Why Gas Engines Are Far From Dead - Biggest EV Problems

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Elmog

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I find it amusing when government officials tell manufacturers how clean their vehicles will be by a certain date or try to mandate new propulsion systems/technologies before they're even fully developed (or practical). Your elected officials know more about science and efficiency than you realize (just ask them!)
Ford, in it's attempt to satisfy new efficiency standards, set up the engine in my F-150 to shut down when the vehicle comes to a stop and then restart when the accelerator is pressed. This can happen over 100 times a day in morning rush hour in traffic. While this undoubtedly helps efficiency, it does not help the starter motor or the engine bearings in any way. You can watch your oil pressure fall and then be restored every time it stops/starts. I am able to override this start/stop/start system with a push of a button, but I'm sure that shutting it off won't be an option on future vehicles. People that are ignorant of what causes engine wear will motor happily along with this new technology while decreasing the life of their engine and components significantly. Just another example of the "geniuses" we elect into office.
 

Vigilant1

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People that are ignorant of what causes engine wear will motor happily along with this new technology while decreasing the life of their engine and components significantly.
I've got similar concerns about the water-thin engine oils manufacturers specify for the current cars. Yep, they help the cars get an extra .01 mpg through reduced pumping losses (anything to meet the CAFE mandates!!), and the manufacturers obviously believe it is good enough to allow the engine to survive the warranty period. But I'd kinda like the engine to last for 200k miles, and avoiding metal-to-metal contact is important to me. I'd gladly give up that .01 mpg to avoid an engine rebuild. And if a car gets scrapped 5 years early due to a worn engine, did we >>>really<<< save energy with that thin oil? How much embodied energy is in a car?
 
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lr27

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Having been saved from 3 probably significant injuries by seat belts, and having been rear ended twice in a car that didn't have a third brake light, I have a somewhat more nuanced view of government regulation. At least the car I was rear ended in had headrests and seat belts.

Do you guys have any actual data on premature wear from thin oils in cars that were designed for them?

BTW, I was the driver in only one of those first three accidents and was following bad advice at the time.
 

Vigilant1

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Do you guys have any actual data on premature wear from thin oils in cars that were designed for them?
No, I don't. I'm not sure who might sponsor such a study and promote its findings. Surely not the folks making cars (who need the extra MPG on test day and don't benefit much from extending engine life beyond the warranty). The manufacturers of motor oil won't risk the wrath of the auto manufacturers by saying anything different. The EPA won't be rocking the boat--the present testing paradigm is their baby.
Maybe an independent magazine devoted to machinery lubrication might be free of any conflicts of interest? Here's an (undated) article from one such source (spoiler alert: contains no actual testing of vehicles): https://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/518/motor-oils

From that article:
Ford is bumping up against its CAFE requirements and recommends SAE 5W-20 oil for most of its engines in the United States. It claims SAE 5W-20 is optimal for fuel efficiency and wear.

To determine if SAE 5W-20 oils provide the same level of protection as SAE 5W-30 oils, Dagenham Motors in England, one of the largest Ford dealers in Europe, was consulted. SAE 5W-30 is required for warranty purposes in England, and SAE 5W-20 is not even available. If SAE 5W-20 were better for both fuel economy and wear, why would Ford not recommend it for its same engines in Europe?
. . . .
The best protection against wear is probably a product that is a little thicker (such as SAE 10W-30 or 15W-40) and has more antiwear additives than the oils that support the warranty. The best oil for your vehicle depends on your driving habits, the age of your engine and the climate you drive in, but it is not necessarily the type of oil specified in the owner’s manual or stamped on the dipstick.
The claims for these thin (at full running temp and higher) oils is that they improve fuel economy while maintaining "adequate" lubrication performance. I'm not seeing widespread claims that these thin oils provide better lubrication at high temps (because they clearly do not), only that it is "adequate." Adequate for who?
I'm just following the money and the interests of all parties involved. Nobody seems to have interests congruent with mine: Minimum long-term cost of ownership. I'd guess that fleet operators might come closest to having similar priorities to my own, it would be interesting to know what they are doing.
 
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12notes

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A few reality checks here.

Current electric cars are here and practical. They may not fit your particular needs, but they meet the needs of a large part of the population. While there may not be public charging points near you, there are 2 groups of them within a mile of my house in a medium sized city, and a few dozen more across the city. Tesla has installed 15,000 supercharger stations worldwide. The map for US Supercharger stations has all the population centers and the routes between them well covered:https://www.tesla.com/findus?bounds=54.49426757037227,-56.551759000000004,22.22601843633832,-140.926759&zoom=5&filters=supercharger .

The current record for NYC to LA for a stock Model 3 is currently at 48 hours, 10 minutes - and although it followed the Cannonball route, it wasn't a race team, it was a couple with their newly-licensed 16 year old daughter driving at or very close to the speed limit. Another group took a lightly modified Model 3 the same route in 45 hours, 16 minutes. If you're not going to some rural destinations, then there isn't much problem driving cross country in a Tesla, at least. To state that electric cars aren't practical, won't catch on, or will never work is burying your head in the sand. They do not work for everyone, particularly most of the rural population, apartment dwellers and street parkers, but they're practical for a massive number of people, and they work really well now. Cheap "refueling" costs and quick acceleration are huge benefits to some, and aren't really a combination that gasoline engines pull off, it's generally one or the other. If I could afford one and my garage was not full of my plane project, I'd probably have one. (Who am I kidding? I'd have another, more expensive plane project and still no money or room in the garage).

Averaged over decades, battery density by weight improves at 3-5% per year. People who claim that density has skyrocketed are just as wrong as those that state that the pace of development has slowed, for exactly the same reason -they're looking at a narrow time frame and cherry picked end points on a slightly spiky graph. Over every decade for the last 60 years, 3-5% improvement per year is it. There has been a couple years of stagnation at 270Wh/kg in Lithium Cobalt (commonly known as Lithium ion) batteries while industry has been spending on Lithium Sulfur - which is how advances work in this industry, there were slowdowns in NiCad development before Lithium Cobalt came out. No real massive breakthroughs, just slow, steady gain over decades.

Electric is the long term way forward because it doesn't care where the electricity came from - your source of energy could be coal, oil, natural gas, fusion, fission, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, cow farts, hand cranks and badly behaved children - if one source runs out, gets expensive, or becomes impractical, you don't have to install a new infrastructure, just the power sources, which you would anyway in that case because the fuel is impractical/expensive/gone. And most of the infrastructure is already there - it will need beefing up as adoption rates increase, but for most people there are wires nearby that will charge the batteries. It might not be in your garage now, but generally it is on the pole near your house.

Battery density is not there for common aircraft usage yet. It is unlikely to be practical for normal GA use for 20-30 years. There are niche applications for it that do make sense now - Harbour Air's 20 minute flights in an electric Beaver are one use, Pipistrel's Taurus motorglider and Alpha Electro trainer are another. I don't have use for any of those, and most pilots don't either. I'd expect in the next 5-10 years that there will be a few "practical" electric racers or aerobatic planes introduced, not practical for GA, but practical for their mission, which are generally flights well under 1 hour.
 
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12notes

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It is prudent to keep in mind where the electricity comes from.

View attachment 93390
As you can see, about 3% is from wind and solar combined.
That data is not electrical generation, but energy consumption including gasoline engines, whose main output is heat, but also horsepower, plus the small amount of electricity from the alternator. Petroleum is used to make very little electricity in the US.

Electricity generation numbers from the EIA are here:
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_01_02.html

2018 generation at utility scale facilities has solar and wind at a combined 336,476 GWh out of 4,174,398 GWh total for the US, or 8.1%. Another 29,539 GWh (0.7% of total large scale energy) are produced by small scale solar. In 10 years 2009-2018, wind has grown from 1.9% to 6.5% of large scale US generation, and solar has went from 0.02% to 1.5%.

Hydro is another 7.0%, and Biomass + other renewables are at 1.8%, making total renewables 17%. Nuclear is 19%, Petroleum and "other gas" are at 0.92%. The two other big changes in the last 10 years have been Coal, which was 44% 10 years ago, is now 27% in 2018 and Natural Gas, which has risen from 23% to 35% in 10 years.
 

dog

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A few reality checks here.

Current electric cars are here and practical. They may not fit your particular needs, but they meet the needs of a large part of the population. While there may not be public charging points near you, there are 2 groups of them within a mile of my house in a medium sized city, and a few dozen more across the city. Tesla has installed 15,000 supercharger stations worldwide. The map for US Supercharger stations has all the population centers and the routes between them well covered:https://www.tesla.com/findus?bounds=54.49426757037227,-56.551759000000004,22.22601843633832,-140.926759&zoom=5&filters=supercharger .

The current record for NYC to LA for a stock Model 3 is currently at 48 hours, 10 minutes - and although it followed the Cannonball route, it wasn't a race team, it was a couple with their newly-licensed 16 year old daughter driving at or very close to the speed limit. Another group took a lightly modified Model 3 the same route in 45 hours, 16 minutes. If you're not going to some rural destinations, then there isn't much problem driving cross country in a Tesla, at least. To state that electric cars aren't practical, won't catch on, or will never work is burying your head in the sand. They do not work for everyone, particularly most of the rural population, apartment dwellers and street parkers, but they're practical for a massive number of people, and they work really well now. Cheap "refueling" costs and quick acceleration are huge benefits to some, and aren't really a combination that gasoline engines pull off, it's generally one or the other. If I could afford one and my garage was not full of my plane project, I'd probably have one. (Who am I kidding? I'd have another, more expensive plane project and still no money or room in the garage).

Averaged over decades, battery density by weight improves at 3-5% per year. People who claim that density has skyrocketed are just as wrong as those that state that the pace of development has slowed, for exactly the same reason -they're looking at a narrow time frame and cherry picked end points on a slightly spiky graph. Over every decade for the last 60 years, 3-5% improvement per year is it. There has been a couple years of stagnation at 270Wh/kg in Lithium Cobalt (commonly known as Lithium ion) batteries while industry has been spending on Lithium Sulfur - which is how advances work in this industry, there were slowdowns in NiCad development before Lithium Cobalt came out. No real massive breakthroughs, just slow, steady gain over decades.

Electric is the long term way forward because it doesn't care where the electricity came from - your source of energy could be coal, oil, natural gas, fusion, fission, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, cow farts, hand cranks and badly behaved children - if one source runs out, gets expensive, or becomes impractical, you don't have to install a new infrastructure, just the power sources, which you would anyway in that case because the fuel is impractical/expensive/gone. And most of the infrastructure is already there - it will need beefing up as adoption rates increase, but for most people there are wires nearby that will charge the batteries. It might not be in your garage now, but generally it is on the pole near your house.

Battery density is not there for common aircraft usage yet. It is unlikely to be practical for normal GA use for 20-30 years. There are niche applications for it that do make sense now - Harbour Air's 20 minute flights in an electric Beaver are one use, Pipistrel's Taurus motorglider and Alpha Electro trainer are another. I don't have use for any of those, and most pilots don't either. I'd expect in the next 5-10 years that there will be a few "practical" electric racers or aerobatic planes introduced, not practical for GA, but practical for their mission, which are generally flights well under 1 hour.

Air taxi company in LA just placed an order for 20
american made electric aircraft,german motors ,
proptype is right now with the FAA for certification.
The market is pragmatic.Hangers have big roofs,plonk the pv down and now "fuel" is bieng
made on site(ya ya ,not all,coal,gretta,etc)
still unprecidented ability to defray costs,marketing will gurgle and bubble.The press will go nuts.
Lots of cab drivers ran out and got priuses after they did the math.
No doubt the same for teslas.
And you cant rule out a dramatic breakthrough
in battery capacity,there are a thousand
teams working every day to make it happen.
The public is behind this to the tune of now Tesla
is the second most valuable car company.
A major reason that electric propulsion lagged for so many years was that the motor/battery controllers were,huge,heavy,inificient,and unreliable,that has compleyely changed.
Current power supplys are changing many industries.
There is a company in Texas with credible claims
of an electric motor that has twice the power to weight ratio found on the market.
Material science is chipping away at airframe weight.
Realisticly broad acceptance will come with 3hr
flight times @150 Knt + and sub 30min charge times.The odds of that happening tomorow are
way better than the lottery ticket in your pocket.
 

Dan Thomas

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Air taxi company in LA just placed an order for 20
american made electric aircraft,german motors ,
proptype is right now with the FAA for certification.
The market is pragmatic.Hangers have big roofs,plonk the pv down and now "fuel" is bieng
made on site(ya ya ,not all,coal,gretta,etc)
still unprecidented ability to defray costs,marketing will gurgle and bubble.The press will go nuts.
Lots of cab drivers ran out and got priuses after they did the math.
No doubt the same for teslas.
And you cant rule out a dramatic breakthrough
in battery capacity,there are a thousand
teams working every day to make it happen.
The public is behind this to the tune of now Tesla
is the second most valuable car company.
A major reason that electric propulsion lagged for so many years was that the motor/battery controllers were,huge,heavy,inificient,and unreliable,that has compleyely changed.
Current power supplys are changing many industries.
There is a company in Texas with credible claims
of an electric motor that has twice the power to weight ratio found on the market.
Material science is chipping away at airframe weight.
Realisticly broad acceptance will come with 3hr
flight times @150 Knt + and sub 30min charge times.The odds of that happening tomorow are
way better than the lottery ticket in your pocket.
Like I said, we're waiting for that nice stuff to appear, and we sure hope it doesn't cost as much as a new Cirrus.

Electric motors that deliver twice the power will also consume twice the electricity. There is no such thing as an electric motor that has 180% efficiency. The power is not the issue; the battery storage is.
 

BBerson

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Predicting is hard, especially the future. Nothing certain about batteries for the future. Might be fuel cells. A methanol fueled phone might only need refill every two months. No more pesky charging every day.
 

Dan Thomas

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Electric is the long term way forward............. And most of the infrastructure is already there - it will need beefing up as adoption rates increase, but for most people there are wires nearby that will charge the batteries. It might not be in your garage now, but generally it is on the pole near your house.
Electricity delivery company engineers are warning that the typical neighborhood grid isn't going to charge a car at every house without overheating something and causing blackouts. That grid was designed to feed x number of houses at X amps per house, which is something considerably less than the typical 100-amp per house supply, since almost nobody uses the whole works, and if someone does, the rest aren't doing it at the same time. Charging cars uses considerable amperage, so not only do we need more generation, we need heavier distribution. Aerial wiring and transformers are one thing to replace, but underground stuff is another matter entirely. Economics, again: watch the electricity rates skyrocket to cover the new infrastructure and generation.

Too many people don't understand amperage. They think that since there's a 120 or 240-volt receptacle in the garage, everything is good. Journalists especially don't understand that. Electricity is like gasoline: it has to be created, it has to be delivered, it has volume. If the folks in my home province of BC all start buying electric cars, the 28 hydro dams that generate most of BC's electricity are going to be maxed out and unable to keep up, and the water in their reservoirs, whch represents stored power, will disappear far more quickly and so will the electricity, long before the sping snowmelt and rains.
A BC Hydro executive said that if BCers all buy electric cars, BC will need 15 more dams. "Which valleys would you like flooded?" he asked. The eco-uproar when even one more dam is proposed highlights the lack of understanding out there: we want electric cars but no more powerplants. Especially not coal or nuclear or natural gas-fired.

Good luck with that.

It would take almost 1700 windmills to replace the largest of BC's 28 dams. Which forests should we cut down to install all those? How many aboriginal land claims have to be satisfied to do this? There are overlapping land claims that cover something like 110% percent of the province. How much government subsidy (more taxes) will be required to induce companies to build these expensive things that only make max power when the wind is about right?

Like physics and economy, politics is really inconvenient sometimes. No, wait. All of the time.
 

12notes

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Electricity delivery company engineers are warning that the typical neighborhood grid isn't going to charge a car at every house without overheating something and causing blackouts. That grid was designed to feed x number of houses at X amps per house, which is something considerably less than the typical 100-amp per house supply, since almost nobody uses the whole works, and if someone does, the rest aren't doing it at the same time. Charging cars uses considerable amperage, so not only do we need more generation, we need heavier distribution. Aerial wiring and transformers are one thing to replace, but underground stuff is another matter entirely. Economics, again: watch the electricity rates skyrocket to cover the new infrastructure and generation.
Yes, which is why the beginning of my sentence you quoted was "And most of the infrastructure is already there - it will need beefing up as adoption rates increase".

The assumption that we are going from 0 to 100% electric cars overnight is not helpful, realistic, or sane. It's taken 15 years to go from a few hundred electric cars to 400,000 in the US (2% of cars on the road), even under the most optimistic (or pessimistic, depending on your viewpoint) it will take well over a decade to get to even 50% electric cars, but it is the way the world is heading. In two decades, if batteries keep to the low end of their density growth curve (3%), range for the same weight in batteries would improve by 80%, a top of the line Model S would be over 700 miles.

I made no judgement about which method should generate the power, just that it can come from any source. BC could build gasoline turbines (which are 65% efficient) to produce the electricity. You will have losses in the transmission and storage, but since the losses would be far less than 30% and the most efficient cars on the road are around 35% efficient at burning gasoline, electric cars recharging from a gasoline turbine power plant would use less total gasoline for the same energy delivered to the road than burning the gasoline in cars.
 
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Voidhawk9

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And you cant rule out a dramatic breakthrough in battery capacity
Well if we are starting with that kind of assumption, sure.
A simultaneous breakthrough in materials technology that enables me to build my aircraft at half the original weight will also help dramatically.
 

cheapracer

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As a Tesla S owner about to turn over 100,000kms, an owner of 2 other small EV cars with 50,000kms on each of them which are the demo cars for my EV car dealership, I'll add what I think.

My EVs take about 20 seconds of my time to charge, 10 seconds to plug them in in the evening, 10 seconds to unplug in the morning. Not being obtuse, it's just a fact of how much time is offered to the task when you have a charger at home, as most do.

I very rarely use an outside charger except for longer trips, and the charge stop, 30 to 45 minutes, usually coincides with stopping for a food break anyway. So fact is I physically spend less time charging each than what I did previously filling up with petrol (average 5 to 7 minutes).

Battery density is way to high to be practical for light aircraft, the sums I have done coincide with Pipistrel's EV plane, in that the best combination will give you between 30 to 40 minutes of flight. Any heavier and the extra weight just exponentially reduces relative flight time, eg: twice as many batteries might increase your flight time by a 1/2.

That might be ok for a flight school, but impractical for most private owners.

Still a big issue that the battery weight does not reduce while you fly, the craft is the same weight when it lands


And you cant rule out a dramatic breakthrough
Just ambiguous, there is no break through in sight at all, hence a dozen companies right now are setting up mega lithium battery factories at the cost of mega billions.

IF there was a dramatic breakthrough in sight, or even possible, they would know about it and wouldn't be setting up these factories at those costs. Obviously they have teams of scientific advisers.



There is a company in Texas with credible claims
of an electric motor that has twice the power to weight ratio found on the market.
So what, I can pick up a 400hp, 800ftlbs of torque Tesla motor with one hand now, weight reduction there is almost irrelevant. It's the battery weight, not the motor, controller or charger, that can't be optimised much more with current tech.

As with many scientific advances, a new battery material will likely come as a complete accident, it might happen tomorrow, might be never, we just have to live in today's real world and plan around that.
 

dog

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cheapracer, As a Tesla S owner about to turn over 100,000kms, an owner of 2 other small EV cars with 50,000kms on each of them which are the demo cars for my EV car dealership, I'll add what I think.

My EVs take about 20 seconds of my time to charge, 10 seconds to plug them in in the evening, 10 seconds to unplug in the morning. Not being obtuse, it's just a fact of how much time is offered to the task when you have a charger at home, as most do.

I very rarely use an outside charger except for longer trips, and the charge stop, 30 to 45 minutes, usually coincides with stopping for a food break anyway. So fact is I physically spend less time charging each than what I did previously filling up with petrol (average 5 to 7 minutes).

Battery density is way to high to be practical for light aircraft, the sums I have done coincide with Pipistrel's EV plane, in that the best combination will give you between 30 to 40 minutes of flight. Any heavier and the extra weight just exponentially reduces relative flight time, eg: twice as many batteries might increase your flight time by a 1/2.

That might be ok for a flight school, but impractical for most private owners.

Still a big issue that the battery weight does not reduce while you fly, the craft is the same weight when it lands



Just ambiguous, there is no break through in sight at all, hence a dozen companies right now are setting up mega lithium battery factories at the cost of mega billions.

IF there was a dramatic breakthrough in sight, or even possible, they would know about it and wouldn't be setting up these factories at those costs. Obviously they have teams of scientific advisers.



So what, I can pick up a 400hp, 800ftlbs of torque Tesla motor with one hand now, weight reduction there is almost irrelevant. It's the battery weight, not the motor, controller or charger, that can't be optimised much more with current tech.

As with many scientific advances, a new battery material will likely come as a complete accident, it might happen tomorrow, might be never, we just have to live in today's real world and plan around that.

Hey its always good to hear it from the horses mouth.
The current lithium battery market is well north of
32 billion dollars per year.
Every credible company touting dramatic improvements,also mentions that they can be produced on existing factory lines.
When a full on lithium metal battery(vs lithium ion) is worked out that will be a minimum of double capacity, same factorys,instantly larger market demand.
Just how it is.Or was when I posted this.
Edit : and 800 hp 1600 ft pounds,one hand, no one gona cry on that day
 
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cheapracer

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On April 1st, Elon Musk is making some big announcement about batteries, I think he chose April 1 to play with people's heads. We'll see what happens.
 

lr27

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If a scenario counts on cheaper, better batteries, it doesn't have to worry as much about irregular renewables. Nor does it necessarily have to worry as much about power distribution, since there could be locally distributed batteries to help carry peak loads. I'm not saying that this will happen, just that cheap batteries change the picture. I understand that, for fixed storage on tbe ground, there's been promising work in what I guess you might call molten metal batteries, using cheap materials.
People worry about fire hazards with lithium batteries or hydrogen. Gasoline is very hazardous, but of course we're used to it. Neither hydrogen nor lithium batteries pour out on the ground and spread all over the place. I suppose a big hydrogen leak indoors could cause an impressive flashover, maybe even worse than the kind you get from a smoldering couch.
 
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