Industry expert Richard Parry-Jones talks about the replacement of displacement in latest article
8 October 2008

The motor car will have to adopt a mix of electric, petrol-electric and diesel-electric powertrains if it’s going to survive into the second half of the 21st century according to automotive emissions expert Richard Parry-Jones.Formerly Ford’s head of product development, Parry-Jones says that the small internal combustion engine will survive alongside new drivetrain technologies. His latest article on the future form of the car can be read in the 8th October issue of Autocar magazine. Autocar is running a series of articles by Parry-Jones on the future of the car. “The biggest change that I see over the next ten years is not hybrids or electric cars, but a new breed of petrol engine,” he predicts. According to Parry-Jones, engines will have smaller displacements, fewer cylinders, higher compression ratios, more sophisticated turbocharging and faster warm-up devices.After 2020, he says that electric city cars, plug-in hybrid family cars, super-efficient internal combustion budget cars and diesel hybrid executive cars will come to prominence.

Read Parry-Jones article in full in the October 8th issue of Autocar magazine.

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8 October 2008

Problem! In the short to medium timescale we can barely produce enough electricity to meet demand, already we import electricity from France. so are we going to trade lower emissions from our cars for power cuts and unheated homes. Nuuclear power offers one of the few options and this is going to take considerable time to come on stream but at least the anti-everything brigade will be spead a llittle thinner in the meantime.

9 October 2008

Nuclear energy isn't the cure-all people think. Yes the energy is clean and safe, but power stations take 20 years to commission and only have a shelf life of about 30-40 years. Plus nuclear fuel isn't unlimited, it will run out eventually just like fossil fuels - within 100 years depending on consumption and the fussiness of future reactors to purity.

Most importantly, however, the raw materials to make nuclear fuel are mainly found in South Africa and Zimbabwe - this unstable, undemocratic and corrupt part of the world could be the next Middle East in 50 years time...


9 October 2008

By definition the electricity grid supplies exactly enough power to meet demand. France has a lot of nuclear power, and is the world's largest exporter of electricity, at very low cost. That's why we buy French power. The Swiss buy cheap French 'off-peak' electricity overnight to 'recharge' their pumped storage hydro systems, and then sell it back in the daytime making a tidy profit.

Go look up the UK's average and peak demand, and our installed generating capacity. The real problem is that various nuclear plants are reaching the end of their lifespan, and coal-fired plants are under threat from EU clean air legislation.

10 October 2008

I know that Parry Jones is regarded as being pretty much a saint in some areas, but I'm still not really sure what he's adding to the debate. I read the first of his articles in the Autocar magazine and it seemed to be mostly an exercise in stating the obvious. The consensus that the motor industry needs to get greener and cleaner is accepted pretty much everywhere, as is the fact that 'interim technologies' like hybrid and part-electric drivetrains are going to be needed before the will o' the wisp of fuel cells or hydrogen fuelled vehicles. What I'd love to read is a genuine, no-bullsh*t assessment about the different alternative futures and whether any of them will work. Is biofuel really as evil as the antis claims? (Or as green as the likes of Saab and Lotus make out?), what will happen to battery technology in the next few years - and will that make an electric car capable of doing more than popping to the shops possible? What's the actual cost of a litre of hydrogen - and how is that going to be reduced?

13 October 2008

I think on balance I'd rather trust the judgement and forecast of an experienced industry expert than any of the so-called climate-change boffins who only want to destroy the concept of private transport.

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