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Anyone could have told you this...but it just shows that internal combustion engines have not hit the efficiancy wall yet.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Despite all the hype for electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells, experts say we'd better get used to pumping gas, but we can look forward to much better fuel economy down the road.
"For the foreseeable future, the gasoline engine will stay the predominant power source," said Uwe Grebe, General Motors' executive director for advanced powertrain engineering.
That's because, despite it's imperfections, the internal combustion engine has a lot of inherent advantages but plenty of room for improvement. As those improvements are made, future gasoline engines will be more and more fuel efficient, making it tougher for competing technologies to show a big benefit.

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Finally, someone mentions the advantages of liquid fuels and highlights hydrogen's weakest - energy density!

The VOLT, or rather E-Flex with an ordinary gas engine is the future. It will take a long time to manufacture affordable batteries that will get adequate range for a small car let alone a truck. In the interim, gas/diesel/ethanol will handle what the batteries can't but don't expect more than a 20% bump over what we have now in efficiency from the gas engine. The big oil savings is going to come from the electric motors and batteries, not HCCI.
 

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Gasoline may be here for a long long time, but don't believe it for a second that some great new efficiency technology is around the corner. What a crock!

That's not to say Vehicles can't become more efficient, using Hybrid technology, lighter materials and more aerodynamic designs. Just the internal combustion engine isn't going to be making some efficiency breakthrough.
 

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hydrogen, electric, fuel cell, whatever the "alterative" will NEVER be mainstream until the infrastructure is in place to support it just like gas stations are now.
At this time, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is extremely expensive to produce in volume.
And as you stated, the infrastructure will be an enormously expensive proposition
in the USA. For the near term, I'd get on the Volt bandwagon.
 

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Does anyone think that if implemented correctly that a "free wheeling" transmission would enhance fuel mileage? This type of transmission was banned years ago; its main advantage is to not waste the kinetic energy back into the motor when descending a hill but to all the car to "free wheel". Right now the Prius does something similar but stores the energy back to the batteries rather than free wheel.
 

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Focusing on reducing weight while developing a new vehicle will be one of the most important factors in improving fuel economy in the coming years. Vehicles like the new Vue show how mfrs (GM in particular) have virtually ignored weight when designing new vehicles.

Adding in possible advancements in gasoline engines (HCCI, electromagnetic valve-train, etc) can keep the gasoline engine relevant for quite some time, but the Volt will still be a great (though pricey) alternative.
 

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Does anyone think that if implemented correctly that a "free wheeling" transmission would enhance fuel mileage? This type of transmission was banned years ago; its main advantage is to not waste the kinetic energy back into the motor when descending a hill but to all the car to "free wheel". Right now the Prius does something similar but stores the energy back to the batteries rather than free wheel.
The same thing is accomplished by putting the transmission in neutral.
There are improvements to be made in the ICE. Direct Injection and E85 across the board will increase mileage together and compliment each other nicely! E-Flex is a great step in the right direction...
 

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At this time, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is extremely expensive to produce in volume.
And as you stated, the infrastructure will be an enormously expensive proposition
in the USA. For the near term, I'd get on the Volt bandwagon.
Hey:D Now we know what the big oil companies can do with all the profit they have been pulling in. Forget next years bonus plan, and start investing in your stations (franchise or not) to allow alternative fueled vehicles to "refill" there.

What a novel concept.
 

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I hope we see the small block live for a loong time
It will, but not forever. The affordable battery tech for 2010 will take a roughly 3,000lb car 40 miles on electric. Experts seem to center on an all electric range of about 200 miles before you can drop the supplemental generator. Some people will demand more, some less.

That will take a long time, just for a compact car. Now consider trucks. You'd get about 20 miles of non towing range on a Silverado. So, it will take even longer to get a truck up to that range - still with no towing.

When towing with an e-flex truck, that engine will have to run more - maybe constantly.

So - I expect to see a 4.0L DI small block V8 with cylinder deactivation at the heart of e-flex on trucks and big SUVs. Probably find a home in the first e-flex corvette as well.

It could just as easily be a DI turbo 4 cylinder however, depends on ethanol. Ethanol will kill V8s because it is such a great fuel for turbos. So - if its readily available, look for the small blocks demise faster.
 

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It could just as easily be a DI turbo 4 cylinder however, depends on ethanol. Ethanol will kill V8s because it is such a great fuel for turbos. So - if its readily available, look for the small blocks demise faster.
You just made my 302 Windsor cry.....:( haha

I agree with you though....
 

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Does anyone think that if implemented correctly that a "free wheeling" transmission would enhance fuel mileage? This type of transmission was banned years ago; its main advantage is to not waste the kinetic energy back into the motor when descending a hill but to all the car to "free wheel". Right now the Prius does something similar but stores the energy back to the batteries rather than free wheel.
my first car a 1934 dodge has "free wheeling",you put the trans in neutral and when you get to the bottom of the hill when you hit gas the trans went back into gear. most new cars with auto trans has the converter unlock when you get off the gas going down hill
 

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It will, but not forever. The affordable battery tech for 2010 will take a roughly 3,000lb car 40 miles on electric. Experts seem to center on an all electric range of about 200 miles before you can drop the supplemental generator. Some people will demand more, some less.

That will take a long time, just for a compact car. Now consider trucks. You'd get about 20 miles of non towing range on a Silverado. So, it will take even longer to get a truck up to that range - still with no towing.

When towing with an e-flex truck, that engine will have to run more - maybe constantly.

So - I expect to see a 4.0L DI small block V8 with cylinder deactivation at the heart of e-flex on trucks and big SUVs. Probably find a home in the first e-flex corvette as well.

It could just as easily be a DI turbo 4 cylinder however, depends on ethanol. Ethanol will kill V8s because it is such a great fuel for turbos. So - if its readily available, look for the small blocks demise faster.
The SBC responds quite well to boost. Its not going anywhere.

I with they'd brink back the iron-block Buick pushrod V6 as an all ethanol boosted motor. If they could get 300hp out of it in 1987, imagine what a modernized version could do.
 

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It could just as easily be a DI turbo 4 cylinder however, depends on ethanol. Ethanol will kill V8s because it is such a great fuel for turbos. So - if its readily available, look for the small blocks demise faster.

I completely agree with this statement. Our percentage of ethanol produced is not a linear curver, rather it looks more geometric.

Ethanol is here to stay and we will continually be able to produce more each year, and cheaper as well. This technology improvement is considerable more growth oriented than any efficiency improvements in gas engine technology.

In other words, we're just beginning to scratch the surface with regard to ethanol production, while at the same time we're nearing the far limits of internal combustion engine technology.

The ICE will continue to be around...but I disagree with the article that the predominant fuel will be gasoline. I believe it will be ethanol within 15 years.
 
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