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Battery Car lessons

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The electric Ford Focus should attract lots of attention. While reading the specs noticed the limited 100 mile range of battery. Ford mentioned the problem of recharging as hardly any commercial refueling infrastructure available for the task, but this was spun as NOT a unsurmountable problem as the car features a driver interface that assists in round trip planning. It's impressive to see these car companies are so bullish upon battery car, they are making these huge investments. Consider the handicaps to be tethered to short trips, high cost, and hassle to frequently recharge.  While reading the sales promotion, it struck me how ethanol may be missing a opportunity? Consider the lessons from battery car.

 

- Battery car promotes a vehicle that is petrol free. This appears to be very attractive to a portion of public with lots of money.

 

_ Battery car promotions and investments not intimidated with lack of commercial refueling infrastructure. Remember all those who claimed lack of infrastructure the reason ethanol must be tied to conventional petrol fuel autos. Doesn’t seem a problem for battery car that has a horrible predicament.  Can you image the roadside embarrassment when not paying attention or a miscalculation? How about putting friends, family, and employee out for extension cords? How about the $2k cost for home setup? How about the weight and high cost of rechargeable batteries that lose energy storage upon every recharge, eventually needing to be replaced. They are consumables, like tires. 

 

_ Battery car concentrates vehicle to exploit the benefits of the alternative fuel at no compromise.

 

_ Battery car saves consumer operation costs, although costing our tax base per need of expensive grid upgrades and loss of road tax revenue.

 

_ Battery car has no emissions, but the stored energy generated from coal, the most environmental toxic fuel per the environmentalist. Maybe, decades in future electricity will have a majority of nuclear, clean coal, and to minor extent wind and solar? But, ethanol fuel is green now and getting greener at a quicker pace than the trillion dollar price tag for smart grid. Ethanol already expanding production within the cellulose and waste ethanol feed stocks with long time potential of microbes and algae. Starch ethanol continues to achieve higher production, higher efficiencies, and currently the leader of price and production.   

 

So, why wouldn't a nonflex ethanol technology vehicle be a game changer? It would be easy to do the math on bottom line costs and customer value. What a sales coup to present this alternative to public, a green vehicle that actually achieves low operation cost, with no extra cost to purchase, with convenience. Liquid fuel a most powerful chemical battery.  Ethanol is a domestic renewable green fuel as opposed to coal electric supply. Remember the condemnation from environmentalist upon ethanol who utilized low cost coal within the process? Why no outrage upon battery car fuel source?

 

Ethanol makes a very efficient liquid solar battery fuel, especially if feed stock grown, processed, and utilized locally as opposed to electric’s already maxed out grid inefficiencies. It will be a long time before electric vehicles become cost effective and practical. Meanwhile the ICE will improve. Currently, lowest cost auto to mass produce, the conventional mechanical drive with combustion engine under hood. So, it appears to me ethanol has max advantage to exploit conventional technology for maximum value to customers and do so currently.

 

Most of us understand that current engine technology if adapted solely to ethanol fuel would greatly magnify the value of this fuel. Once an engine tuned to ethanol the value of this fuel would catapult. Vehicles, once designed upon this strategy would be successful and provide more bang for the investment buck and more immediate environmental benefit when considering the convenience, driving range, and low cost. 

 

Engine technology such as direct injection appears to improve ethanol fuel per the introduction within hot compression zone. Cold start pollution problems fade. We know maximum turbo pressure will magnify ethanol’s value as well as high compression. The Ecco Boost engine appears to be a natural ethanol engine already in production. The recently invented hybrid turbo should be a natural within this engine. The conventional turbo with addition of generator motor capability to push boost pressure at low rpm, prevent turbo lag, and generate battery recharge upon cruising speed.

 

An ethanol powered vehicle with mild hybrid super capacitor and small battery should be able to blow the competition away. Mild hybrid low cost motor/generator operate the components upon serpentine belt, but still can reclaim regenitive braking and assist vehicle movement albeit slightly less efficient. The mild hybrid vehicle still capable of crawling around traffic jams and operating A.C. with engine off. 

 

How about a 30 mpg ethanol vehicle that achieves a 600 mile range priced at traditional vehicle costs, but operates on green fuel that cost ten to thirty percent less? Would that get the attention of driving public when they notice the domestic fuel creates jobs and lessons are reliance on foreign import trade.

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Our politics of environment a bit out of whack. Consider, Calfornia indirect land use calculations against increasing corn ethanol. Well, battery car would have even more indirect environmental concerns outside our borders as coal and nuclear the fuel of choice for electrical generation. Most coal plants have little pollution control equipment. Some third world countries burn trees for power generation and not a stretch to have them cutting down jungle for power generation. Nuclear, diesel, even natural gas problematic upon environment and very popular electric generation fuel. Ethanol indirect land use as compared very low risk and as most economist know the increased investment attracted to farming will help feed the world.

 

If as I'm posting that overall environmental damage per battery car, much more that ethanol; then why does battery car get road tax free power? Compare this condition to what we post on current per gallon tax of transportation fuel. Diesel pays more tax per gallon, but usually ethanol and gasoline taxed at the same rate. See the e85vehicle tabulation below. Note, ethanol has only 2/3 rds the btu of gasoline, so per mile ethanol pays 1/3 more road tax. Coal is very dense btu per ton and most potent mix of environmental problem compounds. Electric energy not only requires road infrastructure but a $trillion dollar investment in grid infrastructure and more in electric power generation investments. Battery car should be paying a boatload of energy tax.

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What if we had a new green vehicle to compete with battery car? An ethanol based engine that received equal opportunity as the battery car.  A new "ETH" plated vehicle restricted to E85 and higher blends of ethanol. How, about nonfood grade ethanol to be classified as road tax free to compete with battery car. This fuel utilized upon blender pumps for mid-blend and higher ethanol sales. E10 sales per the normal supply chain. To facilitate ethanol infrastructure expansion and to reduce cost to taxpayers restrict blender credit to point of sale. Also, place a ceiling on per pump credit receipts of $20-30k. May the politics of auto companies gaming easy tax money or environment credits be restricted by awarding the "ETH" plate to vehicles achieving high efficiencies or mpg?

 

Ethanol is weak upon market perception upon the evaluation of efficiency, cost, and mpg. Most think ethanol can create hp per the race and drag tracks, but most, also, think ethanol not a good fuel for average cars. They think ethanol is a compromise to good fuel. So, what better than to single out ethanol upon an engine that can exploit the fuels strengths. Good to re-badge these autos as green and push technology to efficient high mpg rating.  Ford I believe could easily adapt the Focus frame for yet another vehicle type. They have much engineering data and the Ecco-Boost ready to go. That '12 Buick 2L boost engine appears equally capable. This new generation of green vehicle should receive rebates close to battery car. Better yet to yank all rebates as the re-distribution of taxpayer money horribly inefficient upon economy. Meaning money doesn't work hard with this economic trick. 

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Thanks, no, just post here and once in awhile on an article.

 

Ethanol supply is setting pretty within Midwest, just the flex fleet usage anemic. So, suspect the cost benefit ratio is out of whack. Solution is to either find ways to decrease price of fuel or better to utilize the fuel more efficiently. The latter will give ethanol a better image. Race community is doing their part with amazing success. Efficiency community needs to step up. We need high mpg non flex E85 upon a class of vehicle designed specifically to exploit the fuel's strong points and to be awarded high environmental virtue for doing so.

 

Note: When Japanese introduced the hybrid to world they did so cleverly. The vehicles were designed to maximize efficiency hybrid or not. If these cars had no hybrid technology.....well mpg would be very high even with traditional drive train. IOWs, they exploited all automotive efficiencies to make hybrid technology maximum attractive. If automotive did likewise with a "ETH" class of E85 minimum non flex, the same advertising buzz would ensue.

 

Product development of a high torque diesel like engine to propel farming equipment would be a winner. Ethanol is very adept at generating torque. May a hydrous non tax fuel category be awarded to those whom supply feedstock to ethanol plants be generated for agriculture needs? Like the Brazilian hydrous fuel grade, was it 95-5? Did you read the news of science paper on claim that world could easy supply one half the energy needs upon current farmland and that food supply would increase as result? So, appears we have a serious alternative fuel here that will become increasingly more attractive. 

 

Part of the problem with ethanol....it has no large voter contingency other than agriculture. Many on the right have abandoned the wagon per the bad press and high tax cost, preferring traditional petrol that is still the baseline price leader of traditional fuel. The left mainly excited and focused on battery car. Opponents utilized the food and indirect land arguments to separate ethanol supporters into good and bad ethanol. Also, the argument fueled the anti-ethanol arguments. Traditional benefactors of corn production prefer not to increase competition of their low cost feedstock. So, ethanol sector is scarred and wish to not make waves as they have no heavy hitters upon central politics. Ethanol is attempting to make nice with all parties and quietly try to succeed giving the hand dealt. Handicapped or not they try to pay down costly investments and gently become more efficient one step at a time.

 

Probably a good strategy developed from those whom know the score and attuned to  politics.  Still, can't imagine a better image improver than the above technology shift. Maybe this would p.o. battery folks aligned with solar and wind turbine electric generation? Ha, maybe ethanol should standardize with wind turbines and solar at the processing plant for voter enthusiasm? Did notice the local politician set out a pathetic 2 foot turbine for public view. A horrible location, but valuable politically.

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  I have to agree with you on the need to get the ag community powering its equipment with

 

fuel developed right there on the farm. Whether it's Corn oil  to BioDiesel from fractionation, or

 

  hydrous ETH combined with direct injection or high compression engines. The good part is most ag

 

  applications are steady mid-RPM scenarios,  much like aircraft engines.  A good fit for a turbo, as long

 

as the loading is consistent.   

 

  Looks like I've strayed hopelessly off-topic, but don't see an application for hybrid technology on

 

  the farm....  ::)

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