We’ve been running a series on the wheel and its evolution, to what we know today as our standard for transportation. Industry has come a long way since the Model T.
This particular issue is about the evolution of our vehicles of today. What was once used for transportation has elevated to a new level of driving experiences. The latest technology about Hybrid and Electric cars has been the wave of the future and is catching on like wildfire. The first electric cars were fun but without enough range to take a long trip in.
Today’s electric cars have made tremendous progress and continue to explore new ways in expanding their range. What started as a golf car for playing a few rounds has culminated into a new dimension in electric cars. Today’s electric cars are starting to look like they’re a more serious option when shopping for a new car. The Tesla is probably one of the most desirable electric cars on the market as the range is greater than that of the competition and the recharge time is significantly less than many. It’s hard to believe that you can open the hood and the trunk and have nothing but empty space in both, as the power is lined along the whole undercarriage of the car and the powertrains are attached to all four wheels. One individual electric motor for each wheel helps to control the car in a much more stable ride and traction for almost any weather condition.
Some of the Hybrid autos are propelled by the same method that’s been used for years by locomotives. The loud roaring engines that you hear when a train goes by are not the engines connected to the wheels that push the train but they are used to generate electricity through the generators to power the massive electric motors that turn the wheels that push the train.
Most of the Hybrid cars on the roads today like the Toyotas and Hondas are internal combustion engine and electric motors. A typical hybrid car, like the Toyota Prius, is designed to use the electric engine during driving scenarios when a gasoline engine is least efficient. These would be times such as idling, parking, slow driving, etc. An electric engine works by drawing electricity from a battery and through a controller to a turbine that spins, creating mechanical power. A Prius’ electric engine is powerful enough to handle those light driving tasks, so the gasoline engine only kicks on when the car reaches 15 mph. Depending on how a car is used and driven, this can make a big difference in fuel economy.
There are also a few highperformance motorcycles that use electric motors for their drive-trains. The electric motor has an amazing amount of torque and almost unlimited RPM’s, so the need for gears is not necessary but in some cases they are added. When you listen to the sound of an electric motorcycle going at high speeds on the track it gives off the sound of a whistling noise. Otherwise the sound is very low on the decibel scale unlike their internal combustion counter parts.
My Doctor (Dr. Suits in Stuart, FL) owns a Fisker Karma that he bought several years ago. The Fisker has 403hp. There were only 1600 units sold in the U.S. With only about 2400 built total. It’s a beautiful car with elegant lines. Unmistakably a long term classic automobile. Fisker was later bought out by Hybrid Technology LLC and after a bankruptcy they were bought through an auction by the Wanxiang Group, a Chinese company. After several announcements, the newly upgraded Fisker Revero was launched in late 2016. The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will celebrate its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/ Main: for the first time, the two-seater supersports show car brings the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road almost par for par to represent the highlight of AMG’s 50th anniversary. This high-performance hybrid is said to produce over 1,000 PS and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h (217 mph). The show car combines outstanding race track performance and day-today suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency. This is a world first. One turbo engine and four electric motors. The high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system of the MercedesAMG Project ONE comes directly from Formula 1, and was realized in close cooperation with the motorsport experts of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth. It consists of a highly integrated and intelligently networked unit comprising one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors. One has been integrated into the turbocharger, another has been installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels.
Rear mid-engine with up to 11,000 rpm. The 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. To achieve high engine speeds, the mechanical valve springs have been replaced by pneumatic valve springs. The vehicle is mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) and it can easily reach 11,000 rpm, which is currently unique for a road going vehicle. However, for higher longevity and the use of commercially available Super Plus petrol instead of racing fuel, it remains significantly below the F1 engine speed limit.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars could one day challenge electric cars in the race for pollution-free roads — but only if more stations are built to fuel them. Honda, Toyota and Hyundai have leased a few hundred fuel cell vehicles over the past three years, and they expect to lease well over 1,000 this year. But for now, those leases are limited to California, which is home to most of the 34 public hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S.
Undaunted, automakers are investing heavily in the technology. General Motors recently supplied the U.S. Army with a fuel cell pickup, and GM and Honda are collaborating on a fuel cell system due out by 2020. Hyundai will introduce a longer-range fuel cell SUV next year.
“We’ve clearly left the science project stage, and the technology is viable,” said Charles Freese, who heads GM’s fuel cell business.
Like pure electric cars, fuel cell cars run quietly and emission-free. But they have some big advantages. Fuel cell cars can be refueled as quickly as gasoline-powered cars. By contrast, it takes nine hours to fully recharge an all-electric Chevrolet Bolt using a 240-volt home charger. Fuel cell cars also can travel farther between fill-ups.
But getting those fillups presents the biggest obstacle. Fueling stations cost up to $2 million, so companies have been reluctant to build them unless more fuel cell cars are on the road. But automakers don’t want to build cars that drivers can’t fuel.
The U.S. Department of Energy lists just 34 public hydrogen fueling stations in the country; all but three are in California. By comparison, the U.S. has 15,703 public electric charging stations, which can be installed for a fraction of the cost of hydrogen stations. There also are millions of garages where owners can plug their cars in overnight.
Americans bought nearly 80,000 electric cars last year but just 1,082 fuel cell vehicles, according to WardsAuto.
Every year that Americans purchase autos that use little or no fuel the market will bend in the direction of supply and demand. You may ask which has the most effect on the carbon footprint? Hydrogen engines use between 40-60 percent of the energy produced by hydrogen whereas internal combustion engines use only about 20 percent of the energy produced by gas or diesel.
(Popular Mechanics writes) If you’re predisposed to hate electric cars, then there’s a wonderful story making the rounds that’ll support your worldview. It claims that the production of a Tesla battery produces carbon emissions e
quivalent to driving an internal-combustion vehicle for eight years—8.2, to be precise.
That’s a sensational claim, one that’s been seized upon by EV haters and gleefully posted by climate change-denying blogs and sites that despise electric cars. Just one problem: It’s absolute nonsense.
The headline is based on a Swedish study. It posits that production of a 100 kWh battery—Tesla’s biggest—produces 17.5 tons of carbon dioxide. We’ll take that at face value so we can dig into it here. The question then becomes how far you’d have to drive an internal combustion vehicle to emit that much carbon. The study’s finding of 8.2 years is “based on a series of assumptions.” To get to that figure, two of those assumptions must have been that the internal combustion vehicle in question gets great mileage and isn’t driven very much. Oh, and while battery production incurs a carbon footprint in these statistics, the gasoline in the study magically appears in your tank and the only carbon emitted is from burning it (that is, the calculations ignore the carbon emissions created by producing and moving large quantities of gasoline). Those are nifty assumptions. Let’s say the gas-powered car is actually something similar to a Tesla Model S P100D, which would use the battery in question.
Let’s say we’re talking about the Audi A8 4.0, another quick AWD sedan. According to the EPA, that car emits 6.2 metric tons of CO2 per year, given 15,000 miles of annual driving. And since A8s don’t automatically percolate their own 93-octane, the EPA also calculates an additional 1.1 tons of upstream carbon to get those ancient dinosaur innards coursing through your fuel pump. Math aficionados will note that 17.5 (battery production) divided by 7.3 (total annual A8 emissions) equals 2.4. As in, apples to apples, the battery’s carbon footprint is zeroed out in less than three years.
There’s also the fact that you can power your Tesla with rooftop solar, and repurpose former car batteries for home power storage, as BMW is already doing. Basically, this eight years thing is bupkis—one more example of nonsense people love to share on Facebook.
Look, there are plenty of valid reasons to prefer internal combustion engines—quick refueling, great infrastructure, the sound of a Shelby GT350R at redline. But environmental superiority isn’t one of them.
Someday you’ll not see smoke puffing exhaust pipes, for now enjoy the ride to the future.