Renewable energy ...important ...personal action

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
newg said:
That is why I used words like "claim" and "if accurate."

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Unfortunately, I also see far too many words like "never" and "always."

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I find it very difficult to believe they are doing this for any reason other then that it is losing them money, and they believe it will lose them money for the foreseable future.

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That is why they're doing it. No question in my mind. It IS cheaper to make gas cars right now. After all we have a hundred years of momentum behind gasoline. Just because it is the cheap answer does not mean it is the right one.

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I know you have an emotional attachment to the vehicle, and certainly do not mean to offend.

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No offense taken. Really. My attachment to my vehicles pales in comparison to my disdain of fossil fuel consumption as a concept. The vehciles I have now are the best I've ever "owned." But really, they suck compared to what we *should* have today. I'm not so much attached to my specific vehicles as I am to electric drive.

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I don't see evidence of a conspiracy here.

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The main evidence of conspiracy that I have is the lack of any other logical explanation for many of the actions being taken. Auto makers are telling us that EVs are too expensive at $40,000 per hand-made copy. So their answer is to all jump on the fuel cell bandwagon - at $1,000,000 a copy. With no way to fuel them... etc, etc. There was conspiracy in withhoding pollution controls from as far back as the 1950's... why not today? Auto maker conspiracy of the past I have proof for.

With all due respect, you are coming to conclusions based on the one-sided "common knowledge" that is floating around out there.
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
Gransee said:
...a significant part of the cost is being subsidized by those poor people driving SUVs.

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It all evens out. You're subsidizing plenty of SUV-drivers' finances as well. And what price to you put on clean air and clean water, anyway? When somebody comes over to clean your house, do you charge the cleaners for the pleasure of performing the service for you? Nope, you actually pay them! Burning less gasoline is doing a service for everybody, even if they don't realize it, and can't see the "clean house."
 

Gransee

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

I wrote up several rough papers on practical paths away from oil. As a result, I put together a hybrid methodology with what I think would have a good growth potential:

1. Keep your battery pack as small as possible

Battery packs are expensive. To keep costs in the practical range, the size of the pack must be constrained. Initial models should only have enough battery to assist with acceleration. Packs bigger than are cool, but your market will be a lot smaller. One tiered way of doing this is to make the car pack easily upgradable at a later time for a resonable cost. So the initial entry cost is low.

2. Use a good size ICE

Small packs quickly run out on long hills. You need enough emergency power available to make it up these hills with resonable performance so there is minimal negative impression from the consumer.

3. Minimize drive train

This is one area hybrids can really make some progress. With advanced motor controllers, the heavy transmission can be elimenated. Using split motors, the differential and clutches could also be elimenated. This weight savings would offset the electrical system weight so their advantages would not be as small.

4. Make your electronics smart.

Power controllers are a product of the semiconductor age. Make them smart and you will maximize the whole vehicle's bang for the buck. Smart electronics include converters, non resistive switching, 120vac/48vdc taps, load sharing, emergency house power, system protection, etc.

Peter
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
Gransee said:My civic just doesn't capture a whole lot of regen. This would help economy in the city.

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A lot of that is due to the diminutive size of your motor/generator. I can shove 300 amps back into the Rav pack with regen in extreme cases. 200 amps is quite common when coming down from freeway speeds.

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Another cool technology is to simplify the drive train. This cuts down weight but puts more demand on the electric part of the system.

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.....until it becomes a pure EV! Now we're talking! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
Gransee said:
I wrote up several rough papers on practical paths away from oil. As a result, I put together a hybrid methodology with what I think would have a good growth potential:

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm going to assume, for the benefit of everyone here, that few people want my input on this. So I'll keep it short. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I'm having trouble with the concept of "the path away from oil" that includes relatively small batteries and a relatively big ICE. Points three and four are already 100% solved with pure battery traction.

At least give me credit for keeping it short!

- Darell
 

DieselDave

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

Was George Gervin (San Antonio Spurs basketball player from the 80's) opposed to EV's?

Thought is was time for a little levity and I do mean little.
 

Gransee

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
Darell said:
[ QUOTE ]
Gransee said:
I wrote up several rough papers on practical paths away from oil. As a result, I put together a hybrid methodology with what I think would have a good growth potential:

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm going to assume, for the benefit of everyone here, that few people want my input on this. So I'll keep it short. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I'm having trouble with the concept of "the path away from oil" that includes relatively small batteries and a relatively big ICE. Points three and four are already 100% solved with pure battery traction.

At least give me credit for keeping it short!

- Darell

[/ QUOTE ]

I like your long replies.. I just knew my post was going to get a response from you. Not trying to deliberately give you a hard time Darell. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The whole idea is to move us in that direction by slow and regular steps. Afterall, we are trying to change a huge entrenched infrastructure. It's going to take some work...

Peter
 

newg

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

Ok, me again. I think Darell may be getting a little frustrated with me, but I'm learning a lot. And anyway, you guys would have gotten bored agreeing with each other by now if it weren't for me.

So, a fuel cell just provides electricity, right? So you still have to design the whole car to run on electricity, running from a battery. Why isn't this great for EVs? Cause if fuel cells catch on, can't you just buy the car and swap the fuel cell for a plug-in battery?

People (like me) won't buy electric-only vehicles if there's a hard range limit and no gas backup. But fuel cells allow you to design an electric car and run it on gas, until the electrical infrastructure catches up. Why is this bad? I don't see this as moving away from full-electrical vehicles so much as taking a big step towards making them more generally palatable. HowStuffWorks.com doesn't seem to think fuel cells are particularly less efficient than battery power, anyway.
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
Gransee said:
The whole idea is to move us in that direction by slow and regular steps. Afterall, we are trying to change a huge entrenched infrastructure. It's going to take some work...


[/ QUOTE ]
We're certainly in agreement here! Our goals are the same, we are just coming at the problem from a different set of experiences.
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
newg said:
Ok, me again. I think Darell may be getting a little frustrated with me, but I'm learning a lot.

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Please don't take my frustrations personally. I voluntarily enter these firing zones with the idea that if everybody agrees with me, that I learn very little. I am fully aware that I am in the minority with my opinions. Along with my frustration usually comes new ideas and deeper thought and consideration. It is all good. Sometimes I know that I lose the warm fuzzies, but that's usually only because I'm short on time.

[ QUOTE ]
So, a fuel cell just provides electricity, right? So you still have to design the whole car to run on electricity, running from a battery. Why isn't this great for EVs?

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You're got it exactly! It is only bad for EVs because FC EVs will probably never exist in the private sector. And BEVs are currently being forsaken in favor of FC development. So you have an electric chassis. You can now fill it with $10,000 of Li-ion batteries and have the capability of high performance, long range and quick fill up. Electricity is everywhere. OR, you can take that chassis, and add a million dollar (this number from the auto makers who say they WANT to make these) H2 Fuel Cell, be limited to about 30 miles of range, and be able to refuel in about 10 places in the state. Conservative estimates of the cost of installing a single H2 filling station would more than pay for enough BEV chargers on EVERY TEN MILES of all CA highways. There is no H2 infrastructure, and nobody has any plans to develop one.

Are you familiar with Fuel Cells? If you've read anything at all, you have probably come across the name of Geoffery Ballard. He IS Mr. Fuel Cell, and Fuel Cell is all he does. He is the mover and shaker of Fuel Cell technology.... and here is what he just said:
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From Fortune Small Business, June 4, 2003.

"I doubt I will ever see a hydrogen car for personal consumption in a showroom. I said this years ago and I see no reason to change my mind: The family-owned, garaged vehicle is the last vehicle that's going to get a fuel cell. Fuel cells are still 30 times the cost of what they need to be for the automotive market." Geoffrey Ballard.


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Fuel Cells are great for many, many applications. They suck for automotive use, however. And in this quote, he only brings up the problem of cost. That's just the tip of the iceburg.

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Cause if fuel cells catch on, can't you just buy the car and swap the fuel cell for a plug-in battery?

[/ QUOTE ]I doubt I'll have the extra $10k left over after I figure out a way to dispose of the million dollar FC. But in theory, yes this is a sound argument.

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I don't see this as moving away from full-electrical vehicles so much as taking a big step towards making them more generally palatable.

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One of the biggest complaints about BEVS that I've heard most often in this thread is cost. If the cost of a BEV is not palatable, then the cost of a FC will never even be considered. Many people forget that along with the FC stack (this is the part that would be considered the battery replacement) a FCV must also tote around some large, high pressure H2 tanks. Practicle limits on this fuel storage are keeping the range down to about 60 miles. And that is with 12,000 PSI tanks of H2 onboard. Want your grandma filling anything that holds 12,000 PSI of anything? Do you know how much energy it takes to compress stuff to 12,000 PSI? Me neither, but it ain't a little.

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HowStuffWorks.com doesn't seem to think fuel cells are particularly less efficient than battery power, anyway.

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Yet reality rears its ugly head again. Once you have the H2 fuel, FCs are quite efficient. The problem is all the energy that is required to produce, transport, store and dispense H2. Prohibitively inefficient. If you plug your H2 generator into the wall outlet, you'll find that the amount of electricity needed to produce one mile of H2 "fuel" will give you about four miles of battery charge in a BEV. Oh, and the battery charging will go faster too. And at this point you haven't yet run the compressor to shove it into the 12,000 PSI tanks. Oh, and guess what? FCs need some sort of battery onboard for acceleration. You can't pull the power of of a FC fast enough for the high demand times. So let's see, that covers cost and efficiency. Time to wrap this up.

Insane cost
Inefficient use of resources
Complicated
Responsible for removing funding from battery R&D

There are my reasons to not be fond of FCV - in a nutshell.
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

Here is what a friend who knows far more about this than I do wrote recently:

uel cells are very costly and far, far from commercialization-- unlike EV's, they have little chance of ever competing with ICE's.

The biggest myth surrounding fuel-cell vehicles is that they are efficient---they're not! Fuel cells cars are LESS efficient than battery electric vehicles, less efficient (overall) than hybrid gas-electric vehicles, and probably less efficient than old-fashioned gasoline vehicles. CO2 emissions are therefore higher...

A FC car run from hydrogen will never have much more range than an EV with advanced batteries---hydrogen is very bulky.

Building a hydrogen infrastructure is an uphill task -- hydrogen gas is 10 times bulkier than methane (natural gas), it seeps thru all common pipeline materials, and it only liquifies at a really cold temperatures.

Producing hydrogen in bulk from electricity would suck vast amounts of electricity. Outside of Iceland and may Quebec, forget hydroelectric, wind power, and solar panels; we'd need nuclear power plants in practically every county to get serious amounts of hydrogen.

Producing hydrogen from natural gas reformers would suck vast amounts of gas--keeping the economy tied to just another hydrocarbon fuel. And really, the NG would be more efficiently used in a traditional NG ICE.

Running FC cars from on-board reformers adds the on-board cost/complexity of driving around with a mini-refinery. Reformer/ FC system are even less efficient, are sure to use as much fuel as conventional vehicles, and are an even bigger step backward because they keep the cars tied to conventional fuels while diverting efforts on technologies that could offer real progress...

I think that's really the risk with all fuel cell development: FC efforts are being used to divert attention from real improvements in pollution, efficiency/CAFE, and energy sources.
 

ikendu

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

newg said: ...fuel cells allow you to design an electric car and run it on gas, until the electrical infrastructure catches up.

1. The electrical infrastructure doesn't need to "catch up".
(charge your commuter EV at night while we are wasting electrical generating capacity)

2. Nothing wrong with hybrids...but as far as fuel cells go, why invest billions in development and hydrogen filling stations only to end up either wasting electricity trying to split the water molecule or (shudder) making hydrogen from oil (with huge emissions from the extraction process)?

So...I think that gas or diesel hybrids will take us down the electric drive path, but at this point I wouldn't invest a penny in hydrogen research or national hydrogen infrastructure.

Here is the really, really important point.

We don't need any new, amazing breakthroughs in technology to make this happen. We already have the technology we need.

You can buy E85 vehicles and fuel...right now.

You can buy biodiesel vehicles and fuel...right now.
(I drive one every day)

There is technology for satisfying EVs for commuting...right now.
(Darell drives his all the time )

Where we are now...is where we'd be if we had already invented catalytic converters but no one wanted to buy them 'cause to make just a hundred or so would be hugely expensive. So...we absolutely should not pass a law called the Clean Air Act because we'd have to switch every filling station in America over to unleaded fuel and to pass such a law would destroy the automobile industry.

...it is as though we had prototypes in the lab that gave us 30-35 mpg cars but the automakers were saying that electronic fuel injection with computer controlled ignition would never be practical and would add $1000's to the cost of a car. So...we absolutely should not pass a law requiring a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) because to do so would destroy the automobile industry.

The auto industry fought both of those laws.

But...we did pass those acts and now Americans enjoy much cleaner air that we would have otherwise and we have cars that get much better mileage than we would have otherwise. The auto industry INSISTED that we simply could not have both...but we do.

That's where we are.

All the technology we need to get off of imported oil...but needing real LEADERSHIP to make it happen.
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
ikendu said:
All the technology we need to get off of imported oil...but needing real LEADERSHIP to make it happen.

[/ QUOTE ]
ikendu -

Have you ever considered starting a new thread on that subject?

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

ikendu

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

Darell said: Leadership...ever considered starting a new thread on that subject?

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banghead.gif Exactly. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

Brock

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

Don’t think I am not paying attention /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif I always want to chime in but Darell or Ikendu always do before I get a chance.

Couple of points though. There is no reason you can't charge a BEV during the day; it is just cheaper to charge at night. Say I told you if you bought gas in the middle of the day it was $3 a gallon, but if you buy it after 9p it is only $1.5, its up to you

Darell I think we need a refresher on all the modes of transportation and efficiencies.

Like an average new ICE engine is about 25%, some as high as 33%. What are the hybrids? Diesel is 40-45%? I don't know the numbers for sure. I am just talking about fuel in the tank (or battery) to power you down the road, not accounting for getting the fuel in the first place. Like BEV's are 80%? FC's are 40%?

Think about all that heat a gasoline engine makes, that heat came from somewhere. With the TDI’s we have a small issue, in that in the winter the can takes forever to warm up. This is because the engine is so efficient it doesn’t make nearly as much heat as a normal gasoline engine.
 

newg

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

Ok, I was going to let this die, but I have just one more question. For the record, it does sound like a conspiracy, especially since it is in the companies perceived financial self-interest.

But, you all seem to think the answer is to force the companies to make electric vehicles via legislation. It appears the current legislation mandates a particular average MPG. But overall MPG is really an irrelevant measure. Say, for example, the Futuretruck were to get 10 MPG, but for short trips runs solely on electricity. If 90% of your trips are short, and for most people they are, the vehicle would cut air pollution and gas use dramatically. But it will never be built because the legislation forces auto makers to make sustainably high MPG vehicles, which people view as "wimpy." If this is true, I think the legislation is very poorly made. Is there a better way to encourage auto-makers other than legislation, or do we need to just elect leadership that puts more thought into their regulations?

Frankly, I think the "wimpy" perception was the problem with seat belts and catalytic converters too. I seem to recall something about catalytic converters reducing engine power by 10%, but maybe I am just making that up.
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
newg said:
But, you all seem to think the answer is to force the companies to make electric vehicles via legislation.

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Not specifically EVs, but any alternatives that make sense.

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It appears the current legislation mandates a particular average MPG. But overall MPG is really an irrelevant measure.

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The CAFE standards are for MPG specifically, and I believe them to be quite relevant. The mandate to require ZEVs is, in fact, the ZEV Mandate and is a whole different animal. If you're a company making ZEVs, suddenly the CAFE requirements are meaningless to you.

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Say, for example, the Futuretruck were to get 10 MPG, but for short trips runs solely on electricity.

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Ah, but the big point here is that the Futuretruck kicks butt on all other full-size SUVs. On all normal trips, it would average about 50mpg (at the low end - totally depending on how much battery range you could use)! True, if it were only getting 10mpg, and people were allowed to use it that way, we shouldn't be putting any effort into it. But who the heck is gonna make a hybrid with less efficiency?

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... I think the legislation is very poorly made.

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Truer words were never spoken. The current (ZEV) legislation sucks. This is what I spend hundreds of hours a month on trying to fix. Legislation is not all good - but good legislation is great! So to speak. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif Interesting to note that the first CAFE standards are what is responsible for today's low MPG SUV craze. Yup, they drove through a big-fat loophole that didn't exist UNTIL the CAFE standards went into effect. GM just did the same thing with the ZEV mandate by building thousands of electric golf carts, giving them away to corporations and claiming all their ZEV credits for "cars" that can't go faster than 25mph.

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I seem to recall something about catalytic converters reducing engine power by 10%, but maybe I am just making that up.

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You aren't making that up. That was one of the PR chunks of misinformation that was broadcast widely back in the 70's when the automakers didn't want to add them. Ain't true true though, of course. I mean, they certainly COULD be made poorly. But because of the CAFE standards, the devices needed to made efficient - and of course they were. Back ten years ago, Yamaha made the cleanest exhaust system to date for a motorcycle. And it just so happened, that it *increased* the HP by a measureable amount over what everybody else was doing with their *untreated* exhaust. All it really takes is desire... and money.
 

newg

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
Ah, but the big point here is that the Futuretruck kicks butt on all other full-size SUVs. On all normal trips, it would average about 50mpg! True, it it were only getting 10mpg, and people were allowed to use it that way, we shouldn't be putting any effort into it.

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree that the Futuretruck kicks butt. But, my point was actually that even if it only got 10 MPG in gas mode, it would still be a great "green" vehicle if 90% of trips were on the electric engine only. I think, fundamentally, forcing car companies to make something is self-defeatist. As you point out, they will find loopholes, etc. You need to encourage a product that they will WANT to make, because it will sell like hotcakes. I could see my 10MPG not-Futuretruck design selling well, especially if the electric engine gives better performance than the gas one. And you're buiding a performance SUV, so you may not need to subsidize it as much. And then you get people hating when the gas engine has to kick in. And THEN you've won.
 

Darell

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
newg said:
But, my point was actually that even if it only got 10 MPG in gas mode, it would still be a great "green" vehicle if 90% of trips were on the electric engine only.

[/ QUOTE ]
The CAFE numbers would average the overall mileage of the vehicle for the standard "vehicle trip" that they test for. That "trip" is under 50 miles, I believe, and even if the Futurtruck got 1 MPG on its gas engine, the vehicle would still come up smelling like a rose in this test. With substantial full-electric range, it would come out earning them MORE clean air credits than the Honda or Toyota hybrids that we have today. No, the current legislation is NOT discouraging this type of vehicle. Only the carmakers are.

[ QUOTE ]
You need to encourage a product that they will WANT to make, because it will sell like hotcakes.

[/ QUOTE ]
What they want to make and what I want them to make are at odds (obviously). Dealerships make their money on service. They don't make their big bucks on new car sales - though luxury SUVs do currently enjoy the largest margins). So what do you suppose they want to make? A vehicle that requires almost no servicing? Or one that requires regular maintenance? So far, I can't bring myself to encourage them to build the ICE vehicles that they so desperately want to continue building. And therein lies the rub. How do we get them to make a vehicle that costs them profits? It is a tough nut, no question. Yet technology has gotten us over LOTS of these hurdles before - typically against powerful protest of financial impossibility.

I could see my 10MPG not-Futuretruck design selling well, especially if the electric engine gives better performance than the gas one. And you're buiding a performance SUV, so you may not need to subsidize it as much.




[/ QUOTE ]
 

newg

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Re: Renewable energy ...important ...personal acti

[ QUOTE ]
No, the current legislation is NOT discouraging this type of vehicle. Only the carmakers are.

[/ QUOTE ]
Oh. Ok. That gives me a little more faith in the politicians that made CAFE, then, at least.

[ QUOTE ]
Dealerships make their money on service.

[/ QUOTE ]
Wow, this is interesting. I never thought about that.
 
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