[extropy-chat] Debate on Peak Oil

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed May 4 11:23:27 UTC 2005

On Tue, May 03, 2005 at 04:59:56PM -0700, Mike Lorrey wrote:

> Actually, it is primarily driving habits. People rush around so much
> they HAVE to accelerate pedal to the metal. You just can't get peak
> efficiency that way, using gas or electric. With the Prius there is

Actually, because batteries can provide very high currents for a short time,
and regenerative braking recovers a large part of kinetic energy dimensioning
your engine just enough for the cruise is sufficient. You can't do any of
this with a plain ICE.

The interesting part however is scaling down the weight, by using new LiIon (with
many cycles/rapid recharge), in-hub rare earth motors, etc. This will also reduce the
load on power electronics, which will make it cheaper/less prone to blowing
up in smoke.

Scaling down the weight is the most important part. My current car burns 6.3
l/100 km to drive a ton of metal and plastic, just to move one monkey. Isn't
this ridiculous? An order of magnitude less should be more like it, without
compromising safety.    

> said to be a 'sweet spot' in acceleration from 20 mph up to 60 mph that
> requires you to accelerate pretty slowly, just enough so that the gas
> engine doesn't kick in to help out. You apparently HAVE to use this
> method to get peak efficiency.

Even current lead-acid monsters will easily outaccelerate a Formula 1 (and by
having a low center of gravity you can really turn corners at demon speed) --
on short distances.

I looked into hybrids, but they're too expensive still (almost a factor of
two). The point of EVs is that you can reduce the costs by reducing the
number of moving parts and complexity in general. 

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144            http://www.leitl.org
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http://moleculardevices.org         http://nanomachines.net
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