Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Michael asks: If saving fuel is important, why are hydraulic-hybrids not in use? https://www.epa.gov/cati/hydraulic-hybrid-vehicles Just curious for your opinions on that idea.
My reply: The premise is faulty, first of all. It’s the government which insists (and pretends) that fuel economy is important. Most buyers regard fuel economy as one among many attributes, with others – such as capability, room performance – taking precedence.
The government isn’t really concerned about fuel economy – leaving aside whether this is any of the government’s legitimate business in a free society. If it did care as much as it pretends to about gas mileage, it would encourage lighter cars, for one. And, diesels. It actively thwarts both.
As regards hydraulic hybrids: Any alternative that doesn’t curtail mobility, whether via high cost or some other (technical) method is automatically memory holed because the object is to curtail mobility… not to find a better (cheaper/more efficient) form of mobility.
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At the very least, I can’t figure out why 4wd/AWD isn’t accomplished by the use of hydraulic or electric motors just to eliminate the long driveshaft ???
Heck, I think John Deere was using hydraulic front wheel assist on their road graders about 30 or 40 years ago.
Then there was Letourneau and his wheel hub electric motors. Nothing new under the sun.