The rail lines in LA running from the port to the rail yards close to downtown were "trenched". It relieved a lot of congestion and accidents caused by long container trains having to use grade crossings, and also reduced the need to move containers by truck from the port to the rail yards: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alameda_Corridor
But, there will always be a need for trucks between distribution centers and the local supermarket, Walmart, etc. There will probably be a lot of resistance to building rail yards and distribution centers in suburban communities.
I'm all for living as efficiently and environmentally congruent as possible, but all this effort and expense to reduce our production of pollution is completely negated by one moderately-sized volcano.
No, this is an elaborate sideshow to further weaken the little guy and usher us under the umbrella of totalitarianism when we - out of desparation - not only welcome but demand it.
Raising the bus voltage to 42 VDC will reduce wire harness metal by 2/3 rds. Using more efficient devices will reduce the wire weight even more. Using LED lighting which is current mode rather than voltage mode will reduce the need for branch circuit protection shortening all of the wiring for lighting, again reducing wire weight.
I recently noticed that our express transit buses not only use LEDs for all marker lights, they now use them for headlights as well. If nothing else, this reduces the amount of service replacements (costs that a fleet manager is sensitive to) while increasing safety and fuel economy somewhat.
I see that one of the ideas from those brains at Delphi is to use aluminum as the conductor in wires. That will create a new aftermarket in replacement copper wiring harnesses in just a few months. The building industry learned the lesson many years back, and now aluminum wire is not very common in buildings any more. The automotive environment hyas most of the conditions that destroy aluminum wire rapidly, such as constant vibration and salty moisture. So we can be certain of a fairly rapid failure that will be a challenge to track and very hard to repair.
I would never even consider buying a car with aluminum wire, not even at half the price of a car that did not use it. Any automaker that tries to use aluminum conductors as a weight reduction tool will certainly need to greatly expand their warranty claims division to handle all of the claims.
There has been a major shift in your emphasis, from a discussion about the merits of a higher voltage system for cars with internal combustion engines to talking about electric vehicles. NONE of my comments were addressed to the choice of votages for electreic vehicles. EVs are a totally different area with no similarity.
As for LEDs being the only source of light on a car, probably a few years off that will happen, but most of us need to deal with the present until such a time arrives. And dealing with the present includes avoiding choices that would become obsolete in just a very short time. That would include creating a whole new area of 42 volt car parts that would need not only a lot of engineering to make them reliuable, but also a lot of manufacturing resources to make them at all.
Despite the very intense wishes of a lot of people, the passenger car as we presently know it is not going away very quickly. There are a lot of reasons for that that don't involve the auto companies or the oil companies, but rather the love of personal freedom that comes from personal mobility. IF I chose to do it, I could jump in my car and drive anyplace in the US, as long as I had money for gas, and I could do it in just a day or two. You simply can't do that in an EV, since you would need to stop and recharge every few hours, which, aside from slowing the trip a whole lot, provides "big brother" with a detailed trail of where you have gone. IN addition, those fast charges do take a toll on battery life, even on the most robust battery structures. In addition, the fast charge produces waste heat, which equates to wasted energy that is gone forever.
The concept of having batter-swap stations is about the stupidest idea ever proposed for anything associated with cars. The reason is that one would probably NEVER get a battery as good as the one traded off. We all know that is true, although a lot of folks will not admit to it. Look at the other areas where trading an empty tank for a full one exists and you will see exactly what I mean. As for "tamper proof" computerized energy monitoring and tracking, it is only tamper resistant until the hackers get in, usually within a month or so.
SO, If you really hate cars so much, I hope that you only use "green" public transport for all of your travels. I don't have time to waste going that slowly. AND, as I do not choose to be critical of those who choose such transport, I would expect a similar courtesy from those who elect to only utilize "green" public transport.
Forget about lamp filaments; like the dinosaur, they are destined to extinction (pun intended), LED Solid State Lighting is here to stay, there are already LED light engines designed for industrial High Bay Lighting producing 25000 lumens that replace 450 Watts HID lamps, not bad considering that your car headlamps are around 60 watts ea.
Same applies to the Internal Combustion Engines; sooner than we expect electric vehicles will be a reality, when people and engineers realize the stupid idea invented and sold to us by BIG OIL and GREEDY car manufacturers, to STALL the develoment of the EV; that "the battery is attached for life to the vehicle, as unmovable part of the design".
Car manufacturers must stay doing what they do best, manufacturing cars, NOT BATTERIES, GREED is pushing them into their stupid schemes, they want to have the whole cake and eat it too.
Intelligent engineering in other countries like Israel and Germany, and some car makers like Renault are developing battery sizes, connector locations, control systems and capacity STANDARDS that ALL EV MANUFACTURERS CAN (and should) USE; to create a new breed of EV's with SWAPPABLE BATTERIES.
2 or 3 standard battery sizes, (like C, D & AA cells do), car batteries designed to be remanufactured swapping as few parts as possible, and reusing as many parts as possible, (even the basic replaced chemicals are recyclable) VERY IMPORTANT idea; the cost of remanufacture/replacement will be PRORATED in the cost per charge and subject to the laws of the market, like the price of gasoline, this approach will create thousands of jobs in the new industry of EV battery remanufacture.
Light EV's could use 1 to 3 small or med batt packs, trucks & cargo EV's could use up to 6 big size packs. Battery packs with tamper proof computerized energy tracking, battery condition and status dataloging to charge consumers only for the used energy; you already have one in your house energy meter.
Instead Gas Stations we will have charge/swap stations in every corner and the batteries can be charged at off peak hour rates to relieve the grid and equalize peak energy demands.
In terms of energy a short circuit protected power bus around the whole EV and a bidirectional optical fiber control bus (gigabyte) connected to every device in the vehicle. want to add reliability, (double that) and/or add token bus topology to the control signal, (in the circular control bus the control signals travel around in both directions even if the circle is broken in one point) use mass produced standard IC's for control bus access for the design of the std control modules; like brake, turning and marker lights, even the car audio could be pushed through the optic fiber and there will be an excess of capacity left for everything else.
Every different HP powertrain ratings will use it's own voltage, based in what is available in battery pack combinations, Accessory packs will standarize to reduce mass production costs, like Air conditioning systems sold as an accesory pack, Electric Power steering assisting, you name it.
So finally and sooner than anybody thinks the old schemes of vehicle voltages will die (as the 6 Volt battery did and the 12 V battery and filament light bulb will) and will be replaced by the new designs, new products and standards.
Only clunkers, rust shells, collectibles and vintage cars will still running on 6 and 12 volt lead and sulphuric acid flooded batteries.
rdelaplaza Higher voltages are fine in most other environments, but in a car the vibration does enter into the design of lamp filaments. Really, I read the report about the problems of the thinner filaments not being nearly as durable as the lower voltage lamps. Also, the controls for the higher voltage devices not used in cars are a fundamentaly different construction, and also in a much different cost area. So there really is no comparison between the electrical system in a car and any other area.
Besides all of that, the proposal of the higher voltage automotive electrical systems certainly looked to many like some company attempting to create a market for their product because nobody else was there yet, rather than because of any actual benefits.
Really, the bus arrangement with serial data to handle all controls would be the way to go, and it would be in place now if the bnefits outweighed the costs. BUT, just like going to the 42 volt system, the benefits do not outweigh the costs. The market has spoken.
The end may not yet be near, but recent statements by two of the world’s biggest automakers point to the fact that the industry has begun to plan for a dramatic decline in vehicles that are powered solely by internal combustion engines.
At the recent Autodesk Accelerate event in Boston, the director of product development for a niche hypercar firm replied "no, no, no" to three answers he got for what makes a car go faster. What was the right response?
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