Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
80 MPG would be good.
I wonder though about some of these things we read about. Is the technology really ready (in our lifetime) for mass market vehicles ?
From what I have heard, the likely next versions of hybrids will have bigger/higher capacity batteries so that you could charge them up and run mostly on the batteries. If you ran out of charge or you wanted to go on a long trip - only then would you turn the engine on. These type hybrid, loosely termed plug-in hybrids, should have MPG rates up to 2 or 3 times what current hybrids get.
Other upgrades may be diesel hybrids which should give at least a 30 percent boost in MPG over gasoline versions.
This is mostly old technology. Much of the construction machinery (with the big diesel engines) run on fluid drive. It's just a question of getting it to go 75 MPH down the road with higher gearing.
The WSJ article mentioned that Toyota asked to be part of the EPA work but was refused (1990 or so). Instead, they went off on their own to work on refining 'gas-electric.' Ford volunteered but then dropped out of the program in 2000 :
What I like about this diesel-fluid hybrid is that it doesn't require expensive batteries that need replacement nor special electric motors to drive the the wheels. Simpler and straightforward-er mechanical system. How big (and durable) would those electric motors need to be to tow a 5000 lb trailer up and down the Rockies?
The efficiencies seem to come from the diesel (90% eff as opposed to gas which is about 50% eff currently), energy savings from fluid drive (without all the whirling and spinning gearing and drivelines--just two tubes for fluid going to the drive wheels; should save 20%), and the nitrogen 'free' startup after braking.
Maybe Chrysler will pick it up and put it in their Sprinter or in a decent size pickup that can get 30MPG. Or 25 towing. Shoulda been a 'young dreamer' post. :P