Do We Need EVs with Turbo Engines Becoming so Fuel Efficient?
October 17, 2011 1:15 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
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
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."
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."
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RE: Yes, we need them.
10/17/2011 8:56:44 PM
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.
10/25/2011 9:36:03 AM
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.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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