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Thread: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

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    *Flashaholic* Brock's Avatar
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    Default Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    right Darell...jumping from part three

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    Flashaholic* twentysixtwo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    My bad - in previous thread said "Shale Oil" was in production, when I really meant "Tar Sands" Here's the WIRED article I referenced:

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.07/oil.html

    "it took Syncrude two decades to bring production costs down to $10 per barrel"

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    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Darell said....
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    gadget_lover said:
    The techiques for squeezing the last drop out of a well have become very effective.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I'm a bit concerned to hear this being presented as fact.

    The average well leaves at LEAST 50% of the oil behind. Used to leave 75% behind, but now 50% is considered bone dry. Far too much energy needed to extract the last half.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was imprecise to say it was "very effective". Going from 75% to 50% means they are getting twice the oil from a well. I'd say in any other field that a 100% increase is fantastically more efficient. Still not perfect, but that's not the issue I was addressing.

    My point was that we were told that if we did not conserve, we'd run out of oil about now. We were wrong. We did not forsee the advancements of the last 30 years. We can not count on the same type of break in the future.

    [ QUOTE ]
    (Darrell again)
    As for the avearge MPG of today's vehicles... The Energy Policy Conservation Act (EPCA) was made law by Congress in 1975, and established Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light trucks

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's why I started with 1970, not 1975 [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Cars (and trucks) are a lot cleaner now. Power was king in the 60's, then milage became important in the mid 70s' and 80's. Somewhere in the 90's the milage fell off in importance again as size mattered.

    It's a shame that so many vehicles are not covered in the CAFE. I wonder if it's too late see if the EPCA could be ammended so that any vehicle is included in the CAFE if 50% is sold to private parties. Hmmmm. I see a letter to Ms Boxer and Fienstein (senators) in the near future.

    Daniel

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Regarding getting difficult to extract oil, once the energy cost to remove the oil exceeds the energy you'll get from the oil, there is no point. Many of the remaining reserves fall into this category. Second, even if the supply of oil were unlimited, it's a bad way to generate power. For starters it makes the air stink. And then the fumes cause a whole host of health problems. Those last two reasons are good enough to have abandoned it years ago. I've always been amazed that there hasn't been enough of an outcry over the air quality issue, especially in cities, to have forced the use of zero emission vehicles decades ago. The air did get a little cleaner through the late 1980s but once people started buying SUVs en masse it smells dirtier than I remember it even in the late 1960s. It's so bad that from April to October I rarely go out of the house except at night. Clearly something needs to be done.

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    Default Someone is going to cringe at this bit of news ...

    From Fark.com
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7188640
    The fate of the EV1

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    jtr1962 said:
    Regarding getting difficult to extract oil, once the energy cost to remove the oil exceeds the energy you'll get from the oil, there is no point. Many of the remaining reserves fall into this category. Second, even if the supply of oil were unlimited, it's a bad way to generate power. For starters it makes the air stink. And then the fumes cause a whole host of health problems. Those last two reasons are good enough to have abandoned it years ago. I've always been amazed that there hasn't been enough of an outcry over the air quality issue, especially in cities, to have forced the use of zero emission vehicles decades ago. The air did get a little cleaner through the late 1980s but once people started buying SUVs en masse it smells dirtier than I remember it even in the late 1960s. It's so bad that from April to October I rarely go out of the house except at night. Clearly something needs to be done.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If the air's not getting cleaner, then move somewhere where you are willing to venture outside during the daytime.

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    turbodog said:
    If the air's not getting cleaner, then move somewhere where you are willing to venture outside during the daytime.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Why should I be forced to move because of other people's failure to adopt alternate energy sources? We're in a major public health crisis of our own making because of major failures in our leadership, and also because of misinformation fed to the general public. I don't see how running away will change anything. Furthermore, where can you move to short of Antarctica where the air is clean? Please don't tell me the suburbs, either. Putting aside the fact that I hate the suburbs with a purple passion, the effects of whatever cleaner air you may breathe where you live are cancelled by needing to drive everywhere you go and breathing in the fumes from all the cars in front of you. The rates of cancer are higher on Long Island, for example, where more people drive than in New York City proper, despite the supposedly cleaner air. And I would never live anywhere I need to drive anyway. I get car sick on anything but very short trips from the fumes.

    BTW, it looks like I may eventually get my way if oil prices keep rising. Some analysts are predicting $250 per barrel oil within 5 or 6 six years. Sooner or later I think Wall Street will force us into alternatives for the simple reason that using oil creates price volatility of a whole range of goods and services. This price volatity plays havoc with corporate profits and the stock market. Also, the current system is anything but sustainable. When do we change, now when we can still do so in a fairly orderly manner, or wait until people are dying and only the rich can afford necessities due to high oil prices?

    If GM knew what was good for it then it would sell off the remaining EV1s, and take the whole project out of mothballs. I predict in five to ten years demand for EVs will be so high the automakers won't be able to keep up.

    This thread has made me decide to write a letter to the NYC government to consider requiring zero emission vehicles within city limits. There's already a precedent of sorts in that we don't permit diesel locomotives in the tunnels leading to Manhattan, so this may go over bigger than I expect. I'll be certain to mention how much pollution related illnesses are costing the city in Medicaid and lost productivity. Maybe I'll have no luck now, but I'll keep writing a letter every month until I do.

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    gadget_lover said:
    My point was that we were told that if we did not conserve, we'd run out of oil about now. We were wrong. We did not forsee the advancements of the last 30 years. We can not count on the same type of break in the future.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ah, I did miss your point. Sorry! Yup, I agree.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Cars (and trucks) are a lot cleaner now.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    In some ways yes, in others - not so much. If a car with "cleaner" exhaust still burns more gasoline, that still means more pounds of C02 being produced from the vehicle. The quantity of, and even the definition of "pollution" is a tough one to keep your finger on.

    [ QUOTE ]
    It's a shame that so many vehicles are not covered in the CAFE. I wonder if it's too late see if the EPCA could be ammended so that any vehicle is included in the CAFE if 50% is sold to private parties. Hmmmm. I see a letter to Ms Boxer and Fienstein (senators) in the near future.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    GM and Ford would fall off the face of the earth if this happened. Ford correctly holds the award for the lowest corporate fuel economy of any car maker in the world. And the reason for that is that they sell the highest percentage of full-size trucks/SUVs. IF the EPCA were to included ALL passenger vehicles, GM and Ford would be forced to produce - EVs! Can't have that. EVs suck.

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    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    jtr1962 said:
    This thread has made me decide to write a letter to the NYC government to consider requiring zero emission vehicles within city limits.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Feel free to remind them that they already have about 100 of the CA EV1's running around. There's a start.

    I'll let you play with Turbodog on the pollution thing. I tried arguing about it with him once, and we sort of became friends. I don't need THAT happening again!

    I do think that all CA residents should consider moving to his state, however.

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    This is mainly directed to jtr, but I thought I'd make the message public for the heck of it.

    Jtr said.... "Why should I be forced to move because of other people's failure to adopt alternate energy sources?"


    Actually, you are not forced to move any more than you are forced to stay. The air is cleaner in many parts of the country. They may not be pristine, but I've been in central Oregon right after a rain storm and know what clean air is.

    I live in a "suburb" and don't have to drive every where I go. There is public transport and there are all the basic necessities within a mile of my house. Unless you live in a heavily industrilized area or a metropolis like LA, you can find plenty of places in California where the cars are required to be fairly clean burning and the air is fairly clear.

    The point of this message is that you have the option of moving to a cleaner environment if you want to. Moving does not mean you have to adopt wasteful habits. It does not mean you are being forced to do anything. Some may even say it shows your devotion to a clean environment if you leave your dirty one.

    I've been in Silicon Valley within the last 10 years on days when the smog was so bad that you could not see the freeway signs 1/4 mile away. I've been in LA on days when my eyes burned as I drove through. I've also seen beautiful days in both areas, so some of what we are doing has helped. It's helped a lot. I think that the idea of promoting ZEV cats (or even pzev) in NYC and LA would be a great idea. Good luck with it.

    Daniel

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    gadget_lover said:
    The point of this message is that you have the option of moving to a cleaner environment if you want to. Moving does not mean you have to adopt wasteful habits. It does not mean you are being forced to do anything. Some may even say it shows your devotion to a clean environment if you leave your dirty one.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    My only issue with this, is that it promotes the idea that dillution is the solution to pollution. If we, who are polluting the dirtly places in which we live, move to all the clean places - what will be the result? I can see it helping the one person moving, if all the other dirtly people remain in the dirtly places. But I don't see that helping the overall situation too much!

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    I agree with Darell's assertion that dillution is not the solution to pollution. At the same time, fear of the suburban life style is no reason to feel trapped in the large city.

    I could be wrong, but it seems easier to commute by bike, scooter or citi-car in a small community where the weather is mild and the traffic is less congested. I can scoot down the street on a bicycle here, going 7 or 8 blocks between stop signs. There are times of day when I can ride for a mile or two without encountering a moving car. I don't think you can do that in NYC, SF or LA.

    Daniel

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Good point Darell. If everyone in dirty areas moved to "clean" ones without changing their habits, the result would be the same. For my part I don't drive, and I try to conserve electricity by using fluorescent lighting.

    Also, one thing I need to point out to gadget_lover and turbodog on relocation is that not everyone can do it. I couldn't even comprehend living anywhere else. I've lived here my whole life except for the first 2.5 years of college where I slept away. That was in New Jersey, and even that was enough to convince me I could never be happy outside of a very large city. Anyway, I lack the money to move, a source of income in a new area, and most importantly I would be away from family. Most of the places where the air might be cleaner have other drawbacks which to someone like me would be as bad or worse than polluted air. Sure, there are places where the air is much cleaner. Problem is most of them are too suburban or rural for my tastes. Sure, some even have some public transit, but scheduled buses every half hour or hour to a few of the more common desitinations is a far cry from subway trains every two to four minutes combined with a feeder bus network that can get you within a few blocks of where you want to go. Find me a place with a big city atmosphere, comprehensive subways along the lines of NYC or Tokyo, reasonable housing costs, weather to my liking (i.e. mostly cold) and I'll move there tomorrow. I've never heard of such a place, at least in the US. Maybe if we moved NYC to Alaska and got rid of the cars that would be close.

    The problem as I see it isn't living in a big city, it's that we depend on the automobile even in places where we shouldn't, like big cities. This is what leads to the correlation between high population density and high pollution. At the very least in these areas we should do some combination of mandating ZEVs, restricting driving especially of people commuting by car from outside the cities, and restricting car ownership, or perhaps even all three in places like Manhattan. It isn't just that the cars pollute. They make the city unliveable in so many other ways while providing little benefit to most city residents, many of whom don't even have driver's licenses. For example, the majority of cars on the expressways during rush hours are suburban commuters who have other options open to them such as commuter rail with park and ride. And then there are quite a few trucks going to Long Island at all hours. All of this doesn't benefit city residents one iota. It's one thing to say move, but when the cause of a good amount of the pollution here comes from the lifestyle habits of people living outside the city I feel they should be the ones to change something, not me. This is why I get particularly irate when people say the solution to big city pollution problems is simply to move out of them.

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    gadget_lover said:
    I could be wrong, but it seems easier to commute by bike, scooter or citi-car in a small community where the weather is mild and the traffic is less congested. I can scoot down the street on a bicycle here, going 7 or 8 blocks between stop signs. There are times of day when I can ride for a mile or two without encountering a moving car. I don't think you can do that in NYC, SF or LA.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    I could commute like that by bike too right here if more stores would have secure bicycle parking inside the store by the security guard. I'm not going to leave my bike chained to a lamp post where it'll get stolen.

    Also, I think you tend to think of Manhattan when you think NYC. The outer boroughs are less congested, but not as empty as most suburbs. I can ride quite a ways without encountering a stop light, stop sign, and if at night an automobile. In fact, there's a bike path on 73rd Avenue where I've been able to go a few miles sometimes without needing to stop. I would call the atmosphere here semi-suburban with houses on 40x100 lots, but with the advantage that I can walk 3 miles (or take a bus) to downtown Flushing, or take a subway and bus to get to midtown in 35 minutes at a cost of $1.67. Sure, we don't have the amount of land typical suburban homeowners have, but then unless you're growing your own food, raising cattle, or making your own biodiesel, I never understood the need to have more than about what we have. To me huge green lawns are immensely boring.

    As for feeling trapped, I feel more trapped when I'm in an area where the distances between things just aren't walkable, there are no sidewalks, the only roads where you can bike have cars whizzing by at 70 mph, and there is no real sense of place. Maybe where you live isn't like that, but I'd say I just described 99% of the United States. I've seen New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Long Island. To me they all look practically the same.

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    For myself, I'm glad I live in a state where the weather is only nice 50% of the year. It means that very few people want to live in Iowa. So...less traffic, fewer houses, less congestion, no waiting in long lines to see a movie, etc.

    Although, the price I pay (in addition to the 50% of the year where the weather is cold and unpleasant) is that I have a 40 mile round trip commute from my home in the country (with really clean air). I hate that to have my high tech job (IT for a university) that I need to use fuel to go back and forth from home to work every day. We've thought about living "in town", but I grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio...and I just do not want to live where every one is jammed up next to each other.

    I make myself feel better about this by driving the highest mileage car I could find (2003 VW Golf TDI - diesel ...49 mpg) and running it on renewable biodiesel as much as I can (cut my use of petroleum by about 75%).

    Still...I hate the investment in tires, oil changes, etc. I'm sure if there was a BEV available for purchase in Iowa...I'd have one! I just need one with a reliable 50 mile range and I'd be all set. The technology is there for it...just no one is producing such a thing.

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Pollution is a funny thing.

    When we get the northwest winds that come with cold fronts, Houston is about as clean as you could imagine.

    The normal hot southeast winds make it awful. Tells me Mexico is not our very best neighbor...

    But weather means more than any other factor in THIS part of the country.

    I want EV truck. It's gonna have to make the bigtime so used ones are possible.

    A cleaner newer truck is in my future, so I try!

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    I can understand much of what jtr1962 is talking about.
    If the large city dwellers with the polluting gas hogs move to the suburbs, they simply drag their polluting cars with them and in the future create more pollution.

    We SHOULD limit driving as much as possible in heavily polluted areas!
    A while back a person that I work with decided that he could not afford to operate a vehicle any longer and he switched to riding the bus. I have the utmost respect for him. Riding a bus where I live requires planning and sacrificing of some luxuries. Instead of just hopping in your warm car in the winter(with your Sirius radio and hot cup of coffee), you may have to walk a ways to the bus stop when its cold in the winter. You may deal with blistering heat in the summer.
    You may have to change buses two or three times to get to work. However, where we work, we get a bus pass for $10.00 a month. How much gas will that buy you today?
    Tomorrow? Then add car maintenance, gas, oil, inspection,license, and here is the WHOPPER-car insurance in the BIG CITY.
    It is amazing how much this can add up in a year on two or three vehicles.

    One other advantage other than financial is that once you are on the bus, you can put on your favorite music(nice noise cancelling headphones) and read a book and let the bus driver handle the frustration of that BIG CITY rush hour traffic!

    I guess it is the old saying that you pay with time or money. It is our choice!

    But without some ZEV mandates in this country, we are in trouble.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Geez, where I am a bus pass is $21 for a week!

    I still catch the bus though, except when I car pool. No point driving for just one of me, and then there's parking too ...

    On a side note, I'm thinking of buying a Prius. Anything I should know before committing? Just so you know, the wife has only given provisional go-ahead, so it may still take a while before anything happens here.

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    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Bindibadgi,

    There's not much to say. The Prius drives and rides about like any other car it's size. It's not a sports car, so you should not expect Celica handling when doing 30 over the speed limit in the turns. It does quite nicely if you tend to drive near the speed limit.

    The best milage comes if you commute at least 10 minutes each way. If you stop for a cup of coffee on the way to work (like I do) and have a short commute you might be disappointed in the milage. That's due to the "warm up cycle" that happens in the first 5 minutes of driving. The worst milage I've ever had for a full tank of gas was just under 40MPG.

    The Prius appears to hold up real well. I'd have no qualms about buying a used one with 30,000 miles on it. The 2001 to 2003 model is actually much roomier than it appears. You shoudl try one if you can.

    If you have questions, feel free to PM me.

    Dan

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    Darell said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    jtr1962 said:
    This thread has made me decide to write a letter to the NYC government to consider requiring zero emission vehicles within city limits.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Feel free to remind them that they already have about 100 of the CA EV1's running around. There's a start.

    I'll let you play with Turbodog on the pollution thing. I tried arguing about it with him once, and we sort of became friends. I don't need THAT happening again!

    I do think that all CA residents should consider moving to his state, however.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You CA sissies couldn't survive here in MS. There's no starbucks. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

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    Flashaholic* Orion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Hey gadget_lover [or anyone else who knows], how does the Prius do during a long trip, on the highway, with no help from the regenerative braking. Is the mpg lowered? Does the possibility of not having the RB cause the battery to drain too much?

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    Flashaholic* twentysixtwo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    MPG for hybrids on Highway is generally the same or worse than city - to be more correct, the big advantage HEV's have over ICE's is in the city.

    Since HEV's have smaller, more efficient (Atkinson cycle) engines, their highway performance is not bad. Note that you can't really use an Atkinson for an ICE only vehicle since torque is pretty poor.

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    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    bindibadgi said:
    Geez, where I am a bus pass is $21 for a week!

    [/ QUOTE ]
    That's almost free! I know *lots* of folks who communte to SF and pay over $400/month just for parking their car! That doesn't count all the other things that were listed... gas, maintenance, tires, insurance, bridge/road toll, yadda, yadda. There was a time when a friend who lived in SF was paying more to keep his car parked in a private garage than he was paying to live in his appartment.

    Now the bus looks pretty good.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    Orion said:
    Hey gadget_lover [or anyone else who knows], how does the Prius do during a long trip, on the highway, with no help from the regenerative braking. Is the mpg lowered? Does the possibility of not having the RB cause the battery to drain too much?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Actually, it's not as clear cut as 20-6-2 said.

    First, it does great on long trips. I'm doing a 1200 mile run this weekend to visit family. Much of it is long stretches of flat and straight at 70mph (or was that 75 on I-5?). I usually get around 50-55 MPG depending on the winds. The car is quite comfortable for such a ride.

    When I hit LA I usually endure a bit of traffic jam, no more than an hour. This usually drops the milage a few MPG. I've cruised into San Diego with the computer showing 51 MPG for the whole trip. That includes going over the Altamont pass near Tracy, CA and the grapevine just north of the LA basin.

    Remember, the magic of regen braking is that it captures some of the energy that you used to get the car moving. Regen does not create any new energy. Regen is not 100% efficient for many reasons, so if you used 1 Kwh to get moving you may recapture 1/2 Kwh through braking. That's still a loss of 500 wh.

    The hybrid is fully in play at freeway speeds. When there is any down slant at all, the ICE may not be needed. I'm talking 10 foot drop over 1 mile. Very slight. When you have a tail wind, the power requirements drop, so the ICE may not be needed. When the ICE is not needed it shuts down for a short while and the electric motor takes over. When more power is needed or the battery needs charging the ICE is started up again.

    The Prius system virtually never has a drained battery. There are two reasons. 1) The Nimh batteries last much longer if never over charged and never fully discharged and 2) The Prius can charge the battery any time that 100% of the ICE power is not needed to move the car. Driving at a steady speed uphill with a headwind does not take the full ICE power, so it can even charge the battery on the way UP a mountain. Accelerating uphill does take the full power of the ICE, but you can only accelerate for a short period (15 seconds?) before you are exceeding the speed limit.

    20-6-2 said that the hybrid advantage is mainly on city streets. That's certainly true in the EPA tests, and probably true in cars/SUVs that are not very aerodynamic. In a car like the Prius, the system works to your advantage in city, freeway and mountain driving. It's a shame that the one place where a cheap BEV would shine (lots of short trips during the course of a day) is where the Prius is least efficient.

    Daniel

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    Flashaholic* Orion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Thanks for your input, gadget_lover. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    I'm looking forward to when my Hyundai gives me a reason to have to buy a new car. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]

    It's a shame that the one place where a cheap BEV would shine (lots of short trips during the course of a day) is where the Prius is least efficient.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm sure that's one of the main targets of the Prius+ project. I think they currently can get 20-30 miles of EV-only mode right now (at city speeds, <30mph)

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    [ QUOTE ]
    gadget_lover said:
    First, it does great on long trips.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I've heard this same thing. The system definitely shines the brightes in town, but it works really well out there on the highway as well.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Remember, the magic of regen braking is that it captures some of the energy that you used to get the car moving. Regen does not create any new energy. Regen is not 100% efficient for many reasons, so if you used 1 Kwh to get moving you may recapture 1/2 Kwh through braking. That's still a loss of 500 wh.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I don't mean to rain on the parade (I know, I know...) - I wanted to put forth a more accurate picture of regen braking possibilities. The Rav4EV is the most efficient regen braker yet made (in what we call "production" EVs, at least - the ACP controller is superior). The Rav4EV captures about 45% of the power in regen. The Prius can recapture about 10% at best. The limits are battery capacity and generator capacity (electric motor size).

    [ QUOTE ]
    It's a shame that the one place where a cheap BEV would shine (lots of short trips during the course of a day) is where the Prius is least efficient.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Heck, even an expensive EV would shine here. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Yes, short trips, stop and go, commuting - is where the EV rules. And it just happens that the short trips and commuting accounts for about 80% of the vehicle miles we travel in this country! If I were to buy a Prius, it would be our long-distance cruiser.

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Darell is raining on my St Patricks' day parade! Oh NO! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]


    Seriously, I was not aware that the Rav4EV was that good at it. I was aware that the Prius was not great. It still recaptures enough power to make some difference. I once figured out that on a trip to San Francisco (35 mile or so) it recaptured enough energy to accelerate my Prius from 0 to 65 twice.

    For everyone but Darell, a quick example of why regen is important:

    In Darell's example of recapturing 45% of the energy needed to accelerate the car:
    Assume you have enough battery capacity to go from 0 to 25 mph 10 times. Now assume that you have to drive 14 blocks with a stop sign every block. Without regen your battery would be dead 11 blocks from home. With regen, you'd complete the 14 block drive with some to spare. Same battery, same charge.

    Now it gets fun. Take out 4 of the stop signs. Without the loss of energy caused by braking, the car can make the trip with or without regen. It takes less energy to maintain speed than it does to change the speed.

    Soapbox: This illustrates one of the reasons I think that "car pool" lanes actually increase pollution. It causes the other lanes to be packed closer, which contributes to stop and go driving for the 90% of the total traffic that's stuck there. Stop and Go is the most wasteful driving mode since there's no way to recapture the energy in a standard car. The Prius does OK in stop and go because it leaves the ICE off much of the time.

    Daniel

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    Gadget - you're right, I should have qualified it with EPA tests, which are supposed to be - but really aren't that representative of what normal folks would see. The big difference is that the EPA test drivers are very concious of how they are driving and are trying to maximize the FE, also things like AC, etc are turned off.

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    Default Re: Electric & Alt Fuel Vehicles, Part 4

    It's too bad that the EPA tests set such unrealistic expectations. The test simulate real world driving in a fairly restricted setting. That leads to cars that are 'tuned' to take advantage of the test parameters.

    What causes the real dis-satisfaction is what I like to call the 'buddy inflation'. You know exactly what your milage is because the car even displays it on the dashboard. The only way to compare it to other cars is to look at the EPA figures or ask your buddy. This is the same buddy who will gladly describe the 10 pound trout he almost caught last week, and the beautiful prom queen he dated in high school. Your buddy will tell you the best milage he ever got, that time he was driving down from Mountain Peak and got 45 mpg in his 72 Ford pickup.

    It would be really neat if, as part of the "truth in advertising" stchick, they would require real world tests the first month a car is on the market. Pick a city, and require that 5 of the cars be driven 300 miles. Then pick any two cities 600 miles apart and require that they make that run too, round trip.

    I've found that it did not matter where I drive, if it's around trip and the weather is not crazy, my milage is about the same. That would work so much better.

    Daniel

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