[extropy-chat] Debate on Peak Oil

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Wed May 4 14:01:10 UTC 2005

--- Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

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

Ever been in a highway accident? Lighter vehicles hydroplane easier,
just to start with, and trees just don't have the sort of crumple zones
that other cars do when you hit them.

> > 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.

Sure, but burning the rubber ruins efficiency, and the electrics are
generally only great up to about 30 mph, thereafter you need the high
end torque of an ICE to accelerate well. 

One solution is the ultracapacitor, which offers very quick discharge
at high efficiency for short bursts (10-20 seconds). I'm also looking
at the 1-5kw hub motors that are available. Technically you should be
able to convert a regular vehicle into a hybrid by replacing the rear
brakes and hubs with hubmotors while installing a few more batteries
and a bank of ultracapacitors (plus, of course, some major rework of
the driver controls and engine computer). Given the energy investment
in building new vehicles, refitting perfectly good used ones might be
more fuel efficient.

> 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.

At the expense of high weight, short range, and in the end, lesser
effiency than a properly designed hybrid.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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