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Bernard
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Once again, GCC, just because you use US gallons doesn't mean you should claim "54.7 mpg US." EU fuel use figures are practically meaningless, and their whole system is about to be overhauled (as detailed right here on GCC). Regular websites can claim that they don't know any better, but that's hardly believable here. The same powertrain gets 36 mpg combined on the EPA cycle in the new 2015 Golf. Barring evidence to the contrary, there is no reason to believe that the new TT will do much better.
Henrik, The US price is given in the press release on this very page. It's on the last line of the specifications table.
It seems that everybody's example of "no-extra-cost" includes significant extra costs. I maintain that sunny real estate that is near large sources of potable water is a limited, and thus high-cost, resource.
Patrick, If you are unfamiliar with the Mercedes S-Class, its sole purpose in life is to idle outside of luxury establishments and corporate offices, waiting to shuttle paying customers to their next meeting or shopping opportunity. In other words, they only need a battery that is sufficient to keep the cabin cool and to negotiate the occasional "electric-only" historic city center. 200KWH would be ridiculous for such a purpose, and 30KWH would be excessive. Mercedes knows their market very well, so I would be surprised if the car did not sell, as you predict. I predict that it will be a huge success in the limousine market.
Sunlight is not free in large quantities. The cost of sunlight is the cost of real estate.
So the consensus is that this compressed air system will be theoretically slightly less efficient than a hugely more expensive (and also unproven) next-gen electric hybrid? Also, this system will mostly work in cities where the majority of automobile trips take place? I'm not sure that I see the downside as clearly as others do. It seems like a technological path that is well-worth pursuing.
24% is a huge increase, but it's a best-case. It's probably the difference between the worst of the previous generation and the best of the new generation. In other words, it's meaningless. Same thing with weight savings. Some cars that promise substantial weight savings can end-up weighing slightly more in common configurations. The new Mustang and Golf come to mind. This could be a "front-mid" car, in which the transmission output is ahead of the motor. It's unlikely, because that layout makes it much more difficult to build an AWD car on the same platform (crossover).
Nick, re: "How many households", the answer in the US is "most." The majority of US households own more than one car.
What I get from this article is that some sump pumps may need to be replaced more frequently, at a trivial cost (around $2,000). Think of how much the fuel in the tank is worth and you will see that the pump pales in comparison. The article is needlessly misleading when it mentions half a million tanks, because it's obvious that not all will be affected: some are diesel tanks, some are in areas that do not use ethanol.
Patrick, Both BMW and Tesla offer vehicles that could meet your requirements. I realize that you don't think the Tesla is a valid solution, given that they don't follow your suggested implementation exactly, but the BMW i3/i8 do. I disagree that Volvo's solution isn't good for Europe. 40km all-electric is plenty for most European city dwellers. Arguably, 41km would be better, and 42km even more so, but 40km is what's on offer this year.
O TOLMON NIKA, The inability to perform regen is a failure in itself, and if you live in a large city you may not have the opportunity (or the inclination) to initiate a regen cycle. Put it off too long or too often and you will be faced with a large service bill. That's not limited to cars. A friend helps run a fleet of urban delivery vans, and he tells me that he regularly sends technicians out on regen runs, which are an outrageous waste of time and resources. Clearly this DPF-diesel technology (in its current state) isn't appropriate for urban dwellers. As I wrote earlier, it works well enough for extra-urban travel.
O TOLMON NIKA, Exactly. As far as I know, the only 2 stroke scooter left on the market in Europe and North America is an expensive direct-injection Aprilia. They are gone from the mainstream market. Any other country can legislate them away easily, four-stroke alternatives are just as cheap.
Funny, I was looking at a current Ford van the other day and thinking "how can they get away with such poor paint quality?" I know these are commercial vehicles, but they represent the companies that use them (mobile billboards, as it were). Peeling, flaking and rusting vans surely aren't the image most companies want to convey. Let's hope this press release is accurate.
Roger, Good luck getting your Toyota dealer to install a smaller fuel tank, re-engineer the chassis, etc, at no cost to you. The fact is that an Impala can carry 50% more stuff in the trunk, which is a huge deal for a family (these are family cars after all). If you do not need the space, then the Malibu is the car for you, or the Prius. No sense driving around in an empty car.
Peter, I am not advocating banning a whole range of technologies, especially one that is evolving quickly. My point is that the health cost depends on where you live and drive. DPF technology is notoriously prone to failure when driven at low speeds in cities. They only regen at higher speeds that city dwellers daydream about while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. As you note, the same DPF-equiped car that can be a pollution and maintenance nightmare downtown is quite efficient to a rural user.
Saying that only 17% of overall particulates come from road transport does not make that 17% less relevant. If you live in a large European city, you find little comfort in the fact that choking diesel fumes are somewhat more breathable than a coal-fired power plant's exhaust stack. Personal transportation is by definition located where people live, so the effects of transportation-generated PM are amplified.
Roger, The Impala is a much bigger car at 201 inches vs 189 for the Camry. Cargo capacity is almost 50% more at 18.8 ft3 vs. 13.1. The Impala is bigger than the $31,000 Toyota Avalon that gets similar mpg. The Avalon hybrid starts at $35.5K, but then you've spent your "savings" up front, and still have less room in the trunk. Also, list price is misleading for Chevrolets. Nobody should ever pay list for a GM car. GM is offering $2,000 off list right now, and the dealer will likely match that.
Roger, The "PHEV Tesla" that you describe will be on sale this Fall. It's called the BMW i8. Only trouble is, it will sell for $100,000 more than you estimated. And have very limited carrying capacity. And be worse in every facet of day-to-day performance than a Tesla, except for the quality of leather stitching and the opportunity to hang out in gas stations.
Roger, I doubt you could fit an ICE and associated systems (cooling, fuel tank, exhaust, emission controls, etc) in a Tesla without increasing weight and diminishing carrying capacity. On top of that, the car would no longer be clean and quiet, which would make it unexceptional. It wouldn't be any cheaper either, given Tesla's comparatively low production. The Tesla story has proven that consumers are uninterested by compromised solutions. Cars like the Volt lack identity: Are they electric or ICE or both or neither? Are they premium or basic, overpriced or cheap? Consumers can't relate to that, because there is no clear narrative. You need to go through 50 pages of fine print to explain to your friends what you just bought ("it's electric, except in situations defined in appendices A5 through A23, notwithstanding subclauses h12 through h82, subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of ...").
Roger, If Tesla added an ICE to their cars, they would lose most of their brand value. The Cadillac ELR, which follows your suggested design almost to the letter, sold 60 units last month! That is a textbook unmitigated disaster (less than 1 unit per state/province/month). Why would Tesla want to emulate that?
Roger, You are a little optimistic as regards Tesla maintenance costs. They are fast heavy cars and thus go through expensive ($1000+) tyres quickly. Modern IC cars don't require much transmission or engine work. That's why there are no more local transmission shops. Most of the service money is in brakes and suspension, which heavy electric cars require. I know you think there's no wear on brakes, but most brake jobs outside of California/Arizona are due to corrosion (seized calipers). I think that maintenance costs will be a wash. You may skip a timing belt replacement at 100,000 miles, but you will be going through expensive tyres very quickly. One extra set of tyres costs more than a timing belt.
Davemart, Passive-aggressive much? Nobody said H2 stations wouldn't be built. Prototype H2 stations have been around for a while, and the technology is over 150 years old. The argument revolves around whether or not they should be built. The main objection to H2 is that it is more expensive and dirtier than batteries. It's also more expensive and dirtier than running cars on NG (which is where 99% of commercial H2 comes from). I don't see how the fact that Toyota has spent less than the cost of a Superbowl ad on a couple of stations changes the debate. Toyota is betting on all the runners in this field, using money they earn by selling gas-guzzling SUVs. It's excellent PR, and it helps divert attention from 14 mpg Sequoias (9 mpg city when using E85!).
Arne, Consider the possibility that Toyota has more insight into the medium-term prospects of electric-only cars. Toyota sells cars in all markets, so they realize that solutions that work well in infrastructure-rich locations with mild weather may not sell elsewhere. Witness the Prius. It's undoubtedly a success, but the majority of its worldwide sales are in two markets: Japan and California.
Roger, Don't put too much trust in rumors. Lots of people speculated that the current (gen 3) Prius would get nearly 100 mpg. In actual fact, it gets almost exactly the same mileage as the gen 2 Prius, and the later Prius C is somewhat worse, given its smaller size. That's why I find it more appropriate to compare cars that are available right now.
Roger, I think that the more fair comparison is between current models, not past models. That's the choice that a current consumer will face. It's also fair to compare the Prius to the most fuel-efficient Corolla. One assumes that fuel-economy-conscious consumers will compare these two options rather than comparing a Prius to a rental-spec Corolla. It also brings the price difference closer to the $5,000 range which is more reasonable. Comparing fuel economy of cars that are more than $10,000 apart is artificial. $10,000 is 20 years of Prius fuel savings (according to the EPA). You may as well invest the $10K and get a "free" 2034 Prius (or two).