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Ford, GM Face Off on Truck Engines

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Cabe Atwell
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Heavy hitters
Cabe Atwell   2/15/2013 12:02:02 AM
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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. C

TJ McDermott
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Re: Heavy hitters
TJ McDermott   2/15/2013 2:46:12 AM
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There might be something to the idea, Cabe.  The vehicles can carry larger batteries.  A heavier frame would also protect the batteries better, though vibration might be a problem for them.

naperlou
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Re: Heavy hitters
naperlou   2/15/2013 11:35:27 AM
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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
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Silver
Re: Heavy hitters
rdelaplaza   2/18/2013 5:37:05 PM
Problem here is that the average American Joe attaches his manhood to the power of his vehicle, thanks to brain neutralizing animal testosterone and stupid brainwashing marketing trickery.

To give you an idea critically analize some (and every one) of the pickup truck advertising pieces. the  P O W E R obsession sells to every redneck and his cousin in this country.

When that way of thinking stops (it's going to take SOMETHING) and evolution makes their brains grow beyond that; then the USA average male will consider an electric truck as an everyday vehicle.

They are already a reality... everyday fleet vehicles silently perform their nonpoluting duties, behind the anonimous task of the delivery drivers of big corporations.

Check this guys, THEY ARE DOING IT ALREADY  http://www.smithelectric.com/

So on the same note; when the electric trucks, start BEATING THE CRAP of internal combustion engines, same redneck stupid marketing tricks will help to increase the sales of the electric ones...

But before it happens somebody has to come with an electrical motor that MAKES A LOT OF VERY LOUD NOISE ! !

DogOfWar
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Re: Heavy hitters
DogOfWar   2/18/2013 6:20:23 PM
@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!

rdelaplaza
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Re: Heavy hitters
rdelaplaza   2/18/2013 7:21:20 PM
It seems that I touched where it HURTS ! ! ! how is your testosterone today.

Perfect demonstration, use of violence and insults when your brains are not enough.

I can also see it in your screen name... DOG OF WAR... how ridiculous can you be?

Do youeself a big favor, go and crawl back under your rock, and shut up, don't embarras yourself any further.

Thanks

DogOfWar
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Silver
Re: Heavy hitters
DogOfWar   2/19/2013 1:09:29 AM
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!

rdelaplaza
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Silver
Re: Heavy hitters
rdelaplaza   2/19/2013 6:06:10 AM
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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXqYbNEiW0Y

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?

eSetter
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Iron
Re: Heavy hitters
eSetter   2/19/2013 10:14:56 AM
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I do not think you can engage in ANY engineering discussin.

It is insulting reading your posts!

DogOfWar
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Silver
Re: Heavy hitters
DogOfWar   2/19/2013 1:15:16 PM
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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!

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Heavy hitters
William K.   2/20/2013 10:17:32 PM
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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". 

Where electric trucks fit, the fit very well.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Heavy hitters
Charles Murray   2/20/2013 8:28:26 PM
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Cabe, a lot of automotive analysts believe that the biggest market for pure electric vehicles will be in delivery trucks that drive a predictable route every day. I think you're on to something.

Ozark Sage
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Re: Caddy V8-6-4
Ozark Sage   3/22/2013 3:51:53 PM
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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.  

Mydesign
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Engine Changes
Mydesign   2/18/2013 3:26:06 AM
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2 saves
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..

GTOlover
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Re: Engine Changes
GTOlover   2/18/2013 9:30:16 AM
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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.

NiteOwl_OvO
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Gold
Re: Engine Changes
NiteOwl_OvO   2/18/2013 10:14:07 AM
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GTOlover,

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.

Watashi
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Re: Engine Changes
Watashi   2/18/2013 10:19:15 AM
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I concur

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.

Mydesign
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Platinum
Re: Engine Changes
Mydesign   2/25/2013 11:32:18 PM
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1 saves
GTO, if the technology is success, obliviously competitors also may look up for fuel efficiency methods. Otherwise they canít survive in market. From customer point of view, while evaluation vehicles for purchase, power and mileage are the two main factors.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
DOUBTING THOMAS
OLD_CURMUDGEON   2/18/2013 9:52:32 AM
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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.

NiteOwl_OvO
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Would you like fries with that?
NiteOwl_OvO   2/18/2013 9:53:36 AM
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Charles,

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.

Watashi
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Turbo Reliability
Watashi   2/18/2013 9:56:47 AM
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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.

Turbineman
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Re: Turbo Reliability
Turbineman   2/19/2013 1:43:41 PM
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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.

Watashi
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Re: Turbo Reliability
Watashi   2/21/2013 3:38:13 PM
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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.

 

airbearzln
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Iron
Ford v. GM
airbearzln   2/18/2013 1:04:12 PM
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"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.

Trackday
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Silver
Power to Weight
Trackday   2/18/2013 6:12:08 PM
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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.

Watashi
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Platinum
Re: Power to Weight
Watashi   2/21/2013 3:50:34 PM
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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.

Trackday
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Re: Power to Weight
Trackday   2/21/2013 4:22:47 PM
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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.

Watashi
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Re: Power to Weight
Watashi   2/21/2013 5:27:42 PM
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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.

William K.
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Platinum
Truck engines and ???FLAMING???
William K.   2/18/2013 9:10:52 PM
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??? 

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Truck engines and ???FLAMING???
Charles Murray   2/20/2013 8:36:42 PM
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Well said, William K. Who knew that an article about truck engines could turn into this?

RandellGreer
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Iron
Research
RandellGreer   2/19/2013 9:05:53 AM
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Not a word about the new 2.8 L Duramax Turbo-Diesel.

NiteOwl_OvO
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Gold
ICE vs Electric
NiteOwl_OvO   2/19/2013 10:36:48 AM
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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.

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