Car of the near future, electric & natural gas hybrid?

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andys
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Car of the near future, electric & natural gas hybrid?

Saw this today and had never thought of this set up before with natural gas and electric as a hybrid. makes some sense.

"The second part of Pickens' plan - using natural gas to power vehicles - is perhaps easier.

While automakers are betting on electric cars as the vehicle of the future, those electric cars will still need backup engines to recharge the battery on long trips, at least for the foreseeable future.

Those backup engines could run on natural gas, said Julius Pretterebner, a vehicles and alternative-fuels expert at Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

Pretterebner also pointed to a host of other reasons why natural gas in cars is a good idea: It's about half as expensive as gasoline and 30% cleaner; the infrastructure to get it to service stations already exists; it's relatively cheap to convert existing cars ($500 to $2,000 per car, he said); and natural gas can be carbon neutral, if it's made from plants, a process he said requires no new technology.

"It's maybe the best alternative fuel we have, and the quickest way to get off foreign imports," he said."

http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/22/news/economy/pickens_wind/index.htm?cnn=yes

reikiman
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Re: Car of the near future, electric & natural gas hybrid?

It's called 'Liquified Natural Gas' and I'm not entirely sure LNG can be burned in typical gasoline vehicles.

LNG is still a fossil fuel -- meaning the carbon emitted from burning LNG still contributes to global warming. Natural Gas is also facing it's own peak supply situation. (link)

smace
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Re: Car of the near future, electric & natural gas hybrid?

Where I used to work, some years ago, there was a small fleet of cars/trucks that ran on compressed natural gas. The conversion was pretty straight forward as far as then engine was concerned. A special carb. and some basic reprograming of the engine control chip. Then, of course, there was that tank.
Everyone that fueled those cars/trucks had to be certifyed to handle the NG fueling station. A state licence, if I remember correctly, or maybe a licence from the NG supplier. the cars worked well and on tear down, the engines were very clean.

spinningmagnets
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Re: Car of the near future, electric & natural gas hybrid?

In my town (South West Utah) there is only one station (Shell) that provides public purchase of Compressed Natural gas (CNG). NG is liquified for transport in certain situations, but keeping it a compact liquid requires much pressure and also keeping it very cold due to the small molecule.

If you want to fill up at your house, you can get the permits and then have a "Phil" station installed for $6K. Allows you to charge up your fuel tanks in the garage. (Fills slowly to dissipate compression heat)

One interesting benefit is that you can fill a staging tank, and when you pull into the garage, you can equalize the car tank with the garage tank, effectively re-filling in a few minutes as opposed to several hours for re-charging most of an EV. (Voids home-owners insurance, not allowed by code)

Any gasoline car can be converted to run on CNG, but the drawbacks are Drop in power, the tanks will take up your trunk, and you will have a short range (with an 8 cyl, 80 miles per tank), plus who will fix it when it breaks?

If running dual fuel, a gasoline V8 will have the power of a 4 cylinder when using CNG. If running ONLY CNG you can use a higher compression ratio, so a V8 will have the power of a V6.

You can purchase a CNG vehicle from a gas company auction at around 250K miles (Here they are Ford F-150 trucks, CNG only), but if you want a new car...

I looked at the Honda Civic, the only CNG vehicle is a "CNG only" car that is an auto-trans 4-door for $24K (gasoline-only is $16K). Can only be serviced/fixed 2 hours away in Las Vegas.

I have heard of a propane conversion kit being attached to a gasoline car, and then modified to allow for more gas compared to the air (methane is C1, propane is C3, gasoline is C8), I am unaware of any mechanical damage or death that resulted, your Mileage May Vary (YMMV)

andys
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Re: Car of the near future, electric & natural gas hybrid?

I realized something reading the responses here, that journalists really do very little or no research these days before they print things. It would have taken a few minutes to find and print the info written here to give the reader a more balanced look at what is involved in doing a natural gas conversion. Instead, they just print what they are given and people read it thinking they can will be able to fill up their car from an inexpensive gas outlet installed in their house (or at a gas station)and that the performance will be the same as a gasoline powered car. No mention of special tanks and the dangers involved, a needed $6000 fill up station if you want to do it at your home,a loss of 1/2 power, 80 mile range, etc.

spinningmagnets
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Re: Car of the near future, electric & natural gas hybrid?

Dear andys, I am shocked, SHOCKED I say, that you would even IMPLY that the media is just trying to fill the pages of todays magazine with trendy headlines, and then would just move on to the next buzz topic without ANY in-depth analysis !!

That being said, I am still a fan of methane. Its in my top 3 alternatives. The USA has a lot of it, and it is easy to make from a variety of feedstocks through well-undestood processes.

There was talk a while back about moving closer to a "hydrogen economy" (hydrogen can be made from water can't it? SCREW the middle east!!) and the punchline is...the cheapest way to make hydrogen is with steam reformation of...(wait for it...) METHANE!!

You can also use brute force electrolysis with wind power (put hydrogen through a fuel cell and you get electricity) to get the hydrogen for a "mobile fuel" but it has no carbon (a tear of happiness slowly runs down Al Gore's cheek) so in its most dense form (as of now, wait for the Chinese engineers) it is H2, so it has about half the density of methane.

Once universities (with federal grants used to find the H2 highway) found this out, one of many projects was to see if H2 and methane could be mixed to provide a slightly denser and less expensive fuel. The answer is yes.

If I managed to buy a CNG Honda (or any adapted propane conversion 4-cyl) I could shorten the range by about 25% by adding 50% H2 made by me in my back yard for free from wind. (IF you're allowed to have a wind generator...)

It's not #1 on my list of choices, but its an option. Keep your eye on an EV conversion with a multi-fuel series hybrid trailer for the occasional long trip.

The "Phil" CNG garage charging station is only $6K because of liability lawsuits. lets be honest, If you didn't care about following the building code, or homeowners insurance policy limitations, how much is a computer controlled compressor with a cooling fan, safety valves, and a staging tank going to cost? (made of high quality materials, of course). $1,000 ?

hiilc89
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oil drilling

Yes it's really nice. Really !
Thanks a lot for sharing !
oil drilling

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