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Comments

Joe Willemssen

Fuel efficiency is just one piece of the puzzle.

Assume the world consumes like the US does and population grows, at current estimates, to 9.2 billion people by 2050. Also assume a global light vehicle average fuel efficiency level of 100 mpg.

If everyone in the world drove the same number of miles and owned the same number of vehicles as the average US household does now, by 2050 there would be 6.7 billion light vehicles travelling 75.1 trillion miles per year.

If those vehicles ran on gasoline, it would put out 6,665.4 Tg of CO2 per year. And if current ratios of household transportation emissions held up relative to overall emissions from petroleum consumption, then global CO2 emissions from petroleum would rise to 15,489.4 Tg by 2050 -- 42.8% higher than in 2004.

Ian Eiloart

Joe's right. The calculations you've done assume the same total number of miles driven. That's unlikely to stay the same, unless the growth in travel is taken up by some other mode of transport. Let's hope that's not flying.

Having said that, 100 m per US gallon (that's 83 miles per imperial gallon or 2.3 litres/100km) is a fairly ambitious target, and in the context of the kind of growth that Joe talks about, it would be criminal to miss that target. So, the target is necessary, but may not be sufficient.

BillK

In Europe there are many petrol engined small cars in use that average around 50 mpg (60 mpg on freeeways). If you get the diesel engined version you get around 70 mpg average (over 80 mpg on freeways). And they all meet the Euro pollution regulations.

European and Japanese manufacturers would only need quite small improvements to win a 100mpg X-Prize.

Maybe you need to up it to 150 mpg or restrict it to US manufacturers.

Neal Anderson

You all make great points.

Indeed fuel efficiency is only part of the picture. CO2 (and other GHG) emissions are also a main focus of this prize, likely from a "wells-to-wheels" perspective, and will be a top-level metric along with fuel efficiency. I was isolating fuel efficiency mainly to make the argument as to why 100 MPG is significant.

I'm afraid there's not much this prize can do about population growth, but there is something we can do about behavior. We intend to put a lot of effort into educating the public about all of these issues, and what they can do to contribute to solutions.

Your great comments and engaged, reasonable concern are just what we need.

Thank you,

Neal

BillK

You got it the wrong way round, Ian.
The US gallon is smaller than the UK Imperial gallon. 100 miles per US gallon is 120 miles per UK gallon.
US gallon = 3.785 litres,
UK (Imperial) gallon = 4.546 litres.

So the European small diesel cars still need much improvement to get up to 120 mpUKgal.

The X-Prize also needs to be clear whether the mpg target is for all-round driving, in cities as well as freeways. Cruising around a level track at a steady 56 mph can achieve astounding mpg figures.

Colin B

VW will suspend diesel car production for a few years. Jeep is suspending the diesel Liberty. The small diesel passenger car sells well in Europe, India, Asia, North and South America. The Union Of Concerned Scientists has said that these small diesels are GREEN. This is because they are so efficient. Why is there no tollerance for these cars here?

This technology is simple and well-proven. All that is required to improve it is to do what VW did with the (3liter) Polo. Lighten it up.

Someday my diesel Beetle will need to be replaced and I am not going to have the choice of another one here in the US.

BillK

VW will offer a diesel version of its Touareg SUV in '07, and the company plans to build extra '06 diesel Jettas, which it hopes to sell well into next year.

A new diesel Jetta that meets emissions standards in all 50 states should be available for the 2008 model year.

http://www.cars.com/go/news/Story.jsp?section=news&subject=recent&story=053006storybFP&referer=&aff=national

But the Jetta is rather a big car by European mini car standards. :)

Manu Sharma

Great observations by everyone. The first and third comments alone make it obvious that 100mpg is not enough.

I previously pointed out in another comment that if I convert my small car to CNG, I'd get a fuel efficiency equivalent of 150 MPG today.

Experts point out that in order to addess climate change sufficiently we need to reduce CO2 emissions by the order of 60%-80% in the next ten years!

That's a huge, huge challenge. With the growing number of vehicles in China and India it seems obvious that we need to completely get off our reliance on oil and look at alternative sources. The cleanest alternative, of course, is an electric vehicle powered by solar power.

Tesla Motors, the only promising company in upcoming EVs, already plans to partly power its Roadster by solar energy. But what we need is their family car and we need it now.

Manu Sharma

Sorry, too many comments today. If I could add one last thing... I was just struck by the thought that basing the prize on a target fuel consumption might be fundamentally flawed. In fact, that is not relevant at all. Let me explain:

What you *really* want to is to alter that figure - you want to take the average fuel consumption in US to 100mpg. Producing a car that gives 100mpg might not neccessarily be the way to do it. I can think of two ways of achieving that:

a) A 100mpg car that's not only phenomenally successful but features a new technology that quickly becomes industry standard. Other automakers should be free to adopt it and all cars produced in the coming years reach or exceed that level of efficiency.

OR

b) A car that has a phenomenal efficiency (say, 300mpg) and outsells all other cars in the market for several years.

Either of these conditions would need to be met to drastically increase that average very quickly, which I believe is your fundamental goal (or if not, it should be).

So, essentially what that means is that the fuel economy of the car is largely irrelevant. What's needed instead is a car that brings about massive change in the industry, taking the average fuel economy to 100mpg in a just few years.

NealAnderson

Manu, thank you for your good points. Of course, the best path all depends on your end goals... is it oil independence? Reducing global warming emissions? Saving money?

Increasing the fleet average MPG is indeed a great end goal. That said, an increase in fleet average MPG to 100 isn't necessary to make a huge impact. If the entire fleet today were to magically change to have the average efficiency of today's Prius, we could cut our gasoline use in half.

We have to start somewhere (and this is an X PRIZE after all). The best place for us to start is to focus on super-efficient vehicles and help tip the market in that direction.

Andre N.

Someone above mentioned Tesla Motors. For the Automotive X Prize, can a fully-electric car be considered a winner if it gets the equivalent efficiency of 100+ MPG? Depending on what the prize rules are (your guidelines do say "technology-neutral"), I think any fully electric car should be allowed to enter (and suspect that the Tesla Roadster may win).

NealAnderson

Yes Andre, any fully-electric car will be able to enter and should have just as good of a shot at winning as any other entrant.

Manu Sharma

Neal, thanks for your response. You said:

"If the entire fleet today were to magically change to have the average efficiency of today's Prius, we could cut our gasoline use in half."

Yes. But the question is, how will this happen? Can we be certain that introduction of a highly efficient car would automatically lead to this? Has the introduction of Prius affected the average efficiency over the past five years? Is the introduction of more Hybrids this year likely to effect average over the coming years? Or does selling of other low efficiency cars in more numbers mitigating that effect?

This might be the most challengng X PRIZE from all the others that have been announced. You have to ensure that you introduce a highly efficient car AND that it outsells any other car, to have any meaningful effect on the average.

Which is why I think an all electric vehicle with a 150-200 mile range, maximum speed of 150 miles an hour and priced around $15,000 with option to be powered through solar power will make the greatest impact.

Ken Fry

I don't agree with Manu that the winner would have to introduce a highly efficient car that outsells all others. I think it is challenge enough to simply sell enough to be visible. (The first to 5000 units wins, for example.) The intent of the prize should not be to make an immediate large change in the overall fleet efficiency, but to stimulate imagination, draw attention to the importance of fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, and to show what is commercially possible. Overall fleet efficiency will then follow.

We already have examples of 200 mpg cars and 400 mpg motorcycles that are of intellectual interest to engineers. What we need is a vehicle that captures the market's interest: dramatically efficient, but practical to own and use. With visibility, such a car can begin to change the way people think about what they need in a car. It is extremely unlikely that any such car will offer phenomenal mileage, phenomenal comfort, phenomenal cargo space, and a phenomenal bargain. Rather, the winner could show what compromises the market will accept and create a climate in which ultra high efficiency sells.

150 MPG and 5000 units wins. The challenge is as much marketing and education as it is engineering. Let’s not forget that Hummers have outsold Jetta diesels.


Ed Danzer

To have maximum impact on environmental benefit, the X PRIZE rules will need to define the wells to wheels values for fuels used as part of the rules. As a person with technology to compete in this contest, how you define the environmental value of the fuels, construction materials and methods, and recycling costs will effect design decisions. Electric vehicle technology may have hidden recycling cost that current manufactures hide. Ultra low sulfur diesel requires more energy to produce than low sulfur diesel, how does this compare to gasoline? Has anyone actually compared the generated electricity to the billed energy to see what the net efficiency of the grid is to the end user?

Ken Fry

I agree with Mr. Danzer that a wells-to-wheels analysis should be done to enable the various vehicles to compete fairly. At the same time, I'd have to admit that the prospect of actually carrying out a thorough analysis gives me headaches. Where do you draw all the various lines: Do you count the energy used in exploration? In digging up the coal vs drilling an oil well? The energy that goes into producing and transporting the pesticides used in growing biofuel? How about environmental costs: the cost of cleaning up the rare nuke meltdown, ordinary nuclear waste disposal costs, the too-frequent oil spill, the dust generated in digging coal?

Realizing that we’ve got to get started quickly, and realizing that the foundation money should be spent carefully (so that potential winners, like me, can have more!!) it seems the analysis should be kept simple. To simplify the analysis we could consider only the likely fuels – those for which a strong infrastructure already exists: gasoline, diesel, or electricity from the grid. Perhaps we weight them simply on how many gallons of each can be made from a gallon of crude. Regarding electricity: Coal, natural gas, and petroleum account for about 70% of generation today. Convert the total of fossil fuel input into crude oil equivalent and then determine the kilowatt hours to the consumer (after in-plant and line losses – totaling about 13% or so, I think) per gallon of crude input. There you have it!

While doing this analysis, one should remember that the figures will apply only to certifying that a competitor meets the fuel efficiency goal of the competition. Given that most will have a comfortable margin over the minimum, being extremely precise is probably unnecessary: the contest will be won by sales numbers, not by fuel efficiency numbers. Maybe we should build in some slop: it would be a shame to have a really successful vehicle producing 98 mpg eliminated from the competition, only to find that is sells in huge numbers, and has a far more significant effect on the stated goals than the actual “winner.” (On the other hand, if the bar is set at 100mpg – instead of 150, as I advocated elsewhere, maybe that is all the slop we need.)

syawal

I should add that the challenge for 100MPG is not significant. Because the Japan automaker such as Toyota or Honda will be the record within a year or so. This is not a challenge about going to out of space which require billion of dollar. But the stakes of producing the practical technology to make farthest mileage with the lowest energy consumption. It also need to be reasonable cost efficent to produce. Some other point is, the car should be required to be rigorously tested on diffent geographic (In middle east, asia, etc).

Ken Fry

I can’t agree with Seywal’s suggestion that 100 mpg is insignificant. The trends indicate that large-scale sales of 100 MPG vehicles is anything but a done deal. Given that a thirty year old diesel Rabbit gets better fuel efficiency than the new diesel Jetta (with EPA hwy estimates of just 42 MPG), I doubt that 100 MPG cars are just a year or two away. (You might say: “What about the various plug-in Prius kits?” The outlandish claims for these vehicles applies only to the first 20-or-so miles driven, and fails to take into account the environmental cost and inefficiencies in generating the electricity used to partially “fuel” them. [The US DOE puts generating and distribution efficiency at only 33%, I was surprised to read recently.])

The hybrid trend at Honda, Toyota, and Ford has been to bring out low-efficiency, but large, powerful and luxurious vehicles, such as the Accord hybrid, the Lexus SUV hybrid, the Toyota Highlander hybrid, and the Escape hybrid. The Prius and Insight are becoming exceptions rather than the rule. Of the large vehicles just mentioned, the Ford Escape gets the best mileage per EPA numbers, but users are getting mid 20’s MPG – a long, long way from 100 MPG. (Source: Hybridcars.com) The EPA figures for the Accord are actually lower than those for my standard gas 2004 Accord. Lower!

The other moderately fuel-efficient non-hybrid cars available in the US, such as the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, offer no better fuel efficiency than my 16 year old Daihatsu, according to EPA figures. So no, I don’t think 100 MPG is a done deal.

I also don’t agree that we should impose a requirement to test in multiple countries. This would put a burden on small companies. After all, even the largest manufacturers don’t make “world cars” (despite Ford’s claim to having done that with the Escort many years ago). No vehicle sold in Europe is legal for sale in the US, because the safety and emission standards are different. For many other locations, the discrepancies are even larger. Therefore, in the short term, most of these vehicles will be limited in marketability to the country or region for which they are created. Even Toyota, a huge company, released the Prius incrementally to additional markets. After many years on the market, the Smart Car is only now (apparently) coming to the US.

Certainly, the largest energy consumption and CO2 emissions problem is in the US, where we consume orders of magnitude more energy than we should. So I think it is reasonable for the winner to be required to at least have the potential to be sold here. To that end, competing vehicles should have to comply, as a minimum, with the US emission standards, which will generally put them on solid footing in other countries. These standards are easy to meet in any country – the technology is very widely available. Safety standards are not quite so simple, but I think it is reasonable to suggest that vehicles should meet, at least, the intent of the US standards (with leeway given for components that are not “DOT or SAE approved” but which are equivalent).

Actually, this challenge may be more difficult than going out into space, which only required millions (if you are referring to cost of winning the first X Prize), not billions. Suppose the winner eventually sells 100,000 vehicles per year at $15,000 each. (These would be small numbers for a successful model in the US market.) Capitalization for that level of production is likely, in rule-of-thumb terms, to equal one year’s gross revenue: 1.5 billion. Disrupting the current trends will be neither easy nor cheap.

Mike Patterson

Our company already produces a practical vehicle
that gets well over 250 mpg @ 53mph, with no emissions.
And, in fact, no gallons.

This exo-bionic human electric hybrid is called the Twike.

There have been purely human powered or solar powered vehicles that can travel over 70 mph on continuous sunshine or pedal power alone: about 200 watts.

Amory Lovins' "Hypercar" concept vehicle design is a workable 100 mpg, fast, safe machine, in an SUV size, no less, that has been around for years. He can't get funding for mass production.

The problem is in no way technical, only political and economic.

Which is not to trivialize it: The things that have to happen politically and economically to get a person on the moon are much more complex and difficult than the scientific/technical side. The physics of catapaulting objects through gravitational fields is well-known, the art of herding wild monkeys has yet to be mastered.

And we could certainly use a lot more funding and support in our work. Instead, the government gives billions to the big three, for things like "The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles". GM, Ford, & Daimler accept the money, laughing up their sleeves, while the really dynamic small startups are passed over. Apparently, they seem to divert the wealth to pay for Hummer advertising.

I remember the bad old days when the US government literally bailed Chrysler out of bankruptcy. It would have been much wiser to let them crash, as a harsh object lesson in free market economics, and instead invested the money in new technologies and startups.

The good, or perhaps bad, news is that it looks like this change will soon be forced upon us, not a choice. If, over the next 100 years, the number of vehicles on earth increases ten fold, to match the human population, so that each human has a vehicle, efficiency must increase ten fold as well in order to keep overall resource consumption at today's levels. If we assume resource scarcity, then efficiency may have to increase one hundred fold in order for each human to have mechanized mobility.

This brings up the question, do we really want a world populated by ten billion cars? The ultimate answer may lie in architecture, rather than transportation. Dense urban architectures completely surrounded by very large tracts of open land, all exclusively pedestrian accessible, may help us to reduce our use of automobiles by 90% or more, rather than simply increasing the efficiency of the autos. While simultaneously and massively improving our quality of lives.

These "arcologies" could be connected by air, rail, and underground links, nature trails, and yes, automotive roads. But auto driving would be reduced to an occasional hobby for a few enthusiasts, rather than a daily necessity for the great mass of people.

mike shurtleff

I disagree with Mr Patterson that the problem is political, or at least that regulation will lead to the best solution. It is economic and that is where things are changing. As pointed out already Tesla motors has an electric sports car with 250 mile range and true 0 to 60 sports car performance. It is an EV and therefore has infinite mpg, no gas is used. It is expensive at $100,000 but they sold the first 100 cars for 2007 within three weeks time. That's a successful market niche, isn't it?

Some comments on your XPRIZE requirements:

1. PHEVs make sense because the vehicle can use any source of electricity to augment gas use...at price savings to consumer. New battery techonology (Li Ion from at least 3 major manufactures, EEStor if proves out, and improvement to Pb acid from 2 others) will allow PHEVs to run "electric only" and still have high performance for freeway driving. The national average is only something like 20-30 miles per day. The people at Trinity have pointed that 40 miles of all electric driving would save 75% of gas use.
http://afstrinity.com/extr.html
REQUIREMENT 1: 40-60 miles all electric
(I like 60 better. 50% margin.)
(25% gas used = 1/4)

2. Liked your graph showing impact of 100 mpg, but x-axis is not clear and would like know what you are using as a starting mpg. I'll assume 25 mpg reduced to 100 mpg, for 75% reduction in gas use.
REQUIREMENT 2: 100 mpg after reaching all electric range and not included in 100 mpg calculation. (25% gas used = 1/4)

Note: req 1 + req 2 = 25% * 25% = 6.25% gas used = 1/16

3. The Prius HEV has out sold the Honda HEVs by a large margin. I conjecture two reasons: (a) The Toyota Prius HEV can be modified to run EV and to be a PHEV. It is an evolutionary step in the PHEV and EV direction. The Honda HEVs are not. (b) The 50-60 mpg mileage Honda Insight HEV only carries two. The 45-50 mpg Toyota Prius HEV carries up to five. Families can often not afford an extra two person car that cannot be used to transport the kids. Others may need the space for gear.
REQUIREMENT 3: 5 person sedan with some cargo space.

4. Cost is an issue, but less so for car that can save this much on gas.
REQUIREMENT 4: less than $30,000 (WAG)

5. Startup companies, like Tesla Motors, are the ones that are interested and need help bringing these break-throughs to market. Don't use required numbers manufactured to make this prize inaccessible to them.
REQUIREMENT 5: 100 per year (WAG)

6. Amory Lovins and David Cramer have shown that the weight of the car is hugely significant to improving mpg.
http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid18.php
More readable article and explanation of this:
http://www.discover.com/issues/feb-06/features/energizer/
One of my complaints is with people who want me to drive a smaller car to cut gas use. They're not safe. I have two kids. No amount of gas saving is worth risking their lives...sorry. This is the third reason I bought a Prius. It's bigger and will survive a crash better. ...but there is a better way. Composites are stronger than steal and lighter than aluminium. YOU CAN DOUBLE YOUR GAS MILEAGE AND STILL HAVE A SAFE CAR BY SWITCHING FROM STEAL TO COMPOSITES. Tesla Motors and Aptera seem to think they can do make use of composites and still make a marketable car. Most of other stuff listed above will become available from several sources, but few are tackling this one. Even Toyota and Honda are sticking with metal body vehicles. The benefits of composites could be huge here.
REQUIREMENT 6: Composite Body and Structure that protects driver and passengers from harm on impact. (THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT YOU COULD HAVE.)

7. The difference between reduced mileage I see on short drives with my Prius(~45 mpg), verses my long steady drive to work (>50 mpg), is lost energy from momentum to heat when braking. More stops on the short drive to town. Improvements are needed in the regenerative braking. This will probably happen as another benefit of the improved battery technology mentioned above (improved power density and in addition to the imporved energy density)
REQUIREMENT 7: Four wheel regenerative breaking. 80% energy savings when decelerating from 60 mph to stop over 1,000 meters. (WAG) (optional requirement)

8. Longer range than the 250 miles provided by the Tesla would be nice for longer trips. What do I do for long trips with this car? Half a day of driving and then recharge at a hotel outlet all night? Should be easy to add a small turbine generator/charger and few gallon tank. Charge as you go on long trips. Tesla Motors might think about a 120 mile range all-electric, with a very small turbine generator and gas/diesel/ethanol tank, as possible improvement.
REQUIREMENT 8: 500 mile range (WAG)

Hope this helps out.

ps Mr. Patterson, Loved your line about "The physics of catapaulting objects through gravitational fields is well-known, the art of herding wild monkeys has yet to be mastered." Funny and insightful. I have to disagree about legislation to push public transportation though. Good idea in theory, but hasn't worked in spite of many efforts. Maybe in the future. EV buses anyone?

Ken Fry

It has been a while since my last comment. I am pleased to see Mr Patterson’s comments: the Twike is a really nice product. If this were a purely rational world, at least half of the commuters in the US would be traveling in Twikes, if the economics worked out. Many of us could bicycle to work, but don’t feel that we have the time, or the stamina, or feel that we need some weather protection. The Twike is a great solution – faster, easier, more comfortable and you’re out of the weather.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a rational world, and people buy SUV’s to assuage their various insecurities. If the X prize can help to change the perceptions of car buyers so that they begin to buy vehicles more like the Twike and less like SUV’s, then the competition will have been a huge success. Whatever the prize money ends up being, it will be a tiny fraction of the overall benefit to the world that would come from changing buying habits.

Personally, I think the Twike may be a little too small to sell in the numbers that will make a dent in the overall fuel consumption in the US. But I think the car that Mr. Shurtleff describes is a little too big. Taking a car the size of a Prius and reducing its weight by 15% via composite construction will not create a vehicle that can achieve 100+ MPG in combined driving, using current hybrid technology. Recharging from the grid is economical, but shifts the fossil fuel usage and pollution to someone else’s neighborhood. So a plug-in hybrid will offer some real reductions in gasoline usage, but more modest reductions in overall fossil fuel consumption and pollution.

It’s probably unrealistic to think that you can push around a large car and get better than 100 MPG (or its energy equivalent) consistently, whether the fuel is coming from a gas pump or the grid. According to the US DOE, electricity is delivered from fuel to the average home at about 30% efficiency (36% projected by 2030). If we assume 80% efficiency in the vehicle (from battery charging through the controller, the motor, and to the tires) then the overall fossil fuel efficiency is about 24% for an “electric” car. This is about the same as current gasoline engine efficiency. So whether a car is electric, hybrid, or gasoline powered, there is no free lunch. The real efficiency gains must come from pushing around smaller vehicles, barring some dramatic breakthrough in engine technology.

Although Mr. Shurtleff’s comments are well-intentioned, I think that the marketplace is a much better place to decide details of construction and specific technologies used. The minimum sales numbers should be far higher than he suggests: selling 100 Teslas is insignificant in a world where Ford sells 900,000 F150’s in a year. I think it is important to stick with the original concept of this challenge: the winning vehicle gets 100 plus MPG, and is the first to sell (some number of) thousands. Otherwise, we encourage limited production cars that may be very, very nice, but that have little impact on the stated goals:
• Radically reduce oil consumption and harmful emissions.
• Result in a new generation of super-efficient and desirable mainstream vehicles that people want to buy.

Michael Colburn

Fuel Economy and Energy Equations

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has calculated that we use 12% to 20 % of the original energy contained in gasoline to propel passenger cars and light-duty trucks. In other words: We lose more than we use. For diesel-powered engines, the comparable figure, according to the best estimates, is approximately 40%.

http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10172&page=31

If this is, in fact, true, in order to improve fuel economy, we need to examine the real problem: the fuel’s energy efficiency. In recent decades, the automobile industry has done a superb job of producing well-engineered vehicles that meet increasingly-stringent emissions and fuel economy standards, while, on the whole, protecting profit margins for shareholders.

While much attention has been focused on developing more fuel-efficient engines and more aerodynamic bodies, one area that has not received the consideration it deserves is the fuel itself. Since 1990 various government regulations have required the use of “cleaner-burning” fuels as a means to improve the nation’s air quality. As well intended as these regulations may have been, they were enacted with little or no attention paid to their effect on fuel efficiency. While the goals of promoting fuel efficiency and improving air quality are by no means incompatible, we need to ensure that the pursuit of one does not interfere with the achievement of the other. With this in mind, let’s examine the various fuels and their energy content.


Ethanol- Ethanol in the USA is grain alcohol and is sold in many forms and places through USA. You may have seen it by one of the names listed below.

E-100 or E-98 = This is 200 proof alcohol
Energy content = 76,330 BTUs per gallon

E-85 = This is 15% gasoline and 85% E-98
Energy content = 80,000 BTUs per gallon

E-10 = This is 90% gasoline and 10% E-98
Energy content = 111,500 BTUs per gallon

Unleaded Gasoline, sold in many places in the USA
Energy content is seasonal. Energy content varies between
108,500 BTU’s and 117,000 BTUs per gallon

Number 2 Diesel = sold in many places in the USA
Energy content = 129,500 BTUs per gallon

B-2 Biodiesel = 2% Biodiesel and 98% Petro Diesel
Energy content = 129,276 BTUs per gallon

B-20 Biodiesel = 20% Biodiesel and 80% Petro Diesel
Energy content = 127,259 BTUs per gallon

B-100 Biodiesel = This fuel is made from plant based products like Soy
or it can be made from recycled restaurant greases and fats.
Energy content = 118,296 BTUs per gallon

Now that we know the basic average energy content of our most common transportation fuels, let’s do the math with what the NAS says our fuel efficiency is.


Using unleaded gasoline as our baseline, let’s calculate see what the numbers are:

Unleaded Gasoline =
117,000 BTUs x 12% = 14,040 BTUs used.
102,960 BTUs unused/lost.
117,000 BTUs x 20% = 23,400 BTUs used.
93,600 BTUs unused/lost.

E-10 Gasoline + Ethanol =
111,500 BTUs x 12% = 13380 BTUs used.
98,120 BTUs unused/lost.
111,500 BTUs x 20% = 22,300 BTUs used
89,200 BTUs unused/lost.

E-85 Ethanol + gasoline =
80,000 BTUs x 12% = 9,600 BTUs used.
70,400 BTUs unused/lost.
80,000 BTUs x 20% = 16,000 BTUs used.
64,000 BTUs unused/lost.

E-100/E-98 =
76,330 BTUs x 12% = 9,159 BTUs used
67,171 BTUs unused/lost.
76,330 BTUs x 20% = 15,266 BTUs used
61,064 BTUs unused/lost.

Now let’s do the same exercise using Number 2 Diesel as a baseline.

Number 2 Diesel =
129,500 BTUs x 40% = 51,800 BTUs used
77,700 BTUs unused/lost

B-2 Biodiesel =
129,276 BTUs x 40% = 51,710 BTUs used
77,566 BTUs unused/lost

B-20 Biodiesel =
127,259 BTUs x 40% = 50,903 BTUs used
76,356 BTUs unused/lost

B-100 Biodiesel =
118,296 BTUs = 47,318 BTUs used
70,978 BTUs unused/lost

Comparing the energy use vs. the energy unused, or lost, the key questions are:

How do we liberate mote BTUs for use?

Why aren’t the fuels we are currently using providing us with more BTUs for use?

Why don’t we have high-compression E-85-powered engines?

How can we increase burn speed and fast burn?

The late John G. Bathe, who for 27 years was Engine Laboratory Manager at Magneti-Marelli engine systems in Farmington Hills, Michigan, had this to say:

“The question is not how much of the fuel we are burning. We know that. The question is: When are we burning it?”

Theoretically 100 miles per gallon is possible....

Garko Novis

buying gas has become a major investment decision, as in "do i invest in some food so i can get thru the day or some gas so i can get where i have to go?" It should never be this way but it is. But that doesn't mean we have to just suffer. There is a real solution in Water4Gas and you owe it to yourself to check it out! http://w4g4mpg.info

Garko Novis

buying gas has become a major investment decision, as in "do i invest in some food so i can get thru the day or some gas so i can get where i have to go?" It should never be this way but it is. But that doesn't mean we have to just suffer. There is a real solution in Water4Gas and you owe it to yourself to check it out! http://w4g4mpg.info

Martha Maddy

How about compressed air running our vehicles? Wouldn't that be an answer to our problem? It could be combined with electricity or gasline engine to compress the air. I understand some of these cars are being made in India.

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