World’s toughest sale – the Oilburner Model R - a report from the “Parallel Universe News”: (L.A. July 1st, 2013, Reporter: H. A. Varmoe
As we all know, in the late 1800s there was a technology fight between cars based on oil technology and electrical cars – a fight the electrical vehicles won by a solid margin. Since then there has been sold billions of electric cars all over the world, whereas the oil driven cars hasn’t been seen on American roads for more than a century.
That is, until now. On a press conference and demonstration held by serial entrepreneur Mr. Melon Dusk, CEO of the Oilburner Company, he revealed that once again we might see the oil driven cars back in the traffic.
Today he presented his latest invention, a new high tech car named the “Oilburner Model R.” The Model R is a sleek car driven by what he calls an internal combustion engine, which is fueled by petrol, or “gas” as he prefers to call it. His mission is to change the car industry and replace every EV with gas driven cars within 10 years.
But, according to the feedback from the people attending the demonstration, we believe there still is a long way before the world is ready for this new technology. It is fascinating that it is possible to create 300 bhp from an engine that is running on exploding gas, and it was very exiting listening to the roars coming from the car. But, despite these rather interesting features – we have a hard time believing that Mr. Dusk will conquer the market with the Model R anytime soon.
During the presentation and the mandatory round of questions from the reporters, it became clear that Mr. Dusk hadn’t thought trough every aspect of his business plan. Yes – it is a nice car! Yes – it makes a nice noise! Yes – Mr. Dusk is a good salesman. But is that enough? We believe not. In essence – what Mr. Dusk is trying to sell is a car that needs to carry 20 gallons of highly explosive gas that will fuel the engine, and the only positive output you will get compared to a normal EV is a nice sound. Some may even think that the noise might be a negative feature, and I will probably agree if there will be many of these cars in my neighborhood.
We challenged Mr. Dusk about the logistics and infrastructure required for a mass production of these cars. He explained that they will set up oil refineries that will produce the gas, and then big tank-trucks will distribute the gas to a network of what he called gas stations. In the gas stations you can refill your car from some gas pumps. He joked that you can also buy a cup of coffee and have a snack at the same time… Why would anyone buy coffee and “fill gas” at the same time…?
After the session with Mr. Dusk we tried to summarize what we were told, are here are a combination of our observations and some key facts:
- The cars will run on gas, and the price of gas (per mile) will probably be higher than the cost of electricity (per mile).
- The cars will produce exhaust – the smoke coming out form the rear end pipes – and it smelled quite toxic. We still haven’t received any data on this smoke and we will revert with more facts about this later
- The cars will make noise – quite load noise – and that was quite exiting. But, maybe the noise will get “to noisy” if there are hundreds of these cars on the road at the same time?
- The cars will be less powerful than ordinary EVs. But for drivers who doesn’t need so much power this is not a big issue
- The complexity of the car’s engines is enormous – this is the art of a true engineer. Although it is impressive to build this kind of a sophisticated engine, it must be very expensive to build it, and not to mention to service it. Thousands of moving parts, a separate transmission system, a exhaust system, a cooling system, etc. Have they thought of warranties and service plans?
- The engine is very heavy and it is positioned higher than the heavy battery of an EV. Hence, the car might become a little wobbly, and I question if these cars would perform well on the tracks
- When driving these cars you need to change gears – either by a manual stick or by an automated transmission. This may have the “cool factor” – but we don’t really see the benefit of this “gear system”. The single gear we are used to in our EVs are far more effective, but maybe not so cool – or…?
- In order to succeed, the Oilburner Company needs to set up a very complex infrastructure of oil refineries, gas stations with gas pumps, and trucks that are distributing the gas to the gas stations. And the coffee and the snacks… We don’t see how Mr. Dusk is going to succeed both with his new invention – and in addition building up this infrastructure
- Range anxiety is something that came to my mind. If you want to be sure to avoid running out of gas you can buy a huge tank of gas and store it in your garden, but that will limit you travel to your neighborhood, Otherwise we would need thousands of “gas station” along all roads in America, and I don’t see that happening over the next decade. I think I prefer the EV plug!
- The car was “not connected” – i.e. it had no communication with the outside world. This is like the early EVs where you had to go to a service center to upgrade your car, and you had manual physical buttons to control the various settings in the car
- When burning the gas, this will create some sort of emissions that might be hazardous. For sure there will be some CO2 emissions, but we don’t know if they are harmful to the environment
We wish Mr. Dusk good luck with his Model R – and are exited to see if the American people will embrace the car – or if they think this is a bit too crazy.