Internal combustion engines: a role to fill for transport in an energy conscious environment

Malpress, Ray and Buttsworth, David (2010) Internal combustion engines: a role to fill for transport in an energy conscious environment. In: 2010 Southern Region Engineering Conference (SREC 2010), 11-12 Nov 2010, Toowoomba, Australia.

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This paper compares the advantages and disadvantages of internal combustion engines (ICE) as the power-plant for vehicles with respect to energy consumption, energy transfer efficiency and energy source. Comparisons to electric and other alternatives drive systems are discussed. Significant technological gains in electric control and motor efficiency in recent times has brought the electric vehicle in its many forms to a position where it can compete on nearly all vehicle performance levels with a conventional ICE-powered vehicle. The electric vehicle’s niche has shifted from a novelty or performance constrained vehicle to one which can fill the role of a general-purpose vehicle for most applications. Unfortunately, the most significant barrier to widespread use of electric vehicles is yet to be overcome. In spite of extensive research into electrical energy storage devices, none of sufficient capacity and appropriate physical properties is yet available at viable cost to allow fully electric vehicles to attain the endurance to make them attractive as the sole vehicle for most consumers’ needs. Internal combustion engines possess significant and enduring benefits for vehicles. In spite of physically limited available efficiency improvements, internal combustion engines still represent a very viable option for vehicle power plants into the future. In a full analysis, ICE vehicles can compete with electric vehicles, especially if the IC fuel can be generated in a way where the energy transfer compares, in a life cycle analysis, with the energy transfer of electrical storage devices required for electric vehicles.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: USQ conference. Proceedings available in
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2011 01:37
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2012 03:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: internal combustion engine; energy; life cycle analysis; alternative vehicle powerplants
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091303 Autonomous Vehicles
09 Engineering > 0902 Automotive Engineering > 090299 Automotive Engineering not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0902 Automotive Engineering > 090201 Automotive Combustion and Fuel Engineering (incl. Alternative/Renewable Fuels)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies

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