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  • hybirds(cars)

    i know the hybirds have been here for 5+ years now but why are they all gasoline powered? why not diesle?

    also what do you think will be the next power source? i am leaning towards hydrogen, but i really have not sat down to reserch it much.

    also we have diesle eletric locomotives, witch is a basic hybird, so why don't we have any hybrid tractor trailers? to me it seems the market is ready for a big truck that can get 12+ mpg, the best i have been able to get so far has been 7 mpg in am unloaded dump, imagine the money companys would save over the long haul.
    9/11/01, never forget.

  • #2
    Re: hybirds(cars)

    OSC, all good questions. I think the auto manufacturers avoided diesels in hybrids for two reasons, higher cost and access to diesel. They probably wanted to keep things as simple and normal as they could for the fols who bought these cars. I think diesels have many advantages over gasoline engines even for these small engines. I urge you and others to see the movie " Who Killed The Electric Car?" good stuff. I've seen a few programs that discussed hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, right now a car that runs on hydrogen would cost one million dollars and the part about this technology is that currently there is no mateial that could house enough hydrogen to propell the car more than a hundred or so miles. This is in my opinion a too distant technology costing millions and putting practical fixes on the back burner. GM is supposed to come out with the "Volt" plug in hybrid car next year. Something like 40 or 50 miles on a charge and then the gas powered generator kicks in to power the car another five or six hundred miles. Who knows how well this thing wil perform,but we do know right now there are hybrids and plugin cars working just fine. I'm willing to bet hybrids could be designed to accomodate the demands of trucks, the systems would be more complicated than current gas or diesel engines of course and there is the higher cost. All comes down to who stands to profit from us saving money at the pump, or Big Oil losing their revenue?

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    • #3
      Re: hybirds(cars)

      Thats a good question, i don't know why diesel hasn't been considered for hybrids. In general, in the US it just seems like people don't like the idea of diesel cars of any kind. Diesel cars are very popular in Europe and many of them get gas mileage that makes hybrids like the Prius look like a joke. However, Honda has dropped some of their hybrid models like the Accord in favor of new ultra efficient diesels for 2008 or 2009.

      There's currently a plug in type electric that I think is due to come out fairly soon called the Tesla. It's not really a practical car though. It's a sport car with 0-60 time of about 4 seconds. It has a claimed range of almost 250 miles on a charge and runs on lithium ion batteries. The problem is the cost. It's something like $200,000+ with 75% of the price being the cost of the batteries alone.

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      • #4
        Re: hybirds(cars)

        Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
        OSC, all good questions. I think the auto manufacturers avoided diesels in hybrids for two reasons, higher cost and access to diesel. They probably wanted to keep things as simple and normal as they could for the fols who bought these cars. I think diesels have many advantages over gasoline engines even for these small engines. I urge you and others to see the movie " Who Killed The Electric Car?" good stuff. I've seen a few programs that discussed hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, right now a car that runs on hydrogen would cost one million dollars and the part about this technology is that currently there is no mateial that could house enough hydrogen to propell the car more than a hundred or so miles. This is in my opinion a too distant technology costing millions and putting practical fixes on the back burner. GM is supposed to come out with the "Volt" plug in hybrid car next year. Something like 40 or 50 miles on a charge and then the gas powered generator kicks in to power the car another five or six hundred miles. Who knows how well this thing wil perform,but we do know right now there are hybrids and plugin cars working just fine. I'm willing to bet hybrids could be designed to accomodate the demands of trucks, the systems would be more complicated than current gas or diesel engines of course and there is the higher cost. All comes down to who stands to profit from us saving money at the pump, or Big Oil losing their revenue?
        The technology to run hydrogen is already around and there are already limited amounts of hydrogen powered vehicles on the road. BMW is already even producing a model that can run on either gas or hydrogen. The problem with hydrogen vehicles isn't the technology to run on hydrogen. It's making the hydrogen itself. Current methonds produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct or require massive amounts of energy to create it with no carbon byproduct through electrolysis, both of which pretty much defeat the purpose of making a clean fuel.

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        • #5
          Re: hybirds(cars)

          Regarding diesels, I think the technology just hasn't found a pleased audience. Volkswagan had a diesel-power "Rabbit" about thirty years ago and I think it proved to be a bit of a failure. Diesel fuel is not that available, and maintenance was a problem. Today, diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline and in our area (Corning, NY), there's only one station that carries it. The long haul trucks carry the fuel capacity to reach the occasional station, but most compact cars do not.

          Similarly, the handful of Diesel-powered pick-up trucks that I've heard in our community are testimony enough, to NOT want to drive one or have one in your neighborhood. They are frankly, IMO, noisey monstrocities that reflect over consumption at its worst. Rarely do you find one in the hands of anyone who has it for their labor.

          Diesel-Electric locomotives are I guess, sort of a hybrid; but more so, I think an engineering application to deliver the best power transfer. The Diesel, on a locomotive is nothing more than a power driver for the electric generator. The electricity that is generated, powers the huge induction motor's that are directly connected to the wheels. This gives the best possible transfer and control of the traction. Hybrid automobiles however, use gasoline engines to power the wheels, as well as generate an electrical charge for the alternate driver mechanism, which still run through the transmission, if I'm not mistaken.

          Personally I think we are on a totally wrong track with Hydrogen. The automotive industry has been exponding on "Hydrogen Power" for a several decades now, alway announcing that it's within the "next decade". Well, it's been "within the next decade" for at least the last three decades. Maybe by 2017!

          Currently it takes almost three times the energy to produce hydrogen than it would save; and that doesn't account for any of the distribution system, that's just for making hydrogen. While some of us have read that "Hydrogen" is a "now" product, it really isn't in evidence as such. Hydrogen is both a very dangerous fuel as well as one which is notebly troublesome in cooler weather.

          Likewise, this Ethynol is not as "green" as our government and oil industries want us to believe. Current science dictates that it takes almost twice as much energy to produce than it saves. It also poses some starting problems in cooler weather, and even at 10 or 15% blend, it drastically reduces the power of an internal combustion engine and quickly lowers the mileage. The moral issues of Ethynol, we are already witnessing, as our food prices have gone up quite a bit this past summer, thanks to the ever increasing price of grain and everything that eats it. Using "food" to drive our overly hungry vehicles is both foolish and shortsighted I think.

          Electricity on the other hand is widely available. While true that batteries are still a problem, and are certainly not "green", we are making terrific strides in both battery technology as well as electrical generation. Electric cars for metropolitan use is already a proven advantage over conventional engines, and are ideal for an American mindset that insists on personal and independant transportion.

          Unfortunately the U.S. is way behind in most of this. Electricity generation in Europe is almost decades ahead of us, and their public transportation system has nothing comparable here. I think the fact that we are so far behind in this arena, is that the petro-chemical and automobile industries have done an outstanding job of convincing all of us, that everything beyond their control is inferior and not worth our trouble. Yet if we take a serious look outside the U.S. we find this is simply not the case. (I won't attempt to go into the military and political issues that have been driven by our oil and automobile industry.)

          CWS

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          • #6
            Re: hybirds(cars)

            I wonder what will happen when there are a lot more electric cars being driven and everybody comes home from work and plugs in to recharge. Especially on a hot day when the power plants are operating at near capacity trying to keep up with the air conditioning demands. Maybe they will have to be on some sort of timer that will stagger the charging start time so they won't all come on line at once.
            When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

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            • #7
              Re: hybirds(cars)

              DS
              Good point and one that requires some major beefing up of electrical power distribution along with power generation. I'm hoping that people may have their own ways to make some electric power for battery charging. For now I have not seen any hybrids setup for charging at home. You start up an engine-generator before driving the car, truck or bus.

              In my area we have city buses that are Diesel engines driving generators with fancy electronic controls that charge large banks of Ni-MH batteries that supply power to a large DC motor that's connected to the drive shaft. There is no transmission used. The problem I have found is that the battery is not near enough capacity so the engine is always changing speed and load. To run at it's best a Diesel engine needs to be run at constant speed and load. I'm hoping to see inprovments soon.

              I really think for now we need to work on ways to conserve all types of energy and much of that can be done by cutting waste with using our minds more. Public transportation here in the nation's capital is in need of great improvement. Because of this most people still drive all over.
              Last edited by Woussko; 10-25-2007, 08:54 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: hybirds(cars)

                I think if the demand and use of electric cars became widespread there would have to be upgrades to the power grid. Perhaps to meet this increased need solar energy, wind energy or a combination of the two would resolve any problem. There will always be problems that arise when we change from old established ways of doing something to newer technology. We isolate a problem and work to fix it. Let's face it,even if good, reliable electric plugin cars were available they would not fit everyone's needs or wallet. From what I've read and seen Hydrogen is not the answer and neither is Ethanol. I think The Electric Car if made well with a range of 40 to fifty miles on a charge and an accessory gas or diesel motor to power it beyond that range would probably fit the needs of enough people to at least make a difference in pollution and demand for gas. This is very possibly a real solution to a current problem soon to become a crisis. I can't imagine $4.00 a gallon for gasoline and the impact it will have on our economy and quality of life. Many families are just getting by and have no more wiggle room, they need help now not more research.

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                • #9
                  Re: hybirds(cars)

                  Great topic everyone....on the why of diesels...pollution controls is why you dont see many small car diesels..laws on emissions change with vehicle weight.ie a big truck can spew more for its weight legally..watch tho for more smaller diesel cars coming out, all the manufactures are working hard on that and have been solving it.Why does diesel cost more now?They have to refine it much more and remove more sulfur naturally in to now to meet again pollution laws.All thats why you dont see diesel hybrids yet...they will come I bet.Long ago I think it was popular mechanics had a plan car that used batteries.a dc motor and had about a 7hp diesel generator IRFC it got 75mpg.Locomotives use diesel/electric for ease of control and regenerative breaking..the drive motors turn to generator mode to slow down..they have huge heaters to burn off whats generated during breaking..much more efficient then brakes as we commonly think of.Diesel engines were originally designed to run on vegetable oils which were sorta a possible farm waste crop.Growing crops to make fuel for diesels is viable as you are just extracting an oil not trying to make a fuel like alcohol so less energy needed in the making of the fuel.Where I live part time in the Philippines about half of all vehicles are diesel..You can buy new Ford ranger pickups with diesel there and nearly all the mini pickups are diesel there plus about half the cars and minivans are diesel...the pollution laws are not as strict as here in the states.They heavily tax vehicles there too if the cc of the engine is over a certain size.You also rarely ever see a V8 motor there..not even in big trucks...nearly everything is 4 or 6 cylinder.Top speeds there are much slower too.
                  Electric cars are certainly coming with a few restrictions on charging..there could be a charger that only charges in off peak hours and I doubt the electric grid would be taxed too much then.Electric too is better for control pollution as its much cheaper and better to use pollution controls at a central spot then 1000 spot pollution controls at the vehicles.
                  Sam

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                  • #10
                    Re: hybirds(cars)

                    This thread and the Global Warming thread should be combined. There are a lot of good ideas on both threads. Maybe they could be sent to all of our Senators and Congressmen.

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                    • #11
                      Re: hybirds(cars)

                      A lot of the argument against electric cars are of the opinion that it would further load the existing electric grid and of course, that they simple don't meet the demands of a everyone.

                      While I would have to agree to that, we can't let present day assumptions get in the way of moving forward with such technology. All one has to do is look at the modern calculator and it is quite obvious that vast improvements are well in order. I'm not sure if there are any "battery-operated" calculators any more, as even the cheapest ones are now solar-powered... even when during the evening.

                      Perhaps the greatest advantage of electricity, is that it can be generated in so many ways. It is the one energy that is not depletable, nor solely dependant on some kind of "burning" process.

                      The other night I watched a program, "Green, the New, Red, White, and Blue" As I recall it was on the Discovery Science channel. It pointed out that in Europe, especially Germany, solar energy is very common place.

                      So while an electric car wouldn't fit everyone's need, it would make a serious impact on pollution and energy consumption. Likewise, it need not put a drain on existing electric power plants, if it was run at the more affordable night rates, or even "solar powered". While that would be expensive, the "economy of scale" would drastically reduce production costs.

                      CWS

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