A num­bers game

Motor Equipment News - - CONTENTS - ED SPEAK

New Zealand is one of only a few coun­tries that pro­duces most of its elec­tric­ity from sus­tain­able sources. Look around the world, and you’ll find that most other coun­tries rely heav­ily on coal, or even nu­clear en­ergy, to light, heat and power their cities, to drive their elec­tric trains, and, yes, to charge their elec­tric cars.

It’s a co­nun­drum. Driv­ing an elec­tric car doesn’t make you a world-saver if the power comes from a car­bon diox­ide belch­ing coal power sta­tion any more than does rid­ing a bi­cy­cle and then eat­ing fresh pro­duce that’s been flown half­way around the world in an air­craft which uses fos­sil fu­els.

And the bat­ter­ies to drive th­ese elec­tric cars use ma­te­ri­als which are mined all over the globe, us­ing ma­chin­ery driven by fos­sil fu­els, and shipped to cen­tral points, us­ing ships which burn fos­sil fu­els, trucks which burn fos­sil fu­els, and in many cases trains which burn fos­sil fu­els.

I’ve said this be­fore, but much more can be achieved in cut­ting down on car­bon diox­ide by pro­duc­ing more ef­fi­cient in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gined (ICE) ve­hi­cles than by pro­duc­ing elec­tric cars whose power source is, to put it bluntly, tainted.

And that’s why savvy en­gi­neers are still try­ing to make ICE ve­hi­cles which are ever-cleaner, ever more fru­gal, and ever more ac­cept­able.

One such ex­am­ple is cov­ered by news of the Cam­con IVA mo­tor on page 24. It’s an en­gine which dig­i­tally con­trols ev­ery valve in­de­pen­dently, lead­ing to mas­sive ef­fi­cien­cies. At the same time Bosch has al­ready shown it can dra­mat­i­cally cut down on diesel emis­sions (see page 23 June is­sue), and Mazda and Nis­san are al­ready build­ing en­gines which show huge sav­ings com­pared to just a cou­ple of years ago.

The fu­ture may well be elec­tric, and we will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing all as­pects of this, in real time us­ing real peo­ple, in our reg­u­lar “EVal­u­a­tion” col­umn, which de­buts on page 18 this is­sue.

But there’s also still a fu­ture for the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine, pro­vided we get the lat­est tech­nol­ogy onto our roads, and the old gas guz­zlers off them. Sim­ply put, it’s a num­bers game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.