|Electric carsPage 7 of 9 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)|
|A pocket-size gas turbine could run a generator powerful enough to run my house. It would also cost as much as a small car. A device that "idles" at 15,000 rpm has to be manufactured to insanely exacting standards of precision (machined to tighter specs than a $5,000 Swiss watch and made of pure unobtanium alloy).|
Most owners of turbo-equipped cars burn out the turbo bearings the first time they change their oil, is it reasonable to expect the typical consumer to properly maintain an even higher-revving hip-pocket turboshaft engine?
Keep the ideas coming, though, we need more out-of-the-box thinking.
Posted: 8/8/2008 9:21:13 AM
|The "natural process" argument is a good one (doesn't come close to eliminating the liklihood that human activities are contributing enough to tip the natural balance, and would actually make the situation less "fixable"), but I'm not sure how it justifies shamelessly squandering diminishing resources. The bright side of the "natural process" is that it will eventually weed out the Bubbas that can't adapt to a world with $10+ gallon fuel; lacking fuel for their pickups and SUVs, they will wither and waste away: "natural selection."|
I haven't heard too many bright arguments coming from the pro-pollution Bubbas; more domestic drilling would simply use up domestic reserves faster, eventually (within a decade or so) leading to even greater dependence on imported oil (urban Bubba legends to the contrary, there are no large untapped pools of crude oil in the US); disabling or ending CAFE would simply encourage anti-conservation Bubbas to burn up fuel faster (Bubba opinion to the contrary, consumers really don't make smart economic decisions, just look at the mortgage industry crisis), dismantling EPA really won't help slow "climate change," natural process or not.
It's amusing that the "green" solutions also make more economic sense for the individual, but that's apparently beyond Bubba comprehension.
The whole anti-conservation, pro-pollution, "I'll drive my gas hog whenever and wherever I want" Bubba mindset is self-destroying in the long term, unfortunately it means I'll be commuting in an electric vehicle, or on a (probably enclosed recumbent) bicycle (or HPV trike) a lot sooner than I want to.
Posted: 8/8/2008 9:31:42 AM
|Pickup trucks actually make excellent electric conversion vehicles- lots of room for batteries in the bed and the suspension can handle the weight of the batteries. Compact pickups are actually preferred for EV conversions. The ideal choice for conversion is an otherwise sound pickup with a good manual transmission and a bad engine.|
Posted: 8/8/2008 12:25:13 PM
|What in your view is the cheapest small van to drive in today's high gas cost climate?|
Posted: 8/8/2008 1:26:11 PM
|For me, the "cheapest small van to drive" is the one I presently own, a 1995 Pontiac Trans Sport.: 24 mpg highway, usually around 18 mpg city.|
It's paid for.
I can buy a lot of gas and pay for a lot of repairs for the amount of money even a hugely discounted newer van would cost, and the insurance (state minimum, Liability Only, $180/year, because it isn't financed) and license/registration fees ($42/year) are a lot cheaper than for a new one.
I think if I had to buy a newer one, I'd go with the short Dodge Caravan with 4 cyl engine, negotiate the price as low as possible, probably look for a 5-10 yo used one. Avoid 1994-95 GM products unless they have OBD I or OBD II ('94-95 Trans Sports have neither).
Posted: 8/8/2008 3:23:10 PM
|I haven't seen snow that stuck in my area since 1973. We got 3 inches that year. If it starts snowing every year, I'll start to look more seriously at the whole "Global Warming" thing. |
What I can't believe is a bunch of nuts going up north in late spring/early summer and saying "The Ice is Melting!!' ...of course it is, it's TIME for it to melt...in late fall & early winter it'll freeze up again.
The geologic strata of the earth shows quite clearly many cycles of heating & cooling...there's ample info there. I feel man can speed it along a little bit, but nature has a way of making everything work out just the way SHE wants to.
Far cheaper to convert an older vehicle than buy a new one.
One odd thing people argue ad-infinitum on some boards is the weight of all the new electric gear. Well, if you take out a V-8 engine and replace it with a power head mounted to the tranny, that weighs about 1/3 of the original motor and you've saved weight. If you cut off the gas tank & assorted gear, there's another 300-500 pounds gone, the batteries replace most of that saved weight until you get to a point that you are basically back where you started, with roughly the same weight. The batteries can be placed in the engine bay (where you've saved space) and in the trunk/bed area. Even if adding an extra 200-500 pounds of batteries, it's like having a friend or two on board.
I have seen rather nice setups on old Japanese pickup trucks where they've lifted the bed to weld in battery boxes underneath it & then replaced the bed, and used the saved space under the hood to place battery boxes by re-forming the inner fender wells. Helps keep the weight centered.
Posted: 8/9/2008 5:17:09 PM
|That truck can pull a 26,000 pound trailer as rated by the DOT.|
Posted: 8/10/2008 9:29:21 PM
|I believe I've forgotten more about diesel engines than the majority of posters here will ever know, and the cumulative ignorance is entertaining, but this began as a thread about electric cars. That's a subject I'm intensely interested in, because in an urban setting, especially as a daily solo commuter, only an electric vehicle is ever going to approach the overall efficiency of the diesel-powered Class 8 OTR tractor-trailer combnation. There is really something appealing about plugging it in overnight and driving it to work in the morning without concern about keeping the gas tank full.|
I'm surprised the moderators haven't closed this hijacked thread.
Posted: 8/18/2008 3:32:35 PM
|I would like to see what happens in Tennessee where the state government is working with Nissan to produce electric and fuel cell cars---building the infrastructure for charging stations as well as extending the range of the vehicles. I have no opposition to electric vehicles, on the contrary the electric dragsters and the electrified Porsche I've seen are a hoot!!!|
Posted: 8/19/2008 8:46:50 PM
Bollocks. While it's probably true that the turbocharger is the first major mechanical piece to go (based on my sample one - of my own turbodiesel I've had for a decade) I've only gone through two turbos in half a million miles. And the second one was a used one for $100 off ebay not the new $3000 correct 300Sd part.Bollocks yourself.
It's a provable fact. When consumers WHO CHANGE THEIR OWN OIL do so on their turbo-equipped cars, they forget to turn the engine over with the ignition disabled (per factory recommended procedure, which varies company to company and model to model) to lubricate the turbine bearings. The result is a destroyed turbo, often within seconds of starting the engine. Even trained mechanics have made that mistake, but it's usually only a problem for know-it-alls (that don't) who try to save a few bucks by changing their own oil.
I personally think the turbo-equipped 4-cylinder engine (gas or diesel, diesel would have been my preference) should have become standard in economy cars decades ago, it's those pesky things like destroyed turbos that have made consumers think them unreliable.
Back to electric cars- I think a 4-seat electric car capable of 75 mph and a 50 mile range is very close. I don't think it's going to be made by the major car companies, however.
Posted: 8/19/2008 10:29:41 PM
|Somehow I just can't believe someone who says "Electric cars are made of fail..." Doesn't even matter that he's wrong & jack's right... SPELLCHECK, laddie, SPELLCHECK!!|
Ok, now that's off my chest...
Most of us are waiting on large lithium-ion batteries prices to drop in a few years, which WILL make a HUGE difference in how electric cars work & operate. As with all technologies, it has to become the standard, then it will become less expensive...time makes it all work out eventually. I'd be happy with a car that went 55mph with a 100 mile range...the Speed Limit is going to go back to the Old manditory 55MPH soon anyway...
The main headache is that car manufacturers and oil companies are totally against electric unless THEY fund & build it to their advantage. Remember the 1947 Nissan Tama EV?? It was set up to where one could easily take out the batteries and exchange them for full ones at a filling station!! Gee, there's a way for Big Oil to work electric to it's advantage!!! But then, chances that a filling station would actually HAVE enough batteries on hand to meet demand would be...improbable at best.
Posted: 8/19/2008 11:36:38 PM
But then, chances that a filling station would actually HAVE enough batteries on hand to meet demand would be...improbable at best.Actually, it's already happening. The idea (which is already being implemented in Israel and Denmark) would be that you buy the car, lease the batteries for a very small one-time fee, and then pay only for the electricity you use. The electric utility retains ownership of the battery.
No need to wait for exotic new battery technology, this model works with present batteries.
When needed, swapping batteries would be a 5-minute process, you would pay only for the service of exchanging batteries plus the electricity stored in it.
Posted: 8/20/2008 2:30:22 AM
|First of all oil refineries and many other manufacturing plants show so many emissions that its ridiculous. |
People need to get real; Republicans say, "we need to lesson our need for foreign oil" WE NEED TO LESSEN OUR NEED FOR DOMESTIC OIL!
All cars should be hybrid or electric; I know 5 people with electric cars and they have no problems at all; end of story; there are now countries that are going to be all hybrid/electric cars in 10 years. We have no plan; why? American oil doesn't want it.
If they wanted electric cars, we'd have them. Big oil rules the world right now.
Also keep in mind that in the last 38 years, gas prices have decreased in price from July to November in an election year by an avg. of 8-13% when there is a Republican president. Why? Big oil backs republicans way more, and Republicans totally cater to big oil. It's to protect the Republicans from any backlash from high oil prices. After November, watch prices go up.
Posted: 8/20/2008 1:36:06 PM
|We need a "shipstone" battery that powers a vehicle for days at any speeds necessary and maybe a $300 million prize will bring it to us...|
Posted: 8/20/2008 1:46:20 PM
|As an aside, California may enact a law that requires the cars to be noisier than they are because they can be an issue for the sight impaired.|
I think GM is coming out with a plug in called the VOLT in 2010???
Posted: 8/23/2008 2:01:42 AM
|Mind you, GM killed the electric car itself on a regular basis....ALL their electric vehicles were on Lease Only, you could not Purchase one. After the leases were up, they DESTROYED all of them...|
Big Oil drives the major car manufacturers, it's only the Ballsy & European that are willing to step totally away from Big Oil. The Japanese eventually will as well...but they're getting too much money NOT to right now.
Posted: 8/23/2008 2:30:54 PM
|Jack, the California standard was dropped due to the Big Three suing the living daylights out of California's CAFE standard. Obviously, Cali lost...and so did we all.|
Posted: 8/23/2008 8:25:52 PM
|3.2V 40 AH Lithium-Iron-Phosphate cells are available now to tinkerers for $100 each, you'll need probably 18-20 or more per wheel, so for a homebuilt 4-wheel, 4wd car that's $7,200-8,000 just for the batteries (I'm assuming scaling up the current electric maxiscooters, with a 3.5 KW (4-2/3 hp) hubmotor per wheel).|
50-60 mile range, top speed about 6p mph.
Something a creative xxxguyxxx I mean, person, could do in one's garage.
Posted: 8/24/2008 1:06:13 PM
E85 works best at a much leaner mix (7 to 1)-. Gasoline works best rich(12-1). With an emmission or lean burn the advantage goes to e85.
You "lean" and "rich" backwards.
the stoichiometric fuel-air ratio for gasoline is 14.7 to 1 - 14.7 parts air to one part fuel, by weight.
the stoichiometric fuel-air ration for ethanol is 9 to one - 9 parts air to one part fuel, by weight.
Ethanol requires more fuel per unit of air - a richer mixture, not a leaner one.
Posted: 8/24/2008 1:12:03 PM
The idea that the oil corporations influence car design is just laughable.
But parroting conspiracy theories is easier than having actual facts!
Posted: 8/24/2008 1:18:15 PM
They sold a lot of them.... We the taxpayers paid for them... loss of tax revenue.....
We paid for them?
Sure we lost some tax revenue, but nothing like the cost of the vehicle.
What do you think it costs when a automaker closes a plant? Lots of tax revenue lost there, too - at all levels.
Posted: 8/24/2008 8:58:40 PM
|If Big Oil wasn't involved, why have the Big Three automakers in the US TOTALLY dropped the ball on making higher MPG standards & alternative fuel vehicles?? We had the opportunity and means back in the 70's & 80's, yet LITTLE was ever done.|
I managed to get an average of 27 MPG out of a 1972 Plymouth Duster with a 318 c.i. v-8 engine & auto tranny...by doing nothing other than keeping it in good tune, leaned out the carburator slightly, and didn't stomp on the gas pedal every time I took off...so I KNOW the Big Three have had the capability for higher MPG cars for some time, they just don't seem to WANT to do it.
Heck, my 1981 Ford Courier with a 2.3L 4-cyl, 5-speed got 38MPG...after carb adjustment. It's NOT rocket science. You lean it out little by little until it starts knocking...then you bring it back up to the last no-knock setting. They even have an item which does it electronically for motorcycles...you can switch back & forth between POWER & ECONOMY settings...wonder why they don't make them for all cars???
Posted: 8/25/2008 3:57:32 PM
In the US, horsepower wars are still more profitable than fuel economy.
Sadly, that's the case. Even with gas at over $4.15/gallon, some drivers weren't slowing down a bit (the rationale being "I get the same mileage at 75 as I do at 50," which is pure, stinky, slimy bovine excrement), but they were VERY vocal in their annoyance at fuel prices. Sales of less-efficient light trucks are down, however, so some consumers came to grips with reality.
Most of the "anti-electric car" arguments are irrelevant and distracting.
No one will be forced to buy an electric car, now or ever. There will "always" be a market for, and a source of, ICE-powered vehicles; they will eventually be more costly than electrics, as the volume of ICE vehicles manufactured diminishes and the volume of electric car sales increases, but it's unlikely they will be outright prohibited (in the lifetime of anyone reading this in 2008).
Eventually the majority of drivers will realize that most of their daily driving is less than 50 miles, and electric vehicles will become mainstream, as easy to use and as convenient as, or more convenient than ICE vehicles.
I have an electric lawn mower. Some of my neighbors are resentful, and I've been called worse names than "treehugger" or "communist," because I use a device that uses no oil or gas, requires no annual tuneup, no spark plug cleaning or oil changes, starts every time and doesn't require that I keep flammable liquids stored in my residence-
and is SO MUCH CHEAPER to use. And I don't have to wait until after 6 PM on "Nozone" days to mow the grass (because the judge says so).
My experiences with electric machines has been nothing but positive, and I welcome the day when I can plug in my car after work, unplug it in the morning, drive to work, drive home after work, plug it in...
I'll just keep the Buick for weekends and long vacation drives.
Posted: 8/25/2008 5:44:57 PM
|I just got to test drive a 2009 Dodge Challenger Hemi 6-speed, pre-production model...and I'm sorry although I think the electric dragsters are a hoot and somebody said get a soundtrack and play it on CD, that sound is just incredible when I put my boot in it and no "hmmmmm" will replace it. Of course they probably said something similar about the horse around 1905...|
Posted: 8/25/2008 6:18:20 PM
|Back in the '60s, Mattel made a toy engine called a "Vroom motor." One model was made to bolt to an existing bicycle to make that "motorcycle sound."|
Simple design, a small motor turned an arm with a weight on it that thumped against a sounding board. I'm sure we can fit something similar to electric cars.