Print 41 comment(s) - last by m51.. on Nov 3 at 11:07 PM

You're doing it wrong.
Turbos are on 75% of new cars sold in Europe

You don't have to be a scientist or an automotive engineer to look at the fuel economy that major automakers are squeezing out of their vehicles with normal combustion engines today and wonder if we really need EVs and hybrids. More than one diesel car in Europe is able to provide fuel economy as good or better than the hybrids people generally think are so fuel thrifty.
The catch is that we rarely see diesel engines in the US inside a car, that will be changing, but the diesel car isn't common today for American drivers. One thing that is becoming very common for fuel efficiency sake is the addition of a turbocharger to allow a smaller displacement engine to produce acceptable power to provide the performance drivers expect.
The turbocharger is something that was often thought of for performance cars like the Grand National Buick in the mid to late 1980's. Today the turbo is used in a number of engines including the very popular EcoBoost line from Ford. Ford's EcoBoost engine inside the F-150 truck is selling very well and has a towing capacity on par with normal engines with larger displacement. The turbocharger is even more widely used in Europe where Reuters reports that 75% of all new cars come with one.
Craig Balis from Honeywell Turbo Technologies told Reuters in an interview, "The turbocharger is a green technology in the sense that it's helping cut emissions and raise fuel economy. It's a critical component to get more fuel efficiency out of the engine."
"Emissions regulations in Europe, the United States and worldwide are a driving force for cleaner, greener vehicles and that's a great landscape for turbocharging," said Balis. "We're confident about the continued evolution of combustion engines and the growing role turbocharging has."
Reuters reports that a diesel engine that has a turbocharger can get 40% more mileage than one without a turbo and a gas engine can go 20% further per liter of fuel than one without a turbo. With the impressive economy that normal engines with turbochargers achieve there are many that wonder if we even need EVs and hybrids.
Pierre Gaudillat, policy officer at the Transport and Environment lobby group in Brussels, was asked if we need EVs from a CO2 point of view. He said, "That's a valid question. The answer is: maybe not. Turbos are a no-brainer for cutting CO2 because the efficiency gains are really quite significant. In the near term, we don't really need and can't count on electric vehicles to deliver the CO2 savings. Maybe not until about 2030 or 2050."

Source: Reuters

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Yes, we need them.
By Totally on 10/17/2011 6:36:10 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not a fan of EV's. But if we were to neglect EV's, alt. fuels, and associated R&D, we'd just be delaying the inevitable. However many years down the line, we'd come full circle when turbocharged IC engines don't cut it anymore. I for one would like to have a fully developed backup-plan in place now when we don't need it, instead of a band aid fix, and promises.

RE: Yes, we need them.
By aguilpa1 on 10/17/2011 6:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
exactly, it sounds like just another corporate excuse to keep milking the public with high fuel costs and stagnate solutions that could potentially end our dependence on fossil fuels.

If it weren't for the push of public's push for EV's and hybrids would the automotive industry even have moved to make their engines more efficient and turbocharge their fleets. It's not like the technology hasn't been around for decades? How is it their holy cow all the sudden?

RE: Yes, we need them.
By MrTeal on 10/18/2011 10:42:12 AM , Rating: 2
What public push? The big push for EVs is coming from the government, not from the buying public.

People ultimately vote with their wallet. They're fine with saying they support electric vehicles right up until the point where they have to stop spending other people's money and have to give up their own to get one.

Electric cars may be the future, but it definitely isn't the majority of consumers pushing it forward. They just want something reliable, cheap to own and operate, good looking, and a little fun.

RE: Yes, we need them.
By Reclaimer77 on 10/19/2011 10:29:01 AM , Rating: 2
People ultimately vote with their wallet. They're fine with saying they support electric vehicles right up until the point where they have to stop spending other people's money and have to give up their own to get one.

True but that's the "progressive's" M.O. They're real good at telling everyone else what they should buy and support. They, however, will just do whatever is best for them while demonizing those who do the same.

Sorry but there's not some corporate conspiracy to keep EV's down. It's us, those who refuse to buy one.

RE: Yes, we need them.
By topkill on 10/31/2011 3:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
The John Birch Society has spoken! LOL

RE: Yes, we need them.
By Dr of crap on 10/25/2011 1:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know the number of EVs and hybrid sold?

The public doesn't want them. Now I'm all for alternative fuel sources. Why we didn't do it in the 70s when gas prices quadrupled I don't know. Maybe the tech wasn't there, but we might be that much farther along anyway.

Cars are heavier than years ago. The 40mpg of today would be 50-60mpg back then. But I don't know if turbo is the way to go. I still remember the troubles that turbo cars had in the not to distant past. I'd rather go with the smaller, lighter car/engine that will last, then to put my trust in a turbo, IMHO.

CNG cars are not being pushed. Yes I know the energy in natural gas isn't as good as gas, but I could fill up in my garage, big plus for me, and teh engine is suspose to last longer, and gain less CO2 all in the same engine.

Biodiesel engines can burn french fry grease, or diesel made from grass growing on the side of the interstate. This is where we sould be heading. But cash rules and the ones behind the cash don't want us to go in that direction.

So we have hybrid and EVs that will satifiy the CAFE standards, but the public doesn't want. We have the ecoboost with turbo that seems to be selling.
We have turbo cars - not sure on these yet.

RE: Yes, we need them.
By FreeTard on 10/17/2011 8:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with that. One thing that will keep me from EV is the lack of range. I want to drive to work and be able to run errands without having to worry about charging it. Or what happens if I drive my 40mi to work and then have to rush to an emergency while it's charging... I want to be able to get into my car and go if I want to.

Keep going on the R&D and when the tech has been perfected to something stable that I don't have to keep charging constantly then I'll jump on board. If you can turbo a vehicle and get me 50-80mpg, I'll jump on that.

Top Gear did a good (if over the top) episode in this past season on EVs. I'd recommend finding it because it brings up the current concerns with full electric vehicles.

RE: Yes, we need them.
By Mint on 10/25/2011 9:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
PHEV is the solution.

We have the gasoline infrastructure in place, so no need for new stations for charging, battery swapping, hydrogen, etc. You get 80% of the benefits and the only downside is that you lose a little interior room compared to EV-only or ICE-only cars.

RE: Yes, we need them.
By Ringold on 10/18/2011 2:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
But if we were to neglect EV's, alt. fuels, and associated R&D, we'd just be delaying the inevitable.

Seems like a false dichotomy to me. What are EV's? Electric motors energized by batteries. Both of those technologies have vast use outside of the automotive field. Ditching EV's, or keeping them a niche market, I don't believe in any way would impede battery research. We're always going to want longer-lasting laptops, communication equipment, off-grid reserves, etc. Car batteries, as I understand it, just combine scores of those same little cells in to larger packages.

Besides, EV's currently dont mean zero emissions. Most power comes from dirty, uranium and mercury spewing coal-fired plants. Not to mention, could the grid handle mass adoption? In places like California, with already stretched grids, thats an open question.

RE: Yes, we need them.
By tonylee5566 on 10/22/2011 3:04:00 AM , Rating: 2
thanks the great information , i will share to my blogs

RE: Yes, we need them.
By topkill on 10/31/2011 4:21:32 PM , Rating: 2

Two things you might want to consider:
1) according to the DOE, it takes 6kWh of electricity to refine each gallon of gasoline. So that electricity from "dirty, uranium and mercury spewing coal-fired plants." is being spewed anyway to make gasoline. Of course, this is just to refine it and speaks nothing to drilling for it, transporting it, creating all the other chemicals needed at the refinery, transporting it to gas stations all over the US and even pumping it out of the ground (another electric pump by the way).

2) As of April 2011 (latest available figures from DOE), coal use for the US grid has dropped to 41% which is way down from the 50-60% it used to be and it's dropping dramatically in the last 2 years as Natural Gas plants are coming online and the older, dirtier coal plants are being retired.

As for your other point on batteries progressing for laptops and cell phones...not so much. The battery companies have made a fortune selling you batteries every time your current ones run out. Their only incentive to improve at all was to be *slightly* better than competition or at least to have some case where they could claim it for marketing.

They made all their money selling the damn things and didn't want them to last longer than was needed. EVs have forced them to come up with truly new technologies because they are simply not viable for most people today with the range limitations and short cycle/shelf life.

So EVs are definitely driving improvements in batteries that were not there before.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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