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Help design a car.

08/25/2007 5:53 PM

What would you design into a car to make it more energy efficient? It may combine the best features of existing cars or completely new design. It should be four passenger, capable of extended mileage, be air conditioned and enviromentally friendly. If you submit an idea, please state the associated pros & cons.

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#1

Re: Help design a car.

08/26/2007 1:01 AM

Could I ask the motive behind this question? Simply for interest, or with an objective?

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#2

Re: Help design a car.

08/26/2007 4:38 AM

The problem is the public...not the design.

The fools want big overpowered 4wd suv phallus substitutes that will kill any kid they bump into while their brats are sitting in the supposedly safe, unstable, road hogging leviathon being driven 200 yards to school and parking on the pavement outside my house.

Ahhh that's better.

Small efficient engine, light pedestrian friendly body...but this is obvious.

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 10:11 AM

Effin A!!! I'm with you.

We americans are way too much into our GD bloat mobiles.

Maybe when gas hit 6$ / gal, we ll finally wise up?

Ive always proposed small 1 or 2 person (tandem) vehicles -

low CD, small ~500 lbs, 1 - 2 HP, hybrid, 30 MPH max, 300 MPG no sweat.

Better than a bicycle for more distant destinations.

Also, would keep the weather off of the occupants.

We can do this if we All get behind it, but

I m afraid that we re just a smij too selfish.

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 9:02 AM

I've often dreamed of a jet turbine/electric hybrid. Chrysler experimented with jet powered cars in the 50's and 60's, but the biggest problem with them was they were slow to accelerate. Fast forward to today and that problem can be eliminated with an electric drivetrain. Turbines are more energy efficient then recciprocating engines, and can be tuned to burn just about anything (according to legend, the early chryslers once ran on Scotch as part of a demonstration) eliminating our need for gasoline. I would just use the turbine to generate electricity, not as a prime mover. This has a number of advantages. One, you dont have to wait for the turbine to spin up to accelerate because you can run on reserved battery power. Two, you can run the turbine at a constant speed that delivers ideal fuel economy. Three, when parked at stop signals, because the turbine is moving at constant speed you can store unused power in batteries for quick acceleration. Ideally the turbine would produce enough power for the drivetrain directly at cruising speed, with a small surplus going to batteries. This would eliminate the need for many heavy batteries, making the car lighter, faster, and more fun to drive. One might even go so far to envision no batteries at all, but a bank of capacitors set to discharge when high acceleration is needed. Another added bonus is turbines are simple compared to traditional piston engines, with less wear and tear, meaning longer life. The only challenge someone might pose is what to do with the higher exhaust gas temperatures. Well, my first inclination would be to slow down and let the stupid teenager in his modified Honda Civic who's tailgating me get close enough that I can melt his aftermarket front fascia off, but in reality the technology is readily available to reduce those temps to within range of traditional engines.

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#4

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 9:03 AM
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#46
In reply to #4

Re: Help design a car.

01/15/2010 2:29 PM

what a great design!

GA.

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#5

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 10:00 AM

Light weight carbon fibre monocoque frame (move away from steel altogether), variable geometry panels tied to car speed to help reduce aerodynamic drag. Do away with traction control and the like. Light weight all-aluminium diesel engine capable of running strictly on bio-diesel.

Better drivers: Like the old saying goes - "The problem with making things idiot proof is that the keep making a better idiot."

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 10:47 AM

I think that is a great idea for a car frame. One serious consideration though is: How are you going to recycle that composite frame when the car becomes wrecked or obsolete?

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#41
In reply to #9

Re: Help design a car.

08/31/2007 10:19 AM

Here is a link that addresses the recycling problem. Since most aircraft composite frames are primed with hexavalent chromium it makes them almost impossible to recycle. They need to find a better primer material.

http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/doingbiz/environmental/TechNotes/TechNotes2003-11.pdf

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Anonymous Poster
#6

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 10:02 AM

It must have:

  • Extremely large beverage holder
  • A little ball on top of the aerial
  • Tail fins
  • Bubble domes
  • Shag carpeting
  • Several horns that all play "La Cucaracha"
  • For infant passengers a second soundproof bubble dome with optional straps and muzzles

It should be, "powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a Nerf ball"

Wait, it's already been done. (not in real life of course)

http://ecofootprint.blogspot.com/2006/10/design-belies-process-homers-dream-car.html

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Anonymous Poster
#8

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 10:19 AM

1 A well-designed electric car has no need for clutch nor disengage nor engage nor gearbox because the motors should be high torque at low speed and low torque at high speed.

2 Also the car should not have differential gear ball, because it may use two independent electric motors, one for each front wheel, or even four electric motors, one for each wheel.

3 An electric car should have regenerative brakes in parallel with normal disk brakes, these last ones only for emergency, but in general, normal braking should be highly regenerative, well above 95% kinetic energy should be recovered.

4 The battery bank should be connected in parallel with a super-capacitor bank.

Batteries have high energy density in Joules/Liter

Super Capacitors have high instantaneous power density in Watts/Liter

So with connecting both banks in parallel you have the best of both, high energy density and high power density.

5 All gas stations should have a battery charging station and an electric car section where users can leave used batteries for recharging and receive charged batteries.

6 The battery replacement operation should be automatic, by using a special mechanical loader, and should take no more than a minute. The user does not go to the electric section of the station to "recharge" batteries, because that would take hours, the operation is just a replacement. Right after replacement, the user turns on a diagnostic of the new battery in the car computer, and a small screen in the instrument panel displays the results, for if there is any problem with the new battery. The batteries should be of public use, in some standard different sizes upon the vehicle.

7 In my modest opinion charging batteries at home should be absolutely prohibited because of the danger of explosion on connecting to the parallel bank without gradual connection with a PWM-converter equipment, that is an expensive equipment. This is because super capacitors allow currents of thousand amperes and the liberation of some megawatts spikes during some milliseconds, so the explosion danger is similar as to have a gas station at home, which is also prohibited.

8 The style and performance, say power and acceleration capability, of the electric car should be quite similar and indistinguishable of current gas cars, like any Ford, Chevrolet or Chrysler, may be in aluminum or carbon fiber, but similar to the cars used by common people today.

I guess you are looking for someone to hire do this project. OK, I can do it.

Jaime Soto Figueroa

http://www.matharts.cl/

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Anonymous Poster
#10

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 11:04 AM

To Semi-retired,

Look on yahoo groups where you will find thousands of like-minded people to discuss ideas with and perhaps change the industry (or just change a few people's attitudes.)

The big car companies are investing billions on new "green" designs-- it is not easy or they would have done it already.

There is good info online if you do a google search (EPA has some good info.) Beware of scam sites looking for "investors" (ie suckers.)

Jaime, if the super capacitors can explode, why have them in the car? (I'd rather they exploded in the garage than under my bottom!)

cheers, d

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 12:03 PM

Del the Cat How right you are about those obnoxious 4wd suv's. You can almost bet that when you come to move your parked car, after shopping or whatever, and sure enough on one or both sides of your vehicle you have one of those 4wd s.o.b's and it's almost impossible to see when you try to back out. You always seem to risk your life under these conditions. It is also noticeable that they seem to have a higher speed limit than conventional vehicles, perhaps this is related to the 4 wd aspect of those monstrosities of the road.

However all that aside, I do have the perfect car. I am not sure of its economy or its effect on the environment, but it is the ideal car when you consider its other specs.

It is none other than "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!!!

Now that car will get you out of any pread....pridick....preedi....mess.

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Anonymous Poster
#28
In reply to #10

Re: Help design a car.

08/28/2007 9:38 AM

The technology of super capacitors is not more dangerous than the technology of gas tanks, but it is dangerous as it is any technology to store large amounts of energy and to make available large amounts of power to be suddenly delivered or recovered.

In fact there exist regulations to transport super capacitors that are similar to those for transporting gasoline through populated areas, tunnels and roads.

Super capacitors provide the instantaneous power spikes needed by the motors to accelerate suddenly or to absorb instantly the power recovered by the motors on strong reverse action by a sudden regenerative braking.

The batteries have much more series resistance than a super capacitor, thus preventing strong regenerative braking, and the super capacitor allow enlarging the life of the batteries by bypassing them for sudden power delivery or recovery requirements. Imagine the case of driving around the hills of San Francisco and trying to brake instantly when going down the hills. You would not like to waste that energy in the disks all the time.

Jaime

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#11

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 11:54 AM

Make one that does not change its basic design from year to year.

That has parts available to the end of time.

That if the transmission goes out, there is always a new transmission available, not leave the car owner to pay $900 to rebuild the old transmission.

Not so many bells and whistles, spartan, so that there are fewer parts to fail.

Vehicle id on many of the parts so that if the car is stolen, that id can trigger an investigation leading to an arrest.

design a light, baseball or construction worker type helmut for the occupants, that is cheap to buy. Riding on a highway without helmuts, the King has no clothes.

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#29
In reply to #11

Re: Help design a car.

08/28/2007 7:32 PM

Does anyone remember CHECKER?

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#13

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 12:39 PM

Design a car..., Like a boat:

1) Composites, foam and cores for the structure.

2) A small diesel or gas engine with an electric option.

Bob

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Anonymous Poster
#14

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 12:53 PM

What does "semi-retired" mean?

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#21
In reply to #14

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 4:30 PM

I work a 3day week...maybe I'm semi retired?

If I put 2 new tyres on my car... is that semi-re-tyred?

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#15

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 3:31 PM

It needs to be low cost,

Operate on wind or solar power, no fossil fuels, or external power sources.

Be maintenance free and have the option of either driving along the roads, or flying above them (at the switch of a button)

And yeah a lot of cupholders too, maybe a seat belt or too and a gps and cell phone to play with and distract you from driving...

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#16

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 3:31 PM

Way back in the 50's a group of electrical Engineers developed a small electric car capable of 35 mph. It had a short range but had a small gas engine which you started when you got to your destination. When you came out it was ready to go again. Modifications of this concept could work today with better batteries.

Next reincarnate Abner Doble and his steam car runs on any liquid fuel, is self adjusting to accomodate those fuels. Built with a tube coil that was varied in diameter as the tube length increased. It returned the steam into water and did not require stopping at ever stream as the Stanleys did.

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#17

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 3:32 PM

Structure - Recyclable

That would be materials like aluminum, various organic fibre composites based on robust materials (Hemp and lacquer). Heh - make the auto manufacturers responsible for the recycling of their vehicles just like is being done now for electronics in some countries now. Steel would still be used but now everything would have to be recovered easily so no hidden surprises like mercury tilt switches and crap electrical controls that waste power for what they do.

Power plant and energy system

Those off the shelf kinetic batteries. Mass produced their cost would drop well below their $20K price tag as of today. Safer than capatories. Not sure if multiple motors is more efficient than one good large one and an extended drive train though. If we went with the new high tech ceramics we could run hotter and more efficient. Maybe run off pretreated household effluents. Electro-thermal generators instead of turbines if we could get the efficiencies as good or better than a turbine and generator set. That would mean less moving parts to cause problems.

Make off roading illegal as a pass time due to environmental damage, though it has its good points in promoting Darwin award winners.

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 4:12 PM

"Make off roading illegal as a pass time due to environmental damage, though it has its good points in promoting Darwin award winners."

Which is worse, environmental damage due to off roading or due to man made construction? One hurts nature, the other eliminates it all together. We are our own worst enemy. Hopefully this recent "green" initiative slowly chiseling away at the problem will be sufficient to sustain human life for as long at it takes for us to figure out another means for survival.

In regards to building a better car. The auto industry is migrating in the right direction with many modular elements that can be removed and recycled with no additional processing necessary. How about if certain parts that never degrade could be reused into your next car. Car's available with re-manufactured parts selling for 1/2 or 2/3 of what a comparable one would cost new? This would never happen with any existing auto manufacturer.

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#30
In reply to #17

Re: Help design a car.

08/29/2007 1:11 PM

Off road racing and Darwin awards.. made me think of this

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Help design a car.

08/29/2007 1:14 PM

Did he turn around at the top 'cos he realised he'd left his sandwiches on the kitchen table?

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Help design a car.

08/29/2007 1:21 PM

I dare not reply. I see that I've sinned by the new "off topic" button. That's new since I was last here. No more fun allowed? (kidding- of course)

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#18

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 3:43 PM

All the comments about recycling are falling into the trap of supposing it will be designed to wear out like current cars rather than being repairable.

There is no reason why a well designed vehicle body/chassis shouldn't easily last 25 years or more if it is well designed. Current designs are have built in obsolescence and are not designed for ease of maintenance/repair.

The same applies to engines.

The proliferation of electronics in modern car design has made them more reliable but ironically more difficult to fault find and repair....Please don't bother telling me about fault codes and all that cr*p. In the UK we recently had a batch of contaminated fuel which caused havoc....there was nothing actually wrong with the fuel...it's just that it contaminated the oxygen sensors which then screwed up the engine management systems. This is a classic case of complicating to the point of non functionality.

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#20

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 4:15 PM

design acar in the manner of its functionality , power with electricity ,two extend milege add small gas powered engine , add inovative techniques for air conditioning ,regenerative braking , solar power for audio /video , so add solar panel at roof top , lighter body airo dynamics

electric vehicles are here to stay gas power will fast become extinct not because of scarcity but prices will overtake production electric techniques are far simpler , presently battery is limiting factor for cost weight range workablity , but if such cars are produced they can give better comforts

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#22

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 6:49 PM

My motive for asking the question (1) in this forum is to see if my ideas jive with engineers across around the world. I doubt if I could raise the capitol to build them or even one on my own. Semi-retired is more a frame of mind than financial independance (14). There were some great ideas expressed; the multi-fuel turbine (3) being run at constant speed (even when parked or stalled in traffic on a long trip) is great. I understand maintaining a speed of 60 mph only requires 10 Hp so supercaps could be recharged by a 15 Hp turbine even while running at 60 mph. Super caps are fast becoming battery replacements and are only needed during acceleration. Lightweight carbon fibre frames & aerodynamic panels (5) could easily be mass produced. If the material could be recycled (17) (19) damaged fenders etc. could be returned for new ones and the damaged parts melted down to form new ones, as needed. As stated (#8) there would be no need for a clutch, gearbox, differential, brake pads or disks and slowing down would recover a high percentage of the energy used to accelerate. The battery swap-out (8) idea is good but at-home battery and super cap charging could probably be safely achieved with good engineering. There are a lot of people who only drive 40 miles a day. If they could top off at home the cost per mile would be pennies.

Thanks to all who have participated so far. Wouldn't it be great if someone in Detroit read this?

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 10:59 PM

I have read the entire list of responses. The points that I would like to make are the large auto makers will never produce high milage vehicles. Hell I owned a 30 mpg rambler back in the late 50s early 60s. My other half owned a VW diesel Rabbit that regularly got 50 mpg. So where is the progress on that front? The reason is there is no incentive to cut fuel consumption with the oil company pressure not to. As far as the electric car is concerned there is no reason that an electric car should cost as much more that it does, there are fewer,less expensive parts. The electric car I am building will have about $650 worth of batteries. At city driving speeds I am projecting about 2 hours driving time, that should equate to 75 to 90 miles (that is about what I average with my current gas guzzeler). Another reason in favor of electrics is, The average person commutes less than 25 miles per day. So short range isn't a valid arguement. I'm not saying everyone should junk out their gas powered car,but for short trips to the grocery store or to the Gym you don't need 300hp, an electric car would do just fine. The races from one stop light to the next will still go on.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 11:53 PM

Dear "Semi retired Designer"

As an also 'semi retired' designer, automotive project director, financial control specialist (and Guest question 1). I asked the question ref motives simply because I personaly feel the auto industry has to be after the pharmaceutical industry the most deceptive and self centered industry this planet has had the misfortune of concieving.

There will only be changes made when the bottom line is not affected or if more profit for the shareholders is guaranteed. The majors (OEM's and tier one suppliers) are politicaly under pressure and also financialy under pressure. Lip service only is paid to the politicians, but genuine fear is expressed of shareholder pressure and the worlds financial markets.

There has been to my knowledge several exellent proposals for re thinking the industry with the environment as the leading design feature. All have been canned due to profit forecasts not being what the shareholders or the financial markets want to see.

You must understand the world is now financialy out of control and the inbalance of global debt Vs excessive profit taking is impeding true environmental (and social)development and progression.

I could go on for ages on this subject and become extremely boring, but I know there are quite a few engineering answers to our global environmental issues available that will never get off the ground due to large business suppresion.

The problem with our environment is corporate greed fuelled by inadequate government expertise in this field, not the lack of answers.

KennyT

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#26
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Re: Help design a car.

08/28/2007 2:54 AM

There will only be changes made when the bottom line is not affected or if more profit for the shareholders is guaranteed.

Yes and isn't that just sad?

When we teach our kids to ride a bike where is the profit in that?

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#25
In reply to #22

Re: Help design a car.

08/27/2007 11:56 PM

I appreciated your response to the earlier posts. Perhaps we need to ask the more basic question: "What do we want the car to do for us?" Then we can look at how it needs to be designed to meet this purpose (or these purposes).

1. Long life & ease of repair both suggest some form of modularity for the vehicle. This could be component modularity (such as body parts), or technological modularity (change power plant or range), or even function modularity (additional passenger space, cargo or light hauling body).

2. If everyone in the world were to have equal access to fossil fuels, then the consumption in the USA would have to be 1/10 of what we use now per person. Should the vehicle be designed so it can integrate into a form of mass transit, such as coupling with other units into a "train" which would have less wind resistance and higher vehicle density on the road? What design constraints does this limited fuel availability place on the ways cars will be used? Even if fuel were not a limiting factor, we still have to deal with congestion, land use, parking, pollution, etc.

3. "You don't get there from here." A very common statement in some areas of the country, because the only way was "round about" due to mountains, etc. Similarly, we need to look at the intermediate steps between where we are now and where we think we want to be 20 or 50 years from now. This may suggest an evolving design, which contains the "seeds" of its end product from its earliest stages, but is not fully evolved into its end form until limits imposed by the existing environment are gone.

4. Is the ownership model we use the best way? What about time sharing with reservations and a price which depends on how available a vehicle is in the fleet. This could ease some of the modularity problems, because then the fleet's mix would include the different sizes or styles that any one user may need/want at that particular time.

--John M.

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#27

Re: Help design a car.

08/28/2007 3:44 AM

Have a look at www.loremo.com - they have built a car for 4 passengers (or 2 plus more luggage), running more than 200 km/h with <3 l diesel for 100 km.
They will start production in 2009 at prices between 11000 and 15000 EUR.
CO2-output is 50g/km !
Regards Uwe

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#33
In reply to #27

Re: Help design a car.

08/29/2007 2:07 PM
  • There have been several successful water powered (electrolysis; hydrogen-oxygen) cars invented. The inventors are now all dead. From the article (I can't seem to find now) only one died of natural causes.
  • In the US we have to share out interstate highways with a large number of "18-wheelers" (VERY large cargo trucks.) I would not want to be involved in a collision either directly or in-directly with one of these in a lightweight composite vehicle. My car is substantially protective and gets 29 mpg. (I am not opposed to light-weight aerodynamic vehicles or reducing fossil fuel dependency.)
  • Batteries are heavy, expensive and have limited life-span. Current limited super-capacitors would seem to be a good alternative.
  • There are those in power whose agendas do not match the 'green-power' criteria and unfortunately they are the ones who make the legislative decisions.
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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Help design a car.

08/30/2007 6:15 AM

The problem is more economic than technical, tax cars both with purchase tax and licence fee according to weight and reduce the tax on diesel fuel and increase it on petrol.

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Help design a car.

08/30/2007 8:25 AM

We have these taxes already in Canada/US. They are called the "gass-guzzler" taxes and they do not stop people from buying Hummers and land yachts. You would figure the price of gasoline itself would make people buy more fuel efficient cars, but I don't think we have quite got there yet. What's it going to take $5-$6US/gal, maybe $8-$10US/gal?

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Help design a car.

08/30/2007 9:15 AM

In the UK we pay 7$ US (4 quart gal) while there is no extra purchase tax on heavy vehicles but slightly higher annual car owning tax for vehicles with more CO2 emmision per km.

Perversely diesel fuel cost about 5% more but on the Europeon mainland it is somewhat cheaper, of course our per capita income is lower than the US and our general rate of taxation higher so 7$ is more than it may seem to you.

Our average cars are about 2 litre or less, Hummers are very rare!

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Help design a car.

08/30/2007 9:32 AM

Americans are addicted to (our) / their big trucks/ suvs. I can't figure why..It was a fad, I thought for a while, but it never went away. Hybrids are rare here. I'm still convinced it's a political thing to do with government and oil companies.

Well,back on topic; with some government initiatives, we could all be driving electric or H2 vehicles, but that might upset the apple cart. Still off topic--OK- The design:

Aerodynamics, room for 4, comforts (air conditioning), The power plant: human-assisted generator w/ultra-capacitors and electric motor maybe? Us fat Americans could use the exercise

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#38

Re: Help design a car.

08/30/2007 1:44 PM

The true is while we have petrol and diesel on the market the suppliers of this fuels will never allow something else to be on the market. I fill sorry to say that but that's the true

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Help design a car.

08/30/2007 1:49 PM

I like the inadvertant pun in the last line!

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Help design a car.

08/30/2007 2:04 PM

Oh, Yeah I see.

That was an accidentally good one!

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#42

Re: Help design a car.

08/31/2007 11:51 AM

With all respect, look at diesel powered passenger vehicles that are available today, particularly in some European countries and we are even staring to get a range of them in the land of Oz.

Efficient - Yes

Green - Yes

We have many choices of vehicle from small to larger family sedans.

We have Third Generation common rail, piezo-electric injection and VTG and I believe some of the vehicle manufacturers are talking about releasing vehicles with Fourth Generation Technology. This will give us even better economy and greener engines.

It's not too bad when you can achieve about 7 l/100km in a 6 cylinder diesel engine

and with the latest 6 cylinder engines the best is about 10,1 l/100km and boy you have to have a tail wind to get that with most of them. My old EA falcon was better than that, even though it may have caused more pollution.

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#43

Re: Help design a car.

09/01/2007 10:11 PM

Again my thanks for great replies so far. The Loremo car (27) shows promise for their weight reduction & aerodynamic design but as was pointed out (33) they will need to do some foam filled bumpers/doors to protect passengers. True, supercaps can store tremendous amounts of energy but as mentioned (28) no more than a tank of gasoline which I've heard is 40 sticks of dynomite/gal. Almost every other comment raises gas company, economic or social issues as a hinderance. True, these issues are very real and even if a "green" car were available for the same price as a conventional car and it could be operated for a fraction of a conventional car it will need to pass the peer pressure test. As for the recycle problem (41) it would seem that if the proper plastic were selected frames & fenders could be recycled as easily as soda pop bottles.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Help design a car.

09/02/2007 7:04 AM

Recyling is a canard. The vast majority of our worlds materials are not recycled. Not to justify that but simply point of fact. And, to recycle a modern vehicle is tedious, time consuming and energy intensive. our whole transport system must be re-thought and when we do that we will have to re-think our residential and commercial real estate patterns. Because it's not just that vehicles are inefficient our entire American way of life is inefficient. No it's worse. America runs on self indulgence.

bobguz

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#45

Re: Help design a car.

02/15/2009 8:21 AM

I would like to see a lightweight vehicle made of aluminum or a composite material That would carry 2 people. It would have just 3 wheels with 2 up front. You would want a reasonable sized cargo carrying area in the back. It would run on battery power alone with all of the batteries underneath the floor for stability that would equal or surpass 4 wheel vehicles due to the low center of gravity. It would need to have a max of about 60 mph and have a range of about 40-50 miles. The price would have to be to $15,000-$20,000 to make it cost effective. It would need a light weight rollbar and maybe some foam crash protection. I've been reading about some lead acid batteries that use a capacitor intregated with it (Csiro company) that vastly improves performance and last 2 or 3 times as long that would work well in this vehicle. Or maybe it could use the FireFly or similar battery which is a foambased technology that makes lead acid type batteries very appealing. For my wife and myself, whose kids are grown, this vehicle would serve us probably 345 days a year while using the gas powered car for longer trips or when we both wanted to use a vehicle at the same time. We would save hundreds of dollars on gas a do quite a bit less polluting. I think the first company to make a vehicle like this vehicle I have described will have all the orders they could handle. Maybe I'm just living in a dreamworld, What do you all think? Don

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