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Old 12-22-2011, 09:03 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I appreciate your input, Frank. I have yet to see the vehicle that suits the needs of everyone. Until the end of 2012, I'll be happy if one-out-of-a-million buys a Zing!

Thanks again, Ken

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Old 12-22-2011, 11:10 AM   #22 (permalink)
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...reminds me of an automotive-version of the F117 "Stealth Fighter" with it's faceted-surfaces.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:48 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ken Fry View Post
The hybridizing idea is to make a very small engine run at or near full load, where it is most efficient. In the Zing! the engine runs at full efficiency or not at all. If I had a 40 HP gasoline engine (like a detuned Geo Metro or Daihatsu) I'd spend a lot of my time operating at less than 20% power, where efficiency is poor (around 12%).
Another consideration is that you get "free" cabin heat out of the engine. I can't help but think that when outside air temps are in the neighborhood of 0F, your pure EV version is going to be using more electricity heating the cabin than moving the vehicle - especially when stuck in traffic. Even my Insight takes 5-10 miles of 55 mph cruising on level ground before the heater really kicks in.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Make it so you can run either or power units together or independently. Plug and play separately or together.
That's the inefficient approach.

In a vehicle like the Zing, it'd mean the engine would be unnecessarily bigger, which makes it less efficient and in turn negatively affects vehicle weight, complexity, and size.
It's the main problem of the Volt / Ampera.

The very small generator approach is the best range-extender option as it doesn't add too much unnecessary stuff because it's still driving the vehicle using its intended, optimised electrical drive train, only putting out the lowly average load while not being sized for the peak loads.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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...reminds me of an automotive-version of the F117 "Stealth Fighter" with it's faceted-surfaces.
I'm glad it has that effect. Oddly enough it is not "styled" much, (the shape is functional and easy to build) and the production version was envisioned and modeled with softer curves. But round and smooth and cute is not the message I want to convey. The Fiat 500 is doing really poorly in the US, and much as J Lo gets my attention, seeing her drive it says: great car for a hot woman. That reduces the market by 50% right away... but also doesn't sell well with a lot of women, who would rather show that they can drive a "guy's" car -- they don't need something soft and tiny.

Thanks for the comment, it is really helpful to get reactions. (A while back, I got a hand written letter from a WW2 vet, voicing a strong preference for the hard edges -- it reminded him of a Messerschmidt fighter). When I drive around, it is clear that the styling (or lack of it) resonates with a lot of people.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Another consideration is that you get "free" cabin heat out of the engine. I can't help but think that when outside air temps are in the neighborhood of 0F, your pure EV version is going to be using more electricity heating the cabin than moving the vehicle - especially when stuck in traffic. Even my Insight takes 5-10 miles of 55 mph cruising on level ground before the heater really kicks in.
Good points. The cabin is small, and I plan to use about 750 watts, and insulate pretty well. That's equal to one HP -- and you're right, that is a large percentage of the HP used at low speeds.

Thanks, Ken
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:43 PM   #27 (permalink)
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That's the inefficient approach...

... the lowly average load while not being sized for the peak loads.
Thanks. All very well put.

Your Failed Belgium State gets an ironic chuckle, but I hope you're doing well. This is not the world we hoped for.

Regards,
Ken
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:24 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I don't know about the Fiat's market performance being poor 'cuz it's a "girl car"? I've lusted after the classic 500s forever, and the new one is cute, but geez who has that kind of money for one??? I think if they aren't selling it's due to a perception that it costs too much for what you get i.e. poor value.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:13 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Mr. Fry,
Sometimes we miss the obvious. The obvious is you are DOING something!!!!

My hat is off to you, and I for one appreciate your efforts.

You have built a car. And you drove it around. And now you are trying to make a better one!

I support your efforts, and hope the best for you. Perhaps we could start a new thread about the same things and differences between our builds, and perhaps learn from each other and save each other a bunch of time, effort and money?????

Best wishes,
Doug

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Old 12-22-2011, 07:24 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I don't know about the Fiat's market performance being poor 'cuz it's a "girl car"? I've lusted after the classic 500s forever, and the new one is cute, but geez who has that kind of money for one??? I think if they aren't selling it's due to a perception that it costs too much for what you get i.e. poor value.
You are probably right. Although I suppose in comparison to a Mini Cooper, the Fiat is a good value. But a Honda Civic offers a lot more for less. All these retro cars are less desirable to me than the real things, and not just from a collector or scarcity perspective. The 2CV, the early Beetle, the Fiat 500 and 600, the real Mini Cooper -- they were all simple, cheap, and fun to drive, and weren't pretending to be something else.

I suppose Fiat may still be working against a reputation for not-so-great reliability from when they left this market.

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