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Super Efficient Cars [very large pictures]
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=46218
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Author:  alecmg [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:30 am ]
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Has the topic lost its value as oil prices go down?

Do efficient car project simply die off now?

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:54 am ]
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Hi,

This is like deciding to hold off repairing the leaking roof, because it has stopped raining.

Oil prices will go back up, and electric/hybrid cars are the future. And efficiency is always a good thing; for all resources: water, food, air, and the earth is connected to all of these.

Author:  QuietOC [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:48 am ]
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I saw an Aptera getting off the highway near our home a month or so ago.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:52 am ]
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Hi,

Really?! Too bad you didn't have a camera handy! What highway and what day/time was it? The folks over at the Aptera Forum are anxious for any and all news about the Aptera.

Did the vehicle you saw have the rear quarter windows, or not?

Author:  QuietOC [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:00 am ]
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

Really?! Too bad you didn't have a camera handy! What highway and what day/time was it? The folks over at the Aptera Forum are anxious for any and all news about the Aptera.

Did the vehicle you saw have the rear quarter windows, or not?

No, no camera. It was in the early evening here in Grand Rapids. I figure it was probably some automotive journalist testing it--they occasionally drive cars over to this side of the state.

Author:  mexell [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:02 am ]
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hi,

Really?! Too bad you didn't have a camera handy! What highway and what day/time was it? The folks over at the Aptera Forum are anxious for any and all news about the Aptera.

Did the vehicle you saw have the rear quarter windows, or not?


You do also say "handy"? I thought this was a German disease only...

But back on topic. I recently stumbled over some money, and the Aptera looks soooo killer. And the idea to be able to commute with a car like this would be so promising. But unfortunately, I don't live in CA, not even the US... so it seems like I have to wait some more years for eco-friendly driving to become true.

Well, I hope that America does big time when it comes to mitigating climate change. They have the potential, which just has to be unleashed (Apollo, anyone?)

Author:  Mescalero [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:05 am ]
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I don't think the ideo of energy efficient cars will vanish again. In the "60 Minutes" interview Obama said that abandoning the quest of alterntive fuels and energy independence now would be absurd.

Also Vokswagen is developing a 2l car and other German car companies have also already invested heavily into hybrid and other fuel efficient propulsion technologies.

I just read that discussion about the safety of small cars. Here is a video of a Smart car craseh ageinst a 2-ton Mercedes S-Class. It looks pretty violent but IIRC the forces on the driver in the Smart were within healthy margins. The video is in German but the pictures speak for themselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TytcvBjCb4Y


Edit:
Quote:
You do also say "handy"? I thought this was a German disease only...


'to have something handy' means to have something quickly available. handy is an adjective (?) here not a noun like in German. German for that sentence would be "...keine Kamera zur Hand (!) hattest.

Author:  mexell [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:35 am ]
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Mescalero wrote:
'to have something handy' means to have something quickly available. handy is an adjective (?) here not a substantive like in German. German for that sentence would be "...keine Kamera zur Hand (!) hattest.


Hm, didn't think about that. Although it's obvious...

Author:  jaganath [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:12 pm ]
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Quote:
unfortunately, I don't live in CA, not even the US... so it seems like I have to wait some more years for eco-friendly driving to become true.


about a year and a half, to be exact:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loremo

German site:
http://evolution.loremo.com/index.php?lang=de

English site:
http://evolution.loremo.com/index.php?lang=en

Author:  mexell [ Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:17 am ]
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But the Aptera looks like Sci-Fi from the 1950s, and in comparison the Loremo looks very conservative...

Author:  alecmg [ Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:24 am ]
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Loremo is more practical imo

Electric vehicles that use lithium batteries... Yesterday I read how "eco friendly" production of lithium and batteries is. Horror! Plus it is not possible to ramp up production. Not enough for cellphones and laptops as it is.

Author:  jaganath [ Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:26 am ]
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mexell wrote:
But the Aptera looks like Sci-Fi from the 1950s, and in comparison the Loremo looks very conservative...


looks can be deceiving. the loremo uses cutting edge passenger cell design to achieve 5-star passenger safety without adding huge amounts of extra weight. also, what's not sci-fi about the whole front of the car hinging up in order to get in or out? :)

Author:  mexell [ Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:30 am ]
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jaganath wrote:
also, what's not sci-fi about the whole front of the car hinging up in order to get in or out? :)


This:
Image
:lol: :lol:

That's the BMW Isetta from the post-war time. You can bet it had no five-star passenger security.

I just like the looks of the Aptera more - it's not that I don't like the Loremo, which should in fact be available in Germany first.

Author:  Mescalero [ Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:47 am ]
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On the British TV show Top Gear they raced three cars from Basel, Switzerland to Blackbool, England, 750 miles away.
They used a Jaguar, a Subaru Legacy and a VW Polo BlueMotion, all diesel enginges.
The VW was quickest and most economical with 80mpg.
80mpg is better than the Toyota Prius although the Polo has no fancy hybrid technology. I think the whole hybrid thing really only works in an urban environmen with a lot of braking and accelerating.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:04 am ]
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Hello,

The Prius is also a bigger car. If you put a efficient diesel in the Prius, and/or made it a plug in, it could better the Polo, possibly.

Author:  Blue [ Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:08 am ]
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Mescalero wrote:
I think the whole hybrid thing really only works in an urban environmen with a lot of braking and accelerating.

That's actually incorrect. Braking and accelerating is bad for any vehicle, even hybrids. The electric motor cannot provide enough power alone to get hybird vehicles (e.g. Prius) up to speed, so the engine is used just like in any other vehicle. For me the Prius gets better highway mileage as compared to city mileage, which goes against the EPA ratings, and this is true for most Prius owners (you can search the forums at priuschat.com to verify this).

With that said there are driving techniques that can be used to improve city mileage (as well as highway). This has been most commonly referred to as hypermiling. A lot of it involves proper planning and anticipation while driving.

It's a common mistake to believe that hybrids run as electric vehicles in the city, but unfortunately this just isn't the case.

Author:  Mescalero [ Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:20 am ]
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Blue wrote:
Mescalero wrote:
I think the whole hybrid thing really only works in an urban environmen with a lot of braking and accelerating.

That's actually incorrect. Braking and accelerating is bad for any vehicle, even hybrids.


Yeah sure.
But whats the advantage of a hybrid if you drive long distances with (near) constant speed? Then all the power used will be generated by the combustion engine. Braking at high speeds won't give you lots of energy back because the batteries can't be charged that quickly.
Of course in urban areas a lot of energy is dissipated by braking, but if there's an area in which a hybrid outperforms a diesel it should be in stop-and-go traffic.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:52 am ]
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Hi,

Aptera has updated their webpage with much more detailed images -- I'd say it definitely has driven front wheels!

http://www.aptera.com/index.php

Image

Image

Image

Image

They start production this month! The cost will be the mid-$20K to the mid $40K range, depending on model (all-electric, serial hybrid, possibly fuel-only) and the options you choose. Sale to California residents only, for now, but all over the USA at some point fairly soon.

1,500-2,000 pounds (or so); again depending on the model and options. Dual air bags, front crumple zone, passenger safety cell with door beams, etc.

Author:  aristide1 [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:37 pm ]
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While some go on and on about spending an extra $10,000-$20,000 on a car in order to use $8000 less fuel we also have some overlooked history right here:

http://www.the-peoples-forum.com/cgi-bi ... rtNum=7160

Now I can't account for all the claims made in this article, but I do know the Honda CRX-HF had a 1300cc engine and just one compression ring per cylinder, as opposed to the usual two. Owners reported getting in excess of 50 mpg on the highway. And without all the resources poured into the batteries, and their shipping costs both as raw materials and as finished products.

I drove the original diesel Rabbit, which was more tortoise than rabbit anyday of the week. It did reasonable well on the highway, getting on the highway was the big problem. I felt like I was driving a coffin. I'm sure this is a better alternative:

http://www.the-peoples-forum.com/cgi-bi ... rtNum=4465

However, once again, let's not be ridiculous. A prof I had owned one of those early diesel Rabbits, and paid $900 to have the clutch replaced, or about twice the going rate for a clutch job back in those days. I like German engineering and drivability, it's the durability that leaves something to be desired.

Author:  Mescalero [ Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:52 am ]
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If they can really make the Aptera for 20-something-thousand Dollars, that be huge. It wouldn't even need fancy all electric angines. A nice modern diesel engine and you could probably achieve 100 mpg.

I have another interesting thing concerning safety of big vehicles:
The Euro NCAP board recently crashed the Ford Ranger, a 2-ton double cab pick up. It achieved only two stars in the front impact category. The Fiat 500, a car half the size achieved all five possible stars.

Author:  Aris [ Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:03 pm ]
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2 seats is going to be a big deterant for people. It may be a good "secondary drive to work" car, but a primary or only vehicle? They really need to make a 4 seater model. Especially considering the average american family is 2.4 kids.

Author:  xan_user [ Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:39 pm ]
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Aris wrote:
2 seats is going to be a big deterant for people. It may be a good "secondary drive to work" car, but a primary or only vehicle? They really need to make a 4 seater model. Especially considering the average american family is 2.4 kids.


Time to bring back the rumble seat.

Author:  alecmg [ Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:52 am ]
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http://www.dailytech.com/Electric+Car+Sales+in+Freefall+Industry+Risks+Collapse/article13601.htm
Low gasoline prices + bad economy = death of efficient car projects

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:53 am ]
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Hi,

Aptera is working on a 4 seat, 4 wheeled car -- the working name is Palomar. We know absolutely nothing about it yet.

A note on the Aptera 2e: you can put a child seat in the center back. OTOH, how many people on average are in each car on the road? I don't have the exact numbers, but at least 3/4 of all cars on the road -- there is just one person.

Author:  klankymen [ Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:24 pm ]
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Aris wrote:
2 seats is going to be a big deterant for people. It may be a good "secondary drive to work" car, but a primary or only vehicle? They really need to make a 4 seater model. Especially considering the average american family is 2.4 kids.


Considering the average American family has more than 2.4 cars, that's rather a moot point.

For dad's 50 mile commute to work it is perfect, whereas mom can drive the kids 5 miles to soccer practice in her volvo estate.

No need to have three 5-7 seaters in a family of 4.4 people, of which 2 drive.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:54 am ]
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Hiya,

Someone posted 40 pictures of a pre-production Aptera 2e that was getting ready to be shown to the folks at IdeaLab (one of their original funders), that is ~120 miles from the factory. Here are some of them, including them reattaching the front wheel fairings (since it was brought in a trailer). I like the scale of people and other vehicles around it, and there are a lot of changes on the interior as well:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:28 pm ]
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Hi,

Here's another picture from the Aptera newsletter:

Image

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hiya,

They now are aiming for October 2009 for production, which is a full year later than they had originally intended. It is a complex machine, and there are a lot of bits to nail down; like a battery supplier.

They have released a lot more details and specifics about the 2e, at the TED conference, where they are offering rides, as well.

Quote:
Official dimensions: 53" high x 91.0" wide x 173" long.

More specs from sheet:
111" wheelbase
80.5" front track.
0.15 Coefficient of drag
5" ground clearance
1500 lbs curb wt.

Electric motor torque: 60FtLb torque
110v 15A charge time: 8 hrs.
Battery output: 10-13 KWh battery pack.
Battery voltage: 336V DC Nominal Traction Voltage
Transmission: Gear box 10:1 ratio


Quote:
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion Phosphate.

Chassis:
- Front Suspension: Independent unequal length A-arm
- Rear Suspension: Swing Arm
- Steering: Manual Steering, tilt steering column
- Brakes: Manual Brakes, dual circuit brake hydraulics, mechanical brake proportioning, 3-wheel disc
- Wheels: 14-inch High Strength Stamped Steel wheels
- Size: P165/65R14

Performance:
- Range: Up to 100 miles per charge

Warranty:
- Basic: 4/50,000
- Powertrain: 4/50,000
- Corrosion: 12/unlimited
- Roadside: 4/50,000


Quote:
Features: (S=standard, O=optional)

Interior:

Push Button Start: S
Electronic shift PRNDL (shift controller): S
AM/FM/MP3/WMA with 5 speakers and MP3/Smart Phone Connectivity: S
DVD Navigation System: O
Power up/down windows with Driver side one-touch and anti-pinch: S
Power automatic door locks with anti-lockout feature: S
Center console armrest with two cup holders: S
Overhead mounted LED Dome Lights: S
Recycled Fabric-trimmed seats and door panels: S
Leatherette (recycled materials) trimmed steering wheel: S
Defroster-linked CFC-free automatic climate control with electric inverter compressor air conditioning: S
One 12V auxiliary power outlets and One 12V USB Outlet: S
Retractable passenger-assist grips at all doors: S

Exterior:

Dual color-keyed power outside mirros: S
Aerodynamic multi-reflector halogen headlamps: S
Washer-linked variable intermittent windshield wipers: S
Rear window defogger with timer: S
Rear Electronic rear hatch locking system (sic): S
Solar Energy-Reflecting glass: S
Smart Key System (Proximity locking/starting) Maintenance key & cylinder to prevent accidental lock out: S

Safety:

Remote keyless entry system with 2-stage unlocking, panic function and remote illuminated entry: S
Backup camera: O
Driver and front passenger Airbag System: S
Front and rear crumple zones and side-impact door beams: S
Engine immobilizer: S
Center high-mount stop lamp: S
Emergency Tire inflation system: S
3-point front outboard seatbelts with adjustable shoulder anchors and driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR), front passenger Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR): S
Driver and front passenger seatbelt with seat belt starter interlock: S
Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS): S
Anti-theft system: O


Here's some more pictures from the TED conference:

http://apteraforum.com/showthread.php?t=2192
http://apteraforum.com/showthread.php?t=2188

There should be a video up pretty soon, too.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:11 pm ]
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Image

Author:  aristide1 [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:17 pm ]
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Quote:
- Corrosion: 12/unlimited

:shock: Of what :?:

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