The Instigator
jacksonbowen0202
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
CJames
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Electric vs. Combustion engines... Electric engines are the way of the future

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/7/2016 Category: Cars
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 576 times Debate No: 87817
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

jacksonbowen0202

Pro

I am arguing that Electric engines will be the way of future automotive power. This is because combustion engines require natural gas, and natural gas is dwindling (http://e360.yale.edu...). With natural Gas coming to its inevitable end, what will future sources of energy entail? I believe electricity will give the human race the well need source of energy they long for. Please tell me why you think I am wrong, or why you agree with me. Also please provide evidence of your claims so that I may be able to truly understand your views.
CJames

Con

I will show that electric engines, which will certainly become more prevalent, will likely never completely replace the internal combustion engine, for all future arguments ICE.

The first misconception is that an ICE must use some type of carbon fuel, while currently the most efficient fuels available these are by no means the only ones. It is possible to produce an ICE that uses any fuel that oxidizes. While there are various safety concerns to be maintained many other fuels can be quite safe to implement, even Hydrogen.

The practical maximum efficiency of any ICE is approximately 37% [1], compare this to the maximum power plant energy production efficiency of approximately 85 % [2] and transmission efficiency of 85% [3], and an energy efficiency of .45 [4] you get an overall electrical motor efficiency of 32% moderately worse than that of the potential ICE.

Sources provided in comments
Debate Round No. 1
jacksonbowen0202

Pro

Thank you for your response. I certain see where your views are coming from and I feel as though you are familiar with this material. Can you possible elaborate more on other forms of fuel and the efficiency they have, in your next response? this will better help me see your point of view.

I do agree with your claim that ICE efficiency at the moment is higher than an EE (electric engine). However my only concern is with the current ICE carbon fuels that we are using at the moment (i.e. fossil fuels/ natural gas). With resources for these current carbon fuels depleting at an alarming rate (https://www.ecotricity.co.uk...) and with the advantages that come from switching to EV (electric vehicles) (http://www.conserve-energy-future.com...) (w/ some disadvantages), do you not think that the drivers of today will see the more accessible alternative (at the moment) to be more suitable?
CJames

Con

There are many alternative fuels possible, currently alcohol and water engines both exist. [5],[6] While suffering from some efficiency problems, with time the technologies will improve. It is also possible, but expensive, to switch to a pure hydrogen system, though doing so poses additional challenges for safety. The alcohol system works exactly the way your current engine does, except instead of burning long chain hydrocarbons, it burns ethanol (C2H5OH) which is easily produced at home. If you have a home brewery you make ethanol for consumption. It does require conversion of some of the parts, as ethanol isn't quite as explosive as standard gasoline (petrol). It is even possible to produce ethanol from certain bio-waste products. [7] This covers just the current line of products that are non-standard, there is also bio-diesel available as well.

Will people convert? Only if the price comes down enough, relative to that of the ICE.

Sources placed in comments.
Debate Round No. 2
jacksonbowen0202

Pro

jacksonbowen0202 forfeited this round.
CJames

Con

In the end, a switch over requires that all aspects of the production and cost of running of EVs is cheaper than the production and cost of ICEs. When this is the case, and only when this is the case can the EV dominate the market.

The problem here, and this is my opinion (though well educated, my degree is Chemical Engineering), is that ICEs will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future. Because the technology is 100+ years old we have the opportunity to refine it in ways not thought of. Improving combustion, weight reduction of components, etc. And while the newer EVs certainly have a large capacity for improvement, it will take at least 100 years for them to catch up to where ICEs will be at that point.

The depletion of carbon based fuels isn't really a major concern, as the ICE can be, and has been, adapted to other fuel sources as shown above. As such, only the ability to improve the engine becomes an issue.
Debate Round No. 3
jacksonbowen0202

Pro

Please forgive me for not responding in round 3.

Thank you for elaborating on the efficiency of alternative carbon fuels. I agree that there are other carbons fuels that can be used in ICE. However, when you state that the EE is much further behind than the ICE, i find my self a little lost. Yes, I agree with the fact that there has been "100+" years of technological advances in the ICE that the EE does not have. But when you started discussing the new forms of fuel that can replace "standard gas", i became confused. If they are new fuels, wont they too require new technologies that will create challenges? making them a difficult alternative to EE. Please elaborate on how you expect they new fuels to become integrated into society better than EE.

I can see that these production costs would be a problem. However, the EV provided monetary savings (in the link I provided above). Why would this not make EVs dominate?

Also, I am a mechanical engineering student, am I not qualified?
CJames

Con

No, the basics of the ICE are defined by the Otto Cycle, and the technology is fairly simple. Changing fuels only requires, relatively, minor retooling of existing engines. Although, as with the Ethanol, some fuels do have other concerns to be thought about.

In short, anything that burns can be used as a fuel for an ICE, but the specifics of how the ICE works may need to be adjusted. The only 'requirement' is that the fuel be capable of burning, and ideally have a high vapor pressure, though the latter is NOT a requirement, as it is possible, to use lower vapor pressure fuels.

While your link makes the claim that it is cheaper, it provides no sources... This source : [8] https://www.masterresource.org... shows that the price of an EV only becomes cheaper at $3.50/gal of gas US. Currently much of the US sees costs below $3.00/gal. Of course this varies by the local costs of energy as well.
Debate Round No. 4
jacksonbowen0202

Pro

thank you for your views during this debate.

After 4 rounds of reading through you views and evidence. I have to admit that you have made me be able to clearly see your views. Although my views at the moment have not changed, the information you provided will help me with further research on the topic.

One of the last things I will say is that I hope that your were able to understand my viewpoint as well. I still believe that Electric Engines are the way of the future, but for now the human race will have to rely on ICEs and the alternative fuels sources that will be provided
CJames

Con

CJames forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Quadrunner 1 year ago
Quadrunner
The fact that you did not even mention the possibility of a flux capacitor and the other fact that they're called electric motors inhibits me from joining this otherwise interesting debate.
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