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This engine suits your vehicle and driving style

This engine suits your vehicle and driving style

Navigating turmoil: Customers feel more insecure than ever. The current discussion is completely missing the point. It's about drive systems working together, not against each other. As long as experts are not entirely unilaterally motivated, they constantly admit: We need many technologies to save the climate balance. Because: Even if we all switch to electric cars in 2030, we will not meet climate goals, TU professor Helmut Eichelseder also extrapolated.

Each concept of leadership has its advantages and disadvantages. There's a simple reason why everything is currently focused on e-mobility. High efficiency, high efficiency – but problems (CO2– The polluting electricity mix in different countries, the high energy consumption of batteries, often not yet obtained from renewable sources, etc.) is also undeniable.

Strengths and weaknesses of the electric motor

The electric boom that the Green Party would like to see has weakened recently. What a shame: e-mobility offers a variety of advantages: from the driving experience to the efficiency and effectiveness of converting electrical energy into motion. “The electric motor converts about 80 percent of the energy supplied to it into motion, and, conversely, releases only 20 percent of the energy into the environment. Of course, it is still necessary to take into account the losses that occur when charging the battery. However, The efficiency of an electric car is about 65%, and is therefore much more efficient than a car with a conventional combustion engine,” explains TÜV Nord.

cons? Electric cars continue to lose range disproportionately in cold temperatures and on the highway. Frequent drivers who travel primarily on highways and who do not have enough time to charge will have to get used to the concept of charging and wait times. The electric car concept is optimal in urban areas and in local transportation areas, where the electric car shows its strengths (consumption) best. The biggest weakness at the moment is not the infrastructure, but the lack of transparency in prices and pricing policy of energy providers. Fast charging costs money and jeopardizes the cost advantage over combustion engines. Ideal for electric car owners: photovoltaics at home and the ability to charge at work. Otherwise you need shipping cards. Outside Austria, the electricity mix becomes more difficult; Nuclear energy should not be an alternative for fundamentalists.

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Classic combustion engines can do that

Compared to an electric car: The efficiency with a diesel engine is about 45 percent, and with a gasoline engine in ideal conditions it is about 30-35 percent (source TÜV Nord). It sounds bad, but it's only half the truth. Classic combustion engines are still a problem for long-distance and highway drivers because the fuel has a higher energy density and you can drive longer on highways without frequent stops for refueling and saving charging times as with an electric car. In addition, with the new engine concepts, even in larger vehicles (VW Passat, Mazda CX-60), excellent consumption values ​​of around six liters of diesel can be achieved. German manufacturers are now developing their own combustion engines with an emphasis on hybridization. However, classic combustion engines consume much more fuel in urban areas. For frequent, long-distance drivers, a classic combustion engine may be the better choice.

Hybrids, overview

User profile remains crucial when it comes to hybrids. “Both electric cars and hybrids have higher consumption when driving on the highway and often with a full load. The combination of city traffic and country roads is ideal,” Helmut Eichelseder, head of the Institute for Thermodynamics and Sustainable Driving Systems, explained in an interview. .

If you mainly drive on highways, you'll get better fuel economy with a diesel. Anyone who never charges a hybrid car – whose battery can be charged from the mains – is fooling themselves and the environment. You should analyze the hybrid you want to buy for your personal driving profile. Anyone who drives a properly powered plug-in hybrid will achieve great fuel economy. The electricity for the 5,000 plug-in electric kilometers you travel on local transport every year, for example, could be covered by a photovoltaic system.

Generally better than electric cars

Full hybrids are known for their excellent fuel economy in city/rural road traffic, such as the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. However, according to experts like Eichelseder, long highway trips are not a full hybrid's strength. Rather, the system benefits from constantly switching between the combustion engine and electric operation, and that the full hybrid is driven in the correct engine window.

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Gerald Kellmann, Toyota Europe's head of development, has been calculating for years what full hybrids could do – and we've quoted him several times already: “You have a 60 kWh battery in an electric car and you cover 5,000 kilometers a year in the city.” But you can This 60 kWh capacity is also divided between 80 hybrid cars, which also drive every 5,000 kilometers in the city. Of these 5,000 kilometres, the hybrid cars will cover at least 2,500 kilometers electrically, i.e. without emissions. This means that with the same effort you can cover many more kilometers without emissions. This aligns with our philosophy: to always question the right way forward in the most environmentally friendly way possible – and in a way the customer can afford.

Back after bad headlines

The hybrid car, in turn, is celebrating a comeback after bad news headlines. Since the EU was able to use car data to calculate that plug-in hybrids rarely charge and are therefore primarily used only for tax benefits, the reputation of the electric car has been lost. The electric range, which sometimes fell short of what manufacturers promised, also damaged reputation. The heavier weight of the system (battery, electric motor, etc.) results in higher consumption of the combustion engine if you never recharge from the power grid and drive the car exclusively with the combustion engine.

Diesel technology would be destined to carry heavier vehicle concepts such as low-consumption hybrids, but diesel concepts have not been popularized recently. And now the concepts are making a comeback – look at the Mercedes GLC as a diesel plug-in. With hybrid concepts such as the Mercedes GLC or from the Volkswagen Group, a shift has occurred: manufacturers offer longer electric ranges in the 100 km range, which means that the plug-in hybrid is used in urban and rural areas and – if you can charge – it is an interesting alternative with very low consumption. For fuel at zero line. If you can't find charging stations outside on long trips, you're left with a combustion engine, so to speak.

Why is e-fuel interesting?

Since there will still be millions of combustion vehicles on our roads after the combustion engine is phased out (2035), the idea of ​​climate-neutral synthetic fuels is quite fascinating. It is explained very simply: this fuel is made of hydrogen and carbon dioxide2It is taken from the air. This fuel emits exactly carbon dioxide2-The value that was previously taken from the air – that is why it is called climate neutrality.

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There are various known production starts (Porsche in Chile). Even with small additions there will be carbon dioxide2– Achieving reductions in the current fleet. However, a lot of energy is currently needed to produce fuel. Synthetic fuels can only be used effectively if the energy needed to produce hydrogen and e-fuels is obtained from renewable sources.

There are discussions about how much renewable energy will be available in the foreseeable future; E-fuel is also intended for shipping and aircraft. E-fuel will not play a role in car purchasing decisions over the next few years, as from 2035 onwards, combustion engines will only be allowed if they run exclusively on e-fuel. Consumption balance? Similar to the classic combustion engine, engine improvements to 2035 are not yet included. The biggest problem: power generation and energy productivity compared to an electric car. This problem can only be solved by using enough renewable energy.

Fuel cell capabilities

According to TÜV Nord, “The efficiency of the fuel cell alone is 83 percent, but when installed in a vehicle, losses should be expected. An efficiency of 50 percent can be assumed here. . . If you look at the entire chain of processes, from producing hydrogen to converting it into electrical energy, The efficiency is only about 30 percent. “In terms of efficiency, the fuel cell is no better than diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles.”

But: Research shows that significant progress is being made here; AVL has recently shown that much higher levels of efficiency can be achieved. BMW, Hyundai and Toyota are working on hydrogen technology. There is currently a lack of infrastructure. As long as hydrogen is produced using renewable energies, we can reach zero carbon dioxide2-emission.