Just saw an interview with Ford CEO Alan Mulally, on the current situation with Ford and it's future. Interestingly, he states that fuel consumption is the NUMBER 1 factor in buying cars nowadays. Many other interesting comments from him about the use of Aluminum, and how Ford has now paid off it's 28 billion loans by producing better and more fuel efficient cars, thank you Obama. I'll let you listen to the rest... http://www.impomag.com/videos/2012/09/mulally-fuel-efficiency-drives-car-sales
Andrae Rossi's 1MW E-cat has recently received SGS safety certification for industrial use. One unit sold and delivered to an unknown military client, 13 on order pending certification. Several other companies plus US Navy and NASA are within a few years of commercially viable versions of the tech.
The bumper really works good on deer. I don't know about elk, horses, or cattle. (I hope I don't ever test that.( But yes, I have to obey the laws of physics and go slower sometimes. Not as slow as a redi-mix truck but, slower than a light car might travel.
I think the real solution to the dangers of trucking is to go back more to rail, which not only uses less fuel, but could even be put into tunnels for safety and asthetics. In tunnels they could use electrical rails without danger, and then rely more on things like hydro-electric or solar as an energy source. Trucking was never a really good idea, and was only sold to us by oil companies.
Think about the liability of that 300 lb bumper? If you are trying to take a tight turn on rain, snow, or ice, isn't that bumper going to make you want to keep going straight? And when you have to stop quick, isn't that bumper going to want to make you take a longer stopping distance? Even accelerating, that bumper is going to be working against you. Then if you do have an accident, what good is that bumper going to be if you hit an immobile object? If you run into a concrete wall for example, that bumper is not going to absorb any impact, so does you no good at all. In fact, the back bumper is likely of equal weight, and is going to try to crush the passenger compartment onto the already flattened front bumper.
If you think about it, I think you will discover that most of what people think about vehicle safety is a myth, deliberately designed to sell larger cars that are more profitable. Areas like Europe and Asia that have always had much smaller cars, simply have much better accident survival rates than we do in the US, because of our larger and more dangerous cars.
Yes you would use a heavier gauge steel, but 8pt roll cages for SCORE trucks (not unlimited class) and dirt track late models dont' cost too much more than a dune buggy frame. Same basic design but the steel is gauged to the application considering weight and potential speeds (F= MxA).
I was just trying to point out that the cages are similar in size and construction with only the material cost being different. I wouldn't think the difference would be more than 10% - 20% of the cost.
I would think that a roll cage integrated into serial production of a vehicle would only add a couple $K to the price with a varience of a few hundred $* for vehicle size.
* - Disclaimer, I will not sign up to provide roll cages at these prices and am not responsible if someone who knows more says I am wrong.
We have already done the studies and found the solution as well. The thickness of the wire requirement is based on current, not voltage, and for a given work, one can just increase the voltage, and the current and wire size reduces propotionally.
So if you want half the wire weight, just increase the voltage from 12 to 24.
There is no reason not to go to 48 even.
The added advantage is that then it will be much easier to provide clean 12 volt DC for electrical components that have great difficulty with dirty 12 volt systems we have now.
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