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Old 05-26-2016, 02:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by acparker View Post
We can never return to the 90's. Current crash-worthiness standards in the US require too much metal to allow it. Compact is about as small as you can get in the US before you hit the law of diminishing returns.

I don't consider increased safety a bad thing, but to comply with both safety and CAFE standards, I don't think you can get around having to use some sort of hybrid technology, whether it be electric or hydraulic/pneumatic.

That being said, a lot of improvements have been made in engine and transmission technology. It is not unusual for mid-size cars, like the Nissan Altima, to get in the high 30's, combined, and over 40 on the highway. A lot could still be done, as has already been suggested, to tweak those numbers toward 50 mpg without hybrid technology, but I don't think we can solidly get there without it.
They should allow a new class of cars called 'city cars' or something similar. Cars limited to say 40-45 mph top speed and 2000 pounds of weight. Let them have no crash standards or testing whatsoever. Only allowed on surface streets and business highways, no interstates or rural highways with a speed limit over 50. A horizontal twin motor in a lightweight aerodynamic car that stays under 45 mph will beat any current mpg champ without any hybrid components. Guess what else? It would be the cheapest car you could buy as well.

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Old 05-26-2016, 06:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Going with two or three wheels seems to be the easiest way to shed weight under the current regulations (staying in the motorcycle classification).

LSV/NEV regulations are a step in the right direction, but the 25 mph speed restriction on roads posted no higher than 35 mph makes finding a legal route problematic. There is a significant regulatory hurdle in bumping the speed above 25 mph, for safety reasons, but getting access to roads posted to 40 mph would significantly increase routing options.

Utah allows ATVs on public roads outside of Salt Lake County and in cities with population over 7,500, if they are licensed as a motor vehicle (Utah classes them as motorcycles to get around federal restrictions). Helmet law applies. Speed is limited to the posted speed or 45 mph, whichever is less. Cities in Salt Lake County and cities with a population less than 7,500 can make their own rules.

Some states have established laws allowing medium-speed vehicles (MSVs). The speed limit for MSVs is usually 45 mph. The feds take a dim view of this and have threatened any manufacturer who sells or modifies an LSV/NEV to go faster than 25 mph.

I don't have anything against engine powered LSVs, as opposed to NEVs, as long as they are heavily muffled and don't smoke.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The only point of making a 3 wheel is to circumvent the car rules and fall under the motorcycle rules. Why not just change to rules because my guess is it is actually easier (thus cheaper) to make a 4 wheel, and if a bunch of 3 wheeler like say the Elio show up there will be a push to classify 3 wheelers as cars not motorcyclesure anyway. What we need is less nannies and more freedom to make our choices on such thibgs. Saftey standards on these things doesn't affect anybody else but the people making the choice to use them. Much like a motorcycle helmet law.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Current crash test safety standards are done at a max speed of 35mph.
So I don't see how cars that are limited to 45 are going to be any safer.

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