Literature/202111292230 diesel is the most efficient energy storage solution for transport

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  • source: [@smil2020NUMBERS DON'T LIE., 166]
  • tags: technological progress, fossil fuels, climate change, energy storage

Although much is being said about the importance of moving to electric vehicles, there is a reality regarding the efficiency of storing energy in fuels. For an intercontinental trip (of around 31 days), large container ships burn around 4650 tons of fuel. Considering the efficiency of the engine, this totals 42 gigajoules of energy, or around \$11700\textrm{W}\,\textrm{h}/\textrm{kg}\$.

Today’s batteries can pack around \$300\textrm{W}\,\textrm{h}/\textrm{kg}\$, which is a factor 40 lower as compared with fossil fuels. The problem is not just this number, but the fact that for a large trip, the weight of the ship would be dedicated 50% to carrying batteries.


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