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Electric Car beats a Ferrari and a Porsche


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#1 Jerome

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 19:51

How is this possible? Is this video a hoax? Has anyone learned more about this car?

http://video.google....118104883452737

I would be really happy about some tech background...

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#2 Greg Locock

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 21:40

Big deal.

In electrical terminology there is an impedance mismatch between the output of an IC engine, and what you need for a drag race. The transmission is our way of coping with that mismatch - it attempts to provide massive torque at zero speed.

Since most customers do not indulge in drag races against drag racing vehicles the transmission is not actually optimised for drag racing, otherwise you'd see 'torque converters' on all sportscars.

An electric motor can give maximum torque at zero speed which is what you really want.

#3 Chubby_Deuce

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 21:42

Yep, using the road course would have been a much more interesting comparison..

#4 McGuire

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 01:10

this may be entertaining...

http://www.nedra.com...killacycle.html

#5 Rosemayer

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 12:51

This ons blew off a 500BPH Viper.

www.teslamotors.com

Tesla has contracted Lotus to build the Roadster in Great Britain. The motor estimated at $40,000 per unit will be engineered in Taiwan. The batteries and electronics will be designed in San Carlos, Silicon Valley. Sales and marketing are expected to be conducted in California.

The Tesla team has also benefitted from an estimated 30 of the 85 total employees jumping over from Lotus.

The roadster can be viewed as a European, Asian and American innovation.


#6 Fat Boy

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 16:05

Originally posted by Rosemayer
This ons blew off a 500BPH Viper.

www.teslamotors.com

Tesla has contracted Lotus to build the Roadster in Great Britain. The motor estimated at $40,000 per unit will be engineered in Taiwan. The batteries and electronics will be designed in San Carlos, Silicon Valley. Sales and marketing are expected to be conducted in California.

The Tesla team has also benefitted from an estimated 30 of the 85 total employees jumping over from Lotus.

The roadster can be viewed as a European, Asian and American innovation.


Cool. $100k for a 15 year old Toyota MR-2.

I'll do what I can to control myself.

#7 zac510

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 16:10

FB, it's based on the Lotus Elise chassis..?

Agree, expensive!

#8 Jerome

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 16:19

Excuse me if I sound like a nimcopoop (Which I am about electrical cars), but what I understand a Ferrari Testarossa could beat the electric car if it just had a variable gear?

Anyway, I thought the car sounded impressive. Nou enginesound, just squeeking tyres!

#9 McGuire

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 20:21

It is a bit of of a stunt, but when properly set up there is no reason an electric car could not beat a Ferrari or any exotic from a standing start. Simple matter of traction and power/weight ratio. To those who say this is a stupid and meaningless comparison, it's just as stupid and meaningless no matter what kind of cars you do it with.

The real limitation with current electric cars is not acceleration, it's range... and the more acceleration you waste, the more it hurts the range. Still, stunts like these are great PR for the electric car, and no sillier than most of the things they do to pimp conventional automobiles. I think it's fabulous.

#10 Todd

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 20:56

If the race is over 80 miles, the gasoline powered cars will win by at least 12 hours.

#11 McGuire

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 23:47

Touche'. :D

#12 gbaker

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:06

Originally posted by McGuire
It is a bit of of a stunt, but when properly set up there is no reason an electric car could not beat a Ferrari or any exotic from a standing start. Simple matter of traction and power/weight ratio. To those who say this is a stupid and meaningless comparison, it's just as stupid and meaningless no matter what kind of cars you do it with.

The real limitation with current electric cars is not acceleration, it's range... and the more acceleration you waste, the more it hurts the range. Still, stunts like these are great PR for the electric car, and no sillier than most of the things they do to pimp conventional automobiles. I think it's fabulous.

:up:

#13 Jerome

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 13:22

Excellent post, McGuire. Really enlightening. And I agree with you: it is fabulous. Twenty years ago an electric car sprinting that fast would have been impossiple, I think.

Or am I very much mistaken?

The thing I like most about it (I tried to say that earlier, but did not succeed) that the electric car SOUNDS like a real race car. Just because of the tires. That was totally unexpected. I saw once a Ford Electric Car tested at a testtrack in Lelystad, The Netherlands, and it drove 75 miles per hour almost without a sound...

#14 Fat Boy

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 16:04

Who killed the electric car?

Adam Smith, that's who. Why would 'Big Oil' even bother? At this point, electric cars are just not to the point in their development cycle where they are economically viable. Look at this example. It's obviously a very real attempt at making an electric car, but the cost is the better part of double what the gas equivalent is.

When you couple that with the somewhat dubious benefits of it's pollution vs. a ULEV gas car, you find that even the 'greenies' have a fairly difficult time justifying the additional cost. The Prius is a successful hybrid, but if you dumped the batteries and electric motors and just ran off the gas engine, it would be more fuel efficient, yet. It costs something to lug that crap around. Honda had their hybrid out first, but Toyota was the company that really set the world on fire by bringing the price down to something that was close to what a gas only equivalent might be. Until the cost of a reasonable electric car is within 10-15% of what it's gas equivalent costs, it will never fly.

#15 phantom II

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 17:28

http://groups.google...1b5d27d94622692


Originally posted by Fat Boy
Who killed the electric car?

Adam Smith, that's who. , it will never fly.



#16 Todd

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 17:36

phantom II,

That is a great link, as electric car fans always spout lies or fantasies, but Adam Smith wasn't a GM CEO. He was the 18th century author of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

#17 phantom II

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 18:11

There are a few Adam Smith fans here. I have leather bound copies of The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
I translated what he would say into American. Alfred P Slowan collected original works of Smith so you could say that Smith was in the car business in Spirit..

Originally posted by Todd
phantom II,

That is a great link, as electric car fans always spout lies or fantasies, but Adam Smith wasn't a GM CEO. He was the 18th century author of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.


We must expect a tincture of virtue-Aristotle.

#18 Todd

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 18:20

Originally posted by phantom II
There are a few Adam Smith fans here. I have leather bound copies of The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
I translated what he would say into American. Alfred P Slowan collected original works of Smith so you could say that Smith was in the car business in Spirit..



We must expect a tincture of virtue-Aristotle.


Sorry about my assumption, it was just because of your editing of the quote about the market killing the electric car.

#19 imaginesix

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 20:42

Originally posted by Fat Boy
The Prius is a successful hybrid, but if you dumped the batteries and electric motors and just ran off the gas engine, it would be more fuel efficient, yet.

If you loped a cylinder off the engine it would be that much more fuel efficient yet again. Not quite the same car though.

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#20 McGuire

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 22:18

I see we are all bold visionaries.

The gasoline automobile was not viable transportation for its first ten years of existence (at least). They were more or less a joke and people yelled "get a horse!" as they sputtered past. But people bought the cars anyway because they believed in the potential of the technology and wanted to be in at the start. In today's vernacular we would call these people "early adopters."

All the alternative vehicles now being considered will require early adopters too, if any of them are to succeed. They will all have to start somewhere and there will be many missteps along the way. And we need the alternative technologies: what we have today is broken and though we do not admit it, it no longer works.

But as long as the Luddites keep yelling "Get a horse!" to everything that comes up the road we are never going to get anywhere. If we are smart and imaginative and care about the future, we should be encouraging, not discouraging, electric and other alternative vehicles.

End of speech. Your reality may vary.

#21 gbaker

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 22:27

McGuire,

You're hired.

#22 Todd

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 22:46

Originally posted by McGuire
I see we are all bold visionaries.

The gasoline automobile was not viable transportation for its first ten years of existence (at least). They were more or less a joke and people yelled "get a horse!" as they sputtered past. But people bought the cars anyway because they believed in the potential of the technology and wanted to be in at the start. In today's vernacular we would call these people "early adopters."

All the alternative vehicles now being considered will require early adopters too, if any of them are to succeed. They will all have to start somewhere and there will be many missteps along the way. And we need the alternative technologies: what we have today is broken and though we do not admit it, it no longer works.

But as long as the Luddites keep yelling "Get a horse!" to everything that comes up the road we are never going to get anywhere. If we are smart and imaginative and care about the future, we should be encouraging, not discouraging, electric and other alternative vehicles.

End of speech. Your reality may vary.


That's great, but the glory days of electric cars proceeded those of gas powered cars. Why don't you champion replacing pertroleum products with whale oil instead?

#23 Greg Locock

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 22:48

I must admit I am continually baffled as to why small 2 seater electric commuter cars have completely failed to take off.

The only answer I can think of is that the real operating cost of them (including capital and batteries) exceeds the cost of using a somewhat unsuitable normal car for the same job, and that people somehow figure this out.

The obvious way around that is to biff up the price of gasoline... but even in Europe, where gas is around $6/gallon and commutes are shorter (on average - I know plenty of people who have commuted >150 miles a day), electric cars are about as popular as politicians.

#24 Fat Boy

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 23:02

Originally posted by imaginesix
If you loped a cylinder off the engine it would be that much more fuel efficient yet again. Not quite the same car though.


Point taken.

#25 McGuire

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 23:48

Originally posted by Greg Locock
I must admit I am continually baffled as to why small 2 seater electric commuter cars have completely failed to take off.


Given their daily driving patterns, a significant number of consumers would find their needs comfortably met by electric vehicles -- with the current technology. No doubt about it.

However, the purchasing decision is not based on daily driving patterns. It's not even based on driving entirely. It's a lot more complicated than that. You may as well ask why people dress or wear their hair the way they do. It's social science, not rational economics.

The solution? One is to make electric cars sexy and/or desirable in the minds of buyers. By making it green, or trendy, or kicky or whatever -- Make the electric car a real part of their car-shopping landscape. Then if a consumer can use an electric car (not everyone can, but many can) they can take a look at it. Rick Wagoner has said more than once that in the long run, GM's decision to kill the EV1 was one of its lamer calls in recent years.

#26 Fat Boy

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 03:13

Originally posted by McGuire
I see we are all bold visionaries.

The gasoline automobile was not viable transportation for its first ten years of existence (at least). They were more or less a joke and people yelled "get a horse!" as they sputtered past. But people bought the cars anyway because they believed in the potential of the technology and wanted to be in at the start. In today's vernacular we would call these people "early adopters."

All the alternative vehicles now being considered will require early adopters too, if any of them are to succeed. They will all have to start somewhere and there will be many missteps along the way. And we need the alternative technologies: what we have today is broken and though we do not admit it, it no longer works.


I see. I'm supposed to subsidize auto manufacturers until they can come up with a product that is actually usable by buying very expensive products that don't really get the job done. Geeee, Bob, I think I'll take what's behind door #2.

#27 McGuire

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:23

Originally posted by Fat Boy


I see. I'm supposed to subsidize auto manufacturers until they can come up with a product that is actually usable by buying very expensive products that don't really get the job done. Geeee, Bob, I think I'll take what's behind door #2.


As long as you are satisfied with continuing to subsidize the mess we have now, that would seem to be a perfectly reasonable course.

#28 FrankB

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:39

Originally posted by McGuire


Given their daily driving patterns, a significant number of consumers would find their needs comfortably met by electric vehicles -- with the current technology. No doubt about it.

However, the purchasing decision is not based on daily driving patterns....


There is also the consideration that cars are used for more than the daily commute. My round trip to work each day is about 15 miles. During the lighter months I will often cycle to and from work, otherwise I use my car. This sort of journey... 15 miles per day at an average of around 20 - 25 mph would be ideal for an electric vehicle. But this afternoon we are going to travel down to Oxford for the evening... 120 mile round trip on roads where the majority of vehicles are going to be travelling at 70 - 80 mph. In an ideal world I would have two cars but my personal finances don't run to such luxuries.

Therefore I (and probably others) have to choose a car that provides a practical solution for the whole range of my motoring needs, even though the chosen car is not perfect for any one of those needs.

#29 McGuire

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 11:02

Originally posted by FrankB


There is also the consideration that cars are used for more than the daily commute. My round trip to work each day is about 15 miles. During the lighter months I will often cycle to and from work, otherwise I use my car. This sort of journey... 15 miles per day at an average of around 20 - 25 mph would be ideal for an electric vehicle. But this afternoon we are going to travel down to Oxford for the evening... 120 mile round trip on roads where the majority of vehicles are going to be travelling at 70 - 80 mph. In an ideal world I would have two cars but my personal finances don't run to such luxuries.

Therefore I (and probably others) have to choose a car that provides a practical solution for the whole range of my motoring needs, even though the chosen car is not perfect for any one of those needs.


Absolutely. People invariably buy for the maximum need, not the average need.

Another solution is to rent a car for special purposes, if the need is no more than a half-dozen times per year. I know of many people who rent to have something more roomy and luxurious for long trips, or just something novel and different, and to save wear and tear on their own cars.

And if you do the math it works out. If you extend the life of your car past the last coupon in the payment book, keep driving it daily and then rent a new car at $50 a day for vacations and holidays, it comes out a whole lot cheaper than buying new cars and continually turning them over. Rental agencies in the USA are finding that this is the fastest-growing part of their business. This is why rental offices are now popping up in suburban locations here.

#30 Catalina Park

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 11:12

I use a 40 year old 1100cc car that I bought for $800 to travel to work each day.
What can the electric car do for me that my current car can't do?

#31 McGuire

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 11:21

Originally posted by Fat Boy
The Prius is a successful hybrid, but if you dumped the batteries and electric motors and just ran off the gas engine, it would be more fuel efficient, yet.


First, that is not exactly a statement of pure fact. Next, performance and emissions will suffer.

Until the cost of a reasonable electric car is within 10-15% of what it's gas equivalent costs, it will never fly.


By far the most effective way to bring down the price is with production volume and knowledge base.

Along those lines... when people knock on the unit cost of the EV1, the first thing they are demonstrating is they don't understand the first thing about how the car business works. The first two hundred of anything are always going to cost a fortune. When a company cranks up a new product line it is making an investment, not performing an experiment. If GM was not willing to ride it for ten years they never should have pulled the trigger in the first place. Once again we see how Toyota is taking over the world. They made a decision: we do hybrids. Then they executed it.

#32 McGuire

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 11:26

Originally posted by Catalina Park
I use a 40 year old 1100cc car that I bought for $800 to travel to work each day.
What can the electric car do for me that my current car can't do?


Your 40-year old 1100cc car produces more emissions than half a dozen 3000cc new cars... and that is a conservative estimate.

Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing your choice of vehicles -- but you are not offering the world any solutions here.

#33 Catalina Park

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 13:02

I know that the emissions could be better but my car is already out there. There is no need to waste a lot of energy and use a lot of fuel in building a new car to replace my old one, and then there is the energy wasted in melting down my car.

Now as for an electric replacement, how much coal would I have to burn to run a clean electric car? :smoking:

I could always convert my 1100 to electricity just like Mr Harris.....
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#34 phantom II

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 14:30

http://groups.google...1b5d27d94622692

Which part of, 'It won't fly,' don't you understand? Gasoline engines are in their infancy and then there is coal. Get used to it. For your house and factory there are nukes.
How long have very clever people being trying to sort out electric cars? Talk about a mess, how many times have you had to deal with a run away battery? EMTs and rescue teams for aircraft and electric cars have died as a result of heavy live high voltage toxic systems.
Git yersef a horse, friend and ride it way into the sunset with your green friends.


Originally posted by McGuire


As long as you are satisfied with continuing to subsidize the mess we have now, that would seem to be a perfectly reasonable course.



#35 Todd

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 14:48

The problem is the perception that the technology to make electric cars is in its infancy. It is not. Every system involved in making electric cars is as near full development as the pushrod engine in a Nextel Cup car. The drive and management systems are near as well perfected. The demand for batteries of maximum energy storage density, low memory, and high durability has been constant since the invention of electricity. All sorts of other applications use batteries, yet gains in these areas have been incremental at best. Ships need batteries, orbital craft need batteries, continuous power supplies need batteries, planes need batteries, appliances need batteries, personal electronics need batteries, power tools need batteries.....etc. The idea that nobody has yet done sufficient research to find the magical battery that has 50 times the current energy density, doesn't lose capacity due to inconsistent cycling, and doesn't provide an environmental nightmare with its lifecycle is pure fantasy. The effort has gone on for a hundred years. The progress has always been incremental.

Should fuel cells solve the problem of storing energy that can be used by electric motors, it will happen whether or not people are forced to manufacture and use battery electric cars that offer no more utility than a bicycle, are likely to be far more unsafe than conventional cars, have batteries containing corrosive and toxic materials, and that run off an electrical grid that is weak where people most want clean cars and or powered by rather dirty means.

#36 McGuire

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 16:38

Originally posted by Todd
The problem is the perception that the technology to make electric cars is in its infancy. It is not. Every system involved in making electric cars is as near full development as the pushrod engine in a Nextel Cup car.


Baloney. Every modern electric car so far has been a severe compromise because they have never been manufactured in volume production. For example, the control system is a balance of cost vs. efficiency, but the cost is skewed by the low volume and the efficiency is limited by lack of experience base. We have been building prototype electric cars for the past 75 years, nothing more. But even so, electric cars are already viable as commuter vehicles, here and now, today, with existing technology and lead-acid batteries. Get them into production and build sales volume, and watch the cost go down and the efficiency go up. We are not violating any laws of physics here.

OF COURSE the progress is going to be incremental. Well DUH. What is your plan? Keep holding our breath, destabilizing the global economy, toppling governments and fouling our planet, waiting for the government or someone to materialize one perfect solution for everyone straight out of thin air? Not gonna happen. For one thing the problems are manifold, so no one solution is going to fix everything. This is a sucker's game the oppositionists play -- nothing will fix it all, so nothing is what we will do. Every possible solution is dismissed because it is not a magic wand.

I am sick and tired of hearing how in alternative vehicles this won't work and that won't work. ANYONE can say that. It takes no talent or imagination at all. Zzzz. People creatively facing problems and finding solutions -- that's worthwhile.

#37 McGuire

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 16:44

Originally posted by phantom II
http://groups.google...1b5d27d94622692

Which part of, 'It won't fly,' don't you understand?


While you seem to put a great deal of faith in it, I don't buy into any of that critique. In fact, it is kinda stupid once you examine it. We can go over it point by point if you like.

#38 McGuire

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 16:56

Originally posted by Catalina Park
I know that the emissions could be better but my car is already out there. There is no need to waste a lot of energy and use a lot of fuel in building a new car to replace my old one, and then there is the energy wasted in melting down my car.


A big part of the emissions problem in many areas -- Southern California immediately comes to mind -- is the age of the vehicle fleet. Cars last a long time in that environment. Meanwhile, older cars do not produce more emissions than newer cars; they produce many times the emissions.

For example, before 1996 most cars did not have fuel tank evaporative control systems. When your car is parked the fuel in the tank is evaporating into the atmosphere. That doesn't sound like much of an environmental impact.... until you multiply it by 15 million vehicles.

#39 Todd

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 17:00

Originally posted by McGuire


While you seem to put a great deal of faith in it, I don't buy into any of that critique. In fact, it is kinda stupid once you examine it. We can go over it point by point if you like.


Were you involved in managing the EV1 fleet? How are you going to argue around real world experience? When I lived in San Diego in 2002-2004, there were some EV1s around, and there were plenty of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, glorified golf karts for short hop commuting. We know why the EV1s are gone, but why didn't I see a single NEV on the road when I was there for 3 weeks this February, staying in the same neighborhoods where there used to be at least one on every block? Once the legislators accepted that electrics couldn't be forced on the populace, electric vehicles vanished from the showrooms. Once the early adopters realized they'd made a mistake, NEVs vanished from driveways. Even 4 years ago, half the ones you'd see on the street had for sale signs.

If there was a viable market for electric cars, people would produce them. If they did what consumers want and need, there would be a viable market. You want to bypass the will of individuals, and that is not something compatible with a remotely free society. The government didn't have to pass legislation against horses and force people to buy cars. Why should they do so for the next step in personal mobility?

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#40 phantom II

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 18:57

Well I told you to get yourself a horse, but not a high horse. Now git yersef down from it, will yeah?
Posted Image
Point by point, you say. I don't have the time for, what do you call it? Circular conversation. There is tons and tons of material out there on this matter and a lot of it has been posted on this forum. There are always two camps of thought that develop with any proposition, God only knows why. You have access to the same information, yet you arrive at a different conclusion.
Is man causing global warming or not? Is there global warming? Is it good or bad even if there is global warming? Liberalism and conservatism? Karl Marx or Adam Smith? The twain shall never meet.
I spent two years investigation putting an electric car into production. Even with massive government subsidies, the numbers suggested it would not be viable and wouldn't be anytime soon. Some of the materials required would only get more expensive on the commodities market with demand and so on and so on.
The profit/ capital investment ratio will deter any businessman worth his salt from pursuing such folly. There is a limit to the volumes and pace in which certain products can be manufactured also and therefore costs cant be brought down no matter the demand, unless you are a socialist living in socialist France. Airbus, anyone?
Why don't you check into the materials required, the mining there of and the manufacturing procedures of these materials and since you are so concerned about our little planet, check the disposal procedures of these materials and the cost there of. I assume that this is the focus of your resistance to 'reality'.
In this world of liberalism and unrealistic political correctness, reality persists regardless of individual realities. Careful of your motivations for such whimsy.
If you create products and bring them to the market as I have done most of my life, the reality is meeting payrolls and sustainable growth and above all, achieving the profit margins to realize the above.
Unless you have done that, there is a reality that you will never know. To take this matter to its ultimate conclusion, consider that throughout history, the only two components that allow civilization is the creation of wealth and the protection of same.
True leaders know the relationship between commerce and the military. No matter how much liberals try, they know nothing of either. In the case of Russia, they only knew the military.
Adam Smith rules and not Hillary Clinton. Not yet anyway. That is the only way we will have electric cars. Kapish? www.ccmajority.org
The west will have a severe reality check with the interference in and the contempt for both institutions. Within 50 years the Anglo Saxon will no longer be the policeman of the world. China understands the creation of wealth and the Art of War and so far, their liberals have no say.
This will be the ultimate reality check for liberals when their children are forced to speak Chinese. How far do you want to enforce your reality upon the rest of us, McGuire?



Originally posted by McGuire


While you seem to put a great deal of faith in it, I don't buy into any of that critique. In fact, it is kinda stupid once you examine it. We can go over it point by point if you like.



#41 CFD Dude

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 20:10

http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/

GM doesn't seem to think that the electric car is completely dead. The car is basically an electric car with an onboard generator that will charge the car if it has to.

#42 Greg Locock

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 22:52

That's always seemed like a good alternative to me, but the electric car enthusiasts tend not to like it. That's a series hybrid basically. The argument is that making the electrical driveline responsible for 100% of the power transmission is wasteful, and that compared with a pure EV dragging the mass and volume of an IC engine and generator around is an unnecessary burden. I vaguely remember that somebody built a trailer for their EV1 to do this - probably breaking their contract at the same time.

I haven't studied the trade-offs there, but at first sight it looks more like an ideological issue than a real problem.

#43 Engineguy

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 01:04

Originally posted by Greg Locock
That's always seemed like a good alternative to me, but the electric car enthusiasts tend not to like it. That's a series hybrid basically. The argument is that making the electrical driveline responsible for 100% of the power transmission is wasteful, and that compared with a pure EV dragging the mass and volume of an IC engine and generator around is an unnecessary burden. I vaguely remember that somebody built a trailer for their EV1 to do this - probably breaking their contract at the same time.

I haven't studied the trade-offs there, but at first sight it looks more like an ideological issue than a real problem.


The beauty of this approach, from a manufacturing/marketing standpoint, is the lack of a transmission. That's a huge chunk of cost removed... transmissions are quite expensive.

I've got to think though, given the energy inefficiencies of generating/storing/reconverting electricity, that they should consider a mechanical "high gear only" connection for constant high speed cruise (50-70mph)... an operating mode that tends to make up a large portion of the 100 mile+ trip. All it would take is a clutch and a 2:1 ratio gearset... probably 20% the cost of a conventional transmission.

#44 imaginesix

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 01:47

Isn't this already the acknowledged optimal hybrid solution?

A tiny IC engine with the capacity to cope with the car's greatest steady power requirements combined with a more substantial electric powertrain sized to accommodate the desired short-term power peaks according to the design brief (which will also serve to recover a more substantial amount of brake energy). Each motor is thus used in a manner that suits it best, with any unused engine power charging the electrical system (or just plain shut off). Seems to make a lot of sense to me.

#45 Engineguy

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 03:17

Originally posted by imaginesix
Isn't this already the acknowledged optimal hybrid solution?


No.

The current hybrid vehicles have a complete conventional IC drivetrain with multi-ratio transmission. The electric motor is used to assist the IC drivetrain, restart in stoplight scenario, and in some applications/situations act part-time as primary propulsion through the IC drivetrain.

In the GM Volt solution never propels the car mechanically by IC engine... there is no mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels... the IC engine is only used to run the generator.

My suggestion is somewhere in-between the above two solutions... more like the GM Volt, but with a simple "engaged-or-not-engaged" mechanical connection used only at near constant speed situation when the vehicle's wheel speed (x a constant ratio) matches the RPM the gen-motor is designed to be most efficient at.

#46 imaginesix

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 04:39

Yeah, I'm not saying the technically optimal solution is currently implemented, just that your suggestion adds up to that technically optimal solution. Or does it?

#47 Catalina Park

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 07:17

Originally posted by McGuire
For example, before 1996 most cars did not have fuel tank evaporative control systems. When your car is parked the fuel in the tank is evaporating into the atmosphere. That doesn't sound like much of an environmental impact.... until you multiply it by 15 million vehicles.

Wow, 1996. We got them in Australia in about 1974. You guys suck at pollution gear. :p

#48 imaginesix

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 07:25

I've never seen any car here (N.A.) that hasn't had an EVAP system (I've even seen one on a '71 Pontiac V8) so I suspect McG is wrong about the year. I looked but I couldn't find any regulatory document to pinpoint exactly when the EVAP requirement took effect so I can't be sure.

#49 McGuire

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 12:19

GM prefers to refer to the Volt not as a serial hybrid (which it is and is not, depending how you look at it) but as a plug-in electric car. There is an acronym with BEV on the back end but I don't remember the front initials referring to what is essentially the onboard genset. So one thing about all this... plenty of lingo and acronyms to sort out.

Had an interesting conversation with Bob Lutz (GM vice chairman) and Larry Burns (VP of R&D and strategic planning) about the Volt. As Burns sees it (he was there) if the EV1 program had not been killed, GM would now have a ten year leg up on the industry.

#50 McGuire

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 12:51

I was referring to fuel tank evaporative systems that actually work.

In 1971 we got an evap emissions system, but it was just a vapor line on the fuel tank that dumped into a canister. The vapors were then wafted through a bed of activated charcoal granules and thence out unto the atmosphere, basically. Everyone has seen the black plastic canister in the front wheel house with the hoses on it for the past several decades. Well, that's what that thing is.

We didn't get real evap control industry-wide in North America until 1996, about when the OBDII standards came online. Now the fuel tank is absolutely sealed from the atmosphere, with internal tank sensors to monitor the pressure differential. Fuel vapors from the tank and engine are locked in the tank and canister, and then ingested by the engine after startup. It actually works and is self-testing. So for example if you fail to install or tighten the fuel cap after fueling up, the CPU will note the no-seal and the MIL will illuminate on the dash.