Has anyone else noticed a disturbing escalation in the number of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and large trucks being offered for sale-by-owner? A drive through my neighborhood last weekend, yielded a six count of such vehicles sitting in driveways, like this GMC.
AOL’s Money and Finance section posted an interesting article, “Dealers see SUV glut as drivers trade in gas guzzlers” that highlights a new trend emerging in the used car market. According to the article, dealers are not accepting vehicles with low fuel efficiency for trade-in anymore because these vehicles cannot be turned around for sale with gas prices at record highs.
With demand for large vehicles slumping and their resale price plummeting, I wonder if some creative reuse for all these vehicles will become practical at a particular price point.
Here is one thought that might be viable today. Kelly Blue Book on-line lists a 2005 GMC Yukon Sport Utility 4D in fair condition in my corner of the world at $15,880 (MSRP for a new Yukon is about $40,000). This vehicle’s power plant generates nominally about 285 hp (212.3 kW). By comparison, Northern Tool and Equipment sells 200 kW Triton Industrial Diesel Generators for $45,000. Certainly the Yukon lacks the power electronics and conditioning hardware to be a turnkey power generator. However, the price difference of $29,120 is staggering. I suspect the vehicle could be stripped, converted into a stationary generator, and sold at a profit. Superfluous components such as seats, stereo systems, and tires could be sold off separately to supplement revenue.
This blogger predicts we will soon see a cottage industry in converting SUVs and large vehicles into inexpensive backup generators to provide a supplemental revenue stream for garages and car dealerships that can no longer sell these gas guzzlers for their primary purpose.
Who knows what other creative re-uses people will devise for SUVs.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.