Having attended the SAE shows in the past as a design engineer was always interesting, but covering it this year as a media person is even better. My attention is no longer focused on just the projects I was designing. Now I can enjoy it all; and there is much to learn and discuss at SAE this year.
My first parade down the hall uncovered plenty of displays, especially from educational institutions. However, what really caught my eye was the old electric car, a 1921 Milburn – Light Electric Brougham. Built by Milburn Company (1914-1923) out of Toledo, the car had a top speed of 20 mph and a range of 75-100 miles per single charge. Funny how that number rings true today for full EVs.
The original cost of the car was $1700. It is now owned by Dr. Beverly Paurazas from Rochester, Hills, Michigan.
The SAE Mobility Committee was also nearby. They included Ila Lee of SAE, Thomas Asmus, Don Siegla and Bob Cosgrove, who were kind enough to pose for a picture. A special thanks to them for the EV history display.
Main Room Review
Once inside, the floor showed multiple rows of displays from various companies and institutions. Signs from GM, Ford, Toyota, Torino, etc, lit up the areas. There were representatives of companies from all over the world.
The GM display was rather sparse, in my opinion. Nonetheless, I did manage to read their displays on their new HCCI engine technology. I’ll cover that more in another article.
Ford, as usual, had a dynamic display, much like the tech displays at the NAIAS. I even told the Ford people they should be proud. Also, their collaboration with Magna showed a special relation that has been built between the two companies.
The LG display showed some lithium-ion batteries. However, it was the discusssion that I most enjoyed. When I mentioned that universities are working in their labs developing ionized liquids for electrolytes, and nano-scale materials for high density energy anodes and cathodes, they were honest enough to relate the truth. Fact is those technologies are probably matured no earlier than 2013 -2015. I agreed.
The most impressive technological display there, in my opinion, was the Scuderi Air-Engine. This may still be in the lab, but the patents and green advantages for an ICE say this technology is on the verge of greatness. It appears to be the next phase in internal combustion engine technology, because it is the first engine tech that improves the efficiency of the ICE.
The Scuderi is a true hybrid engine, using one bank of cylinders as a compressor, and the second bank as power cylinders; in essence, paired cylinders. The main advantage over present hybrids is that the cost is less while the tech is scalable, especially for heavier vehicles; and the air can be charged in regen fashion in less than 15 seconds, while it takes 45 seconds to discharge. That’s energy leverage and efficiency. More on this technology after the show.
High School Poster Competition
After I left the main room, I found ten posters with ribbons on them. These were the participants for the poster competition sponsored by Borg Warner.
Examiner Final Comments
I processed plenty of pics. Now it’s time to share at least a few in the usual slideshow. Enjoy for now, while I go back for more. As you can tell, I’m in a hurry.