How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?





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  1. #1
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    Default How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    I'm looking to buy a classic vehicle. Either a car or a bike.
    I am somewhat of a sucker for older Mercs and BMs (1970 - 1980) and classic 70 era café racers and cruisers, but the availability of leaded fuel and additives are a bit of an issue.
    Unless I am mistaken and it will be freely available for some time.

    But this got me thinking.
    The current generation young petrol heads, will be finding our current cars as classics in 20 to 40 years time.

    How will the electric car, and future fuel availability influence them?
    Last edited by Hedgehog; 2020/05/13 at 12:11 PM.
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    I think it will be like it is currently keeping horses for riding . A hobby that can get expensive if you don't have a plot or farm.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    I think combustion engines will eventually die a regulatory death. At some point in the future you will not be able to drive them in the developed world due to:

    1. Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, N2O, CH4 etc).
    2. Air pollutants (CO, NOx, Particulate matter, volatile organics organics etc).
    3. Automated driving (personally hope this would happen sooner rather than later).

    Although you may remove the pollutants from the exhaust gases it will probably be very expensive to do so and depending on the emissions limits it may just not be practical. I suppose you will be able to retrofit autonomous driving at a cost. So all of this can potentially be circumvented at a cost.

    When will this happen? Hard to say. The technology to get people to remote places that can currently only be accessed by combustion driven vehicles (not considering watercraft and aircraft) may still be a long way off in respect of affordability, range, mass production etc.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    The fossil fuel vehicle, be it diesel, petrol or gas, will not disappear in our lifetimes.

    But I am pretty sure the internal combustion engine product range will decrease and the guys currently driving luxury barges will have to switch to hybrid or full EV.
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    I'm looking to buy a classic vehicle. Either a car or a bike.
    I am somewhat of a sucker for older Mercs and BMs (1970 - 1980) and classic 70 era café racers and cruisers, but the availability of leaded fuel and additives are a bit of an issue.
    Unless I am mistaken and it will be freely available for some time.

    But this got me thinking.
    The current generation young petrol heads, will be finding our current cars as classics in 20 to 40 years time.

    How will the electric car, and future fuel availability influence them?
    If it have an aluminium head you will be fine running unleaded. Most of the 70 era Mercedes engines had alu heads.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    I think it will be supported by an aging demographic (with a couple of exceptions). With time EV's will eclipse the current vehicles in all areas. Young petrolheads will become young voltheads and will build and modify electric vehicles. It is a natural progression. How many of us are still steam engine enthusiasts?

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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    We are in Africa, the ICE will hang around for decades after the first world goes all green,
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    I don't see much change in Africa, America (north and south), Middle east and Australia any time soon.

    Too many areas where Electric will not have support, cost too much to buy and run, will not have supporting infrastructure.

    I read a report a few years ago when GB were pushing for full EV's through out the country in the 2025/30 period. The consensus after the engineers did their studies was that they would not be able to supply enough power to charge them all until way after 2035, and they would need to install something stupid like 2000 charge stations per (day or week cant remember the exactly as this was for domestic and public use), a consensus in charge ports and battery packs to be supported, and millions of "swap out battery packs" to allow for longer journeys.


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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    If it have an aluminium head you will be fine running unleaded. Most of the 70 era Mercedes engines had alu heads.
    not without steel valve seats
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Dont see any electric trucks or aircraft so petroleum fuels will be around for a long time.

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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Quote Originally Posted by desdrake View Post
    Dont see any electric trucks or aircraft so petroleum fuels will be around for a long time.
    or cargo ships

    or mining trucks

    or electric tractors, combine harvestors

    Like I said: for the rich elite Bunny Huggers.
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    There are additives to make petrol "leaded".

    My thinking is that worldwide aircraft and vessels at sea chows as much if not more fuel than land vehicles. (not during lockdown)

    My thinking is that electric vehicles moves the source of pollution from the road to the power station.
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    A lot of European classic cars had aluminum cylinder heads that are not that sensitive to unleaded petrol.The engines you need to watch out for are engines with cast iron heads like most American V8s and many older Ford and other low smaller cheaper engines.On these engines the valve seats were machined directly in the head.These engines suffer valve seat recession if run on unleaded petrol.It is possible in some cases to fit valve seats though.
    As for electric vehicles at this stage I do not think that you are going to get widespread adoption in the poorer countries for a long time.In India you are starting to get the electrification of inner city vehicles such a auto rickshaws (tuk tucks ).You will find adoption of these in other countries if the price and operating convenience is acceptable.
    Battery technology still has a long way to go if it is to used on vehicles such as long haul trucks or any machine that needs to run at high power loading for long periods of time.
    And what is the point if you are using old inefficient coal fired power stations to generate your electricity!

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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    or cargo ships

    or mining trucks

    or electric tractors, combine harvestors

    Like I said: for the rich elite Bunny Huggers.
    Actually there are many examples heavy industry vehicles driven by electric motors, albeit are powered by gasoline / diesel / nuclear powered generators.

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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Quote Originally Posted by rnieckau View Post
    Actually there are many examples heavy industry vehicles driven by electric motors, albeit are powered by gasoline / diesel / nuclear powered generators.
    Exactly. No fossil fuel = no power
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Bugger, if only I could remember the details of the article I read which went something along the lines that wind and solar energy can be used to produce a net zero carbon fuel which could then power ICE's. The gist of this is that at current status and for some time to come until batteries go through substantial innovation, that net zero carbon fuels will remain more environment friendly than EV's for a long time, and that the scarcity of battery raw materials will not satisfy the need anyway. Other considerations as things currently stand is that the energy in 1 kg of fuel is several times more than you get from a battery.

    I attended an industry talk earlier this year, and there is a plan to extend ICE's for at least 20 years in SA using gas. There is a project underway to convert existing ICE's to gas which will support the massive employment in the many service stations and their related industries like fuel injection, alternators and starter repairs, brake shops, etc.. because as the presentation pointed out, there is almost no service work in an EV - they don't even have brakes!

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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    not without steel valve seats
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Should not be a problem.

    There is a movement whereby classic cars are not only restored , but upgraded to an "OEM level" with modern technology.

    ....Not everyone's taste I will agree

    Such as:
    - Aston Martin - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PREftlfZuXA

    - VW - https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/5/20...urt-motor-show

    Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux
    - https://www.tembo4x4-elv.com/
    - https://www.greencarreports.com/news...th-a-crate-v-8
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    not without steel valve seats
    Have yet to see an alu head on a vehicle engine without steel seats.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

  28. #20
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    Default Re: How long will we be able to keep the internal combustion engine running?

    Exactly
    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    Have yet to see an alu head on a vehicle engine without steel seats.
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