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      10-27-2013, 12:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
You've hit on my pet peeve.

Ford Motor Company (as were others) was working on ceramic engine technology and had running prototypes in cars 25 years ago. The problem is introduction of new technology is expensive, and back then Governments were not subsidizing new technology introductions as they are now with electric, hybrid, and alternate fuel burning cars; leaving the automotive companies to do it all themselves. Introduction of a ceramic engine meant an entirely new manufacturing infrastructure (new manufacturing and inspection techniques, materials support, machine tools, etc.) that is highly costly to implement for low-cost mass production. Then add in the giant leap to convince the consumer that a ceramic engine (the same base technology of dishes - that break when you drop them on the floor) is as durable as a metal engine (that has been in use for 100 years), and the business risk was just too great. Also, fuel prices in the US were very low (are still very low), which does not induce the majority of consumers to risk their money on a new technology.

Jumping to today, the Progressives (Al Gore) have done a great job at villainizing the internal combustion engine as the killer of the planet. Bumping the efficiency of the ICE to nearly 95% with a ceramic engine still doesn't solve the made-up CO2 problem (it actually changes the weather you know!) because it will still use carbon based fuels and kill the planet - albeit just a bit slower. This reason alone keeps Governments from adopting and subsidizing ceramic engine technologies to reduce the business risk, so I doubt it will ever see the light of day. Imagine the advancement of the ceramic engine if even half the non-private funding that has gone into battery development (the Tesla's battery has the equivalent of 2 gallons of gasoline) went into maturing the technology for mass production. But what we'll do is try and achieve the pipe dream of battery technology that near meets the energy density of gasoline, or better yet diesel fuel, and develop a network of electric charging stations throughout the country so we can stop, have lunch, and recharge our cars.

Thanks for bringing the subject up; it's a great topic.