MEES Minute: What AI ‘thinks’ about the future of ICEs

For today’s MEES Minute, I asked ChatGPT “Will engines be around in 50 years?” – I was really impressed with its response:

There are several reasons why internal combustion engines (ICE) are likely to be around for at least the next 50 years, despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and other alternative fuel sources. Here are some key factors:

  1. Existing infrastructure: The current transportation infrastructure, including gas stations, repair shops, and manufacturing facilities, is geared towards ICEs. It will take time and significant investment to develop new infrastructure for EVs or other alternative fuels, and until that happens, ICEs are likely to remain the dominant technology.
  2. Cost: ICEs are relatively cheap to manufacture, and the cost of gas is still relatively low compared to other alternative fuels. This means that ICEs are likely to remain the more affordable option for many consumers, particularly in developing countries where the cost of EVs is still prohibitive for most people.
  3. Performance: ICEs have been refined and optimized over many decades, and they offer high performance and reliability. While EVs are becoming more efficient and powerful, ICEs still offer better range and faster refueling times, which makes them a more practical option for many drivers.
  4. Hybrid technology: Hybrid vehicles, which combine ICEs with electric motors, are becoming increasingly popular as a way to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. This technology is likely to continue to evolve and improve in the coming years, keeping ICEs relevant even as EVs become more common.

While it’s clear that the transportation industry is evolving rapidly, it’s also clear that ICEs will continue to play a significant role for many years to come. As new technologies emerge and the infrastructure for alternative fuels is built out, the balance may shift, but for now, ICEs remain the most practical and affordable option for many drivers.