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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 09:33 AM

The Digital Skeptic: You Could Have a 110 MPG Vehicle Right Now

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Doug Pelmear may have patented the final auto-industry solution -- a working, 400-horsepower, big-block V8 engine that really does get 110 miles per gallon.

But he's running on fumes.

"I have seen a lot of things. Was it ugly? Yeah," he told me over the phone last week. "But you learn to see what you have. And you don't cry about what you don't have."

This sober Pelmear is a faint echo of the sparkplug of an entrepreneur I met three years back. The then-successful Napoleon, Ohio, speedshop owner had combined a 19th century engine technology called the Stirling with rotating-fire cylinders and in-piston magnets to dynamically alter the horsepower and fuel consumption of traditional V-block motors.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11958479/1/the-digital-skeptic-you-could-have-a-110-mpg-vehicle-right-now.html?puc=yahoo&cm_ven=YAHOO

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Reply The Digital Skeptic: You Could Have a 110 MPG Vehicle Right Now (Original post)
Sherman A1 Jun 2013 OP
JayhawkSD Jun 2013 #1
William Seger Jun 2013 #2
rickford66 Jun 2013 #3
Orrex Jun 2013 #4
MindPilot Jun 2013 #5
catnhatnh Jun 2013 #6
EOTE Jun 2013 #7
William Seger Jun 2013 #8

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 09:42 AM

1. And he invented cold fusion, too. Also. nt

 

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:07 AM

2. He opened a plant to build 500 engines in 2009

Where are they? He then made lame excuses for why he was dropping out of the Automotive X-Prize contest to develop 100+ MPG cars. Now he's rounding up investors for a $1400 add-on device that he claims will boost mileage 30%? Kinda hard to take him seriously.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:13 AM

3. wow

Thermodynamics, friction etc. I guess my high school and college physics books were worthless. Years ago they had the Mobile Economy Run. When you drove a car to squeeze mpg out of it, it wasn't driving at all. I believe "free wheeling" is actually still illegal in most states (I'm sure someone will correct me if I misspoke). If magnets can pull a piston in one direction they can also pull it back in the other direction. Sounds like the old perpetual motion devices. I wish him good luck. His potential investors should only use disposable income for this adventure.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:22 AM

4. Probably runs on orgone.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:25 AM

5. I wish I had a nickle for every one of these stories I've heard over the years

 

The first twenty some odd years of my working life in the car biz, and I've heard this tale since day one.

Reality: If any car company could produce a viable high-mileage AND high-performance AND reliable AND economical power-plant they would. They don't, not because the oil companies pay them not to, but very simply because the technology just isn't ready for prime time...yet.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:29 AM

6. You COULD have cars approaching that mark....

...but they could only weigh hundreds-not thousands of pounds. They would have to be registered as motorcycles or "experimental" with engines under as liter or so with turbo or super chargers. Performance would be modest, safety devices reduced, and options nearly non-existent. Tall skinny tires, extreme aero restriction and low comfort with increased cabin noise. All doable and nearly all unsalable....

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:30 AM

7. I don't see internal combustion engines ever becoming that efficient.

I'd say about 33% efficiency is all we're ever going to see from an ICE alone. However, there are plenty of all electrics and on-board generator/electrics that get the MPG equivalent of 100+ MPG, and some of them, such as the Tesla Model S are even wickedly powerful. Considering the fact that these engines have dynamics which are pretty much superior to ICEs in almost every objective measure will make sure that ICEs don't have very much longer to go. Add in cheap, compact and light weight 2 speed transmissions will be coming to electric vehicles and that will tackle issues pertaining to both top speed and efficiency. I'm a gear head and I'll miss gasoline engines greatly, I'll miss manual transmissions even more. But electric motors will power the upcoming generations of cars. It's a bittersweet time for me as ICEs are really getting awesome now. We've got very high compression, direct injection engines with turbos powering economy cars now. These engines have technology that just a decade ago were reserved for supercars.

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Response to EOTE (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:25 PM

8. Pelmear is essentially claiming more than 125% efficiency

... i.e. more than 5 times the mileage of the stock big-block, which is probably less than 25% efficient and might get as much as 20 MPG only when cruising at highway speed. According to Wikipedia, he most efficient ICE today is a large turbocharged diesel used on container ships that gets 50%. I also doubt that any auto engine will ever get that efficient, but it's completely safe to say that 125% is utter bullshit.

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