450 Miles Per Gallon
May 26, 2007
” Were all the energy of one gallon of gasoline to be harnessed for the performance of a single purpose, experiments show that it could be made to provide sufficient heat to raise the temperature of 15,000 gallons of water one degree. Put to work, it could furnish enough force to lift 50,000 tons of coal one foot off the ground raise the Woolworth building five and a half inches. Applied to a small auto-mobile, the power is great enough to elevated a light car 450 miles in the air or to propel it at twenty miles an hour for 450 miles over a level road”. Popular Mechanics, July 1924, page 14.
A General Motors executive said this:
” There’s enough power in one gallon of gasoline, if you could utilize it all for mere car push, not taking into consideration engine friction and so forth, to drive a small car on a level paved road, at twenty miles an hour, from Chicago to Detroit, That’s about three hundred miles.” Collier’s October 5, 1929. page 10.
I was pretty impressed by the Loremo automobile, which aims to get as much as150 mpg in a production automobile in 2009. How cool is that? People have been working on high-mileage cars for a long time, however, and there have been many breakthroughs later suppressed by the auto and oil industry. Take a look at this car:
Yes, that clunky hunk of junk got 376 mpg in a Shell Oil company competition back in 1973! This car was recently rediscovered at the Talladega SuperSpeedway’s Motorsports Hall of Fame, and is now being reconditioned to “1973 test conditions.”
The 1973 Opel almost certainly uses some form of the “super-carburetor”, which vaporizes fuel rather than simply creating a fuel mist. Much more efficient.
The Pogue Carburetor, from 1936.
“Exceptional Mileage Claimed For New Carburetor”, Mass Transportation, December 1936, page 406.
This carburetor was the invention of Charles Nelson Pogue, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
“Test made with passenger automobiles indicates that cars equipped with this new carburetor will operate 200 miles per gallon. Although the exceptional mileage is of greatest importance, the new carburetor is said to have many other advantages in the way of reducing maintenance.”
I figure if a car designed for efficiency (like the Loremo) can go 150 miles on a gallon of diesel using a standard engine, and a bit of late-1950s heavy iron can go 376 miles on a gallon of gasoline on a modified engine, then a car like the Loremo with a modified engine might go for 450 miles — which corresponds to the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline, as described by Popular Mechanics above. That PM quote, from 1924, is based on a Model-T type automobile driving on the roads of the day. In 1924, paved roads were still something of a novelty. Twenty miles an hour was a typical average speed. Sure beat horses.
Loremo 150mpg production automobile
Myself? I prefer trains. Train-based cities are vastly more fun to live in than the suburban automobile slums, in my experience. Still, if you are going to drive a car, it might as well get 450 mpg, no?
In the meantime, if you want to go 200+ mpg (as much as 300mpg) with about a $1200 investment — and no insurance costs either — and you don’t mind a top speed of about 30mph, here’s an off-the-rack solution:
Well, that’s something to think about if we see $4 and even $5 gasoline this summer.