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This is starting to remind me of a certain alleged professor in Davis calfornia who has been touting the benefits of rotary engines, but 30 years later does not have one that a person can buy. His annual appeal for money usually comes in the form of "just another million dollars and we can build one."
I'm a bit skeptical, but yet hopeful. Once a 20kw unit is produced, it can be a gm volt style range extender that charges the batteries while the vehicle is running. This will decrease by about half the kWh of battery storage required in a vehicle, and answer the range anxiety problem.
It always intrigues me, and irritates me, and makes me skeptical when these articles are written without any specifics. I wonder even why greencarcongress congress accepts articles with so little information. For this group to spend $30 million dollars and not have the awareness to tell us some specifics is insulting. I want to know the weight of the engine, how much horsepower it produces, what fuel efficiency it produces, etc, etc. if anyone out there agrees, let's try to make the world a bit better by requiring more specifics, instead of more mores. Thanks.
I agree with Patrick regarding the range extender. Including one reduces the amount of batteries required, gets rid of range anxiety, and gets rid of the need for all those charging stations. The other piece of the puzzle that needs solving is wireless charging. The general public will soon tire of having to unplug the car before every trip, then plug it back in at the end of the day.
This report makes sense. It would also be interesting to know the particulate levels and areas affected by truck traffic and also train traffic. I lived in Vancouver washington for about 20 years, near the interstate and also near the 20+ trains that passed daily.
The other use for the batteries and capstone is to provide power for heating & cooling when the driver is resting.
The capsules also need to be large enough for a person to stand, to decrease the feeling of claustrophobia. They could be engineered so the aisle is lower than the floor under the seats.
My comments are about the commenters. My hat is off to Chevrolet for coming out with a second electric vehicle. Five years ago we were all wishing for an affordable electric vehicle. Now that we have several from which to choose, I am intrigued by the whining. So I wonder aloud to the very frequent commenters: Do you not realize how difficult it is to create new technology? Do you expect things to be perfect the first time? Are you actually creating something or just complaining and commenting on other people's efforts?
Too bad about the selection of the name...
I wonder how much each of those 30kw microturbines cost.
I wonder how much each of those 30kw microturbines cost.
I'm surprised they are not just improving and working on their V4. For the 1 liter range that seems to be adequate.
48 volts will be inadequate - use at least 96 volts. Higher voltages allow for lower current and thinner wires. They also allow for higher RPM's in most motors.
I think it will be a mistake to criticize Boeing to harshly. The 787 makes many giant leaps in technology and it is reasonable that there will be problems to solve. Hopefully the problems that arise will be fixed without fatalities. Certainly many problems have already been addressed and solved. Remember the fatal problems and subsequent learning experienced by the DC-10, B737, B727, Airbus 300 (American flight 587).
If we compare 15,000 miles at 50 mpg (costs $900 in gasoline) with the electric results the electric version saves $400 per year. I wonder how much extra the batteries cost.
It would be more helpful and useful if the study had also taken into account the cost of the larger or smaller genset and the larger or smaller battery capability. Anyone would have guessed that a 110kW genset would require less fuel, and it is fairly obvious that adding a genset allows for smaller batteries.
Probably better than the Leaf, but not as workable as the Volt.
I'm quite surprised that this merits patent protection. There has been information on the web for about 5 years relating to GPS awareness and its ability to decrease the use of range-assist or other electrical energy. (www.milnermotors.com/phevbrochure.htm) What's next? Patenting the idea of extending range by driving slower?
Kudo's to someone willing to take the lead in this. Inductive charging and on-board range extenders are the two big pieces of the puzzle that will aid in customer acceptance. Of course, the price needs to come down, but that will happen with volume.
Or we could save a billion dollars of mostly taxpayer money by encouraging electric vehicles to have a small range-assist engine. It is always so easy to spend other people's money.
This is a great opportunity for them to also fix that most glaring problem with automobiles - the side mirror blind spot.
I forgot to mention that the last remaining piece of the "ease of use" puzzle is that GM needs to add a wireless inductive charging unit. This will be placed on your garage floor so you can park over it, and at your specified time in the night, the charger will turn on and recharge the batteries. This will get rid of the plugging and unplugging that we will all soon start complaining about.
I have not driven the Volt, but feel they have done the best job of answering all the questions & needs that owners have. The range assist is paramount to owners not having range anxiety. I am not surprised that GM priced the vehicle a bit higher than we all would like. Presumably when they have a longer track record and the risk of problems decreases, they will be able to price the car a bit more competitively. It is easy to criticize them, but I feel they have produced a winning combination.
Plus, it sounds like it would make an excellent range-assist engine for electric vehicles!
I think they can do better by incrasing the taper on the rear of the trailer - a very large amount of drag is caused by the still fairly blunt rear end.