Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Alfred asks: I have thought a combination of a small turbine running at constant optimal speed (when turned on) driving a generator that feeds a smaller battery pack could be the way to go for EVs. Only 1 moving part on a turbine. Have heard there are small additional turbines on some helicopters that generate electricity. This way will give you unlimited range like a gas car and also efficiency.
My reply: It’s possible this has been looked into; I know turbine powerplants were explored back in the ’50s and ’60s. But your question begs a question…
Current IC cars are economical and practical; were it not for all the government saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety edicts, we would be able to buy brand-new IC cars that averaged 60-plus MPG, emitted virtually no harmful emissions and cost $10,000 or less.
Even with all the edicts, one can buy a brand-new IC economy compact capable of 40 MPG that suffers from no inherent functional gimps for $15,000 or so. There’s no economic reason to buy cars powered by electricity or any other technology. Perhaps, one day, a more economical alternative will be developed and on that day, it will make economic sense to buy an EV.
But not today.
. . .
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