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Turbo Plus Direct Injection Plus Ethanol Equals...

By buurin, March 15, 2007

Slashdot links to this:

Says that MIT guys came up with a way to use direct injection to spray ethanol into a turboed gas engine for 25% better efficiency.

Believe it? Don't believe it? What if someone slaps this system on the 1ZZ or 2ZR engines? default_ph34r

I've never been a real fan of hybrids anyways. People don't realize how impractical the car is until they actually own one. Not only does it cost about 20% more brand new, but the batteries need to be replaced every 100k to 150k miles, and they cost something like $2500-3000 each time. That's on top of the regular servicing the gas engine needs. Many blind environmentalists who are all praising the "hybrid revolution" don't realize that those batteries are not recyclable and disposal of the chemicals inside is very costly. Also repair costs on a hybrid car are much more expensive due to the complexity of the system. On top of that, most hybrid cars are ugly, like that fruity looking Prius or the Insight. I'll admit a few good hybrid cars are coming out like the hybrid Camry, but no one is making a hybrid sports cars.


No not yet, but there is an electric sports car.


I didn't know that the batteries had to be replaced and also that they cost as much as you mentioned.

Kind of sheds a different light on hybrids.

The battery/motor has to be replaced just like a regular car battery. The average hybrid car with get about 109k miles on a battery before it needs replacement, though some Pruis owners have claimed 170k+ on theirs. I guess it depends on your driving habits. People who drive lightly and use the electric engine more will wear down the battery faster than the gas engine. Likewise if you accelerate hard and use the gas engine more. Nevertheless, the battery will need to be replaced, much sooner than a traditional petro-engine does. Its basically the hybrid equivalent to an engine swap. I've read on average they cost around $2,300, almost comparible to a petro-engine's swap. A powerful battery for a Lexus hybrid might be $3,000+.

Right now as it stands, diesel engines are rated at the most efficient overall, in terms of fuel economy and cost to the owner. Diesel fuel costs comparible to petro fuel and gets a much higher fuel efficiency. Just compare a gas Volkswagen Beetle to a diesel one. The gas one gets 23/32 mpg, while the diesel gets 35/42. Also, newer, cleaner diesel engines are coming out in Europe that are just as environmentally friendly as petro engines.

What worries me the most is that hybrid cars are going to scare away the consumer market from the movement towards alternative fuel. We had an environmentalist speaker come to our college several months ago, praising the hybrid car and telling everyone to buy it. People are going to buy hybrid cars an expecting Corolla efficiency and dependability, but its definately not. Studies have shown a hybrid car over its lifetime can cost as much as a light truck or SUV.


Maybe as they become more popular, the cost will go down.

Someone may invent a better, cheaper battery.

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