GM's new 5.3L V8 EcoTec engine, left, boosts fuel efficiency by using cylinder deactivation to act as a four-cylinder engine at light loads. Ford's 3.5L EcoBoost engine, right, boosts performance by using twin-turbocharger technology to create a more dense mix of air and fuel in each cylinder. (Source: GMC, left; Ford Motor Co., right)
How about heavy-duty electric vehicles? With that be a possibility any time soon. I remember reading about a Chevy concept truck that was a hybrid. It was heavy duty, got great gas mileage, and could have tool plugged into it. I would like to see this be the norm on every truck.
Cabe, that is a good idea. A good solution for trucks might be something like a diesel electric locomotive (this is what all diesel locomotives are now, so we generally don't put in the electric). Diesel locomotives have been evolving to hybrids with batteries. This sllows them to recover energy in breaking, for example, and to respond more quickly to speed and load changes. The engine (ICE or microturbine) still provides the main source of electricity. They tend to be more expensive to build, but easier and cheaper to maintain.
@rdelaplaza I am certain from your uninformed and pedantic soliloquy that you are a tower dwelling, metrosexual, wussie. Who has never done a minutes worth of real work in your life!
US rednecks actually USE our trucks every day for REAL work. We make sure your ignorant vegan backside gets supplied with all the kale, carrots, and cabbage you consume. We also provide the beef and pork and chicken you eat, when you think no one else will ever know.
Battery powered cars are still a losing, non-starter, and will be for years to come. Useable, working trucks.....may NEVER be viable!
The only thing I find embarrassing here is someone who passes themselves off a an engineer while blabbing nonsense. Not one of the current numbers for ANY electric vehicle work. FACT.
Performance and usability both are far below ICE levels. To date, even with massive subsidies, these CARS cost far more and perform far worse than their ICE versions. We are in fact years away from a practical battery powered car, much less a truck....at least one that's used to do work.
What's worse is that they (electric cars), are actually worse polluters due to the combined excessive carbon footprint they make. Between the labor and materials used to both build and buy the car, and the electric power produced to operate it they produce nearly double the effective pollution. And we haven't even talked yet about the disposal of used batteries!
Don't pass yourself off as an engineer until you know the basic truths about the real world physics! I could throw mounds of math at you, but based on your biased emotionally based posts....I seriously doubt that you would comprehend it!
The only "blabbing nonsense" and "biased emotionally based posts" are coming from your brain. Stop your single boiling neuron and find the facts, Read...
At the mentioned link "http://www.smithelectric.com/"
The Newton all-electric truck delivers a top speed of 55 mph (88km/h), offers a range of 50 to 150 miles (65-190km) on a single charge and a payload of over 16,000 pounds (7,250kg). It operates at peak effectiveness in urban applications that demand heavy 'stop-and-go' driving. A single overnight charge provides more than enough range for most urban delivery routes. Smith vehicles feature the latest in Lithium-ion battery cell technology, power management and direct drive trains.
Being the U.S. Marines Corps one of their users... ..." The U.S. Marines Corps has deployed Smith Newton all-electric trucks at Camp Pendleton, California, the Corps' largest West Coast training facility and home of the First Marine Expeditionary Force.
The U.S. Marines Corps is the first military organization to incorporate Newton into its fleet – and the first to purchase Newton trucks through the Government Services Administration (GSA) schedule. GSA Automotive is responsible for procuring more than $1 billion in vehicles and automotive services each year.
Some other corporate users in their daily distribution routes are... " 3663 AG Barr Balfour Beatty Celtic Linen CEVA Logistics Coca-Cola Continental Landscapes Crown Records Management DHL Essex County Council Frito-Lay Gateshead Council John Lewis Office of Public Works Openreach Royal Mail Ryder Bunzl Sainsbury's Staples TK Maxx TNT Express U.S. Marine Corps Western Power Distribution
So what about the Tesla EV's? and the tricks pulled by a few guys with some brains like this guy that made the Wrightspeed 150 mi range and it beats the crap out of Ferraris, Porsches and NASCAR ICE's
And what about an average guy thinkering in his garage and getting an old Datsun to beat the X%^@#$ og some "powerful" Corvettes and BMW's gas cars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=369h-SEBXd8 ::: the White Zombie
So "the person that says that it can't be done, should not interrupt the one DOING IT". so please get some salt and EAT YOUR WORDS. Thank you
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=369h-SEBXd8 ::: GP racer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az_27NeLKuI ::: a 9 sec 1/4 mile EV
All this makes me think that there is something OBSCURELY WRONG with the Detroit car industry and BIG OIL when a few garage tinkering guys can pull this kinds of EV tricks on their own budgets, I keep what I said; what about you?
So your response is that our dysfunctional, known to be narcissistic, government, run by "greenies." Chooses to force the military to buy tech that doesn't work? I refer you to history and again facts. How many of these "trucks" are deployed into and or functioning as, actual battle support? Huh? Answer...NONE! Have you read your own numbers? These are not even the minimum sustained requirements for daily use on any farm! And you don't even address the fact that you'll have to own at least two or three of these. Why? Because they take so long to charge that you'llneed the extras in order to have ONE ready to use. The suggestion that any current battery powered truck can be used for logistical military ops us patently insanity! On the others....how many of these are actually in use? Not many. Why? Because they don't even meet the conservative specs that they publish!
An interesting thing is that the US Marine Corps also has a vehicle that consumes over a gallon of diesel fuel per minute. The only other information that I can provide is that that vehicle has a diesel engine.
My point being that they use equipment most suited to a specific application, with some applications being more "interesting" and others being more "green".
Cabe: I remember reading that same article too. It reminded me of just how I used a crashed Caddy Seville V8-6-4 to power an in-field site generator for power to build several remote microwave and satcom sites our corporation had contracted. It was winter, the sites were scattered, it was cold.
The Caddy V8-6-4 with alternator, panel insturmentation, along with a reversed flow radiator fan and flex-ducted output for job site heat and AC gererator package; all supported by the origional Seville gas tank is still in use today. The modified car alternator outputs variable DC for Bat tools. Leather seats were used in the Chevy support pickup asigned to the unit. The enclosed modified Seville frame trailer along with the Primary Power/Heater Unit houses a wireless repeater, security, camera, and job site computer systems.
It is interesting to note that the car was one of the best I ever owned as it had the free factory chip upgrade installed when I purchased it used. It got fantastic gas MPG, using regular fuel and went like a BOoH when you tromped it. I wish all my investments returned a fraction of the value this old V8-6-4 Seville still does.
Charles, I think automobile/mechanical engineers are the best peoples to judge about these changes. From user point of view, better power and high mileage are the concern points and any changes for attaining these two goals may get widely accepted..
I would add longevity. If those turbos start going out at 100K then Ford will have a reputation problem. GM must also prove that cylinder deactivation can really save fuel. I am sure there is some savings, but how much? Then the question is how does cylinder deactivation affect the V8's longevity?
If these issues come up and it affects the truck user, the manufacturer will be pounded for under-developed technology and reputation will be at stake.
GM first offered cylinder deactivation in 1981 on the Cadillac L62 V8. They have had plenty of time to develop that system, I think. I believe most of the problems GM experienced in the past were in the electronics and not the mechanical parts of the engine. Time will tell whether customers like the system or not and I believe that may be the main issue.
I would also like to see towing and hauling performance over the long run. Smaller engines tend to wear out faster when put under the stress of towing.
Anecdotally - I had a Ford 4.6L F150 that showed a loss of power much more quickly than its predecessors that had 302 c.i. engines. However, when they were new, the 4.6L and 302 c.i. trucks were very comparable power-wise.
GTO, if the technology is success, obliviously competitors also may look up for fuel efficiency methods. Otherwise they can’t survive in market. From customer point of view, while evaluation vehicles for purchase, power and mileage are the two main factors.
Call me a "DOUBTING THOMAS", and I qualify that to state that battery technology is NOWHERE in my expertise, BUT I believe that there would be many obstacles to mounting a large set of batteries into a truck chassis. One of these would be that since many trucks are weight-limited, there would be a liability to its ability to carry cargo, since GVW would be affected negatively. Furthermore, UNLESS there is a paradigm shift in battery chemistry, I don't see this energy storage device as being viable for ANY vehicle, outside the limited use casual vehicles presently on the market.
It made the news reports in the past week or so that even the principal engineer responsible for the TOYOTA PRIUS admitted that the ICE will be the primary power source of vehicles for decades to come. However, I DO believe that the chemical, mechanical, electrical engineers will find a satisfactory solution to increasing the overall efficiency of the modern transportation vehicle such that this discussion may become a moot point.
Finally, I also believe that the governments SHOULD NOT be so adamant in their prescriptions for the future. There is NO doubt among rational-thinking people that when governments overbear, the results ARE almost always disasterous.
The light truck is as American as burgers and fries. Competition from overseas and new emissions requirements are putting a strain on the domestic manufacturers. It's nice to see our favorite trucks are in good hands.
GM has finally rolled out DI on the small block. I think they had variable valve timing and displacement on demand technologies on the previous generation with the exception of the 4.8L. GM's small block is very light and compact, produces exceptional power from idle to redline and has proven it can go the distance. If the updated small block can maintain that and produce the desired efficiency and emissions, then GM will be well equipped to satisfy customers who like V8s. You gotta love the sound of a well tuned V8.
US manufacturers have been shy about offering turbocharged gasoline engines for some time. There have been plenty of successes, but drivability concerns, fuel efficiency and insurance costs have limited the market. Modern turbochargers, engine management systems and traction control have resolved nearly all of the drivability concerns and the availability of DI for gasoline engines (DI has been used on diesel engines for decades) has changed the image of turbocharged gasoline engines from gas hogs to efficient and reliable compact powerhouses. The success of Ford's Echo Boost engines proves that the market is there. Time will tell if these modern small displacement turbo powerhouses can go the distance.
In the end both approaches are great solutions to the same problem. If variety adds spice to life, then the American light truck will continue to satisfy the palettes of truck buyers for years to come.
I have always been a Ford guy (and GM hater) but have concerns about Ford's approach. For anyone who remembers the early days of production turbo vehicles, reliability was a huge issue that should not be overlooked.
Granted, turbos have come a long way in terms of reliability (i.e. modern turbo diesels on 1 ton trucks), but they are still a bit costly. When you consider that a lot of these trucks will be used for work and play off road, the more conventional (and reliable) 'multi-displacement' technology seems better. The dust, vibration, and shock of off road driving are very hard on vehicle components. With the twin turbo Ford V-6 you will have twice the number of expensive turbo units exposed to it.
The question of 'turbo lag' is whole other conversation; but can these new turbos overcome the bad taste gasoline turbo powertrains left consumers with last time around?
Disclaimers -My 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 has a multi-displacement 5.7L V-8 that has been very reliable and gets me around 15 mph highway (10 mph towing a 3 horse trailer). My uncle has one of the new Ford turbo F150s and is very pleased with the mileage (over 20 mph highway) and power, but he doesn't tow and rarely goes off road.
I agree with what you said Watashi. I'm more interested in torque in my truck engine. My 2003 Ford F350 with 6.8L V-10 doesn't even know my 3 horse trailer is behind it. When not towing, it gets 12 MPG around town and 17.5 MPG on the open road.
But I have to drive it more. It's 10 years old with 21,000 miles on it. I'm getting tired where, every time I want to use it, I have to replace a wire or two that was chewed off by critters.
that's pretty good for a V-10. My wife and I are looking into alternative energy for our next truck - Dodge 3500 diesel dually. I would consider a Ford, but since '08 the 250 and 350 have been so ugly.
"Aint no good little motor good as a good big motor". A fortiari for trucks. I forgot who said it, I think maybe Max "Old Yeller" Balchowsky. I have a Silverado with the 6 liter motor, best truck I have ever owned, and I am old, owned a lot of trucks.
Trucks are too heavy and have been for 30 years or more. It takes 300 HP just to go up a mountain pass when they are empty and they still lose speed. With all the weight they need 400 HP to be used as a towing vehicle. A smaller/lighter truck with 300 HP makes sense to me, but then a standard makes sense to me. Has anyone tried to pickup an automatic from any of the top selling trucks? Just another one of the overweight problems.
Trucks are built to accomodate payload and provide pulling/hauling power. A lighter truck would not last very long under the stress of heavy loads. Unfortunately you have to be heavy to do heavy work.
Your mountain pass problem sounds like either an under powered truck (300hp engine rating, not at the wheel) or improper gearing. I've never had problems keeping speed in the mountains with my big engine trucks unless I had a load or saw a cop.
Watashi, I've always owned at least one truck since 1970 and all but one was underpowered for real mountain passes like Vail or Rabbit ears. The only truck that had power to spare was an engine swapped 66 Chevy standard and it was just under 3k lbs. If you get rid of all the car like accesories, dual cabs and dump that extra 800lbs you would have a chance.
Gear ratios and and a poor power to weight ratio will not get milage and performance. Only light weight will get there. A truck can be tough without weighing 4k lbs plus.
I've run Broncos and a F250 over southern CO (Wolf Creek, Engineer's, California Passes). Of course two of those are off-road, but I know how tough it can get climbing and trying to maintain speed. My Broncos both had 4:10 rears so I could pull and keep speed, but always got the same 12-14 mpg mileage everywhere I drove.
The market has really loved the extended cab trucks. I don't think I could ever go back to a single cab, so I will admit a little bias here.
I did not think that flaming was allowed on these discussion boards, and it certainly is not worthy of engineering professionals. If one believes another to be wrong, even totally screaming wrong and clearly biased wrong, the best response is a rebuttal with facts rather than a flaming criticism, if valid or not. Likewise, pointing out errors in an assertion is valid, while calling names is a poor choice.
IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU MUST FIGHT, DO IT IN A MUCH MORE INTELLECTUAL MANNER, OK???
Electric vehicles may be the future, but they are not quite ready for general use. Electric motors deliver plenty of torque and are more compact that ICEs. With computer control, we can manage the torque output and mimic the output of virtually any ICE. Power isn't the problem. Where electric vehicles lag behind ICEs is in working range and refuel/recharge time. Battery weight is also a factor, but that is becoming less of an issue due to new lighter weight materials and new batteries with higher power densities. Limited range confines current electric vehicles to relatively small areas. EVs may be suitable for urban commutes and short-range delivery runs, but most buyers need flexible vehicles that can travel more than 150 to 300 miles in a day. Battery recharge time has improved greatly, but still lags behind refueling time for ICEs. That will likely never change, but perhaps the gap can be closed enough that the difference is not significant enough to matter. Until then, EVs will remain a very small part of total vehicles sales and will continue to require subsidies to reduce manufacturing losses.
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
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