RE: [hreg] Car efficiency
I just reread my post and see I goofed: the last sentence shouldn’t have had “don’t” in it and should read: “I question the broader impact and longterm viability of the model, though.”
I guess my point is that unless you put the drive in the type of car most people want to drive, then you aren’t going to make much of an impact. Those guys say that they hope to be ramped up to full production in a couple years. Did you hear what that was? Yeah, 5000 cars per year. Five thousand! That’s barely a speck on the seashore.
If you go super lightweight with carbon fiber etc., I’m guessing their cost was higher. Furthermore, the whole point of the exercise was that they said fuel cell/electric couldn’t generate the kind of power that a conventional ICE does. That is why they explained all the lightweighting, smaller/thinner tires, etc. But if you want to haul 3 kids and luggage or groceries or whatever, then you are adding a bunch more weight. How will it perform then? I think most people are buying what they buy because it meets their average needs—to haul their families around, carry things from the store, take occasional trips, have some safety factor upon impact, etc. I am skeptical that they will find that in the car on this video, nor am I convinced the leasing business model with switching capability has legs.
I’m all for innovation, though, and particular if I don’t have to subsidize dumb mistakes with my tax dollars, I’m eager to see pioneers take chances and help us as a society sort through what works and what doesn’t. As with the Smart Car (which I contend isn’t that smart next to my Honda Civic, but that’s another discussion), I’m sure there will be a niche market for these vehicles. I don’t question the broader impact and longterm viability of the model though.
What purpose would any of those configurations serve? The overall goal is to reduce fuel costs & emissions.
It seems obvious that any auto manufacturer could reduce the weight of the standard auto, but they choose not to. Volvo build an extremely lightweight car 30 years ago, it never was released to the public. I would not hold my breath waiting for the auto companies to solve at problem their friends in the oil business don’t want solved.
I think the creativity is more to the point.
You are right they are apples vs. oranges. But we’ve got to get off foreign, polluting “Apples” somehow. Hopefully, this group will spark some more creative processes that get us there better, faster, cheaper. Continuous improvement, sparked by competition may eventually get us past the foreign oil/China syndrome, hopefully it won’t be too late.
So they used carbon fiber and super lightweighting techniques to make a car that runs on fuel cells. Comparing the efficiency of that to a conventionally built vehicle with an internal combustion engine is comparing apples and oranges. A more fair comparison would be to the same car with a small efficient internal combustion engine, or a comparison of the fuel cell in a conventional vehicle body to a conventional car. Otherwise, it is hard to conclude anything about the efficiency of the drive system itself, since the light weight of the vehicle is responsible for much of the efficiency gain.