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An Aussie Ode to ICE

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by ZTrekus, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. ZTrekus

    ZTrekus Member

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    #1 ZTrekus, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
    The Internal Combustion Engine was a marvellous piece of machinery in its day.

    It essentially replaced the steam engine - a means of "external" combustion of fuel.

    What is often under-appreciated is that while the engine is the essential component that turns the wheels - the engine is nevertheless the means by which the fuel is converted from its "potent" state to its "spent" state - so to speak.

    In that way, the Internal Combustion Engine (from the Steam engine) was more efficient, compact, cleaner; with faster speeds, faster warm-ups, faster acceleration, indeed everything that is now said of the electric motor.

    But here's the thing. As motors go - the electric motor was always superior in its output - but it was terribly inferior as regards its input. The classic example of this is what we did with trains. We had steam trains (and laster we had steam cars).

    But even when we had ICE cars (and thus completely stopped using steam cars, why would we continue?), we nevertheless continued to use electric trains. There are no large scale ICE trains. Perhaps a few diesel ones here and there but what mostly comes to my mind are the little trains used at amusement parks to shuttle kids around on a small loop track. So trains are a perfect example of the vehicle mankind chose to use when it had an unlimited source of fuel - and this either being a tank of petrol or a supply of electricity.

    In fact, the only difference between a train and a dodgem car is that a dodgem car is not on tracks. But both received their unlimited source of electricity form overhead powerlines.

    Humankind never went down the path of dodgem-car powerlines for city cars essentially because the internal combustion engine was so superior at converting portable fuel to energy as compared with the infrastructure necessary to build a chicken-wire ceiling over city and suburban roads.

    It is clear to see that what was holding electric motors back was the deliverable power supply. Until that problem was solved, what the internal combustion engine solved was really remarkable. And the refinements, updates, tweaks and advancements made in those respects is actually quite astonishing if one was to stand-back and look at how humankind chose to advance itself. (Modern day Mercedes as compared with Model T Ford).

    I have always maintained that the real breakthrough in electric cars is not the electric motor. That was around for years. An electric car was taken to the moon decades ago. And while Nikola Tesla invented the AC motor (a true innovation of delivering more power from the electric motor as opposed to the prior but inferior DC motor), it in no way solved the problem of running wires to the motor. Nikola Tesla himself for years attempted to solve the problem of delivering wireless electricity. As an aside to this project, he actually invented radio (what a genius). But he was trying to ascertain the extent of our physical laws of our universe by arcing huge amounts of power through our atmosphere... and it was this eccentricity of his that brought about the modern notion of the "mad scientist". A single highly eligible male (and therefore rumoured to be gay - see opening line of Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice") who conducted loud lightning experiments atop a hill. (Sounds like Frankenstein).

    The upshot of this is that "Tesla" as a Car-Company (leaving aside marketing and all) is really wrongly-named. Yes the genius Mr Tesla invented the AC motor but as I said, his AC motors have been used on trains ever since, many decades before the Tesla Motor Car Company started putting them in cars. The real unsung-hero in this narration is the guy who invented the Lithium Ion Battery. That breakthrough unlocked the whole mystery of wireless transportation of electricity.

    A quick Google search yields the following (I have no independent knowledge - as I said, the guy is "UNSUNG")

    "In 1980, Goodenough, a whip-smart physicist then aged 57, invented lithium-ion's nervous system. His brainchild was the cobalt-oxide cathode, the single most important component of every lithium-ion battery.Feb 5, 2015"

    And so I thought I would pay tribute to this hero by singing his praises in an "Ode to ICE" on the Aussie Tesla Motors Forum. It was his pushing of his domino which is still reverberating around our century brining about the final nail in the coffin to the goodol' ICE and allowed the return, once again, to the simpler and superior electric motor.

    And so at your next Aussie barbie - may I suggest that we all raise a glass to this bloke!

    "To Goodenough!!!"


    --------

    Update: Of course marketing would never allow a superior luxury car to be marketed as "A Goodenough". Just doesn't have the same ring to it as a Tesla! I guess Aussies have a greater appreciation of the underdog. The underdog being an Aussie invention.
     
  2. EcoCloudIT

    EcoCloudIT Member

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    Great read, thank you....

    -ECIT
     
  3. Kandiru

    Kandiru Member

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    OP, think that even the Diesel-electric ships and locomotives, or the giant mining dump trucks preceded the Volt2 or XC90 by more than 100 years, yes 1903 when the first D-E ship was launched by the Tzar's people.
     
  4. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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  5. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    @ ZTrekus I think you are talking about John B Goodenough who is a German born Professor still living in Texas.
    Perhaps Tesla could introduce a 'JBG' edition in his honour.
     
  6. ZTrekus

    ZTrekus Member

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    or perhaps a JBG wing in the Gigafactory.

    p.s. Thanks for the link, I shall read up on him in my spare time...
     
  7. ColinA

    ColinA Member

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    What a really cool web site! Thanks for posting this. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading it (way, way more than I enjoyed watching todays Faraday Future CES presentation I have to say)
     
  8. EcoCloudIT

    EcoCloudIT Member

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    My God that Faraday is one ugly car...what'd they do, look at the 70's version of the Batman car and just copy it?

    Having a spot, that's an integral part of the experience, being for a phone? That's just plain stupid....

    All that wait, what an absolute let down...no talk about chargers either...and at best they'll still only equal Tesla's range/performance when their car is a single seater race model and Tesla's is a 5 seater saloon....what a toss....

    It's a shame, I want some real competition in the market to help adoption and prices to come down.

    -ECIT
     
  9. alpal

    alpal Member

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    I, too, found this article inspiring. Thanks for the reference. As if I wasn't already happy enough driving a Tesla
     
  10. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    Chief designer
    image.jpg
     

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