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By Carlo Taylor
Instead of developing cars which depend on massive gasoline burning engines with very small batteries, create a small car with a powerful battery charged by a very efficient infernal combustion engine to charge the large battery. Surely a small engine could charge the battery sufficiently to do commuter trips every day.

Reward: A kiss from the pretty girls...
By Ben
Carlos, Do you mean "internal" (gas ignites to move the engine's pistons 'internally') instead of "infernal" (of or relating to hell)? Haha, simple mistake.
The concept behind your idea is quite good. An internal combustion engine has many inefficiencies and a vehicle could benefit by incorporating an electric engine into the transmission.
You will be happy to know that Toyota and Honda have already made a hybrid car that uses a small gas powered engine with an electric engine.
It is detailed on the website
If you look at the site you can find out exactly how it works and impress some pretty girls at a party to receive your reward.
Keep the good ideas flowing.
By Arlo Vanderfrog
Great idea!!! The souls of polluters would be burned in the infernal combustion engine, both providing a unique deterrent to polluting and providing decent acceleration for the vehicle. Love it!

The only problem I can see would be waste heat. Wouldn't the infernal combustion engine be hellishly hot? This is a problem that still has to be solved; otherwise the driver of the vehicle would be using so much energy to cool the engine that he or she would in turn be classified as a polluter, which, while providing more fuel for the engine, probably isn't the desired result...

Love it,
By Clint
Use water, and have it steam up and turn turbines which would power cooling tubes running adjacent to the cooled mineral oil :)
By ade
Sorry, but i don't think this would make any difference to the amount of fuel burned. The engine is still producing all the energy for the car to move. The only way it could save energy is by storing energy while you are sat at traffic lights with the engine running. This stored energy may be enough to power you away from the lights for a short distance.
By headwerkn
As someone pointed out, Honda and Toyota, amongst others, already have hybrid petrol/electric cars. The original concept for the new VW Beetle was to have one aswell, but they canned it for some reason.

The other part of the deal is convincing people that it's worth spending twice as much on such as car. To do that, governments have to reward people who fork out AU$48K for the equivalent AU$15K car, with cheaper registration, insurance and the like. At the moment there is stuff-all to persude people to buy these vehicles, other than their guilty conscious.
By mtd28student
Conventional combustions engines are only efficient over a short rpm and load range. Electric motors have a greater range at which they are most efficient.

A hybrid engine works by having an internal combustion engine running at its optimal efficiency which drives a generator that charges a battery. The battery then drives the electric motors that power the wheels.

This is why hybrid cars are more efficient that conventional cars.
By Justin
you guys may want to keep in mind that the goal solution would to have a completely electric car...... presuming solar panels created enough power to run the car...the rechargeable batteries had a long life and , not to mention their wieght, and price and some bateries are not enviro friendly when it's time to throw them out.
because of these current short commings they compromise and make hybrids..

- I just wish I could get my solar-panel and light bulb to work in a dark room.
User avatar
By Michael D. Grissom
Use an infra-red solar panel to capture your body heat Justin. ;-D
By Daryl666
first of all i am supprised that it has taken this long for hybrid cars to be made because locamotives have been using this tech. for years. and secondly the the power for the car can be subsidised with another source with solar like was mentioned. the solar panels that would probably be used are flexable allowing the panels to conform to all the surfaces of the car. like a Petrol/electric/solar and i guess you could install a solar array at your house with its own sources to charge the batteries while you are at home. while you are on your way home i guess you could flip a switch and allow the batteries to continue discharging when you start getting close and no longer desire to waste fuel charging the batteries with the engine just to get home and attach a charger.
By Baker29
I too am surprised at how long this has taken the automotive industry considering the technology has existed for decades.

One point to consider that hasn't been discussed here yet is that when a normal car brakes, the kinetic energy of the car is transfered to heat on the brake pads. In a hybrid car, this energy is (or at least can be) transformed back into electricity which recharges the batteries which is another reason the hybrid car is more efficient than standard cars.

I wouldn't go fully electric as energy cannot be stored efficiently enough to get a decent range on an electric car (as you can with a few gallons of gasoline). And recharging the batteries takes hours versus a few minutes at the gas pump. Perhaps when the technology exists to do so it would be worthwhile.
By deeparch
I think that we may be off on completely the wrong track in trying to use less petroleum in our vehicles. In effect what saving is doing is playing in to the very hands that have prevented the development of alternate fuel technologies. Perhaps, as people concerned about the environment and about a future source of energy,what we should be doing is trying to burn as much petroleum as possible and force the adoption and investigation into more sustainible fuels as the oil supply dwindles. [/i]
By Daryl666
one thing we have to do is stop wasting the heat we have been allowing to just float off the radiators there are things like sodium hydroxide that when heated become sodium hydride which when reacted with water gives off hydrogen and sodium hydroxide. i have posted the idea in another place but it takes time for it to get out so it fits herefer now. with this we could have a Fuel cell/gas/electric/battery hybride because the hydrogen fuel can be taken from the waste heat of the engine when its running.
By Rishi
Spelling mistake or tongue-in-cheek the Infernal (combustion) Engines should go. Why not revive work on the external combustion power plants for autos, which were being researched in the early '60s?

External combustion is clean. Only carbon-di-oxide and water are the effluents. Solid fuels can be burnt.

The catch is that you cannot have an instant start. The upside is that the auto is silent. This is based on the earliest steam locomotives. Some work has been done on a closed cycle acetone turbine with exo-combustion. If infernal engines cannot be sent to perdition let us design a light weight one man car, which can go 250 miles to a gallon in city driving.

By Baker29
I think that we may be off on completely the wrong track in trying to use less petroleum in our vehicles. In effect what saving is doing is playing in to the very hands that have prevented the development of alternate fuel technologies.

I view this approach as a mid-term alternative which buys time until the alternate fuel technologies are available. The only alternative fuel technology that I beleive has a future within the next 10-50 years is bio-fuel. The conversion of agricultural products and by-products into petroleum and petroleum by-products. This is actually a zero effect on the greenhouse gas problem because its only recycling carbon on the surface of the earth as opposed to introducing carbon from underground. Additionally, it will never run out and would be produced in locations around the world that are more polically stable.

I don't beleive any other technology can make a significant impact in my lifetime due to the current technological limitations and in most cases limitations due to the laws of physics (which technology can never overcome).

For example of what I mean by limitations, consider hydropower. While it sounds good to generate electricity by dams, people overlook that most of the prime locations (at least in the USA) have already been damed so there's not much potential for increase here. Also, damning a stream causes great environmental damage as well which is counterproductive to the goal of environmentally friendly energy.

Or consider nuclear. Relatively cheap, proven technology with almost limitless growth potential. But what do you do with the waste?

Other forms of energy have similar problems that I won't go into right now in the interest of space, but suffice it to say we should be more efficient where we can and this is one step in that process.

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