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Electric and Alternative Vehicle Fuels


Not so much an alternative fuel as a different application of an alternative. Given the popularity of light rail lately - and all the fuss and disruption it’s caused, this could be a bit embarrassing for our politicians. Light rail without the rail. Another piece of the puzzle.


Fascinating insights into the economics, industry and design challenges of electric commercial vehicles. OK, maybe not fascinating to everyone - I’m a nerd. :wink:

Garbo’s that make a bit less noise:


Commercial Vehicle Conversions to alternate fuels.

While commercial vehicles are a small number compared to passenger cars, based on fuel type used (predominantly diesel) they account for approx half of the energy consumed on the roads. With much higher utilisation compared to most light passenger vehicles pay back of any alternate fuel option will be much sooner than for the average personal motor vehicle.

It may be useful to consider how well any alternative fuel can meet future non residential needs.


A bit off-topic - or maybe not. Knowing the state of play in Australia, they’re probably going to finance development of a coal-fueled car. :wink:



Yep, revive the Stanley Steamer, only a minor modification required to burn coal. Very cheap, fast, quaint, what’s not to like. Air pollution - don’t you worry about that.


Not an alternative fuel as such (although batteries are part of the mix). It looks like Mazda is reviving the Wankel.


Progress towards alternatives for heavy haulage and trucks in general has been slow out of the gates. The following promo around Cummins, who are big in diesel truck power suggests that all the options are on the table including hydrogen fuel cell, battery storage and renewable biofuels. The electric options may include high efficiency, lower emission hybrid drives using turbines or other generation options.

Most highway long distance freight (150,000 - 200,000km pa) and many around town diesel trucks (50,000km pa) do large distances each year.

Australia’s commercial road fleet makes up approx 1 in 6 road registered vehicles per ABS 9309.0. Nearly all are diesel powered. Is it possible that the alternate fuels in Australia will not be determined by consumer investment choices in emerging technology? Will it be by the alternatives that best suit long distance trucking?

It may be useful to watching the taxi/(full time Uber) fleet, who were early adopters of Toyota hybrids and note when and which way the industry chooses to jump.

Toyota has stepped towards hydrogen fuel cells.


Yes it may be a little a-“drift”.

The Mazda options of either a full battery electric or for other markets a hybrid says much. Mazda still recognise a need for a hybrid option for some markets. At least the proposed wankel hybrid has an LPG version proposed, which should also be LNG suitable with a tweek.

The commitments by Mazada to electrify (marketing speak meaning hybrids not pure electric) it’s entire range by 2030 reflects what they are thinking.


Research into hydrogen as a fuel has been going on for at least five decades. Back in the 1970s it was recognised that renewable energy sources could be used to make electricity and that electricity used to make hydrogen from water. Back then the problem was the high reactivity of hydrogen making it dangerous to transport; back then it was thought the solution would be to make ammonia from the hydrogen in order to transport it, ship the liquid ammonia to destinations, then turn ammonia back into hydrogen (in order to have the hydrogen fuel to burn where needed, eg in combustion engines or burn to heat water to make steam to spin turbines to make electricity … You can see the circular paths within this …
Today there are countries importing energy in the form of either hydrogen or ammonia - Japan being one of them. So Australia could be an energy exporter using hydrogen/ammonia made from sun and wind.


And a bit:


Everything old is new again. This could go in the renewable energy topic, but its focus is fast vehicle charging, so here it is.

Efficiency is given as 85%. That’s comparable with Lithium Ion.


Not an alternative fuel, but an alternative form of transport that just happens to use an “alternative fuel”: