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Old 09-13-2021, 01:49 PM   #85
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Part of what we are seeing here is that EVs are mature. EVs have progressed from being tiny short mileage science experiments (Mitsubishi iMiEV) or super pricey luxury vehicles (Model S, Taycan) to being mainstream moderately priced vehicles (Mustang Mach E, VW ID.4) and fully functioning, even commercial vehicle capable (Ford Lightning, Silverado EV) that are available in every form factor from small sedan to CUV to SUV to monster pickup (Hummer EV).



The next step is to improve the cost of EVs and improve charge times. There are people burning midnight oil to achieve both of those things. It will happen sooner than later. Part of the reason automakers are actually ahead of the government in embracing the move towards EV is the long term cost potential. Right now GM has somewhere around 12-15 vehicle platforms in development and production, depending on how you define platform. When GM shifts to mostly EV, they will be able to deliver most of their portfolio using two platforms, BEV3 for sedans and crossovers, BET for trucks and SUVs. They will be able to mix and match eMotors and drive units to achieve performance and capability targets. Battery sizes will be flexible like lego sets to deliver multiple options for range and vehicle output. Once these are in place, development costs per unit produced will drop dramatically.



2021 was the year that EVs crossed the 10% of sales line in California. 2022 will be the year they cross the 5% line nationwide. And as a nation, the US is far behind other leading car markets.



Still, ICE will not totally disappear. There are some use cases where ICE continues to work best. It’s not so much an “either or” scenario, it’s an “and” scenario.
Well I suppose everyone has a different definition for "mature", and that's fine. I think EV is definitely viable in some uses, but not for me.

The fewer platforms make sense financially, and it's fine for your average family vehicle, but I would think performance vehicles will need dedicated platforms regardless, not only is it good for the performance and helps those vehicles achieve their full potential, but there is more sincerity to the car crowd in developing a dedicated platform for performance vehicles.

And yes, I can still see ICE existing in cases like emergency vehicles, even in hybrid forms. The greater flexibility is still not matched by EVs. Same with long-distance transportation, unless the battery energy density issue is properly addressed.

Something I forgot to mention, I also don't personally think EVs solve many issues for me. Driving in the city blows just about as much in an EV as an auto trans car, and parking is still a pain. For me, something like a bicycle or electric scooter is more appealing because they solve these city issues. Maneuvering and parking are far more flexible with bicycles and scooters, provided that the weather cooperates.

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I still genuinely don't understand why there was never a market for a diesel electric automobile... All the benefits that everyone decries from the electric motor part of the world combined with a smaller overall battery pack that can be kept charged by a tiny diesel engine (which could be controlled with stop/start technology). Seems it would be super reliable, able to traverse long distances, able to actually refuel in short orders of time, and would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the way the engine operation would be controlled.
Diesels are now impossible to market in passenger vehicles thanks to VW. Mention diesel in a passenger car and watch people run away from it because "it's dirty and probably cheats emission tests".

Besides, you know that diesel engines cost a lot, yeah? Practically all cars that come with a diesel option have the diesel engine as the most expensive one. They are very complicated to make emission-compliant, and they have to be tough to deal with the high compression ratio they run at. They may spit out less than a gas engine, but the stuff they spit out is far worse. Soot and NOx are not major items of concern with a gas engine, but they are with a diesel. NOx needs DEF in a diesel engine to keep in check, and that needs to be replenished to keep working.

It's just kinda pointless when you can just make a simple gas engine and have it run on Atkinson cycle, like Toyota. Plenty reliable, cheap, efficient and less fussy emission control.
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Old 09-13-2021, 02:07 PM   #86
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So, which is it? EV's ARE 'moderately priced' or there needs to be continuing improvement on the cost? I don't believe we are EVER going to see electric vehicles at price points to compare with their ICE counterparts (with everything else being the same - size, passenger capacity, cargo, range per "tank", etc.).

While the vehicle part of EV may have a level of maturity, the power part does not. We need to lighten batteries, reduce size, increase charge capacity, decrease charge time, reduce hazard risk during charging, improve ability to recycle, decrease cost, and significantly improve reliability. And that's just off the top of my head.

I still genuinely don't understand why there was never a market for a diesel electric automobile... All the benefits that everyone decries from the electric motor part of the world combined with a smaller overall battery pack that can be kept charged by a tiny diesel engine (which could be controlled with stop/start technology). Seems it would be super reliable, able to traverse long distances, able to actually refuel in short orders of time, and would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the way the engine operation would be controlled.
Both. Cost does not equal price. Mustang Mach E and VW ID.4 are both moderately priced. Ford and VW will continue to work on the cost element of both to the point where they will cost less to produce than the ICE vehicles they have already been put into the portfolio to replace.

Your diesel based solution has the same basic problem that caused GM to drop the Chevrolet Volt (I have one of those in my garage, so I'm not hating on the Volt). Automakers would have to commit to the cost of two propulsion systems. Hard to get past that. The closest "solution" to that is Nissan's ePower system that works well in Japan, but will likely never see the light of day in the US. It is basically a Volt without the ability to plug-in. Works fine for Japan, because who has a place to plug in anyway? Most of the city population lives in high rises. They don't make extension cords long enough (<--joke). The vehicle runs 100% on power provided by electric motors. But there's a small ICE that runs almost continuously to provide power to the emotor. It's basically an EV that is not zero emissions. Almost zero chance of making it to the US.

By the way, we've just started publicizing this. I'll be speaking on this topic at Motor Bella next week. Motor Bella is an event that's been put together to fill the void created by the cancellation of the 2021 NAIAS.
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Old 09-13-2021, 02:35 PM   #87
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Diesels are now impossible to market in passenger vehicles thanks to VW. Mention diesel in a passenger car and watch people run away from it because "it's dirty and probably cheats emission tests".

Besides, you know that diesel engines cost a lot, yeah? Practically all cars that come with a diesel option have the diesel engine as the most expensive one. They are very complicated to make emission-compliant, and they have to be tough to deal with the high compression ratio they run at. They may spit out less than a gas engine, but the stuff they spit out is far worse. Soot and NOx are not major items of concern with a gas engine, but they are with a diesel. NOx needs DEF in a diesel engine to keep in check, and that needs to be replenished to keep working.

It's just kinda pointless when you can just make a simple gas engine and have it run on Atkinson cycle, like Toyota. Plenty reliable, cheap, efficient and less fussy emission control.
Your points are valid but mostly in reference to using the engine as a direct part of the driveline. To provide direct power to the wheels, and provide the ability to "rev" like a gasoline engine, there's a lot that has to be designed in and you get into situations where things like a turbo are an absolute necessity to provide direct torque to the wheels for towing (for example).

Using a very small diesel engine as nothing but a power generator (and feeding that power purely to keep the batteries charged) is very different and actually allows the engine to run in a significantly more efficient manner (constant RPM). And opting for diesel over gasoline is really a measure of less complexity, fewer overall parts, etc.
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Old 09-13-2021, 02:37 PM   #88
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Your points are valid but mostly in reference to using the engine as a direct part of the driveline. To provide direct power to the wheels, and provide the ability to "rev" like a gasoline engine, there's a lot that has to be designed in and you get into situations where things like a turbo are an absolute necessity to provide direct torque to the wheels for towing (for example).

Using a very small diesel engine as nothing but a power generator (and feeding that power purely to keep the batteries charged) is very different and actually allows the engine to run in a significantly more efficient manner (constant RPM). And opting for diesel over gasoline is really a measure of less complexity, fewer overall parts, etc.
And, all else equal, higher cost.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:00 AM   #89
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And my points flew right over you. We are using the same limited resources to make electricity, buddy. At least that's how most of the electricity is made. You can argue we will use it up more slowly that way, but we will still run out one day. It's not really addressing the issue, just delaying the inevitable. Then there is Martinjlm's point on the resources that make the batteries. Lithium battery recycling still has a long way to go, and its commercial viability is the biggest problem. Why bother recycling when it's cheaper to make it from the ground up?

Gas engine dying is also hilarious. Now, this is a bit cheating but think outside of cars for a bit. Sea vessels and ground vehicles are okay with anything electric because weight doesn't matter as much, and if your sea vessel is large enough, you can even just make the electricity onboard with nuclear reactions. But even then, if sea vessels need to travel a long distance, it's simply not feasible to just charge up a massive battery onboard. And then there is aviation... Even making those hybrid is a royal pain now, let alone fully electric. Good luck lifting up those heavy batteries with their awful energy density! It's extra fun to just know that aviation uses a ton of fuel as well, naturally. I hope you never travel around!

There is no point waiting until the last minute, you said? I see many reasons, since EVs are far from mature. It's kind of like buying those first generation Samsung foldable smartphones. You are paying a premium price for a tech that's not quite there yet, and some problems still need solving. Right now, the best thing to do when EV catches fire is to just wait for it to burn out, while we have a lot of experience fighting ICE fire at this point(and it is just physically easier to put out than lithium fire). I would rather wait and then buy a product that's superior to what your impatience-filled Kool-Aid made you buy with less money.

The only winners on public roads are the ones who don't get speeding tickets, BTW. Can't go fast when cops pull you over, can you?
No your points did not go over my head. I chose not to bring up the "using limited resources slower" argument because it seems obvious enough that I didn't need to mention it. But in any case, yes we will use those resources slower.

In any case the way I see it, from all the negative comments, the only way to think is that either way, no matter what, regardless of any choice that is made, we're all simply just hopelessly fcuked and there are no answers at all. EVs are an extremely horrible system that will destroy grids and leave entire cities in blackouts indefinitely and it'll lead to chaos and rampant violence and mayhem. Gas powered vehicles will continue to pollute the planet until our air in unbreathable and we'll all have to wear respirators to go outside or suffer mutations and cancers OR until we run out of gas and the entire planet will be submerged in an unbreakable cloud of darkness for all of eternity. So oh well. The world is screwed. We're all screwed. We have like 20 years left and then that's it.

Maybe the government should take to American Muscle Car forums to see all these expert ideas on how to save the planet and then present this overwhelmingly intelligent expert information that people's daughters in college and son's in high school and other extreme experts in these fields have to say. Maybe the top scientists in the world will finally listen and say "hey guys, we learned soo much from a car forum. We're gonna save the planet".

Of course I joke. But it is not as horrible as you all are trying to make it out to be. Gasoline engines have had their time. We came a long way from the days of old tech. However even if gas engines do become more efficient, there are still many more people driving. Populations are increasing exponentially. 10 years ago there were statements that we are facing overpopulation within 50 years. That was 10 years ago. Kids who were 7 then are all now driving and adding to the amount of cars on the road. So what is the difference between 5 cars that emit X amount of emissions vs 10 cars that are more efficient and emit half those emissions? What happens when the population continues to increase disproportionately? So either way, gas engines have got to go. If you don't believe me then come to North Jersey during rush hour traffic and sit there for 1 hour going nowhere. Or better yet, go into NY during rush hour.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:53 PM   #90
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Your points are valid but mostly in reference to using the engine as a direct part of the driveline. To provide direct power to the wheels, and provide the ability to "rev" like a gasoline engine, there's a lot that has to be designed in and you get into situations where things like a turbo are an absolute necessity to provide direct torque to the wheels for towing (for example).

Using a very small diesel engine as nothing but a power generator (and feeding that power purely to keep the batteries charged) is very different and actually allows the engine to run in a significantly more efficient manner (constant RPM). And opting for diesel over gasoline is really a measure of less complexity, fewer overall parts, etc.
A lot of the problems I mentioned are directly associated with diesel engines' fundamental operations, though. High soot & NOx emissions and more expensive construction(due to higher compression ratios) are things you can't change with it being a range extender.

(And how is a diesel engine less complex, anyway? Lack of spark plugs? But they need glow plugs to ensure proper cold start. Lack of a catalytic converter? But they need DEF injection system to keep NOx in check as well as soot filters to limit soot emissions, and DEF is a consumable item unlike a catalytic converter. Gotta throw a DEF tank warmer in there as well because that stuff has a relatively high freezing point. The only thing I can remotely think of is a VVT system, but that's barely anything in this day and age considering practically every gas car you can buy has it.)

And again, this is where economy of scale rears its ugly head again. Now you are asking manufacturers to R&D a dedicated diesel engine that is only useful for this specific application, then market it(incredibly large risk, again thanks to VW), all of that just for some marginal gain in efficiency. Meanwhile, they could just take an existing gas engine, modify it slightly so it can run on Atkinson cycle, then use it in a hybrid drivetrain. No fuss with marketing. What do you think manufacturers will do?

And really, the car is effectively an EV at this point, so I don't really care if it has an ICE anyway.

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No your points did not go over my head. I chose not to bring up the "using limited resources slower" argument because it seems obvious enough that I didn't need to mention it. But in any case, yes we will use those resources slower.

In any case the way I see it, from all the negative comments, the only way to think is that either way, no matter what, regardless of any choice that is made, we're all simply just hopelessly fcuked and there are no answers at all. EVs are an extremely horrible system that will destroy grids and leave entire cities in blackouts indefinitely and it'll lead to chaos and rampant violence and mayhem. Gas powered vehicles will continue to pollute the planet until our air in unbreathable and we'll all have to wear respirators to go outside or suffer mutations and cancers OR until we run out of gas and the entire planet will be submerged in an unbreakable cloud of darkness for all of eternity. So oh well. The world is screwed. We're all screwed. We have like 20 years left and then that's it.

Maybe the government should take to American Muscle Car forums to see all these expert ideas on how to save the planet and then present this overwhelmingly intelligent expert information that people's daughters in college and son's in high school and other extreme experts in these fields have to say. Maybe the top scientists in the world will finally listen and say "hey guys, we learned soo much from a car forum. We're gonna save the planet".

Of course I joke. But it is not as horrible as you all are trying to make it out to be. Gasoline engines have had their time. We came a long way from the days of old tech. However even if gas engines do become more efficient, there are still many more people driving. Populations are increasing exponentially. 10 years ago there were statements that we are facing overpopulation within 50 years. That was 10 years ago. Kids who were 7 then are all now driving and adding to the amount of cars on the road. So what is the difference between 5 cars that emit X amount of emissions vs 10 cars that are more efficient and emit half those emissions? What happens when the population continues to increase disproportionately? So either way, gas engines have got to go. If you don't believe me then come to North Jersey during rush hour traffic and sit there for 1 hour going nowhere. Or better yet, go into NY during rush hour.
Well, I think you missed another point of mine this time.

You wanna complain about traffic? Then EV doesn't solve sh*t. Plain and simple. Just means you are emitting less since you don't have to idle, but you are still miserable behind the wheel, and that's what matters to me(and a lot of others, I can confidently say).

With any car, ICE or EV, parking in downtown area still sucks. Again, if you don't deal with the traffic, take a bus/train or ride a bicycle.

But what if you must need a personal transportation capsule? Well you gotta reliably automate all cars which is another whole can of worms. There are also ideas about developing a competent train system which could also help. The point is, you have to revolutionize the way the roads work to solve the traffic and number of cars issue.

I don't claim to be an expert, far from it. I just hate Kool-Aid on both sides of the extreme, that's all. And if you think government always supports good green technology ideas, think again. Look up solar roadways if you want a good laugh.

P.S. I personally couldn't care less about the environmental arguments; we as a society will probably blow ourselves up anyway before the environmental damage takes its toll. Again, another can of worms that I am not gonna open.
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:58 PM   #91
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A lot of the problems I mentioned are directly associated with diesel engines' fundamental operations, though. High soot & NOx emissions and more expensive construction(due to higher compression ratios) are things you can't change with it being a range extender.

(And how is a diesel engine less complex, anyway? Lack of spark plugs? But they need glow plugs to ensure proper cold start. Lack of a catalytic converter? But they need DEF injection system to keep NOx in check as well as soot filters to limit soot emissions, and DEF is a consumable item unlike a catalytic converter. Gotta throw a DEF tank warmer in there as well because that stuff has a relatively high freezing point. The only thing I can remotely think of is a VVT system, but that's barely anything in this day and age considering practically every gas car you can buy has it.)

And again, this is where economy of scale rears its ugly head again. Now you are asking manufacturers to R&D a dedicated diesel engine that is only useful for this specific application, then market it(incredibly large risk, again thanks to VW), all of that just for some marginal gain in efficiency. Meanwhile, they could just take an existing gas engine, modify it slightly so it can run on Atkinson cycle, then use it in a hybrid drivetrain. No fuss with marketing. What do you think manufacturers will do?

And really, the car is effectively an EV at this point, so I don't really care if it has an ICE anyway.
There should be zero need to "reinvent the wheel" in terms of R&D for a diesel engine like this... Locomotives have been built like this for years with engines that put out FAR higher levels of voltage and current than what a car or truck would need. Additionally, the small 3-cylinder engines used in CUT/SCUT tractors have also been around for years and are commonly used for driving generators through the rear PTO on farms. These engines are designed to operate at a constant RPM which means they can be very specifically tuned and adjusted for both optimal fuel consumption AND minimal emissions. There's a lot of R&D that has already been done one these that can easily be re-used to create a diesel-electric power train for automotive use.

DEF is NOT used in engines under something like 115HP as it is not required. A 45-50HP diesel engine would be fairly capable of being used for nothing more than a small electrical powerplant. Even where DEF is required, variable RPM diesel engines consume somewhere around 1 gallon of it per 1000-ish miles of operation (give or take). With engines like I referred to above, there would be no need for DEF (although we all know the EPA would stick their noses into it at some point).

There are vehicles on the road that use engines that have been modified to run, at least part of the time, in Atkinson-Cycle "mode". But these engines are ALSO designed to be able to directly power the vehicle if need be. That's different than the concept of a diesel-electric setup.

Reduced complexity is derived from not just lack of spark plugs (which also don't require high-voltage / high-current plug wires or any sort of distributor / electronic ignition system) but also from "less stuff" throughout the entirety of the system. As you mentioned, no catalytic converter required on these kinds of systems). The varying RPM of engines in cars and trucks is why we have so many additional components to monitor and control exhaust outputs.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:59 PM   #92
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There should be zero need to "reinvent the wheel" in terms of R&D for a diesel engine like this... Locomotives have been built like this for years with engines that put out FAR higher levels of voltage and current than what a car or truck would need. Additionally, the small 3-cylinder engines used in CUT/SCUT tractors have also been around for years and are commonly used for driving generators through the rear PTO on farms. These engines are designed to operate at a constant RPM which means they can be very specifically tuned and adjusted for both optimal fuel consumption AND minimal emissions. There's a lot of R&D that has already been done one these that can easily be re-used to create a diesel-electric power train for automotive use.

DEF is NOT used in engines under something like 115HP as it is not required. A 45-50HP diesel engine would be fairly capable of being used for nothing more than a small electrical powerplant. Even where DEF is required, variable RPM diesel engines consume somewhere around 1 gallon of it per 1000-ish miles of operation (give or take). With engines like I referred to above, there would be no need for DEF (although we all know the EPA would stick their noses into it at some point).

There are vehicles on the road that use engines that have been modified to run, at least part of the time, in Atkinson-Cycle "mode". But these engines are ALSO designed to be able to directly power the vehicle if need be. That's different than the concept of a diesel-electric setup.

Reduced complexity is derived from not just lack of spark plugs (which also don't require high-voltage / high-current plug wires or any sort of distributor / electronic ignition system) but also from "less stuff" throughout the entirety of the system. As you mentioned, no catalytic converter required on these kinds of systems). The varying RPM of engines in cars and trucks is why we have so many additional components to monitor and control exhaust outputs.
What you describe has already been done in vehicles with gasoline engines. Got one in my garage. The thing is, feature-for-feature, for the same duty cycle, a diesel engine will cost more to engineer and manufacture than a gasoline engine developed for the same purpose. This is true until you get to scenarios of load and performance where large gas engines cannot continue to compete with similar sized diesel engines. These high load situations are typically beyond the range where gas engines are even reasonably efficient no matter what the content. But what you are talking about is constant low-load situations. Gasoline engines do just fine there and approach the thermal efficiency of diesel engines while costing less to produce. Diesel range extenders are basically a solution in desperate need of a problem to solve. At one point, early in the development cycle, diesel was considered as an optional powerplant / generator for Volt (actually, its European twin Ampera). It died an early death at the alter of cost justification.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:26 PM   #93
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An article about forward progress Europe, etc. and other fun facts about energy sources...

I thought it was interesting and telling, anyways...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/energy-...ng-11631528258
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