The Chevy Cruze Eco punched up its fuel economy to 42mpg highway by using a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine. The engine's Turbo Airflow uses a compressor wheel (driven by hot exhaust gas) to draw air into the intake. The air is forced through an intercooler and then travels to the engine's intake manifold. The intake manifold subsequently distributes air to cylinders, where fuel is added, and combustion takes place. (Source: GM)
Many of the early EV and hybrid designs consist of sticking an electric motor in where the engine should be or in parallel with the IC engine - automotive engineers have got to go with what they know. Some EVs and now some hybrids are going with direct drive electric. In the former, torque is generally ratioed through a centralized transmission; in the latter, it is managed by switching windings or laddering operating voltage i.e. replacing mechanical systems with electrical ones. One of the advantages of direct drive is that instantaneous torque of an electric motor is huge and can't practically be coupled through a transmission while another is that fully independent control of torque per wheel provides superior handling which are good reasons why direct drive electric is being applied to high-performance vehicles. I've designed direct drive motion systems where the constraint on peak torque was not letting the armature break off the drive shaft.
As for lifetime, some hobbiest friends run a full-scale railroad with direct drive electric traction some of which dates to the 19th century. Other than bearings, brushes and the steel tires (all replaceable), this stuff never wears out.
There are none so blind .... My brother-in-law works on fleet trucks that have been using stop-and-go for years; that's right, big rigs that back up on electric power alone. For rail, electromotive diesel, i.e. self-charging EV, has been the standard for decades. The oldest freight locomotives in operation in North America are electric box-cabs with ballast batteries that have been humping freight through mountain passes since WW1. The biggest rail electric locomotives put out 55,000 hp. In Europe, some of the fastest rail is turbo-electric. The largest earth movers used in hard rock mining are, guess what, electric. EV commuter trains are not grid connected - they use charging stations, typically inductively coupled. Many cruise ships use electric auxilliarys for course compensation and docking. Of course, it's easy to lose sight of this in North America which is mostly last to adopt modern transit technology.
If EV technology doesn't pack 'enough punch' how do you account for Tesla Roadster performance?
While your numbers are not exactly correct, there is a lot of truth in the case of turbocharged/supercharged engines where mixture cooling is strongly needed to avoid detonation. I have a friend that was working for several years at a famous piston ring factory ("P.Circle"), that took his father's car, an old 1966 dDodge Coronet with a modified for very high compression 318 C.I. V-8 engine that required WATER injection for above moderate throttle, but achieved tremendous fuel economy when driven moderately. It used a 50-50% blend of regular and premium gas at our very high altitude (7350 ft ASL). As water injection requires regular replacement, it is not considered practical by many, but for my friend it quite is. On the other side, many Turbocharged engines really swallow an excessively rich mixture at Wide Open Throttle in order to keep pistons from developing holes in them.
You are right sbkenn, even if your numbers could be only approximate, your statement is correct: There is a tremendous waste in throwing away a well maintained car from the 90's up to buy a new one, even when its emissions could be slightly lower or be slightly more fuel efficient. The problem is that people believe in the automotive industry motto of "improvement" and keep them producing cars at unsustainable levels. My late father lived a few years in Europe in the 40's and 50's, and always told me that the American way of renewing their automobiles, buying a new one every year or two was plainly wasteful (and dumb); specially compared to the european practices. He was proud of his cars maintenance and conservation, and kept them for at least 8-10 years at a time. I followed his style and still have a 1991 and a 2002 that pass emissions perfectly and still work as new day to day. I had an old (1967) Ford Falcon that I was able to keep in top form for almost 40 years of DAILY use, but stopped using it when much more recent (and fast) vehycles were hard to keep the pace with in highways, and because I was unable to modernize sufficiently to keep it current. BTW, a serious study recently cited in this same site, revealed the large inefficiency paid to fabricate a Nissan Leaf, when materials and fabrication energy amount was properly included in the overall picture, It was not as green as some politicians (or phanatic owners) would like us to believe. Amclaussen.
You may be right. Electric motor can be compared to jet engines on an airplane. Airline quickly realized jet engines are more economical to operate than piston engines because they are cheap to maintain. Only the bearings. Because they don't shake to pieces like piston engines, you save fatigue on all the parts including airframe.
Having just rented a Prius for several days, I can say that in spite driving in power mode between 75 and 80 MPH for 80% of the time in mild hilly terrain, and the rest split between ungraded/unpaved roads. I still averaged 43 MPG (42.9 - topped off tank several times over 500 miles to get a decent read). It was also the only compact I have rented that was easy to get a large heavy box of our equipment into. Overall pretty comfortable. My criticisms of the Prius - no clearance underneath - scraped going into driveways and curbs when parking, and ultimately tore up the (air dam?) on a cattle grate on a dirt road. Also, dashboard GUI is way too cluttered and non-intuitive. Otherwise thumbs up.
Regards costs, I can't see how ICE can beat an (all) electric -(not the Prius). I think people forget there are maintenance costs associated w/ ICE - oil, transmission fluid, clutches, seals, filters, belts, radiator re-coring, anti-freeze replacement, exhaust/catalytic converter, timing sensors, O2 sensors, water pump etc. on a mechanically/electronically very complex piece of machinery that simply aren't necessary on an electric. And after 10-15 years how much is ICE replacement going to cost (if it makes it that far - my Chevy only made 60k w/ $2000 maintenance/repair costs, my Jeep has 370k w/ only routine maintenance, which has added up to around $3000 sans items that would apply to an electric as well, like A/C.
1. Consider the depreciation expense. A Prius depreciates at a higher rate than a Yaris. The depreciation of a Prius in the first five years is TWICE the depreciation of a Yaris, or about $6,000 more. This factor alone wipes out any savings in gasoline expense, considering 15k miles per year.
---> I have a Yaris. $17k when new, now with 150k probably $3k. Prius $24k new, recently looked for one, they are $10k used. Both around $14k depreciation. Prius is a bigger car, so is apples to orange comparison anyway.
2. If you don't care about depreciation because you are going to keep your Prius forever, then you better think about how much it is going to cost to replace the batteries. "Prius batteries last forever; I will never have to replace them, and maintenance costs have been low!" Right. Sure. I believe it. NOT!
---> Even taxi are using the Prius, so you know they have got to be reliable and low cost. Used battery is $1.5k-2k. Normal car will have to change the transmission about the same time. Even if is a clutch car, clutch needs replacement. After labor, is about the same. On the plus side, Prius battery rarely need replacement. You are already ahead of the game here.
3. What about your time? Time is money, as they say. Accelerating at rates that give you 52 MPG, and driving slowly on the highway to maximize fuel efficiency will both increase the time you sit in your car. Is your time worth anything? Mine is. 2 - 3 minutes of my time every day, spent sitting in a Prius to maximize fuel efficiency is enough time to wipe out any fuel expense savings. Often when I find myself held up in traffic because of a slow driver, it is a Prius!
---> Drove a rental Prius, it was just like a typical car. Adequate acceleration no different than Yaris or any other economy cars. On any car, the faster you go the more gas. That holds true no matter what. Drive a car at 80mph, and you mpg goes way down. Go slow or fast, Prius still get better mpg than a normal car.
After seeing taxi use Prius around here, and started reading about how long the battery last, I started looking for a used Prius. Soon gave up. They were not depreciating like I hoped. Is a good car, and the market has spoken. People want the Prius as a used car, so price stays high.
Comparing the depreciation of a used Prius against the depreciation of a new Echo is not apples to oranges. I have a (true) depreciation story that can beat yours:
Four years ago I bought a '98 Jetta TDI with 240k miles on it for $7000. I've put 70k more miles on it and am now selling it for $6200 with 310k miles. Repairs have been one alternator. Expenses have been fuel, oil changes and tires. The car is chipped so has about 150 hp and 300 lb ft of torque. I drive it like a complete loon and still get fuel mileage in the low 40s around town and low 50s on the highway. 70,000 miles for $800 in depreciation is 1.1 cents per mile for a great car, fun to drive, has always been 100% reliable, carries five passengers and has a tow hitch.
In a comparison of depreciation between a new car and a used car the used car will always have the advantage.
We bought a new $14,250, Echo in 2001 instead of the Prius and sold it in 2009 for $3,000. We had just under 30,000 miles on it or about $0.33/mile depreciation.
We bought a used, Prius, $17,300 in 2005 with 49,000 miles and I just drove home in the 150,000 mile, in our perfectly fine, 52 MPG commuting car. So if it disappeared tomorrow, $0.17/mile, half the Echo rate.
BTW, our NHW11 also has a 1 kW inverter and provided emergency power when the tornados tore up the TVA power lines over four days and six hours at two gallons/day . . . no carbon monoxide risk . . . too quiet to hear outside of our property line.
Our 2010 Prius was $24,250 bought in May 2009 (we sold the Echo to help pay for it.) It works perfectly fine and even towed a small airplane 600 miles from Canton Il to Huntsville, Al. It also has a 1 kW inverter. The newer car, it has 35,000 miles or $0.66/mile, today. In another three years, it is likely to be the Echo $0.33/mile rate and descending.
"2. . . . better think about how much it is going to cost to replace the batteries."
In November 2008 I upgraded the traction battery from the original style to the newer modules from salvage Prius, $1,700. The old traction battery was working perfectly fine and the modules measured 5.0-5.5 Ahr versus the new ones at 6.5 Ahr capacity.
I kept the 38, old battery modules and am looking at replacing a 48V, lead-acid battery in our electric bicycle with the NiMH modules. This should double the 10 mile range.
"3. What about your time?"
I have always driven in the right lane, following traffic or with cruise control set to the posted speed limit. It gives me time to think and plan what I'm going to do at work or on the way home, plan dinner and shopping lists.
I am not a "Type A" driver. Often, when being tailgated in the right lane, will change so the tailgater can accelerate, pass me on the right, and get away from me. But if I'm conducting a 'study', I have no problem with reaching 100 mph and still getting 22.5 MPG. But in reality, flying meets my need for speed and isolation from the road-rage idiots.
". . . .If you look at the total cost of ownership of a Prius compared to a Yaris, "
We have owned the Echo (the original Yaris) and choose to continue to own the 2003 Prius, the Echo equivalent. We already have the 1.8L, 2010 Prius and both have tow bars used for oversized loads and the occasional rental boat. More importantly, there is no car that matches the 140 mph, 4 gal/hr, airplane. We also have an electric bicycle for trips to the grocery store.
In short, we're pretty happy and don't see any gaps in our transportation needs and desires. Our lives are as quiet as our cars and when we go out of town, we eat at upscale restaurants because we don't worry about gas burned in a frantic drive back home.
It was $10 million and the X-Prize committee tried real hard to make this a real-world competition by requiring that the car entries demonstrated manufacturing cabability to qualify, not just show off what a one-off laboratory experiment is capable of.
In fact, if I remember right this was the very first X-Prize competition that was designed to avoid the previous results where the prize winner never actually puts their technology onto the market.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.