He starts off by saying a gas engine is normally 20 percent efficient BUT it has to warm up to that efficiency. No warming up for series hybrids so efficiency for that gas engine is 28 percent. That's conversion 1. Still with me?
Go below the fold for more.
The gas engine converts work into electricity at 95 percent efficiency. That's conversion 2.
Are we there yet? No. That energy will probably be stored in a battery. Conversion 3. That's 95 percent efficient as well.
Are we there yet? ...I will pull this car right over :D Conversion 4. Battery to the electric motor. Again, 95% percent efficient.
Finally, energy conversion 5, motor to road. Welcome to Wally World! As anyone that saw National Lampoon's Vacation knows, Wally World is closed. This is directly from the book; "(.28 X .95 X .95 X .95 X .80) results in overall efficiency of only 19 percent for the series hybrid. This is worse than the conventional car at 20 percent. And I'm being optimistic."
...but what about diesel? Evan covers that too. Next page. He says "a diesel powered series hybrid doesn't make sense either." Sniff. Evan then says Santa Claus is not real. Just kidding. He does not say that. He might as well because I am not feeling great about the Volt right now.
Someone please post in comments, "Dad just pretends to be Santa because the real Santa is busy making my gifts?"
[Source: Common Sense Not Required]