If you look at the drive towards “LCFS” fuel (LCFS means “lower carbon fuel standards”), it appears that natural gas powered vehicles are the wave of the future. Can you say “natural gas powered series hybrid”?
|The GM “Flextreme,” set for production in Europe, is the only
series hybrid employing an onboard diesel we’ve ever heard of.
As for a natural gas powered series hybrid, who knows…
Read this recent email from someone on the ground, responding to EcoWorld’s feature “The Case for the Series Hybrid,” published a few years ago:
After reading your article today (even though it’s two years old), I have some points to make. These points are for everyone else promoting electric/hybrid cars.
First, I don’t think the majority of CO2 are from cars. They represent only 40% of fossil fuel use.
Second point is the serial hybrid seems like a no brainer that took GM too many years to figure out (Chevy Volt). A diesel is the best choice for efficiency for obvious reasons but the car makers still haven’t figured that one out. [GM is launching the 'Flextreme' in Europe, which is a diesel series hybrid] Why bother with those big car makers when someone else can do it better? Why does the Navy use diesel-electric submarines?
Third, you, like so many others, never mention natural gas. It is the cleanest fuel yet. Fork lift trucks use them all the time with changeable fuel tanks.
My fourth point is commercial use. Being a commercial vehicle driver, I deal with diesel engines which the average driver doesn’t really think about, but what kind of hybrid can you make with one of those? They have payloads up to 100,000 pounds (garbage trucks). A typical class 7 or 8 truck uses about 50 to 100 gallons per week. Multiply that by 52 and you can get an idea of a year’s use for one truck. Then multiply that by 4 million trucks and buses on the road. 80-90% of everthing you see is brought by trucks. There is a saying in the trucking industry, without trucks, America stops. Somebody better call GE!
Number five is buildings. They also use fossil fuels. Why doesn’t anyone mention that? The more efficiently a building is insulated, the less it costs to maintain its temperature. Oil is used to make foam insulation, yet we still use fiberglass. Foam, mainly polyurathane as well as styrene, is more dense than fiberglass and can be sprayed in place. Polyurathane is a thermoset plastic, which means it is used once. Why not insulate our homes with this foam insulation and then use some of these other alternative technologies to heat and cool? Add PV and you have a much more efficient building.
I just want to expand someone’s view on this alternative fuel thing.
The engine in my brother’s ML450 siezed up because of having no oil. Perhaps I can use that vehicle as prototype if he still has it. The whole engine and transmission would have to be pulled out. The truck weighs about 4k lbs. Can this hybrid technology handle trucks in that weight range? Any tips?
Sir, you have great insights. Respect.