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Old 05-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Down where is says, "One reason is that about 17,000 people purchased electric cars last year, and other data shows that many of those were trading in a hybrid vehicle."
Yeah, I see that now. I was a bit confused by your phrasing for describing trade-ins by using "on" instead of "for". Maybe that's normal usage. But it's not normal to me, so it threw me off a little and left me wondering what you were claiming and whether it was in the article.

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I was making a joke along the lines of, "Yeah, folks are trading their hybrids in on non-hybrids, but NONE of the cars they're trading for are hydrogen powered."
That's clearer. But there's that "on" again.

On ptero's point, though, I don't think that this LA Times article really offers that much comfort to ptero's position. The main causal factor speculated upon for selecting a conventional drivetrain over a hybrid seems to be price, maybe. If that's true, when the Prius subcompact is compared to the newer Civic HF, the price is the same but the fuel economy is far superior for the Prius. There is clearly a market for the hybrids, and there may be for the EVs too. I'd be much more tempted if the prices were lower, especially the Volt.

Sorry to the OP for contributing to this thread's slight topic-drift.

I liked the point earlier that the somewhat extensive code written for the Volt suggests potentials for re-tuning the electronics to get more fuel economy. I'm going to be watching for second hand Volts and to see what sort of community of tuners might eventually sprout-up.

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Old 05-12-2012, 05:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
And this is NOT one of those cases. Look up how many lines of code are in your web browser.
...just another example of programmers "...following..." the infamous Microsoft-methodology of programming, ie: efficiency is inversely proportional to amount of memory available, so just require a bigger memory computer with each software upgrade (wink,wink)!
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Meh ... There is a lot that goes into decisions about how efficiently the software should be coded, and Microsoft certainly doesn't hold the monopoly on inefficient programming. Compatibility across multiple platforms, reusability (Volt may be using OTS GM modules for some portions of their code), reliability (error checking / correction), testability (diagnostic support), configurability (software updates), etc, etc. All those "-ilities" can contribute to less efficient code while (in theory, anyway) contributing to a more robust system.

Another thing to consider is that more and more devices have their own microcontrollers and therefore also contribute to the software "load". Consider just the radio, for instance... my 1982 Chevette radio was 100% hardware... volume & tuning & station presets were all mechanical... Nowadays, new cars have a "theater system" ... 7.1 surround, bluetooth, touchscreen, USB, etc, etc. ... each feature 100's or 1000's of lines of code! Often the identical hardware (head unit) is used in various trim levels, with just the software image tweaked to expose the features appropriate to the price of the car.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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...as stated before: "...too complicated..." for their originally intended purpose!
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:15 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
Yeah, I see that now. I was a bit confused by your phrasing for describing trade-ins by using "on" instead of "for". Maybe that's normal usage. But it's not normal to me, so it threw me off a little and left me wondering what you were claiming and whether it was in the article.

That's clearer. But there's that "on" again.
Prepositions...how do they work?

J/k...because of where I lived my formative years I do speak, and especially write, somewhat differently to most Americans. My west coast accent is very good, though!

Stan and California98Civic: two ecomodders separated by a common language.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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NachtRitter -

Yeah, you're right, it could have tons of legacy code from all over the place. Also, where there's a GUI, there's tons of lines of code. I would like to see a breakdown of "where the code lies". This all made me google lines of code :

1.1 The Need for Reliable Software
Quote:
The size and complexity of computer-intensive systems has grown dramatically during the past decade, and the trend will certainly continue in the future. Contemporary examples of highly complex hardware/software systems can be found in projects undertaken by NASA, the Department of Defense, the Federal Avia- tion Administration, the telecommunications industry, and a variety of other private industries. For instance, the NASA Space Shuttle flies with approximately 500,000 lines of software code on board and approximately 3.5 million lines of code in ground control and processing. After being scaled down significantly from its original plan, the International Space Station Alpha is still projected to have millions of lines of software to operate innumerable hardware pieces for its navigation, communication, and experimentation. In the telecommunications industry, opera- tions for phone carriers are supported by hundreds of software systems, with hundreds of millions of lines of source code. In the avionics industry, almost all new payload instruments contain their own microprocessor system with extensive embedded software. A massive amount of hardware and complicated software also exists in the Federal Aviation Administration's Advanced Automation Sys- tem, the new generation air traffic control system. In our offices and homes, many personal computers cannot function without operating systems (e.g., Windows) ranging from 1 to 5 million lines of code, and many other shrink-wrapped software packages of similar size provide our daily use of these computers in a variety of applications.
Also, I don't think the operating system comparison applies. iOS and Debian are based on Unix, so that's something that goes back to 1969, and Windows XP is based on Windows NT, which started development in 1989. The Volt is "embedded" software, so it doesn't have to support umpteen number of graphics cards, hard disks, and motherboards.

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Old 05-12-2012, 08:37 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Yep Electric Vehicles are coal powered. Where does electricity come from?..... the outlet and as we all know that outlet doesn't pollute.

A friend of mine hears a similar line of logic. He works in a prison as a baker. He asked the prisoners where food comes from, Most told him that food comes from the store.

I am not trying to be sarcastic but really, electricity comes from the burning of coal, natural gas and nuclear energy ... with a trickle from wind and solar (during the day).

A comment about engineering in the 60's It was done with slide rules, you know.... 3 significant digits. I always get a laugh when someone says that they went 233.4 miles using 6.23 gallons and got 37.46388443 mpg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ptero View Post
I am an advocate of hydrogen cars. Hydrogen cars were essentially perfected (by GM and others) at the end of the last presidential administration. But hydrogen cars required a renewable energy source and a nationwide distribution network which would have worked like an Apollo program to bootstrap our nation into actual technology leadership again. Despite their blatant posturing, Republicans fought renewable infrastructure, gave little support to a hydrogen distribution network, and sold their political influence to international oil companies who realized vast profitability by using the military and State Dept to enable their seizing of resources overseas and transferring associated costs to incredibly gullible taxpayers.

Now the Democrats have stupidly trashed billions of dollars of taxpayer investment in automotive hydrogen research in favor of the dead end of non-refuelable batteries. The $45,000 Chevy Volt is a perfect example. GM does not dare allow the battery pack to charge or discharge beyond 60%. An incredibly complex electronic control system attempts to control charge and discharge cycles of 288 cells which the scientific literature states can burst into flames if overcharged or overheated.

Regardless of their sophistication, electric cars remain and will always remain city cars. Long-range EVs are up against physics limits with lithium-based technology. Future experiments with advanced battery types are driven by industry lobbyists, not promising science. Improvements will be incremental and inconsequential. And the fast-charge vs. cell degradation issue is not going away.

Of course, the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid. But after a few dozen miles, without a recharge it is just a gasoline car lugging around a heavy battery as I zip by in my $14,000 50-mpg Smart Car. Below a few dozen miles, it can be an electric car but don't run a pay-back analysis unless you are a masochist.

Battery advocates ignore the well-to-wheels baseline. Lithium comes mainly from Peru. It is mined with diesel fuel. It is shipped to LG South Korea with bunker fuel (the dirtiest liquid fuel), assembled into cells, then shipped to Detroit with bunker fuel where the cells are assembled into the heavily subsidized $8000 battery packs. A recent study by EV skeptics claims that each Volt is actually subsidized to the tune of over $200,000 when component research, government cost-share or grants, and well-to-wheels analyses are included.

Then there is the issue that electric cars essentially run on coal. Yes, without aggressive government involvement in expansion of a renewable national infrastructure, neither EVs or H2 make sense. Hydrogen cars share similar prototype-to-market cost issues but consumers could drive them anywhere. And fuel cells had demonstrated significant year-on-year cost reductions. Hydrogen cars were a product targeted for the general automotive market. Electric cars, aside from city cars (which I have no argument with, if one can afford two cars), are merely toys. No one is going to choose a car that you have to wait for more than a few minutes to fuel. No one with only one car will choose an EV. EVs are targeted at a strange market segment: rich people willing to fork out huge amounts of money for a second car they can't drive to see Grandma. Even more disturbing for EV advocates is recent evidence that hybrid and electric vehicle first adopters are returning to conventional gasoline cars in droves.

We have lost the dream. It's over. Choosing EVs over hydrogen cars, watching the Space Shuttle go to the Smithsonian when we have a Space Station in orbit... We are done as a leader. As Thomas L. Friedman said, "We are going to become a second-rate nation." Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...as stated before: "...too complicated..." for their originally intended purpose!
LOL who are you to judge? How many complex integrated circuit controlled systems have you programmed?
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Carlos -

You actually bring up a good point... some of those high-end automotive entertainment systems are often equivalent to a full-fledged PC, sometimes even based on an IA processor with a graphics accelerator (or two), and so require a complete OS (well, embedded, which is stripped down to work with the specific hardware but still has full OS functionality) (such as Linux, Windows CE, Embedded XP, or some others) ... I'm not sure if they count the lines of code from the COTS OS, but wouldn't be surprised if they do.

Tele man -

Too complicated to be useful? Not really sure what that means. Are you trying to say the Volt is not useful? Because it has a lot of software? It turns out that the 10 million lines of code for the Volt is not that much in comparison to modern "premium" automobiles... at that level it is more like 100 million lines of code. See This Car Runs on Code - IEEE Spectrum.

Too complicated for their originally intended purpose? Not sure which originally intended purpose you mean. Granted, if you define the originally intended purpose of an automobile was to get from point A to point B, then a pair of seats on a frame with carbureted engine and without windshield or body would do it. Something like this:

But I think a few other purposes crept in since then... safety, ability to sustain higher speeds, comfort, and more recently, environmental friendliness from both emission and consumption standpoints. And as our society evolves, so do our ideas about the purpose of the automobile. We want to be entertained, we want to stay connected, and we want to take advantage of technology to make our automobile even safer an even more efficient.

(Note that when I say "We" I mean society as a whole, not necessarily the members of this forum... )

Personally, I am thoroughly enjoying learning about some of the new drivetrain technologies that have been (and are being) developed... The Volt is a very cool idea, Mazda's SkyActiv is just awesome, and incorporating "EOC" ("Glide" mode) into production cars is sweet. The fact that significant advances are still being made on ICEs (from both performance and efficiency points of view) is pretty amazing. I have absolutely no desire to "harken back to the olden days" of carbureted engines, vinyl seats, and lap belts.

I should add a disclaimer that my newest car is ~7 years old which has plenty enough technology for me, and I have no desire for a vehicle with a "Bang & Olufsen (or whatever big brand name sticker you want) home theater system" in it or with "lane departure warning" or "parking assist" or "back seat driver assist" or whatever. Probably the only new vehicle I'd be interested in is the VW XL1, and that would be for the technology "under the hood", not in the cockpit. But I'm sure I wouldn't be able to afford one of those anyway ...
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:39 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Older folks are generally a little more skeptical of rapid advances in technology when applied to vehicular transportation. It comes from experience in maintaining a car in a reliable operational state when it approaches a decade in age. I have a reliable vehicle sitting in my garage that has had fewer that 1/10 of 1% of it's parts replaced since 1971.

When you grow up enough to respect age and experience maybe you can get your 40 year old Volt to work with fewer than 1/10 of 1% of the parts replaced. Fortunately in 40 years I will be gone from this earth, but I would gladly bet that my 40 year old vehicle might actually still be operational while your Volt will have long ago gone to the recycle bin.

The ludicrous attempt to characterize experience and skepticism based on real life examples with a narrow minded character assassination merely demonstrates the misconception that blindly accepting every technological "advance" is the only way to get to the future vehicle.

Long ago GM adopted the concept of "planned obsolescence" when you could buy a 57 Chevy for $1600 new. Maybe you feel that $40k + spent on a car today is chicken feed, but lets see where that $40k gets you the day the warranty runs out. Your resale value will be pitiful.

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