View Full Version : The Combustible Engine
With all the technology available today why hasn't there been more successful results with an alternative to the combustible engine?
(And no, I don't believe the big three auto makers have the design locked up in an underground vault)
Estimates of underground oil supplies are all over the place...but..we will run out. You and I will probably not be around when it does, but perhaps your grandchildren or great grandchildren will. Wouldn't it be nice to thumb our collective noses at the oil rich countries and simply let them drown in it?
10-02-04, 09:51 AM
The short answer- physics. : )
For whatever reason, we haven't been able to leverage economies of scale to drive the cost of components for fuel cells or other technology to reasonable cost levels. We also have to overcome public resistance to change. I don't wan't to be the first guy to drive a new model off the lot. I'll wait a year or two and let the bugs get worked out. A different powerplant just magnifies the risk about a gazillion fold. I'm just a cautious consumer by nature.
I agree with many of BK's points. The technology isn't there yet and when it becomes available it's going to take sales volume to bring the cost down.
Good grief I hate saying this, but California is driving a lot of this forward with their zero-emmission regulations. It's going to take some sort of government effort to accelerate the adoption, otherwise it will take decades after the technology is available.
It's going to be interesting to see which auto companies win this race and the resulting market share.
True, it's going to take a long time before we pump all the oil out. It may not be near that long to see demand far outstrip supply.
10-02-04, 11:49 AM
I think we would all be better off if we stepped back a century and used the horse and wagon for general transportation. That way the DOT workers could put those shovels to use besides leaning on them 5 hours out of 8 a day.
Authorized use of gasoline vehicles would be for commercial and emergency use only.
The Ole Man
10-02-04, 01:38 PM
I don't know about that GG. I just returned from the feed store with 2 bags of oats for my hay burners. They were $20 with tax. That's about 11 gallons of gasola---and the trip via hydrocarbons would be a LOT more pleasant than in the buckboard.
You know what ADM says in their ads--"For every problem, nature has a solution". Hydrogen propulsion will be here big time in about 10 years.
10-04-04, 08:51 AM
Our fuel woes go far beyond the technology required to make it happen. Until we accept nuclear energy as a viable replacement for fossil fuels, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will not work on a large scale. The problem is that it requires more energy (ie. Electricity generated from fossil fuel) to make the hydrogen than the hydrogen cell can generate…..so yea it sounds environmentally friendly, but actually it is just really bad energy banking. The problem isn’t so bleak if you utilize nuclear energy to produce the electricity to produce the hydrogen….it is still a losing equation, but it does help reduce the quantity of carbon released into the atmosphere. Tidal hydroelectric or wind-generated electricity may eventually be a viable alternative….or heaven forbid we could actually begin large-scale telecommuting and conduct community planning to where commuting isn’t a necessity.....just my $0.02
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