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Good News! The 1000mpg Hybrid Car Has Arrived!

I got this in my mail and figured it was worth a one-off guest post. If you have not read it already, you might want to read my original post about the myth of the 250mpg hybrid and the deranged reply it got. An emailer extends the argument.

Paul,

With all due respect to your 250 mpg hybrid story, I think you missed the point of many of the people in the comments. In effect, they aren't hybrids, they are electric cars that also have engines.

I can make a 1000 mpg hybrid tomorrow. All I need to do is take an electric car and hook up one of those small home generators to add some electricity back to the battery. If the car ran 100 miles on a charge before and now it gets 110 miles and I burned a half cup of gas in the generator, I get over 1000 miles per gallon of gas! WooHoo! We just won't talk about the electricity I'm using because that would spoil our fun.

All I did was make a fancy electric car. The essence of a hybrid car is that it harnesses waste energy lost to braking to extend the gas milage of a regular car. Once you plug it into the wall it is no longer a "hybrid" and should not be called that. (Not even a "Plug in Hybrid" IMO)

I agree with your essay but you missed the best way to debunk it. They aren't hybrids.

It really makes the envirokooks like Steve look all the more deranged. Let's see them do a REAL 250 mpg hybrid and not a dinosaur fuel booted electric car. [ed note: I don't think Steve is actually an ENVIROkook.] The best hybrid I've seen so far gets about 45 mpg. That is about 5 mpg LESS than my old Geo Metro got. Real 250 mpg hybrids are decades away if we can ever achieve them at all. There is finite energy in a gallon of gas and only so much waste can be reclaimed.

Keep up the good work, you made a great post, I just think you missed how easy the original story was to debunk. Oh and never let the crazies get you down.

Joel

I wouldn't say I miss the point of the posters but I did miss a far easier way to debunk the story. By reducing it to the absurd, he showed the absurdity of the original story. He's right, we can have 1000mpg "hybrids" tomorrow if that makes people happy.

I would split one microscopic hair with him. I think what today is called a "Plug in Hybrid" should be called a "hybrid." After all it is a hybrid of both an electric car and a gas car. In my perfect world, the things we call "hybrids" today are misnamed. They should be called "Regenerative Cars" or something. But that is semantics.

Overall I think he makes a good point.


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Comments (17)

I agree with you calling th... (Below threshold)

I agree with you calling them regenerative cars, or usable waste cars or something, hybrids ARE misnamed.
otherwise, you're right.

I still want my nuke-powere... (Below threshold)

I still want my nuke-powered car. A good sized chiunk of Uranium should last about 75 years.

Just don't forget to change the oil!

Actually, "plug-in hybrid" ... (Below threshold)
joe:

Actually, "plug-in hybrid" would be a good name. Think about it; mostly electric for around-town driving and it gets most of that energy from the grid. But the car won't get stranded somewhere with no power plug because it has a gas engine, too and can run that way.

Heck, I get 50+MPG out of m... (Below threshold)
Doug:

Heck, I get 50+MPG out of my Diesel VW Jetta. and it is a lot more fun to drive the most of the hybrids that get the same or worse mileage. I am all in favor of an alternative source of energy, but can anyone explain to me how a hybrid is an alternate source of energy? probly not as it is NOT an alternative. it uses OIL!

I wonder if diesel-electric... (Below threshold)
joe:

I wonder if diesel-electric systems, like on trains, could be applied to big trucks?

Maybe that's a stupid idea or it would be done already. Anyone know?

So, does all this electrici... (Below threshold)
FreakyBoy:

So, does all this electricity come from some magical supply that doesn't include natural gas or oil fired turbines?

Just askin', since we're not building many nuke plants.

Also, kids have been making... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Also, kids have been making cars for decades that get infinite MPGs. They're called soap box racers.

So, does all this electr... (Below threshold)

So, does all this electricity come from some magical supply that doesn't include natural gas or oil fired turbines?

The elctricity is created from the chemical reaction of THC and patchouli.

Here's the real 250 MPG hyb... (Below threshold)

Here's the real 250 MPG hybrid:

http://randomnumbers.us/

Brings back my college dati... (Below threshold)
FreakyBoy:

Brings back my college dating memories.

Thanks alot, McGehee.

A good horse. A good mule ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

A good horse. A good mule to walk along behind on reign carrying the goods.

Fine by me.

Remember, the energy used t... (Below threshold)
j.pickens:

Remember, the energy used to produce these extra hybrid and electric car batteries is substantial. Enough chemical energy is used refining and constructing the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries to make it very nearly impossible to ever recoup that energy in the improved MPG of the cars.

This is all pseudoenvironmentalism at its worst.

Until we start building nuclear power plants, this is not just a waste of time, it WASTES ENERGY!

What j.pickens says about e... (Below threshold)
AlanDownUnder:

What j.pickens says about energy input to manufacture NiMH batteries applies equally to the energy input to construct, service and decommission nuclear power plants.

Go to some blogs where they really know the score:
The Energy Blog
The Ergosphere

quote: "What j.picke... (Below threshold)
j.pickens:

quote:
"What j.pickens says about energy input to manufacture NiMH batteries applies equally to the energy input to construct, service and decommission nuclear power plants."

Not true at all. Nuclear power plants are a primary energy SOURCE. NiMH batteries are an ADDITIONAL energy COST. The energy produced by the nuclear plant far exceeds the energy of production of the plant. The energy of production of the NiMH cells barely equals the energy saved by the car they are installed in.

I wonder if diesel-elect... (Below threshold)
Anachronda:

I wonder if diesel-electric systems, like on trains, could be applied to big trucks?

It's already been applied to the really big trucks, like these

for j.pickens from <a href=... (Below threshold)
AlanDownunder:

for j.pickens from here

the claim for the carbon-free status of nuclear power proves to be false. Carbon dioxide is released in every component of the nuclear fuel cycle except the actual fission in the reactor. Fossil fuels are involved in the mining, milling, conversion and enrichment of the ore, in the handling of the mill tailings, in the fuel can preparation, in the construction of the station and in its de-commissioning and demolition, in the handling of the spent waste and its processing and in digging the hole in the rock for its deposition.

The lower the ore grade, the more energy is consumed in the fuel processing, so that the amount of the carbon dioxide released in the overall fuel cycle depends on the ore grade. Only Canada and Australia have ores of a sufficiently high grade to avoid excessive carbon releases and to provide an adequate energy gain. At ore grades below 0.01% for ‘soft’ ores and 0.02% for ‘hard’ ores more CO2 than an equivalent gas-fired station is released and more energy is absorbed in the cycle that is gained in it. Ores of a grade approaching the “crossover” point such as those in India of 0.03%, if used, risk going into negative energy gain if there are a few “hiccups” in the cycle. (See Storm van Leeuwen and Smith)

The industry points to the presence of uranium in phosphates and seawater, but the concentrations are so low that the energy required to extract it would exceed many times the energy obtained from any nuclear power resulting and the resulting carbon emissions would be massive.

Hybrids are so overrated.</... (Below threshold)
LB:

Hybrids are so overrated.




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