the choice between 30 mpg and 0-60 in 7 seconds or 40 mpg and 0-60 in 10 seconds, they'll pick the former.

Also companies like GM and Fiat Chrysler Dodge Ram® insist on using old technology like low revving pushrod v8s - and guess what? In the US, inefficient engines like that sell because we DGAF about fuel economy or efficiency (using efficiency here in the sense of power/weight not just burning less fuel). Many guys, mainly truck guys, are stubborn retards who think any change is bad. Even GM is being forced to change though - right now they have issues of brand new trucks (LS engines) burning oil right from the factory, since they need to use 0W-20 oil (almost as thin as water) to meet EPA mileage requirements (and also boost power). This is of course because GM is kicking and screaming as they get pulled into the current year. GM is also being forced to adopt variable valve timing and direct injection to keep the old LS on life support. I don't know much about Fiat since they're irrelevant but I imagine the Dodge V8 is in the same boat.

TL;DR right now we're in a bubble where grossly inefficient and large vehicles are in vogue, people don't care about fuel economy that much especially if they can improve power at little cost to it, truck guys are retarded, engines are improving, yadayada

[–] Turn_Coat 1 points 14 points (+15|-1) ago 

Truck guys just need to be able to pull things. If they offered a truck with 50 mpg, and the ability to haul a ton of freight, you bet your ass I would want it.

[–] 1HepCat 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Hrm. I'm pretty sure I would choose the higher mileage car with acceptable acceleration but I'm part of the secondary market rather than the primary. I.e., I would never buy a new car given the way they depreciate. To me, a car is just a semi-disposable utility that you throw down the highway at 80 MPH--bound to get smashed up before long.

I wonder if there's any way to get that signal from the secondary market through the primary market to the manufacturers or if maybe I'm too much of an outlier. The biggest selling points for me tend to be brand/reputation/reviews and then asking price. I suppose if I'm too lazy to calculate the total cost of ownership*, including gas mileage, how much worse are the people that are willing to buy new cars knowing they're going to lose $1000s just driving it off the lot?

*The TCO is tough to figure because the car could get smashed or throw a rod in the first week. If it survives long enough, it could see my driving habits change significantly (e.g., when I get a new job) and it'll almost certainly see the price of gas go back and forth myriad times...

[–] FrozenFire74 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

I think we're both in agreement to an extent. Consumers want inefficient designs because they think like the Top Gear crew, and manufacturers aren't complaining about the profits from sales and maintenance fees.

I would say we probably disagree in regards to the R&D aspect of this subject though. Why invest in cleaner/more efficient fuel systems or power generation if what we have now is highly profitable as it stands? The system works now, we get our money out of it, and no one is making a competitive alternative.

[–] wesmoc 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I agree the OP is pretty far from the truth. Advancements are made and have been made all of the time. In this A.D.D. shiny object world, automotive advancements go largely unnoticed because they are smaller and incremental. Those “low revving pushrod v8’s” have seen their advancements, too However, I call BS on the DGAF comment. People do care.. hell, they throw a fit if gas prices go up by $0.05/gal ... “Inefficient” and “large cars” are not synonymous. What you are seeing is a burst of high horsepower / high torque vehicles with fuel efficiencies never before seen at their weight class. What used to be a 13mpg vehicle is now a 21mpg vehicle.
Yes, increased efficiencies pay dividends. No matter how you look at it, it is science.

People want fast, efficient, and economical. Like the sign reading “there are three types of services: good, cheap, fast”, you can pick only two. When push comes to shove, they will take fast and economical.

[–] Food_Stamp 1 points 5 points (+6|-1) ago 

The fuck are you talking about? "They" announce engine developments every week.

[–] NoisyCricket 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Exactly. His electric math is wrong too.

Electric motors generally range from 80%-98% efficient. The very high end generally become cost prohibitive but that price is likely to come down if widely adopted for electric vehicles. The result is that most of the motors used tend to be roughly 94% efficient.

What further complicates things is that most electric cars are not direct drive. They still go through a basic transmission. Usually this is to allow for the use of multiple motors. This mechanical transmission is generally 90% efficient.

Electricity delivery has improved over the years. In most places within the US electricity is delivered at 90-95% efficiency.

Lastly, this power must be stored in batteries. A Li-on battery, when new, has 99% efficiency.

0.94 * 0.9 * 0.9 * 0.9 * 0.99 = 68% efficient. But let's be crazy conservative and say 60%.

Most ICE average around 26% - 30% efficiency to the ground. But let's say we exclude things like trucks, which moves us into the 30% range. Clearly the winner is the electric vehicle. It's not even close. Even if we assume much more loss in efficiency batteries over time and the mechanical transmission.

What everyone loves to ignore is a pragmatic reality of how engines and motors are used. ICE requires RPMs to build to generate torque. Electric motors have high torque as soon as they begin to turn. Which means electric motors use less energy to provide the same driving habits.

Also, many people here are parroting what is known as range anxiety. 80% of the US population can satisfy their driving habits today with an electric vehicle. For Europe, this is 90% of the drivers. This is because, on average, the vast majority of a driver's daily distance is less than the total capacity of a battery pack. You simply charge at night, during off peak hours.

Additionally, as some others have provided, electric vehicles also allow for centralized production of energy. Energy production costs for gas is very high where as energy production costs for nuclear fuel is rather low in comparison. But we can accept this as simple a measure of it's cost. Gas prices are volatile and high relative to nuclear's stable and low. Also, there is no cleaner source of energy than nuclear currently in mass use. Electric vehicles can run off of nuclear power.

Without any question, in every measure, electric vehicles are superior. The only thing which prevents from being superior to every application is battery density and (refuel) charge time. There are several very interesting developments which may leave the lab soon which allow for 80% charge time in roughly five minutes. Getting that much power to a charge station is a different question. But to some degree this may also be facilitate by super capacitor charging banks.

[–] chirogonemd 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I think he isn't trying to focus on incremental improvement so much as he is talking about paradigmatic shifts being suppressed because of the entrenched financial interests. And to an extent he is absolutely correct, but like you point out he is wrong to ignore the incremental gains.

Even the financial interests who want to prevent radical new engine concepts, still have an interest in improving the I.C.E, after all the players in that industry are in internal competition with one another.

I do believe he is right, however, that the massive resources of these bigger players in a market dominated by only a few, is able to suppress the non-linear innovation from paradigm shifters because these aren't perfect markets, and the control of information allows a market to be rigged.

[–] BlowjaySimpson 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Everything is a rich man's trick.

[–] SuperConductiveRabbi 3 points 2 points (+5|-3) ago 

"Nothing will ever improve because conspiracy!"

I'll honk at you tomorrow as you drive to work in your Model T.

[–] B3bomber 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

The Model T could do 70 MPH.

[–] FrozenFire74 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I wish I had a Model T, if only to torch it at a classic car meet up.

[–] RugerLCP_2 0 points 23 points (+23|-0) ago 

Most of the world is still living off the technological advancements of the pre-income tax US era. Electricity, Telephone, video, Train, Car, Aircraft, skyscraper.

[–] Dfens 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Repeal the 16!

[–] Spy_Banking 3 points 14 points (+17|-3) ago 

Your assessment of electric is retarded. I power mine by Solar and Hydro. And you gain efficiency with something like a natural gas turbine engine; even coal power is cleaner even with transmission losses. Even if it weren't, capturing emissions at a single source is much easier. Why people can't see electric propulsion is better is beyond me.

[–] firex726 2 points 5 points (+7|-2) ago 

Exactly... Efficiency scales with centralization with power. It's better to have one massive power station that is efficient than thousands of small inefficient ones. I had a Prius, 12 gallon tank which I'd fill up once every 5 weeks, now I have a Camry with a 19 gallon tank and i have to fill up every 4 weeks.

Electric is better in pretty much every way, at most you have to worry about is the battery which you're looking at around 150-200k miles, which by that time you'd need serious engine work on any car.

[–] NeoGoat 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

OP (@vastrightwing) is not retarded; he makes valid points, although, IDK if the 40% figure is accurate. I'd guess it is reasonable. Can you refute it? I do grant that solar and hydro are cleaner sources of energy, but there are trade offs to everything. Environmentalists complain about hydro affecting fish and other parts of the ecosystem. The total amount of hydro is also limit.

While larger facilities are more economical to make efficient; technically, efficiency does not "scale" with power, as there are thermodynamic limits to efficiency. No real-world engine is 100% efficient, at least according to mainstream science.

150-200k miles, which by that time you'd need serious engine work on any car.

Granted likely some engine work & likely an automatic transmission would need work. However, a good engine should last far longer, especially a diesel. I've almost 300k on a gasoline Nissan. Of course, there is also a probability of accident damage, as well.


[–] weezkitty 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Imo battery technology still needs to improve. But the thing about eletricity is that there are A LOT of ways to generate it. And changing the method of production doesn't require consumer replacement or retrofit

[–] vastrightwing [S] 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

You can fill your car with petrol in 5 mins as opposed to1/2 hour to recharge a battery.

[–] 3whuurs 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Ya but you can recharge a super capacitor in 10 seconds.. and they day when a capacitor can hold as much power lb for lb as lithium ion is fast approaching. Even we’ll established in concept. Graphene capacitors are going to change everything.

[–] InyourfaceNancyGrace 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

That time is rapidly dropping. I do have my gripes with electric though, and I'll start with robustness. You can make an ICE run on pretty much any petroleum product (see the M35 "deuce and a half", e.g.). Electronics are pretty simple, especially if you have a magneto motor for the plugs, a lot of the rest of the stuff is mechanical. Another thing is portability - electric cars are a great way to tether people to a functioning power grid. Many of us want further range.

Now I will say if hurdles like these are overcome, electric motors are certainly capable of overtaking ICEs. They can produce maximum torque at all times, don't have to spool up/down, and as you mentioned are much more efficient among other advantages. But I'd say it's going to be a century or so until we solve all of those problems, if we ever do. Horses were pulling the weight for a LONG time before trains and the horseless carriage came along, so I don't expect the ICE to be replaced overnight by a long shot.

[–] Master_Foo 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

It takes 15 seconds to plug it in at night and 15 seconds to unplug in in the morning.

If you are standing around in you garage, tapping your foot, waiting for your car to charge, you probably don't have enough IQ to drive it.

[–] ShinyVoater 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Why people can't see electric propulsion is better is beyond me.

Because it's not. Most people can't charge it from their homes, which means a lack of infrastructure is a major problem. They take much longer to recharge than combustion engines, so that infrastructure will need to be that much larger to handle the amount of traffic seen today.

And, even if we magically managed to solve that problem, there's the little issue of the electricity requirement: the amount flowing into the grid would need to be doubled(if not more), which would wipe out all of your environmental "savings" as the number of power plants explodes.

[–] drakesdoom2 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

You can't just look at energy efficiency in a mobile platform. Energy density is a large determining factor since you have to transport it with you. How much useful energy can you extract from a 1lb fuel source? Chemical sources also deplete in weight while an electric weighs the same empty or full.

Then you have the practical problems of refueling time, maintenance cost, infrastructure cost, accident hazards.

I have looked at electric and hybrid vehicles multiple times as an thought experiment only. Every time I conclude they are ridiculously over priced because in 5 years when you need to replace the batteries you are nearly buying a new car. ICE engines will need an overhaul or replacement at a fraction of the vehicle cost.

[–] Dopples-ganger 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

About one trip around the sun for Neptune.

[–] SuperConductiveRabbi 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Wow Neptune sucks

[–] CatoIII 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

We still use the wheel, too. if you think you have a replacement for the internal combustion engine, patent it and then tell us about it.

[–] prairie 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

[–] Elemental_Lightning 1 points 5 points (+6|-1) ago 

Greed will always impead advancement, until we find a different way of thinking.

[–] Naught405 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Established institutions (including large corps and governments) necessarily oppose change.

[–] Uncle_Tractor 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Another advantage EV has over IC (int comb) is the number of moving parts. IIRC EVs have around 200 moving parts between the battery and the wheels, while ICs have 1400. Moving parts = friction, loss of torque (correct term?), and additional wear and tear. The only reason we still use IC is because that tech has an almost 200 yr head-start on EV. I think EV is about to catch up.

I'm probably the only guy on Voat who believes manmade GW is real (boo, hiss, downvoat), but I'm not that concerned about it anymore, because between advances in EVs and increasingly cheap and efficient solar panels, I think CO2 emissions will drop once EV bypasses IC in the metrics that matter to consumers. CO2 emissions are about to become a thing of the past due to market forces. Capitalism to the rescue.

[–] xachariah 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

As someone who owns an electric, it's still 20 years out from prime-time.

Until we get electric stations with fast charge (where fast is measured <10mins) and 100+ mile ranges standard (eg not just Teslas), gas powered vehicles aren't going anywhere. It sucks bad wanting to visit a nearby city and not being sure you can actually make it there.

Only thing I could see driving it otherwise is if gas prices went above $10+ a gallon like they have to pay in Europe during bad years.

[–] Alwaysmakingprogress 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Ever seen a Blue Rhino propane tank station? I imagine a standard form factor for EV batteries, where they can be disconnected, pulled and swapped for a fully charged one in a couple minutes. The discharged one goes in a rack, charges until the green light comes on, and then gets swapped into someone else’s vehicle.

[–] RollinDaGrassTyson 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I'm probably the only guy on Voat who believes manmade GW is real (boo, hiss, downvoat)

Probably not

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