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Old 08-17-2008, 03:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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California (and the California Air Resource Board) has arguably some of the strictest air pollution/quality restrictions and if Gov. Schwarzennegger had his way, the state would be among the toughest in the world but I think the EPA said he was nuts and stopped him from forcing more efficient cars and stiffer emission regulations. Ironic coming from the man who bought his own fleet of Hummers (which he purportedly converted to biofuels)

It's one of the biggest reasons/excuses why many overseas vehicles cannot be driven in the USA -- they wouldn't pass the emissions limits.

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Old 08-17-2008, 04:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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We did solve the MPG problem in Europe. We developed diesels into the very efficient quiet engines that can be installed into top of the range Audis Mercs BMWs and still return 40mpg. Diesel use to cost less than petrol but then as so many people started to use it (Diesel is about 50% of the market share in the UK) the Oil companied decided they could make some money and upped the price claiming it cost more to produce.

The Diesel on the continent is not low sulfur so in fact a Diesel will get better MPG there than in the UK all diesel in the uk has to be ultra clean.

The reason why we have not looked into electric so much is probably more to do with the dynamics of the countries plus the patents for the only viable batter technology is not held by European auto makers. Europe has not got huge amounts of land mass to install solar cell farms or retro fit every car parking space with charging points.

many people park on the street so trailing a power lead across the sidewalks is not really practical. the Uk always have a foot in the door somewhere in new technology
but we are more likley to use manufacturing skills for smaller parts that will enable
other larger companies to produce something.

European auto makers have always been engineers they stick to what they know and build on that its too much of a gamble to do anything else. Much of the revolutionary technology that the Europeans have invented such as in the second world war has been classified or bought up by huge oil companies, the US has a hold on over 900 patents for fuel vaporization systems. Not all would have come from the US. If fuel is heated to a certain temp it can be fractured into its individual carbons that can then be burnt. As
one of the effects of the carbon chains is the actual RON of the gas/petrol many of the patents include water injection to retard pre-ignition and act as the ron

Oil companies have been putting the breaks on what can actually be done, As soon as
something comes up that will hinder sales of oil the money is flashed and the pressure put on. Hence why US cars actually went backwards in FE not forward.

Honda has already got its fingers in all pies they are heavaly into robotics
they produce jets and a multatude of other things so the cars they make are more of an exploration into technology rather than direct insight into selling cars. Its to widen the outlook of all aspects of the company.

Japans a vested interest in FE technology other than diesel because as i understand the regs are even stricter on diesel than in the US and the attitude towards them is even more tarnished than the US

So in an answer we did solve the problem in the best way we could and the one that could actually be financially viable and rolled seamlessly with the current infrastructure

We have cars that will do 60mpg on the market that also have good proformance
with very high warranties and service intervals.

If the US has more vested interest in fuel efficiency there will be more incentive in european auto makers to produce hybrids / EVs. We are already building the tesla roadster in the Lotus' factory in Norfolk. There are many little electric cars that are
in low production but they cost much more and dont have the range or performance
that people have now come to expect form a car.

I have always said that the US will buy our diesel tecnolagy as a stop gap then we will
end up getting american EV technology back. It will be much more simple for the US to Quantum leap into a different technology. The american market does not expect such a high standard of road holding and maneuverability plus all in such a compact car.

Huge torque cars are an addiction that is ingrained into many Americans. An Electric motor can provide that and all without the need of a gearbox and accomplish high speeds so americas will be more willing to adopt it than Europe. We still sell many more manuals and it would take some convincing that people don't need to change gear

We would adopt compressed air engines much more readily than EVs
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think it's all about motivation. If you have an alternative to the automobile, you use it if it's more attractive. I wonder if there is a resource to get national annual miles driven on a per capita basis. That may tell the tale. I suspect Americans, Canadians, and Aussie's drive the most, but that my perception (which could be way off base).

If I only put 2,000 miles per year on a car, FE wouldn't be much of a concern to me. ($5/gal gas and 2k annual miles = $770 with a 13mpg SUV versus $220 with a 45mpg Metro). Although the eco-friendly thing to do, my neighbor's new Prius doesn't make finanacial sense for grocery-getter and run to the post office duty.

Other than Boston and the light rail in the downtown area, the mass transit I've experienced in the US is almost painful to use.

Another thought; Everytime I see some add for 'tell the oil companies to shove it, running your car on water! Let me show you how' I have to laugh. Like our friends across the pond haven't had motivation to get much better FE, as if the only society with high fuel prices is here in the US. Please.

I also look to small turbo Diesel's as a short term stop-gap. Beyond that, I predict non-fossil fuel electricy to become more attractive as a result of breakthroughs in fussion-fission hybrid technology, making battery EV and hydrogen ICE powered vehicles the norm.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azraelswrd View Post
"well nobody else has them so they must not work!!!" line of reasoning.
Wow.

Nobody else trains like Michael Phelps, either.



(Sorry, I know they're your parents, and I have no right to criticize. It's the reasoning with which I take issue.)
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unheard View Post
The Diesel on the continent is not low sulfur so in fact a Diesel will get better MPG there than in the UK all diesel in the uk has to be ultra clean.
It will be at 10ppm at 2009/01/01 all over Europe, except a few new European countries. 10ppm is in fact available since several years as new particle filters need it. Some north European countries have only low sulfur since very long time and have now 3-5ppm.

Quote:
many people park on the street so trailing a power lead across the sidewalks is not really practical.
Wireless electricity ?

Quote:
We would adopt compressed air engines much more readily than EVs
I want something nearly as practical as current ICE : range (>250 miles), distance between stations (<10 miles) and time to fill-up (< 5 minutes). For that last point with EV, the idea to swap your empty batteries with full one pleases me.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bror Jace View Post
"As to the skirt issue, I bet it's down to cost vs gains. Is it worth the money and time to design and create a removable panel for the minute gains that could be made up with smarter driving?"

Smarter driving? Oh, azraelswrd, you crack me up!

I still think skirts are a factory accessory that would sell if they can show real MPG gains ... look at all the pour-in nonsense that is sold for engine sumps and gas tanks? How about doo-dads like the Tornado valve? Most of this doesn't work ... but it sells.

Show a gizmo people can purchase and stick on their cars (in this instance, a set of skirts) and people will buy it.

The downside is that a different set of skirts has to be designed for each vehicle ... pour in goo is a one-size-fits all product.
Egg-zactly. I also don't think wheel skirts are in fashion. You can stick in a Tornado Valve and who's gonna know? Wheel skirts are a statement. Even if you design them to be aesthetically pleasing like the Honda Insight, people still won't like them with excuses like "they're old-fashioned". That won't stop most people here, but it will stop others.

Belly pans, however, are totally doable because there is no aesthetic cost.

Idea: How about this? Metal belly pans for 4x4/SUVs that are designed to protect the catalytic converter from theft. Two for one!

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Old 08-29-2008, 06:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Along these lines -- why is BMW only now looking at adding a steam component to capture all the loss at the exhaust manifold? Did they not think they would recoup the cash overseas 10 years ago?
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iHero View Post
So -- I was just watching that mercedes EV death machine video when I realize -- why didn't you Euros & Brits solve our eco mod problem years ago???
What is this video you speak of? Have a link? Combining the words "Mercedes", "EV", "death", and "machine" has caught my attention. Death Metal and German cars also make for a good combination.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Holy thread bump, Batman!
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Toecutter View Post
What is this video you speak of? Have a link? Combining the words "Mercedes", "EV", "death", and "machine" has caught my attention. Death Metal and German cars also make for a good combination.
sorry I lost track of what promo movie I saw -- I'll include the link next time -- and sorry for the delayed response

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