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Old 06-26-2009, 05:35 PM   #31
12er
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Well I do know that GM bought and killed off one cool motor concept that a local gentlemen built in my home down. He ran it on compressed air but was looking to turn it into a closed loop freon system. The motor was a 4 cyl rotary with intake and exhaust valves on either side of the pistons. So it had a power stroke in each direction, true one stroke motor. He kept the tranny in 4th and just opened the air valve and off she went. He could get about 20 miles on an air tank he ran down the center of the car. With freon expanding bigtime on only a small temp change he figured if he could manage heating and cooling of the freon it would be a closed loop system. Now I see those air cars being made in india and they seem so inefficient compared to his design.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:47 PM   #32
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Well I do know that GM bought and killed off one cool motor concept that a local gentlemen built in my home down. He ran it on compressed air but was looking to turn it into a closed loop freon system. The motor was a 4 cyl rotary with intake and exhaust valves on either side of the pistons. So it had a power stroke in each direction, true one stroke motor. He kept the tranny in 4th and just opened the air valve and off she went. He could get about 20 miles on an air tank he ran down the center of the car. With freon expanding bigtime on only a small temp change he figured if he could manage heating and cooling of the freon it would be a closed loop system. Now I see those air cars being made in india and they seem so inefficient compared to his design.
Freon was one of those evil "hole in the ozone layer" products. Did GM kill it or Jimmy Carter?
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:15 AM   #33
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Agreed. electric cars aren't ready for "prime time" yet, unless you can afford a $100k Tesla. Which I would love to have. However, I think we're very close to having real-world electric cars; and the economics of oil are going to make them attractive. Gas is already back to $3.50 here, and it's rising steadily.

I can't comment on the claims of the electric car manufacturers because I don't have any experience with one yet. Gas mileage numbers have always been BS; I've never gotten what the sticker on the window says I should. But people will buy them, and post about them, and we'll be able to pick one we like if we want to. And I'm sure that anyone who wants to drive a Hummer will be able to, again, if they want to.
It seems like just about any claim made about electric vehicles is mostly wishful thinking. I submit, again (sorry), the claims of Mission Motors about the Mission One bike: 150 mile range and 150 mile top speed. Their TTXGP racer averaged 76 miles per hour at the Isle of Mann. MotoCzysz made similar claims and averaged about the same speed--when it was actually running. Top speed of all entries was about 106 miles per hour, by the team who won the thing (name escapes me). Theirs was the only bike who even got near the ballpark, and really not that close, of their claims (120 miles per hour).

Every electric car I've ever seen tested comes nowhere near the claims. I've even seen Top Gear test the Tesla and read an additional test in a print mag. Both say the car was fast but the range was pitiful during aggressive driving.

Now, I know these things are, for all intents and purposes, still in development. They'll surely get better. How much is the question. In the meantime, I wish these people would stop making false claims until they can come closer to fulfilling them. It just distracts the dopey politicians and the average Joe from potential solutions that are far more realistic. I guess that's why they're doing it, but, ultimately, it will damage their cause.

I could see myself owning an electric vehicle someday if there's a real compelling reason to do so. (The MotoCzysz racer is a beautiful piece.) There just isn't one right now.

Last edited by pdad13 : 06-27-2009 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Inflamed gall bladder
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #34
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It seems like just about any claim made about electric vehicles is mostly wishful thinking. I submit, again (sorry), the claims of Mission Motors about the Mission One bike: 150 mile range and 150 mile top speed. Their TTXGP racer averaged 76 miles per hour at the Isle of Mann. MotoCzysz made similar claims and averaged about the same speed--when it was actually running. Top speed of all entries was about 106 miles per hour, by the team who won the thing (name escapes me). Theirs was the only bike who even got near the ballpark, and really not that close, of their claims (120 miles per hour).

Every electric car I've ever seen tested comes nowhere near the claims. I've even seen Top Gear test the Tesla and read an additional test in a print mag. Both say the car was fast but the range was pitiful during aggressive driving.

Now, I know these things are, for all intents and purposes, still in development. They'll surely get better. How much is the question. In the meantime, I wish these people would stop making false claims until they can come closer to fulfilling them. It just distracts the dopey politicians and the average Joe from potential solutions that are far more realistic. I guess that's why they're doing it, but, ultimately, it will damage their cause.

I could see myself owning an electric vehicle someday if there's a real compelling reason to do so. (The MotoCzysz racer is a beautiful piece.) There just isn't one right now.
You're right, the electric vehicle advocates should be realistic in their claims, but they're hardly alone in allowing Marketing to drive Engineering. But look at the upside of your post: there were viable competitors participating in the TT on electric bikes! That is a really big deal. Likewise the GM electric car: even with all the issues and problems they had, people were driving around CA in electric cars. If they could do it then, I believe the next generation will be a viable alternative. BTW: check out Mini's info if you're interested. They're putting a lot of money into this, and I don't think BMW is doing it because of Obama and/or the US EPA. MINIUSA.com
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:42 PM   #35
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You're right, the electric vehicle advocates should be realistic in their claims, but they're hardly alone in allowing Marketing to drive Engineering. But look at the upside of your post: there were viable competitors participating in the TT on electric bikes! That is a really big deal. Likewise the GM electric car: even with all the issues and problems they had, people were driving around CA in electric cars. If they could do it then, I believe the next generation will be a viable alternative. BTW: check out Mini's info if you're interested. They're putting a lot of money into this, and I don't think BMW is doing it because of Obama and/or the US EPA. MINIUSA.com
The electric car as a concept is not a problem. The problem comes because a concatenation of environmentalists and other people who live in ivory towers decided that electric cars would be the next thing. They did this without consulting anyone who knew anything about the current state of science in energy storage. The Calif mandates failed because, like the V-chip legislation of the 90s, there was/is actually no real technology for anyone to use to produce the sort of products that the elitists who love to push people around think that people should be forced to have.

Electric cars with even 200 mile ranges that take hours to charge will never be more than a curiosity. What if there is a massive power failure, which we have seen over large sections of the country, that last days or weeks? Electric cars given the state of battery technology are simply too limited in capacity.

Currently there is not one even theoretical method of using chemical batteries to produce the kind of vehicles that are needed. Battery powered cars remain pie-in-the-sky until a complete breakthrough in energy storage is achieved. That's just the way it is.

Of course the govt can just force people to buy them. The govt seems no longer to have any concept of restraint, seeing the way the idiots in Congress just voted to send all US heavy industry to China and India.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:53 PM   #36
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There are fuel-cell cars being tested in the US and Europe. It's a NASA spin-off, the Shuttle uses them to generate electricity on orbit. You can run an I/C engine on hydrogen too. But you have to build a hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure to support it; a huge undertaking. There may be alternatives to hydrogen but I think electric cars are far more realistic in the near term.

Suppose people used electric cars as their second or commuter car. They could have a gas vehicle for towing the boat or going on vacation, or if the power failed (even in FL with hurricanes, that's happened 2X in 40 years). An electric car doesn't have to replace every vehicle type or fill every vehicle need to be valuable.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:28 PM   #37
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There are fuel-cell cars being tested in the US and Europe. It's a NASA spin-off, the Shuttle uses them to generate electricity on orbit. You can run an I/C engine on hydrogen too. But you have to build a hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure to support it; a huge undertaking. There may be alternatives to hydrogen but I think electric cars are far more realistic in the near term.

Suppose people used electric cars as their second or commuter car. They could have a gas vehicle for towing the boat or going on vacation, or if the power failed (even in FL with hurricanes, that's happened 2X in 40 years). An electric car doesn't have to replace every vehicle type or fill every vehicle need to be valuable.
Oh yes, the Governator's Hydrogen Highway. Another expensive boondoggle. I'm sure the tech to build electric cars will come. But maybe we'll see Mr Fusion first, eh? Fusion power generation may be closer than we think.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:35 PM   #38
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There are fuel-cell cars being tested in the US and Europe. It's a NASA spin-off, the Shuttle uses them to generate electricity on orbit. You can run an I/C engine on hydrogen too. But you have to build a hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure to support it; a huge undertaking. There may be alternatives to hydrogen but I think electric cars are far more realistic in the near term.

Suppose people used electric cars as their second or commuter car. They could have a gas vehicle for towing the boat or going on vacation, or if the power failed (even in FL with hurricanes, that's happened 2X in 40 years). An electric car doesn't have to replace every vehicle type or fill every vehicle need to be valuable.
Have you seen this? Honda FCX Clarity - Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle - Official Web Site

Yup, Honda is already has a hydrogen fuel cell car, The FCX Clarity. Works really well, too, from what I've read. Of course, like we all know, the problem is the fuel infrastructure. Really, really complicated and expensive. Plus, hydrogen storage is pretty dangerous, more so than fossil fuels. And it has to be frozen, which will require, ta da, more electricity. So, yeah, hydrogen has serious practical problems. That's why Secretary Chu has slashed government funding for it.

Your second point is spot on--if the economics work. There can be a place for electric vehicles but you have to ask how many people will be in the particular position to--or want to--own one "commuting" car with limited abilities and one IC car (or something like an inline hybrid) for everything else. Can they sell enough to make them affordable and economically viable? I have my doubts, but we'll see.

Popular Mechanics did a big piece last year that rated all the alternative energy methods and came to basically the same conclusion you have: there won't be one silver bullet. It'll be a combination of different technologies for different uses. The markets and practical issues will sort out which technologies become truly useful. I tend to agree.

But there are more and more people--some which know nothing about cars, bikes or engineering--who are evangelizing the electric vehicle as the be-all, end-all and that worries me.

P.S. Yes, I found myself pretty interested in the TTXGP. More so than I thought. There is now an FIM-sanctioned series. Just announced a couple of days ago. I'm all for it. I'd also like to see classes for alternative fuels and other technologies, too, because if I had to put my money somewhere, I'd say that's where most of the future of motorcycling lies.

Last edited by pdad13 : 06-27-2009 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Athlete's foot
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #39
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Have you seen this? Honda FCX Clarity - Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle - Official Web Site

Yup, Honda is already has a hydrogen fuel cell car, The FCX Clarity. Works really well, too, from what I've read. Of course, like we all know, the problem is the fuel infrastructure. Really, really complicated and expensive. Plus, hydrogen storage is pretty dangerous, more so than fossil fuels. And it has to be frozen, which will require, ta da, more electricity. So, yeah, hydrogen has serious practical problems. That's why Secretary Chu has slashed government funding for it.

Your second point is spot on--if the economics work. There can be a place for electric vehicles but you have to ask how many people will be in the particular position to--or want to--own one "commuting" car with limited abilities and one IC car (or something like an inline hybrid) for everything else. Can they sell enough to make them affordable and economically viable? I have my doubts, but we'll see.

Popular Mechanics did a big piece last year that rated all the alternative energy methods and came to basically the same conclusion you have: there won't be one silver bullet. It'll be a combination of different technologies for different uses. The markets and practical issues will sort out which technologies become truly useful. I tend to agree.

But there are more and more people--some which know nothing about cars, bikes or engineering--who are evangelizing the electric vehicle as the be-all, end-all and that worries me.

P.S. Yes, I found myself pretty interested in the TTXGP. More so than I thought. There is now an FIM-sanctioned series. Just announced a couple of days ago. I'm all for it. I'd also like to see classes for alternative fuels and other technologies, too, because if I had to put my money somewhere, I'd say that's where most of the future of motorcycling lies.
You had the audacity too mention Popular Mechanics? Those basturds promised me flying cars and house cleaning robots when I was in high school, and I graduated in 1952!! Better to refer to Mad magazine or Pogo Possum.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:38 AM   #40
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All interesting points. We have some Vetrix electric scooters at the shop, not sure whos bright idea it was to bring them in but we havent sold one yet in the whole year weve had them.

On a 2.5 hour charge the claim is 55miles however you'll only beable to do something like 35mph to cover that distance. As soon as I explain that the customers will usually respond with, "do you have any gas powered scooters?" Which is when I say, but wait their only 9699.00? hehehehe
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