Will internal combustion engines be replaced?

Will internal combustion engines be replaced by electricity and hydrogen?

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Will internal combustion engines be replaced by electricity and hydrogen? When first introduced, electricity and hydrogen seemed to have a potential future in transportation. The automobile can only travel a few hundred kilometers on a single charge before needing to be left at the charging station for several hours. Diesel vehicles can also travel more than a thousand kilometers on a single tank of fuel, so you only need to find the closest gas station and fill up completely to continue your journey.

 Power engineers, on the other hand, are developing a quick charging system that can fully charge a car in a matter of minutes. For instance, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 can charge its battery to 80% capacity using this method in just 18 minutes, and on a full charge, it can go 470–480 kilometers (km) on the WLTP cycle.

The production of batteries and electricity cannot continue. Coal, one of the dirtiest energy sources, supplies more than one third of the world’s electricity. 

 The majority of electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, but their production is not environmentally benign. The Atacama Desert in Chile, which is expanding as a result of lithium facilities, is the most obvious illustration of the detrimental effects of lithium mining.  

The Polestar 6 electric roadster in 2026

Even though there are only 1% of electric cars on the road today, their owners are already having issues with charging stations because they frequently malfunction, regular vehicles can be used in their place, and there are so many connectors that it reminds them of the days before smartphones, when each manufacturer developed its own.

The burden on the power grid will significantly increase if the number of electric vehicles increases at an exponential rate since quick charges require greater charge voltages and currents. 

Additionally, there is a conceptual issue. A classic engine car needs several minutes to fill its tank to capacity. Since an electric automobile now requires several hours to fully charge, finding ways to keep people interested during this time demands a whole different strategy. Theoretically, gas stations should evolve into destinations for pleasure and commerce, but this has not yet happened.

 China provides charging stations and allots incentives for the development of electric vehicles at the expense of the budget. Germany funds research to advance electric vehicles, and Switzerland has waived import taxes on electric automobiles. But once you stop receiving state assistance, issues start to arise.

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Sales of electric vehicles collapsed as soon as the government discontinued subsidies for their acquisition in those nations. Electric vehicles that are based on premium models are the key additions to the model lineups of the major automakers. Currently, technology prevents you from producing an electric automobile for the general public that would sell in the same way as conventional ones, so you must offset the expense by releasing a premium one.

It is too soon to discuss the market takeover of electric vehicles until their manufacturing is profitable. An unpleasant characteristic of lithium-ion batteries is that they pose an explosive risk. Airlines continue to refuse to transport this kind of battery.

These batteries develop “whiskers” inside, which are small lithium filaments that result in a short circuit and blow up the battery. The electrolyte inside the batteries starts to boil and heat up as a result of a short circuit. The battery container melts under the heat, letting its contents spill out.

This explains why electric vehicles burn out so quickly in collisions. Extinguishing lithium batteries with water is also dangerous because lithium metal reacts with water to create hydrogen. 

A hydrogen engine is an alternative, though. Or not?

Since a hydrogen engine has significantly better efficiency and does not generate any toxic gases, it is much more environmentally benign than an internal combustion engine. Hydrogen refueling takes no longer than filling up with gasoline at one gas station, and hydrogen automobiles can currently drive up to 500 kilometers. However, businesses are currently spending tens of millions of dollars on this technology because they think hydrogen cars will someday replace electric vehicles.

As an alternative to contemporary internal combustion engines, we’ve identified a number of engine issues. However, it is critical to recognize that technology is evolving and that power output, range on a single charge, and recovery systems improve year after year. What type of electric vehicle will be capable of outdriving conventional internal combustion engines? A large power reserve is the first thing that drivers desire. The power, which is sufficient to ride with the breeze, is the second.

Source: encyclopedia

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