Thursday 26 June 2008

Car propulsion

In Europe average daily commute distance is less than 15 km. Even if we add another 20 for after work shopping, recreation and similar activities, we can still calculate that few cars have to go further than 50km on a typical day.
Internal combustion engines our cars have are known to perform the worst in these conditions. The engine is cold and there's a lot of acceleration and braking in the rush-hour congestion. Not to mention that the engine itself is never operating at it's optimal RPM.
This causes excessive oil consumption and pollution. Wouldn't it be a lot simpler if our cars had electric engines with just enough batteries to last some 50 km, coupled with a nice turbine to generate power when the batteries got depleted?
This way one could go to work, come back home and recharge the batteries in a standard power outlet. Longer trips would be sufficiently covered by the turbine and to top things off, the batteries could just as easily be partly charged by photovoltaic cells popped on the roof and hood of the car.
Instant halving of oil consumption, not to mention pollution...

Now wouldn't that be something?