[extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future

Dan Clemmensen dgc at cox.net
Mon May 23 20:02:13 UTC 2005

Hal discusses an evolution of hybrids that ends with
a gasoline-driven motor-generator driving efficient electric
motors for each wheel. I don't see it. Many of the postulated
intermediate steps appear to be harder than just building the
end result. In particular, replacing cam-driven valves with
electronically-controlled electromechanical valves sounds
horribly complicated.

Piston engines are a real mess. Their redeeming virtue is
high power over a fairly large RPM range. But if you have
electric motors at the wheels, you don't need this attribute.
Instead, you build a turbine engine, optimized for maximum fuel
efficiency at a particular RPM. This engine is a whole lot simpler
and is well-understood. Diesel-electric locomotives have used this
trick for over 50 years. A small high-current battery can be used to
even out the power demand on the turbine. for rapid acceleration.

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