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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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.

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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. 

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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,.

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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.

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Re: The number is actually a compromise
Totally_Lost   8/27/2012 3:43:04 PM
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.

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Re: We went to the moon, 54 MPG both easier and safer
bwilson4web   8/27/2012 3:33:58 PM
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

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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.

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