Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] Re: Electric Smart Cars With NiMH Batteries
- I agree.
Low horepower works if you have a light car.
Additionally a light car with a light engine can avoid accidients better
than larger cars with bigger engines for the simply reason that they are
more manuerverable and can stop quicker all other things being equal.
The merge problem can be avoided very simply - you wait for a safe time
to merge - just as you don't try to race across an intersection with on
Acceleration is never a serious method of aciident avoidance. However
manuerverability to avoid a road problem and fast stopping power are
typically what does allow you to avoid an accident.
If you need 150 hp to merge then you are choosing unsafe traffic
situations (not waiting for the right merge opportunity) to merge.
On Fri, 30 Nov 2007 1:50 pm, Forbes Bagatelle-Black wrote:
> A good friend drove a Honda CRX HX with all of 62 horsepower for
> years. It had more than enough oomph for safe freeway merges. It was
> fun to drive. It was a great car in general. He and I even used it
> to tow a trailer loaded with half a ton of solar panels 1000+ miles
> and up 8000 feet to my sister's ranch in the New Mexican Rockies.
> He replaced it with a Civic Vx, which did not have much more power
> than the CRX.
> The notion that you need 100hp to be safe is absolute hooey! Gimme
> 35hp, and I'll design you a safe, fun-to-drive car that gets great gas
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Lee Dekker
> <heprv@...> wrote:
>> Why? Because horribly gutless little cars will get you killed on
> today's freeways. Either runover or just taken out and beaten to
> death, whichever came first.
>> I used to own a Goggomobil and did not take it on the freeway,
> ever. But the go-go was great around town and happened to fit
> perfectly on a residential sidewalk. My guess is the old 500 CC Fiat
> would produce similar fear and loathing when merging into 75 mph
> freeway traffic.
>> Interestingly, both the Goggomobil and the old Fiat 500 probably
> produced more pollution than this new 100 hp Fiat.
>> On the other hand, if one was lucky enough to be driving a
> Wrightspeed EV, merging onto a fast-moving freeway would send a
> similar fear and loathing into the hearts of stupid muscle car owners.
> And the Wrightspeed driver would be burning no petrol fuel and
> producing no petrol emissions at all.
>> The fact that no Wrightspeed like vehicle exists for the public to
> buy is another topic.
>> Forbes Bagatelle-Black <diarmaede@...> wrote:
>> --- Lee Dekker <heprv@...> wrote:
>> > Like this?
>> > 2008 Fiat 500
>> I sure liked it, until I saw that it had a 1400cc
>> engine, not a 500cc as the name implies. Good lord!
>> Why would anyone need 100hp to make a car this small
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Ernie, if you're drafting my car at over 15 MPH with anything bigger than a bicycle, I'll just pull over and let you draft some other guy. But I do get your point.
So although I don't draft anyone except my wife on her bicycle, I do annoy the hell out of people by coasting to red lights and stop signs. I try to get to the stoplight just a little after it turns green. By that time the stopped traffic has started to move and (if all goes well) I simply accelerate with traffic, never having had to come to a complete stop.
Some drivers will become so aggravated with this that they will blast around me and power up to the stoplight where they inevitably have to cram on their brakes and then sit there and idle. Clever. When the light changes and traffic starts moving again they are forced to pick up their momentum from a full stop.
Adding to their aggravation (I suspect), they have to watch me cruising past them because I never stopped rolling, and never give up my forward momentum. Too bad for them but all they need is to learn and apply some simple green driving habits. If they did, they would not only improve the driving experience for everyone else but they would also save themselves some $$$ and possibly eliminate some pent-up aggravation.
Arcologic@... wrote: Lee said,
>>>>One of the simplest things we could all do right now to improve driving
safety and fuel consumption is simply to leave more space between us and the
driver in front of us. Yes, some numb skull will inevitably zoom into that space
in front of us. When that happens, we simply need to back off and create
another space in front of us. This very simple driving mindset increases fuel
efficiency and decreases stop and go driving while simultaneously improving
safety for everyone. The substantial advantages of creating extra space between
us and the car in front of us is well known but not fully understood by most
drivers. And apparently government currently has no interest in explaining it.
Yes! Timely comment. More space improves safety and saves a lot of fuel.
There is a loss in carrying capacity beyond some particular spacing, but it
always saves fuel at higher speeds, and that also means better air quality.
At low speeds, tight spacing can be safe and save fuel by drafting.
>>>>However, I'm not familiar with any formal studies or articles or other
discussions on the pros and cons of leaving a bit more space.
There was an excellent paper maybe 30 years ago that treated propagation of
waves and conditions for instability. (My guess is there are newer studies.)
The author talked about braking waves. There was a problem at the time
with frequent multiple-car collisions in a tunnel near Boston. For a given
speed, as car spacing is reduced, the damping rate of braking waves declines and
the frequency of hard braking increases. This is after all just common
sense. We know that hard braking (no, not skidding, just firm use) at a rate of
once a mile can reduce fuel economy by about 30%. The mathematician showed
that when the spacing fell below a critical value, waves grew in amplitude--
"instability"-- and an accident would soon follow. (He had a nice formula for
it.) The authorities at the time stopped the tunnel accidents by enforcing
adequate spacing in the tunnel.
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