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
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.
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.
That is GMs problem right there.
They had quite a few very clever people working for them once upon a
Then the beancounters killed all progress and want to sell mediocre
That is why GM is now bankrupt and dead.
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
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
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,
- 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
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
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).
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
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.
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
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
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) .
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.
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
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.
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
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