This is Bob Niland's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Bob Niland's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Bob Niland
Kansas
Recent Activity
The primary financial number that matters for any vehicle use (owned, leased, rented, uber, ...), of whatever motive power, is TCO/mi (or /km if you prefer) and we don't really get that in this report. Due to politics, TCO/mi is, of course, presently widely varied by jurisdiction for EV and hybrids. But some national model could be proposed. The ICE car business has never been much inclined to discuss TCO/mi. But if some dissident brands want to break that taboo, there is a rough benchmark that consumers can compare to, and that's the annual IRS mileage deduction. Concur with the critiques of the models chosen for the report. Also, personally, I buy-new and drive-into-ground, so re-sale value is irrelevant to me, but any standardized TCO/mi model would have to make certain assumptions that don't work for everyone.
TDIclub is reporting that this is models back to 1993 or so. The discounts might amount to selling the new cars at something close to factory cost. Although the deal is not extended to N.Amer., and may never be, for anyone still running one of these older machines, it would be a pretty attractive deal. Anything prior to the already-recalled models (2009+) is likely already fully amortized, if not well beyond design life (at 373K miles, ours is).
re: …materials like unfinished eucalyptus and burlap which are not made to last. That's not going to fly during the transition to electric cars. A subtext of this revolution (which I'm sure is troubling to major petrocar firms) is that an eCar could run forever with reasonable maintenance. It doesn't need to have huge expensive mechanical failure points (like an IC engine or transmission, the failure of which often causes gassers to be replaced). The lightbulb industry has already been through this culture shock. LED bulbs may sell for more than incandescents, but turnover, for many sockets, has dropped to zero.
If this is really "nearly silent", that could be valuable. I used to fly out of a glider port that got shut down over noise (the owner tried to game neighborhood complaints by offering to sell the strip to them at some too-high price - they bought it). Battery energy density may already be to the point where certain applications make economic and mission sense, such as: island hoppers, river/lake hoppers, motorgliders, glider aero tow, jump planes, some trainers. Regional feeders and aerial applicators are next up.
311 miles would suffice for 98% of the driving my family does. The remainder would require either a different vehicle (perhaps rented), or carefully planned charging station logistics. An 800 mile range would be ideal, but I frankly expect that to never happen (we're apt to get faster charging first). Environmental dissonance trigger warning: I suspect that in the not-too-distant future it won't be unusual to see a pure EV SUV pulling a trailer with a generator strapped to it. If the generator is running as the SUV passes by, you'll also know that the SUV's firmware has been hacked to allow charging while in motion.
So which safety standards does this meet (e.g. AS1, AS2?). Since the CVD layer is only on one side (so far), it would seem to be unsuited to lift windows, due to scratching on the unhardened face. For some context, aircraft glazing has been polymer for pretty much ever (Perspex/Plexiglas, and who knows what today). I could see polymer glazing happening in cars, but the Teijin press release was focused on abrasion, and was silent on economics and regs.
DrSL: We need to work on Grid storage anyways, so we don't need this. True, but any battery technology at least has to be shippable from factory to stationary installation site, as well as resistant to any stresses from cycling.
When sailing into the wind, does this thing even compensate for its own aerodynamic drag?
Since 61% of China's electricity is from coal, is the CT6 PHEV actually a CT6 PCFV (Partially Coal-Fired Vehicle)?
re: And we need study for this NOW? Why not 10 years ago? This is not news; at all. I can recall Usenet discussions leading to the same conclusion 25 years ago. It's probably been suspected since Bell's MTS of 70 years ago. The visual distraction often required for hands-free call setup is a minor problem, but the real problem is the mental abstraction of striving to maintain a common cognitive context with the remote conversant. And all the other [growing] electronic distractions in the modern car further aggravate the problem.
Does use of second-life EV batts really enhance the life-cycle TCO of home power storage to any measurable degree? My impression is that LC-TCO per kWh for off-grid or extended-outage-capable grid-intertie is basically limited by battery technology, both the high initial cost per kWh, and the relatively short life expectancy. Used EV batts have both lower kWh capacity, and reduced remaining life expectancy. Also, failure modes at the end of their second life might be less than entertaining. Last I dug into it, even NiFe batteries were a hard sell for the empowered home scenario.
With any luck this won't degenerate into the situation we have with the OSHA backup beeps. These invariant beeps are pervasive on construction sites, and so ingrained that almost no one pays any attention to them. Since end users won't just be able to download GoTones from NHTSA, I can see dealers licking their chops at the prospect of being able to sell GoTone changes.
Henrik: "...all the hardware for the fully self-driving Autopilot is build into every vehicle that Tesla produces whether you order it or not." Yes, I now see reported elsewhere that all the needed servos are pre-installed, and also that Tesla says turning them on is simply an over-the-air download (assuming the internet is actually working at that moment, I suppose ☺).
Neither this story nor the Tesla press release defined the full extent of the "Full Self-Driving Hardware". In addition to the sensor enhancements, does it imply that all vehicle systems are hardware-capable (if not yet enabled) for full autonomous ops? This would include full-authority forward/reverse motion, braking, turning, parking, signalling, lighting, lock/unlock, maybe even the horn. With any luck, we'll learn of the full capabilities on Tesla's schedule, and not well before that due to hackers.
Highest Energy Density isn't necessarily the click bait I wanted to see as a potential future EV owner. Firstly, there's no assurance it will translate to more range. It may just mean less space consumed by batts in a today's-range design. (I need a credible 300 miles on one charge, with an option to execute 700 mile same-day drives - via pervasive fast charge stations, optional packs, whatever.) But more importantly, what, if anything was traded off to get that density? Density alone, without claims of equal or longer battery life, and without equal or lower lifetime TCO, just raises eyebrows.
re: The flat lithium-ion battery that is integrated in the floor lowers the center of gravity and results in an ideal axle load/weight distribution. Other outlets (☺) are reporting that the battery is part of the vehicle structure, and thus not intended to be routinely swappable, raising questions of just how difficult/expensive it would be to replace. So a key question on this platform might be intended service life (speaking as someone who expects at least 240,000 miles out of a vehicle - at 360K on one at the moment - and has been willing to replace an engine or transmission to get it). So is this the Apple model (to replace battery, get new phone), or the Samsung model (battery can be replaced, and if you have a 7, needs to be)?
Didn't easily find anything on QinetiQ's site about… What is the braking solution? (regen?) What is the overall impact on unsprung weight?
In addition to the points made by Brian P, there's also the question of the GA demographic trend. If the population+active_hours of 100LL powerplants is flat or declining, there are probably bigger fish to fry. Grounding the whole fleet would also likely have little impact on what Zika is about to do to the IQ trend. And don't get me started on what average diets do to IQ.
Back before Dieselgate™, the big concern with 2009-2014 VW TDIs was the Bosch CP3.1 HPFPs (High Pressure Fuel Pumps) self-destructing, and contaminating the whole fuel system, from tank to injectors. The repair expense might amount to a "total" if the owner couldn't get VW to cover it. A lot of the failures were supposedly due to misfueling with gasoline (and the tank inlets were placarded and tweaked to discourage that). The basic problem was arguably design. Prior models didn't have a pervasive problem with this. Fundamentally, the 2009-2014 fuel system wasn't designed to deal with the reality of point-of-use US diesel fuel, from theoretical wear-scar spec, through lubricity agent stewardship, to what actually comes out the nozzle. The tank contamination reported here might have been part of the problem. I'm also wondering if USTs with biodiesel blends contributed in some way to both HPFP failure and UST corrosion (due to being more hygroscopic). The shift to ULSD might have played a role too, but again, TDIs not using the Botch CP3.1 didn't seem to have much trouble. Our MK4 TDI is about to roll over 360K miles on the original fuel system.
re: …said that Tesla should also change the name of the Autopilot feature… Speaking as a pilot, the Tesla system is actually more capable than I would have expected for an "autopilot" feature in a car. But sure, I can see where non-pilots might have unrealistic expectations. Perhaps if they renamed it to "Ottopilot"…
re: A major advantage will be quiet operation near the ground… Unfortunately, the majority of the noise from light aircraft is not the unmuffled IC motor, but propeller noise. Tips going supersonic at takeoff exacerbate it. Ducted fans and more blades, perhaps scimitar, help, but it's not a simple problem.
re: Beamed microwaves fill that bill. I read that scifi story in the 60s. As I recall, it was slowly killing people until the protagonist invented an alternative and got the power projector industry to stand down. I suspect we are already at the point where electric aero motors are sufficient for short-duration applications like motor-gliders, skydiving and nearby island-hopping.
E-P: Filling the battery costs extra. Yeah, I omitted that bit in my TCO calc. I assumed the buyer already had an array or an owl slicer in the backyard. But even those have TCOs, as they aren't free and don't last forever.
So if we generously assume that the 22kWh is the full depth of a cycle, and we can get the rated 5000 cycles out of it to that depth, that's 110,000 kWh lifetime. At €14740 for the 22kwh variant (excluding taxes, installation & suchlike), that's €0.13/kWh lifetime, or about about 15¢/kWh at current exchange rates. On paper, that's below market in the US in some places, or have I made some grievous calculation error? Realistically, I suspect the battery aging, and additional up-front costs are going to shift the lifetime TCO rate to somewhere in the 20-25¢/kWh. With renewables, it's really all about storage.
It's being reported that the driver may have been watching a movie on a separate DVD player found in the vehicle. This, however, is only a distraction from the bigger issue here. Even if we agree that total accidents will decline with self-driving cars, some number of novel accident types will arise. Liability for many of the scenarios is not settled, and in some cases not at all obvious. This is either going to be settled by a)legislation or b)caselaw. No approach is apt to be fully satisfactory, but b) may be expected to be completely unpredictable, glacially slower, inconsistent state to state until each case reaches SCOTUS, and apportion insurance premium burden randomly.