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Old 11-02-2011, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Something BIG! Road Rally / Race / Documentary Film

Hi everyone.

A while back, an indie film producer came to see me and a few of my friends with a concept about building an electric car and driving it across country, and making a documentary about the whole thing.

A thread was started on that HERE.

Nothing has come of that. Last time I checked the URL for the concept's web page, it was now available for sale...

But I really like the idea of doing something REALLY BIG!

I don't know exactly what that thing is. I do know that it involves me and you and a bunch of us all working together. Crowd-sourcing, Twittering, keeping things affordable, maybe digging up some sponsors.

In this last year or so, I have met some pretty amazing people. In September, I was at the Mother Earth Fair, and ten minutes into dinner before I realized I was sitting between two X-Prize contenders. This summer, I met a twenty-something year old "kid" who just happened to start working for Tesla Motors because of building his own kick-butt EV motorcycle from scratch. I even know a NorthWestern young inventor who went from building his own electric car to being a contractor (making big bucks, really big bucks...) to design equipment for one of the largest cereal companies in the country.

We have folks right on this forum building AMAZING open-source equipment.

My only redeeming qualities are that I am not afraid to screw up. I'm good at learning things the hard way. I can test pilot nearly anything, design t-shirts, and I have a video camera.

So here's the thing. WHAT do we want to do?

I'm imagining something like an Eco-Cannonball Run. Some sort of road rally for fuel economy, alternative fuels, creative and inexpensive building. Imagine an X-Prize with no entry fee, but we take our vehicles off the track and out into the real world. And no restrictions. Nobody saying "hey, your trunk isn't big enough" (Please see X-Prize Rant...) If you don't have air conditioning, and roast, that's ok too.

Maybe we could "crowd source" a documentary film out of all this. Get a couple of teams of Ecomodders all going. Take a bunch of cameras. Take a smart phone. Tweet where you are and what you are doing.

Blog, blog, blog!

Get a sponsor or two. (I bet we could get a few Hero cameras donated!)

I don't know exactly where this is all going.

I just know it's going to be big, and I want you to be a part of it.

If you have some great ideas, throw them out there, right here, right now. If you have something REALLY CRAZY or super-secret, just send me a private message.

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Old 11-02-2011, 11:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Super idea.
Now let's see what it can turn into!

Hmmm... NY to San Francisco within x number of days. You have to make it in the specified time to win. Whichever team uses the least gas or diesel fuel used wins. OK to use electric but it doesn't count as "fuel". Need to work out rules requiring x hours down time for driver rest.

Maybe require 4 wheels because 2 + 3 wheelers have far less safety + emissions regulations in the US. It would be an unfair contest if less than 4 wheels.

Would probably need a couple cameras mounted in each car to document that all fuel filling is reported + rules are followed. Or each car would get a follower with a monitor in it?? Probably not.

Reminds me just a bit of the BABE rallys. Big Apple to the Big Easy, car has to cost under $500 (2010 version of rally), points are earned for surmounting challenges, points determine winner. In that rally, the challenge is to make the hunk-a-junk cover the distance!
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No race or measurement dimensions, all too hard to "enforce" and the X-Prize already exists. Instead, generate media attention for cheaper and cleaner alternatives to current US fleet through a nationwide "game." All cars converge on Detroit on a given date, and then fan-out on a vast scavenger hunt of sorts, taking pictures of one's car at some site. Sites could be museums, or a factory, or a race track, or other things less topical but just fun. Roll into small cities with local press alerted that this odd squad of modded cars involved in a nation-wide game are on their way. You'll get reporting if your timing is right, and the reporting will raise the issue (usually). In fact, one item on the hunt list could be a pic with a news team. let contestants track and report their MPG in any reasonable way. With the pressure off that factor as the heart of the competition and redirected as the substance of a media message I think you'd avoid the "cheating" on logs.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucepick View Post
...
Maybe require 4 wheels because 2 + 3 wheelers have far less safety + emissions regulations in the US. It would be an unfair contest if less than 4 wheels...
This is like the "your trunk isn't big enough" comment. Seems a bit premature to start eliminating vehicles no? We might as well say no pickups because they can carry too many batteries and that would not be fair?!?

No, you should allow anything that anyone is willing to build/drive IMHO
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In Finland I am starting to make ecodriving practice couses near the routes and places that I usually drive. Some are short routes that people drive everyday and some are long trips I take. People usually record only the fuel consumtion and not so much the route that it is achieved. On shorter routes there will be a driving instruction video how the route should be driven to get lowest fuel consumtion. First route will be 17 km and the target time for that route is 18 minutes. I did it in the video under 17 minutes while driving accordint to speed limits. I did not had to push my brakes at any point of the route to really slow down, I could have saved more fuel by driving even slower but that is not the point of test route. My fuel consumtion for that route was 2.8 l/100km so I beat the EPA overall consumtion. If route proves to standard driver that you can beat the epa figures while still driving according to speed limits it encourages people to start learning more hypermiling techiques. Also if that route is on your regular work route it is easy to test different driving techiniques.

My first video is downloadin to youtube at the moment. My internet connection is slow it takes over 2 days to complete. The route is added to google maps with description of the route.
If you are in a route trip you can search if there is some local routes there where you can test your car and skills and compare your results. Simple and easy how I like things to be. Best routes are the one that are next to big highways that you go still the same way but just can take the test route.

Nummelan kierros taloudellisuusajo harjoittelureitti, Vihti, Suomi - Google Maps

That is my first route and google translation of it.
Taloudellisuusajo training for the planned route Nummela region. The goal is to drive the route through the speed limit on time with minimum fuel consumption. The trail begins at the ABC station in Nummela split when you turn the roundabout CM direction, where the car's fuel consumption would be to reset the meter. The trail ends when you come back to the roundabout. The route is 17 km long and the reference time is 18 minutes.

Of course if you can make even some kind of big event or high quality video its more fun but its difficult to get people there from far distances to same place. If you already have those routes you can use them at some big holiday when people travel long distances with their cars to test the routes. Just lurk at petrol stations where the routes can begin and tell them about the possibility to test tehir driving skills. I would quess that you can but brochure inside the petrol station conserning that driving route...

Those were some of plans that I am doing at the moment on my own...
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Something like the "Iron Butt Rally"? They start at and return to one point and cover the whole country, and sometimes Canada, take pictures of themselves and/or motorcycles and/or rally towels that have their rally numbers on, with their rally points in the background( think statue, road sign, boat,...), now. First runs were to the four corners of the US. Current IBRallys are about scheduling and time/sleep management. Some of the places take longer to get to, but are worth more points. It's such a huge endeavor, that they only run it every other year, but a scaled down version could be run yearly.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucepick View Post

Maybe require 4 wheels because 2 + 3 wheelers have far less safety + emissions regulations in the US. It would be an unfair contest if less than 4 wheels.
I would recommend being inclusive and deviding the participants into classes. Make the rules simple and easy to enforce, something that can be mesured at any check point. The iron butt ralley is a good model to start from. have only two or three check points per day. stage winner based on least fuel and closest to the stage time alotment, therefore no advantage to going fast or slow. winners determined by things like
1. least fuel
2. fuel/ton mile
3. fuel/pasanger
4. most punctual/ stage
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would recommend being inclusive and dividing the participants into classes. Make the rules simple and easy to enforce, something that can be measured at any check point...
I can buy into that!
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Some good ideas from the old Mobil Economy Run: Mobil Economy Run - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That Rambler American in the upper right looks exactly like my first car - a 1961 Rambler American. It got 30 MPG when I first got it. The top speed was 60 MPH because the throttle linkage would not allow full power. When I fixed the linkage, the mileage dropped to 24 MPG.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I'm imagining something like an Eco-Cannonball Run. Some sort of road rally for fuel economy, alternative fuels, creative and inexpensive building. Imagine an X-Prize with no entry fee, but we take our vehicles off the track and out into the real world. And no restrictions. If you don't have air conditioning, and roast, that's ok too.
Exactly where do you want to take this, Ben ?

For practically useless vehicles there's the Shell eco-marathon, and at 3836 kilometer to 1 liter / 9000 mpg US, you'll have a pretty hard time beating them.

If it has to be road-legal for a road-rally, that means restrictions - and they'll depend on country / state where the vehicle is built / registered.

Building a new vehicle here means compliance to Euro 5 ... we ain't getting away with what you guys in the US can do to your vehicles.

Also, it ain't nothing big if it's not even clean enough to pass current emissions testing.
I'd suggest Euro 6 levels (which are already attained by some OEM vehicles) + excellent fuel economy.

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