Thursday, April 30, 2015

ICE is dead

ICE = Internal Combustion Engine. These are the engines that combust gasoline or diesel in order to propel your every day car.

I love electric cars, I think they are part of our future. They have the best cards in hand to upset the apple cart. The internal combustion engine has been a staple in vehicles since the early 20th century. It's detrimental effects are known and we are slowly becoming aware that the source for its power is running out. At the rate at which we are pumping and consuming oil based substances we are bound to run out of oil in roughly four decades.

Maybe we could extend this period a little longer if we would find oil in the Arctic, on Greenland and Antarctica. But lets be honest, we don't really want that.

I've done a lot of research on Electric Vehicles and have also written something about them in my first book, which I'm currently revising.

Some people might advocate Hydrogen Cars as a valid successor of the contemporary car fitted with the internal combustion engine. However Toyota has really shot itself in the foot by betting on the hydrogen economy. I don't like the hydrogen economy and I am going to tell you why.

Hydrogen is predominantly made through steam reformation of natural gas i.e. methane gas. A waste product of this process is carbon dioxide, an emission we all know has to be mitigated aggressively. If we take the path of producing hydrogen through steam reformation we would be perpetuating the fossil fuel fever.

We could also use electrolysis to create hydrogen, an even less efficient process as you can see in the diagram below.

If you take a look at the diagram it is quite clear why the Battery Electric Vehicle (or BEV) is going to win this showdown. As a matter of fact, the fuel cell vehicle is too late. Tesla is already working on it's second iteration of cars, with the Roadster and Model S already on the roads, the Model X nearing completion and a Model 3 in the pipeline they have pole position.
BMW's I3 is an excellent competitor and the Nissan Leaf is also in its second iteration. The Nissan Leaf is also the record holder for BEV sales, outstripping all other electric vehicles by quite a margin.
The most important issue about BEV's is where the electricity comes from. Suppose the BEV was a massive success and we were all to buy a BEV tomorrow, the electricity grid would probably fail. Currently about 80% of all the electricity gets generated by coal and lignite fired power plants, which is something we need to address, and I will in the future.
Once we  learn to supplant these coal and lignite power plants with zero emission energy generation, the BEV will show it's true potential for zero emission transportation.
I am absolutely confident that the Battery Electric Vehicle will become the dominant car within the next decade.

If you aren't convinced yet, why don't you have a look at this little devil?

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