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Captain Hybrid

54.5 MPG Comes With Trade-Offs

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Jack Rupert, PE
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Encourage Development
Jack Rupert, PE   8/24/2012 8:34:25 AM
I am still a believer in the building a better mousetrap school of design.  If consumers really want something they will drive innovation by purchasing the vehicles with only the highest MPG's.  The less efficient ones would fall by the wayside since demand would dry up and automakers would have no payback on them.  That's not to say the the goverment should not encourage future development.  The issue is demanding the development when it cannot be assumed that we can get there.  Most engineers have been involved during their careers in projects that sounded great the start but after hitting techincal or financial brick walls, the project was intelligently cancelled to prevent further loss.  If the government does need to encourage a paricular development it could do so by offering an award (like the DARPA Challenge or the private X-Prise).  The key word is "encourage" rather than "mandate".

Beth Stackpole
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Multiple approaches
Beth Stackpole   8/24/2012 8:50:08 AM
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I like the way you point out that auto makers are exploring multiple ways to hit the 54.5 MPG milestone. I think there is a danger to being so fixated on the alternative power train technology and the challenges around EV batteries that the focus is off the other, very tangible ways these targets can be achieved. Ann (and Chuck) have done a great job reporting on the innovations around materials that are driving innovation in this area. The point in this piece about the car's interior being a good area for innovation and improvement is a good one.

naperlou
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Re: Encourage Development
naperlou   8/24/2012 8:58:20 AM
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Jack, I agree with you that this should be consumer led.  Let's look at the history a little.  The reality is that we, in the US, have more disposable income than almost anyone.  Our gasoline is also cheaper than any developed country.  When I lived in Europe, about ten years ago, gas (petrol) was at, or above, the level it is now in the US in nominal dollar terms.  The cars were a lot smaller and there were many more diesels. 

Actually, the case of a car company, Chrysler, is instructive in this discussion.  Chrysler has, at least twice, been bailed out by the government.  At other times, Chrysler was the most profitable car company in the world.  They tend to hit extremes.  If you recall, this latest time the issue was gasoline prices.  Just before the price of gasoline went way up, Chrysler had re-introduced the Hemi engine.  Everyone bought one.  Chrysler, by the way, has never had a really succesdful small car.  They are great at designing and building the mid-range and up type of vehicle.  Well, just as they got ramped up with everything hemi, the bottom fell out o that market.  The problem with consumer sentiment is that it changes so fast.  On the other hand, designing and building a new model of automobile takes longer. 

I think it will be easy to meet the standards.  The trend, as I have written on this site before, is to make engines of the same displacement more powerful.  I have a car with a 3.4L engine that produces 250HP.  The newer 3.5L and 3.6L engines put out 300HP to 320HP.  This is completely unnecessary.  The car companies could easily put out a 3L engine that puts out 250HP.  That would be plenty.  The only ones who will be upset will be the auto press. 

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Encourage Development
Jack Rupert, PE   8/24/2012 10:07:13 AM
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Yes, naperlou, consumers' tastes change quickly, but that's not really much different from any other industry.  Nobody even has a clue what the next big thing is in half the industries out there. (Phones / Computers being the most obvious examples at the moment).  It's one thing, though, for consumers to accept tradeoffs in price, safety, size, whatever.  It's another thing to say that you "can't" have what you want not because your wants are substantially different from everybody elses, but because the government in mandating where engineering money is spent.

FinnickyFinn
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Re: Encourage Development
FinnickyFinn   8/25/2012 9:59:47 AM
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Given how many big trucks and souped up sedans drive on streets I don't see that consumers are willing to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. For that to change a gallon of gas needs to cost 6$ or 7$, which would be more in line with the overall damage gasoline fueled vehicles generate. Of course, the higher price could be achieved through higher taxes, which would never happen anyway, but I'd be in favor of it if the higher tax if that tax is exclusively used for creating and maintaining more energy saving alternative transportation. We got plenty of old railroad paths that can be used for bus lanes, bike paths, or light rail.

loadster
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Re: Encourage Development
loadster   8/27/2012 1:02:16 PM
At the risk of piling on and forming rank with the esteemed PE glass-empty brother-and sister-hood I find this to be another case of strangling the fowl to increase egg production. Two outcomes I foresee. People will not get better at consolidating trips and using their cars more efficiently and making less errands because their payload capacity is decreased and carpooling will go the way of the dodo. And secondly, manufacturers will get better at making cars that pass the crash and survivor tests. Not cars that are durable, reliable, serviceable and smarter. An efficiency number should not be a singular metric on fuel consumption. If it was, the concorde would never have been built, we'd never proceeded with the space shuttle as a production fleet (which inevitably never came to pass) and baseboard residential heat would have been banned by executive proclamation. I'm not sure how to put incentive in the capitalism of private automobiles but an EPA sticker has gotten us as far as it can go.

Rob Spiegel
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Cost considerations
Rob Spiegel   8/24/2012 11:09:50 AM
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Chuck, your article implies there may be some significant cost increases on the way to 54.5MPG. It will be interesting to see how this affects the consumer. The car buyer may ultimately be more concerned about the sticker price than crash considerations.

Charles Murray
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Re: Cost considerations
Charles Murray   8/24/2012 12:40:57 PM
Rob, it's fair to say that David Cole, chairman of The Center for Automotive Research and former head of the automotive engineering program at the University of Michigan, agrees with you. Here's what he said in a 2011 article: "Once you get past 35 or 40 mpg, the savings for the consumer are very small, and the costs to acheive those savings become very high. If the costs get too high and the savings get too small, it could actually diminish sales."

The article goes on to say: "Cole argues that if prices climb too high, consumers will start to defer the purchase of new vehicles, resulting in a negative impact on the U.S. economy. He calls it the 'Cuban-ization' of the U.S. automotive market. His organization has done studies showing that it could cause the loss of 200,000 jobs because consumers would be buying used cars instead of new ones."

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Cost considerations
Rob Spiegel   8/24/2012 12:52:11 PM
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That makes perfect sense to me, Chuck. It will be interesting to see what happens to car prices as we get closer to the higher MPG standards. One thing that might happen is that hybrids and EVs will be less of a premium compared with traditional vehicles.

NadineJ
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red herrings
NadineJ   8/24/2012 11:50:18 AM
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When greater fuel efficiency comes up, the first response from the industry is often that we'll end up with unsafe cars that cost more.

There isn't a lack of innovation that could lead up to higher fuel efficiency.  There's a lack of will power to give up the status quo.  I agree that it has to be consumer led.  We're already moving towards smaller cars and alternative transportation in the US.  I credit the rise of popularity in cycling for this.  Commuting on two wheels surrounded by cars and SUVs makes you very aware of the impact of large vehicles and traffic.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: red herrings
Ann R. Thryft   8/24/2012 1:05:35 PM
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Nadine's comment reminds me of the 70s, when smaller Japanese cars were first becoming available in the US, partly in response to the sky-high cost of gas during the "energy crisis." Driving one of them made me realize how big all the standard US cars were then--as well as commercial trucks--and I was concerned about what would happen in a crash. And that's when they were still mostly steel.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: red herrings
Rob Spiegel   8/24/2012 3:12:07 PM
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I remember as well, Ann. Another reason car buyers liked the Japanese models was quality. Detroit was at its low in quality during the 1970s, which was hugely frustrating to car owners. 

Charles Murray
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Re: red herrings
Charles Murray   8/24/2012 4:41:51 PM
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Interestingly, Rob, this time around, some of the Japanese automakers are complaining the loudest about the 54.5 mpg proposal.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: red herrings
Rob Spiegel   8/27/2012 11:46:06 AM
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Interesting that Japan is complaining the loudest. Is Detroit complaining much? Seems lately that Detroit is on a major innovation roll and the U.S. car industry just seems glad to be alive.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: red herrings
Ann R. Thryft   9/6/2012 12:16:25 PM
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Rob, your right, of course. They were really pretty bad, weren't they? I'd forgotten about the quality issues, probably because I only buy Japanese cars.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: red herrings
Rob Spiegel   9/6/2012 2:17:00 PM
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Yes, Detroit fell down on the quality job and didn't realize they were subject to the basic rules of competition. Detroit spent about three decades without substantial competition. That changed in the mid-1970s. Detroit didn't start to catch up on quality until the late 1980s.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: red herrings
Rob Spiegel   8/24/2012 3:04:36 PM
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I agree there is no lack of innovation, Nadine. There is a bounty of innovation around hybrids and EVs that will serve traditional cars well as the auto makers work to beef up MPG. We're already seeing a rush to innovate with lighter and stronger materials. In response to composites, the steel industry is making lighter, stronger steel.

FinnickyFinn
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Need to change policy
FinnickyFinn   8/25/2012 9:52:04 AM
The policy needs to change, because the average mpg is counted across the entire fleet of a manufacturer. So they can build an excessively expensive electric plastic car that gets 80 mpg while still building the gas guzzling SUVs with 300 HP of which they want to sell thousands.

The policy needs to change and set a consumption maximum for any model. On top of that, any regular car with more than 150 HP should not even be allowed to get registered. So yes, bye bye Mercedes 500 and sports cars.

Also, add incentives that reward short commutes and punish long commutes. People that drive 80 miles to work each day should move closer to work.

jhankwitz
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Re: Need to change policy
jhankwitz   8/27/2012 9:32:37 AM
You nailed it here Flinn.  This is a perfect example of government regulation gone crazy. 

Tis will have to result in the elimination of larger vehicles, which may be far more efficient in that they can transport more.  A family of six will have to drive in two cars instead of one, not to mention business vans and the like.  This legislation is totally insane.

 

DonB
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Re: Need to change policy
DonB   8/27/2012 10:13:58 AM
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Why is all the responsibility being placed upon the manufacturers? What has happened to personal concern & responsibility? In regard to weight - how about if fat people loose some. In regard to saving gas - how about if we walk (instead of driving the car 1/4 mile out of laziness) and do more car-pooling? Those would have benefits far beyond just decreasing gas consumption. Seems like we are losing personal responsibility and letting the government be our parents.

analyst
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Re: Need to change policy
analyst   8/27/2012 10:17:07 AM
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Government is the tool that Thomas Jefferson and Madison bequeath to us to solve our national problems.

Chuck_IAG
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Re: Need to change policy
Chuck_IAG   8/27/2012 3:49:43 PM
Our founders never envisioned government as the savior of mankind.  They saw it in the opposite light: there should be balance and restrictions to prevent abuse of power.  A lot of the "problems" we face may be a result of attempting to resolve everything at the national level when so many of our issues may require region-specific solutions.  Remember states' rights?  All power not specifically ceded to the federal government resides in the states.  Don't like it? Amend the constitution.  Pass 2/3 of the Congress and 3/4 of the states.

Forgive me, but it always annoys me when folks who promote solutions always promote the solution that personally impacts them the least.  Thus drivers of low-powered cars suggest high-powered cars should be outlawed.  Members of small families say that family size should be restricted to prevent overuse of resources.  People who have the good luck to live near their work say that long work commutes should be banned.  Always, always willing to gore someone else's ox.

I've got 2 kids, telecommute so my daily drive is zero, drive a 2-iter car that gets 35+ mpg, when I drive (maybe 2k annually).  That doesn't provide me a license to tell others what they should do.  I'm seeing the Prius-driver mentality displayed here and frankly it annoys the heck out of me.

Sorry to get hissy.

analyst
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Re: Need to change policy
analyst   8/27/2012 4:08:16 PM
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@Chuck_IAG

You need to review both the history, and contents, of the constitution. The history is that each of the states sent representatives to Philidelphia to repair the weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation.

Those perceived weaknesses included the lack of a strong taxation power vested in the central government, and the lack of a power in the centralized government to control and regulate interstate commerce.

Now, amendments aside, the constitution has not changed much since it was ratified with powerful  taxation, general welfare and commerce clauses. What has changed -- besides the fact that both women and racial minorities can vote, and the all important equal protections clause in the 14th amendment -- is that the nation has changed:

Specifically, commerce in the US has changed, and virtually all commerce is now interstate commerce. Which the original meaning, as ratified, of the constitution was that Congress has virtually UNLIMITED POWER when it comes to the regulation of interstate commerce.

And now, it is all interstate commerce.

Chuck_IAG
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Re: Need to change policy
Chuck_IAG   8/27/2012 5:49:08 PM
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Thank you, analyst, for your constructive comments.  I just reviewed my sources.  Jeepers, I was correct.  Maybe you should re-read your sources, or better yet, read what I actually typed.  Poor lighting, etc, can make things difficult to understand.  While things do indeed change, I believe pretty much all the points I made are still in effect.  Those changes, they're called "amendments", pretty much like I said.  It's the legitimate way to make changes to our government and its constitution.  When you successfully pass amendments to the constitution, you've followed the rules.  That's all I expect.

As to using the "commerce clause" to usurp the power of the states, that's not quite cricket.  You wanna change the rules, see above paragraph. 

But it really shouldn't be the discussion on a 54.5 MPG fuel efficiency target.  This dialogue belongs elsewhere, and we really should take it there.  Sorry for my part in dragging the conversation off-topic.  This is an engineering blog, after all.

analyst
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Re: Need to change policy
analyst   8/27/2012 6:32:34 PM
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@Chuck_IAG wrote:

"Our founders never envisioned government as the savior of mankind."

I'm not sure how I would test this idea. What for example does it even mean to suggest that government should be the "savior of mankind".

What is clear is that the authors of the Constitution intended to create an interventionist central government.

Whereas the Articles of Confederation gave the federal govenment no means of taxation, the Constitution gives the Congress to Lay and Collect Taxes virtually WITHOUT ANY PRE-PROGRAMMED limitations. 

[The restrictions on the taxation power are: No Bills of Attainder. No direct taxes, except as apportioned by populatioon between the states. The later was clarified, not really overturned by the Income Tax amendment, which allows Congress to lay income taxes without apportionment. I believe that is a complete list.]

Also, the Constitution gives the Congress the power to regulation interstate commerce, without any textual limitations. Which is logically a power increasingly involved in every commercial transaction in the nation, as local commerce gives way to interstate commerce.

Then you bring up "states' rights. Technically, states don't have rights, but they do enjoy wide powers in laying laws that affect the state's jurisdiction.

The limitations of the states' powers -- or rights, if you prefer -- are that in any area where the Congress acts upon its lawful powers, the federal law will overrule that of the state. Also, the 14th amendment makes every person (except those with diplomatic immunity) born in a state automatically a citizen of that state and the nation.

[And of course, the 14th amendment also federalizes the protections of the bill of rights, effectively meaning that the state legislatures may not create a law respecting the establishment of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, etc.]

So... whether you choose to believe it or hold your breath until you turn blue, the Constitution created an essentially interventionist government, with a well known list of actions prohibited of the Congress.

solarsculptor
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Re: Need to change policy
solarsculptor   8/27/2012 10:16:50 AM
The car companies have been shining up the model "T" since it came out. They make money by convincing you that they have inovated, when in fact they haven't. 

A modern car only converts about 12% of the energy in the fuel into motion, the rest is wasted heat and greenhouse gases. There is plenty of room for improvement. A common electric motor is at least 90% efficient.

Our society (our government) provides all of the necessary infrastructure necessary to make an automobile useful(roads, right of way, bridges ect.) at enormous cost to taxpayers. We  even subsidise the fuel through billions of dollars payments to the oil companies, and providing billions more to defend the foreign sources in the Middle East and elsware. The car companies would not exist without the Government! We have the right to demand that the car companies, who profit off of this Government investment, meet certain specifications.

Here in Boston we are looking at billions of dollars in expenses that will need to be spent to cover the cost of sea level rise in the next 20-50 years. It will be an expense shouldered by future generations just because the car companies "lawyered up" to fight the mpg standards instead of doing the right thing 30 years ago and improving their product! The cars may be cheaper but the cost of 100million on the road will be much higher if this doesn't happen.

yes2012
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Re: Need to change policy
yes2012   8/27/2012 10:06:30 AM
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It's completely wrong and I'd say insane. People in the United States have to have freedom to buy cars they like. If our government wants us to drive tiny cars then it has to raise gas prices and explain why it has to be done.

Droid
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Platinum
Re: Need to change policy
Droid   8/27/2012 10:10:46 AM
Disagree - - What is the fascination with regulating everyone elses life.  If someone wants to drive 80 miles to work, why is it anyone's business to stop them.  What's with punishing someone because of where they live.  Seems like our basic freedoms have lost their value for some people.

solarsculptor
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Droid freedom
solarsculptor   8/27/2012 10:25:23 AM
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Maybe some people are tired of paying for your "freedom" to live a wasteful lifestyle. Maybe our government wouldn't need to support 11 aircraft carrier groups to maintain a steady supply of gas to your 8mpg Hummer. Maybe your freedom is not worth the price to me and others. Especially if all it takes is to kick the lazy corrupt car companies into action and demand reasonable modern products from them. 

tutor
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Bronze
Re: Droid freedom
tutor   8/27/2012 10:34:22 AM
I'm with you solarsculptor.

 

I think all this crap about Obama and government regulations is horse hockey.

 

I've been driving my Honda Insights (2000 & 2001) for almost 13 years now.

 

************* Both have LIFETIME AVG MPG above 66 *****************


So the "we don't know how to build, sell, etc." is horse hockey. ALL automobile manufacturers KNOW HOW TO DO THIS AND IF THEY ARE LAZY, SIMPLY LICENSE THIS ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY FROM HONDA.


Respectfully to the group

Rob K

Ann Arbor, MI

Common sense
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Gold
Re: Droid freedom
Common sense   8/27/2012 11:10:04 AM
We could all just ride scooters or walk too.  You want to get drive that and get 69 mpg, that is great, and I need a truck that I can haul stuff in and pull a trailer with.  I'm OK with getting 15 mpg.  The government is made of nothing but people, like you and me, a neighbor maybe, and my experience it is not those that graduated Summa Cum Laude.  Somehow we should expect any of these decisions to be good because they come under the guise of the government?, makes no sense to me.  Seems more like self imposed slavery.  I want to choose what kind of car I drive, not have my neighbor tell me what I should be driving.

analyst
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Iron
Re: Droid freedom
analyst   8/27/2012 11:15:23 AM
@commonsense

As long as *I* am paying for the bloated defense department all so that *YOU* can enjoy a stabilized price when filling up your stupid truck, then I guess that *I* have a rational interest in energy efficiency standards for the nation. 

Droid
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Re: Droid freedom
Droid   8/27/2012 11:35:33 AM
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"Defense" is actually a proper role of governement.  That said - even it could be trimmed.

Welfare checks which encourage indolence, big union bail-outs, loans to solyndra, free healthcare, subsidies to ethanol etc etc are all not proper roles of governement.  You complain about the defense budget, but how about the so-called entitlement budget.   Maybe I wouldn't need to drive 50 miles each way to work if I didn't have to pay for all those government hand-outs.

I say let's compromise and cut both in terms of real (not projected spending) dollars. 

AND - if gas goes up because of normal market forces, then so be it.

analyst
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Iron
Re: Droid freedom
analyst   8/27/2012 11:44:03 AM
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@Droid freedom

Who are YOU to tell anyone what the so called proper role of government is? It must be hard walking around with that God complex you have on your shoulder.

For your information, this is what the Constitution says:

 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

And in approving this document, the states also RIPPED TO SHREDS the Liberutopia "Articles of Confederation."

Droid
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Re: Droid freedom
Droid   8/27/2012 5:48:59 PM
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Very odd - I don't recall saying anything about God in my previous comment. What makes you so angry at Him?

Also - when the constitution makes the statement, "promote the general welfare" - do you think this means welfare as in welfare checks, healthcare, and other entitlements?

analyst
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Re: Droid freedom
analyst   8/27/2012 6:08:04 PM
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@Droid

I obviously have nothing against God. Only people who claim to speak with God like authority as to what government is "supposed" to do.

This government was conceived as a government for the people, BY THE PEOPLE. Indeed it is the best meaning of Democracy to say it is government that rules by the consent -- in this case by the ratification of the Constitution -- of  the people.

Welfare means "well being". Obviously, the use to label the social program we call "Welfare" came later.

So what contributes to the well being of the United States? The intent of the founding fathers was that we should argue that on a case by case basis.

THEREFORE, when the preamble says one of the purposes of creating this new government is the promotion of the General Welfare, they mean that we should use this government to [improve] the well being of the nation.

I take it as self-evident that clean water, safe food, safe cars, clean air, and health of the population all are examples where we have improved the well being, or welfare, of the nation.

Perhaps fans of dysentary or the birth defects associated with  thalidimide would like to disagree.

akwaman
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Gold
Save newcomers some time
akwaman   8/28/2012 8:50:52 AM
After reading and participating in this discussion, I realized I could save new readers some time.  Save a big chunk of your day and don't waste time reading the stuff by Totally_Lost, the name says it all.  I wish I could get back the part of my life involved in reading those posts, 99% of it misinformed trash.  Proven wrong over and over, Totally_Lost just moves on to another useless and misinformed point(?), if you can call it that.  I think I found the problem with EV technology advancement, when Totally_Lost says "I've been doing electric motor EV design for a few years now".  High points of this discussion are from <analyst> and <bwilson4web>.

Common sense
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Re: Droid freedom
Common sense   8/27/2012 11:40:39 AM
I take it you didn't graduate Summa Cum Laude did you?  The total defence department budget represents 19% of the spending, about 700 billion.  Our current debt spending is 1.3 trillion, so we could delete the entire defence budget and still be running a 600 billion/yr deficit.  How is that going to reduce your taxes?  If we are spending all of this money on the defence department with the goal of keeping oil prices down, then why are we paying almost $4/gal right now for gas, not working very well is it?  If you are so worried about what you pay in taxes, I hope you don't vote to be a slave.

analyst
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Re: Droid freedom
analyst   8/27/2012 11:54:10 AM
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@Commonsense

Let's make one thing clear. I am not anti-defense. But when the US defense budget is greater than the rest of the world combined, there is order of magnitude budget cuts available in that area.

Is the bloated defense budget entirely responsible for the budget deficit? No. President Bush pretty much guaranteed that we would be on the road for permanent budget deficits when he made massive cuts in taxes.

But even that is not the whole story. The baby-boomers are retiring. It is therefore NECESSARY that total of taxes to go up. 

Of course, the size and causes of the deficit don't matter in this context. What does matter is that SO LONG AS THE STABILIZATON OF WORLD OIL PRICES IS THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE US DEFENSE DEPARTMENT, THEN EVERY SINGLE TAX PAYER HAS A RATIONAL INTEREST IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS.

 

benmlee2
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Re: Droid freedom
benmlee2   8/27/2012 1:06:26 PM
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We should put the government mandate in perspective. The automobile is already extremely highly regulated. There are entire book shelf of books that regulate every aspect of car design. There are entire department of people working full time to keeping up with every requirement. Consumer can't just buy anything they want. It is even illegal to unplug the airbag in your own car you bought even if your wife is pregnant, and the airbag is a danger to her.  Tail pipe emission is also highly regulated. Fuel economy is not much of a new mandate.

 All the existing regulation already made the car way more complicated and much more heavy than  in the past. In return, we get safer cars as more and more people travel on the road, and cities are more congested.

In general, the more people you have, the more regulations you need. In the old days with few people far and in between, you can drive anything you want. You hardly meet another car on the road. With 300+ million people, and many concentrated in cities, you can't drive anything you want. The resource people collectively consume would be too much. Government is forced to add regulation. Otherwise, you have situation like in India or China where you can hardly breath.  Regulation adds stability as a country grow in population.

Droid
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Platinum
Re: Droid freedom
Droid   8/27/2012 10:48:51 AM
First - you dont know me or how I live.  I do not drive a hummer.  My car gets a mid-range 30-35mpg... And I utilize solar heat.  I just prefer not to be pushed into a Stalinist high-rise at the center of some rat-and-crime infested city.  

So - Let's start by saving money by not pouring it into things places like Solyndra. And let's not bail out failed car companies like GM and their unions who made bad choices.  Let's allow for more domestic oil production to save on that "11 aircraft carrier" group cost.  Let's quit the subsidies and mandates for ethanol that degrade fuel efficiency and eat at the heart of very basic environmental concerns - namely the stupidity of having the governent fund the production of food so it can be burned as fuel.

 

phantasyconcepts
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Re: Need to change policy
phantasyconcepts   8/27/2012 10:47:13 AM
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As someone who is currently unemployed, I must say that I do not WANT to drive any distance to work. I never did. I WANT to work from home. That said, the real world insists that I must travel to where my job is. How can I consider carpooling to work at a new employer? That implies getting to know my coworkers on a level that exceeds my comfort. I mean, my coworkers do not necessarily live in my neighborhood, or even in my town, so why should I want to have them drive anywhere near my house? As for parking my car somewhere and riding to work with others, my driing is bad enough. Getting into a car with someone else is giving up control. Plus, when you carpool, you need to rely on others to be able to ride home. You can't get out of work early or work late when needed. You also are stuck at work during lunch. It is less hassle though when your employer does not provide parking.

NiteOwl_OvO
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Re: Need to change policy
NiteOwl_OvO   8/27/2012 10:23:14 AM
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The formula used to calculate the CAFE value takes into account the production volume of the models used in the calculation. So producing a handfull of 80 MPG cars does not offset production of high volumes of gas guzzlers.

While HP is a factor in fuel consumption it is not valid to set HP limits to improve efficiency. A 400 HP Corvette today can get 35+ real world MPG. There are plenty of 150 HP "economy cars" that don't do any better. Combustion efficiency is pretty good today, so the major factors are total vehicle mass and number of passengers carried.

Isleguard
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Silver
Re: Need to change policy
Isleguard   8/27/2012 10:58:24 AM
@FinnickyFinn.  I, personally, don't think that limiting the consumption of any item to a fixed amount is going to help anybody.  Government control (looking at history) has only made problems worse.  The low end cars (MPG-wise) might start being sold for a premium because people will feel that they are safer and then peple will start buying used cars.  This, then puts the auto makers back in the same boat where they are bankrupt again because nobody wants to buy nor can afford the cars that they are offering.   This is a policy of failure unless you raise the wages of the worker comparatively and in this economy it isn't going to happen.

Also, why force people to move closer to work if they don't want too?  This sounds like too much the strategy (I cannot remember it's formal name) where the govt. wants to put people into cities and remove their cars because it is easier to control people when they are all together in cities instead of when they are separated by distance.

Both of these policies that you are suggesting smells like too much government control.   Russia in the 50's did this and look at what their government was like back then.  I don't think that we really want that here in the US.

 

analyst
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Iron
Re: Need to change policy
analyst   8/27/2012 11:09:02 AM
@isleguard

Government control is responsible for the clean water you drink, and sanitary waste system that allows you to flush your toilet. Government controls are saving hundreds of thousands of lives on the highway and have made airplane crashes a rarity.

But all government activity has a price. Take the cost of the four times as big as it needs to be Defense department, whose primary purpose is to guarantee the stability of the price of oil that allows you to drive your car.

Isleguard
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Silver
Re: Need to change policy
Isleguard   8/27/2012 11:35:10 AM
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@analyst.  You danced and dodged around the topic very well but you didn't provide any type of relevent rebuttal.   The topic was not about the EPA and water nor the military spending but about government control of the automobile industry and how it ultimately affects the consumer population.  Try to stick to the topic.

 

Nice try and good job though!

analyst
User Rank
Iron
Re: Need to change policy
analyst   8/27/2012 11:58:22 AM
@Isleguard

I proved your claim that government standards never did any good to be FALSE. False, deceitful, ignorant, prejudiced. And False.

A very small achievement, but still.

Island_Al
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Gold
Re: Need to change policy
Island_Al   8/27/2012 11:50:17 AM
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@Isleguard I could not agree with you (and some of the other posters) more. Lawmakers posing as engineers!  A better solution might be engineers being law makers.  At least engineers have a grasp on physics.  I disagree with the "tradeoff" concept.  Each gallon of gas has a fixed quantity of energy and each passenger has a fixed quantity of mass. Further air resistance at a given velocity is fixed. If a car is made with zero mass one can calculate the MPG and this cannot be improved any more than trying to mandate gravitational acceleration.  Of course a lawyer solution would be to change the volume of a gallon of gas to fix the problem!  All insanity.

The problem could be realistically fixed by simply removing government help in all areas.  Get them out of oil production, manufacturing, and money printing.  Everything!  Let them work on getting the mail delivered, just as the Constitution authorizes.  That alone will keep them out of our hair for eternity!

 

Island_Al
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Re: Need to change policy
Island_Al   8/27/2012 11:53:41 AM
NO RATINGS
Oh, and I forgot. EVs don't get rid of pollution; they only move the pollution elsewhere!  If anything they create more pollution with making batteries, power plants, etc.  Again, insanity.  Let the market decide.  Vote with our dollars.

Isleguard
User Rank
Silver
Re: Need to change policy
Isleguard   8/27/2012 12:05:16 PM
@Island Al.   I agree with you also. 

Physics is Physics no matter what some people think or government attempts to mandate.  You have that right. More engineers should be in government and fewer lawyers.  Things might become more logical/rational in the real world.

analyst
User Rank
Iron
Re: Need to change policy
analyst   8/27/2012 12:09:21 PM
@isleguard

I am glad we have someone here who thinks science is important. So, how much of the energy in gasoline is actually converted to movement with present internal combustion engines?

I see at least a 200% potential gain in efficiency just waiting!

feierbach
User Rank
Gold
Re: Need to change policy
feierbach   8/27/2012 12:32:40 PM
Forget magnesium and titanium. Carbon fiber is getting less expensive every year and has the potential for becoming much stronger using fibers made of carbon nanotubes. It will probably be less expensive than steel in less than 5 years. I think the goal of 54.5 will be drop dead simple to meet. Remember in 1981 we had a 55MPG diesel VW Rabbit.

 

FinnickyFinn
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Silver
Re: Need to change policy
FinnickyFinn   8/27/2012 12:23:46 PM
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I was talking about giving incentives for short commutes. If you wan to drive an hour each way and spend extra money doing so, fine. Go ahead, but don't complain that commuting is soooo expensive just because you don't want to change. That said, I know of people who commute over two hours one way every day. Should be support such insanity?

Plenty of folks don't need an SUV (they never go off road, something SUVs are not designed for anyway) or the pickup truck with V8 engines. Unless someone works construction jobs for a living and really needs to transport a lot of stuff using a trailer for the occasional transport is much better. I've driven small cars that had no issues with towing. Do we really need to accommodate those who drive an H2 or an overmotorized car just to boost their ego or showcase that they make six figures?

Russia did this in the 50s due to the chronic lack of resources as well as securing what was available for mainly military use. That had nothing to do with environmental protection and coaxing people towards wasting less energy through unsustainable life styles.

As far as governments not regulating, we still suffer from the results of that approach. Bank regulation was basically removed entirely and the lack of such regulation and oversight was at the core of the current economic crisis. Also didn't help that the former administration amassed more debt than all administrations before together, but these days the fad is to blame that on people who just inherited that mess.

Do we need to regulate how much curve a cucumber is allowed to have? No, we do not. Do we need to regulate where otherwise anarchy and unsustainable processes will doom us and future generations? I am convinced we do. And the most effective way to change is to hit people and corporations (not the same!) in their wallets.

Sir LAncelot
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Bronze
Re: Need to change policy
Sir LAncelot   8/27/2012 1:23:50 PM
Its not up to government minions to dictate who wants to drive what. I dont see their right to intefere in free enterprise anywhere in the Constitution Ive read.  But to the subject at hand:

CAFE standards have killed thousands of motorist by forcing that cars be built from paper mache', to have overly complex drivretrains that are cost prohibitive to maintain or service and offer abysmal perfomance. They are not even  feasible for powering vehicles that consumers actually want and thats why government is trying to force them and all these "alternative energy scams"--on the taxpayer-- because they are failures.  THOSE should not be registered. These proposed cars are just llike like CFL light bulbs that you need to light a match to see when they are on.  I have no problem with a Mercedes 500, and for those of us who have boats trailers and those awful off road motorcycles --- or just feel like driving a real vehicle were not going to be told what we are or are not going to drive by a bunch of political hacks benevolent to Marxist greens whose real agenda is to reduce the standard of living and freedom in America, and part of that freedom is mobility.

analyst
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Iron
Re: Need to change policy
analyst   8/27/2012 1:41:55 PM
@Sir LAncelot 

My guess you never even looked at the Constitution. Please look up the following:

Preamble

Taxation Power

General Welfare Clause

Commerce Clause

FinnickyFinn
User Rank
Silver
Re: Need to change policy
FinnickyFinn   8/27/2012 2:55:24 PM
NO RATINGS
Based on empirical observation most accidents are caused by reckless drivers, not car designs. There are also security standards to be met before cars are allowed to be sold.

As far as CFLs are concerned, I have a set of Philips CFLs in a ceiling fan. I eventually removed one because it was too bright in the room. I also have some very old CFLs still in use that take quite a while to come up to speed. There have been many improvements in the last years that make your complaints a moot point.

In regards to freedom, your freedom goes only as far as everyone's freedom. The days where big bullies demand an entitlement to race their big boat luxury sedans down residential streets need to be over. That has nothing to do with curtailing any freedoms. Taking advantage of everyone else and caring not at all about fellow citizens is not freedom. It is asinine behavior at best.

Totally_Lost
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Silver
Re: Need to change policy
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 2:59:26 PM
You are certainly free to live in a transportation free mixed use zoning city environment if that is what you want.


Freedom stops when you start bashing those of us that live in rural areas where a larger 4WD truck and SUV is the only way to get around mountain roads where we live and work.

FinnickyFinn
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Silver
Re: Need to change policy
FinnickyFinn   8/27/2012 7:00:26 PM
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If you would have bothered to read my initial post then you'd know that I explicitly excluded those kinds of uses. I fully understand that there are cases where you need a beefy 4WD, but that does not apply to 80% of the US population who can easily do without such vehicles.

Battar
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Platinum
Smaller is better
Battar   8/27/2012 9:20:44 AM
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How about smaller cars, smaller engines ? European car manufacturers are already there - just look at the websites of Peugeot, Renault, Seat, Skoda, read the specs.  0-60 in 5 seconds isn't a "must-have" - it can happen in 12 seconds too. Nobody really needs 200 HP or cubic miles of space in the rear just to commute to work or visit Grandma.  Know what a clutch is? manual transmission? How about diesel engines? Diesel powered private cars in Europe get better than 55mpg today. It's no good driving around in SUV's and Lexuses complaining about the fuel efficiency.

Droid
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Smaller is better
Droid   8/27/2012 10:02:04 AM
Agree that someone driving an SUV or other large vehicle should not complain about fuel efficiency.   However, I disagree that "smaller is better".  How about saying that Freedom is Better.  

Let car companies freely choose which size cars they will bring to market - and let them reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their decisions.

Let people freely choose which size car they want to drive and live with the simple consequences of paying more per mile in fuel costs for a large vehicle or accepting a safety trade-off to drive a smaller, lighter vehicle.  

I prefer having freedom of choice for my vehicle purchase rather than having some government bureaucrat twisting the knobs and trying to force us all into vehicles that may not fit our individual situations.

FinnickyFinn
User Rank
Silver
Re: Smaller is better
FinnickyFinn   8/27/2012 7:03:38 PM
The consequences are that they make much more money with gas guzzling SUVs than efficient compact cars. So when the goal is to improve fuel efficiency then rewarding car manufacturers doing the opposite is not the way to go. For that to work gas prices need to rise y quite a bit. So that would be another alternative.

analyst
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Iron
Re: Smaller is better
analyst   8/27/2012 7:14:29 PM
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The new standards are not going to be the end of the pickup truck. As for SUVs, the market has been replacing them with car based "crossover" vehicles.

But this is a dramatic increase in the MPG for the whole fleet of US cars and trucks on the road, and thus will make the economy less susceptable to fuel price shocks. My own car gets something like 32 MPG.

Boy, if only I could just wave a wand over it and turn it into a car that gets 54 MPG!

naperlou
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Blogger
Re: Smaller is better
naperlou   8/28/2012 8:39:29 AM
An alternative to raising taxes at the pump is to drill here (and I do not include Canada for this purpose).  The price of oil from the Middle East includes "royalties", or taxes, paid to those governments.  By drilling in the USA, we get that tax revenue at the wellhead.  Overall, the consumer's cost is no higher.  In addition, unfriendly governments have less to use to destabalize the world. 

analyst
User Rank
Iron
Re: Smaller is better
analyst   8/28/2012 11:13:18 AM
@naperlou

I am afraid you don't know how the oil market works. You make an argument that since a large portion of the price Arab countries use to set the price at which they sell their oil is in the form of royalties and taxes, that their cost of producing the oil is less than what they are selling it to the world.

That is true, but not relevant. Whatever goes into the pricing decisions that the Arabs make, they are still the low cost producer in the market.

What you need to understand is that if, for example, some company puts an oil well in your backyard -- not a pleasant experience -- that they will sell the oil according to the highest price they can get for it.

And that means that company will sell it at the price the rest of the world is willing to pay. The world market price.

Now, it is true that domestic production results in more of that money being put into American hands. That is, assuming the company that does the production is owned by Americans. But the impact on the consumer is the same, regardless of whether the oil is coming from your back yard or Bora Bora.

Talk of oil production jobs is a common topic on the political scene, but the fact is that it requires very few people, less than 0.5% of the population, to run the rigs, weld together pipes, etc. It's like Facebook or even Google. A lot of employees just are not needed.

RNDDUDE
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Platinum
Re: Smaller is better
RNDDUDE   8/28/2012 11:20:17 AM
I just want to correct something that has popped up several times so far...."full size Prius vs. compact Jetta TDI." when comparing stated MPG values. The implication is that the Prius is a BIG car that achieves great MPG, while the Jetta is a SMALLER car that achieves somewhat less MPG.

The Prius dimensions are 58.7 x 68.7 x 176.4 (H-W-L).

The Jetta dimensions are 57.2 X 70.0 X 182.2 (H-W-L)

The two cars are essentially the same size, if anything, the Jetta is a bit larger.

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Smaller is better
Bunter   8/28/2012 3:33:58 PM
Have you compared interior dimensions?  I haven't with the Jetta but it might be revelatory, the Prius comes in at the lower end of the midsize groups.

Typically I have seen the opposite mistake with the Prius-people make mileage/cost comparisons with compacts that have a similar footprint but smaller interiors (it is a well packaged car, I suspect in part because they didn't need to make provision for different powertrains).

Considered on it's actual utility it is a midsize car at a midsize price with an extra 20 mpg thrown in.  I don't own one but it has never been a mystery to me why many do.  I find it a tough sell that all, or even most of the Prius owners are just "making a statement" as some have said.

The TDI makes a lot of sense also but VW needs to address their reliability issues before I will look at their products.

Cheerio,

shrimper53
User Rank
Gold
Re: Smaller is better
shrimper53   8/27/2012 10:07:52 AM
 This is exactly the problem that many rational people have when it come to government regulation and policy.  Who says that you or anyone else should tell me or anyone else for that matter, what they "need" to commute to work, go visit Grandam , or whatever.   It is a major turn-off, and the reaction is often negative, when it does not need to be so.   A major problem with this MPG debate is that the focus is to "force" technology with artificial means (government subsidies, tax incentives, etc, etc.).  Yes, there is the need for goals, but as the article says, at what price?

The natural "bridge" in automotive technology is obvious... the hybrid.  There must be the goal primarily of getting costs down to the point where the average person CAN afford to go that route.   Adapt the hybrid concept to the wider range of vehicle types and sizes, foster a "manhatten project" push to advance the power storage limitations, and get the bogus political influences and politically-correct notions out of way.

I shall await the barrage of criticism. 

analyst
User Rank
Iron
Re: Smaller is better
analyst   8/27/2012 10:09:51 AM
If we set standards for water quality and waste water treatment, it would seem only irrational exuberance cause one to criticize efficiency standards.

BorgLab
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Iron
Re: Smaller is better
BorgLab   8/27/2012 12:58:38 PM
If anyone was paying attention, you would have noticed that this great nation started to decline, when it became MORE IMPORTANT to be politically correct, than it was to be a REAL PATRIOT.

fredsay
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Gold
Same old story
fredsay   8/27/2012 9:27:30 AM
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Everytime new mpg standards come up, the manufacturers all complain that they can't possibly meet those standards, then we start getting cars which beat that standard.

In 1986, I had a Mustang GT which got 25-26mpg on the highway, unheard of for a performance car. Now performance cars are beating that mileage. 

In a few years, when cars are getting 50+ mpg, new standards will come out mandating 75mpg and the complaining will begin again.

Same story, different day, same arguments.

 

rsqrd
User Rank
Iron
Higher Fue Economy
rsqrd   8/27/2012 9:40:14 AM
NO RATINGS
In 2010 my daughter had bought a Audi A4, quattro, manual trans which delivered somewhere in the mid 20's mpg. On a trip to Europe I noticed an add for essentially the same care that stated their version of the cars deliver 62 mpg. I brought it home to show her. I think the Audi, at least, has the ability to deliver to whatever spec is set by looking into their bag of tricks. Moaning is what the companies like to do and telling us that the improvements can come at an enormous price to put us off. Emissioms, can never do it, but now most cars deliver cleaner air out than what goes in, safety impossible but deaths are down due to air bags and structural improvements.

NiteOwl_OvO
User Rank
Gold
Re: Higher Fue Economy
NiteOwl_OvO   8/27/2012 10:53:12 AM
Different countries have different ways of calculating fuel economy numbers. Also, CAFE MPG is different than advertized US MPG. Example: 2012 Honda Fit CAFE MPG might be 36 while advertized MPG might be 27. It may very well be that the European Audi can get better gas mileage than the US version, but I doubt the difference would be that significant if they were calculated the same way.

One factor that affects fuel economy is speed. Different countries have different highway speed limits. Cars need to be optimized for the speed they will be driven. Highway speeds also affect accelleration requirements. Cars must be able to accellerate from 0 to highway speed in a reasonable amount of time to prevent accidents when merging onto the freeway. Cheers!

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
Once again - legislate up the cost of transportation
kf2qd   8/27/2012 9:54:22 AM
Maybe you all are highly paid and living in an area with a low cost of living... But all this does is force many people in this country into not being able to afford transportation. About like the "Cash for Clunkers" program which took fairly modern used cars off the road and ignored the real clunkers and made a new car more affordable for those who could already afford a new car. And the Feds are putting pressure on the present power generation system because of "polution", so will it be able to support an influx of electric vehicles, if and when they become available? Or will the law of supply and demand cause the cost of electricity to skyrocket because of the invcreased demand making those vehicles even more expensive? ANd your 54MPG car probably won't be able to be driven in the rain, or if there is snow on the ground and will be very uncomfortable under 40 Degrees F. As is, we already have some of those vehicles on the road, they are called MOTORCYCLES.

It is also interesting that US law doesn't allow the diesel Smart Car to be sold here even though it already gets 50 miles plus per gallon. Not that I wish to drive one of them, I can't imagine being passed by a larger vehicle on a windy day with that short wheel base and light weight...

It would be interesting to find out all the places in the country that used to have trolley systems that were taken out. I grew up in Western NY and at one time the trolley ran from Buffalo NY to Erie PA with a number of other systems branching off, like from Westfield NY to Jamestown NY. The railroads still exist in places, but it seems that, other than on the east cost, the hours when they run the long ditance trains are designed to be as inconveient as possible - i.e. you catch the train at midnight... And then, when we build a train or trolley system it seems that it is built for show rather than for utility. We need to build these sytems for usability. And then there is the system they want in California which is projected to never pay for itself, and they are already broke...

hatallica
User Rank
Silver
Re: Once again - legislate up the cost of transportation
hatallica   8/27/2012 10:49:30 AM
It saddens me to see how most comments suggest that what we need is more policies or a tweak on how a policy is managed.  This is not a matter of changes in degree; the whole concept is flawed!  A wall of separation is required between the market and government.  Their role is to protect intellectual property and arguably to prevent monopolies.

Artificial and arbitrary rules - no matter how well-meaning - have both opportunity costs and unintended consequences.  Instead of the market being able to fluidly react by way of consumer choices, we are left to march in lock-step with quotas and mandates.  Who among us would be putting corn ethanol in our gas tanks in a drought year?

There is a real cost to adding engineering effort to innovating solutions to artificial rules.  The subsequently increased product cost automatically detracts from some other economic decision (food, medicine, charity, or even simple frivolities).  Am I to believe that these policy overseers are smart enough to make my economic decisions 13 years out ... based on their overall record of financial stewardship?

PMB
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Iron
Materials observations
PMB   8/27/2012 10:05:21 AM
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The remarks in the article concerning possible materials are as interesting for the properties not discussed, as they may be for the costs included. 

Take magnesium - as far away as possible from popular use on our roads, please! Not only is the supply limited, but it is an extremely flammable material which is very hard to suppress until totally consumed.  It also burns hot enough to compromise nearby materials.

Carbon fiber?  Great stuff for race cars.  Yes, magnesium is still lighter, but harder to work with for that purpose, and there's that "fire thing" again.  However for street use carbon composites can be very brittle and create very sharp edges when damaged.  Yes, they burn too, but that can be reduced somewhat by resin selection.

Plastics have potential, but need to be selected carefully as weight can become an issue and chemical content (limitations thereto for fire safety) may increase cost.  

Aluminum isn't a bad choice, but needs to be used in thicker gauges to offer equivalent strength, and bonding system choices are more limited due to greater intermetallic corrosion potential. 

The new high-strength steels can be utilized in the thinnest sections and thus save weight, and have good corrosion resistance as well as about the lowest base cost, thus still a good choice.  (no, I have no dogs in that fight, but do drive a car using that material for its skin)

PMB

analyst
User Rank
Iron
Energy waste == unaffordable government (defense department)
analyst   8/27/2012 10:15:27 AM
Looking at our budget, it is clear the budget for the defense department needs to be cut in half. Right now, it is a larger amount in real dollars than what we expended during the cold war!

And there is exactly one reason we have the unaffordable defense department we have today: To defend the stability of world wide oil prices.

Drilling domestically offers no relief (even if you were so ill informed to think we have the natural resources to make it work) because all oil and increasingly, natural gas, is sold at the WORLD MARKET PRICE.

Greater energy efficiency of all kinds, whether in our automobiles or light bulbs, is the ONLY viable means of holding on to the standard of living we are used to living.

Battar
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Platinum
It will eand in tears
Battar   8/27/2012 10:17:52 AM
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You might like to pause and consider that liquid hydrocarbon fuel is a finite resource. The more we use today, the less there will be for our grandchildren. You can argue 50 years left or right of the scale as to WHEN the resource is gone, but not IF. Speaking for myself, I feel uncomfortable about wasting limited resources, be it oil, fresh water, copper wire, or whatever.

NiteOwl_OvO
User Rank
Gold
Re: It will eand in tears
NiteOwl_OvO   8/27/2012 10:30:00 AM
NO RATINGS
Ethanol and biodiesel are also liquid hydrocarbon fuels and are renewable. Fresh water and copper are infinitely recycleable. Cheers!

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It will eand in tears
Battar   8/27/2012 10:42:10 AM
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Niteolwl,

              Recycling water and metals requires energy, usually supplied by fossil fuels. Ethanol and biodiesel are the products of the same resource used to provide you with lunch. You can drive, or you can eat, but not both (oversimplification, but you get the idea). The raw materials for bio-fuels also require vast quantites of artificial fertilizer, which is also produced with fossil fuel. It will grind to a halt eventually.

NiteOwl_OvO
User Rank
Gold
Re: It will eand in tears
NiteOwl_OvO   8/27/2012 11:15:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Recycling water requires very little energy. Gravity does most of the work. While electric pumps are used to push fresh water into the water system, the electricity could come from a clean source.


Recycling metals will continue until we no longer need metals. Cars really don't have much copper in them anymore.

 

Ethanol is made from sugar. Biodiesel is made from vegetable oil. Production of ethanol and biodiesel have very little impact on the food we eat. The US government pays farmers to produce less grain. This keeps grain prices artificially high and helps the corporate farms turn profit. We have production capacity to spare. Most fertilizers are processed from natural sources. Again, the electricity used could come from a clean source. I grew up on a grain farm. Vast quantities of fertilizer are not required. "On the average, approximately 1.2 pounds of nitrogen, 0.5 pounds of phosphate (P2O5) and 1.2 pounds of potash (K2O) are used to produce a bushel of corn. A large proportion of this is normally supplied by the organic matter and mineral portion of the soil."

RNDDUDE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It will eand in tears
RNDDUDE   8/27/2012 11:23:44 AM
Some very interesting, and passionate responses. I wouuld just like to summarize the articles points, that is all of the following can contribute to better MPG figures:

lower overall weight....better aerodynamics....better drivetrain efficiency....reduced friction....energy capture (braking) and reuse.

Improving any/some/all of those will improve MPG. NONE of those necessaarily have to be at the expense of safety, given good engineering. The obvious qualifier in al of this is of course...cost. The biggest offsetter of manufacturing costs is....volume. So if these improved MPG vehicles could become a much greater volume mix for manufacturers, the economics of scale will tend to reduce their prices.

person12345
User Rank
Iron
CAFE loop holes
person12345   8/27/2012 10:30:23 AM
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Due to some of its loopholes, the changing CAFE standards could actually result in larger population of less efficient vehicles.  As currently written, the CAFE rules favor a reduction in MPG as vehicle footprint increases. Increase the wheelbase and/or track and you get a bonus reduction in MPG.  Given public preference for larger vehicles there is some logic for an automaker to start stretching their platforms.

Perhaps a more interesting point; CAFE as a policy is designed to minimize our county's reliance on foreign sources of energy.  With plug-in electrics arriving on the scene MPG is going to become less and less meaningful as a metric of Corporate Average Fuel Economy.  Clearly you can't factor in a model with infinite MPG and get a sensible composite result.  

Anyone out there in the industry know how this is going to be handled?

 

 

 

 

Chuck_IAG
User Rank
Platinum
Re: CAFE loop holes
Chuck_IAG   8/27/2012 4:37:31 PM
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MPG-e, mile per gallon equivalent.  It's factored into Nisan Leaf efficiency- an all-electric vehicle uses no gasoline but for mileage-comparison purposes you calculate the energy a gallon of gasoline provides and compare that to the amount of energy that the electric car typically consumes, and then compare ranges.  Like a gallon of gas produces about 114k BTUs of energy, which translates roughly to 33.41 killowatt-hours of electricity.  So a gas-driven car that consumes a gallon in 20 miles of driving is the same as an electric car that uses 33.41 kWh of electricity for that same distance.  Chart on it here if my explanation is muddy:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent

All of those equivalents are politically charged, though.  A gallon of gas uses energy to refine it.  33.4kWh of electricity also have production costs.  How do they compare? etc.

Kevin
User Rank
Platinum
Re: CAFE loop holes
Kevin   8/27/2012 7:49:51 PM
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Wow - this article has brought out the zealots on both sides of the fence!  Many of these comments are so far off-in-the-weeds that they don't merit a response.  A more productive (engineering related) question is: Is the 54.5 MPG target reasonable and acheivable?  I have not read the document, but assume that this is the target for EPA COMBINED city/hwy ?

Let's take a sober look at what exists TODAY, to see what might be possible.  First, the Prius hybrid, at 51/48 MPG (city/hwy) is currently the high watermark in the USA, and has been for many years. Also, note that the Prius V and the Lexus CT hybrid have identical drivetrains and get only 44/40 and 43/40 MPG.  The larger Camry hybrid gets 43/39 and the upcoming ford fusion hybrid reportedly gets 47/44.  It is clear that hybrid technology is very advanced and in the "diminishing returns" zone...where ~50MPG is probably the avg. asymptote...and 54.5 seems very challenging, esp. if larger cars and trucks are included in the average.  Note that there are now MANY non-hybrid cars that get 29/40 MPG city/highway, and VW Jetta TDI gets 31/43.

Using my (not insignificant) knowledge of all the details that roll up into a car's efficiency, here are some factoids:  Hybridization (and start-stop systems) can dramatically help city MPG, but highway is only slightly improved, vs. a very efficient non-hybrid.  Also, a hybrid can have better acceleration than an equivalent highwayMPG car...due to the temporary electric boost.  Weight mainly affects city mpg, but has a small effect on highway.  Also, a hybrid system can compensate somewhat for a heavier car weight in city driving by regenerative braking. Aerodynamic drag affects mainly highway mpg, not city.

Now for EV's:  Electric motors can be very efficient (95%+),but that is not really the point.  The issue where EV zealots get lost in their comparisons with gas or diesel cars is that if you start with FUEL (the most fair comparison IMO), then you'll see that 70% of today's power comes from fossil fuels (coal & natural gas), and those power plants, on average, are not much more efficient than the best car engines.  Factor in a 7% powerline loss and ~20% battery charge/discharge & controller loss, and you'll find that with today's grid, EV's do NOT save a significant amount of total energy or fossil fuel.  They mainly just shift the fuel away from oil.  Also, the batteries add a lot of counterproductive weight and cost.  Some day, when the grid is primarily powered by renewables - EV's could be of great benefit (but not now).  Unfortunately, the EPA's MPGe calculation is deeply fraudulent.  34 KWh of electricity took approx. 70-85 KWh of fossil fuel to create.  In other words, if the Nissan Leaf's 100 MPGe were calculated honestly, one would divide by ~2.5 to get ~40 MPG.  To be fair, if  you live in Seattle, your power is 90%+ hydro, and EV's are therefore wonderfully green.  

However, back to the 54.5 MPG target - I think the government is relying on this EV distortion to acheive it.  It is technically incorrect, misleading, dishonest.  In short, the 54.5 goal can only be acheived with a massive number of EV's on the road, and calculating MPGe in the above incorrect way.

Regarding vectors for REAL future MPG improvement...I think drag reduction is really the main one left.  Lower weight helps...but mainly only for city mpg and even then mainly for non-hybrids.  Many cars are already using high strength steel to reduce weight...but going to carbon fiber is super-expensive and actually dangerous (poor impact strength), and would only help MPG a little.  So...the main trade-off will be smaller cars with super-aero shapes (which may not have especially appealing styling).  I think this, plus continued refinement of hybrid drives could probably <JUST BARELY> get us there...where the BEST cars are 60+MPG, and larger cars are ~45-50MPG...for an avg. of ~55MPG.  Avg. horsepower / performance will definitely be lower, however.

For good recreational reading - learn about the highest watermark yet - the Edison2 car which won the Automotive XPrize with over 100 MPG actual results:  http://www.edison2.com/   They won with a fuel-burning engine, but because no venture capital was available for this, their production car will be an EV.  Fortunately, their low weight and especially their super-low drag will benefit either type of drivetrain.  

Lastly, in my opinion, we should be putting much more effort into creating a renewable, solar-synthesized, low emission, domestically produced liquid (or gaseous) fuel to replace gasoline.  Ammonia fuel is probably the most practical (google: "the other hydrogen"). After that is accomplished - EV's are not necessary, nor are "oil wars", coal strip-mining, etc.  

Cheers!  Kevin

analyst
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Re: CAFE loop holes
analyst   8/27/2012 8:11:57 PM
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@Kevin

I only have one small disagreement with you. You say this: "and those power plants, on average, are not much more efficient than the best car engines."

Huh? All heat engines should be Carnot efficiency limited. You will recall that at the limit, the efficiency of heat engines can approach but never exceed n= 1 - (TC/ TH).

Obviously, internal combusion engines have a much more limited difference between TC and TH than that available in a power plant. The power plant can both generate hotter TH and colder Tc. For example, the power plant likely uses a river or other body of water for cooling.

In any case, thermal efficiency for an internal combustion engine is approximately 25% and that of a coal power plant might be 40% and that of a gas powered plant can get to 60%.

*************************************

If we assume the power to charge the EV is derived from a natural gas burning plant, which certainly seems the trend, then your calculations can be expected to be off by a factor of 60%/25% = 2.4. Which might very well mean that the EPA equivalent MPG calculations for EVs are correct and yours are the figures in error.

As I understand it, my community has just signed up to have 100% (it could be 50%, I don't recall clearly) of its electricity to come from renewable sources. That obviously makes the EV that much more attractive.

On the other hand... no one wants a EV that runs off of Nickle Metal Hydride, like those which I believe the Prius uses. If you get an EV, you are going to want the greater energy/mass, and therefore greater range of Lithium Ion batteries. And enough Lithium Ion batteries to drive your car are still quite expensive. Which is why I am not counting on buying one in the next couple years.

Kevin
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Re: CAFE loop holes
Kevin   8/27/2012 9:43:41 PM
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Analyst,

Thanks for your (very civil and intelligent) response.  I've actually studied these things, and also understand Carnot efficiency, etc.  The facts are a bit surprising!

The Prius atkinson-cycle engine (this type of engine gets higher efficiency but lower power for a given displacement by expanding the gasses more) is 38% efficient, and Toyota is working on a 42+% version.  Car engines passed the 25% mark a long time ago (big V-8's)...but EV people keep dragging that old figure out.  www.green.autoblog.com/2011/04/24/toyota-targets-45-thermal-efficiency-for-engines-in-next-gen-hy/

The average coal power plant in the USA has an efficiency of ~33% (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil-fuel_power_station ) with the best coal plants approaching 40%.  The latest high-tech combined-cycle natural gas power plants can get up to 56-60%, However, there are only a few of these and they are  expensive because they are essentially two power plants in one (a gas-turbine generator with a steam-turbine system run off of the waste heat of the first).  FYI - in case you google around: Power plant efficiencies are published in a strange way - they don't talk about "efficiency", they use "heat rate".  Efficiency = 3412 / HEATRATE, where HEATRATE is in BTU/KWh.  

There are several reasons why an internal combustion engine can get such high efficiency vs. most power plants:  

1.  The peak temperatures are actually VERY high, but last only a short time, then falls as the gas expands.  I think peak temp can be over 1800°C.  (someone can perhaps confirm this?) 

2. The cylinder sees a an average temperature much lower, due to #1 above, but also due to the other 3 cycles (of the 4 engine cycles) being much lower temperature.  This is how melting is avoided, along with water cooling of course.

3.  Power plants run their boiler and turbine in a steady-state condition.  The temperature is much lower than the peak temp in an ICE.  I think they usually run around 600°-700°C.  

4.  Power plants recoup some efficiency with tricks like "multiple reheat" where the steam is reheated between successive steam turbine stages.  Even with this, 40% eff. is doing well.

So...without being too rigorous about it - a combined cycle power plant can get, say, 34% efficiency from the gas turbines (implying waste heat of 66% of the combustion input heat), then a steam turbine system converts 38% of this 66% to work, giving an additional 25% net conversion of heat to work - summing to 59% total efficiency.  These plants must burn natural gas, because of course gas turbines can't easily burn coal.  see:  http://www.power-hitachi.com/products/gtp/h25h15/ebook/book124/H25-H15_12p_0421.pdf

So why don't we just make power plants all "natural gas burning diesel engines"?  Well....we could, but efficiency would only be about 40% and there would be many moving parts to wear out an maintain and the engines would be HUGE (costly).  For a power plant, the high power density and simplicity & reliability of turbines is a much better choice.

Fortunately, the invention of fracking is now producing a bonanza of cheaper and cleaner natural gas, so hopefully in the short-term we will see many more combined-cycle power plants....until we can develop better solar power and solar-synfuels.

Kevin

 

 

 

Kevin
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Re: CAFE loop holes
Kevin   8/27/2012 9:58:35 PM
Sorry to stay on my soapbox!

Analyst -

one thing I forgot to answer:  Yes, if today all power plants were combined-cycle natural gas power plants, my 2.5X "reality adjustment" for the EPA's EV MPGe would be much less....and EV's would indeed be very green.  But...as I mentioned, these plants are new, rare, and expensive for now.  

My comments are based on TODAY'S grid average power sources.  see this wonderfully informational chart:  www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2010/images/energy-flow-annotated.pdf

William K:

Here's some supplemental reading on ammonia as a fuel.  Note that it can be absorbed at very high density into inexpensive magnesium chloride powder...mitigating risk of a large accidental venting of ammonia.  Also, ammonia is lighter than air, so rises rather quickly (as opposed to, say, propane, that dangerously fills basements and low areas).  

Note that ammonia can be burned as a fuel in today's internal combustion engines (with some modifications, of course), with essentially zero emissions.  The octane rating is very high, which support high compression ratios – improving engine efficiency further.

It can also be used in fuel cells in the future, when that technology is ready. 

And lastly - did you know that today's fertilizer is nearly 100% made from natural gas feedstock?  If we converted to a solar-synthesized ammonia fuel, it could be used directly as a fertilizer or as a feedstock to make other kinds of fertilizer.

http://nh3fuelassociation.org/

http://www.iowaenergycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/NHA-2009v7-1-JHH-2.pdf

http://www.fisita2012.com/programme/programme/F2012-B01-015

http://dcwww.camd.dtu.dk/Nabiit/A%20high-density%20ammonia%20storage-delivery%20system%20based%20on%20Mg(NH3)(6)Cl-2%20for%20SCR-DeNO(x)%20in%20vehicles.pdf

http://inside.mines.edu/~jbeach/ammonia-fuel.v02.pdf

and definitely read this: 

http://energy.sandia.gov/?page_id=776

sorry if I'm somewhat obsessive on this stuff...but hopefully you'll see that my data is correct and based on non-biased factual study.  There is SO MUCH hype and distortion out there on energy topics and EV's!

Kevin

analyst
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Re: CAFE loop holes
analyst   8/28/2012 10:52:36 AM
@kevin

For what it is worth, naturalgas.org says that combined cycle natural gas plants can achieve efficiencies up to 60% and microturbines with new waste heat recovery techniques can achieve energy efficiencies of up to 80 percent.

It would appear obvious that maximum energy conversion can be achieved by multiple heat conversion loops, with each one using a different working fluid (and therefore phase transition temperature) or working fluids operating at different pressures so as to manipulate the phase transition temperature. (For example, one steam loop operating at 1520 Torr, another at 760 and a third at 380 Torr.) 

I assume that this is the sort of thing going on in the 80% efficient microturbine cited above.

According to what I have read, gas powered generators, by virtue of the limited amount of material subject to the working temperature, can afford to use more expensive turbines, such as those made of ceramic, and therefore operate with input temperature of 900-1400°C. 

Let's compare 4 cases:

1. TH and TC  = 1000°C and 32°C   (90°F)
    theoretical efficiency = 1 - (305/1273) = 76%

2. TH and TC  = 1400°C and 32°C   (90°F)
    theoretical efficiency = 1 - (305/1673) = 82%

3. TH and TC  = 1000°C and 15°C
     [Utilizing a deep lake as the heat sink.]

    theoretical efficiency = 1 - (288/1273) = 77%

4. TH and TC  = 1400°C and 15°C
    theoretical efficiency = 1 - (288/1673) = 83%

 

From which I conclude that if gas plants are not getting higher efficiency than that available from an internal combustion engine, they are probably planning to upgrade.

Again, based on what I have read, coal powered plants are a different matter, simply because a larger amount of material is involved in the turbine, necessitating the use of less heat tolerant materials like steel.

I would really like to see a reference that shows where internal combustion engines, specifically those used in cars and trucks, are getting 40% efficiency. Facts are good!

 ********************

A post word: Given the success of the fracking industry, it would appear to me that there is an irresistible force towards the shutting down of coal powered electrical generators and the starting up of natural gas powered electrical generation.

I think that solar gets closer to cost parity every year, and when it becomes as cost effective as natural gas, then we will have an even more attractive option for running EVs.

Lastly, I never intended to advocate EVs as "the" solution. I stand by the decision on a 54 MPG standard for a bunch of reasons but I don't know when Lithium Ion (or the Holy Grail, Lithium Air) battery packs will get down to the $5k range. Until then, I think EVs will remain rare.

My own interest in EVs is largely motivated with the idea of replacing a $50 fillup with a $5 recharge, but we will see how that works out.

 

Kevin
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Re: CAFE loop holes
Kevin   8/28/2012 1:01:06 PM
@ analyst,

Yes, the latest combined-cycle natural gas plants can get up to 60% thermal efficiency.  The best current car engines (prius, VW TDI) get 37% - 40%.

see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_specific_fuel_consumption

Note that generally, BSFC is the usual published data in technical reports, and you need to convert to %thermal efficiency.  Note that there are examples of (HUGE!) piston diesel engines that get >50% thermal efficiency!

for gasoline, a BSFC of 215 grams/KWh = 38% thermal efficiency.

http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/prius/pri_power_200.jpg

Hopefully you can see that I'm not distorting anything - these are 100% facts!

Now...back to the original question - is the 54.5 CAFE target reasonable and acheivable ?  I studied the details of the proposal, and found that it isn't just a "brick wall" of 54.5 MPG.  It has a sliding scale based on vehicle size and type.

see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAFE_standards

So....While I think that the new standard is quite aggressive, it should be do-able.  It will certainly add to the avg. cost of cars, and it will probably reduce the percentage of cars that have lots of power...but with a combination of incremental engine improvements, hybrid powertrains, and smaller cars + better aerodynamics, it seems quite possible.

cheers to the engineers that will make this happen!

Kevin

analyst
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Re: CAFE loop holes
analyst   8/28/2012 1:09:19 PM
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@Kevin

Thanks for the reply.
Going to call it a day.

William K.
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Re: CAFE loop holes
William K.   8/27/2012 8:25:11 PM
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Kevin, Good respose, no doubt. Except that big power plants are a lot more efficient than automotive engines.

The part I liked best is the concept of a solar-produced Amonnia type fuel. The challenge would be on the emissions end of the deal, and if you think living downwind of a gas station is bad, immagine living near an amonnia filling station. Of course, possibly the solar powered fermentaion of municiple sewerage would work, producing useful quantities of methane while getting rid of waste. It would need to be solar powered because adding energy to almost anything takes power.

bwilson4web
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From the 2% hybrid market
bwilson4web   8/27/2012 10:37:45 AM
Perhaps we should let facts and data puncture pontification about fuel efficient cars and safety. We own two Prius, 2001-03, 1.5L model, a compact sedan like the Ford Focus, and a 2010-current, 1.8L hatchback. Both cars achieve real-world, annual mileage of 52 MPG, higher in the summer and lower in the cold dense air of winter. We know there are still 'low hanging fruit' including variable, cooling air inlets that can further improve this performance especially in the winter.

Looking at the NHTSA, Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data, we found the Prius has half the fatal accident rate per 100 million miles as the USA fleet. In fact the NHTSA pubishes an annual "Comparison Insurance Costs" and the Prius always rates lower than the average for its class. They are notable safe cars to drive.

We have 100,000 miles on the 1.5L Prius that remains my primary commuter car. The 1.8L Prius is our cross country and towing vehicle:

1.8L Prius with trailer

If one chooses to believe today's design rules are the limit of engineering capabilities, imagination, innovation, and skills have died. To compete, to succeed, engineers have to stretch and sharpen their minds, skills, and imagination. Achieving 54.5 MPG is well within the capabilities of today's automotive technology as any Prius owner can attest. But to give up saying "it is too hard" marks lazy thinking.

Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

 

Battar
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Re: From the 2% hybrid market
Battar   8/27/2012 10:46:08 AM
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"The Prius has half the fatal accident rate..." Ever known anyone under the age of 35 buy a Prius? Do you think anyone who uses a car as a personal status symbol ould drive a Prius? That explains it. It's the type of driver, not the type of car thats influencing the statistic.

bwilson4web
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Re: From the 2% hybrid market
bwilson4web   8/27/2012 11:45:50 AM
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""The Prius has half the fatal accident rate..." Ever known anyone under the age of 35 buy a Prius?"

Yes because I participate in PriusChat and other user forums. We do find younger than 35 buyers including one that is already on his second Prius after rolling his first. Prius owners come in all shapes, sizes and ages. We have two others at work, youngsters to me.

"Do you think anyone who uses a car as a personal status symbol could drive a Prius? "

The false claim of "personal status" comes from hybrid skeptics such as CNW Marketing whose "Dust-to-Dust" report has been throughly debunked. GM's Bob Lutz also tried to make these claims until he came out with the Volt. The only status I care about is the smugness of having money in my wallet when I drive away from the gas pump.


BTW, we bought the 2003 Prius, used, with 49,300 miles. It has just reached 150,000 miles on its second set of tires and original brake pads. Our 2010 Prius has over 33,000 miles and counting. Both cars are fully paid for and the most expensive, the new 2010 was $24,000 and came with a lot of standard parts that are expensive options on other cars.

"That explains it. It's the type of driver, not the type of car thats influencing the statistic."

Then go to the FARS database and test this hypothesis. The ages of those involved are available but right now, it has as much standing as the CNW Marketing nonsense ... no merit at all.

Bob Wilson

Chuck_IAG
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Re: From the 2% hybrid market
Chuck_IAG   8/27/2012 4:45:00 PM
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You actually do a great job of highlighting how owning a Prius is a status symbol in and of itself.  You automatically attain tree-hugger status even if you keep the thermostat in your house set at 60 degrees all summer and you drive two blocks to the local grocery story for a loaf of bread.

Did I mention the smugness aspect?  Oh wait- I see that you touched on that already.  Good job.

jhess169
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Consider total life cycle and overall fleet makeup
jhess169   8/27/2012 10:42:54 AM
For a vast majority of the vehicle owning and operating population, cost is the largest factor when choosing a vehicle.  This is not just operating cost, but initial purchase, maintenance, and repair costs.  These cost should be investigated 5 and 10 years down the road when the vehicles are most likely under their second, third, or fourth owner.  Can the person who buys a 10 year old used car afford to maintain and repair a hybrid or a SCR diesel, or a fuel cell?  Most likely they will bypass the systems if possible or just continue to drive older, less efficient vehicles.

About a decade ago, I saw an article suggesting for the amount of money spent trying to meet the California mandate for zero emission vehicles, they could crush a majority of the 15 plus year old cars in the state and give the owner a new luxury vehicle and have a greater impact on emissions. 

 

ChasChas
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No savings for the consumer
ChasChas   8/27/2012 10:50:06 AM
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We know this: Even if they could produce cars that make 200 MPG, there will be no savings for the consumer. Since the price of gas is controlled by corrupt government regulations, the price of gas will always be -> As much as the consumer can afford and a little bit more.

So all economic discussions are moot.

This means that lowering the price of gas is the same as increasing the MPG - except for the pollution issue.

JWBarstow
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Iron
Regulations and design
JWBarstow   8/27/2012 10:52:07 AM
President Regan said of the economy: If it moves: Tax it!; If it continues to move: Regulate it!; If it stops moving: Subsidize it!.  The same can be said of the automotive industry.  Automotive design is so constrained by EPA and other governmental regulations that manufacturers are no longer able to persue many of the truely innovative approaches to fuel economy because of over regulaton.

We are forced by regulation down a path where gasoline is the primary fuel with a mandated content of ethanol.  This year has been very tough on the corn based ethanol industry because of the poor growing season.  Ethanol is costly to produce, takes away from edible crops and produces a product which cost more in energy to produce than it can supply.

Why does Europe have so many diesel vehicles and the US so few? The answer is regulation. I could buy a Ford Kuga (Escape) with a 2.0 l diesel and a six speed manual transmission that achieves high 40's MPG but it is not available in the US because of regulation.  There is about 20% thermodynamic efficiency advantage to using diesel and biodiesel can be manufactured from a lot more waste and secondary products than ethanol.

The primary driver of the fuel economy push is America's dependence on imported oil. Ditch the constraining regulations, move towards diesel engines and eliminate the dependence while improving the fuel economy.  Simple: Government regulation is the problem not the solution.

shrimper53
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Gold
This is truly depressing
shrimper53   8/27/2012 10:54:59 AM
In the insuing half-dozen-plus posts since my initial message, I've seen more cliche's and the exact politically-correct references to which I referred, such that I really fear for our future.  From the anti-big business rants, the "cut the defense budget" insanity (the ONLY budget that has actually seen ACTUAL cuts - not the bogus reductions in planned increases), to the expected GHG and sea-level rise rationalizations, and the "petroleum is finite" argument (of course it is, and especially when you put 80% of your DOMESTIC supply off limits), this illustrates just how far the brainwashing and indoctrination, courtesy of the left has taken us.

We really need to demonstrate some common sense and logic, if we truly hope to make the progress we need in the arena of energy production and use.  You can't use it if you don't produce it; and THAT is exactly what I see as the mind set, sadly.

Back to the actual subject at hand, if the promoters of EV's and PHEV's want to actually do something useful, how about actual research to illustrate just how much an average user would see his monthly bill change with the daily use of such a vehicle.  Nowhere has this info been gathered or reported, to my knowledge.    If these vehicles are such a massive improvement over the ICE in terms of cost, etc.... let's see it! 

analyst
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The real cost of government
analyst   8/27/2012 11:12:03 AM
@shrimper

Considering that the US defense department consumes more taxpayer dollars than every other nation on Earth, combined, it would appear there is quite a bit more room for cutting there!

Noswad
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Whaaat??
Noswad   8/27/2012 12:00:18 PM
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Increase car prices by $11,000?! I don't even want to pay a total of $11,000 for a car to start with.

analyst
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Re: Whaaat??
analyst   8/27/2012 12:06:27 PM
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@Noswad

First thing you need to do is to learn when someone is LYING to you. These same scare tactics were deployed when lead was taken out of the gas, when seat belts and collapsible steering posts were mandated (so as to not send a bolt of steel through your chest during a crash), and when air bags were required.

The result of these things is fewer Americans dying on the road every year, and a marked drop in the lead detected in the blood of our nation's children.

Another the thing, let's be polite and call them skeptics, forget to mention. The $700 billion dollar defense budget -- never mind the Bush wars which are estimated to cost us in excess of $3 TRILLION in taxes.

There is one reason we are in the middle east. And that is to protect the world market price of oil. So, add that cost to your $11,000 car.

Noswad
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Re: Whaaat??
Noswad   8/28/2012 9:09:07 AM
I prefer to drive a fuel economical car with very basic add ons. These cars are cheaper than the "Expeditions" etc... So, I term them the "$11,000" car. The reason we have to send troops to the oil rich countries is to protect these people that want their excess. Such as the big gas guzzling luxury vehicle just to drive around in. Why do we need video players, zone comfort systems, heated seats, etc... in a car or truck just to get from point A to point B.

Safety enhancements are worth the cost. Since people have to drive 80 miles an hour and can't be patient enough to drive safely then we have to compensate for these too. I am guilty of it myself.

But the auto industry is a business and will build and offer what most people demand. There is nothing wrong with wanting just some basic transportation with the expensive luxury items that drive up the basic cost of a basic vehicle.

Yes, I do know when someone is LYING. It happens everyday. They are called politicians and analyst.

analyst
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Iron
Re: Whaaat??
analyst   8/28/2012 11:02:32 AM
@noswad

It would seem to me that, aside from your personal finances, one should consider the effect of a higher efficiency auto and truck fleet on the country. In 1973, when the Arab world decided to impose an oil embargo on us, it was simply devastating.

Since then, increasing CAFE standards have made us far less susceptable by dramatic changes to the price of oil -- the price of crude first hit $100 a barrel in February of 2008 -- but it is a still a major factor that takes dollars out of the pockets of consumers, and therefore acts to hold the economy back.

When we hit 54 MPG average efficiency, and this will take more than a few years, our cars will be roughly twice as fuel efficient than they are now. And the effect of price shocks, of which we have no control, will be roughly half as harmful.

Totally_Lost
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CAFE Regulations and the "Baby Killers"
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 1:01:14 PM
Physics, engineering and some common sense lead us to consider the ramifications of our design mandates at some point, and that certainly includes the CAFE regulations and the end results.

A decade ago, when CAFE discussions were hot, and a bunch of car hating tree huggers where slaming big SUV's as unsafe to mingle on the roads with itty bitty tiny fuel efficent cars, I spent a week doing research to produce a rebuttal that resulted in my silencing that group, citing the actual facts from the government data bases on crash injuries and deaths.

The facts at the time were that for cars less than 2,200lbs the vast majority of injuries and deaths, had involved single car accidents (mostly from hitting stationary objects) and accidents with other cars of about the same wieght. As a percentage, accidents between small cars and heavy cars/trucks, were a very small number, making the single car, and same car, percentages dominate the injury and death statistics. The political means to silence that very nasty group of small car CAFE supporters, was to simply use the statistics available to call them "Baby Killers"

It's the G-forces during a crash that drive injuries, with injuries caused by restaint systems now topping the list of objects in a car that are responsible for those injuries. We have designed the interiors to reduce dash, steering wheel, window, and other interior objects out of the path of occupants, leaving just the restaint systems to injure occupants. Leaving how many G's can you pull against the restraints without being injured the design problem ... and the statisitics citing restraint systems leave us with some pretty clear engineering principles that says increasing safety requires reducing collision G forces on the occupants. And those high deceleration rates kill kids and babies too, because restraint and air bag systems don't work well for kids under 40lbs. This generally means safe cars require larger crumple zones, heavier cars to move or distort the object being impacted (shearing a telephone pole or tree, moving a parked car, etc), or lowering travel speeds (reducing speed limits both in town and on the hiway).

Consider the difference in reactions between a softball and a ping pong ball, when they react with various objects .... the ping pong ball (and your tiny micro car) leave the impact at higher velocities allowing multiple high G-force collisions with other objects before settling at rest. Sometimes significantly higher than starting velocities before the impact, with significant direction changes at extremely high G forces. Thus multiple force directions, multiple occupant impacts on restrain systems, and additional injuries. The heavier ball (and car) have a substatially better chance at leaving energy behind during the impact, and substantially lower G forces on the occupants, and will deflect less from the original path.

The IIHS testing repeatedly says that smaller micro cars result in a high probability of injury or death, when compared to classes of heavier cars/SUV's.

And with that, I've asserted that we should give the Darwin Award to the CAFE folks, not just because they are removing themselves from the gene pool, but because they are removing a much larger population from the gene pool that are stupid enough to ignore thae safety facts about smaller lighter cars.

 

Totally_Lost
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Rare Earth
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 1:19:52 PM
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Oh by the way ... China has a near monoply on high field PM magnets, which if EV's are mandated is the only efficient motor techology. And right now, they have a near monopoly on most of the safe efficient battery production. We don't allow strip mining needed to recover the ores ... others do.

Without PM's eddy current losses in the iron cores, and in the variable frequency AC drives, suck up huge amounts of power, nearly 40% of the power in over the full stop and go driving experience.

Air core, PM designs, with DC trapazoidal wave forms can pull near 100% efficiency, that simply isn't possible with iron core, copper wound field stators and rotors.

Look at the CISRO air core motor used in solar racing.

When you have an 80% efficient motor, 80% efficient PWM drive system, and an 80% efficient energy storage system, regenerative braking efficiency in stop and go driving is then 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.8 = .328 or 32.8%

the well designed CISRO solar racer equation is more like 0.96 * 0.96 * 0.96 * 0.96 *0.96 = .815 or 81.5% AND there are ways to improve that!!!!

analyst
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Iron
Re: Rare Earth
analyst   8/27/2012 1:49:21 PM
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@Totally Lost

You truly are. Totally lost.

The Chinese government for once thought ahead, invested untold number of yuan getting the jump on sluggish Western democracies (I pains me to say) and cornered the market for rare Earth minerals production.

BUT, they overplayed their hand when they used the threat to withhold all rare Earths minerals from Japan in a dispute over one of the islands in the China sea.

As a result, and some money from Washington, the largest US mine for rare Earth minerals is opening back up!

Totally_Lost
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Re: Rare Earth
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 2:08:00 PM
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Dear @analyst,

The mine opening up, does not in any way ascertain that the mine will actually produce enough product, at a significantly lower price, with US based finished PM goods in a volume to strip China of the monopoly power.

Since you are the analyst ... and you failed to analyze the problem to a defensible, factual, position .... I'm more inclined to believe the status quo at the moment has long term traction ... and that the US mine, will not be a significant resource, other than for some short term political capital.

I'm not so totally lost ... but the "handle" does bring out quite a few clueless folks to stand up and be the less than innocents in a debate as they fail to think about the big picture.


So ... the glove is down, prove your point.

:-))

analyst
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Re: Rare Earth
analyst   8/27/2012 2:16:22 PM
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@Totally Lost

Without turning a comment into a PhD thesis, I believe I have demonstrated both that we are not at the mercy of the Chinese for the supply of rare earth minerals, and that you withheld an important fact about said supply. There are in fact several other potential mining sites for these minerals.

China gained their "monopoly" on such production by investing in their mines, and therefore LOWERING the price on the world market from what it was previously.

Totally_Lost
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Re: Rare Earth
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 2:34:48 PM
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do the PhD thesis, and the facts remain that "potential" mining and production facilites have ZERO effect on the real monopoly that is in effects today

The realities are that US costs to mine, AND process ore to finished product is MUCH MUCH more expensive than the subsidized China sourcing costs today ... and tomorrow.

The environmentalists and regulations, will not allow US production to come near the China price.

Again ... stop asserting stupid non-facts ... and DO a REAL analysis.

analyst
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Lame skeptics need to be taught a lesson... again
analyst   8/27/2012 1:39:34 PM
 

 

There is one reason that car safety is phenomenally better than 40 years ago.

Government mandated seat belts. Government mandated collapsible steering wheel columns. Government mandated crash safety tests. New, mandated, off-axis crash safety tests. Government mandated air bags. Government mandated eye level brake warning lights -- Thank you, Elizabeth Dole. Government mandated head "rests" that prevent your head from coming off in a crash. Government mandated snap off light poles. If we lined all the American lives that have been saved, hand in hand, across the nation, it would double up!

And there is one reason that our cars are less likely to kill us with pollution.

Government mandated lead-free gas. Government mandated catalytic converters. Government mandated emissions tests. Government mandated positive crankcase ventilation. 

And NOW, those same do-gooders want to dramatically improve the efficiency of our  vehicle fleet. WE ARE ALREADY PROTECTED FROM PRICE SWINGS BY EXISTING CAFE STANDARDS. But they want our economy to be even less a hostage to the world price of oil. And you know what I say?

Go! Go! Go Do-gooders!

Ride your Prius all over the backside of the skeptics. Again.

*****************************

PS. I forgot a couple more government mandated, lifesaving innovations:

Government mandated door lock standards that keep people from being ejected -- and having a much better chance of dying. Roll-over accident safety standards. Government mandated safety glass that comes apart into tiny pieces when you have a crash instead of slicing you up like a Vegematic!

Hurray for the do-gooders!

Down with the perpetually wrong skeptics!

Totally_Lost
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Re: Lame skeptics need to be taught a lesson... again
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 2:27:43 PM
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LOL .... ROTFL .... "Ride your Prius all over the backside of the skeptics. Again."

Using an ICE to inefficiently recharge an EV battery, is almost as stupid as using corn as fuel.

Tally up the efficiency losses from the shaft of the ICE to the battery and back to the KE of the Prius in motion, and there is almost a hugely stupider engineering/physics argument for EV efficiency.

A big iron core generator with eddy losses, a PWM rectification and charging system with high switching and copper losses, high current squared resistance losses from the generator to the battery, and back, after subtracting the charge/discharge losses in the battery/wiring, and the high losses into the drive and motor in electric mode.

An ICE and tranmission has horrible losses from fuel BTU's to Kinetic Energy in motion, just making it worse with a high loss serial hybrid electric charging and drive system, is just nearly stupid.

If you are going to do a hybrid ... at least do one that is really efficient.

I happen to support good EV designs ... that doesn't include stupid serial hybrid ICE/EV designs.

So analyst ... do a real analysis of the stupid designs you praise.

analyst
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Iron
Re: Lame skeptics need to be taught a lesson... again
analyst   8/27/2012 2:44:20 PM
@Totally Lost demonstrates that he really is. Again.

Right: You have to add up all the losses. Including the 80+% efficiency of the steam turbines making the electricity and the efficiency of the high voltage transmission lines.

Wrong: The net efficiency of a EV is three times that of the pitifully inefficient gasoline powered engine when you add up all THEIR LOSSES, including the ever increasing energy cost of extracting crude out of the ground, transporting the crude and finished gasoline, THE ENERGY COST OF THE CRACKING PROCESS that converts crude into something useful in a car.

Also Wrong: EV is but one option in achieving a higher nationwide energy efficiency in our vehicle fleet. We have no way of knowing if it will even be a leading contender! Automotive engineers have dozens of engineering tricks up their sleeve, such as start-stop technology that silently turns the motor off when you stop and start it up again when you start again.

The answer may be gasoline direct injection compression ignition engines, or clean diesel. The government is, in consultation with Detroit, setting the standards, not saying which path auto manufactures need to follow to achieve said results.

Totally_Lost
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Re: Lame skeptics need to be taught a lesson... again
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 2:56:22 PM
Electric is not all that clean ... it just moves the polution into the back yards of other families that have to suffer with the radioactive waste of burning coal (the primary source of electric generation because environmentalists block hydroelectric dams).

Parallel hybrid with 98% efficient air core PM motor/generators is a LOT more efficent, if using a diesel ICE (which again is on the environmental hit lists).

But back to your Prius promoting ... again ... that's an inefficent dog compared to much better engineering choices. All market crap with another green energy scam as the marketing tool

Totally_Lost
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Re: Lame skeptics need to be taught a lesson... again
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 4:54:30 PM
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Right: You have to add up all the losses. Including the 80+% efficiency of the steam turbines making the electricity and the efficiency of the high voltage transmission lines.

Wrong: The net efficiency of a EV is three times that of the pitifully inefficient gasoline powered engine when you add up all THEIR LOSSES, including the ever increasing energy cost of extracting crude out of the ground, transporting the crude and finished gasoline, THE ENERGY COST OF THE CRACKING PROCESS that converts crude into something useful in a car.

And all those additional costs apply to digging up coal that burns with radioactive stack waste, 7% transmission losses, further reducing the efficency of plug in EV's

I don't know where you get 80+% efficency from. Heat recovery gas steam turbines typically are below 60%, and coal fired plants below 30%.

 

analyst
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Re: Lame skeptics need to be taught a lesson... again
analyst   8/27/2012 5:06:07 PM
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@Totally Lost

60% is a better figure for combined cycle natural gas electric production, although according to www.naturalgas.org, natural gas powered microturbines using new waste heat recovery techniques can achieve energy efficiencies of up to 80 percent.

akwaman
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Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
akwaman   8/27/2012 2:23:05 PM
I have a Prius that is not even a plug-in and it gets over 50mpg on the highway and in the city.  You make the battery a little bigger, and make it a plug-in, and you are at 100mpg.  It doesn't take much more engineering to get to 54.5mpg, it just takes desire.  One thing I hate more than any other, is having people give me lame excuses as to 'why I can't do that' with NO forethought at all.  Engineers aren't supposed to tell you why not, they are supposed to say "Okay, I don't know how to do that yet, but I'll figure it out!"  Let's just stop regulating companies, and have them give us crappy products that don't work well, don't protect us, and dump their industrial wastes into our environment.  In the meanwhile, we can sit around and feel sorry for those same companies and people, making millions of dollars and screaming about how broke they are "oh, my... my taxes are so high...  oh, my...  we can't make better cars with better gas milage... because we are lazy and stupid...  oh, my... if our cars get better gas milage, it will cost you twice as much...  oh, my... CO2 is our friend...  Oil is clean!  Coal is Clean! wah wah wah, excuse excuse excuse.  We are Americans, and we are smarter than that.  We need to stop fighting and giving excuses, and spend our time and energy in figuring out HOW, instead of figuring out how to get out of it.  Excuses are for kids, and I don't except them from children either.

 

Totally_Lost
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Re: Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 2:29:41 PM
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SO ... what's the point ... the VW TDI diesel Beetle and Jetta's do the same, without all the batteries and less efficent serial hybrid marketing ploy trying justify a higher sticker price, and expensive to replace and maintain battery systems.

akwaman
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Re: Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
akwaman   8/27/2012 3:07:07 PM
BTW Totally_lost (What an appropriate name), try getting a baby in and out of a baby seat in a VW beatle.http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymake/Volkswagen2012.shtml  Highest milage car from VW is a diesel with and ADVERTISED COMBINED MILAGE OF 34MPG!  If you get 48mpg out of your car, you must only be counting the highway miles that you are going downhill, downwind.  I test drove a Brand new Jetta, and it was so cheap, the doors rattled, plastic inside was just cheap, and they got nowhere near 50 mpg. 

bwilson4web
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Re: Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
bwilson4web   8/27/2012 2:54:12 PM
Amen brother to,"Excuses are for kids, and I don't except them from children either."

The willful ignorance of hybrid skeptics is mind boggling. For example, the truth of actual mileage can be found in owner records at www.fueleconomy.gov and fuelly.com. For example, at www.fueleconomy.gov we find:
  • 49.2 MPG - 36 Prius owners, a full-size car
  • 39.6 MPG - 10 Jetta TDI owners, a compact car

These skeptics spout utter nonsense about how our cars work but ignorance is its own reward and punishment. It is rewarded by the equally ignorant and they pay for it at the pump . . . everytime they fill it up.

The other thing to share is the EPA sticker mileage is derated from the CAFE numbers by at least 10%. This means the Prius is already achieving 54.5 MPG per-CAFE and another 20,000+ will be sold by the end of August.

Neil Armstrong died but had the hybrid skeptics been in charge, we would never have gotten to the moon and back. It took solid engineering designing to the limits for Neil to step on the moon. In contrast, the hybrid skeptics have no vision, hope, nor aspirations. For them, 54.5 MPG might as well be the moon when Kennedy said we shall go to the moon.

Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

Totally_Lost
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Re: Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 3:11:19 PM
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@bwilson4web writes "The willful ignorance of hybrid skeptics is mind boggling."


The truth is that there are a number of choices in hybrids like the Prius than can be applied to regular ICE cars to raise the efficency .... like automatically shutting the engine down when stopped.

It doesn't take expensive batteries to do regerative braking ... large capacitor banks have better efficencies and much longer cycle life.

A Parallel hybrid doesn't require any of the serial losses that are substantial in a Prius, and can still use regenerative braking and electric assist to recover KE.

The willful ignorance of the serial hybrid proponents, is even more mind boggling. They almost get it right, then do it horribly wrong comparied to parallel hybrids.

Totally_Lost
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Re: Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 3:17:31 PM
Take for instance, the the efficency of an EV at low speeds is completely horrible, since electric motors are horribly inefficent at low RPM's. To fix that requires a transmission between the electric motor and the ground, which is equally inefficent.


A parally hybrid using a high efficeny drive train, does MUCH better ... just turn the motor off at stops when the efficency drops to zero.

Also recover the stored regenerative braking energy AFTER the vehicle is moving and the electric motor can operate efficently again ... certain DO NOT use the recovered KE from regnerative braking to get the vehicle moving from a stop where the electric motor is about 5% efficent at best. The ICE and transmission does that a LOT better.

akwaman
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The number is actually a compromise
akwaman   8/27/2012 2:38:19 PM
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If the President says that in a certain timeframe we can have cars getting 54.5mpg, he is probably realistically looking at a figure of 75mpg, but with all the complaints and excuses from the automobile companies, probably compromised on that number.  Even if cars cost more, it's still ok, and I'll prove it:  My Prius (51mpg) costs me $35/month more than my last car that got 18mpg.  We drive a minimum of 600 miles/month, and that is a savings of about $81/month.  I actually SAVE money by driving a more expensive car.  Many people drive more than that each month.  Figure out your savings.

 

Totally_Lost
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Re: The number is actually a compromise
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 2:47:45 PM
I bought a used 2000 TDI Beetle with 125,000 miles on it for $7K, that gets about 48mps all the time ... including a trip from Atlanta backto Denver at 80mph.

Put a lot of miles on it, and replaced the engine with a 40K mile used engine for $2K and an afternoon in the shop.

Cost to operate is a tiny fraction of buying a Prius new.

And, the Beetle is an awesomely fun car to drive, that is both "quick" when you kick the pedal down, and stylish in a lot of fun ways.

I've driven a Prius ... what an expensive plain jane dog.

bwilson4web
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Re: The number is actually a compromise
bwilson4web   8/27/2012 3:16:56 PM
You mentioned:

"I bought a used 2000 TDI Beetle with 125,000 miles on it for $7K, that gets about 48mps all the time ... including a trip from Atlanta backto Denver at 80mph."

So looking at www.fueleconomy.gov, we find:

  • 46.5 MPG (13 Beetles, 2000) vs. 49.2 MPG (36 Prius, 2011)
    • $4.026/gal diesel vs. $3.682/gal regular
  • 97 ft{3} passenger+luggage Beetle vs 116 ft{3} Prius
  • manual transmission Beetle vs. automatic Prius

So with the Beetle, you pay more at the pump to carry less than the 2011 Prius and you have a manual transmission. The automatic Beetle only got 35.1 MPG for the four vehicles reported.

Willful ignorance, the only justification for a 2000 Beetle. Even the 2013 Beetle diesel has an EPA combined rating of 32 MPG for a compact car, 100 ft{3}, compared to the 2000 Beetle rating of 38 MPG . . . 'devo' progress.

If it were a contest, 1st Prize is a brand new Beetle diesel and 2nd Prize, two new Beetle diesels.

Bob Wilson

 

Totally_Lost
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Re: The number is actually a compromise
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 3:43:04 PM
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Bob wilson ... that's apples and oranges.

First, the TDI with a manual transmission will get between 42-57mpg in a Beetle and Jetta ...the automatic is significantly worse ... that is personal esperience across a number of drivers.

Second, you are comparing a non-hybrid with a hybrid. My point is build a TDI parallel hybrid, and the numbers are likely to be in the 100mpg range.

Lastly, the serial hybrid in the Prius is horribly inefficent .... apply all the other technoglies int he Prius to a regular ICE, or a parallel ICE/EV hybrid and it will be significantly better.

I've driven a Prius ... the TDI beetle I've owned, has a signficantly lower total cost of ownership.

The difference in price of diesel varies over time ... I've driven diesels since 1991, for 1.5 million miles. During that time, diesel have been significantly cheaper than gas at times.

I have owned and operated both gas and diesel GM Suburbans and Pickups ... the diesel versions get about 20-30% better fuel economy, which more than makes up for the small difference in price while diesel is a bit more expensive. For 10 years I ran between Calif and Colorado every week in a 1985 6.2L Diesel Suburban and a 1995 C1500 Stepside short box pickup. The Suburban got 21-24mpg every week, over the 4k mile trip ... the half ton 6.2L banks turbo diesel pickup did 28-30mpg. With a 42gal tank, I routinely did Reno, NV to Fort Collins, CO on a single tank (almost always a tail wind across I-80). The gas suburban NEVER EVER came close.

Today in Colorado, I pay $3.62 for diesel, and regular is $3.46 at the same pump. The difference in price is 3.62/3.36 = 7.7% more. The 1995 350 gas suburban gets 12-15mpg, and is a total dog about 7-8mpg towing heavy. The 1997 6.5L turbo diesel gets 18-22mpg, and is a strong performer towing heavy at 12-15mpg. The Dodge does better towing heavy, the GM does better otherwise. In a Suburban there is 30% better fuel economy, which is significantly cheaper to operate with fuel that is 7.7% higher today.

Diesel is a little more every time they change the formulation, and it generally takes 3-5 years to drop back into the same price range as gas, or cheaper. Diesel is more in then winter, when heating oil is the primary product for the same refrineries. And frequently cheaper over the summer. I can stock 500gal in the farm tank easily, to balance that out.

bwilson4web
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Re: The number is actually a compromise
bwilson4web   8/27/2012 5:14:28 PM
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You mentioned, ". . . the TDI with a manual transmission will get between 42-57mpg in a Beetle and Jetta ...the automatic is significantly worse ... that is personal esperience across a number of drivers."

This is why looking a populations of drivers is more important than what any one vehicle or driver accomplished. Wayne Gertes goes out of his way to set MPG records in any car he gets a chance to drive. But these are anetodota cases that do not show up in populations of drivers. That is why each time you'll find I'm bringing a collection of driving records, not ones-twoies.

You also claimed,". . . the serial hybrid in the Prius is horribly inefficent . . ." while ignoring the parallel path. Engine power flows through a power-split device where 28% takes an electrical path, ~82% efficient, and 72% takes a single-stage, mechanical path, ~98% efficient. If you remember how to do partial fractions: (28%*82%) + (72%*98%) ~= 93% engine-to-reduction gear efficiency. It makes up for any losses in this path by keeping the engine in the peak efficiency region during normal highway cruise. Thus the "GreenHuman" Portland-to-Portland stunt found the fullsize Prius came within 1 MPG of the compact Jetta TDI in spite of trying to shag the 'test' by just Interstate driving in the winter.

As you pointed out," . . . price of diesel varies over time" but since the mandate for low sulfur diesel, it has run consistently higher than regular gas. We have to pay today's prices, not yesterday's memory that can often leave out the ugly details of soot-laden exhuasts.

A great believer in the right tool for the right job, I was pleased to see,"both gas and diesel GM Suburbans and Pickups." Toyota has finally gotten a clue and today's Prius includes four models:
  • 1.5L commuter model
  • 1.8L standard hatchback (what we have)
  • 1.8L station wagon
  • 1.8L plug-in

What is missing from the hybrid offerings are: small pickup (aka., S-10, Ranger sized) and utility van (aka., Ford Transit sized.) These would provide a solid family of fuel efficient hybrids to meet pretty much the remaining market. Then we could do with some 'super-sized' versions using the 2.4L Camry drivetrain.

I don't really mind if someone else finds happiness with an inefficient or oversized vehicle as long as I can get mine. As they burn up the remaining gas supplies, the fuel efficient vehicles become more and more attractives and take more market share. One thing for sure, they ain't making more fossile fuels as fast as we can burn 'em up.

Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

akwaman
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Stupid is a stupid does.
akwaman   8/27/2012 2:55:18 PM
The only stupid things come from those who think too deep and fail to see what is in front of their own face.  Corn happens to make a really good fuel.  Totally_Lost needs to do more research, because it is not that expensive to replace those batteries anymore.  Couple of thousand bucks (~2500), not the $10,000 that is claimed by people that don't do their RESEARCH.  http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2008/10/prius-battery.html  Diesel fuel is great for gas mileage, couple that with hybrid technology and you are way over the President's goal, not that there isn't many other ways to make that happen.  The Chinese will allow much more pollution than we allow, so it costs a little more to do business here.  Oh well, it's not worth a couple of bucks to allow companies to dump their crap into our waters and air.  You do business in America, you will do it responsibly, or get out.  People that ignore public safety when considering how things should be done, (Totally_Lost... I will use your word) are stupid.

akwaman
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Lame skeptics need to be taught a lesson... again
akwaman   8/27/2012 3:23:27 PM
Typical of someone who talks first and thinks later (?), to say in one message how his VW bug and his Jetta get great gas milage, then says 5 minutes later that he needs his SUV to drive to his house in the mountains!  Which one is it Totally_Lost?  Where do you keep your Bug, at the bottom of the mountain.  Of course there are cases where larger vehicles are needed.  I used to have an SUV for towing my boat, but I also had a toyota that I drove on a daily basis.  Freedom does not mean that you can dump your pollution into the river I swim in, and pollute the air I breathe.  You want Freedom like that, then go find your own little Island and ruin it.  This is America, and we do what is best for the majority of us, not what is best for YOU personally.  You also should look up the word efficiency.  Additionally, while you are at it, look up some calculations that show the comparison of electric cars run on electric from coal and gasoline burning.  It actually shows that driving EV's leaves a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline burning cars.  Not to mention, our power in this country is not entirely from coal and oil, it is supplemented by Nuclear, Solar and Wind power, making the EV MUCH cleaner technology than gas or diesel.  You (Totally_Lost) blame others for not doing research, but you are talking to people who DO actually research what they say, you should try it.

analyst
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Iron
We went to the moon, 54 MPG both easier and safer
analyst   8/27/2012 3:26:26 PM
Getting back to the topic of the article -- I neither own a Prius nor know if it shows us the best way to achieve 54 MPG...

 

It is thanks to the efforts of the do-gooders, and no thanks at all to the skeptics, that we have dramatically reduced highway fatalities in this country over the last 40 years.

Those same do-gooders took the lead out of gasoline and killed the smog with catalytic converters. 

In every case, once industry had a strong government mandate, they delivered! So hurray for industry too.

One place where industry has delivered, and has much much farther to go, is in the fuel efficiency of all our cars and trucks. The importance of fuel efficiency is that it allows the economy to survive price shocks in the fuel supply.

Everyone who wants our country's economy to go up and down like a vomit inducing carnival ride should be opposed to these new regulations!

And domestic drilling doesn't help, because all oil, whether produced in the US or Bora Bora, is sold at the world market price.

bwilson4web
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Re: We went to the moon, 54 MPG both easier and safer
bwilson4web   8/27/2012 3:33:58 PM
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I agree with your comment,"Getting back to the topic of the article -- I neither own a Prius nor know if it shows us the best way to achieve 54 MPG."

The Prius like the first generation, two-seat Honda Insight shows what can be done with decade old, hybrid technology. In the case of the Honda Insight, an aluminum body and lean-burn engine.

We have the technology, off-the-shelf, in spite of the patent-sitters. Ford is doing some remarkable things and their 2013 line promises to set a new standard. There is nothing wrong with our engineering skills but corporate management and those who stand in the way, that is where the problem lies . . . and sad to say, too often with both meanings of the word lie.


Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

Totally_Lost
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Re: We went to the moon, 54 MPG both easier and safer
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 3:50:48 PM
The point isthe same do-gooders have blocked hydro electric, nearly banned all forms of large scale surface mining, raised US production costs with heavy regulation, and everything else that drives jobs and production overseas.

It really doesn't matter that they want to reduce oil dependency, when they have bankrupted the US economy, and have left us with a HUGE balance of trade problem and high unemployment,.

analyst
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Re: We went to the moon, 54 MPG both easier and safer
analyst   8/27/2012 4:16:44 PM
@totally lost

It is true, the do gooders have blocked strip mines, and the like.

Hurray for them!

Life is more than just getting to work. 

As for the balance of trade, the single thing we could do to reduce this would be to phase out all fossil fuel ICE based cars. Are you ready for that?

The second most important thing we could do with regard to balance of trade is to make an agreement with the other western (developed) countries to abandon free trade with other countries that offer much lower cost labor. 

The old joke is why should the farmer buy the cow when he can get the milk for free. Well, we gave up our middle class jobs to China, for free, when we signed on to trade agreements that only reward the lowest cost, regardless of environmental destruction and the destruction of our labor force.

Totally_Lost
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Re: We went to the moon, 54 MPG both easier and safer
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 4:22:36 PM
@analyst ...

 

LOL ... you continue to toot an empty horn ...

I'm certain your life and home are full of plastics that are oil dervatives, goods that require burning radioactive waste coal, and food or other goods that required lots of diesel for transportation and production.

analyst
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Re: We went to the moon, 54 MPG both easier and safer
analyst   8/27/2012 4:39:06 PM
@Totally Lost

All I can say is that you said nothing in your last.

Meanwhile, the do-gooders have saved your life, or someone close to you. They made the US must less susceptable to oil price shocks. And they are responsible for us not having permanently contaminating our drinking water.

I tremendously admire the do-gooders, like the ones currently trying to rid the world of malaria. But then there are the nattering nabobs, like you.

I am sure you serve some purpose here on Earth.

Perhaps as a bad example.

akwaman
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Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
akwaman   8/27/2012 3:58:28 PM
Good for you driving diesels and saving gas, but you will only get that gas mileage on you way to work down the mountain. Make sure when you are PROVEN wrong, to ignore the evidence, and post more nonsense.  The TDI is an efficient car, but you tend to exaggerate to make your point (Totally_Lost). Nowhere do your numbers concerning the TDI agree with even VW's numbers.  

I agree that with a gearbox, you could increase the efficiency of EV at low speeds, but since an electric motor has full torque at 0mph and ALL speeds, it is considered to be unecessary.  Your figure is way off (5%) efficient, that would be more like an ICE engine, that needs about 3000rpm to get enough torque to be efficient.  EV efficiencies may go as low as 60-70% efficient at low speeds.  All engines on cars should stop when the car stops, I will agree with that, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know how much we would save if we weren't burning gas at red lights and stop signs. 

Totally_Lost
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Re: Use your brains, are we engineers or politicians??
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 4:17:32 PM
Sorry, but I've been doing electric motor EV design for a few years now, including a design similar to the CISRO that can be cheaply manufactured.


At low RPM's any electric motor's efficency drops to near zero. Without a gear box they can not be operated efficently at low speeds. Torque is proportional to current, the copper heating losses are current squared times resistance (I^2)*R

The motors can produce a constant torque ... but torque is NOT "work" which is force/torque times distance/rpm.

Thus as speed/rpm approaches zero efficency (energy out over energy in) drops to zero. In most non-geared designs, where the motor rpms and efficiency is optimized for 40mph, speeds below 15mph will typically be less than 30% efficent. That can be helped a little by inserting a transmission that has 30-50% losses.

There are a number of motor performance calculators online, for EV's, Electric Bikes, and RC cars/planes. They will clearly show you the efficency from zero to operating RPM's.

An EV running stop and go, UP a 12% grade, will have a very TINY TINY fraction of it's stated range. It will only make a very small difference in an ICE's range by comparison. Think from Denver to Vail during ski season.

Lastly ... all these Hybrid numbers do not reflect stop and go driving in the southern US during the summer where where the engine has to continue running to provide AC, lights, radio, etc. Or in the North during the winter to provide heat in the cold, lights because of short winter days, etc. Those two conditions severely impact 90% of the US drivers for half the year, in one zone or the other.

William K.
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54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
William K.   8/27/2012 4:31:47 PM
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The problem that will arise when they make the car that gets that kind of mileage is that nobody will want to drive it, completely aside from the fact that it will cost too much.

For starters, current vehicle safety rules demand that hitting a solid barrier at 45 MPH with an unbelted driver produce no injuries. That can't happen in a 1500 pound car, no matter what it is made out of.  So some sort of compromise will be required as far as crash survival will need to happen, which is a lot less likely than a magic 120MPG carburetor being invented soon.

But the biggest problem is that folks just don't want to drive a car that small, and any attempt to force people to drive cars like that will result in open insurection, since it would require either a huge tax increase or a huge decrease in personal freedoms. If folks did want to drive those tiny cars, they would already be driving them because the car companies would already be selling them. The car companies are not stupid! At least not so stupid as to ignore a real market such as that.

One option that is being totally ignored is the start-coast-stop system, which could reduce vehicle fuel usage as well as polution in most city driving. Not computerized start-stop, but under driver control. It does require both driver skill and attention, but it does work very well. And the very best part of this concept is that evebry piece of the hardware needed has already been put into vehicles presently in production. So the entire design effort would be in integration of the parts and creation of the driver interface, neither of which should be that hard. 

analyst
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
analyst   8/27/2012 4:42:56 PM
@William K

The good engineers love people like you. They love proving how wrong you are by SOLVING THE PROBLEM.

 

William K.
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
William K.   8/27/2012 5:12:22 PM
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I would love for some very good engineers to solve the problems that I have described, I really would be very happy to be shown to be incorrect on those assertions.

But I just don't think that it will happen.

It has been shown repeatedly that it is very difficult to make people like something, and it has been demonstrated many times that consumers will resist purchasing something that they don't like and don't want.

analyst
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
analyst   8/27/2012 5:16:03 PM
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@William K

So now, you've turned from what problems engineers can solve to what can be sold to people. Ok.

Here is my reply: Do you mean like safety belts? Catalytic convertors? Air bags?

I think that history supports a different conclusion from that which you suggest: industry can deliver when they are given a clear safety or environmental mandate.

 

jbswindle
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Owner's report
jbswindle   8/27/2012 4:41:59 PM
I've bought two new cars in the past 8 years: a 2004 Prius and a 2010 Prius, both first years for new models.  The 2004 now has about 193,000 miles and and 2010 has about 68,000 miles from a mixture of distant travel (3000 miles/trip) and metro driving (Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex).  The two cars replaced respectively a 2002 Civic and a 2002 Accord.  The Civic got about 36 MPG and the Accord got about 26 MPG.  The 2004 Prius gets about 45 MPG and, since tire replacement (with the OEM tires we got consistently 50 MPG), the 2010 gets about the same.  Over the lifes of the Prii the 2004 has consumed about 4300 gallons and the 2010 about 1500 gallons.  Had we kept the Hondas comparable fuel consumption would have been about 5400 gallons and about 2600 gallons, respectively.  That scores about 1100 gallons for the 2004 and about 1100 gallons for the 2010 that we didn't consume, hardly justification for the two cars' purchases.  The numbers are considerably different, however, if you substitute US national average milage of 20 MPG for the Hondas milage.  Then the fuel saving looks like about 7200 gallons. Taking an average fuel price of $2.50/gallon the savings in dollars is more than $15,000.  But that's not all.  The Prii require almost no maintenance.  Spark plugs last 140,000 miles, for example.  I've never owned a more reliable automobile nor one that required less routine maintenance than a Prius.  The one machanical failure I have experienced was a water pump (there are 4) on the 2004 and that was covered by the vehicle warranty.  Bottom line: I'm satisfied.

William K.
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54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
William K.   8/27/2012 5:50:37 PM
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Catalytic converters did not equate to much of a change in the rest of the vehicle. AIrbags still kill people, but not as often, and it is seldom mentioned on national news any more. On the other side, they don't impact the appearance or drivability of the vehicle very much. some folks realized that safety belts were not that bad, and many folks just ignored them. Also, we had no choice on any of those matters, they were rammed down our throats with no option available. The message from our government is perfectly clear: "We are much smarter than you so we will do what we believe is best". 

Just try to purchase a car today that does not have those items. We have them exclusively because they are law. But consider the seatbelt ignition interlock fiasco of a few years back. It lasted less than one model year because it was really stupid. They should have interlocked the seatbelts to the radio and air conditioning system. 

analyst
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
analyst   8/27/2012 6:36:29 PM
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@William K

Well, I for one am glad that the Congress continues to carry out its responsibility to improve the General Welfare of the nation.

And I am sure you meant to say that air bags continue to save tens of thousands of lives and increase the chance of survival 99.9% of the time.

I thought your original comment was that people would not buy cars that have such features "rammed down their throats". Perhaps I was mistaken as to your original meaning.

Island_Al
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
Island_Al   8/28/2012 2:28:52 PM
@analyst

And I, for one, am not happy with central economic planning. I thought the purpose of government was not to keep us safe, but to keep us free.  Today government fails on both counts.  I am forced to buy a car with airbags, but would choose not to do so if it were optional. It must be forced on me, at gunpoint no less.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington

Congress is NOT filled with "do gooders", rather it is filled by self serving individuals. When Congress passes a law, we as citizens might see some small benefit, however the real benefactor is usually unseen and makes a great deal of money because of the laws. 

In things economic, there is that which is seen, and that which is unseen.  The broken window fallacy is a great example.  When mpg improves less gas is sold, therefore less gas tax is collected, thus government is forced to increase the tax.

Government has created monetary inflation (printed money) causing all prices to increase, some increasing faster than others. In the mid sixties gasoline sold for 10 cents per gallon. Today it is over $4.  A 1963 dime has about $4 worth of silver at todays prices and a new Chevy in 1963 cost $1,600, now $25 to 35K. Gold back then was $35 an ounce, now $1,600. I suggest trying to read Rothbard's "The Case Against the Fed" to gain a better perspective of reality.

Of course it is likely that you will not agree with me.  Unlike government and its shills, I force my opinion on no one. 

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation" -Herbert Spencer

 

akwaman
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
akwaman   8/28/2012 3:19:42 PM
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To Island_Al.  You on your own island can have all the freedom you want.  You can run around naked, but you can't do that down main street.  The purpose of government is to PROTECT the people, and that also means to protect our freedoms, UNLESS THOSE FREEDOMS YOU WANT AFFECT OTHERS IN AN ADVERSE WAY.  The goverment is there to protect OUR freedoms, not YOURS ALONE.  You are the kind of individual that we need protection FROM.  You dangerous and selfish attitude is poison in our society.  I will say, that you are right to say " Congress is NOT filled with "do gooders", rather it is filled by self serving individuals ".  It is the do-gooders that keep the politicians in line.  It is those who expose what is going on, and expose politicians improper actions that protect us, not people like you that want the government to turn a blinds eye and let you do anything you want, in OUR society.  We live in a Capitalistic society, that requires that inflation happen.  The problem is that greedy business owners would rather spend MANY millions to fight for their tax loopholes in the form of nasty campaign ads, than hire more people, or give people raises.   Your final quote is good, dig deep, you missed it's meaning: 
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation" -Herbert Spencer

analyst
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
analyst   8/28/2012 3:35:55 PM
@island_al

I am sorry to hear you are displeased with the American form of government.

Please review the Constitution and you will find that it was the intent from the very beginning (circa ratification of the Constitution) that the Congress lay and collect taxes, for both defense and the promotion of the general welfare. [Which means "well being", since someone else asked.]

Spending for the promotion of the General Welfare would seem to require planning. Centralized planning.

You will also see that it was the intent from the very beginning that the Congress should regulate interstate commerce.

Once again, the regulation of interstate commerce seems to imply purpose. And more of that dreaded planning.

I wish I could direct you to some other western nation where they do not employ planning at the federal level, but there are no states like that which I am aware of.

PS. And case you are wondering, Jesus expressed no preference for or against government. Unless you count "give onto Caesar that which is Caesar's". There seems to be some confusion on this point in the mind of some conservatives.

*********************************
One more post word. Economists now recognize that inflation is an essential tool for getting out of an economic depression. The reason is that there is a much scarier beast than inflation. It is called deflation.

Deflation is where the value of your money, in terms of what it can buy, is going UP over time. And it is very, very dangerous. Dangerous because when the same amount of money -- lets assume it is in gold pieces of eight -- can buy more tomorrow than today, the incentives for those who still have money to... hold on to it.

After all, why buy one car today when you can buy two next month?

But, if everyone who still has money holds on to their money, even though they are rich, even though deinflation has made them richer than they have ever been before, the economy is dead as a doornail. Because "economy" doesn't mean having money. "Economy" means the movement of money, in exchange for goods and services.

So when people stop using the money they already have to buy stuff, there is no economy. It is dead.

And the answer to the scurge of economies, the destroyer of lives, meaning deflation in this case, is inflation. 

RNDDUDE
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
RNDDUDE   8/28/2012 4:14:30 PM
analyst
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
analyst   8/28/2012 4:24:31 PM
@rndude

So the price of gas in real dollars has been going up since approximately 1984. Is that how you read the graph you have presented us with? 

And, dare I say it, the cost of a battery pack for an EV will continue to go down, as it has already, for the forseeable future. Because as the price of the battery pack goes down so does the cost of EVs.

Certainly, it would take a brave and foolish person to imply that the price of crude, and therefore gasoline is going to be going down during the next 10 years. The Saudi's are planning for the day when their oil runs out. Kuwait is too. So are all the middle eastern countries I am aware of.

Perhaps we can start drilling for oil in outer space. That's a plan!

RNDDUDE
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
RNDDUDE   8/28/2012 4:58:57 PM
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The link was provided for factual information purposes only. I had hoped to get figures of historical pricing in real, not adjusted, dollars, because I found the claim of $0.10/gal gas in the 60's to be counter to my recollection. I must admit though that much of my recollection of the sixties is somewhat suspect....

BTW, I consider your next-to-last post about deflation excellent.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
Rob Spiegel   8/28/2012 5:09:22 PM
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The lowest price for a gallon I can remember in the 1960s was about 17 or 18 cents. That was in the Detroit area. And that was during the occasional price war. Not sure what that would be in 2012 dollars.

Charles Murray
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Re: 54.5 MPG at WHAT cost?
Charles Murray   8/28/2012 5:42:32 PM
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I can remember 25.9 cents a gallon around 1969, but don't recall anything lower than that, Rob.

akwaman
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The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/28/2012 11:33:07 AM

The Bottom Line


It appears clear, no matter what the driving conditions, that the Toyota Prius will return around 44 mpg—if driven with a sane right foot. That's impressive, and that means the Prius remains the most fuel-efficient car on the market. The Jetta falls short in pure city driving, but it does meet (and barely beats) the Prius when it comes to highway fuel economy in our testing.
The price of fuel, of course, remains a big factor. On our test days, regular unleaded was $3.79 a gallon and diesel was $4.09. So on the city drive, which approximated a week's worth of stop-and-go commuting, the Jetta required about $10 more fuel to do the same job. Over a year, that would equate to about $500 if fuel prices stabilize. Granted, that's a big "if," and 500 bucks ain't nothing with an economy like ours.

 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/reviews/diesel/4284188?series=19

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 11:28:57 AM
@akwaman


LOL and ROTFL big time ... and you continue to be brain washed with fantsy as you make the statement "It appears clear, no matter what the driving conditions, that the Toyota Prius will return around 44 mpg—if driven with a sane right foot. That's impressive, and that means the Prius remains the most fuel-efficient car on the market. The Jetta falls short in pure city driving, but it does meet (and barely beats) the Prius when it comes to highway fuel economy in our testing."

The "no matter what the driving conditions" is just outright and completely FALSE. At slow speeds stop and go speeds, especially those on a climbing grade, the Prius efficency is a small tiny fraction of of the ideal efficency numbers at a constant city or highway driving speed. Add to that having to produce cabin heat in stop and go metro driving at -20F on a bad winter night up into the mountains to go skiing, and it gets a LOT worse.

If you want to do the test, disconnect the fuel lines on a Prius and manual TDI Jetta, and replace with a calibrated 200ml graduated container. At the bottom of a 5-10 mile 8-14% grade where the outside temps are near or below zero, start both the Prius and Jetta, and climb the hill at 5mph, maintaining a normal comfortable cabin temp that is the same in both. Record the fuel used by both IF they make it to the top, or where the container reachs the zero mark (not where the engine stops, as the fuel in the lines and engine is different on each). On the west coast, the climb outside Sacramento headed east toward Reno will do. In Colorado west outside Denver, headed to Vail will do.

Less extreme, but just as notable, choose a significantly rolling hills stop and go commute area in or near a major city, where the speeds are typically less than 5mph,and the stops are typically every 100ft or less, where the temps outside are greater than 100F and it requires running the AC to keep cabin temps in both cars at a comforable temp.

Just for fun in both cases, make sure the Prius is a dark red/black color, and the Jetta is white, just to make the point clear that "no matter what the driving conditions" is just an outright lie.

Now since you have been exceptionally insulting, with direct personal attacks, (as have a couple others), it's time you do your homework, and get your head out of the fantsy best case, and start looking as some difficult real world conditions that a few millions drivers do every day for at least half the year.

RFL designed a significantly better electric drive for these conditions, with a significantly sharper slow speed efficency rise than the Prius electric drive .... read the test report at http://www.slideshare.net/ThomasBraegelmann/ev-motor-prius-rfl-comparison-paper-rfl-vs-prius-final-020510

Also read the government test reports that RFL cites for some additional data points that will allow one to accurately model high torque, low speed, operation of the Prius in the above worst case, everyday driving conditions that millions of people drive every day.

And BTW ... you really deserve some resounding insults in return for your ignorance and ability to ignore the facts that are different than your fantasy view of the world.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/29/2012 12:10:14 PM
Totally_Lost, you are still totally lost.  I didn't make that statement you begin with, it comes from an independent testing source.  Please read more carefully, it is probably why you are so confused about what is actually going on.  You take an extreme case, and try to apply it to daily life, not the way a scientist or engineer approaches a problem.  Let's get real and realize that you are not the only person in the world.  I live in Florida, where that 'mountain' issue will NEVER be an issue.  Most people in the country don't commute up and down a mountain.  If you do, you may need something different, and there will always be a vehicle you can buy to take you up that mountain.  Your arguments are just smoke and mirrors, and I see through both. 

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 12:37:09 PM
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@akwaman

 

I do not dispute the independent testing results, they probably are quite accurate for the limited scope of the testing that was done, that is quite favorable for the Prius.

And the "extreme case" is normal driving conditions for millions of drivers, and failing to include these cases, is simply choosing to purposefully distort the results.

Again, your statement "no matter what the driving conditions" is just outright and completely FALSE.

Grow up, stop the insults.

The true engineering facts remain that high torque, low speed, stop and go operation, especially on hills, is very poor for serial hybrids like the Prius. Choosing test results that ignore that exceptionally poor case for the Prius, and continually citing best case numbers which are dominated by smooth level continuous operation is less than truthful.

I've spent thousands of hours driving rush hour traffic on both the east and west coasts, in exactly these conditions. Yes they are worst case. And yes, they affect millions every day.

I'm happy for you, that you do not have to do that. Millions of others do ... EVERY DAY.

And by the way ... you truly are a rude, disrespectful, ignorant, bigoted, pompus, orifice of waste.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/29/2012 1:15:58 PM
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Totally_Lost:  (Surely a Freudian slip)  I must go on the record and mention that neither of those quotes you attribute to me are my quotes.  Typical distortion of the facts that I would expect from you.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 2:01:54 PM
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@akwaman

 

on 8/28/2012 11:33:07 AM you posted "Bottom Line" without specifically stating that was a quote, and every reader would generally take that paragraph as your personal statement.

So ... I would assume you choose to use that unattributed quote, as your own words.

And it is the falsehood you have been advocating since, which is a GROSS ERROR.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/29/2012 1:12:26 PM
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Totally_Lost:  Right back at ya!  If it wasn't for the useless drool that you write, I probably would never have written a thing.  Your opinions are offensive to common sense and science.  Your lack of critical thinking, and use only of evidence that supports your idea, is contrary to scientific principals.  To counter your childish tactics... it takes one to know one!

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 1:42:22 PM
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#akwaman

If you had a clue about traction motor performance at low RPM's where efficency goes to zero, you would actually be informed in this discussion. However, you continue to make statements about what a real engineer would do, without a clue about what real traction motor engineers actually do.


You refuse to educate your self about these critical boundry conditions that dominate efficency performance for EV's during low speed operation. This boundry conditions are NOT special cases ... EVERY traction motor in an EV must handle operation from zero to some optimal speed, and during that transition from stopped, to a low speed, the efficency is near ZERO.

Ignoring this issue, is a critical professional and ethical failure as an engineer in this field. If you want to talk about what ANY real traction motor engineer should know, then start there.


I do not make that mistake ... I do understand these issues ... I am an engineer that does axial traction motor design. Have you actually designed and built a 96% efficent 5KW traction motor yet? I have. It's pretty clear from your lack of understanding that you are just an arm chair, hand waving, wantabe traction motor and drive designer, which is so lazy that you haven't even read Hanselman (http://www.brushlessmotordesign.com/) or any other well known basic test on motor and drive system design.

You have been heavily insulting since yesterday, when you made the mistake to claim these facts are false, and spent one entire post attacking me.

so ... the math is clear ... at zero rpm (aka stall torque), any motor produces ZERO work out, and consumes significant energy to maintain that torque. That is zero efficency, unless you are trying to design a resistance heater, which is probably what you might be good at as an engineer. At stall torque, and any low rpm torque near stall, every electric traction motor will be operating with a motion efficency of a tiny fraction of best case. Every traction motor and EV designer knows that well.

If you are unable to understand this simple math, you are simply unable to understand the efficency issues about EV traction motors ... and that in this discussion makes you completely cluesless.

bwilson4web
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
bwilson4web   8/29/2012 1:23:06 PM
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You correctly hit on an important principle,". . . the way a scientist or engineer approaches a problem."

We bought our first Prius in October 2005 and I had to drive it 800 miles from Fort Worth to Huntsville. So I broke up the drive into two hour segments to 'pump measure' the performance. This is the first chart:

1.5L Prius performance

The first leg I got 39 MPG but I was driving Texas I-20 speeds, +75 mph. I almost turned around thinking the car was broke but instead, I drove the rest of the way home, two hour segments, at different cruise control speeds:
  • 53 MPG @60 mph
  • 52 MPG @65 mph
  • 49 MPG @70 mph
  • 39 MPG @75 mph

So once I had the car back in Huntsvile, I experimented with different commuting routes and speeds to generate the chart. I also learned that overfilling the 1.5L engine put a significant impact on mileage.

After a year or so in various Prius technical forums, I was able to generate this advanced chart:



With the drag formula and BSFC data, we found the maximum range speed is ~18 mph. Any slower and vehicle overhead consumes the energy. Much faster and aerodynamic drag begins to hurt mileage. Of course driving conditions impact performance and there are some ways to minimize Prius overhead.

Here is a similar milage chart for the current 1.8L, 2010 Prius:




Because this data is reporducible, it is how I plan my trips. I tradeoff time-to-travel versus travel-cost to optimize each trip. This is simply how our Prius perform so a CAFE of 54.5 holds no terrors for us.


Bob Wilson

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 2:17:12 PM
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@bwilson4web

 

Good work Bob. It would be nice to describe what the various lines and points on the graphs are trying to present. The Grey "mpg fixed" line, looks pretty close to what should be a typical efficency curve from zero to reasonable speeds. The dark blue "mpg w/o fixed" I'm still trying to figure out what it might be.

bwilson4web
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
bwilson4web   8/30/2012 5:59:55 AM
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You asked,". . . The Grey "mpg fixed" line, looks pretty close to what should be a typical efficency curve from zero to reasonable speeds. The dark blue "mpg w/o fixed" I'm still trying to figure out what it might be."

The "gray" line is the total energy loss as a function of rolling, aerodyanmic, and measured electrical overhead loss. The Prius has a measured, electrical overhead of ~450W. I've not tried to break the 450W down to specific subsystems but this includes daylight running lights, control computers, cooling pump(s) and power brake pump.  There is another, unquantified heat loss from the engine that tries to maintain a temperature between 60-90C. 

The "dark blue" line is just rolling and aerodynamic drag energy loss expressed as MPG. If there were no overhead losses and the engine had a fixed efficiency, this would be the peak, expected MPG.

These are drag and overhead driven curves that assume a constant engine efficiency. However, engine efficiency is not linear across all power modes and is complicated by the ON/OFF engine cycling and CHARGE/DISCHARGE efficiency of the traction battery. The real world is often non-linear so I augment these curves with specific data points from various sources and my own benchmarks.

There are optimum and suboptimal speed ranges that are model dependent so we're always looking for 'the knee in the curve.' For example, 65 mph in the 2001-03 Prius marked the knee in highway speed: 52 MPG @65, 49 MPG @70, and 39 MPG @75. But what remained of this knee moved to 85 mph in the 2004-09 Prius. We don't have enough data for the 2010-current models to document a knee.

Bob Wilson

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 2:37:54 PM
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Bob,

If you want to have some real engineering fun, pickup a fuel flow sensor, and a GPS to track course, speed, and rate of climb so you have detailed real-time mpg data about various courses.

bwilson4web
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
bwilson4web   8/30/2012 6:16:44 AM
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You wrote,". . . pickup a fuel flow sensor, and a GPS to track course, speed, and rate of climb so you have detailed real-time mpg data . . ." Already done using a data recording OBD scanner and GPS mouse.

AutoEnginuity makes an OBD scanner that operates on any general purpose, Windows laptop and can record data metrics with ~100 ms sample rate. A GPS mouse will report three axis emphemeris to the same laptop. These can easily be combined into comma separated values (CSV) for excel analysis.

I used this technique on a 750 mile drive to Washington DC, 120 mile drive to Nashville TN and several, shorter routes around town and the county. There are some transient events where the sampling rate can not follow things like maximum acceleration and braking but these are easily identified and trimmed out. But insights gained improved my driving rules for mountain/hill driving.

For example, fuel injected engines must have an accurate mass air flow to maintain a 14.7-to-1 mixture. This one metric gives a very accurate fuel flow at the OBD sampling rate. Unique to the Prius, MG1 torque has a fixed ratio to the engine torque so combined with engine RPM and fuel flow, we have generated a functional, BSFC chart based upon the engine in use . . . the operating line.

Bob Wilson

bwilson4web
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
bwilson4web   8/30/2012 6:45:11 AM
About the tone of our postings, I prefer to let the data, reproducable metrics, show me the way and try to not let personalities or style get in the way. One of the most brilliant engineers I ever met, Steve D., also had Yankee speaking patterns so he would treat my in-breaths as a break in my speaking and jump in with his thoughts. Often brilliant thoughts, it was rude to my Southern way of speaking. Yet inspite of his conversational quirks, we would often interate to common engineering solutions.

What I found was more important than style, certificates, diplomas or awards, the most important thing was in the data, the results. Especially those that are reproducible, not ancedotal, one-of events. So I take time to carefully measure what is going on and elminiate or minimize variables such as altitude and wind effects. I can't control every variable so I repeat the tests on other days to minimize their effects (aka., weather.)

There are high mileage folks who live on ancedotal stories . . . 'I got <whatever> once.' As nice as these records are, one-time observations need to be especially well documented for environmental variables and route including altitude changes. Then and only then can we begin to make an accurate model that others can replicate.

Bob Wilson

bwilson4web
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
bwilson4web   8/30/2012 6:55:20 AM
Circling back to "54.5 MPG Comes With Trade-Offs," having cars that already achieve and exceed this CAFE number, this is not that hard of a problem. We have examples and for the price of royaltes, any car manufacturer can reach this target. It won't be free (but my fees are reasonable <grins>) but it will be interesting. Certainly, there are more than one way to achieve this level of performance.

Fossile fuels are a finite resource. Although we've started making renewable fuels, they need to be used as efficiently as possible. Compared to going to the moon, it isn't that hard of a problem and unlike the moon effort, needs to be replicated year-after-year, day-after-day. It can and should be done if we have the wit and will to do it. The technology is available even today.

Bob Wilson

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/30/2012 8:00:05 AM
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The problem with the regulations is not can you safely build "a car" that can get 54.5pmg, it is that you must build a fleet of heavy and light cars with an average of 54.5mph. That average problem, pushes some cars to perform well past 54.5mpg, that are excessively light and unsafe. This is what happened in previous CAFE cycles.

The "Smart Car", and other micro cars, while they met minimum cabin integrity crash tests, are also significantly more likely to injure or kill occupants in a crash because of substantially higher G forces and rotations in a crash. Some try to play down the IIHS safety testing, because the testing isn't representive of typical non-injury crashes .... there is however a better corrilation to the types of crashes that do injure or kill. And because of that, the IIHS crash data is very important, not only for insurance companies to set actuary tables, but for consumers to judge injury/death risks that are higher in smaller cars.

It's the many micro cars that will be built to meet fleet averages, that I believe are morally wrong. These cars will again be discounted in price/margin to encourage additional sales to meet fleet average objectives. This forces young and poor people, with cash strapped budgets, to drive cars that are unsafe at highway speeds.

Several posters have praised the goverment for all the "do gooder" safety improvements  in cars. Well as far as I'm concerned doing a few good deeds, DOES NOT make up for killing thousands with regulations that will force unsuspecting drivers to buy unsafe cars in crashes above 45mph.

If the regulations had created a model for low speed city only cars with a maximum speed of 45mph, and heavier cars for highway and city use that can safely travel at 75mph, then we might be making progress.

It's the physics of this problem that makes engineering tradeoff's impossible. The kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the velocity. 45mph squared is 2025, and 75 squared is 5625, about 2.8 times more energy that must be absorbed by the frame and cabin in a crash. That means in general that the car MUST use about 3 times heavier metal AND be larger for longer crumply zones to be safe at 75mph. This wieght difference means that both smaller cars, and larger cars, will tend to be built lighter than is safe. In the last CAFE cycles we saw full sized 5 passenger sedans, down scale in size, and safety ... along with the introduction of disposable small cars that killed thousands.

The "do gooders" didn't do us ANY good in that ... and killed thousands .... including lots of kids in young families with a tight budget.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/30/2012 8:57:10 AM
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Don't worry, Totally_Lost, no one will take away your SUV that you need to get to your mountain house.  There is a right tool for every job, and SUVs are generally not the tool for commuting.  You have a point when you say that maybe some cars shouldn't be allowed on the highway, and at the same time, maybe large cars should not be allowed in cities.  You are completely wrong saying that do-gooders killed thousands of people.  On the contrary, do-gooders have save countless lives from people like you who fail to realize the importance of government regulations and intervention. People kill people, cars kill no one. Your point about driving a bigger car for safety will just encourage larger and larger cars. With your mentality, only people with enough money for the largest cars will be safe. 

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/30/2012 12:46:02 PM
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Again akwaman you are completely wrong. I do not own a mountain house, I do own an older rural home in a valley. I run another business that provides internet for people that do live in the mountains, and that business requires year round access to mountain tops where we have repeaters at commercial tower sites, and to residents that live remote, frequently off grid.

And you are completely wrong about CAFE regulations in the past that promoted the production of a large number of small unsafe cars at discount prices to meet the CAFE averages .... and those cars less than 2,200lbs killed thousands of peope unnecessarily during the 1980's and early 1990's.

During the 15 years around and following these new CAFE regs going into effect, we are going to see discounted micro cars flood the market, which are also going to kill thousands of people needlessly.

The mandate for average fuel economy, does force the production of exceptionally light vehicles, that needlessly kill. Those will be sold with smaller margins, and discounts, which targets the poor and young families.

Take a look at the statistics from 1980 to 1995 --- I have -- in depth. Many of the do-gooder safety advances claimed in previous posts, are to correct the causes of deaths and injury in light vehicles that were triggered by CAFE in the first place. Most of those safety advances are good things ... but many lives were lost by CAFE, and later safety regulations were just to minimize the loss of additional lives, and a huge number of injuries that leave people disabled for life. The statistics today, are that small cars continue to cause injuries, with the most common point of contact in the car, being the safety restraints because decellerations are too high for cars lacking long crumple zones.

I took a month to study detailed accident reports for vechiles under  2,200lbs, after pulling down and mining the summary database. I was expecially interested in deaths and injuries for single car accidents, which were exceptionally high for cars less than 2,200lbs at the time. Do your homework, and we can debate the details if you wish.

again ...do your homework about light car injuries from 1980 to 1995 if you want debate this

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/30/2012 1:50:27 PM
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You state, "With your mentality, only people with enough money for the largest cars will be safe."

So tell this forum how to design a smaller car, or micro car that will have the Prius level of safety. Current small cars, especially micro cars, have significantly higher death and injury rates than nearly all heavier high end cars.

So tell this forum how CAFE regulations are written to prevent flooding the market with smaller cars, and micro cars, like the last rounds of CAFE regulations have.

I believe that governement regulations should promote safety, over fuel economy ... not fuel economy over safety, as the past and current CAFE mandates did.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/30/2012 3:42:01 PM
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Your recent posts are much more sensable (not entirely) and I'm glad you have toned down your rhetoric, because you do make some interesting points, however they conflict.  I have seen some merit in what you say, but you need to be a little more PC when you write, but blaming government standards and "tree-huggers" and "do-gooders" for deaths is like blaming Smith and Wesson when someone get shot with their gun, should we get rid of guns because people (many innocent) get kiled with them (probably, but that is a discussion for somewhere else)?  Automobile deaths can be attributed to many different factors.  If I slam a compact car into an SUV at 85 mph, I'm not sure if it would protect the person in the SUV (certainly the smaller car person would not fare well).  What about SUVs and large trucks that kill people because they flip over because they are top heavy?  Should we outlaw trucks that  can be lifted or are top heavy? What confuses me about you, is on one hand you think we shouldn't make standards like this so high saying it is unattainable without safety issues, but on the other hand you fight about a car that already gets that kind of gas milage, and you say you have already figured out how to make these hybrids more efficient.  To you, this goal should be a no-brainer and easily attainable.  It should have nothing to do with safety.  The only real answer to your problem is to either make all cars bigger or make all cars smaller, then there are tractor trailers, which would flatten any suv, even a hummer.  Maybe we should outlaw tractor trailers.  Maybe we should only allow 18 wheelers on the highway.  There is also speed, and alcohol and drugs.  Let's face it, no matter what you are driving you can get killed on the highway.  If you don't want to take that chance, don't drive.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/30/2012 9:00:08 PM
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First, let's focus on a SINGLE issue, the safety of exceptionally light cars, and how CAFE regulations are going to potentially promote the production of a large number of smaller cars, and micro cars, which have a proven track record todate of significantly higher injury and death.

Pushing this discussion into guns, tractor trailers, SUV safety and a lot of other off topic issues, is simply trolling. I started my posts in this forum on the single issue of small car safety, and the impact that CAFE has on that. That is the topic I will debate here.

If you are confused, please reread my posts where my activism focuses on this single primary of safety issue and CAFE's impact on on the markets. Other back ground material, only seems to confuse you.

Again, to understand this, one does needs to review the effects that previous CAFE regulations had on down sizing cars, and resulting increases in deaths, especially in single car accidents where the driver hits some other objects. To a lesser degree deaths and injury where other similar sized smaller cars are involved, which are below 2,200lbs. That will require some homework. I last posted this issue on usenet, probably in one of the colorado general forums about 10 years ago, and in that series of postings is pretty detailed data that is very clearly damming for small cars under 2,200lbs. Current statisics are a little better, for "mid-sized" cars a little over a ton, but the introduction of micro cars again, is taking the data worse. DO your homework.

Previous to CAFE, the 9 passenger station wagon was the dominate "car" of choice for families with kids. CAFE regulations forced that vehicle out of production, and the result was rapid growth of the 6 to 9 passenger SUV market as a replacement. I will not debate the clear issue that high centered SUV's have roll over problems, when CAFE effectively forced the safer 9 passenger version of station wagons off the market.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/30/2012 3:49:10 PM
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Oh, to answer your question, stop making cars so big, stop making them so fast, work harder to make cars drive themselves, collision avoidance systems, improve safety standards...  Oh, and your other contradiction:  You complain that small cars are unsafe and we shouldn't have them, but you are supposedly building one like the Folding car mentioned here in this forum.  Go Gadget Go!  More power to you!  I think it is a great idea.  You are right in saying that some things need to be ironed out.   How do YOU plan to make your car more safe?

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/30/2012 9:11:08 PM
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Ok ... I'm ROTFL that "stop making cars so big," will somehow make small cars safer in single car accidents, and accidents with other cars less than 3,000lbs, which are the vast majority of accidents with injuries and deaths.

Mandating speed limits back to under 35mph where these cars are safe, is simply not a public supportable choice ... feel free to try and mandate that.

Automous robotic cars, are at least two decades away for a lot of reasons. That does nothing to stop CAFE induced deaths because of smaller cars, and micro cars, flooding the market in the next 15 years.

Collision avoidance systems which can prevent a driver from driving into a bridge abutment, tree, stopped car, or other sustantial object at 75mph are unlikely to appear much before fully automous robotic cars.

So that leaves my original question that you avoided and simply restated as " improve safety standards". The question I asked of you, is how??? When the best technology we have today is unable to protect smaller car, and micro car, occupants in a collision because of excessively high G forces and rotation from impacts.

Unless you have a magic solution to this nearly impossible technical problem, then CAFE forcing an increased number of smaller and micro cars into the market, will KILL a LOT of people and KIDS.

If you mandate stronger safety, then CAFE as written today, is not the deal that was agreed to by all parties.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/31/2012 3:31:41 AM
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@akwaman writes "work harder to make cars drive themselves, collision avoidance systems,"

Do you have any credentials in this field other that watching the Jetsons on Saturday mornings?

Do you have any competency processing sensor arrays to handle fog, dust, rain, snow, ice, mud, and other environments while still being able to detect small children in the cross walk, or darting out behind a car?

Did I get a chance to meet you and your team at the DARPA Autonomous Vehicle Grand Challenge? http://archive.darpa.mil/grandchallenge04/conference/attendance.xls

Have you actually done ANY work in this field????

When I said this is at least two decades out, I was probably being a wee bit optimistic. It is another area of research that I've been doing since 1999 that isn't on my old resume.

This is a really hard problem when safety includes residential streets, and pedestrian access to the streets.

There are lots of things we can work harder at, that just will not be happening very soon ... faster than light drives, human colonies on Mars, a journey to the center of the earth, are a few others.

DOD will deploy semi-autonomous fleets in various theaters, but it's going to be a while before that technology is safe for civilian residential neighborhoods in the US for every day use. There are some significant break thru's in sensor array technology and processing that will have to happen first -- and many more Moore's Law cycles to do it in real time as a commodity product in every car.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/31/2012 9:13:00 AM
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Totally_Lost: I will waste no more time arguing common sense with you. You do have some points in there, but I have better things to do with my day, than argue with a mad guy with a chip on his shoulder.  I suggest you spend more time programming and less time talking about it, sounds like you could help make some breakthroughs, if you spent less time arguing and insulting people, and trying to prevent government regulations, which is the only way to real progress, because companies only care about improving their products if they HAVE to improve them, by either market pressure or government regulations.  Market pressure is not enough in most cases to make significant process.  Humans need to be pushed, because as a general rule... people are lazy and not self-motivated.  I can see that you are neither, and cudos to you.  I don't need you to state the obvious, and in a way that makes everything sound impossible.  Here's some things for other readers, you obviously know everything already.  This is just a simple google search, but yes, I have done plenty of reasearch on the subject.  Enough to know that 100% autonomy in automobiles is a way off for some of the common sense reasons that you mentioned.  Yes, some of that Jetson's tech IS here today, and installed on millions of automobiles.  Personally, I would rather the computer stop my car when it detects a kid behind my car, than rely on distracted humans to manually hit the brake when they hear a 'chime'.  OH YEA... that technology is here now!  Oh yea, and collision avoidance and some other of this technology is available ... now... get this... IT'S AVAILABLE ON A PRIUS!!!

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/story/2012-03-25/self-driving-car/53734450/1

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/science/10google.html?pagewanted=all

and because of small picture people like Totally_Lost who oppose government regulations:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-f-coughlin/robot-cars_b_1793440.html

and they were starting to think about this kind of thing before  you were born:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurama_(New_York_World's_Fair)

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/31/2012 11:25:24 AM
@akwaman

I read you insulting others in the other CAFE article forum without provocation, questioning their credientials, and making clueless statements about what can and should be done. Who gave you the right to assert that others are either not engineers, or poor ones? Who gave you the right to be the final judge and jury to declare that others posts are false? Who gave you the right to be openly disgustingly insulting, and violate your own stated rules of conduct?

And when asked, you neither provide credientials, or experience, or even a well reasoned technical response when you simply declare others as wrong without a clue, as you have in this forum repeatedly.

Frankly ... if you can not debate these issues, with well reasoned and supported technical responses, you are simply being a troll as you insult other that are.

You imply you are an engineer with direct experience in this field ... as you insult others ... you know where I went to school, what some of my experience is that is directly relevant, what is yours?

Show some common sense ... you haven't so far.

Or just leave, ... and hopefully leave ALL these forums, because as you insult others, I hope that others are around to call your hand as you troll these forums with insults.

and BTW, the collision avoidance systems available today are ineffective preventing deaths and injuries for most high speed crashes in smaller and micro cars because of the limitations of the sensor techology and the AI behind it. They can save a few dollars in insurance claims for minor fender benders, but as they are implemented today, they are not going to save a significant number of lives in small and micro car crashes at higher speeds. And it's these low end, inexpensive cars, that are the least likely to be installed with a robust sensor array and AI to prevent high speed crashes that cause deaths and injury.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/31/2012 12:03:25 PM
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Totally_Lost:  Instead of disputing what I say, you again attack.  A sure sign of a weak case.  As I said, I will give my opinion, and if you don't like it, I don't care.  I will not stop thinking critically and using facts and logic to determine my opinions.  All the facts, not just the ones that support my opinion, which can only be changed by other facts.  You seem to be fighting the things that will only help your line of work and our society, and that is counter-productive.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/31/2012 4:21:15 PM
Ok ... guess I've been stupid feeding this troll ... time to move on, since there isn't any progress to make on this issue.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   9/2/2012 9:29:41 AM
No doubt that stupid IS feeding this troll... It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that parallel hybrid technology is sensible.  I figured that out whan I was 12 years old, in 1976. I had no idea that the automobile industry couldn't figure that out for 35 years and that I had figured out the holy grail of hybrid technology! It is is most likely because automotive companies in this country fight the MPG standards and have been sinking countless millions of dollars (maybe billions) over the last 4 decades fighting these laws with the help of small minded individuals.  It's all smoke and mirrors actions to try to trick us into thinking it can't be done. When I hear people from the general public opposing such and easy goal, it makes their position suspect.  You can not blame CAFE standards if the automotive insustry puts out crappy cars.  That is their choice.  Start spending more money on good engineers, and less money on fighting the will of the public and concerned citizens that have enough guts to fight the powerful automotive and oil industry.  We also have safety standards  for vehicles.  You can say that a small car is not safe against an SUV, but an SUV is not safe against an 18 wheeler!  Americans understand the risk in driving.  It is dangerous however you do it.  We can't fix the physics issue:  bigger vehicles will alwasys be dangerous to smaller vehicles.  Let's not make lame excuses for the auto industry, they are good at that all by themselves.  Let's not let  the automotive industry in this country off the hook again.  If we the poeple don't push mpg standards, it will never happen.  Gasoline will have a place in this wolrd, airplanes are difficult to run on anything else, and gas generators in hybrids will be there for those who need the extra milage away from electric power sources and in larger vehicles.  The less gas we use, the longer it will be around to serve useful purposes.  Cavemen of today need to learn to let go of their over-engineered and overly complicated ICE engines, becase hydrogen fuel cells will soon have us pouring water into our electric cars and driving anywhere that water can be found, clean, fast, quiet, powerful.  The technology is here today, but the fuel cells are still expensive.  BTW, you can run any ICE engine using Hydrogen with minor modifications.  The exhaust product is water, not poisonous gasses like gasoline cumbustion.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   9/2/2012 4:57:41 PM
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Ok, let's deal with the basic issues ...

The issue is, that small cars under 2,200lbs continue to kill their occupants in single car accidents and with cars of a similar size, because they lack the necessary crumple zones to safely decelerate their occupants in a collision. When you fix that problem then collisions with larger vehicles becomes less of an issue. Even if, there were NO SUV's or 18 wheeler semi's on the road, today's small cars will continue to kill. This raises EVERYONES insurance costs.

Pure hydrogen and oxygen are not cheap efficient ICE fuels, as they do not exist any where in nature naturally in ways that allow them to be simply harvested as fuels in large volumes. They can be extracted from water, by putting more energy into the conversion process, than can be recovered using the extracted hydrogen and water as an ICE fuel. This is horribly inefficient, when other alternatives exist. Any good engineer, and certainly anyone that understands physics and chemistry, is aware of the bonding energy issues involved in the reaction.

Your lack of understanding of these energy conversion cost issues, is most likely based in your believing the miss-informed rantings of conspiracy theory folks. You are certainly not an engineer as that is basic physics and chemistry from high school and your freshman year in college.

If per chance you know of some magic way to produce pure hydrogen and oxygen, that has a lower conversion cost than the energy extracted from using it as an ICE fuel ... then you have the secret that everyone has missed. Become the expert, and explain that process to this forum ... we ALL would like to know.

The small, clueless, uniformed minds in this discussion, are those that do not understand the basic engineering issues of safety and energy conversion, and are willing to allow the consipiracy folks to push an agenda with CAFE legislation that kills people in smaller unsafe cars .

54% more likely to die in a minicar: http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr051408.html "For vehicles 1-3 years old during 2006, minicars experienced 106 driver deaths per million registered vehicles compared with 69 driver deaths in large cars."

http://northeast-nc.legalexaminer.com/wrongful-death/union-county-crash-kills-driver-in-smart-car-.aspx?googleid=268572

 

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   9/2/2012 5:21:31 PM
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BTW ... glad we reached agreement about parallel hybrids. You seemed confused on that issue in previous posts where I spent some time explaining that serial hybrids have some serious efficiency issues that parallel hybrids do not have. At the time, you seemed unable to understand the difference between serial and parallel hybrids, and distorted my position in your confusion.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   9/4/2012 12:06:25 PM
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There is no confusion on my part, Totally_Lost.  AND... I am not necessarily agreeing that parallel hybrdids are the better choice (just mentioned that I figured that out 35 years ago), each has it's advantages for particular circumstances.  Your pomposity shows, when you assume you know what I know.  I certainly don't need your grade-school anaylsis of H2 (more smoke and mirrors), the facts I have mentioned are neither wrong nor misdirected.  Again... I must state that cars kill no one, it is amusing to see you keep stating that they do, while you refuse to even address the fact that many trucks on the road today will flatten any SUV on the market.  There are NO safe cars, drivers even die while driving SUVs and 18 wheelers.  To make all cars perfectly safe is absurd, but we do have standards, that may need to be improved also.  Seems your lack of seeing anything but your own narrow and self-centered side of things will keep you from really seeing (or solving) problems in a Big Picture way.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   9/4/2012 4:55:36 PM
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Ahh ... I get it ... you were just trolling when you went on the rant that I was against hybrids, after I carefully posted the difference between serial and parallel hybrids, and the efficiency problems with serial hybrids.

And you must have been trolling again, when you present "BTW, you can run any ICE engine using Hydrogen with minor modifications.  The exhaust product is water, not poisonous gasses like gasoline cumbustion." like it's some better preferred option. Why present a flawed efficiency solution unless you are just trolling for a response?

And you must be trolling again when you defend the regulations of do-gooders to protect society, and motorists with safety regulations ... you said "Bureaucracy cannot be removed without losing the teeth of the regulations we have implemented to protect our citizen's health and welfare."

Where you argue in favor in regulations to protect our citizen's health and welfare.

So you must be purely trolling when you say "Again... I must state that cars kill no one, it is amusing to see you keep stating that they do," .... "To make all cars perfectly safe is absurd, but we do have standards, that may need to be improved also."

Frankly you can NOT dismiss my safety concerns, and argue at the same time that the government should be regulating safety to protect our citizens.

unless, you are just trolling and really don't give a shit how many people die due to CAFE forcing unsafe cars on the US population.

akwaman
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Look at reality and stop fighting progress, 54.5 in 4 years is weak
akwaman   8/31/2012 9:32:18 AM
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This is for those who oppose the 54.5 MPG goal:  From right here in this publication, cars that are made right now, today, and I don't see a whole lot of tiny cars here:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=248442

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/31/2012 2:16:41 AM
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@akwaman writes "People kill people, cars kill no one."

You are certainly right ... people promoting, writing and enabling legislation to create more cars that kill people are COMPLETELY and FULLY responsible for that action, certainly not the unsafe cars. Guns do not kill people either, the person pulling the trigger knowing the gun will kill someone is the killer. Those pushing for fuel economy over safety, knowing that will force the production of small cars that kill people, are in fact the ones pulling the trigger on those small car drivers. People that have an environmental agenda, that ignores safety concerns and the value of human life.

To quote you again ... With your mentality, only people with enough money for the largest cars will be safe. Oh how true. Because if the car manufactures are forced to produce unsafe small cars with high MPG's to meet averages, then you are absolutely right, because with your mentality supporting CAFE, the bigger heavy expensive cars WILL be the only ones safe.

To quote/paraphrase you again (from another forum) ... you are either not an engineer, or are a very poor one. (as you choose to insult another poster, again violating your own stated rules about proper manors in these forums). You have failed to provide the magic technical solution to make tiny small cars safe when challenged to state a method that works today to do so. As far as any of us can tell, you are just a trash collector that has been reading too many discarded SciFi novels, without any grasp on what real world engineering limits are. Basing your researched opinions on SciFi is NOT the same as actually being informed. Real world solutions are those that have been tested, and are ready to deploy in the near future. Not something that might mature in a few hundred years, or even two decades. Those people forced to drive an affordable unsafe car, do not have two decades, or two hundred years, before they are likely to be killed .... they need solutions today, or at least in the next few years.

I asked ... just what is your fields of formal training, and what has been your real world industry experience been for the last 40 years? So far, it appears just reading SciFi novels.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   9/4/2012 8:26:11 PM
If you want to troll with "People kill people, cars kill no one." and push that saving oil is more important than saving lives, by completely ignoring the FACTS ... well that is what trolls do. Responsible Engineers act on facts that impact safety.

You want to talk about facts ... the facts are the smaller cars kill ... LOTS of people .... just the facts from 30 years of hard data. I read hundreds of detailed crash reports where the fatality or injuries were because the driver fell asleep, left the road and hit some stationary object ... trees, poles, cars, bridges, houses, retaining wall, and was killed or injured. That is the real facts, that smaller cars kill these drivers several times more often than a larger car with good crumple zones.

The facts are well reported: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/31/small-cars-kill/

"The scientific evidence on car size and safety is overwhelming. The National Academy of Sciences, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Congressional Budget Office, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and numerous academic studies are all in agreement on this point: Higher miles-per-gallon requirements lead to more deaths from car accidents."

 

The facts are well reported: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123993371229527975.html

"Small Cars Are Dangerous Cars -- Fuel economy zealots can kill you.
That difference is reflected in the real world. The death rate in minis in multi-vehicle crashes is almost twice as high as that of large cars. And in single-vehicle crashes, where there's no oversized second vehicle to blame, the difference is even greater: Passengers in minis suffered three times as many deaths as in large cars."



 

The facts are well reported: http://news.investors.com/072611-579462-dcs-deadly-fuel-mileage-push.aspx

"Other U.S. automakers slashed the size of cars in the late 1970s and early 1980s to meet federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. (Trucks, vans and SUVs are regulated under a separate, less restrictive standard.)

This had deadly consequences. The National Research Council found that the CAFE standards cost up to 2,600 lives in 1993 alone. A USA Today report concluded that CAFE had killed 46,000 people by 1999."

 

 

The facts are well reported: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/296998/cafe-standards-kill-deroy-murdock


"According to the Brookings Institution, a 500-lb weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 to 19,500 per year. USA Today found that 7,700 deaths occurred for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards. Smaller cars accounted for up to 12,144 deaths in 1997, 37% of all vehicle fatalities for that year.

How many deaths have resulted? Depending on which study you choose, the total ranges from 41,600 to 124,800. To that figure we can add between 352,000 and 624,000 people suffering serious injuries, including being crippled for life. In the past thirty years, fuel standards have become one of the major causes of death and misery in the United States — and one almost completely attributable to human stupidity and shortsightedness."

 

The facts are well reported: http://www.nationalcenter.org/TPRegulations.html

* CAFE regulations kill Americans. Passengers in small cars die at twice the rate of those in large cars when accidents occur. Studies demonstrate that regulations mandating a 27.5 MPG standard have caused a 14-27% fatality increase. If the standard becomes 40 MPG, fatalities will increase by 30-60%: 75,000-149,000 people will die needlessly during the first decade following implementation.

* CAFE regulations kill jobs. The standard of 27.5 MPG has cost over 200,000 American jobs (many transferred to Japan). The Federal Trade Commission estimates that raising the standard from 27.5 MPG would result in a loss of 100,200 more U.S. jobs; higher standards still more.

* CAFE regulations raise prices. At 27.5 MPG there is a "shadow tax" of $1,026 per MPG on Ford automobiles and $657 per MPG for GM cars. At a 28.5 MPG standard, the shadow tax rises dramatically to $2050 per MPG on Ford cars and $1962 on GM cars.

 

The facts are well reported: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2008/03/25/173981/norquist-cafe/?mobile=nc

Norquist: 'More People Will Die' Because Bush Raised CAFE Standards


NORQUIST: But when they pass those CAFÉ standards, corporate average fuel economy standards, which mandate that cars all get an average of 20 or 30 miles to the gallon. Which means less metal in your car, more plastic in your car and higher death tolls when people run into trees. The government itself has calculated that around 2000 people a year are killed because of those CAFÉ standards and our cheerful government has just voted to increase them. To make cars lighter, smaller and more people will die. I mean 2000 people a year die because the environmentalists think that you should be in a smaller car because it offends their sensitivities that you're using gasoline. If they don't want to use gasoline, that's fine, but they have the right to tell lower income people, you can't afford a larger, safer car.

 

And with that, I've asserted that we should give the Darwin Award to the CAFE folks, not just because they are removing themselves from the gene pool, but because they are removing a much larger population from the gene pool that are stupid enough to ignore thae safety facts about smaller lighter cars.

 

akwaman
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A lot of energy misdirected.
akwaman   9/5/2012 9:11:36 AM
If we could just harness the power of Totally_Lost and his talent for overstating the obvious, I think we could solve all our energy problems in this country.  The shark attack rate goes up on days when ice cream sales are high, so we should probably stop selling ice cream to save lives.  The truth of the matter is this (and I won't spend all day on it) that deaths on the highways overall is going down, but deaths increase in the summertime, so we should probably no allow people to go on vacation in the summer.                         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year   Here are the simple facts:  Deaths are decreasing on our highways due to many factors, one of which is safety standards, which are not dismissed, but are an integral part of the design process, maybe it is the safety standards that we should blame, not the CAFE standards. Let's not blame Peter for what Paul did.  There are many ways to skin a cat, some, and some are included in this article.  Included in another article in this publication are the top 10 plug-ins and hybrids and few of them are small. If we have a safety problem with cars, then the safety standards should be raised accordingly.  Maybe cars shouldn't be able to go 100+ mph, there are no speed limits that high, to cite just one example of how we really don't care about safety.  I just saw a video of a woman in an SUV, the pedal got stuck and she was racing at over 100mph down the highway for many miles, very dangerous.  I have other things to do today, but to put it simply, people need to be pushed, or there would be no progress.  You have to crack of few eggs to make an omlette.  How many lives have been lost in the war over oil? How many people are killed on oil rigs?  How much wildlife do we have to kill with oil spills?  Making excuses is for teenagers, not adults.  If people excelled on their own we would not need coaches and teachers to push us to be better.  The automotive industry has shown us how lazy and complacent they can be when little is expected.  There are many ways of designing cars and increasing gas milage safely, to blame a not-so-hard-to-reach standard for increased deaths on the highway, is misdirected.  To take the side of the automotive industry who always says "We can't do that", is weak.  Get out from under your rock and jump on the progress bandwagon.  Excuse, excuse, excuse.  If we really want to save lives in automobiles, we would tackle the saftety standards, outlaw alcohol, have tougher driving tests, make older people take driving and eye tests more often, I could go on all day.  Let's put blame where it belongs, and stop making excuses (T_L).

Totally_Lost
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
Totally_Lost   9/5/2012 9:48:03 AM
The record is clear ... CAFE forces the production of smaller cars that have a long history of killing and injuring people every day, despite significant increases in safety standards to minimize the loss of life after the fact. There is not a magic solution to reducing excessively high decellaration rates in small cars without substantial crumple zones, and small cabins do not provide physical room to "ride down" an impact.

The only solution to this safety problem is to take the small cars off the road, and discard CAFE regulations as written today. Or to tax small cars to recover the full cost that the loss of lives and high injury costs have on society and high costs everyone else pays in taxes for the government paid services for injured and disabled. No amount of oil savings is worth these direct and indirect costs.

Again ... the topic is this loss of life and high injury rate problem ... not the dozens of other drivel subjects that you continue to troll with. Children ignore problems like this, not responsible adults. Children and reasoning impaired adults lack the ability to understand difficult problems, responsible engineers face the facts. Maybe we should create a special tax for clueless envirnomentalists, to pay this huge cost of govenment services for those injured and disabled by CAFE driven small car accidents.

akwaman
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Gold
Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
akwaman   9/5/2012 11:57:33 AM
To assume (incorrectly) that any one particular factor is solely to blame in a complicated problem is very narrow minded.  To ignore the facts that deaths on our highways is actually going down is ignorant.  To assume (incorrectly) that your (Totally_Lost) solution is the only one is like talking to a child that only has a small grasp on a big picture.  Stop letting your love for oil and crappy automotive technology prevent you from finding different solutions.  To assume that the only way to solve the MPG problem is by making smaller unsafe cars is about as weak an argument as you have ever made.  You obviously need to do more research and make less excuses.  When the oil runs out  or people can't pay for it, and people die in the winter because they can't afford to heat their house, or the oil isn't there, we can and will blame small-minded people like T_L.  Like I said before, there are many factors leading to deaths on the highway, and driver error is the biggest one.  The rate of death would fall if people didn't get drunk, fall asleep, lose control of their vehicles, drive in unsafe conditions at unsafe speeds, or many other REAL reasons that people are killed on the road.  Hundreds of people are killed each year on oil rigs, and many more injured.  We lost almost 5,000 people to the Iraq war.  Automotive manufacturers are lazy, the 70's and 80's proved that.  Instead of using technology to improve the gas milage (at the time it was 27mpg... weak even then), they took the cheap shortcut of just making bad cars.  I don't blame standards for that, I blame whoever was in charge of those companies taking shortcuts instead of making progress using technology, and paying attention to safety.  It is stupid to think, that in America, we would all be forced to drive the same size cars to lower the safety risk.  We would have to do away with motorcycles and make it against the law to ride your bicycle down the street too.  How do your CAFE standard arguments make it safer for motorcycles and bicyclists?  I guess maybe they should stay off the road and make way for your SUV... Life is dangerous, there are many things that can mame and kill you, off the road. With an attitude like Totally_Lost's, we will never make progress, we will run out of oil sooner, we will pay out the nose for that gas we can find, we will remain hostage to the oil cartel, and people will STILL die on our roads.  It really dissapoints me to see a guy, who claims to be an engineer, claims to hold the holy grail of hybrid technology, and wastes his life making excuses for an industry that doesn't need help making excuses, instead of designing better stuff.  Less talk, less excuses, more designing.  P.S.  Totally_Lost:  If I really thought you wanted to accomplish something with your banter, I would spend more time discussing details, but you and your closed mind are done learning.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out that smaller cars are more deadly in high-speed accidents.  I say stop making excuses and drive slow enough to stay in control.  If people didn't drive so bad, there wouldn't be as many deaths.  I am in my mid 40's and I have driven over 1 million miles in my life and have killed no one, and have no accidents attributed to me, also, my car has not gone out and killed anyone on it's own, either.  Better drivers = safer roads.

Totally_Lost
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
Totally_Lost   9/5/2012 4:07:12 PM
LOL ... a LOT more trolling trying to change the subject and a LOT more childish reasoning ignoring the hard facts ...

Totally_Lost
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
Totally_Lost   9/5/2012 10:21:50 AM
Maybe the solution is to revoke insurance, medicare, medicaid, and social security benifits for those that are injured or disabled while driving or riding in a small unsafe cars. And to revoke surviors benefits for the families of those killed or disabled in small unsafe cars.

And then post a surgeon general warning directly in front of the driver (on the steering wheel) and directly in front of each passenger on the dash or back of the seat in front of them that says:

"WARNING - the risk of death and injury in small cars is several times higher than larger safe cars. If killed or injured while in this car you accept the full responsibility for your actions, and there will be no insurance coverage or governmental assistance for death, injuries, or disabilities resulting from an accident in this car".

That way each person is free to make an informed choice, and the rest of us that are willing to pay for a safe car, do not have to pay higher insurance rates, and higher taxes, for those stupid enough to ignore the warnings, and insist on driving small unsafe cars.

akwaman
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
akwaman   9/5/2012 4:12:15 PM
This is a study of the studies mentioned earlier about how CAFE standards kill people.  I will let it speak for itself.  It turns out that the evidence does not show the implications that were claimed in those studies.

http://www-cta.ornl.gov/cta/Publications/Reports/TRB_05_1336_AhmadGreene.pdf

Here is the abstract:

Since 1975, the fuel economy of passenger cars and light trucks has been regulated by the Corporate

Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, established during the energy crises of the 1970s. Calls to

increase fuel economy are usually met by a fierce debate on the effectiveness of the CAFE standards and

their impact on highway safety. A seminal study of the link between CAFE and traffic fatalities was

published by Crandall and Graham in 1989. They linked higher fuel economy levels to decreases in

vehicle weight, and correlated the decline in new car weight with about a 20 percent increase in occupant

fatalities. The time-series available to them, 1947 to 1981, includes only the first four years of fuel

economy regulation calling into question any statistical relationship estimated over such a short period.

This paper reexamines the relationship between U.S light duty vehicle fuel economy and highway

fatalities from 1966 to 2002. Cointegration analysis reveals that the stationary linear relationships

between the average fuel economy of passenger cars and light trucks and highway fatalities are negative:

higher mpg is significantly correlated with fewer fatalities. Log-log models are not stable and tend to

produce statistically insignificant (negative) relationships between fuel economy and traffic fatalities.

These results do not definitively establish a negative relationship between light-duty vehicle fuel

economy and highway fatalities, rather they demonstrate that national aggregate statistics cannot support

the assertion that increased fuel economy has led to increased traffic fatalities.

Totally_Lost
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
Totally_Lost   9/5/2012 4:46:08 PM
First, the primary premise behind the CAFE supporters position, is that oil is so scarce, that we should be saving it today, so we will not run out tomorrow and our world will come to an end ... the peak oil scare. The secondary premise is trying lower CO2 carbon foot prints.

The falacy in both these positions, is oil producing countries will continue to export oil as much as possible, to gain hard currency to balance their economies trade, and invest in other markets for the day the oil is gone. What you THINK you are SAVING, will just be purchased and consumed elsewhere in the world, at a lower price with lower US demand, and probably turn into CO2 anyway. You can not save, what you do not own and control.

Mean while other places in the world, with out CAFE expenses, have thriving oil consuming populations and industries that are running with lower over all costs, and undercutting our industries, so we lose even more jobs. Think China. If you want to correct the current balance of trade issues with oil and China, do so directly, not with a flawed indirect plan based on a falacy that has other outcomes.

This is kinda like walking past a $100 bill laying on the sidewalk in plain view in front of a major retail store, and childishly thinking "I'll save it by leaving it sitting right there till I need it", Only a child would be surprised when it's not there in a week or two when they return to the store ... any oil you think you are saving, for 10, 50, 100 years in the future, simply isn't going to be there either -- someone else in the world is going to snatch it up, and use it.

So ...you are not saving anything at all ... you are just handing it to someone else in the world at a cheap price today. With lower prices, people will just make more trips, and use more anyway. AND you are helping drive the US into balance of trade economic failure with artifically high costs (insurance, medical, and disability)  that are not doing any real good, as China continues to take manufacturing jobs and exports from the US.

Let markets deal with this naturally, because as the price rides up early, so will the investment money for alternative technologies ... which include higher price oil extraction from shale oil, LNG, and other energy resources including renewables.

And I'm also aware of minority view studies that assert that man made gobal warming is not happening either.

That really old 2004 study you quote attempts to decouple CAFE from injuries, which is a minority view point that is not the concensus in the newer studies referenced from the last five years, since it doesn't address the recient hard facts of relatively poor mini and micro car safety.

akwaman
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Gold
Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
akwaman   9/6/2012 9:30:06 AM
You are probably right Totally_Lost.  The battle is lost before we have even begun the fight.  Let's throw up our arms and hang our heads in defeat... before we fight?  You are so right! The rest of the world is jumping off a cliff, so WE SHOULD TOO!!  You are so right... the fact that oil companies pay for studies that will support their business view, so we should ignore it when something comes along to dispute it... convincingly.  You are right, we should make as much money on crappy cars as we can today and use up all the oil really fast, because we don't want to let all those 3rd world countries get that oil!

It is not obvious to some, that oil companies spend countless millions of dollars to fight things like CAFE standards and Global Warming and Sea level rise.  They HAVE to believe these things are harmless, as a company, otherwise they would be a sadistic company knowingly getting rich while harming their customers and/or the environment.  Tobacco companies have the same problem.  THEY HAVE TO BELIEVE that their product is causing no harm. YOU DO NOT.

You are so right, again! The report I just showed you only debunks the PREVIOUS reports to 2004, showing that reports stating "CAFE standards kill" don't really have the evidence to support such claims, and the actual facts may lead to the opposite conclusion.  I guess since then, there have been more reports that need de-bunking. 

By setting an example for the world, Americans can make the world a better place.  The world follows our example, so we have to set the right one. Your attitude of "Johnny is doing it so why can't I" needs to be left on the grade-school playground.  The fact that you state that the things in your first paragraph are falacies says a lot about your distorted view of reality, and does nothing to lend credibility to what you say.

That is probably the most ridiculous story (about the $100 dollar bill) I have ever heard.  It goes against human nature and common sense.  It makes no connection to reality and makes no sense and makes no point. Stick to facts, you don't make up good stories, your facts aren't always that good either (T_L). 

I'm aware of minority reports claiming global warming isn't happening, I'm quite sure that you would believe those minority reports. LOL

"Peak oil scare"... just shows that you haven't read any projections about the limited supply of oil... oil companies don't even deny that.

 

Totally_Lost
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
Totally_Lost   9/6/2012 11:50:52 AM
My point is that India, China, and other developing nations have NO intention to significantly back off oil consumption in the short term ... as Oil is a critical limited resource, that they are going to use to their best advantage to grow their economies before the world is forced into a free fall recession as fossil fuel energy prices run up with the depletion of reserves. They are using the profits from cheap fossil fuels to build a dominate position in alternative energy, and other technologies while they have this limited one time chance ... certainly china ... which is one heck of a good one time end game strategy to dominate America long term.

The choices out of this for America, include playing the end game the same way with development of difficult to process oil reserves, like oil shale, that might by some reports, push the oil end game out to about 100 years from now, which environmentalists opposed to strip mining are blocking.

Natural gas is also finite, and probably has peaked as well or will shortly, with late life production technologies like fracking that are also on the environmentalists hit list to stop.

The easiest alternative energy to harness for electricity is large scale hydro power that is also on the environmentalist hit list.

The primary technology out of this problem is fission or fusion based power, which are also high on the environmentalists hit list.

Most people thought environmentalists were supporting large scale solar and wind power, but it turns out even those technologies have a very difficult approval history when you start talking about installing solar collection panels covering many square miles of open space, or installing thousands of wind turbines across open space. A wind farm near here in Colorado struggled for several years to get off the ground, and was finally successfully blocked, and the project cancelled to the joy of many not wanting the visual polution and noise polution in their back yards.

So I find the $100 bill analogy pretty accurate. Environmentalists, like children, fight like children, without helping plan a workable long term solution to America's and the worlds energy problem. Like children they believe that you can save something you do not own, and that because they can see it, it's somehow theirs to save and use in the future. So, just like the $100 bill, it's only yours if you take it ... maybe, as it really did belong to someone else. Well, the problem is the oil that environmentalists want to save, does belong to someone else, and they are selling it to the highest bidder ... and American environmentalists believe that if they can block American bidders from buying it, that it will not be sold and they can save the resource .... sorry but that simply isn't happening ... the oil is sold and used every day around the world and American environmentalists are not going to stop that (at least not without a world domination war, that thankfully isn't likely to happen because a lot of environmentalists are also pacifists). On the other hand, it's not out of the question that a 3rd world war will happen over energy reserves as fossil fuels decline and run up in price, and send world economies into free fall.

Fission or fusion based power is the likely choice to prevent a 3rd world war over energy, which right now is being blocked world wide by environmentalists.

So ... at some point either the environmentalists need to stop bickering between themselves as they block nearly every energy solution and choose the least harmful solution that will work, or America is likely to become an economically crippled 3rd rate nation inside the next 90 years.

One conspiracy theory is that China/Russia/Islam/Boggeymen are covertly funding environmentalists groups to ensure America's complete economic failure by blocking domestic access to all energy sources necessary to remain competitive as fossil fuels are depleted.

I'd rather believe is more about stupidity, childishness, ignorance, and the lack of strong leadership in government and industry to bring the environmentalists into reality and participate in a long term mutually agreed energy development policy.

Totally_Lost
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
Totally_Lost   9/6/2012 12:51:45 PM
So, let's get back on topic. As you state it "By setting an example for the world, Americans can make the world a better place.  The world follows our example, so we have to set the right one."

The example that CAFE sets, is that it's ok to kill people by the tens of thousands, and injure people by the hundreds of thousands, producing unsafe smaller cars, to save oil, for someone else in the world to use.

The example is that American's are childishly stupid believing they can save oil that they don't even own, buy refusing to bid for it on the open market.

The example is that American's are grid locked by environmentalists, and are unable to develop a mutually agreeable long term energy policy to avoid complete economic failure as energy prices run up during the next 10-30 years with oil depletion.

The example is that American's lack the leadership to get anything right these days, because of democracy stiffled by minority views that are without basis in fact.

I personally believe it's wrong to force the production of unsafe cars, trying to save oil, that we can not save.

I personally believe it's wrong to be the "Baby Killers" by promoting smaller cars with high G-forces in decelleration during crashes that kill, in the Holy Grail "fight" to improve fuel efficiency at the cost of lives of children.

I'm certainly not throwing my arms up in the air ... I'm simply being realistic, accepting the depletion of oil is a certainty, and accepting that there are a lot of less than optimal solutions ahead, and that it's time to start making those hard choices BEFORE we lack the economic ability to even construct alternative solutions to oil.

But we do not need to kill our children, and our citizens, trying to break dependence on oil. That is NOT the example we should be setting for the world.

Totally_Lost
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Re: A lot of energy misdirected.
Totally_Lost   9/6/2012 1:12:49 PM
You state "I guess since then, there have been more reports that need de-bunking."

Did you consider that the 2004 report was actually de-bunked between 2005-2012 by the many concensus reports documenting the poor safety of smaller cars? The science and credentials behind those reports are not small minority view players.

Previously I presented:

The facts are well reported: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/31/small-cars-kill/

"The scientific evidence on car size and safety is overwhelming. The National Academy of Sciences, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Congressional Budget Office, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and numerous academic studies are all in agreement on this point: Higher miles-per-gallon requirements lead to more deaths from car accidents."

akwaman
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Archaic Thinking...
akwaman   9/6/2012 2:44:25 PM
NO RATINGS
What a caveman, (Totally_Lost) your views on environmentalists is skewed so badly, and your anger towards them makes you sound like a crazed Oil Tycoon. Your conspiracy theories are amoung the craziest I have ever heard.  Get a life and stop being such a bigot.  Your $100 dollar story shows your disconnection from reality :P

Did you even read your own article?  Your article in the Washington times (written in 2009)refers to the older studies prior to 2002 that were debunked in 2004.  It only refers to the number of deaths in 2004-2005, not the cause, it is only inferred.  

This from the article is close to true: "The question is one of simple physics. Smaller, lighter cars do not offer occupants the same protection as larger, heavier vehicles when they collide with other objects."

Also, from the article you refused to read:

"Opponents of government regulation of fuel economy often cite downweighting as the primary reason why CAFE standards should not be increased. A lightweight vehicle poses less risk to other road users, while a heavier vehicle provides less risk to its occupants. Some evidence exists that proportionally reducing the mass of all vehicles, or even just the heaviest cars and light trucks, could have a beneficial effect on safety. 

On the other hand, increasing fuel economy does not necessarily require decreasing weight."

 

 

 

Totally_Lost
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Re: Archaic Thinking...
Totally_Lost   9/6/2012 3:04:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Except for the fact that deaths in single car accidents, and accidents with another smaller vechicle account for a substantial majority of the deaths and injuries. Those are the critical facts, which are not desputed, and continue to be the subject of recent testing in the last 5 years.

The smoke and mirrors by SUV hating environmentalists, is focusing on a much smaller number of deaths, where larger vechicles are also involved. The facts are, if the safety for single and similar sized car collisions is improved, it will also improve the safety for impacts with larger cars/trucks/suv.

Show me a report that de-bunks the increased risk of deaths and injuries in mini and micro cars, involved in single car accidents, and accidents with other cars under 2,200lbs, that directly addresses the science behind testing done in the last 5 years.

Totally_Lost
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So why is it ok to kill kids and babies to reduce oil consumption?
Totally_Lost   9/6/2012 4:11:02 PM
NO RATINGS
ok ... akwaman  .... once again time to tone down the directed personal attacks .... I too can play that game well.

I'm amazed that you think, killing people and kids WITH SMALLER UNSAFE CARS,  is necessary so the rest of the world can benefit from the use of oil that Americans do not use.

akwaman
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Gold
Setting it straight... again
akwaman   9/6/2012 7:33:50 PM
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I happen to love SUVs.  I used to own a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it was one of the best vehicles I ever owned (218,000 miles on it when I sold it still running), and one of my favorites.  It actually got 25mpg on the highway, and combined city/hwy about 20 MPG (1993 model).  Of course to commute around in, I bought a Toyota, but I don't know why, because it didn't get much better gas milage at over 1000 pounds lighter.  Pitiful, and it shows that there is a lot of wiggle room in the MPG department, the automotive companies just need a push.  The avg now is just above where they said that they couldn't go years ago, but the deaths on the highway are going down and have been for some time... Hmmmm...   We also know that reducing the speed limit to 55 on the highway will save lives, but we like to drive fast, it's easier to blame CAFE standards, which, by the way did not increase between 1980 and now.  30 years and the industry finally go there, kicking and screaming, and the yearly motor vehicle deaths actually wne down over this period.  SO... the reality of it is the industry DID make the current CAFE standard of 27.5, AND the deaths have gone DOWN.  Totally_Lost is again totally out of gas:  The evidence just does not support that theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

"The number of deaths – and deaths relative to the total population – have declined over the last two decades. From 1979 to 2005, the number of deaths per year decreased 14.97% while the number of deaths per capita decreased by 35.46%. Traffic fatalities in 2010 were the lowest in 62 years."

And... no problem, stop making outrageous and unsupportable commentary designed to incite, and I wont' call you out for it.  I don't defend anyone killing kids, that is your fantasy and just plain stupid (for lack of a better word).  My baby and wife were in our first Prius when it was totaled in a 45mph accident, with a Dodge Caravan.  when I saw the car I thought they would both be dead, but both walked away.  How many people are killed in SUVs that roll over because they are top-heavy or in a minor accident?  Maybe we should get rid of top-heavy trucks because they are they are not safe and are dangerous for the smaller cars.  Should we outlaw left hand turns because people are killed all the time by this problem? Out-lawing left hand turns will save gas and lives.   Maybe we should put governors on cars so they can't go over the speed limit, or automatically stop at red lights or stop signs.  Maybe we should look deeper into auto deaths than the CAFE standards. Let's face it, the roads will never be truly safe.  I think that automotive companies should not cop out by making lightweight unsafe cars, and figure out the multitude of other options that can increase gas mileage without sacrificing safety.  They should take all the millions they use to fight the standards and make biased studies, and hire more and/or better engineers and make safer more economical cars that Americans can be proud to own, and won't have to stick a mortgage sized part of our paychecks into the tank.  How about that for a boost in the economy, people have hundreds of more dollars a month to spend on stuff. 

Please do not tell me one more time that big cars squish small cars, that's a dead horse, everyone here in this forum has had physics 101.  You keep defending and agreeing with reports that are designed to fight CAFE standards - not get to a real solution to safety on the road.  Your basic premise (CAFE standards kill people) is your opinion.  You think CAFE standards kill people, and I think that bad driving and bad car design are the culprits to death.  I also think you make too many excuses for automotive companies that pander to the oil industry.  They spend large amounts of money funding research to fight any law that forces them to put out safer more econimical cars, and you are sucking up that propaganda and propagating it, just like a smoker believes the reports that tobacco is not harmful, because you know the tobacco companies want to know the truth... lol.

Totally_Lost
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Re: Setting it straight... again
Totally_Lost   9/6/2012 9:04:29 PM
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ROTFL as you wildly point fingers every were else while supporting CAFE regulations that kill people, kids, and babies ... I have NEVER told you big cars squish small cars, another of your fabrications to point fingers away from your position. You have frequently trolled with that assertion.

Three primary variables in fuel economy: Drivetrain efficiency, Vehicle Mass, Vehicle Aerodynamic drag profile.

Drivetrain efficiency gains from hybrid technologys like the Prius, are very expensive, raising the price about five to fifteen thousand dollars depending on vehicle size and electric range needed. That would nearly double the price of a small economy car today, and about a 50% increase for a luxury car.

Vehicle mass directly affects the energy and fuel needed for stop and go driving, as well as operation where large elevation changes are necessary. In general, less mass means higher fuel economy and lower production costs, unless exotic's like carbon fiber are used.

Vehicle drag profile directly affects the energy and fuel needed to operate on the highways, and is a relatively minor issue at lower city street speeds. In general, a smaller drag profile, generally means higher fuel economy and a smaller vehicle (and smaller mass) as well.

Given consumer sticker price adversion to small expensive cars, the latter two options are the most likely to be used to meet the more agressive CAFE rules.

Excellent engineering can minimize deaths and injuries to some extent, but as mini and micro cars become common, there is simply not enought crumple zone space in the frame, and small stiff/strong cabin structures do not provide the crash "ride down" to protect the occupants at speeds above 35mph. The excellent engineering in the Smart Car has shown excellent results for a car of it's size, and still is very very unsafe in comparison to a typical full sized car at speeds above 35mph. That was clear in the IIHS testing where the dummies pushed through the air bag deployment and contacted the interior, due to lack of "ride down" space in the cabin, and lack of crumple zones in the front frame.

If there is a safety mandate, effectively removing/limiting Vehicle mass and drag profile reductions from the table, forcing hybrid solutions on small cars would double their price. In some cases, mini and micro cars like the Mini's and Smart cars, the frame and cabin would have to be scaled up for safety as well, increasing their cost. Few will be sold as people dig gas hogs from the scrap yards and keep them on the streets until oil prices shoot thru the roof. Effectively defeating CAFE regulations.

Side impacts with trees, poles, and parked cars as someone drifts out of their lane continue to kill. Ditto when someone runs a light or stop sign and is hit from the side. Again we see that smaller lighter cars, have a much higher risk of death and injury.

Small cars kill people, kids and babies ... that is not worth reducing oil consumption with CAFE mandates. Larger cars have significantly better protection against death and injury, at the price of a little more oil use.

As for the reduction in deaths during the last two years, there are a lot of reasons other than car safety at play here. Agressive crackdowns on DUI, seatbelts, cell phone use, combined with fewer miles driven because of poor economy, high unempolyment, and high fuel prices are all factors since 2009 when the economy bottomed out. Add to that mild winters with less snow, rain, ice, and less rain in the summers, which frequently contribute to accidents where driving to fast for conditions is the primary cause listed for the accident.

As I've suggested before, doing a lot of research in the NASS database, pretty much shows that ... and allows one to examine each accident leading to death and serious injury in detail. It becomes pretty obvious after reading a few hundred single vehicle accident reports. For smaller cars its the impacts with trees, poles, and stationary cars kill a lot of smaller car occupants at relatively slow speeds as compared to larger cars.

Do the research: http://www.nhtsa.gov/NASS

Then do the field work, regularly visit local junk yards, and look at the cars that have hit trees, poles, and other stationary objects. In many states, they will still have plates on them, and you can see the year they were junked (last year with valid tags). You can then find those cars in NASS when they are old enough, to get the details.

I spent 20 years in junk yards regularly searching for car and truck parts for myself and others ... I've seen thousands of highly deformed cars, that obviously killed someone.

Do your homework.

akwaman
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More than one way to skin a cat...
akwaman   9/7/2012 10:47:18 AM
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No wildly pointing fingers, they were trained specifically on the real issues that cause accidents, standards do not kill people, people kill people or themselves, the same way that guns don't kill people, people kill people.  If people didn't run into things, then nobody would get killed.  I think if you are concerned about safety, you would be trying to avert the causes of accidents and prevent the causes, rather than blame CAFE standard and think the problem will go away if we allow the automotive industry to remain technologically stagnant and ignore the issue of limited oil supply and the stanglehold that it has on our society. Many people with kids, like myself won't put them in a really small car, it's common sense to protect your children, and if you ever tried to put a baby in a sub-compact, you know that that is not the car for a kid, for another reason... your back.  Thank you for your deep analysis of the important factors in fuel economy, but your argument only accounts for three factors, and ignores the engine size, efficiency, and power, which are integral parts of the equation and just as important, if not more so.  It has been proven, that making the ICE more efficient, and ignoring the other 3 factors you mention, can improve fuel economy.  It worries me that a guy a smart as you, Totally_Lost, would ignore so many factors, just to support the unsupportable notion that CAFE standards kill people, and the only way to reach CAFE standard is to make smaller unsafe cars. The evidence does not agree with that, because cars have been getting larger and heavier, for a long time and yet the CAFE standards ARE being successfully reached, fuel economy is going up, AND deaths on the roads are going down.  You are right that there are many reasons that the deaths are going down, the same way that there are many other reasons that the MPG ratings are going up, other than car size.

Here is one of YOUR ideas to increase MPG and not reduce size and weight: Your idea of adding a transmission to the hybrid to increase the efficiency, it would certainly help with elevation issues, but it can also help the efficiencies of all electrics (up to 15%).  Electric motors don't need transmissions as much as ICE, but with them you can reduce the size of the motor, and increase power and range.  Of course you add weight with a transmission, so they have to be lightweight.  This is exactly the kind of thing that when introduced will allow the CAFE standards to be met, without making cars smaller, along with a multitude of other tweeks to the ICE engine.  Here's one, that the industry is ready to adopt: Add stop/start technolgy on ALL cars, so we don't waste gas sitting at stop lights and traffic jams, this would also increase mpg ratings without reducing size, and save countless millions of gallons of gas.  The answer is not one thing only, it's many things, and getting rid of CAFE standards are not going to solve safety issues.

I have spent plenty of time in junkyards, but I will not be correlating crunched cars to their entries in the NASS database.  If you do that, you have way too much time on your hands.  Funny... I went to the site, and they let you search for cases according to a variety of accident causes, aggression, speed, drugs, alcohol...  I was looking for the field that allowed you to search for deaths caused by CAFE standards, and it wasn't an option... :)

Question:  You complain about all the inefficiencies of hybrids when they go up a mountain.  Why don't you mention that going down the mountain at infinity mpg and charging the battery the entire time, puts the efficiency - off the scales - on the way down? (What goes up must come down...)

BTW, the overall trend of deaths due to automobile accidents has been decreasing for about 40 years, not 2 like you mention. CAFE standards have been in place since the 70's.  I'm suprised that you haven't tried to make the correlation between the fact that cars are getting bigger and deaths going down.  Of course, with that fact, your theory of CAFE standards forcing the cars to be smaller would not hold water...

 

Totally_Lost
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Re: More than one way to skin a cat...
Totally_Lost   9/7/2012 11:23:55 AM
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@alwaman writes: "BTW, the overall trend of deaths due to automobile accidents has been decreasing for about 40 years, not 2 like you mention."

The facts are a bit different for the last 20 years:

Year    Deaths
1991    41,508  
1992    39,250  
1993    40,150  
1994    40,716  
1995    41,817  
1996    42,065  
1997    42,013  
1998    41,501  
1999    41,717  
2000    41,945  
2001    42,196  
2002    43,005  
2003    42,643  
2004    42,836  
2005    43,443  
2006    42,642  
2007    41,059  
2008    37,261  
2009    33,808                  
2010    32,885

Note that deaths have remained fairly constant until the economy crashed in the fall of 2008

akwaman
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Re: More than one way to skin a cat...
akwaman   9/7/2012 11:35:00 AM
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I used data covering 40 years, including the 70's that you bring into question, and not just a set of data that fits your argument (It still doesn't fit your argument).  I'm not suprised that you would do that.  Even in your 20 year set of data, 14 years of the 20 were years that the % change of deaths was going down.!?  Better to look at the chart at the top of the page that shows the data relative to the population, than the data from the chart you took a sample set out of showing actual deaths, which still disagrees with your assumptions.

Totally_Lost
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Re: More than one way to skin a cat...
Totally_Lost   9/7/2012 11:59:53 AM
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@akwaman writes: "I used data covering 40 years"

And I posted data that pointed out the deaths stopped dropping dramatically after the safety improvements following CAFE downsizing in the 1980's had all been implemented ... and have been relatively flat for the last 20 years. The fact is that roughly 40,000 people a year die, and that is just wrong.

And during that time every state has agressively adopted strict DUI enforcement, where in the 1970's many drunks were told to slow down and drive carefully, and sent on their way. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) founded in 1980 changed that during the 80's and 90's. Today, every major drinking holiday has agressive checkpoints deployed, which was enabled by a Supreme Court ruling led by MADD in 1990. http://www.madd.org/

Since DUI's were a significant factor in the majority of deaths, and remain so today, the agressive changes in DUI enforcement have made the single largest effect on automotive safety. The biggest change is 3 strikes laws, that take cars away from repeat drivers, and promote jail time after the 2nd offense.

Now the NASS database does have a DUI column, and that IS data you can check.

Totally_Lost
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Re: More than one way to skin a cat...
Totally_Lost   9/7/2012 11:35:48 AM
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@akwaman writes: "standards do not kill people, people kill people or themselves, the same way that guns don't kill people, people kill people.  If people didn't run into things, then nobody would get killed.  I think if you are concerned about safety, you would be trying to avert the causes of accidents and prevent the causes, rather than blame CAFE standard and think the problem will go away"

Your standards are way out of touch with our society.

Defective baby cribs that kill infants, are defective baby cribs. By your standard it would be the fault of who? By our standards we force a change in the design, so that kids do not die. The fact is that we finally forced drop down rail designs off the market, that were killing kids.

Defective toys that  kill children, are defective toys. By your standard it would be the fault of who? By our standards we force a change in the design, so that kids do not die from the toys. The fact is that we have forced hundreds of toys off the market that injure, choke and poison our kids.

Defective cars that kill children, are defective cars. By your standard the car isn't at fault. By our standards would should force a change in the design, so that kids do not die from being occupants in cars unnecessarily ... nor should their parents.

The point is that people are not perfect, and will make mistakes. When we design things that will kill them during common mistakes, we have failed as a society, if there were alternative designs that have significantly fewer deaths and injuries.

The entire work place safety regulations are built on this premise ... if you have three equipment design choices, choose the choice that will injure operators the least, and if possible, NEVER AT ALL.

Why do you belive saving a few barrels of oil is worth killing babies, kids, and their parents?

Totally_Lost
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Re: More than one way to skin a cat...
Totally_Lost   9/7/2012 11:51:39 AM
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@akwaman writes: "It has been proven, that making the ICE more efficient, and ignoring the other 3 factors you mention, can improve fuel economy."

Actually, making an ICE more efficient is part of "Drive Train Efficiency", as I previously discussed. ICE's today are highly optimal, nearing thermal efficiency limits (when you adjust for the other engine losses), that are hard limits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_efficiency

The new 2012 CAFE requires nearly doubling the fleet efficiency over it's term.

Gasoline ICE efficiency has been optimized for years, to the point that from 2012 forward, we are unlikely to see additional furture gasoline ICE efficiency improvements of more than 5-15% better than the best engines today. The best way improve efficiency is to switch the entire fleet to existing turbo diesel designs that are 30% more efficient than gas engines ... except for the problem that EPA regulations would have to relax NO3 emission limits. The new cleaner VW diesels are one good example. But we have a large group of environmentalists that hate diesels.

Currently heat and friction losses are the two largest efficiency issues, and with the exception of introducing ceramic based thermal barrier coatings (TBC) in the combustion chamber, they are pretty well optimized. Ceramics and Silicides are used in high performance engines, including some production cars, but they are expensive with only small increases in efficiency. An all ceramic engine is possible to seriously limit nearly all heat losses, but that technology would require a decade or more to mature.

Automotive fleet sizes/mass and aerodynamics have been optimized for years too.

There is a problem of diminising returns.

Either we abandon safety, or add electric motors and batteries to the design to create hybrids at a significant cost.

There isn't a free lunch here.

Totally_Lost
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Re: More than one way to skin a cat...
Totally_Lost   9/7/2012 12:17:48 PM
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@akwaman writes : "Question:  You complain about all the inefficiencies of hybrids when they go up a mountain.  Why don't you mention that going down the mountain at infinity mpg and charging the battery the entire time, puts the efficiency - off the scales - on the way down? (What goes up must come down...) "

Because fuel consumption for even a 1 mpg gas guzzlier can be made to zero, if you turn the engine off and let it coast down the hill.

That isn't rocket science, or even important, as most downhill runs are on long highway sections at speeds where the aerodynamic drag consumes most of the available Potential Energy (PE).  As a matter of highway design, this is critical so most cars will not have to ride the brakes all the way down.

For your Prius, which has a tiny battery pack with only about 600W-Hr usable because of SOC bounding limits, that translates into 600*3600=2160000 joules. PE in joules is mgh, where mass in kilograms (1500 for Prius+Driver+Fuel), gravity is 9.8, and height in meters. 2160000/(1500*9.8) = 146 meter change in grade assuming no other losses. That is nearly insigificant in the mountains where the elevation changes are an order of magnitude higher.

For a pure EV with a high efficiency motor/drive and large high capacity battery array, the numbers are better, and very usable for ski trips.  For the 386kg Aptera 2E with a 20KWHr battery pack (72Mj), that is 72000000/(500*9.8) = 14693m or 48205ft of PE assuming no other losses, which is two orders of magnitude better than a Prius. In the real world, both Hybrids and EV's have other losses.

For short downhill runs in city/urban areas, at slower speeds, the motor generator efficiency is significantly lower.

Hybrids with motors that are 80% efficient, drive electronics that are 80% efficient, and battery systems that are 80% efficient, the ability to capture potential energy during long down hill runs is very limited .... 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.8 = 51% ... getting that 51% back into Kenetic energy(KE) has all the same losses, so only 0.51 * 0.51 = 25% of the original PE can be turned back into either PE or KE later. The rest turned into heat in the motor, drive electronics, and battery during the braking or later accelleration.

This is why I said that high efficiency air core designs like the CSIRO solar racing motor, where the Motor efficiency is 98%, with high efficiency drive electronics, and low loss battery systems,  makes a huge difference. 0.98 * 0.95 * 0.91 = 84% efficient ... allowing 0.84 * 0.84 =72% of the PE to be recovered as either PE or KE.

That for the math impaired, is 288% more efficient for regenerative braking efficiency.

In both cases above, I'm assuming the speeds and accelleration/decelleration rates are held in the optimal band of the motor/generator. If faster or slower operation, or accelleration/decelleration is required, then the efficiencies may be significantly lower.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 3:20:21 PM
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When I purchased the manual 2000 TDI Beetle with 125K miles off ebay some 5 years ago, I flew to Atlanta the next afternoon to pick it up, and I had to be back in Colorado the next day. Due to weather, I had to come back via I40.So it was an all night trip with the bug on cruise control at 75-80mph, and a series of Flying J fuel stops. Mpg for each fillup was 46-48mpg over the 1,600 miles, which is pretty impressive, since there are few cars that can do that mpg at 80mph over a 1,600 mile trip. At reasonable posted speeds, I've pulled just over 50mpg on a round trip to Branson, where I was not in a hurry, and backed off to the 70-75 posted speeds. I haven't met a Prius owner yet that pulls similar numbers at highway speeds.

There are lots of Beetle and Jetta owners that routinely pull similar high numbers with manual transmission TDI's, just as Prius owners do with their hybrid "automatic". The big difference for me, is that the manual transmission TDI performs very well in the mountains, as well as, stop and go rush hour traffic, places where EV hybrids will be struggling because of traction motor efficency.

I selected the manual TDI, because my wife had a 60 mile round trip commute each day, where the typical surface speeds are a stop and go 45mph in town. She averaged 46mpg reliably for several years. My friends with a TDI Jetta do better, but I (and my wife who's car it is) think the Beetle is far more cool as a style statement.

Just for fun, check out

http://www.practicalenvironmentalist.com/automobiles/real-life-diesel-gas-mileage-wow.htm

http://thinkblue.vw.com/leaderboard/

 

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/29/2012 3:34:57 PM
Bob, that is the kind of stuff I would expect from someone in this forum.  BRAVO. It is obvious that Totally_Lost IS totally lost, and I hope I never have to use anything he has designed.  He is the kind of person that forgets about the past, like the 70's when we were held hostage as a country by OPEC, the same organization that people like Totally_Lost help with their antiquated ideas of how things should work.  We knew in the 70's that we need to get rid of oil, but some of us forgot, and history is destined to repeat itself if we forget the past.  We also knew in the 70's that slower speeds gets better gas milage, hence the Jimmy Carter 55mph law on our highways.  With that law he saved countless lives and saved this country a crapload of gasoline, a staggering number, and no one even had to give up their SUVs to do it.  Totally_Lost forgets about the 70's when you could SEE the pollution in nearly every big city in the country.  Do you think we are finished?  NO.  Do you think that companies purposely fixed the problem for us?  You would be a fool to think so.  We got there because government set the bar FOR THEM.  The case here is the same, we have a few people that want to stick their heads in the sand, forget about history, and take us back to the dark ages.  Go back to your cave in the mountain, Totally_Lost.  Most of us want a clean world to live in and safe water to drink and clean air to breathe.  We don't want Exxon or OPEC making our laws or pushing their bought-and-paid-for scientists to contradict common sense.  I'm not sure, but I think the altitude is getting to someone.  BTW, on a recent trip to Orlando, I got 58mpg on the trip, my Prius, oddly enough, gives me better gas mileage on the highway.  Around the city I only get 51,and that's ok, I'll take it.

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 3:46:10 PM
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well ah-whiny-man,

ROTHFL ..... totally clueless ...

ya know ... I like a clean environment too ... that's why I design wind power and HPV/EV products.

And you seem to think you are SOOOO special ... for what?

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 3:48:51 PM
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oohh ... ah-whiny-man,

you are special because you are so good at insulting others, rather than actually being productive at something ....

 

SOOO Special ..... yeah right .... orifice.

akwaman
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/29/2012 4:23:52 PM
I am sorry you are insulted by common sense, though I am not suprised.  Such a response of name calling is a sure sign of a weak case, certainly is not an intelligent response.  You seem smarter than that, but you were insulting and used name calling in your initial posts. You can whine all you want, but it doesn't make your point any more valid.  I do commend you efforts, if indeed that is true, towards wind power and EV technology, if what you say is really true, then this standard of 54.5 mpg should be easily attained, they just need to talk to you about how to fix their inefficiencies.  I don't know why you would oppose such a standard.  I also applaud any effort from anyone who puts their money on the line for progress.  I do not think that name calling is a very productive way to get your point across.  People will disagree, but part of the learning and communication process is listening.  You seem to have a real problem with hybrid technology, but it is here to stay:  http://www.autoblog.com/2007/07/16/hybrid-toyota-supra-wins-tokachi-24-hrs/

Totally_Lost
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Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 9:50:40 PM
@akwaman


Thank you for toning down your insults ... I politely warned that I can play that game too, well before carefully choosing how to join your game, since you thought it was so fun. BTW, what you think may be common sense, is really more like your lacking the experience and training to understand more difficult parts of the design problem. Believe me, there are a lot of good engineers that completely miss how to deal with these problems ... not because they are stupid or ignorant, but simply because this stuff isn't easy, or intuitive, and they lack the personal experience of designing in this field.

Actually, the nice part about these forums, is that there is a written record for people to review the facts about what was written. In my first several posts, there isn't any name calling despite the analyst and your self doing the "you are totally lost" insults. So, it's not nice to lie about your disrespectful actions in this forum, the record is clearly here to read. I did get tired of you purposeful insults, and thought it was time you started getting some of it back .... I'm glad it worked.


I also happen to believe that hybrids in many forms are the correct thing to do, it's just that serial hybrids using electric traction motor to move the vehicle from stop to an optimum speed is significantly less efficent than other choices. Again, if you read back, I clearly said serial hybrid is bad for startup, and parallel hybrid with a good transmission (CVT) is significantly more efficent if you use the same ICE and controls, as it completely removes the generator, and traction motor losses from startup and normal drive operation. A parallel hybrid allows for a significantly smaller ICE, as the electric traction motor can assist during high energy demand periods, while both the ICE and the electric traction motor are operating near peak efficency. It also allows for a smaller traction motor for assist, which improves efficencies by removing copper heating losses and cooling for the traction motor that is required with sustained operation, and less of a problem for intermittant assist.

Both the RFL and goverment papers address iron core eddy current losses, which are very difficult to design out of this class of traction motor without carefully understanding the pure physics issues well. RFL did about the best job I've seen to date for that class of motor. I prefer air core designs, but they are much more difficult to get up to 60KW because of cooling issues. For a smaller light HPV/EV that I'm working with it's not a problem, and allows building motors and drives with the exceptionally high CISRO efficencies. As long as you are designing for city street speeds, there are a number of very good tradeoffs to lower wieght, lower drag, and lower operational losses that are inherient in designing systems that must also do 75mph on the highway.

What I do not like about CAFE regulations, is that the smaller lighter cars are not safe at speeds above 45mph, and that is the likely design tradeoff that will result from mandating 54.5mpg.

That I believe is wrong, and will kill a LOT of people, and a LOT of kids.

A better approach is to introduce lighter highly fuel efficent hybrids for low speed city use only, and HPV's, with market driven incentives ... not government mandates that will kill people and kids.

Currently government regulations require separate registration and insurance for every vehicle, not every driver, so that it is VERY expensive to have a smaller fuel efficent car for local city driving, and a larger heavier car/truck/SUV in a family for times when you really do need to haul a load for your work/business, the soccer team, band, or other large group of kids. I personally was the "bus" for all my kids events with a 9 passenger Suburban ... which is a lot safe to haul 8 kids for sports, band, robotics, and other school events than letting kids ride stuffed in a smaller unsafe car with a distracted driver.

My kids are in college now, but I still frequently need the truck/suburban for my businesses. I volunteer at the local high school as a coach/mentor for the robotics team, and still haul them around the state for competitions during the winter. I've done a lot of over the road driving, some 2.5 million miles, a lot of that in very bad winter weather. I've also logged a lot of off the road racing in dune buggies and other off road toys to have the experience playing control games when things are going wrong ... I know that the kids are safer in the suburban if we are hit by an out of control newbie driver on ice/snow.

Removing safe 8-9 passenger SUV's from the population is bad ... it will kill a lot of kids, or force less environmentally sound choices like transporting a dozen kids on a 60 passenger school bus.

Things to fix, are changing registration and insurance rules to insure the drivers as a family pool, and remove the requirement to buy the largest vehicle that you only need sometimes. Road's are paid for with fuel taxes ... the whole EV and Hybrid market is breaking the very system that fairly distributes the cost of road maintence, by miles driving on those roads. A better choice is to remove taxes for road maintence from the pump, and place it on the vehicles by weight and miles travelled per year. That includes Bicycles and other HPV's, so that road construction and maintence funds are available for bike lanes on all streets, and where traffic is heavy, using those funds to build separate bike paths that are away from the street.

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
akwaman   8/30/2012 8:43:03 AM
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Again I must corrct you, Totally_Lost.  In your first post you refer to "tree huggers", and a couple of posts later you called someone's opinion "stupid", at the same time you were inferring you had done a Doctoral thesis on something.  "do the PhD thesis..." then you claim the "do-gooders" are out to get you.  It just seems like you point is to help the "do-badders".  You make some good points, but your written rhetoric incites people, so don't be suprised when you get opposition.

 It turns out you have a B.S. in computer science.  How does that qualify you as an expert on drive-trains and physics?  Your resume shows no design experience as you would elude to in this forum.  Did I miss something or do I have the wrong guy?  Your business looks like a computer systems consulting firm, you also do automotive and EV design?

 

Totally_Lost
User Rank
Silver
Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/30/2012 12:08:41 PM
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I worked and went to school for 11 years before graduating, and have a lot more college classes and breadth of both formal training and experience than most people I started out a electrical engineering student in 1970, and later, got interested in computers and took a lot of computer science course work. I also have plenty of additional course work in business, philosophy, physics, chemistry, graphic arts, too. I was forced to choose a discipline to graduate in, when they told me I would be expelled for academic performance if I didn't graduate, and computer science was the easy choice, only requirng a few general education classes to graduate. When I did graduate I had about twice the units necessary for graduation, and graduated with a salary that was better than twice the typical EE or CsC grad. I had already been working at the top of my field for a few years.

Upon graduation I joined four others to start Fortune Systems, which was a wild three year ride. We went from five of us, to 900 heads in 1`8 months and a $100M IPO just before the market crashed in late 1982. In the crash, the new Wall Street board, replaced the management to recover stock options, and killed the company by "no new product develoment" to contain very minor losses during the down cycle. With $80M in the bank, we should have done the next generation system, and been ready to completely own the market as it recovered. That was the second startup I did, where the investors purged the management team to recover stock options ... so let's say, I'm not interested in doing another public company at this point.

Today student's have the option to do get a "computer engineering" degree, which combines the main two disciplines I studied and have primarily worked in. I've done nearly as much EE design work as CsC work over the years, often combined doing both the electronics design and firmware/software development for microprocessor based systems projects. I've also done mechanical design, material handling systems, robotics, and some Chem Engr work.

For a number of personal reasons, mostly travel requirements while my kids were growing up, I backed off on the DMS Design consulting business starting in 1999, and focused on another business, some more grad school, a lot of personal research, and some retraining. I took the time to bring current old classes and learn a few new things, that I avoided as an EE student, like power electronics and motor design. DMS Design as a business entity has been pretty dormant, and I just started upgrading it's servers and turning things like the web site back on that have mostly been off for a few years. That resume is from late 1999.

I avoided starting a new business, pending a divorce from a 22 year marriage, that was completed last year. Having your Ex being combative in your business post divorce, isn't pretty, so I left all but some T&M service contracts go for a few years so the business wasn't an asset of significant value in the divorce. I had the business at a similar level when I got married in 1989, so that worked out well.

I'm 61 today, have a lot of breadth and experience, significantly more than most engineers that have spent their lives working in one narrow field. I hire addition breadth and experience as needed ... which has been mostly mechanical engineers for the last year. So NuTrike isn't just my skill set, like any other company it's the composite of it's staff.

It's pretty lame to question my experience, and nobody knows anything about yours.

Totally_Lost
User Rank
Silver
Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/30/2012 12:54:43 PM
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@akwaman

If using the term "tree huggers" is your excuse for the character assasination you posted, and the continued deep personal attacks and jabs ... you are really really digging deep to justify your rude, offensive conduct, and exceptionally poor choices in this forum.

You really need to reflect on your poor conduct, especially the lecture you tried to give me about such conduct a few posts ago .... shall I repeat  your words to you? It was your choice to follow analyst's rude offensive personal attacks, without provocation.

And, you really need to watch your tone, as you continue the persoanal attacks in a less direct way.

I can play that game too ... very well ...

ChrisP
User Rank
Silver
Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
ChrisP   8/31/2012 12:26:59 AM
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"The first priority is safety".  This is complete rubbish.  You only have to take a short drive to realize that this is the last thing on people's mind.  It's an excuse to keep driving giant wasteful vehicles.  European people are just as large and don't need an F350 to go to work.  Their accident rates are lower.


American SUV's give a sense of detachment from the outside world, people drive while talking on the phone, they drive motorcycles with no helmet or shirt or gloves, they modify their suspension.


No - global warming is real and material resources are finite.  Do something and quit whining.

The Jetta TdI has no tradeoffs - it's a great car.  I just recently drove in a Ford pick-up, what a wallowing joke filled with plastic. 

Totally_Lost
User Rank
Silver
Re: The real truth, without the statistical outliers. The bottom line by an independant test.
Totally_Lost   8/29/2012 4:10:07 PM
NO RATINGS
BTW ... I started hiring engineers last year to design a product similar in scope/function as this, that should reach market next year ... project is still stealth, but I did register the domain as nutrike.com:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1365&doc_id=249789&

something tells me ah-whiny-man isn't quite as progressive as to stake his personal worth on developing products with a similar impact.

High efficency traction motors and drive electronics for these products are NOT a piece of cake, no matter how much ah-whiny-man wants to wave his arms, and be insulting.

So ah-whiny-man, care to quit your job, leverage your assets, and design a better product?

Probably not.

PeterC1
User Rank
Silver
Question to Editor - More efficient options not in US
PeterC1   8/28/2012 12:53:06 PM
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Great piece on what it takes to design more fuel efficient cars.  Charles, maybe you can answer me this question: 

 Why is it that the really fuel efficient engine versions offered outside the US for the same make are not available in the US? We are talking here about the same body style, same safety features, same model year.

 In some cases those engines have more torque and even more horse power.  Yes, the MPG rating for Europe is slightly different, but not significant.  I could find you several more examples.  And each car maker has smaller models with even better gas mileages not offered in the US.  In my opinion,  we in the US should have a choice to purchase all available engine options of an US approved model.  

Really curious. Maybe someone else has an opinion?  

Example 1: Honda

US:   Civic HF, 140HP, rated at 29/41 MPG

Germany: Civic S1.4, 100HP, 35/50 MPG

Germany: Civic S2.2iDTEC, 150HP, 46/62 MPG  (diesel)

Example 2: Volkswagen

US: Golf TDI 2.5l, 140HP, 30/42 MPG

Germany: Golf Blue Motion 1.6l, 105HP, 50 / 64 MPG    

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Question to Editor - More efficient options not in US
Bunter   8/28/2012 3:23:02 PM
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Hi Peter,

I suspect market forces are at play.  Typically when a smaller engine version (smaller than class norm) is introduced they do not sell well. Another factor is that the test cycles for the Euro and Japanese cycles are different and the mpg figures may not be comparable.

If there was a substantial untapped market for these vehicles somebody would be delighted to jump on this market.

Just some thoughts.

Dennis

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Question to Editor - More efficient options not in US
Charles Murray   9/17/2012 6:35:03 PM
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I'm sorry I didn't respond to your question earlier, PeterC1. Unfortunately, I can give only a partial answer. As far as the gasoline-versus-gasoline engines, I believe the differences in availability stem from from marketing, rather than technical issues. If there is a technical reason for this, maybe one of our readers can weigh in. In your question, however, you bring up diesel availability, and here, there is a indeed technical/political reason. Diesel engines will add between 25-30% in fuel economy, yet they are much more available in Europe than here. One reason for this is that you have to refine more crude to get the long-chain hydrocarbons needed for a diesel's low auto-ignition temperature. Because it's easier to break the crude up into lighter hydrocarbons than it is to create long-chain hydrocarbons, the fuel is harder to make. And that leads to our second issue: In a diesel engine you have to control fuel very precisely (whereas in gasoline engines, it's more about controlling air). The result is that diesel needs better control systems. Manufacturers say the rule of thumb is that an entry-level diesel engine will cost the manufacturer twice what a base gasoline engine costs to make. In Europe, they've dealt with these by problems by mounting a real push for diesel. There are incentives on fuel prices and I believe there are tax incentives (again, maybe our readers know more about the incentives). The bottom line is that diesels are wonderful engines and Euopean countries are getting a fuel efficiency benefit from them. To me, it seems more doable and logical than pushing battery-electric (i.e., pure electrics, not hybrids) cars, largely because the technology is here today, and appeals to a broader swath of car-buyers.

Totally_Lost
User Rank
Silver
So why is reducing oil consumption, worth killing people?
Totally_Lost   9/9/2012 12:14:40 PM
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Since down sizing remains the most likely source of CAFE fuel economy gains, why is killing people in smaller unsafe cars an acceptable option to reduce fuel consumption?

Even at the current CAFE standards, some car companies are choosing to produce safe cars, and paid nearly a billion dollars in the CAFE fines as a tax to maintain their high standards of safety. http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/cafe/CAFE_fines_collected_summary.pdf

Read: http://www.amazon.com/Traffic-Safety-Leonard-Evans/dp/0975487108

Prior to the mid 1960s, the US had the world's safest traffic. By 2002 it had dropped from first to sixteenth place in deaths per registered vehicle, and from first to tenth place in deaths for the same distance of travel. Over 200,000 more Americans were killed in traffic than would have died if the US had matched the safety progress in such better performing countries as Britain, Canada, or Australia.

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: So why is reducing oil consumption, worth killing people?
akwaman   9/18/2012 8:47:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Since I have been on vacation, Totally_Lost is arguing by himeself, and still making the lame point that CAFE standards kill and making excuses (lame ones) for the auto manufacturers.  Weak statement by Totally_Lost: "Since down sizing remains the most likely source of CAFE fuel economy gains...".  I hope that the engineers reading this publication are not so inept at finding better solutions than Totally_Lost.  The whole problem is that auto manufacturers would rather spend countless millions of dollars on fighting a standard, that they eventually reached, while making cars BIGGER and HEAVIER overall.  The statistics just do not agree with the assessment of Totally_Lost.  Let's stop making excuses for the auto manufacturers, and force them to step up and hire more engineers and less lawyers.  If the money spent on fighting CAFE standards were spent on finding solutions, we wouldn't have to set standards, AND the employment problem would be far smaller.  It's a game of smoke-and-mirrors, people like Totally_Lost help make excuses for the manufacturers, and they said in the 70's that the 27 mpg CAFE standard couldn't be met, but THEY DID IT, and now the average is over 28mpg.  If you want to believe people that say it can't be done (54mpg), you should NOT be an engineer... you are a defeatest and you should go flip some burgers.  The reality is that when it comes to safety, we have standards for that too, but some just refuse to use their brains and instead make excuses.  With that mentality, we will stay in the dark ages of denial and fear. Typical smoke and mirrors strategy,  like putting a 30 year old picture on your blog to make you look young and fresh, when your message is old and out-dated.

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