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Slideshow: Fuel-Stingy Technologies Set Sights on 54.5 MPG

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Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
70 lbs is a lot of wiring
Ann R. Thryft   9/19/2012 12:46:15 PM
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The one that surprised me the most was wiring--70 lbs of it in an average vehicle. That's a lot.

Absalom
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Gold
Fuel technologies
Absalom   9/19/2012 12:46:34 PM
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The technologies being explored are very interesting but 1000 pound cars sharing the road with 100,000 pound trucks will be as dangerous as riding a motorcycle.

wishboneash
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Iron
Re: The real gorilla
wishboneash   9/19/2012 2:03:17 PM
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Absolutely right. The more efficient the car, the more carefully the driver has to drive to extract this performance. A 10mpg car is not going to see too much degradation in performance when the driver drives badly. Hybrid and high fuel efficiency vehicles will see dramatic reductions in fuel efficiencies by poor driving technique. The car must be intelligent enough to be able to help these poor drivers while not compromising safety.

btwolfe
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Platinum
Re: The real gorilla
btwolfe   9/19/2012 2:16:13 PM
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Based on the following government site, bad driving habits can affect milage as much as 33%.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml

Although I'm not an agressive driver so my milage wouldn't improve dramatically from an optimal pattern, I can hardly wait for autonomous vehicles. Let the machine do the driving! Traffic lights won't even be necessary.

I suspect even our most optimistic forcasts of improved traffic flow and milage will ultimately prove to be pessimistic.

wishboneash
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Iron
Re: The real gorilla
wishboneash   9/19/2012 2:40:09 PM
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Talking about automation, what we need also are more intelligent cruise control systems. For electrics/hybrids it makes a big difference if power is constant rather than speed is constant. Allow the cruise control system to slow down the car on climbs and speed ups on descents. With a definable window of speeds for the cruise control, highway efficiency can improve further.

Rigby5
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Platinum
Re: Fuel technologies
Rigby5   9/19/2012 2:49:20 PM
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Absolon,

Actually motorcycles are much safer than cars.  They have far fewer accidents, mostly because they are so manuverable they can easily avoid them.  Same is true of smaller cars.  And in fact, if you are in a one car accident, small cars are safer, because it is the weight of the back end of the car that tries to crush the passenger compartment.  Trying to make cars heavier so that you kill others instead of just making all car lighter and safer, makes no sense at all.  If all cars are lighter, there will be far fewer deaths.

Rigby5
User Rank
Platinum
Direct injection really helps
Rigby5   9/19/2012 2:55:19 PM
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While direct injection costs more because of the high pressures needed, it can be exrtremely efficient.  That is because it eliminates pre-ignition, ping, and knock.  That means compression ratios can be increased dramatically, getting much more HP out of the same fuel combustion.  The need for premium gas is also eliminated.

It also brings back the potential for going back to 2-stroke engines, that can get twice the HP for the same engine weight.  With direct injection there is no mixing oil and gas or chance for excape of unburned fuel.

Rigby5
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Smogasbord of Innovation
Rigby5   9/19/2012 3:01:49 PM
It seems odd that simple old common knowledge is being ignored though.  Such as we have known for decades that a simple air dam at the bottom of the front of the vehicle will greatly reduce air drag from the bottom of the vehicle.  But no one builds in air dams on a regular basis, except for cars like Alfa Romeo, Porsche, etc.

DavidR
User Rank
Iron
Fossil Fuel Free Vehicles
DavidR   9/19/2012 3:14:56 PM
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I doubt most new vehicles sold 10 years from now will still use fossil fuels of any kind.

Three top replacements:

1. Advanced storage and charging for electric cars

2. Inert gas plasma motors, burn no fuel.

3. Practical low energy nuclear (cold fusion).

#2 and #3 are going early stage commercial production this year.

robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: Smogasbord of Innovation
robatnorcross   9/19/2012 4:44:46 PM
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Rigby5- The main reason that race cars can have air dams, etc. is because MOST race tracks don't have speed bumps and parking spaces that have curbs to tear off the air dams.

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