Electric vs. Combustion engines... Electric engines are the way of the future
Debate Rounds (5)
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.
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% , compare this to the maximum power plant energy production efficiency of approximately 85 %  and transmission efficiency of 85% , and an energy efficiency of .45  you get an overall electrical motor efficiency of 32% moderately worse than that of the potential ICE.
Sources provided in comments
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?
Will people convert? Only if the price comes down enough, relative to that of the ICE.
Sources placed in comments.
jacksonbowen0202 forfeited this round.
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.
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?
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 :  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.
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 forfeited this round.
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