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Maxinquaye
09-08-2010, 12:02 AM
http://www.economist.com/node/16980314?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/ar/inthezone

Leave it to the Koreans to bypass all the BS, as well as the electric car critics, and come up with this - the eZone electric car:

That will happen in Europe any day now, with a starting price between $8,000 and $16,000, and CT&T has plans to introduce the eZone into Hawaii (one part of the United States where journeys are, by definition, short) in two years’ time, when a local factory is up and running.


Critics of electric cars frequently argue that their viability depends on government subsidies. Not so the eZone. CT&T’s use of simple, existing technology, as well as its country of origin—the South Korean government has shown a distinct lack of interest in handing out cash to electric-car drivers—means it is an exception which overthrows the rule.


Of course, if the obstacle for you to go green is that you must be king of the road, running from suburbia to Walmart with five kids - it won't work.

Zoombie
09-08-2010, 12:03 AM
Hahaha, I love it!

Go S. Korea!

MacAllister
09-08-2010, 12:08 AM
There's absolutely NO good reason for us to still be driving gas-guzzling monsters, other than it's good for the people making pissloads of money from oil.

Craig Henderson has designed a car that gets over 110 mpg (http://www.switched.com/2010/09/04/craig-hendersons-canada-to-mexico-drive-on-one-tank-of-gas-sets/) on diesel or biodiesel, and 25 years later, he still hasn't been able to interest anyone in producing it -- and your average consumer still can't go buy one:
A guy named Craig Henderson recently drove from Canada to Mexico in a car that got a Guinness World record-breaking 119.1 miles-per-gallon (http://jalopnik.com/5628752/). More impressive, though, is the fact that he never once had to stop to refuel. That's right, Henderson made it all the way from Blaine, Washington to Chulla Vista, Mexico on just one tank of gas, and consumed just 12.4 gallons of diesel along the 1,384-mile trip. Oh yeah, and the car was constructed in 1984.

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/12/2010/09/340x_acrosstheborder.jpg

Williebee
09-08-2010, 12:09 AM
This could be the "daily driver" for 80% of the populace around where I live. But they would need a different vehicle to leave the county.

dmytryp
09-08-2010, 12:35 AM
2 passengers
maximum speed of less than 45 mph
But the biggest problem is charging infrastracture. There isn't any. Meaning, you have to charge either at home or at work. As Ben said, this is fine for a city drive to go to work. That's about it. This isn't a small thing, but it ain't the solution either.
Generally speaking, you need slightly more creative solutions to go around the price problem. Like Better Place (http://www.betterplace.com/the-company-pressroom-pressreleases-detail/index/id/better-place-extends-tokyo-trial-for-additional-three-months)

GeorgeK
09-08-2010, 12:41 AM
[QUOTE=MacAllister;5313195]There's absolutely NO good reason for us to still be driving gas-guzzling monsters, other than it's good for the people making pissloads of money from oil. ]

I guess that depends on your point of view. We live 15 miles from town across rolling hills of the Appalachian foothills. The county doesn't plow or salt typically for about 24 hours after it snows. Maybe they don't have enough plows? . Maybe they want to wait and see if it melts? I don't know. If we are going to get out to town, we need 4WD. Going off the icy road can often mean going into a creek. A sedan even if it has 4WD will quickly fill with freezing water. Hypothermia = death. We need something taller for that possibility, so we have a truck (which we also need for carting animals that we've raised to the butcher for the people who aren't willing or able to butcher). We happen to be fortunate enough that we also have something for commuting in in good weather. Not everyone has that. Some people need a truck.

Now if your argument is that the industry is at fault for not having trucks with better fuel efficiency, I agree.

MacAllister
09-08-2010, 12:49 AM
GeorgeK, that's absolutely my point. I understand needing 4WD, and I understand needing a truck -- I grew up in a farming/ranching family in eastern Montana.

But I also drove a little diesel Rabbit in the 80s that got somewhere around 45-48 mpg on the highway. That's technology that's well over twenty years old -- but we're still pretending that gas/electric hybrid technology is some kind of fuel-saving miracle.

Don
09-08-2010, 01:18 AM
Craig Henderson has designed a car that gets over 110 mpg (http://www.switched.com/2010/09/04/craig-hendersons-canada-to-mexico-drive-on-one-tank-of-gas-sets/) on diesel or biodiesel, and 25 years later, he still hasn't been able to interest anyone in producing it -- and your average consumer still can't go buy one:


http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/12/2010/09/340x_acrosstheborder.jpg
I remember this from the first time around. I was amazed they couldn't find enough investors to make a go of it.

The main problem will be getting it to a reasonable price point. Although they mention recycling junkyard components, I wonder how that will go over with the EPA and other regulatory agencies.

The construction materials and methods are also substantially pricier than the average steel-stamped car, at least for now. The trick will be to make it affordably produceable without sacrificing performance.

It's interesting they mention the parallels to small aircraft construction in their marketing materials. That's a hot market for homebuilts; perhaps they'll offer a chassis-body kit for DIYers, with the rest of the parts recycled by the homebuilder. They could start a new craze that would appeal to the frugal and the eco-conscious. Talk about bragging rights! "I built my own car to help mother nature." :D

Maxinquaye
09-08-2010, 01:21 AM
[QUOTE=MacAllister;5313195]There's absolutely NO good reason for us to still be driving gas-guzzling monsters, other than it's good for the people making pissloads of money from oil. ]

I guess that depends on your point of view. We live 15 miles from town across rolling hills of the Appalachian foothills. The county doesn't plow or salt typically for about 24 hours after it snows. Maybe they don't have enough plows? . Maybe they want to wait and see if it melts? I don't know. If we are going to get out to town, we need 4WD. Going off the icy road can often mean going into a creek. A sedan even if it has 4WD will quickly fill with freezing water. Hypothermia = death. We need something taller for that possibility, so we have a truck (which we also need for carting animals that we've raised to the butcher for the people who aren't willing or able to butcher). We happen to be fortunate enough that we also have something for commuting in in good weather. Not everyone has that. Some people need a truck.

Now if your argument is that the industry is at fault for not having trucks with better fuel efficiency, I agree.

Um, yes. It's an urban car - built for commuters that live in cities and which today spend parts of their days sitting in gasdrinkers.

Part of the problem is, of course, that it's not a guy's car. You'll never get guys out of suv's and into that thing. Not until the petrol runs out, and the Tesla comes down in price.

efreysson
09-08-2010, 01:37 AM
Leave it to the Koreans to bypass all the BS, as well as the electric car critics, and come up with this - the eZone electric car:


For about two seconds there I misread that as "Leave it to the NORTH Koreans..."

Imagine my shock. :)

icerose
09-08-2010, 01:41 AM
I have three kids so that kind of rules out these mini-super cars, though I'd personally love to have one if my whole family could fit safely. Between price, lack of availability, lack of space I have a car that gets 30 mpg to get around with, but I do wish car companies would use the technology there and just make the transition and get it over with.

It's kind of funny I was thinking about the big gas guzzlers today because I saw 3, yes 3, hummers at the post office today. All with a single passenger. Those things are gas guzzlers I was blown away anyone would drive them casually. I've seen one or two around town but I'd never seen three together.

GeorgeK
09-08-2010, 01:49 AM
GeorgeK, that's absolutely my point. I understand needing 4WD, and I understand needing a truck -- I grew up in a farming/ranching family in eastern Montana.


Cool, What'd you raise?

But I also drove a little diesel Rabbit in the 80s that got somewhere around 45-48 mpg on the highway. That's technology that's well over twenty years old -- but we're still pretending that gas/electric hybrid technology is some kind of fuel-saving miracle.

Around the same time, I had a VW GTI that got in the low to mid 40's on the cheapest unleaded. It was a stick. Where'd they all go? I only traded in mine because I moved to an area stuck in the WW2 mindset and nobody would work on a German car (which actually had been made in America).

benbradley
09-08-2010, 03:02 AM
[QUOTE=MacAllister;5313195]
Now if your argument is that the industry is at fault for not having trucks with better fuel efficiency, I agree.
They make them because people buy them. They don't drag down the company's average gas mileage as trucks (and other big, heavy vehicles such as SUV's and Hummers) are exempt from the CAFE standards (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5448289).

They make what sells, and what squeaks under EPA requirements.

There's a couple ways (for the Government) to reduce the sales of such low-mileage vehicles. One is to directly mandate that they must have better gas mileage. The other is to raise the price of (taxes on) gas. The latter happened (due to market forces rather than taxes) for a short time with $4 per gallon gas, and that definitely reduced sales of such large vehicles for personal use. But I heard a recent news story that sales of large, low-mileage vehicles are up substantially from a year ago.

Automotive technology HAS BEEN improving over the last several decades even as gas mileage "cafe" standards haven't really gone up much, even for smaller cars. The improvements have been in making smaller cars that meet the gas standards and have higher acceleration than earlier models, rather than in making cars that still perform as before but get even better mileage than the gas standards mandate.

Even with smaller cars it's the buyer's attitude and the price of gas, and "what people can live with." The manufacturers just make what they know will sell, and better acceleration sells a lot more cars than does better gas mileage.
[QUOTE=GeorgeK;5313295]

Um, yes. It's an urban car - built for commuters that live in cities and which today spend parts of their days sitting in gasdrinkers.

Part of the problem is, of course, that it's not a guy's car. You'll never get guys out of suv's and into that thing. Not until the petrol runs out, and the Tesla comes down in price.

I agree, it's attitude more than anything else. Here's an interesting article with a provocative title:

Why the New 35-MPG Fuel Economy Standard Is a Bad Idea
http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/4235773

...
The problem is that gasoline is too cheap, and it always has been. Diesel, too. I know, that might sound preposterous to someone who's just dropped the best part of a day's pay to fill up the pickup, but hear me out. Really.
...
When gas is more expensive, the marketplace will realign the mix of vehicles on the road, as it has in Europe and most of the rest of the world, where gasoline can cost double what it does here. We just haven't reached that point yet.

Around the same time, I had a VW GTI that got in the low to mid 40's on the cheapest unleaded. It was a stick. Where'd they all go?
Dunno, but I don't think manual transmissions beat out automatics anymore in gas mileage, as was always true decades ago. Modern automatics have up to 6 or more "speeds" (gear ratios), and have computers that calculate efficient shift points.

Of course, it's all designed to give better acceleration while maintaining the current "good" gas mileage, rather than to increase gas mileage any further, but you get the idea.

Paul
09-08-2010, 04:13 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_generation_photovoltaic_cell

Great stuff.
If the above link comes to fruition it would be fab.

benbradley
09-08-2010, 09:16 AM
This is slightly off topic, but I just wanted to verify the claim I was pretty sure of in my previous post, that automatic transmissions are now more efficient than manual:

Why do automatic transmissions now get better fuel efficiency than manuals?
http://green.autoblog.com/2010/08/18/greenlings-why-do-automatic-transmissions-now-get-better-fuel-e/

JimmyB27
09-08-2010, 06:02 PM
Meh, electic cars are only a partial solution anyway. That electricity has to come from somewhere, right?

Paul
09-08-2010, 06:25 PM
Meh, electic cars are only a partial solution anyway. That electricity has to come from somewhere, right?

Hence my post/ link above.
bec that's exactly right. current renewable resources which supply electricity wont be able to keep up with the electric car development, so as far as oil consumption goes, not so good (though prob less pollutants).
But if such new ways of harnessing the sun do work, well we're finally onto a winner, re vehicles - incl buses and trains.

Shadow_Ferret
09-08-2010, 08:46 PM
GM had tested an electric back in the 90s, then buried it for some reason. Had they continued R&D, we'd probably have a full-sized and affordable electric instead of all these little tiny things that barely fit one person, much less a family.
If we are going to get out to town, we need 4WD. Going off the icy road can often mean going into a creek. A sedan even if it has

Not sure what the transmission and such has to do with what powers it. Why can't there be an electric 4wd?

Shadow Dragon
09-08-2010, 10:23 PM
GM had tested an electric back in the 90s, then buried it for some reason. Had they continued R&D, we'd probably have a full-sized and affordable electric instead of all these little tiny things that barely fit one person, much less a family.
Actually, quite a few companies put out electric cars back in the nineties, but they all recalled them for some unknown reason. They also destroyed all of them.

There's a documentary on it called, Who Killed the Electric Car. It's on youtube, starting here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39K36Rw7LYc

It's quite interesting to see who all helped to sabotage the success of the electric car.

Meh, electic cars are only a partial solution anyway. That electricity has to come from somewhere, right?
Actually, they'd still make a big difference. For the time being, powerplants are going to be burning coal regardless, but the combined effect of most cars running on gas is probably causing a lot more pollution than the powerplants. Electric cars would be a huge step in the right direction.

Duncan J Macdonald
09-08-2010, 11:13 PM
My personal vehicle is a turbo diesel VW Passat -- fits 4 comfortably, and I get 38 mpg consistently -- when I want to try to maximize, I get upwards of 42.

For my regular commute to work (34 miles each way) I ride a Harley Davidson Electraglide Ultra Classic (their full-dress bike) I get mid 40's. If I could run steady-state at 60 mph, I'd get 50+, but if I do that, I get run over.

None-the-less, I'm looking at the Chevrolet Volt as a replacement for the VW.

Zoombie
09-09-2010, 12:10 AM
Meh, electic cars are only a partial solution anyway. That electricity has to come from somewhere, right?

Yes!

It is called...

THE SUN!

Maxinquaye
09-09-2010, 12:52 AM
Yes!

It is called...

THE SUN!

Or THE EARTH!

It's hot underground too.

Geothermal ftw.

dmytryp
09-09-2010, 01:06 AM
Or the nuclear fusion. We can theorize a lot. At the moment, though, neiither qualifies.

Shadow_Ferret
09-09-2010, 01:09 AM
None-the-less, I'm looking at the Chevrolet Volt as a replacement for the VW.

I'd love to get an all-electric vehicle. But the cost... :(

I'm also not sure I want to be the first to buy one then find out it dies in winter from the cold. Or discover that the life of the battery is really really short and it costs an arm and a leg to replace.