TO THE EDITOR:
History tells us the oldest piston internal combustion engine was created to pump the fountains at Versailles in the mid-1600s. Accordingly, today's engines are based upon almost 400 years of human knowledge. With that history, the ICE will not fade away without a serious fight.
"Industry on ICE" (Nov. 12) reports on developing technologies that will sustain these engines for many more years. There are two more substantial innovations on the horizon: Composite engine blocks will save significant weight, and electronic valve actuation will reduce internal losses and allow for more specific and demand-based engine tuning.
Electric vehicles are not universally better with respect to climate emissions. According to Scientific American, the specific local sources of energy are determinant. In California, with lots of clean electricity, the benefits are meaningful. In China, the world's largest vehicle market and with lots of coal-generated power, EVs are "a catastrophe" with respect to emissions. Gasoline remains the substantially better choice for energy density.
Considering that government EV mandates have existed since the 1980s, it is reasonable to conclude that EVs are not a market success. Edmunds says a whopping 72.5 percent of buyers of alternate-fuel vehicles replace them with conventional ones.
Elon Musk has become a media darling similar to the emperor having no clothes. Can Tesla ever make money considering how deeply in the hole it is?
So, don't sell that ExxonMobil stock yet! The automotive market will do as it sees fit. And internal combustion engines have plenty of life left.
ANDREW HIRSCH, Rochester, N.Y. The writer was a fuel system engineer with General Motors' Rochester Products Division and has over 40 years of technical Clean Air Act experience.