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In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 10:49 AM

With the variety of prime mover's in automobiles growing ever more vast, what is your ideal configuration.? Turbo diesel, electric, hybrid, electric with range extender, gasoline, natural gas, fuel cell, or some combination? It seems that an engine that provides power on demand from a variety of sources would fit the bill, but what about infrastructure.....With some developers claiming they have engines producing in excess of 2 hp per lb, in the prototype stage, the range anxiety of the electric vehicle seems destined to fall shortly....Is the electric vehicle with high efficient ICE range extender the next big thing??

http://fuel-efficient-vehicles.org/energy-news/?p=1048

http://www.idtechex.com/research/reports/range-extenders-for-electric-vehicles-land-water-and-air-2013-2023-000357.asp

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#1

Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 11:37 AM

"New tech could be "Mr. Fusion" for biofuel...

A new technology from Argonne may remind viewers of Mr. Fusion of Back to the Future fame, only with a biofuel twist: put in your waste and out comes diesel fuel.

The Endurance Bioenergy Reactor is a simple, easy-to-use portable system that puts bacteria to work on a variety of biological waste to produce fuel that can go directly into diesel engines and generators.

A team of Argonne scientists led by biophysicist Phil Laible have developed bioengineered photosynthetic bacteria capable of producing an alcohol called phytol from a variety of sources, including wood pulp, leftover corn stalks, food waste, and latrine waste. Once separated from the fermentation broth, phytol serves as a surrogate for diesel fuel that can be used alone or in blends to power generators or vehicles.

With chemical and physical properties similar to diesel fuel, phytol is considered a "drop-in ready" biofuel, meaning it is ready to go directly into diesel engines and generators without any further refinement.".....

article link.....

http://phys.org/news/2013-11-tech-fusion-biofuel.html

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#4
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 11:52 AM

Great Scott!

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#2

Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 11:38 AM

you will never get an ICE to come close to the inefficiencies of a DC motor with quality magnets, so the answer is electricity. then you get into electrical generation, but that wasn't the question....not to mention battery technology.

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#3

Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 11:46 AM

VOLT type car with small, simple, high powered, turbocharged 3-cylinder, 1 liter IC engine, working at constant speed or no speed. Fuel? Diesel (easy, available now, good efficiency) or natural gas (clean, lower carbon, US has plenty, but requires heavy cylinders & whole refueling infrastructure to use).

Battery? To be decided. Lithium best for capacity but not cost or safety. NiMH, good contender. Possibly even improved Ni/Cd or Pb/acid, on cost and reliability grounds. Whole infrastructure for recycling lead already in place.

All available now - what are we waiting for?

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#100
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/26/2013 11:07 AM

Oops - Error!

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#5

Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 11:53 AM

Philosophical question:

Does one bring the person to the destination or does one bring the destination to the person? With the capability of the world-wide-wibbly-wobbly these days it is getting far easier to do the latter.

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#6

Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 12:11 PM

I want to build a solar/hybrid/multifuel pickup. I'm hoping for flexible solar panels for the hood, roof, and camper top. Batteries will mount under the bed. I will change as much of the body over to fiberglass or carbon fiber as possible to cut weight.

Such a vehicle should be able to do short hops on electric alone, with the ICE for backup. If I can utilize cooking oil for fuel, I can avoid gas stations altogether.

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#7
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 12:14 PM

how many miles are you expecting these solar panels to get for you? or should I say how many feet?

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#31
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 11:50 PM

If you could get 92 sq. ft of modules on the vehicle, you would average about 4 kwh/day (per pvwatts, 1,275 Wp, flat, derate factor 0.77, insolation average 4.42 kWh/m2/day).

With the additional weight and size you would be lucky to get 2 mi./kWh. So about 8 miles (or 42,240 ft.).

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#69
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/23/2013 12:38 AM

The Super Walmart is only 1.5 miles, drugstore the same. 4 miles to the Home Depot, same or less for the restaurants we use. Probably same for many, many, of the other folks in the parking lots. 8 miles on sunshine a day would serve most of my driving needs. If I have to go farther, use the motor.

Just think if most folks had an electric car and a regular car in the driveway instead of two SUVs or such. Probably cut the national gas usage in half.

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#73
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/23/2013 8:28 AM

If most folks had an electric car and a regular car in the driveway - they would be financially broke!

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#87
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/23/2013 11:10 PM

What people can afford is a problem. Maybe the government could force people to buy an electric car and fine them if they don't. Then, what they can afford,and even what they want, is irrelevant.

They could call it Obamacar.

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#97
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/25/2013 10:08 PM

Probably on a hot sunny day. 360 SqFt provide me with 7 kWh/day now. To your sq.ft is that 50%. July 2013 was good for 30 kWh/day

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#21
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 2:35 PM


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#8

Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 12:36 PM

400 hp, normally aspirated, dry sump, horizontally opposed 6 cylinder, split case motor. There are no substitutes. :)

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#9
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 12:40 PM

you forgot to say dry sump

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#10
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 12:45 PM

It's not too late! :)

TNX

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#15
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 1:54 PM

Wrapped in something like this...?

....or perhaps a little more in this direction....

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#17
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 2:01 PM

That would do it!

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#11

Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 12:53 PM

Something like this, but in red...with a giant set of bull horns on the hood. It would also be equipped with a cow catcher, so I could just knock pedestrians and animals out of my way.

Next to the hot tub, I would have a wet bar, and a giant spit, so I could cook whole cows or pigs while I was chilling out in the Walmart parking lot.

It would run on anything, but would include an onboard nuclear reactor as well.

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#12
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 1:24 PM

That thing is so long that the tail is actually over the horizon!

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#13
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 1:32 PM

perfect for drive thru-s

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#16
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 2:00 PM

I think at a toll booth you would have to pay twice.

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#14
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 1:33 PM

Tight corners probably suck. I'd have that thing smashed within an hour.

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#30
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 11:36 PM

That's a bad design. Its missing a profiled bend in the frame to match the curvature of the earth...

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#34
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/21/2013 6:03 AM

It did, but now that is called sag.

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#25
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 6:52 PM
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#26
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 7:00 PM

The horn, plastic dome and wing make this highly desirable.

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#27
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 7:21 PM

The designer:

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#29
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Re: In search of the perfect vehicle....

11/20/2013 10:12 PM

Actually, what I really want is something like this:

Just tell it where I want to go, hop in the back, and enjoy a bed, bar, full bath, TV, interweb, etc. That will be so cool!

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#18

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 2:12 PM

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#19

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 2:17 PM

the perfect car. free air cond. no gas or electrical to worry about. little chance of carjacking, the ride is a tad rough though

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#20
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 2:27 PM

For only 2,200 euros it can be yours.....

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#101
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/26/2013 4:51 PM

Solar, I think you have outdone yourself on this design. Okay, there's a steering wheel (although mighty primitive), but no steering linkages? How would this work? Also, since the axles fit in a horizontal slot, what happens when the car is accelerating or decelerating? Wheel bearings? Shocks and springs? Rubber tires? Battery? Windsheild wipers - oops, there's no windshield (won't pass NHTSA). Seat bottoms (awfully short). Rear seat has no place to put legs.

I don't think this model will sell well and there are not many places in Europe where you could get $2,200 euros for it.

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#22

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 2:44 PM

Bang for the buck, it's hard to beat a mustang....

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#23

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 4:13 PM

www.localmotors.com/rallyfighter/

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#24

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 6:42 PM

Call me a dinosaur, but I'm too old to adapt to new technology.

My perfect vehicle has no creature comforts, no headlights or taillights, is extremely cramped with the steering wheel so close to your chest than you can't get in or out if it's in place, the pedals are rediculously close to each other, the seat's way too tight, and you can't hear yourself think when the motor's running. That pushrod motor was designed in the early 1950's and is totally obsolete in most every way and only get's about 5 MPG. But, when you're in the car, it's the best ride on the planet.

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#28

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/20/2013 9:32 PM

Its got to be a bicycle, beats walking, keeps you fit, lots of fun, no fuel.

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#32

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 12:06 AM

Man has always found a way....

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#33

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 12:56 AM

A couple of personal self-indulgent transport ideas ... all fuel sources accepted.
Can be mixed and matched from NG fuel cells to bio-diesel, a little solar PV and muscle flexing on the beach ... oh yea, and a taste of thorium?
(Secretly I would still vote for the Porche 911 or the Boss Mustang!)


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#35

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 8:14 AM

Sounds like they may have finally figured out that lubrication problem that was holding them back (mentioned in a Engineering TV episode a while back).

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#36

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 8:45 AM

My wife's wish list:

1 - Electric.

2 - Rides like a big old Cadillac (1972 vintage).

3 - Has unlimited range.

4 - Can plow the snow in driveway.

5 - Can haul a cord of Red Oak firewood out of the back 40.

6 - Looks great!

7 - Can survive a head-on with a semi truck.

I know, I know...I've explain weight ratios, etc. but this is what she wants!

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#37
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 9:15 AM

This should meet her criteria...

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#38
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 9:34 AM

LOL - I forgot to mention that she wants it to be a sub-compact as well!

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#39
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 10:50 AM

Actually, that wasn't the vehicle - rather the machine to make subcompacts.

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#40
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 12:24 PM

Just need to put a plow on the front, convert to electric, buy range extender trailer....

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#41

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 1:51 PM

- and I thought this was a serious question. Silly me.

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#42
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 2:11 PM

Hey! My response was serious.

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#43

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 3:11 PM
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#47
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 4:06 PM

nice Moon Caps

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#63
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 2:00 PM

In terms of energy the electrical MPG equivalent - is - well - ain't.

Any electrical grid energy sourced from a thermal power plant is already behind the eight ball when it comes to efficiency. Perhaps start at the plug with a favorable efficiency factor of MAYBE .2 but probably closer to .15 - and it goes down from there to the battery and then to the drive motors. AT BEST - MAYBE - POSSIBLY - .2 *.9*.9 = .162 .

An Electrical MPG Equivalent ? - Not even close.

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#44

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 3:23 PM

First electric car to break 100kph France 1899.....

http://mbtimetraveler.com/tag/la-jamais-contente/

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#45

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 3:31 PM



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#46

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 3:41 PM

Let's not forget the wheel motor.....

"Features of Protean's in-wheel motors include:

• Highest torque density of any of today's leading electric drive systems
• 75 kW (100 hp) peak power and 1,000 Nm (735 lb.-ft.) peak torque in each motor
• Mass of only 31 kg (68 lbs.) per motor
• Fuel economy improvements up to 30 percent in hybrid configurations, as compared to the existing vehicle, depending on battery size
• Improved regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking

Protean has been awarded 27 patents for its technology and design, with 84 additional international patent applications pending. The company has won the prestigious 2012 Technology Pioneers Award from the World Economic Forum and received recognition from Car and Driver magazine as one of the ten most promising technologies for 2013.

- See more at: http://www.autoconception.com/protean-electric-unveils-production-in-wheel-electric-drive-system-car-design/#sthash.yRarzgWD.dpuf

http://www.autoconception.com/protean-electric-unveils-production-in-wheel-electric-drive-system-car-design/

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#48
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 4:36 PM

Adding 68 lbs. to a wheel risks tire and wheel damage from potholes. Also, no brakes on that wheel......only some kind of electric braking....not sure how that works at really slow speeds...no parking brake......

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#50
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 5:48 PM

"Standard driver controls, such as braking and acceleration demands, are supplied as electronic inputs to the SECU from appropriate sensors, processed in software, converted into torque and/or speed commands for each wheel, and communicated over CAN to the motors. The system is able to implement a variety of advanced vehicle control and dynamics features, such as ABS, traction control, and advanced stability control including torque vectoring. This is possible due to the ability of the motors to deliver independent positive or negative torque at each wheel in a fraction of a second."

http://www.proteanelectric.com/en/subsystems/

http://www.proteanelectric.com/en/video-gallery/

How about something like this...?

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#49
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 5:32 PM

Adding unsprung weight (weight to the wheels) = bad handling.

The worst place to put weight.

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#51
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 6:43 PM

But, but.............it lowers the CG.

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#52
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 8:16 PM

I have no doubt that tweaking the architecture of the frame and suspension will be required .... Indy cars seem to do fine and I understand they have about 75 lbs unsprung weight per tire....

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 10:20 PM

To my knowledge there are no Indy cars nor F1 cars with electric motors in their wheels or as a mechanism of propulsion.

F1 does have a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems), that is not the same.

The F1 unsprung mass per "wheel" (including tire, wheel, disk, caliper, and suspension links) is about 14 to 14.5 kg per rear wheel. The fronts are less. That is about 32 pounds. I think my cars unsprung weight is less than 75 lbs per wheel.

Unsprung mass has inertia. So, when a wheel is forced up via a bump it wants to keep moving up, which reduces contact pressure between road and tire when it does.

The linked paper (I only had time to glance at it) deals with passenger car ride and handling, which is the esthetic "feel" of how the car mitigates the road surface variations, not the performance related to how well it stays glued to the road. However, in racing you are concerned with maintaining as much traction as possible. That is where unsprung mass is the enemy and is not easily managed by suspension geometry.

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#56
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 12:17 AM

But isn't it true that the unsprung weight is relative to the weight of the vehicle as far as destabilization of the geometry of stability and control....and the dampening effect of the shock absorber can compensate for heavier wheel setup.....? I think it's worth the effort to make them work for the gain in efficiency .....What about if the wheel motors were mounted to the frame and driven via axles, this would still be a direct drive....

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#59
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 8:33 AM

The goal is to keep the tire contact as uniform as possible regardless of the road surface variation.

Indeed, the whole secret to being fast is to never upset the vehicle dynamics with sudden changes in speed or direction. Smooth is the operative word here as any driver will tell you.

When you add unsprung mass you must increase damping (I'll explain why shortly) and you lose suspension compliance. This translates to relaying the inertial force of higher unsprung mass into the chassis of the vehicle (the dampers are mechanically grounded to the chassis).

As Lyn pointed out, Indy and F1 cars are extremely light. F1 has a minimum mass of about 645 kg. If the unsprung mass is not small, the corresponding inertia of the wheel assembly will actually lift the car off the road surface and these cars do not make good aircraft.

Why must damping be increased with more unsprung mass? The reason is that the ground clearance on these cars is very low, so you do not have the suspension travel to add more compliance to the suspension, which is what you would normally do on a big heavy car. However, since the suspension travel is the design limiting factor, the only way to compensate for increase unsprung mass is to add more spring force and more dampening to mitigate the higher inertia forces at the wheel.

As I pointed out in the previous paragraph, you quickly reach a point where more and more inertia is forced into the chassis, which upsets the dynamics of the car and reduces the handling performance.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 12:29 PM

I found a nice blurb on ride frequency here.....excerpt...

....." there is a formula for calculating the wheel rate required to achieve a certain ride frequency: f = (1/(2pi))v(K/M) where f = frequency, K = wheel rate, M = sprung corner weight (corner weight minus unsprung weight). The question is what ride frequency is appropriate for a sports car?

Luxury cars typically have ride frequencies of 1.0 to 1.2 Hz, regular cars 1.2 to 1.5 Hz, high performance cars 1.5 to 1.7 Hz, street/track cars up to 2.5 Hz, race cars 2.5 to 4+ Hz depending on how much downforce they produce. Of course, the ride gets progressively harsher and stiffer as you increase the ride frequency - try driving an ALMS or IndyCar to work someday! Once you choose a frequency, and determine the wheel rate, you calculate the spring rate by using the square of the motion ratio between the wheel and the spring.

For example, let's say you have a 3100 lb BMW M3 street/track car with 50/50 front/rear weight distribution and want a 2.0 Hz ride frequency: the total weight with driver and some fuel is 3300 lbs, so the corner weight is 825 lbs, the unsprung weight per corner is 75 lbs, so the sprung weight per corner is 750 lbs; using the formula above the wheel rate =

306 lbs/in, and with a front spring to wheel motion ratio of 0.91 the spring rate = 370 lbs/in.

Now, for the damping, you need to decide how critically damped you want the system. Luxury cars have less critical damping than sports cars which have less critical damping than race cars. 100% critical damping = 2 v(K*M) with the same inputs as above.

Back to the M3 example lets say you want 70% critical damping: using the formula, 100% critical damping = 49 lbs/in/sec, so 70% = 34 lbs/in/sec, and with a front damper to wheel motion ratio of 0.91 the damping force required = 41 lbs/in/sec. Of course this is a simple example and there are lots of opinions and experience in the field of vehicle dynamics about the level of rebound versus compression damping, low speed versus high speed damping, position sensitive damping, frequency dependent damping, and g-level sensitive damping which you can spend an entire career optimizing if you work in vehicle development."

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#62
In reply to #60

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 1:39 PM

In hobby stock car racing would there be an advantage in variable center of gravity?

Imagine using hydraulics to move mass - such as a fiber reinforced fuel bladder or other mass from the center of the frame to the optimum position during cornering, acceleration, and braking. Perhaps automating the process based on the signals from accelerometers?

Would the increased mass offset the advantage of quadrant variable center of gravity?

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#55
In reply to #52

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 11:04 PM

AH is right. Indy cars, being lighter, would be more prone to lifting of the entire body with the mass of the heavy wheel. Not good.

If you're racing on a pool table, heavy tires (unsprung mass) is a fine thing.

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#53
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/21/2013 9:52 PM

So does a Boxer engine.

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#64
In reply to #46

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 2:36 PM

"which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking" - Me thinks that's a bit of a stretch.

Perhaps the motor isn't the most significant limiting factor in regenerative braking?

For electrical processes it would be the power limits in storage acceptance.

A 1000 kg vehicle braking from 30 m/s in 8 seconds requires an average power acceptance of KE/t or about 56.3 KW. Chemical storage batteries can't accept anything close to that. How a hydraulic accumulator would do I have no idea. Perhaps Super Caps integrated into a Capacitor/Chemical Storage Hybrid Storage Device?

The upside to regeneration in thermal sourced energy processes is the relationship of regenerated energy to fuel source energy that can be estimated as Thermal Input Energy Saved = Thermal Input Energy/ Process Efficiency Factor * (Kinetic Energy + Gravitational Energy Recovered).

In terms of Total Throughput Energy regenerative braking payback increases inversely as applied power production efficiency.

With current technologies the real bottom line in regenerative braking is the skill of the operator in anticipating stops and maintaining down-grading speeds that optimize the regenerative capabilities of the process; without obstructing traffic.

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#65
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 3:23 PM

Super capacitors should be able to do that.

F1 is using KERS, a kinetic flywheel to store energy during braking.

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#57

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 2:36 AM

My ideal automobile would be a ICE/Electric Series Hybrid.

The Prime Mover would be a Cycle Power Averaged ICE fueled by Cellulosic Ethanol coupled to a self excited brushless generator.

The ICE would be of the type optimized for near constant output power.

It would have Four Wheel Drive with Optimized Traction Control in both acceleration and regenerative braking. It would incorporate redundant braking technologies.

It would be CG optimized using wire distribution of power, without mechanical gearing.

It would use a Capacitor/Chemical Electric Hybrid Storage Device for capacitating regenerated brake and gravitational energy; in addition to serving as a power averaging storage device. The energy storage capacity would approximate vehicle KE at maximum sustainable velocity x 4.

In the efficiency mode the CPU controlled prime mover would input energy at a rate that would maintain near constant energy where Total Energy = KE + Stored Energy in order to maintain braking reserve capacity in the storage device. The CPU unit would control power in such a manner as to eliminate large variations in power output throughout the entire transportation cycle.

In the performance mode the CPU would control process power input to maintain maximum charge on the storage device.

The prime mover would be sized where efficient sustained output power would approximate the drag force at sustained cruising velocity + grading power.

The exterior automobile body would be a single shell attached to a single piece molded frame.

The passenger compartment would be a single piece molded shell attached to the body and frame using attachment points consisting of some type of shock absorbing devices.

The frame would serve as the shock absorbing device for the pancake wheel motors.

It would be a four passenger vehicle.

It would have a range of at least 500 miles.

It would not be pink with tail fins; no matter what the wife says.

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#58

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 3:08 AM

The perfect car, regardless of it's means of propulsion, is and always will be a rental car.

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#70
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 2:13 AM

Rental cars also jump curbs, run on unchecked oil levels and come with plastic litter bags that dangle from the glove compartment plus the reassuring tag hanging from the rear vision mirror saying that it is ready to do it all again, without complaint.

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#71
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 2:46 AM

.....and when they're due for service and dirty you get a nice new one with 10km on the clock

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#61

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 12:40 PM

The most elegant vehicle would be a Human/Electric Series Hybrid Bicycle.

The Prime Mover would be two legs fueled by Hamburgers.

It would have no mechanical coupling between the crank and rear wheel.

The Crank would be a Permanent Magnet or self excited brush-less Generator feeding a Maxwell Boost Cap storage unit.

The Crank torque controller would allow for infinitely variable torque where the operator controlled input to the controller would be at the handlebar.

The Crank/Generator would feed a Maxwell Boost Cap Storage device capable of storing an energy equivalent of the system Kinetic Energy at maximum sustained velocity + a gravitational reserve for grading.

The Storage Device would feed a Regeneration Capable Permanent Magnet Motor/Generator at the rear wheel. The Power controller would be automatically switched from power to regeneration when the redundant conventional brake handle is compressed or when the foot crank is reversed; reacting much like the old style crank type brake. The power controller would allow for infinitely variable control between the limit of adhesion to zero torque in both regeneration and motoring.

It would have a biometric activated - ooooga horn that sensed operator panic when old Ms. Ancient was observed backing out of her driveway.

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#66

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 6:41 PM

The chevy Volt....?

...."We discovered last year that 63 percent of all Volt miles are electric. That figure still applies here--in fact, it's risen by one percent. Out of 500 million miles covered by all Volt owners in the U.S, 320 million of those have been electric.

That gives us more huge numbers--like nearly 17 million gallons of gas saved in the U.S. alone. And many more quiet hours at the pumps.

It's a sign of how much use Volt owners are getting from electric drive that the average distance between stops for fuel is 900 miles--far greater than the car's estimated 380 mile range on electricity and gas."...

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1088609_how-much-gas-has-the-chevy-volt-electric-car-saved-in-ca

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#67
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 6:45 PM
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#68
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/22/2013 11:44 PM

Remarkable considering that GM has sold just over 48,000 Volts since its production began!

That's a lot of cars!

Oh, wait, GM sold 1,850,000 other vehicles just in 2012 alone.

What I am saying is the data is a little deceptive in that when compared to the rest of the real world of cars, the total number of Volts really is fairly insignificant. However, these green blogs glom onto any tiny tidbit they can and spin it like it is the winning touchdown in the Superbowl.

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#72
In reply to #68

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 6:30 AM

So what you're saying is if those were all volts we would be saving 827 million gallons of gas....that's a nice chunk.......add that to the ethanol being produced which is around 13 billion gallons per year....subtracted from the roughly 130 billion gallons of gasoline consumed in the US per year....Yeah not much when looking at the big picture, but individually, it makes quite the dent.....which can be about $2k per year.....
ps; ..."As of November 2013, there are 14 plug-in models available in the American market from eight car manufacturers,[5"...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_electric_vehicles_in_the_United_States

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#74
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 8:43 AM

I think that is absolutely false financial economy.

If economy was the goal, compare the true cost of driving a new car, not some incomplete sales pitch.

I can buy a new Hyundai for close to $10,000 or a Volt for about $30,000.

Even if you get your electricity for free and gas costs $5 per gallon for regular, the scale of economics tilts toward the Hyundai.

At an average of 30 mpg and $5 per gallon, with a 12,000 mile per year drive, that is $2,000 in gas.

So, with the $20,000 difference in price I can buy at least 10 years of gas. I would be surprised if the Volt lasted that long or as many miles before the battery pack is exhausted at least once.

I have nothing against EVs. I drove a friend's Tesla sports car and it was an absolute blast. However, EVs are really a novelty item today. Maybe someday that will change, but to try to sell people on the idea that EVs represent financial sense is just ridiculous.

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#76
In reply to #74

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 10:26 AM

That's why our ideal series hybrid needs to be cheap. $30K just doesn't cut it. There was even talk of Cadillac version of the Volt at $45K (?) - not heard of it since. I think car manufacturers are still stuck with the idea that a hybrid must outdo the performance of the non-hybrid: unless it does 0-60 in <6 seconds, it's not competitive. If Hyundai can sell a new car at $10K and make a profit, surely $15K would get a small series hybrid with a non-lithium battery. Forget all the gizmos (motorized, heated, leather seats, electric wing mirrors, CCTV, cruise control, alloy wheels, etc.) - just give us a car that does 100+ mpg, with a small diesel engine that lasts for 250,000 miles.

Oh, and while you're about it, stick a power conditioner on it that gives us an outlet of 110/240 volts, so that our car can take over when the grid fails. Saves spending $500 on a standby generator.

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#86
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 10:49 PM

...and airconditioned.

Not a luxury in the tropics. EV's fail miserably in this arena. A small efficient ICE can run an aircon, Running a/c in EVs reduces the range dramatically. Even stationary in traffic you are burning stored Js.

Agree with you totally on the other energy consuming / reliability degrading fluff.

Still need a sound system and an ashtray.

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#90
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/24/2013 9:02 AM

Yes agreed, A/C absolutely vital - and a sound system. I have a proposal:

When the car is at home/work and plugged into the mains to: a) recharge the main battery (if it's required), and b) to pre-cool a cold heat sink within the vehicle, thus off-loading the upcoming cooling requirement to the household/work electrical supply. The cold sink might be all that's required for the first 40 miles of electric-only power, or, if not it could supplement a regular A/C system, taking a substantial part of the cooling load. Fortunately water has a high specific heat (1 calorie/gram °C) and a high latent heat of fusion (80 calorie/gram), so there seems no reason to look further for a cold sink material. Once the battery is almost exhausted, the ICE engine takes over all power requirements.

In extreme conditions, such as being stuck in an LA traffic jam at 100 deg F for 2 hours, one would just have to bite the bullet and start the ICE engine - not the end of the world.

OK, shoot me down.

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#91
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/24/2013 9:26 AM

Could carry ice blocks around on board. Like the ice builders of yore.(eg)

Freeze it during charge time and melt it in the traffic...steady 40C until it all melts.

That's where the refrigeration capacity unit of "Tons" comes from after all. Nothing new, just different.

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#77
In reply to #74

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 10:36 AM

You're comparing apples and oranges, if what you say makes sense, then why buy any car over $10k...? This is a free market, demand sets price....and economies of scale make things cheaper to produce = higher profit margin......If you had a gas pump in your garage at home, where would you fuel up your car..? At home? why? convenience.....How would you compare a similar priced, similar sized with all the same options car...two identical cars, one like the volts electric hybrid drive type and the other gasoline ICE...which one would you choose.?

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#78
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 11:28 AM

One of the issues in any manufacture, be it cars or books, is the 'duplication cost' compared to retail. Ideally, the factor should be around x10. Take a book for example, a retail $10 book should cost around $1 to print. GM produce a 'family car' in Australia. The Commodore retails around $35,000 and costs around $5500 to duplicate. That's a bit more than x6 ... that's an indication that car making in Australia is at best marginal.So when it comes to the GM Volt, if it sells for around $50,000, then its typical duplication cost would be around $7,000 ... making it both expensive to make and marginal. The $10,000 Hyundai would cost around $1400 to duplicate. Both have similar returns.

On a positive note, laser printers once cost $10,000. I bought a new Brother colour laser CN3045 printer about a year ago for $99. So what does a laser printer actually cost to make? Similarly, what are the cost breakdowns in a GM Volt? Saving around $3000 in production costs could almost halve the retail price.

That is why there is a body of EV enthusiasts who are taking up the challenge of EV conversions, bypassing the need for x7 type returns, and under the watchful eye of appropriate associations, meeting certain regulatory licence and insurance coverage minimum standards, hence electric dream cars can be a reality.

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#80
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 1:31 PM

Well if you're really that put off by the prices, just buy used....People buy cars they like, that is the primary directive, cost is secondary as long as it's within budget.....There is a market for practicality, but also for fantasy and whimsy....

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#81
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 1:38 PM

It's much worse than that when you factor in NRE, tooling and assembly costs. The actual cost for early builds was about $80,000.

The parts and labor cost is about $24,000 alone.

GM will not say what it costs to build a Volt, but did acknowledge that it is a losing financial product and it will take a long time and a lot more sales to make it break even.

The problem is this is a low production car compared to any other model GM makes and the NRE costs are higher than a standard vehicle. Standard vehicle sales for all models is about 1.8 million vehicles per year. Volts only account for about 23,000 vehicles for 2012.

Volt NRE was something close to 1.2 billion dollars. With about 48,000 vehicles sold that comes out to about $25,000 NRE per Volt so far.

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#79
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 1:25 PM

If economy is your goal you buy a used car.

If economy is still a need and you want the security of a warranty, you buy a new Hyundai or something like that.

If money is not really an issue, you buy something that makes you happy.

It is really very simple.

However, when people try to sell EVs as if they are god's gift to families struggling to make ends meet - that is plainly ill advice.

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#82
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 4:21 PM

The graph posted above says it all......in 10 years this will be a different conversation....

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#83
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 5:35 PM

Only if the true price begins to reach parity with existing vehicles.

Again, the data you posted is misleading. Each month's bar represents the total number of vehicles sold (cumulative) not the number of vehicles sold that month.

If you take a look at the numbers for just 2013 we see 75,000 BEVs sold for the year (I assume that is an estimated number of sales). The total US sales for 2012 of all vehicles was 15.5 million vehicles for all manufactures. I expect something similar for 2013.

BEV sales represent 0.5% of the total sales, which is not a huge market share at all.

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#84
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 9:50 PM
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#102
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/26/2013 5:29 PM

AH, I did a similar analysis for my clients and you're correct about the economic feasibility of an EV. There is a correction I need to make to one of your assumptions. A new Hyundai will not run about $15K for a cheapie Accent 4 door with a stick. The least expensive car in the US is the Nissan Versa sedan at $12,800 sticker. Invoice is around $12,550 and there's only about $350 holdback (if you can get the dealer to part with it).

Here's a different way to look at cost effectiveness. Start with comparable cars like a Prius and a Corolla. A new Prius package 2 has rebates and you can walk out of the dealership at $22,900 plus tax and license. The Prius should get 55 mpg without much effort and hypermiling (come on, 2-4 mpg is going to make a difference?). Compare this to a Toyota Corolla LE Plus (comparable car). An average person can walk out the door at $19,100 plus tax and license. The Corolla gets 34 mpg using similar driving techniques as the Prius.

At gas prices of $3.50/gal (it will go up in the future, but for argument sake we'll fix it at $3.50) and 15,000 miles per year (average here in So Cal), it would take a little around 7 years to break even. In that 7 year period, the $4,200 ($3,800 plus tax) could be used for something else, but if you take our a 66 month loan, the only factor will be the interest paid and the alternative use of the difference in monthly payments (pretty minimal). At 105,000 miles (7x15K), what is a Prius worth vs a Corolla? Maybe $2,000 more? So after all factors are considered, the real break even point is around 3 1/2 years and after that, the Prius makes more sense.

So go run out and buy a Prius!

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#103
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Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/26/2013 8:22 PM

Wouldn't a Prius with spent batteries be worth about the same as an iPhone with spent batteries?

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#105
In reply to #103

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/27/2013 1:04 PM

You'd be surprized! Here are the latest auction results for 2007 Prius cars in the Western US.

337K mi Below Avg condition sold for $2,500

245K mi Below Avg condition sold for $4,700

172K mi Below Avg condition sold for $5,275

151K mi Avg condition sold for $6,300

138K mi Avg condition sold for $7,000

2007 Corolla LE's sold:

82K mi Above Avg condition sold for $7,300

65K mi Avg condition sold for $6,400

61K mi Avg condition sold for $6,300

42K mi Avg condition sold for $6,100

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#75

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 10:10 AM

Zero Emission Vehicles Australia (ZEVA) is one local entity who do EV conversions so your 'Perfect Vehicle' might be even more perfect with a cost effective electric vehicle conversion. No need to lash out on a Volt.

And no need to visit your friendly gas station with an EV conversion unless you want to buy a carton of milk. (The margins are reasonably slim these days anyway on self serve gas, and I am sure selling milk or icecream has much better profits than petrol for the franchise fuel operators).

And yes, my $11,000 / 8 year old / 105,000km Hyundai Getz may get the electric transplant soon.

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#85
In reply to #75

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/23/2013 10:04 PM

What do you reckon that will set you back mate?

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#93
In reply to #85

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/24/2013 7:55 PM

Last count depending on battery range around $10K.
Maybe I should look at the current EV new car market and save myself the effort.

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#88
In reply to #75

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/24/2013 1:07 AM

EVs may be VERY COOL - but "Zero Emission" is a terribly misleading phrase.

Working class ignorance is the power elites greatest asset - works pretty good in the car business too; but it doesn't change throughput thermal efficiencies - when it comes to that EVs powered from a centralized grid - well - ummmm - ahhhh - the efficiencies just plain stink.

Simply put - Drag Force X Displacement / Combustion Energy = throughput efficiency factor. That number looks real sad when its a coal fired plant charging your vehicle - still sad when its a reciprocating ICE - but I think it would look much better with a Micro-Turbine/Electric - Power Averaged - Regenerative Capable - Series Hybrid.

There is no reason a properly engineered hybrid wouldn't routinely blow the doors off a conventional power process in acceleration AND fuel economy.

Perhaps how the power is produced takes a back seat to how it is processed.

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#89
In reply to #88

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/24/2013 7:53 AM

Already done.

I didn't say it was affordable. :)

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#92
In reply to #89

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/24/2013 11:51 AM

I feel the need......the need for speed......

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#94
In reply to #89

Re: In Search Of The Perfect Vehicle....

11/24/2013 8:37 PM

How sweet is that???

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