NASA and Ford (among others) built Stirling engines for cars back in the 1970's. To get the good "driveability" that people are used to while keeping the engine efficient, they had to add very complex methods for pumping helium though the engine.
It's easy to build Stirling engines that can vary their power levels both slowly and efficiently, or quickly and innefficiently, but to vary the power levels both quickly and efficiently tends to require a lot of complexity.
On March 20, 2002 I delivered one of our KY-2000 Stirling engines to the Mechanical Engineering department at San Diego State University. While I was there I had the opportunity to see their hybrid diesel/electric car. It has a 60 hp diesel engine and a 200 hp electric motor. The extra power (above 60 hp) for the electric motor is of course supplied by the batteries when needed.
Now imagine that you were the lead engineer on a project to design a hybrid car for Honda, Toyota, or San Diego State. Would you choose to use a fourth generation Stirling or perhaps a 100'th generation gasoline or diesel engine?
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