Solving Tomorrow's CO2 Crisis, Today
The idea of a hydrostatic drivetrain isn't new. Today's industrial mining, farming, and construction industries rely heavily upon this technology to cost-effectively do their work. In fact, military vehicles, buses, urban delivery trucks, refuse haulers, and even some sports utility vehicles and family sedans already leverage hydrostatic drivetrains.
Looking into the past; Egyptians used hydraulic engineering to build the pyramids.
What could this mean for the general transportation market?
In 1977 Vincent Carman decided to convert his car to the same drivetrain used on his lawn tractor, and he doubled fuel economy overnight.
Vincent's garage-built drivetrain design is known as a hydraulic hybrid, and initial studies (without optimizations or any specialized technology), readily demonstrates a 60%-70% miles per gallon fuel economy improvement over similar, conventionally powered internal combustion vehicles. With emissions reductions of 40% for CO2, 50% for hydrocarbons and 60% for particulate matter.
According to EPA calculations, hydraulic hybrid technology increases cost by approximately $7,000 over a comparable conventional truck, with a 10-year fuel savings in excess of $25,000.
But! Electric Vehicles!
Electric vehicles (EVs), even all-electric, have consistently demonstrated no significant energy efficiency benefits. In fact, when considering how electric power is generated today, studies irrefutably show that all-electric vehicles cause approximately 100% more air pollution deaths than diesel-powered vehicles (or 86% more than gas vehicles).
Electric vehicles, in particular hybrids, do have an energy conservation benefit over traditional internal combustion vehicles, due primarily to frequent engine off modes in stop & go traffic. Although EVs still have not yielded a statistically significant net gain for energy efficiency, or reduced exhaust emissions. EVs are a heck of a lot more expensive and complicated though!
Another consideration, is that the EPA has determined a hydraulic hybrid can easily recover up to 75% of its braking kinetic energy. While the laws of physics prevent an electric vehicle from recovering anything more than roughly 25%, due to energy conversion and storage losses. This is just one of the many examples that illustrates real-world viability of hydraulic hybrids, over the current EV fad thats taken the automotive industry by storm.
What Would You Do?
If you could purchase a car today, that was more than 50% more efficient than a modern electric vehicle, could be refueled as quickly as a gas car, and which consumed carbon-neutral fuel (e.g. 100% biodiesel). Would you?