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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:19 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
xan_user wrote:
NeilBlanchard wrote:
and it redefines the automobile.

AND that truly scares the crap out of the 'car' industry and most of its fervent petrol-head supporters.


AND they have done it without any paid advertising, AND without any dealerships.

If we all drive an EV, then we can stop buying foreign oil. Can you imagine that?

AND we can transition to renewable energy - and take a big chunk out of our carbon footprint and greatly reduce our contribution to global warming.

CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?
Not sure why you are so US-focused. I think it would be generally quite a pleasant thing if everybody used electric vehicles. Preferably self-driving, as that could reduce the number of cars significantly.


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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:47 am 
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I'm in the US, and we use a lot of oil, and we spend a lot on military costs.

You're right of course - we all need to move away from oil and coal and natural gas.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:05 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
The Model S does have active suspension.

No, the Tesla does not have active suspension. It has active ride height adjustment, that is something totally different and I'm susprised you confuse them, even when Tesla's marketing material does lead you to believe its the case. Ride height adjustment is not standard and is not something unique to the Model S anyway, quite a lot of cars have similar systems.

Active suspension is where the suspension adapts preemptively to the road. The Williams FW13 and FW14 are the most famous examples in motor racing and were basically programmed to adapt to the corners on a specific track. Such a system is not appropriate in the real world of unknown conditions ahead and therefore the new S-class uses radar to detect the road ahead and set up the suspension to handle bends and bumps in the road. As the Tesla does not have a radar system built in, there is no way such a system could be supported.

Now for the rest where sadly I seem to be repeating myself.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you name any other 5+2 sedan?

It isn't a sedan/saloon. It's a hatchback. I know for US marketing reasons they don't want to state that but it is. The extra 2 seats are only intended for regulatory purposes to carry children between 3-12yrs and 15-36kg. Several estates offer seats like this as an option but seeing how unpopular they are, this is not a requirement for many people currently, hence why no other manufacturers offer this, instead preferring to offer full 7 seaters.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you name a quieter, smoother car?

Most executive cars. It is incorrect to assume that the majority of noise in a car is from the engine. When rolling along in 8th gear at 900rpm (yes, really) you wouldn't know what these cars ran on. Preople often associate diesel with nosie but in a Top Gear episode many years ago an SPL meter was used to compare an E60 545i with a 535d at 70mph. The diesel was several decibels quieter given lower revs. As with computer silencing we all know how to test which component is loudest: switch them off in turn and doing this at speed in a normal car (not recommended for safety obviously) will show you this. Road noise and wind noise are the main factors and the Tesla is simply not up with the best execs. Can I ask what experience you have in terms of internal combustion engine cars that makes you jump to this conclusion?

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you name a higher performance sedan?

BMW M5 et al. I've already covered this and don't know why you come back to this.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you name a higher efficiency sedan?

GM EV1 before GM had the whole lot crushed? BMW i3? Pretty much every other electric car which isn't weighed down with the requirements of being an executive car? VW XL1? A lot of very small leightweight cars will also be more efficient even if they are ICE powered, simply because they're mass produced which is more efficient - you never defined efficient! As I keep saying, I'm not universally against EVs.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you name a car that has less regular maintenance?

I've already covered this point so disappointed that you come back to it. The Tesla Model S has an annual/12500 mile service interval according to what I've found. That isn't that long. My BMW (and every other BMW and even ickle Mini's) have condition based servicing which is up to 19000 miles. I always come out at 19000 miles. As for parts, it's incorrect to assume that the major service parts of a car are in the engine. Tyres and brake pads are common on an EV too and these are particularly ecologically harmful. Modern cars use chain driven cams so no cam belt change as I've already said. Oil is a trivial amount unless something is wrong and an EV will still have many components requiring lubrication. Unless you drive something old and knackered there is no reason to assume it will require lots of servicing.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you produce the fuel to power any other sedan?

At home I guess you mean? Yes, biodiesel. Restaurants use many litres of vegetable oil in frying and it is a potentially harmful thing when discharged into drains and watercourses. It cakes up sewers! You can collect this waste product at source from the restaurant, just go and ask to take away their waste oil! I have even seen a very brave individual on TV who was collecting the caked up poo/oil mixture from sewers just to make a point of what gets thrown away but is a worthwhile fuel! Depending upon quality you may need to filter it or use addatives but this is all possible at home. As for environmentally friendliness, waste vegetable oil from restaurants is better than electricity as you are also dealing with a potential ecological menace. Potentially you can have this fuel for almost free and with none of the major upfront cost for equipment that you'd need for PV.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you name a large high performance sedan that costs less per mile to drive?

Once you factor in the higher purchase cost of the Tesla, I have already shown that the 535d is better economic sense per mile over 80000 miles, there are other options too. Please read what I previously wrote.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
it redefines the automobile.

No it doesn't. The BMW i3 does. As does the Mclaren P1. The Tesla Model S is just a 21st century solution to a 20th century question.

My parents have solar panels and now they're retired I did put the question to my mother of would she like an electric car. She is VERY clued up on energy generation having calculated estimates for PV output based upon different sun angles given the geometry of our roof and which panels would be obscured! She does not see it as worthwhile simply because as over 60s they get a free bus pass each. This takes up all of the short, inefficient journeys that an EV would normally be better than ICE. An EV does not adequately cover longer journeys and hence an ICE powered vehicle is required for these. This demonstrates again what I've been saying that it's better to look at alternative forms of transport if you've considering an EV! It also deals with congestion.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:11 pm 
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edh wrote:
NeilBlanchard wrote:
Can you produce the fuel to power any other sedan?

At home I guess you mean? Yes, biodiesel. Restaurants use many litres of vegetable oil in frying and it is a potentially harmful thing when discharged into drains and watercourses. It cakes up sewers! You can collect this waste product at source from the restaurant, just go and ask to take away their waste oil! I have even seen a very brave individual on TV who was collecting the caked up poo/oil mixture from sewers just to make a point of what gets thrown away but is a worthwhile fuel! Depending upon quality you may need to filter it or use addatives but this is all possible at home. As for environmentally friendliness, waste vegetable oil from restaurants is better than electricity as you are also dealing with a potential ecological menace. Potentially you can have this fuel for almost free and with none of the major upfront cost for equipment that you'd need for PV.
Collecting cooking oil is a common recycling practise in Austria. I'm sure other Europeans will chip in an confirm it for their home countries as well. Not sure why the UK is still happy to have theirs go into the sewer. But then I shouldn't be surprised, after all, Hackney just proudly announced that they will now recycle food waste.

There used to be a guy who drove his old Golf with normal cooking oil. I presume he must have adjusted his valves a little, so it worked just fine.


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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:54 am 
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Cistron wrote:
Not sure why the UK is still happy to have theirs go into the sewer.

Most of it isn't and there is large scale recycling anyway but smaller takeaways often don't have the facilities setup. These are the ones to go for! You shouldn't have to tune a diesel engine at all as this won't make a difference, it's the physical and chemical problems that need to be dealt with by filtering. You should be able to run a diesel on new vegetable oil from a supermarket without problems however in many countires you would need to pay tax on it and it isn't recycling so has little environmental benefit.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:48 am 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvHTN0Yi1t4

http://insideevs.com/video-tesla-model-s-versus-jaguar-f-type-s/

89MPGe EPA Combined.

5.6s or 4.4s 0-60MPH.

5+2 seating.

Sound level @ idle (dB) 35.4
@ Full throttle (dB) 64.2
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 61.2

Drive for free with the Supercharger system.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:41 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:

Drive for free with the Supercharger system.

one of the things often forgotten about the tesla... name any other car you can drive from San Diego to Vancouver and back for nothing. zip. nadda.

the fact that a new car manufacture with brand new tech can even compete next to car companies that have been around for around 100 years, and also do it with zero emissions, is almost as amazing as the petrol heads vitriol against it.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:35 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:

I'm familiar with that video and why it is misleading. Listen to the M5: It revs twice before but then immediately before it leaves the line it's only at idle. They're not even making use of the launch control system. If you want to do a drag race do it fairly and at least let the M5 build the revs on the launch control system. If you can't even be unbiased enough (or informed enough) to see this, then you really are hooked by the Tesla marketing machine, the same one which sued Top Gear for not being nice enough and lost.

I have already posted how the i3 beats an M3 off the mark in a genuine test until the M3 mullers it after about 3 seconds and shown that it is an advantage of electric drive however drag racing is irrelevant in terms of real world performance anyway. As I've already stated the M5 will obliterate it on a race track, you only have to look at how the Tesla Model S is 2 seconds slower around Dunsfold than the Lotus Exige which has two thirds fo the power:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_To ... _Lap_Times

The Tesla is based upon the Lotus Elise/Exige, hence the comparision. Dunsfold is known for being a power track which benefits cars which accelerate fast over handling, hence the electric car should have an advantage this way, yet is still much slower due to the weight of the batteries.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
89MPGe EPA Combined.

The BMW i3 does 125MPGe even when weighed down with the range extender engine, not sure what the MPGe is for the more efficient battery only model. For that matter plenty of electric cars are better than 89MPGe but the BMW does the best job of being a car. It's also less than half the cost of the Tesla despite it's main point being CFRP construction which traditionally has been very expensive. It really does break the mould (pun intended) in terms of car construction and will herald more and more affordable cars being made from the stuff.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Sound level @ idle (dB) 35.4
@ Full throttle (dB) 64.2
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 61.2

It's difficult to find comparisons but the closest I can find is for a 2011 US model BMW F10 528i, with the old N52 engine:
Sound level @ idle (dB) 44.4
@ Full throttle (dB) 66.3
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 60.0

A few points:
1. This is the old N52 powered car, not the N20 powered car that's been around for the last 2 years. It therefore does not have a start-stop system on the engine so the idle measurement is with the engine running. A modern version or many other modern cars would not run the engine at stationery, hence you can expect the idle noise to be exactly the same as an electric. In mine the car is quiet enough when the engine cuts out that I can hear the faint buzzing of electronic components in the iDrive system, as with any computer!

2. Full throttle isn't so important. I genuinely don't care about being quiet as if I'm going to put my foot down hard then I tend to be more worried about overtaking whatever it is I'm overtaking. I actually like the growl and it's addictive!

3. It is quieter at a 70mph cruise than a Tesla by 1.2 decibels. This is what matters most as it gets tiring on long journeys. A modern diesel I would expect to be quieter still when crusing given the lower revs.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Drive for free with the Supercharger system.

That's a proprietary system with a proprietary plug. Nice way of stitching up the market there or is every manufacturer going to have their own network of stations? In the UK we have a charging station network being developed along motorways which uses generic charging receptacles that provide similar current but for pretty much any electric car. Coming from a computer perspective we all know about proprietary interfaces having largely been dumped in the 80s and the IBM PC compatible rising to dominance because of the open system architecture. Apply the same school of thought to cars and Tesla's supercharger network makes no sense except for Tesla.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_62196

Tesla's chief exec evangelising about how beautiful he thinks there proprietary charging system is is nothing but marketing, plus their are better looking charging stations which really can work with other brands of car:
http://www.caranddriver.com/photos-medi ... oto-460402

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:57 am 
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xan_user wrote:
one of the things often forgotten about the tesla... name any other car you can drive from San Diego to Vancouver and back for nothing.

Frankly irrelevant when you've already spent so much on the car in the first place. I've already covered this so many times. There are plenty of electric cars that you could do this with as well but seeing how in the US this seems to be being taken as a proprietary vs. open battle and the propreitary Tesla stations have been built first, I guess you're into vendor lock in territory.

xan_user wrote:
the fact that a new car manufacture with brand new tech can even compete next to car companies that have been around for around 100 years

No it can't compete. Read my previous posts. If you've got oodles of money and don't care how much you spend up front then it makes financial sense. It also makes perfect sense if you're someone on an Internet forum who can't possibly afford and will never be able to afford a car at such a price point and therefore just looks at it as a dream car and ignores how good all the other cars are that they also can't afford. :lol:

xan_user wrote:
and also do it with zero emissions

There are better electric cars, I keep covering this.

xan_user wrote:
is almost as amazing as the petrol heads vitriol against it.

I don't know if you're aiming this at me but please stop it if you are. I'm not a petrol head as I've never owned a petrol car! I do like electric cars but I don't see why everyone is going crazy over this one, once you isolate price it is not the best electric car available now, that's the i3. Part of this no doubt is because the Tesla does not appeal to my more European tastes but unfortunately a lot of this is down to marketing and how brainwashed you all are by their efforts to engage with techy people online who don't normally get interested in cars but say "Oh, expensive electric car, must be the best car ever because of reasons that the manufacturer keeps telling us!" Reviews on mainstream tech sites are irrelevant, car magazines opinions vary and the one review that does matter (Top Gear) you won't get because Tesla chose to take legal proceedings against the worlds biggest motoring programme.

Throughout this thread I have brought far more information to the table than anyone else and most of what I get back isn't even well substantiated, hence why I keep disproving it.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:59 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUW0l7bZn1s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mNHV_En6zo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW4W-WMFgHc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOdsTuaJEfc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoFVO31CbE0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLCdP6sMN9k

What excuses are you going to make for these?

As for the i3 being the best electric? It is barely out yet, and it is quite expensive. I'll take the Leaf, or the Smart ED for price. And the Leaf is slightly better range than the i3 and costs about $12,000 less. The Fit EV is my pick for the best. We'll see how things shake out, with the VW's and the Soul EV and the bigger pack option on the Leaf.

I'm building my own EV from scratch.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/NeilBlanchard/library/CarBEN%20EV%20Concept/CarBEN%20EV5%20at%20Framingham%20Earth%20Day%20Festival?sort=3&page=1
http://smg.photobucket.com/user/NeilBlanchard/library/CarBEN%20EV%20Concept?sort=3&page=1

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:06 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oik6dXm-0l0






-Im sure the OP is thrilled with the long list of suggestions on how to make his volt a little quieter... :roll:




( so nice to have smilies back.. :mrgreen: )

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:26 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
What excuses are you going to make for these?

Don't dismiss what I said as an 'excuse', it's a pretty obvious explanation that if you don't build the revs with the launch control system you're not going to get a good start. You only need to see a few seconds of the video to see that. You're making an excuse yourself by dismissing it. The best 1/4 mile time I can find for the Performance 85kWh version is 12.3s whereas the M5 will do it in 11.8s. Similar for the more powerful and expensive but not so well handling E63 AMG S (11.6s) and the Audi RS6 which with 4 wheel drive does it in 11.6s. Automobile magazines test is misleading and their driver needs to learn to do use launch control.

As for the other cars you link to, they're not available here (luckily). The SRT8 just looks like a complete waste of metal and fuel and no idea why it's being compared. Put it up against some proper competition with launch control if you really are interested in drag racing, which I'm not because it's entirely irrelevant and inefficient - an efficient driver never comes to a halt anyway but lets off early and tries to keep coasting as whatever the holdup ahead is moves out of the way.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
As for the i3 being the best electric? It is barely out yet, and it is quite expensive. I'll take the Leaf

Coincidentally I saw a Leaf and an i3 side by side today! One is a very good lucking car and people stare at it. The other is just another nondescript Japanese box. The highest spec Leaf is £25k and the i3 starts at £30k (there is a government grant of £5k on both though) but it's basically 50% quicker in acceleration, the interior is stunning and it handles properly. A lot of this is because the i3 is close to 400kg lighter than the Leaf! The i3 is also far slimmer and therefore makes it far more suitable for city driving, where electric cars are most at home. The range difference (10km) on NEDC can more than be recouped using the EcoPro+ mode which changes the regen profile amongst other things. There is an i4 and i5 planned as well.

The revised Leaf is certainly an evolution over the previous model but the main reason people in the UK get one is because they live in London and want to avoid paying the Congestion Charge. I'm sure this is also part of the reason why they've made it as expensive here as they have - because they can! It's very expensive for a basic Japanese hatchback and remember that we don't get the Nissan Versa in Europe, our Honda Civic is totally different and the Toyota Corolla was dropped many years ago - the European market is far more snooty about internal materials and handling. We do also get the Renault Zoe which I believe may share some technology and this is a better bet in Europe. Competition is a good thing and will lead to prices coming down and hopefully everything else improving.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
or the Smart ED for price

The Smart EV is a very different beast. Having only 2 seats it does limit it's market but at the same time makes it more suitable for city driving, especially in parking. It is however a shame that the current model is too big! They specifically made the mark 2 model longer to increase separation for certain US crash regulations, even when the shell of the smart was tough as it was. When it was shorter it was better at carrying off it's party trick of parking sideways in bays. Now it sticks out too much! If you're going to go 2 seater for commuting you can also go smaller still with the REVAi (not suitable for use out of town and terrible structural integrity in a crash), forthcoming Yamaha Motiv.e that I've already mentioned or the really tiny and hilarious Renault Twizy.

Tinier still there is an electric version of the single seater Peel P50. Here's Clarkson driving the petrol version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJfSS0ZXYdo
However, with these tiny commuter cars you do have to consider whether a scooter would make more sense for their main target market and would reduce congestion - countries like Vietnam where motorbikes dominate do not have many traffic jams! Alternatively use public transport, walk or cycle. I'm not convinced there's much of a need for such a tiny car other than for entertainment!

NeilBlanchard wrote:
The Fit EV is my pick for the best.

The Fit/Jazz (Fit is a very rude word in some countries, hence why in the EU it's sold as the Jazz) is certainly practical and it's shape probably makes it easier to seat batteries in which may explain Honda's choice for a conversion rather than a Civic.

There is an electric Ford Focus on it's way. The Focus is a good base to start with and means they're already onto a bit of a marketing winner as it doesn't look like some sort of east asian joke. On the other hand I do have concerns with this sort of conversion that you don't design a floor plan specifically for electric drive so it may end up compromised in weight or practicality. How it drives will remain to be seen.

Soon all the big manufacturers will have more than just a token EV!

NeilBlanchard wrote:
I'm building my own EV from scratch.

I've read a lot of your project before and do find it interesting and hope it works out! How long until it's on the road?

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:07 am 
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Motor Trend clocked the Model S at 3.9s 0-60MPH.

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1208_2012_tesla_model_s_test_and_range_verification/viewall.html

Ford's Focus EV has been out for almost a year now, and they are not trying to sell it. It is only available fully loaded, and they have had several serious problems with it. The Fiat 500e and the Chevy Spark EV are also compliance cars.

There will be two VW electrics soon, and a Kia Soul EV.

CarBEN EV5 is at least 2 years away from testing. I had lots of time this past year, but very little money. Now I'm working full time, so I have very little time to work on it. I'll be buying all the fiberglass soon, and I recently got the windshield & wipers.

I am headed here next Monday: http://edgerton.mit.edu/MITingenious

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:58 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Motor Trend clocked the Model S at 3.9s 0-60MPH.

I've covered Motor Trend's test methodology before in this thread. They measure drag style so not from 0mph but from when the car crosses the start line and is hence already moving. It's therefore routine for MT measurements to be quicker than manufacturers figures and why almost every Wikipedia article on a performance car available in the US has 'enthusiasts' editing it to add some note about how it's performance is 'highly underrated'. Look on Wikipedia and you'll see a lot of this fanboy editing! They also tested an F10 M5 at 3.7s and a 4 wheel drive E63 in 3.4s. If anything this methodology favours electric cars and cars with 4 wheel drive as they have the highest initial acceleration and are hence moving fastest when they cross the start line.

This same type of measurement is also often used by tuners, allowing them to claim bigger performance improvements over stock figures even when they're not comparing like with like.

The Focus being vapourware is not that uncommon but you can at least hope that it won't be another GM EV1! Other cars have been canned in the past and even now the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive supercar has been cancelled despite there being driveable prototypes shown off to the press for years, all because they are ending SLS production all together.

Some manufacturers also have some wierd choices of the vehicles they use as a base. Renault might now have the ZOE but they also have the Renault Fluence ZE. The ZOE is a deidciated electric platform whereas the Fluence is just a carryover from a basic notchback which they don't sell in Europe in it's normal variants. Surely a better base for them to have used would have been a Megane if they're targetting the European market with it.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
There will be two VW electrics soon

The eUp and the eGolf. The names aren't imaginative and the first sounds like a greeting used in Yorkshire - the confusion! The Golf's sister car, the Audi A3 will also have an electric variant and given that VW has gone to the trouble of adapting the MQB platform for electric, it opens up a lot of other possibilities.

You don't hear much about the Venturi Fetish these days but it's still around I think. There's also the Lightning GT which I can't ascertain if it's in production yet:
http://www.lightningcarcompany.co.uk/Li ... /home.html
10 minute charge time is claimed, 360km range, 280kmh+ and it bears more than a slight resemblance to a Jag E-type! I'm guessing the price will be massive but with the Mercedes SLS Electric dropping out, this could claim to be the first fully electric supercar!

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Pappnass: Thanks for the info on the Chevy Spark. I'll have to compare it to the Volt.

We've actually been considering a Volt based on our normal driving needs. Round trip for grocceries is just under 40 miles with a weekly trip for our sports (bowling) that's about the same distance. Based on that, we could easily live within the Electric range of even a Leaf or Prius but we have longer trips 2-3 times a month that exceed 500 miles one way so the Leaf and other pure electrics are out but a Volt makes lots of sense.

edh:
I have to disagree that BMW/Mercede's and others are not luxury cars as that is how they're marketed in the U.S. and it's marketing that drives the sales as luxury cars.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:58 am 
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fastturtle wrote:
I have to disagree that BMW/Mercede's and others are not luxury cars as that is how they're marketed in the U.S.

Just because something is marketed as being luxury does not mean it is luxury, on the contrary they are simply trying to sell it as being more than it is. Similarly 'luxury' toilet tissue, a product I already cited is not a luxury product.

Consider the scale of prices with something like watches. You can buy cheap and cheerful watches from a market for the price of a Big Mac. Sports watches which are waterproofed and hard wearing might cost perhaps 10 times more. Luxury watches from companies like Rolex cost hundreds of times more. To bring this same scale to cars, a car that costs merely twice as much as a normal model is simply not expensive enough to call luxury. A Rolls Royce or a Bentley that costs 20 times as much, that is luxury. It is a matter of comparative scale.

It is arguable that the S-class et al are luxury cars but I would certainly not say that a 3-series is a luxury car. I have one and I've had a few other bimmers and Mercs before and I certainly would never say they are luxury, regardless of what these companies marketing departments might be trying to convince people that they are.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:42 pm 
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edh: You'll have to define what you mean by "Luxury Car" as I'm going by what my Insurance and the various Sales Departments define them as being in all of the literature and yes, I did state how I was using the term. Otherwise it's the same argument as to what color is the sky - You say blue and I say Orange. Who's right? All things considered though, this does indicate one of the issues that people tend to have with American English - the blasted definitions.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:21 pm 
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fastturtle wrote:
You'll have to define what you mean by "Luxury Car"

I would split this up here, a luxury car and a luxury car manufacturer, ie, a manufacturer who only makes luxury cars. A Mercedes S-slass or equivalent or higher I consider a luxury car. As most companies also make far cheaper models, the only true luxury car manufacturers are Rolls Royce and Bentley. I would previously have included Mayback in this list also but Mercedes is thankfully killing off their clearing house for over priced, stretched, leather recliner filled, 2 generations out of date S-class technology.

Why be so discerning? Well consider this: The BMW 3-series has sold close to 10 million cars, when age adjusted it basically has over a quarter of the sales rate of the Toyota Carolla, the worlds best selling model of car. It's consistently in the top 10 best selling cars in many countries. There's no way that a car that prevalent can be considered that much of a luxury. Luxury should not be defined as being the top 20%+ but instead the top couple of percent.

The BMW 3-series et al are also frequently used as company cars. There's no way a company can justify 'luxuries' for their employees so it clearly isn't a luxury for a business user, but the right tool for the job.

Looking at the UK new car market, the cheapest car is the Romanian built Dacia Sandero. It's a wonderfully cheap and cheerful thing and sells for £5995. The BMW 316i ES is £23185. So less than 4 times as expensive. The rolls Royce Phantom EWB is over £300000 (though they don't give the price away too easily as that would be vulgar!). That's 500 Dacia Sanderos! On this comparative scale of things (as I previously referred to with watches) there is no way you can think of something as humdrum as a 3-series as luxury, it's poverty spec motoring compared to a Rolls! A £60000 car you could perhaps begin to consider luxury as it is 10 times the entry price but not at 4 times the entry price.

Next, I know that in the US vernacular it is more common to use the term luxury for cars and there are a few problems relating to this. Firstly the 3-series et al are often referred to as 'entry level luxury' which is an oxymoron. Secondly, the US market has far more attachment to branding, hence why the Japanese makers launched Lexus, Infiniti and Acura. A lot of their cars are sold under their parent brands in the rest of the world, for example the Lexus LS is known as the Toyota Celsior in Japan and the US market Acura TL is near enough the same as the EU market Honda Accord which is totally different from the US Accord. The prevalence of these brands in the rest of the world is far lower. Lexus is not a particularly big seller in Europe and have made some atrocious cars like the SC430. Inifiniti is doing a big push through their Red Bull F1 sponsorship but as yet they're not selling. I saw my first UK market Infiniti a few weeks ago and they must have been clinically insane to buy it, I can only hope it was just a demonstrator and they were taking it back to the dealer whilst avoiding looking at it too hard.

In terms of any official classification, there is none in the US relating to luxury. In the US the EPA classifies cars by size only which therefore leaves things open for the marketeers to spout all sorts of 'premium lifestyle aspirational excellence lugg-zhhhurrr-eeee crossover' nonsense. In the EU their is some official classification via the Euro Car Segment classifications:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_classi ... _worldwide

So officially, no one in the US drives a luxury car.

I find the same thing with the term 'supercar'. Many laymen would think of the Porsche 911 as a supercar yet it is far too cheap and slow to be a supercar. Similarly the BMW M5 is far too comfortable and practical to be a supercar. A supercar needs to be ridiculously expensive, as fast as the manufacturer dares make it and all ideas of comfort and utility need to be thrown out of the window of the design office. One school of thought is that a single manufacturer can only build one model of supercar at a time. By this logic LaFerrari is the only Ferrari supercar as all other Ferrari's are inferior to it in price and performance. It makes sense.

I want Pagani to draw some crazy thing from the space age, build it out of unobtanium, put in more power than is sensible through a really vicious gearbox, give it seats upholstered with unicorn foreskin, then, 95% of the way through the project, for someone Italian to come in on a Wednesday morning and think 'oh, we need doors, we'll put them about here somewhere so that no one can get in and out properly, and it could do with windscreen wipers: we'll get some from an old FIAT'. That is how to build a supercar! Either that or I want some men in Surrey to reinvent the laws of physics.

If of course we were to follow the marketing mens approach to what they consider luxury, we'd also be thinking of the Golf GTI as a supercar as it's a similar price... :roll: Therefore they've got to be wrong on what is a luxury car too.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:59 am 
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Using electric car is still not a great idea.. Efficiency of PV system is very less and is very costly.


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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:39 am 
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How is driving a car that is 2-4X more efficient that a typical car not a good idea? The efficiency of solar PV systems is not the same issue, as the sunlight that is not converted to electricity is not "wasted".

What is the true cost of burning fossil fuels? I submit it is *far* more costly that what we pay in money.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:54 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
The efficiency of solar PV systems is not the same issue, as the sunlight that is not converted to electricity is not "wasted".

There is another side to this in many countries: home PV installations receive government subsidies paying above the market rate for electricity that is produced. You're therefore wasting money using your own electricity to charge a car as you'd be better off selling the electricity to the grid at the higher rate and buying in electricity from the grid to use yourself. We have an import/export meter to calculate this on our PV system and billing becomes complicated. Another point for why not to use your own PV electricity is that most people go out in their cars during the day, funnily enough just the time when solar generation is at it's most efficient... There is a friend of mine who did a PhD on renewable energy and he is clearly of the mind that electric cars are not the best use for home generated PV electricity.

Home PV does have it's drawbacks, it isn't perfect. It's very expensive to install, does require cleaning, complicates any other work having to be done on a house, isn't commercially viable in much of the world without subsidies, doesn't work when there's a power cut, efficiency drops with age, can't be fitted on all properties, etc. It does make us a bit of money though on our installation and is actually outsripping predictions for generation on a month by month basis.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
What is the true cost of burning fossil fuels? I submit it is *far* more costly that what we pay in money.

Why just tackle cars though? I know cars are an easy target if you wear open toed sandals and tie-dye t-shirts but they're not the biggest issue. Changing use of existing cars like getting people not to drive the short distances that they are inefficient at and instead use public transport would be similarly effective but cars only use a small proportion of fossil fuels when you consider those which are used for other purposes like electricity generation, aviation, shipping, road freight, heating and petrochemicals.

Simply accepting that the weather gets hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter and not trying to keep a constant 22C in a poorly insulated house would be a good start. A lot of people on this forum could also greatly reduce their environmental footprint by turning off their computers when they're not using them and giving up on these crazy energy intensive hobbies like bitcoin mining, a process so inefficient it turns natural resources into a commodity with no intrinsic value - bitcoins are NOT a currency but a commodity.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:11 pm 
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You do not have to clean solar PV panels.

You cannot choose where the electricity goes that your solar PV system produces. It actually helps meet the peak usage (like during hot weather to run A/C). It feeds into the grid, and it offsets the electricity you use, for all the various things you use electricity for.

Your friend is not learning from reality.

We need to stop using *all fossil fuels* and cars are a very big piece of that. The Tesla Model S is case in point: the Superchargers that are being built around the country by Tesla and Solar City are free for Tesla drivers - because they produce their power from solar PV panels, and those panels will earn money.

You certainly seem to have a chip on your shoulder about EV's and renewable energy. Any particular reason?

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:46 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
You do not have to clean solar PV panels.

Not if you live in a dusty place or have a house anywhere near trees that have significant leaf drop or something sappy falling on them or have moss growing on them or overflying birds that poo on them or any other reasons why they might get dirty. For many solar panel owners, cleaning is a requirement. Our 3kW array is on a 45 degree inclined roof, there are no broadleaf trees nearby and funnily enough we still have noticed a small improvement from cleaning the panels despite the addition of natural rainwater cleaning that we get in our rainy country. Cherry tree blossom can be a real problem if it lands on the panels when they're wet - they stick like glue for a few weeks!

Please don't generalise just because you don't clean your PV array.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
You cannot choose where the electricity goes that your solar PV system produces.

But you can choose whether or not you use this electricity. You're better of not using it rather than using it as an excuse to justify the PV installation.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
It actually helps meet the peak usage (like during hot weather to run A/C).

You shouldn't need air conditioning. Instead of finding another way to get the electricity, fix the design of the house so that you don't have to have air conditioning. People have lived for many millenia in hot countries without air conditioning so why suddenly feel the need for it now? The passive house concept is very practical at solving the requirements for additional heating and air conditioning. Air conditioning is quite an American obsession.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Your friend is not learning from reality.

Neil, I find this somewhat dismissive. My friend has a PhD in renewable energy and is developing a product to assist in commercial renewable energy depolyments, including both solar and wind farms. He also has a small PV array at home installed for research use and does a lot of research work with batteries and their endurance. So yes he has done his homework. What are your qualifications that make you such a great expert?

NeilBlanchard wrote:
You certainly seem to have a chip on your shoulder about EV's and renewable energy. Any particular reason?

You seem to have some a very selective way of reading and I would ask that you restract your 'chip on the shoulder' remark as I take offence at it. It's disappointing that this comes from someone in the position of a moderator. As I've said, we have a 3kW PV array and it works wonderfully. It is not right for everyone however and has its drawbacks. Wind power is however a better way of generating electricity. It's more cost effective and massive offshore windfarms can be built with little environmental impact. You will however not be able to get the base load power from renewable, it's simply too variable unless you're going to build massive pumped water storage stations for load balancing. Once we get fusion power then we'll be laughing anyway and we really do need this as our progress as a civilisation is very much linked to how much clean energy we have available. Electricity shortages may effect fast swathes of the developed world unless we have new power plants built and people plugging in their electric cars to charge will not help. I know you will disagree with fission power but it's the best solution to providing base load that we have until we have fusion power on the grid.

I used to work in the electricity industry so I know about generation, whats your experience in electricity?

As for EVs, I have looked at this before. Before I got my last car I looked at the idea and it simply doesn't make commercial sense (including your beloved Tesla Model S) given the long journeys that I make. If you do a short daily commute backwards and forwards then an EV might make more sense, but not using a car at all would make even more sense. Too many people are commuting and too many of them are driving.

I also have a design for an electric car. Electric motors are afterall inherently more efficient but motor efficiency is not everything. I've got as far as laying out where all major components go, identifying suppliers for all major components and making performance and economy calculations. Using a 150kW motor in a very low, aerodynamic shell and the right (or for efficiency, wrong) gearing I think I can get about 270km/h. :lol: At the moment it does not make sense as a first car so this is very much for a second car for the fun of it. It is definitely easier to make a home made electric car than ICE! It therefore comes down to personal circumstance and as I'm about to move and don't have the space where I'm going to put together a car or somewhere to charge it, it's out for the forseeable future.

I have said time and time again through this thread that I am not inherently against EVs. Maybe you didn't read it but I'll say it again for your benefit just in case you did but chose to ignore it. The main reason why I can not universally back an EV and therefore oppose your arguments is that the battery technology simply isn't there yet. You can get around 20 times the energy density per kg with diesel than you can with even the best LiPo batteries. When someone launches a 50kg battery that will do 1100 kilometres on a single charge, then I'll be the first to buy it! Even a 100kg battery that allowed 500 kilometres for that matter. That would go wonderfully in my electric car and I would find it easier to commit to it as a primary vehicle.

However, just as electric batteries will improve their energy density, ICE will also improve efficiency. I know before you said that electricity is 2-4x more efficient which isn't quite the case as the best common rail, variable-vane turbocharged diesel car engines are beyond 50% already unless you have sourced a 200% efficient electric motor. Exhaust heat recovery systems for example will see this climb to around 60% efficiency while electric motors are unlikely to improve much beyond their ~90% level. I highly doubt ICE will ever beat or come that close to electric motors for efficiency but the gap will continue to close gradually. Don't write off ICE.

So, to summarise: If we had fusion power electricity generation and electricity was so cheap that it didn't need to be metered and we didn't have to worry about the lights going out then using electricity to charge a car would make perfect sense. If we had higher energy density per kg batteries then electric cars would make more sense for more people. Electric drive is inevitable but until that day, I'm not building one.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:52 pm 
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This is off topic, but no, wind is NOT a better solution than PV arrays. Why ? Because electricity is most needed on hot or on cold days (depending where you live). And on those days, there is no wind...
What's missing, is an electricity storage solution that performs well both at the grid level, and at the consumer level.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:47 am 
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frenchie wrote:
This is off topic, but no, wind is NOT a better solution than PV arrays.

That's incorrect I'm afraid, especially with larger scale commercial installations - the ones that really matter. The largest turbine is rated at 7.58MW and to get that from PV you're looking at around 50000m^2. Economies of scale apply with wind turbines far better than they do with PV and Mr and Mrs Smith with their home made electricity will always be more less cost effective and hence less environmentally good than an equivalent commercial installation.

frenchie wrote:
Because electricity is most needed on hot or on cold days (depending where you live). And on those days, there is no wind...

This is only applicable in some places. When you go offshore or even near the coast there is wind far more of the time. It is very dependable upon weather as is PV and of course it does depend upon where you are. There will be some places where PV will beat wind even on a commercial scale but if you want to generate LOTS of electricity, offshore wind is more effective and has no land take. It does add engineering challenges to have it offshoer but these have all been conquered and new techologies like remote inspection of turbines will continue to increase uptime and reduce costs.

frenchie wrote:
What's missing, is an electricity storage solution that performs well both at the grid level, and at the consumer level.

Pumped water storage works well at all scales. All you need is a gradient, some water, a pump and a turbine. If you are on a differential tariff and have an import/export metre in line with your PV array you could always use this to make money! Run the pump at night pumping water up the hill in your garden to the pond at the top, then during the day let the water run back down allowing the turbine to generate electricity which you then sell at a profit.

7 hours x 7kW motor = 49kWh used per night and you could generate more than that back given a little rain water being added in. If you are in a part of the world that gives subsidies for PV you could potentially become very rich by passing off your pumped water storage generation as PV but do get a lawyer to check the contracts first. :lol:

You do need a big hill to do this at any real scale at home but you could always move somewhere with a river and build a water mill.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:23 pm 
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We need an intelligent mix of several renewable energy sources - the more the better. Wind tends to blow more at night, so combining these with biogas and/or tidal and/or wave power and/or small scale hydro and/or pumped hydro.

Sustainable abundance.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:50 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
How is driving a car that is 2-4X more efficient that a typical car not a good idea? The efficiency of solar kit systems is not the same issue, as the sunlight that is not converted to electricity is not "wasted".

What is the true cost of burning fossil fuels? I submit it is *far* more costly that what we pay in money.

Well efficiency of panels is an issue.. Better efficiency means better conversions and less need of other fuels..


Last edited by MarionLamarr on Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:49 pm 
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Lower conversion efficiency means you need more panels. We can get all our electricity from renewables, and higher conversion efficiency makes it easier, and hopefully lower cost.

By the way - and back on topic - we now own a 2015 Nissan Leaf S. And boy, is it quiet. And smooth. Wonderful to drive.

We are averaging ~125MPGe. And even at high electric rates (~19.2¢ / kWh) it costs us ~5¢ / mile.

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 Post subject: Re: How to silence your car
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:02 am 
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I got to sit in a BMW i8 yesterday - absolutely wonderful, it made by day. There is so much occasion to it, the way the doors open, the enormous carbon fibre sills, the seats, the dash, it's incredible. I've been in some pretty special cars in my time and this is by no means the most expensive at all but the interior genuinely feels and looks better than anything I've been in. Got to speak to the BMW i rep for quite some time about it and the i3. She said that they had one i3 come up second hand and it sold the same day! The demand is huge. It also genuinely can draw a crowd in a car park.

Also earlier int he week I saw a modded Nissan Leaf with some DIY wheel spats. Not well put on from as the edges were all warped, almost looked like it was stapled on. I understand the perceived aim for aerodynamic improvement but it just looked crap. There was a great deal of visual irony going on as it was parked in front of Blenheim Palace!

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