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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:31 am 
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2010 and ~$22,000 sounds pretty darn good to me!


that price seems rather unbelievable. for comparison, the Hyndai Accent, a totally conventional Korean econobox, goes for about £10,000 ($20,000) here in the UK from new. whereas the Loremo is a totally unconventional, totally new design, and the factory that is supposed to produce these cars hasn't even been built yet. so expect a bit (a lot?) of slippage both on the price and the timeline.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:35 am 
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Hello Jag,

It may well "slip" -- they originally said it would cost less than the €15,000 they are now saying. But not a lot less (my memory fails me on the exact number). The weight has also crept up a bit, too. This is a steel chassis, and it will depends on methods of manufacture. The X-Prize requires it to be "mass produced", so they hopefully have got things under control.

They will be looking at hybrid drive systems for future versions.

Also on MSN Auto: Aptera article

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:01 pm 
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mexell wrote:
A friend of mine just bought the BMW 123d, and I have to admit, I almost never had so much fun in a car. It goes off like a rocket and yet it consumes only 5.something l/100 km (as long as you drive reasonably). You could even go 250 on the Autobahn, but then your consumption looks more like 12 or 13 l/100 km.

See the problem with this scenario is the car can be fun, making the latter style of driving more likely.

Years ago somebody reviewed the original Callaway turbo Rabbit GTI. That car was also fun to drive and it mention that good mileage could be had if the car was driven conservatively. That remark was then followed by:

"But how often do you see eagles walking?"

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:20 am 
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aristide1 wrote:
"But how often do you see eagles walking?"


Yeah, of course you're right. I would as well prefer it if they could construct an 123d/2 engine (meaning: half the power, half the consumption). Efficiency-wise, this would be the same for top power, but you simply don't need a rabbit-sized car with 204hp. Man, even my Ford Focus hatchback just has 115hp, which is a bigger car and still fast enough.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:20 am 
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mexell wrote:
I would as well prefer it if they could construct an 123d/2 engine (meaning: half the power, half the consumption). Efficiency-wise, this would be the same for top power, but you simply don't need a rabbit-sized car with 204hp. Man, even my Ford Focus hatchback just has 115hp, which is a bigger car and still fast enough.

Yes but, there were "kits" years ago, where 8 cylinders were turned into 4 cylinders engines. The weight of the vehicle did not get reduced, so while power was halved consumption was not. Even today we have engines that can turn off 2 or 4 cylinders, and they "boast" mileage improvements of 7%(Chrysler).

In the US we had cars like the Chevette, whose best mileage probably occurres around 45-50mph. Anything above that was a strain. The modern day Corvette, with its tall gearing and low speed torque can get great mileage at much high speeds because its engine in barely spinning, relative to small car engines.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:36 am 
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Heh. Too bad the Corvette isn't known for it's great commuter vehicle properties.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:25 pm 
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AFAIK the main problem with diesel hybrids (along with the additional weight of the often iron blocked engine) is that due to their high compression diesels are very hard to stop start, which is the main approach to petrol hybrids like the Prius. I think that diesels emit alot of particulates on start up, though I could be wrong and there are also particulate filters to deal with that.

I guess with a serial hybrid where a turbodiesel is used to charge a battery that drives the wheels this wouldn't be a problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:02 pm 
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sea2stars wrote:
Heh. Too bad the Corvette isn't known for it's great commuter vehicle properties.

Yeah, and when GM tried they ended up with the Fiero. :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:58 am 
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Im sceptical to be honest.. Tesla Roadster anyone? The only car delivered is to the boss of the company and the launch dates just keep on slipping, they keep talking big but don't seem to deliver anything. Batteries are still a rather big problem.

Current hybrids like the Prius use hundreds of Sub-C sized NiMh batteries in series which is not really an optimal solution. Matching six sub-c cells for RC-cars is hard enough... and Lithium ion batteries still have problems too at least with longevity and safety.

And diesel hybrids are on their way, http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-b ... their-way/


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:27 am 
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Just as a point of clarification, the matching of cells for RC cars is because they go through full cycles of maximum peak voltage down to nearly flat in the course of a 4-minute race. Current hybrids only use a limited range which is easy for non-matched cells to operate within. The Prius I believe is rated to stay at a minimum of 30% SoC (State of Charge) and a maximum of 70% SoC. This means cells can degrate pretty widely from each other and still not run into issues of overcharging nor discharging too deeply.

The original Honda Insight was designed with 20-80% SoC range and over on Insight Central, there are many reports of owners having their battery packs degrading and dying after just 4-5 years of regular usage. By keeping the pack in a 30-70 range you can actually up to triple the life of the cells because the depth is less extreme on both the charge and discharge which is supposed to "exercise" the cells less, as well as nearly eliminating the chance of damaging cells from discharging too deeply or overcharging.

Of course, that is all good and well for current hybrids, but for a true battery car, only using 30-70% means that you are only using 40% of the battery capacity versus 80% if you used a 10-90% window. For an all-battery car, the 40% window means half the range of an 80% window. I am not sure what the future of the all-electric car is, nor even the Extended Range plugins, like the upcoming Chevy Volt. I guess ultimately I would have to agree that battery technology continues to be the limiting factor in their growth into the marketplace.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:34 am 
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Hello,

Here's a promising improvement in lithium ion batteries:

Nanowire battery holds 10 times the charge of existing ones

Has there been any other updates on this (hopeful) innovation?

Edit: I Googled "nanowire lithium ion battery" and got some good info:


http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html
http://www.gm-volt.com/2007/12/21/gm-voltcom-interview-with-dr-cui-inventor-of-silicon-nanowire-lithium-ion-battery-breakthrough/
http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/19/stanfords-nanowire-battery-leapfrogs-li-ion/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071219103105.htm
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/4237756.html

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 Post subject: Car of the Future on NOVA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:59 am 
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Hello,

Next week's PBS NOVA program is called "Car of the Future" that will be aired on April 22nd:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/car/

It is hosted by the NPR "Car Talk" guys; Tom and Ray Magliozzi. There are some good preview info; the best one is a slide show with a lot of good general info on efficient cars:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/car/efficiency.html

There are also some fun looks at "back to the future" -- old attempts at new technology.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:00 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hello,

Aptera claims that it's crashworthiness (if that is a word?) is excellent: they use composite materials similar to those used in Formula 1m and there is a 40"+ crush zone in the front.

Check out the video I linked to (that is on their main page) -- there are a number of details about this and other construction features shown in it.


I know they say it meets the more stringent requirements of cars (its classified as a motorcycle). I would definitely go for one at that price, and with a 120 mile range. My daily commute is 90 miles round trip, mixed driving, and I get 49.6 MPG in my Prius. But getting completely away from gasoline for most of the trip would be great. I wonder if I can convince my company to install chargers ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:26 pm 
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driving team races to 2843 MPG
http://www.news.com/8301-11128_3-991819 ... ag=newsmap

that's crazy.. it was a high school team entry? wow... very impressive high schoolers.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Well, that is a very interesting thread indeed ... thank you very much !

The Aptera looks awesome in my eyes - from the front, but the heck is ugly like bitch.

Back in the 90s I bought one of the first electro-cars, the "Mini-el" from Danmark. It was very expensive and not really thought through as I found out later.
The handling was very interesting though, extremely quiet, reasonable acceleration ... but too low top speed and max range with the batteries too small.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnJLquVX7aI


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 5:09 am 
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There are very interesting articles on the Popular Mechanics site:

[url=http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4261425.html?series=19]Top 10 X-Prize candidates
Image[/url]

[url=http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4251491.html?series=19]Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010 at Sub-$18,000, Could Hit 1000-Mile Range
Image[/url]

[url=http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4237853.html?page=1]Long and detailed article on the Aptera Type 1
Image[/url]

[url=http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4217016.html]Air-power 6-seat taxi
Image[/url]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 7:32 am 
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Super Efficient they might be but they also look more than SuperUgly too !
Who designs this stuff ? Are they blind ? I know that point is to be as aerodynamic as possible but surely something must be done with the looks of these cars.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 7:44 am 
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Hello,

I'll grant you that the taxi is ugly, but the others (in my post above) are damn fine looking! For some, it is form follows function -- especially the Aptera! The City Cat is a concept drawing -- obviously there is a bit of license being taken...

Beauty is as beauty does -- anything that gets 100-300mpg is gorgeous!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 10:32 am 
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Redzo wrote:
Super Efficient they might be but they also look more than SuperUgly too !
Who designs this stuff ? Are they blind ? I know that point is to be as aerodynamic as possible but surely something must be done with the looks of these cars.


the cars look unconventional, but that's because they are unconventional. if they looked the same as every other car they would also perform as badly as every other car! the standard "3-box" saloon car shape is fundamentally not capable of a drag coefficient of lower than about 0.25, the Cd of the Aptera is 0.11, over 50% less. this means at highway speeds it requires 75% less energy than a normal car.

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What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean...someone who looks ahead, who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions,who cares about the welfare of the people, who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad...then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 12:54 pm 
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75% less energy required is commendable, yet I don’t see anyone really being willing to drive the Aptera on a highway at highway speeds, a quick turn or evasive manoeuvre and presto, you’d be in a car accident!

Stability and manoeuvrability are also they important factors, which to me, makes this car more suitable for city driving and / or slow commuting.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Greetings,

You might be right -- the thought has certainly crossed my mind. But, there are several ways to make a 3-wheeled vehicle stable: get the center of gravity as close to the 2 wheels as possible, is one. They have mounted the batteries and the generator ahead of the front wheels, and the people are also relatively close, as well.

Another thing to do is make the wheel base fairly long, which they have done. And the track width of the front wheels is pretty wide, which also helps.

Here's a very informative article on the issues and advantages of 3-wheeled cars:
http://www.rqriley.com/3-wheel.htm

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 11:24 am 
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Hi Neil,

Well, you do raise some good points there and that article you linked to seems interesting too, I’ll have a closer look.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 6:01 pm 
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Hello,

Honda is introducing three new hybrid models next year, in addition to the Civic Hybrid:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5is-WLvgmNMniTcwwWeDWidZkWRKwD90PTF0O0

Quote:
In addition to the new [unnamed] hybrid, Honda will introduce several other hybrids: a Civic, a new sporty model based on the CR-Z and a Fit subcompact, sold as the Jazz in Europe


Quote:
The new hybrid's name was not yet disclosed. It will be a five-door sedan seating five passengers, and feature new technology that reduced the size and weight of the hybrid system to increase fuel efficiency


Info on the Fit Hybrid:
http://www.businessweek.com/autos/autobeat/archives/2008/05/hybrid_honda_fi.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 1:58 pm 
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People should do the math before buying hybrids. If you're in Manhattan traffic and moving at .5 mph it may work out quite well.

Honda is also revising the Reflex - Expectations are a 300cc fuel injected engine as opposed to the 250cc carb engine. More power for sure, even the same or better mileage.


On the other side of the coin my friend just bought a 65 inch plasma TV, which uses over 500 watts of electricity, not to mention adds a load to the AC unit.

I mean think about this - he's using about .7 horsepower to watch the news and play video games. Multiply that out a few million times.
:?

Why other companies aer going green my company added a plasma unit to display the cafeteria menu. Prior expenditure was an occasional felt tip marker, now it's 300 watts per hour 24/7, because nobody ever shuts it off. We also now have TV in the cafeteria (usually CNN), also on 24/7 for no real reason.

The meeting room lights are not on motion detectors, so they stay on all the time as well.

Idiots.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 2:08 pm 
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that's how you know energy is still not expensive enough, when wasteful decisions like that are not punished by market forces. also, I don't get why anyone buys plasmas anymore when you can get an LCD of an equivalent size which uses half the power and will last two or three times as long.

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What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean...someone who looks ahead, who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions,who cares about the welfare of the people, who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad...then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 3:13 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
that's how you know energy is still not expensive enough, when wasteful decisions like that are not punished by market forces. also, I don't get why anyone buys plasmas anymore when you can get an LCD of an equivalent size which uses half the power and will last two or three times as long.


There's always going to be people who make enough money that they need not worry about such matters but will hurt others in the process.

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Last edited by aristide1 on Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:08 pm 
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/24951985#24951985

NBC news looks at the Aptera.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:05 pm 
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Nice find! I'm sure that Aptera will have no shortage of interest...why is that, I wonder?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:21 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
I'm sure that Aptera will have no shortage of interest...why is that, I wonder?


Are you asking why you're sure or why the car will have no trouble selling? There are interesting theories about both, but I thought I'd clarify.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:36 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Nice find! I'm sure that Aptera will have no shortage of interest...why is that, I wonder?


They basically said:

1. It will go across country on a tank of gas, 300 mpg * 10 gallons.

2. Sell around $25-$30K

3. Could be available in 6 months.

They didn't say what happens when you're sandwiched between 2 Hummers and the one behind you forgets to stop at the red light. It may pay to simply duck.

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