Super Efficient Cars [very large pictures]

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:24 am

Four cars got eliminated: Spira, amp'd Sky, Commuter Cars Tango, and Tata.

Here's are the official results PDF download links:

http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/pr ... ls/results

Here's a video montage of the earlier Knockout round stage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7umPMlQL624

Here's an interview with Oliver Kuttner, owner of Edison2, which was the team that was my host at the Knockout Round:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_El-bclOhCs
Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by frenchie » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:31 am

I'm eagerly waiting for today's tests ! (avoidance + acceleration and braking)
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:33 am

Are you going to sign up an take part in the chat? I'm planning on being there.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/progressi ... ve-x-prize
Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by frenchie » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:38 am

hahaha, I can.
I've already been following the races for a few days last week, I saw you were hanging around ;)

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:52 am

X-Prize "consolation" race is up in just minutes:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/progressi ... ve-x-prize

Unofficially, it is: 1st: Electric Raceabout, 2nd: Li-ion, 3rd: TW4XP, 4th: Zap, 5th: Aptera -- though the 1st and 2nd are too close to call...

Apparently, Aptera blew 3 fuses in the battery pack because of the regen? NOT ENOUGH TESTING!!

The "consolation" race is at 2:00pm -- Tata, Tango, Spira, amp, WWU -- all the cars that have been knocked out of the Finals.
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:15 pm

Sincerely, Neil
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Latest video of CarBÅ’N

Post by NeilBlanchard » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:07 am

There's a spelling change in the name, so that folks don't think I've spelled "carbon" wrong. Smile It is now spelled "CarBÅ’N".

I've added the 1 foot grid: 3' x 15' on the ground plane, 3' x 6' on the front and back, and 6' x 15' on the right side; for visual scale and perspective reference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euaBzz8OD_4
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:46 pm

I've modified the windshield and flanking windows, the headlights, and a few other minor tweaks. Here's a buncha' piktchas'

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Post by sea2stars » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:20 pm

Whoa.. huge pictures.

You really need to get this into a better modeler, Blender is free/open source; a better rendering engine couldn't hurt either.

There are also opensource and cheap"ish" solid modelers out there; Alibre Design PE may be worth looking into.

I do archviz/graphics down in CT and use Max/Vray, although I haven't played with any solid parametric modelers.

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Post by sea2stars » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:20 am

If you'd like to shoot over the SU file I could play with it in Max. Heh. I don't get to model many organic shapes these days.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:10 pm

Some images of CarBÅ’N v Smart ForTwo:

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Post by alecmg » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:39 am

Argh, I just learned that Loremo is likely being cancelled.

No hope in ultra-lightweight car market for me
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:38 am

Yes, the Loremo company seems to have self-destructed, sadly.

Here's CarBÅ’N Mk 2.6 with the windshield lowered slightly and sloped back very close to the angle used in the Smart; in other words less vertical. I have much improved curve on the roof; though the flare at the base is necessarily bigger. Here is the view set as close to the original blue Bionic model for comparison:

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Different in several ways, and similar in others. The blue Bionic has more creased chines, a little more hood and steeper windshield (in my estimation) and the sides are quite different. The rear wheels strakes are not joined with a panel, and they are closer to the ground.
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:16 am

I have migrated my blog! As you may or may not have noticed, my signature now has a new URL:

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

Vox is closing down, and I have migrated my stuff before I had to (or lost it all). I will have to go back through it all and fix broken links, update pictures and videos, and redo all the tags... whew.

But the main migration has already be done!
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:47 pm

Model is a bit rogh, but here's a rendering of the latest Mk 3.0:

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Post by sea2stars » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Yeah. With school, work, and family there's no way I'll be able to keep up with modifications; I've barely touched the model since the last time you saw it.

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Post by sea2stars » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:34 pm

Here's a link you may be interested in for Sketchup plugins that may help facilitate more organic modeling.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:56 am

Another rendering of a slightly smoother model -- I will redo the whole hood and fenders and roof manually, I think:

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:08 pm

I reworked much of the hood, front fenders and articulated wheel skirts, the sweep on the side and the front part of the roof -- and added back some headlights! It is much smoother, now...

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CarBÅ’N Concept EV Mk 3.1

Post by NeilBlanchard » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:27 am

Here's an animated video made in SketchUp:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L11SYxaRV3Q
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:31 am

And a similar video with the car in red:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8zh7na6l90
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:26 am

Latest video of CarBEN EV Mk 3.4:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuVZC5PsqWY

Pictures with the hatch and rear entry doors open:

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And with the doors closed:

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Post by alecmg » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:15 am

X-prize winners were announced

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/20 ... 5-mpg.aspx

4-seater class for $5 million
1-cylinder 40hp gasoline engine and 800lbs (under 400kg!) weight
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2-seaeter side by side for $2.5 million
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2-seater tandem for $2.5 million
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Post by andyb » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:33 am

Thought this might spur on the discussion a little.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11301831

A 3-seat car designed by "Gordon Murray" a McLaren legend.

Although this car is pretty quick compared to its comparables at 90-100 MPH that is not what makes it interesting, just more useful than some.

What is impressive is its 74mpg combined, its 86g CO2/km, the use of a small quantity of materials to produce a car that weighs just 575KG's, and some of them are even recycled whilst meeting the (pretty stringent) car safety laws for vehicles thatare allowed to be sold in the UK.

Finally, this car has a projected cost of just £6,000

All of these things make this a very interesting concept car aimed at the city market, and if it gets taken up by a big manufacturer could prove to be a massive hit so long as people can get around the lack of doors.


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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:29 pm

Thanks Andy,

I've seen the T25 and the T27, which is the electric version of the same car. Good stuff. My only question is with the whole top and sides opening up and how strong the resulting chassis is.
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:19 am

I'm refining and adding some of the important elements; modeling in SketchUp and I've settled back to where I started: I think it will be a fiberglass shell, with tube steel as the chassis and safety structure. Here's my updated blog entry:

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/2010/ ... oject.html

Here's the latest video animation of the SketchUp model:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymuo6_JpaJs

My next step is to model the mesh seats. And I need to buy a (used) bandsaw to cut plywood ribs, and start fiberglassing!

If I use the EiG prismatic cells from FVT (like they use in their own eVaro), I can fit ~48kWh pack in the floor of the CarBEN. I'd like it to be 50-60kWh.

I am hoping to have the Cd between 0.1 and 0.14 which would put the CdA between 2.5 sq ft and 3.5 sq ft. (the frontal area is just under 25 sq ft). I based the design on the early Mercedes model of the Bionic, which has a Cd of 0.095 -- which is the lowest drag form with 4 wheels as I have seen.

I'm hoping that the total vehicle weight will be ~1,600-1,800 pounds -- the Edison2 Very Light Car is ~830 pounds, including the ~100 pound ICE drivetrain. The electric motor(s) will be similar (or 50 pounds heavier) to that, and the battery pack will be about 800 pounds.

My goal is to build the CarBEN EV and get it <100wH/mile, and so I hope the range can be >400 miles. The early Aptera prototypes were reported to be able to do this, and Dave Cloud's Dolphin comes very close, with a total weight of ~3,200 pounds. So, it is doable; though certainly challenging.

I'd be happy to send you, or anybody who is interested, the SketchUp model, and you can use the free version of SketchUp to view it and to work on it as well.
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:06 pm

Greetings,

I've now modeled the 5 seats, and reworked the interior, now the headlights "light" up in the renderings! Hooray!

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If the top of the sides at the rear need to be strengthened, I can add a sliding rod at the top corner of each door at the hinge side that adds a 3rd anchor point (the 2 hinges plus the rod) that forms a box corner? The two rear doors will also latch together and form an end gusset and if the hatch door has 5 or 7 anchor points (2 hinges plus 3 or 5 latches!) it will all lock together pretty well, I think. If this is the only issue I have, I'll be ecstatic!
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Post by frenchie » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:09 am

Hey Neil,
I finally took time to look at you designs in details and I have to say I have a major problem with the deisgn : How do you get in/out of the car when you've stuffed it with your groceries for the month (or when you're taking your family on a week-end getaway and the kids/wife have to stop every 50 miles to pee) ? Or when you're parked in a city and the jerk behind you parked right against your bumper ?
I think somewhere in this thead you discussed butterfly doors (or maybe I'm still asleep). Is there anyway this could be a better idea ?
How about having the seating be diamond shaped : driver in front, 2 passengers behind him on the sides, and one passenger directly behind the driver, behind the other 2 passengers. like this :
Driver
passenger 1 passenger 2
passenger 3

And you could have one butterfly door (electric maybe), on each side. It would be enough to let the driver and the passengers in /out of the car.
And for the trunk, keep the same 2 doors design you already have.

Just a few thoughts :)

[EDIT : Changed name of person this post was for. I originally wrote for Aristide but it was ment for Neil]
Last edited by frenchie on Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:03 am

Hi Frenchie,

Aris is not involved with designing the CarBEN -- yet, anyway! The rear doors only stick out beyond the rear bumper by about 10", so if someone parks that close, you could open the hatch door and step over the rear doors; which are only about 32" high.

If the rear hatch and doors don't work well for entry/exit, then yes, I would put a side door on the CarBEN. But, keep in mind this is intended to be the most efficient car possible, and weight and the safety structure in a front/side crash (which are a huge majority of all crashes) are very important. The aerodynamics are absolutely key to uber-efficiency, and low weight is also very important.

There could be an emergency hatch in the roof above the driver (like a school bus, sort of), and/or the side windows.

The rear doors could be closed just after the last person enters, and then the hatch door gets closed/open by a remote release. The struts could slide on tracks on the sides, and let the hatch close, or push it open; not unlike a power sliding door on a van.

Here's two more images; a plan and longitudinal sections:

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As you can see from these sections, there is a lot of space under and around the seats, so while storage is going to be unconventional, it will be practical, I think.

And I have a new video animation of the CarBEN EV Mk 3.8 model:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq0kMuLYxKM
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Post by frenchie » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:20 am

Oups, sorry Neil, I hadn't had my first cup of coffee yet, my apologies for putting the paternity of this baby in the wrong hands :) It's yours ! I shall edit my mislabelled post and correct it.

Aren't you affraid that the weight distribution in the car would impair it's handling if all the passengers sit on the same side ?

I went to your blog page again and found the place where you discuss doors. I get your point. Why not attach the part that swings open to the hatch ? I agree with you that 32 inches is not much for a adult, but a kid or a slightly shorter person... I'm not sure...
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