The World's Most Efficient Cars

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Astronuc

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Like every year, this is the season for the Shell Eco-Marathon annual fuel-economy competition. Last week, the hydrogen-powered Swiss PAC-Car II broke a new record, using 1.02 gram of hydrogen to finish the race. This is the equivalent of 5,385 kilometers per liter of gasoline. For users of other units, this translates to a whopping 15,210 miles per British gallon or 12,670 miles per U.S. gallon. And this week, the British Ech2o car will attempt to break this record. Its designers say that this car, also hydrogen-powered, "can travel on less electricity than it takes to power a light bulb." It will be driven by a 13-year old experienced go-kart driver." Read more... http://www.primidi.com/2005/07/05.html

PAC-Car II Homepage - http://www.paccar.ethz.ch/

http://www.paccar.ethz.ch/technics/index [Broken] - technical


BOC's Ech2o car - http://www.boc.com/news/article_911_04jul05.asp
 
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Pengwuino

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oh my god its like... a shoe and a dog combined
 

brewnog

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I read about this in PE last week. They believe that the equivalent of 20,000mpg isn't out of the question. And it's being driven by a kid from wolram's neck of the woods!
 

Ivan Seeking

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Its designers say that this car, also hydrogen-powered, "can travel on less electricity than it takes to power a light bulb."
That is really interesting since the average adult can produce about this much power constantly - 100 Watts.

Edit: It would be interesting to know the well-to-wheels efficiency of a person who is producing 100 watts of power for some number of hours.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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Another story in the news.

Experimental Hybrid Cars Get Up to 250 Mpg [a misleading headline]

It looks like a typical Toyota Prius hybrid, but in the trunk sits an 80-miles-per-gallon secret — a stack of 18 brick-sized batteries that boosts the car's high mileage with an extra electrical charge so it can burn even less fuel.

Gremban, an electrical engineer and committed environmentalist, spent several months and $3,000 tinkering with his car.

Like all hybrids, his Prius increases fuel efficiency by harnessing small amounts of electricity generated during braking and coasting. The extra batteries let him store extra power by plugging the car into a wall outlet at his home in this San Francisco suburb — all for about a quarter. [continued]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/hybrid_tinkerers;_ylt=AucktN.IYYD2WCstet4JuPes0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ- [Broken]

Astronuc, I don't mean to derail the thread. If you prefer we can split this but it seemed related.
 
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wolram

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brewnog said:
I read about this in PE last week. They believe that the equivalent of 20,000mpg isn't out of the question. And it's being driven by a kid from wolram's neck of the woods!
Yep i am so proud that is my old college.

The BOC Ech2o car, driven by Jack Dex, 13, of Southam College, Warwickshire, will attempt to break the world fuel efficiency record of over 10,000 miles per gallon next week, during the Shell Eco Marathon at Rockingham Raceway in the Midlands.
 

russ_watters

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Ivan Seeking said:
Another story in the news.
Misleading, yes, but the idea of changing the gas-electric mix is certainly a valid one. Finding the right bias could be difficult though (perhaps a "commute/road trip" toggle switch?).
 

Ivan Seeking

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russ_watters said:
Misleading, yes, but the idea of changing the gas-electric mix is certainly a valid one. Finding the right bias could be difficult though (perhaps a "commute/road trip" toggle switch?).
I agree completely. It seems to be a missed opportunity due to potentially flawed market expectations.
 

russ_watters

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Ivan Seeking said:
I agree completely. It seems to be a missed opportunity due to potentially flawed market expectations.
Well, I personally like the idea of a V6 with an electric booster motor - but I suspect there could also be a large market for a primarily electric vehicle that has a small gas motor that only runs above, say, 40mph (therefore requiring only one gear ratio and optomizing its efficiency) or to charge the batteries. It could even be a simple matter to add battery capacity to an existing hybrid and increasing the electric motor utilization at low speeds.

I suspect battery cost and weight could be a significant issue, though...

Right now, I think the design of hybrids is mostly being dictated by government requirements. But with them flying off the shelves, car companies should be falling all over themselves to come up with original ideas (the ~260hp Accord is a unique idea, but still inside the box). Trouble is, most car companies utterly lack real engineering creativity.
 
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FredGarvin

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russ_watters said:
I suspect battery cost and weight could be a significant issue, though...
I know it has been said many times before, but the notion of a mostly electric car just isn't going to happen until the next major breakthrough in battery technology. There's just no feasable way to give people what they want right now.

russ_watters said:
Right now, I think the design of hybrids is mostly being dictated by government requirements. But with them flying off the shelves, car companies should be falling all over themselves to come up with original ideas (the ~260hp Accord is a unique idea, but still inside the box). Trouble is, most car companies utterly lack real engineering creativity.
It may be my highly cynical side when it comes to automotive companies, but I believe the motor companies would cut their own noses off to spite their faces (I believe that's the phrase). The 'good old boy' attitudes that persist in the big three is so ingrained...No matter what they say and advertise, I think they will not make any huge leaps in hybrid technology until forced to do so by government mandates. Then again, that's just my opinion. I have no love of the dolts that run the automotive industries.
 

Pengwuino

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FredGarvin said:
It may be my highly cynical side when it comes to automotive companies, but I believe the motor companies would cut their own noses off to spite their faces (I believe that's the phrase). The 'good old boy' attitudes that persist in the big three is so ingrained...No matter what they say and advertise, I think they will not make any huge leaps in hybrid technology until forced to do so by government mandates. Then again, that's just my opinion. I have no love of the dolts that run the automotive industries.
I'll be the optomist and say that they are trying their best to get something decent out to the market. My reasoning? I think only 1 hybrid is actually selling at a profit. I figure that they see some silly market where people will practically sacrifice their 1st born to get the newest "environmentally friendly" car and simply want to be known to have the best hybrids or hydrogen cars once they come. Once the "big one" .. or one of hte big ones come out however, they'll probably be able to charge up the nose because people will think "oh its totally worth it, they've been in the hybrid game the longest and had the best stuff before". Best way to grab market share!
 

Ivan Seeking

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FredGarvin said:
It may be my highly cynical side when it comes to automotive companies, but I believe the motor companies would cut their own noses off to spite their faces (I believe that's the phrase). The 'good old boy' attitudes that persist in the big three is so ingrained...No matter what they say and advertise, I think they will not make any huge leaps in hybrid technology until forced to do so by government mandates. Then again, that's just my opinion. I have no love of the dolts that run the automotive industries.
I saw recently that Ford - First On Repair Day - spent a boat full of money to tune the exhaust on their trucks to produce the most popular sound. This was not based on performance or efficiency, it was based on how cool the engine sounds when run out. :rolleyes:
 
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Moonbear

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Astronuc said:
It will be driven by a 13-year old experienced go-kart driver."
Perhaps this is because it's not much bigger than a go-cart? Does it go any faster than a bicycle? And I bet it gets pretty toasty inside that thing on a hot summer day.

They're cute looking toys (actually, I like Pengwuino's comment that it's a dog and a car all in one; I'm not sure if you should drive it or walk it on a leash!), but they're hardly going to solve any issues regarding real transportation. You need something economical that will fit a family of 4, plus the stroller, diaper bag, and groceries, and still be able to make it up a hill in the snow before it even is worth considering as an alternative.
 
Wouldn't a perfect super conductive storage system be better than Batteries in an electric car? :smile:
 
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Ivan Seeking said:
I saw recently that Ford - First On Repair Day - spent a boat full of money to tune the exhaust on their trucks to produce the most popular sound. This was not based on performance or efficiency, it was based on how cool the engine sounds when run out. :rolleyes:
Most car companies do this. Mazda spent more money than you can shake a stick at on the Miata exhaust before the Miata went into first production. Mazda had these little RV's with individual sound studios so ppl could listen to different exhaust tones and select the most pleasing.
 
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I'm not sure where in Europe they are, but there are buses that use hydraulics for stopping and accelerating. As they stop, they store hydraulic energy in accumulators and release it again to initiate acceleration. The rest is a standard diesel engine power.
 

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