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Re: Smogasbord of Innovation
ragtoplvr   9/19/2012 9:44:53 AM
The 600 ib gorilla is reliability.  If most of these technologies ever fail in the field, the cost to repair will exceed the fuel saved.  The energy required to make the repair parts might even exceed the fuel saved, a total false economy.

One in particular I would avoid like the plage is the aluminum wiring.  It will be a disaster.  Aluminum is NOT suited for wire.

Manufactureres must remeber the cost of poor reliability is loss of market share, always.



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Re: Smogasbord of Innovation
akwaman   9/19/2012 9:38:28 AM
Beth, I too am exited that these technologies are being explored and implemented.  I am not surprised, because many of these innovations are not new, certainly start-stop technology is something that is not new and could have been implemented 20-30 years ago (has been on the Prius for 15 years).  My hat is off to DN and Captain Hybrid for bringing some of the new technologies to light, we have heard too many excuses as to why we can't reach CAFE standards, and not enough examination of technology and innovation.  These are only 19 ways (there are many more existing) that can be used to increase mpg ratings, not to mention ideas that have not even been thought of yet.  Interesting that none of these ideas force cars to be smaller, and they don't even include hybrid technology.  Coupled with hybrid/electric technology, the 54mpg standard should be met easily if we stop fighting about it and start engineering.

Charles Murray
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Re: Smogasbord of Innovation
Charles Murray   9/18/2012 6:04:56 PM
I agree, Beth. There are a lot of little technologies that eke out a few tenths of an MPG. The technology that will have the biggest impact, and will be most widespread, I think, is start-stop. Over the next ten years, we'll be seeing that on huge numbers of vehicles.  

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every little bit helps
NadineJ   9/18/2012 11:13:55 AM
The last time automakers needed to improve MPG, we got more aerodynamic, lightweight cars and other great technologies.  It all adds up.

The downside was the loss of individualism in design.  As things improve and become more standardized, everything starts to look alike. 

Nice slideshow.  Thanks for sharing!

Beth Stackpole
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Smogasbord of Innovation
Beth Stackpole   9/18/2012 7:19:31 AM
Wow, Chuck. I am duly impressed. I didn't realize there was such a wide swath of technology and innovations underway to address the 54.5 CAFE standard mandate. As you well noted, the focus tends to be on powertrain technology, yet there are many other places, many probably not considered, where auto OEMs can squeeze more mileage out of their designs. I particularly was impressed by the so-called "little things"--the improvements to making the wiring systems lighter and the flaps on the Chevy Cruze for aerodynamics. Very, very interesting stuff.

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