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Goodness Ugwumba Opara

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What is the future of the internal combustion engine?

Some people believe this engine will be phased out eventually. Others think it'll only get better and better as the years roll on. I think there's an an upper boundary to how much better it can become, and therefore there'll come a day when someone will build a museum for them. What do you think?

With electric vehicles on the horizon and battery technology improving each year, a bright future for these engines is becoming harder and harder to see.


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    Sep 1 2013: I would like to see a revival of the steam driven car, like the Stanley Steamer. At the turn of the 20th century, a kerosene boiler was needed to heat the water sufficiently and after about 15-20 minutes you could go. These days I'm sure that lag time could be drastically reduced. With that said, there could be things other than gasoline that could make engines more efficient and extend the usefulness of the internal combustion engine for a long time to come.
    • Sep 3 2013: I remember some time back reading that BMW was experimenting with a steam/internal combustion engine hybrid. They are working to convert wasted heat from the exhaust and radiator of an internal combustion engine to drive a steam turbine to supplement power to the drive train. They reported a 15% gain in fuel efficiency.

      I understand that in the 1920s some steam cars was still being built. I was told that the Baker Steam Car (Not to be confused with Baker Electric) could start with a minute of heating though I could not find any proof of this on the Internet. I did find a video of a 1925 Doble Steamer that could start with 2 minutes of heating. The video is Jay Leno (owner) explaining the tech and demonstrating it.

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        Sep 3 2013: there are also 6 stroke engines, for example the crower design. interesting concept. these designs are viable from an engineering standpoint, but pose serious discomfort for the user, and thus not marketable.

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