[extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future

Mark Walker mark at permanentend.org
Tue May 24 11:42:59 UTC 2005


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "spike" <spike66 at comcast.net>
To: "'ExI chat list'" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 1:51 AM
Subject: RE: [extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future

>> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of "Hal Finney"
>> Subject: RE: [extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future
>> Spike writes:

> I have in mind that these little single cylinder cowperson
> vehicles or SMARTs could be run on alcohol, or some mixture
> of alcohol and gasoline.  These little buggies can be stamped
> out cheaply in large quantities, they are super simple to
> repair and maintain.
I'm still hoping for the battery electric vehicle. I saw this 8 wheel 370 
km/h ev on tv the other night:
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/previews/51690/eliica_eightwheeler.html . 
Pretty cool. There is another one in Japan as well that I believe gets 300 
km on a charge. I've seen Ford and several other companies get 150 km on a 
charge with lithium ion batteries. This would do for most driving for most 
people. I imagine that if one wants to go for a long highway cruise you 
could simply rent a trailer with an internal combustion engine to charge the 
batteries as you go. Driving from say Toronto to Montreal you would rent the 
trailer on the outskirts of Toronto and drop it off outside of Montreal. On 
the return trip you could do the reverse, saving any hassles of driving 
around a city with a trailer. Also, switching out at least part of the 
batteries seems an option as well. One might lease batteries from a company 
and have them robotically swapped for fresh ones as needed.
    One of the bigger hurdles right now seems to be the price of lithium ion 
batteries. I read this explanation for why they are so expensive: 
http://www.laptopsforless.com/norefurbs.html . Still, it does not sound like 
there is any principled reason why the price could not come down 
substantially in the future.


Dr. Mark Walker
Department of Philosophy
University Hall 310
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1

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