Why GM Shouldn't Fail (and why hybrids are crap)

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wrote:


Problem is US auto doesn't know how to make them. Seriously.
Even Chrysler has Cummins do it. Duramax is a hangover but hardly car material.
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OK Mr. Engineer - please enlighten us... how could they produce this 80 mpg diesel easily? No one else is doing it, but US companies could do it easily? Beyond your bullshit, just what do you have to substantiate this claim?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@windstream.net
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Did I say diesel peckerhead? I said hybrid diesel. And yes, VW makes an 80mpg diesel; easily.
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Get real! If any auto manufacture could build a vehicle, that buyers would want to buy that got 80 MPG, they certainly would built it.
Think about it, dummy, they would control the market with such a vehicle. LOL

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http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/1267946.html
GM's Precept Hybrid Gets 80 MPG GMs five-passenger Precept hybrid gets an honest-to-goodness 80 mpg.
Published in the January 2001 issue.
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Bjrn wrote:

Too bad they don't make them.
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That is GMs problem right there. They had quite a few very clever people working for them once upon a time. Then the beancounters killed all progress and want to sell mediocre stuff. That is why GM is now bankrupt and dead.
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Mike wrote:

We know American pigs like to waste and pollute as much as they can.
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Name calling is counterproductive and uncalled for. That being said.
A few european vehicles can get over 80 mpg but there many other factors involve in dominating the auto market such that hi mileage by itself is not enough.
For example, the SEAT-Ibiza-Ecomotive gets up to 88 mpg in its super urban mode, and about 58 mpg in regular urban mode. However, it's not that fast and takes about 13 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. Volkswagon makes a super efficient diesel called the Polo BlueMotion which similar performance (both are using three cylinder diesel engines). Note that this source (european/british) also rates the Prius as getting 67 mpg - which reminds us that any fuel efficiency rating is contextual/relative.
see http://www.green-car-guide.com/articles/308/1/SEAT-Ibiza-Ecomotive/Page1.html http://www.green-car-guide.com/articles/297/1/Volkswagen-Polo-BlueMotion/Page1.html http://www.green-car-guide.com/articles/283/1/Toyota-Prius/Page1.html
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Great as a concept, kept an artist busy for awhile but not very practical. Say you have 2 kids and picking up groceries. How does the above work for you?
And I don't see people buying one vehicle to go to work,, and anotehr to get the groceries and transport the family. If it can't hold 2 adults, 2 kids and groceries it is not going to get widespread acceptance. But it might get some fashion statement buyers of the single kind.
Imagine a new way of making a car that is massively simplified.
- injection mould the vehicle frame and fenders, one step. Color is in this step, eliminates screws, bolts, painting, - glass, seats, dash, lights, doors is step 2. - 4 independant wheels with electric motors as one piece units, robots screw them on. Standardized between models to minimum cost. No tranny, no gears, direct drive. - load in battery array under the front the hood.
Drive off the assembly line. Total build time of 2 hours, one ever minute off the line. The computer will self align the stearing and lights. Everything is modular and field replaceable by the user or a minimally equiped local garage.
Walmart might even pick up warranty service as an untrained 16 year old with a lift can change out a bad wheel/motor assembly in 10 minutes. The vehicle's computer will re-align the wheels in the first 50 feet of driving it.
Cost, say $12,000 retail. 6 year 150,000 mi bumper to bumper warranty. Holds 4 adults with standard trunk space.
Just one thing holds it up, need a battery technology that will go say 400 miles without a charge. And can charge up fast. As well last more than 2-3 year before they loose their usefulness. New age cars all will depend on batteries.
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There is also a tooth fairy and an Easter bunny as well LOL

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The solution is not to get more powerfual batteries but to make a lighter more fuel efficent car. Fuel Efficient would be radically improve if the vehicle curb weight is lowered to about 800 lbs ( of which 400 lb is the battery system and 100 lbs is the motor/transmission/ and braking ). A vehicle body with a wind resistance of about .25 using a carbon fiber frame providing access to 4 adults and 4 suitcases could be made under 300 pounds but would anyone buy it? Extremely light cars would drive and ride more like a light turbo prop airplane than a Toyota Camry. I could just imagine such a vehicle being ripped apart on Top Gear (its a UK car show).
.
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Both are needed. One unexplored avenue the whole business seems to miss on fuel efficiciency and I question is that is gasoline as it is made today the best way?
For example, diesel cranks more power per burn rate. What else is there? A hyper-diesel blend with nitro? Say a diesel that can pull an F350 and boat with the same power as today but at 4 times the fuel efficiency on a new blend of fuel? One needs to remember the current fuel we burn was fundimentally designed about 100 years ago give or take. It is unlikely the best at efficiency.
That being said, fossel fuels are going to be with us for a very long time despite the hype of peek oil and the like. Hydocarbons quite litterally exist everywhere on the planet, it is only a question of economics to get at it. Many trillions of barrels exist, just depends do you want it for $2 gallon or $20?
But if you were to jump say 300 or 1000 years into the future, my bet would be battery/electric fueled by Thorium reactors. Or even possibly a throrium reactor in every home and auto splitting water into Hydrogen and Oxygen to be used as combustable components in a turbine or even psiton engine. Because one immutable fact about pistons, they do very well at making propultion energy. If we can't get a battery to crank like a piston, the piston will be with us for a long time.
.
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There's aviation-jet fuel. There's also vegtable oil ( within a limited temperature range) a diesel engine can run vegetable oil. Hmmm I wonder... a running a diesel VW Jetta running on Soybean oil?

There's more oil down there but most of the oil that we could extract inexpensively is gone which is what you dont hear the oil companies saying - yes they get more oil but they are going to have to drill deeper and look longer to find it. so it looks like the cost of oil will be going up (or the oil execs are going to have to take a pay cut to keep the cost down). If the profits go down for oil - you should expect to see more women and minorities running oil companies (e.g. a 50 year old female Inuit).

My favorite would be a "Back to the Future" DeLorean running on a "Mr. Fusion" which I could feed yesterday's leftover cabbage. :-)
But Seriously -- I expect two types of sustainable fuel types hydrogen-based and carbon-based. The hydrogen based would be created by electrolysis fueled by electricity generated by solar or wind power. I think hydrogen fuel cell - electric hybrid might be a more sustainable solution 100 years from now...The carbon based would be dependent on a photosynthetic source - e.g. biomass creation of methane or some other biofuel like F85 ethanol (e.g. Brazil) .
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Some huge problems with wind and solar. What do you do on a cold winter night when the wind is down? Freeze? In this case you would still need a fully functional peek capacity power plant based on something. Thorium and/or uranium would be a good choice, but converting all the NG/coal fired ones today is going to cost plenty.
And it is still cheaper to use an old coal/NG fired plant than to build a new thorium plant.
Second issue with solar and wind is environmental. To make a big impact you need many millions of square miles to reap the power needed to be signifigant. And as already mentioned, it still needs to have the traditional fuel burning plant as backup.
And if you turned every crop into ethanol in North America, you wouldn't have enough energy to power up to current demands. Not even close. At best, a suplimentry fuel.
To be viable, any future power source needs to be 7x24x365 to be economical in full scale. The rest is experimental and supplimental at best.
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Even today we have a combination of hydropower, nuclear, fossil fuel(gas/coal/diese), and alternative ( solar/wind/geothermal). So it's highly unlikely that in the future there is going to be only one source of electrical power.
What makes any source of electrical power viable is a economical method of a power distribution infrastructure to send power from one location to another.
Nuclear's obstacles are that of nuclear waste and that eventually even our radioactive fuel will dry up if we use it too fast. Using breeder reactors can make nuclear power more fuel efficient but it just forestalls the time when one runs out of "usable* radioactive fuel. Alternative power obstacle tends to be that only certain regions or environment are economically viable - the West and Southwest regions of the USA being best for solar. The Midwest, the mountain ranges, and the coastline (along the continental shelf ) being the best places for wind farms. Surprisingly most wind generators don't need the wind to be very fast to run and in certain places the wind speeds never really drop. However, for solar power may not generate enough powe. Rather than store excess power in a battery - It might be more effective to store excess power as hydrogen or carbon base gas fuel cell.
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GasSaver wrote:

Why don't you try a Jetta TDI that gets 50mpg on diesel and will climb those hills with the AC on.
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wrote:

Saw this coming, but the next major complaint about those tiny hybrids will be safety. Insurance rates will surely rise in the upcoming years as sales of these 'tin cans' goes up and accidents start having more fatalities.
http://tunerhybrids.com
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Are you happy to come for a 100 mile drive, brim the tank and if the mileage isn't what a hybrid will give me then charge me nothing?
--
Clive

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