Literature that is associated with actual vehicles is often provided by designers and manufacturers of such vehicles as they attempt to sell their significant economic outlay to consumers. The footage in the film, Who Killed the Electric Car? showing individuals using such technology and even president George W. Bush attempting, though rather stiltedly, to fill the tank of an alternative fuel vehicle are examples of marketing. It is difficult to actually find documented research on alternative fuel cars, that is conducted by non-vested research parties.
Current technology briefs with regard to the most efficient combustion engines stress their new and improving efficiency over previous models. Yet, these are still combustion engines and they still directly burn fuel.
A lean-burn engines will undoubtedly allow major improvements in efficiency. Leanburn engines are those that operate at high air-to-fuel ratios. The gasoline direct-injection engine (GDI), is an example.... With its higher ratio of air to fuel, engine efficiency is higher because more of the heat goes into increased pressure in the cylinder... work output can be varied by changing the fuel input without changing the amount of air admitted to the cylinder. This means much less use of the throttle and, since throttling is a frictional process, enhanced efficiency.... temperatures are lower, so less heat is lost from the cylinder.
Additionally, it is clear that the utilization of these more economic engines has resulted in increased size and power of vehicles rather than smaller vehicles that have a potentially lower effect on the environment. Not a win, win situation for anyone but the auto and oil industries. The hybrid engine, which the pure EV enthusiasts laugh at, due to its obvious attempt to go half way when the technology has proven repeatedly that going all the way is certainly possible, is described below.
One promising version would use a small engine - for example, a one-liter two-cylinder direct-injection engine - which would be about 75% more efficient in moderate driving than today's typical six- or eight-cylinder engine. The engine would kick in only at moderate to high speeds or when acceleration is needed, while the battery-operated supplemental motor would power the car when less power was needed. The electric motor would be recharged by regenerative braking or directly by the engine. With regenerative braking, the wheels are slowed by connecting them to the shaft of the electrical motor-generator, which then charges the storage battery. This vehicle would have about twice the fuel economy in urban driving of a conventional vehicle of comparable size.
Briefly, within the literature is also an emphasis on alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, which has significant drawbacks as a result of the tendency for it to jell in cold weather and clog systems, ultra light vehicles which stress the inclusion of lighter components to reduce fuel needs (not likely given the new and improved interest in the bigger the better SUV), natural gas vehicles, which are still using fossil fuels, if not as inefficiently, fuel cell vehicles that and several other fuel alternatives.
Alternative automotive fuels - ethanol, methanol, natural gas, electricity (which I call a fuel here), hydrogen, and reformulated gasoline - have enthusiastic, and often single-minded, advocates. However, because of the huge investment implications in the development of these alternative fuels, we should take many of these claims with a grain of salt.
This work will propose to analyze the viability of several different types of vehicles, based on the availability of technology to create and infrastructure to maintain them. The purpose of this study is to asses the viability of alternative fuel vehicles and to avoid the potential pitfalls of running them. Many cases have shown that the infrastructure to do so is lacking, such as in the case of the DOE who was mandated to buy alternative fuel vehicles and ended up spending more money than they saved doing so because of lack of infrastructural support for the mandate.
Paige 8) I will seek information by polling vehicle sales companies, to determine availability of resources to fuel alternative vehicles, (with the emphasis on electric only vehicles) as well as by seeking alternative fuel information from websites that are dedicated to linking consumers with knowledge and improving the alternative fuel infrastructure. I will also do a brief online survey of individuals seeking information about how they use their cars and if they would be interested in offerings of alternative fuel vehicles if they were available and maintainable. I will also look at the feasibility or technology required to run the EV1 and any prototype vehicles or other marketed electric vehicles available today. The resulting research design will be a qualitative/quantitative research plan to determine the availability, growth and market acceptance of alternative fuel vehicles, the independent variable being the available resources and options and the independent variable being the marketability of such resources.
will then collect the information and analyze the results, to determine the feasibility of my thesis, that electric only cars are the best alternative solution to the many problems caused by vehicles today. With a qualitative/quantitative design, comparing two sets of research, availability and marketability the analysis will be heavily demonstrative of the whole picture answering the questions, how available is the technology and how willing is the public to utilize it?
This work should serve as a stepping off point to determine the real willingness of the public to utilize all electronic vehicles, not dependant upon the very public opinion and frequently ulterior driven marketing of a rejection of alternative fuel vehicles, and especially the electric only car. Works such as Who Killed the Electric Car? are insightful in many ways but particularly in the manner in which consumers are swayed in different directions than the ones which actually meet their real needs and the needs of the greater world. This work will attempt to bridge the gap between those real needs and the willingness of the public to invest in alternatives.
Cudahy, Brian J. Cash, Tokens, and Transfers: A History of Urban Mass Transit in North America. New York: Fordham University Press, 1990.
Eaves, Hannah "All About EV: A conversation with the makers of Who Killed the Electric Car?" June 27, 2006 at http://www.grist.org/advice/books/2006/06/27/eaves/
Motavalli, Jim. "The Ties That Blind: Big Oil Goes Hunting for Electric Cars in California." E. Mar.-Apr. 1997: 36.
Paige, Sean. "Alternative-Fuel Effort Left Running on Fumes at DOE." Insight on the News 10 June 2002: 8.
Paine, Chris (dir) Who Killed the Electric Car? documentary film, 2006.