[Paleopsych] 250 miles per gallon? They're doing it
waluk at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 16 18:38:14 UTC 2005
It is a good first step. That I agree with.
Hybids are a wave of the future. But there are many other waves that
need to follow.
Steve Hovland wrote:
>These ideas can be applied on a wider scale.
>Here's a car we saw in Europe:
>This is the future in America :-)
>From: Gerry Reinhart-Waller [SMTP:waluk at earthlink.net]
>Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 6:14 PM
>To: The new improved paleopsych list
>Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] 250 miles per gallon? They're doing it
>Well and good, Steve. But one robin does not a springtime make. Even
>if it is parked in your garage.
>Steve Hovland wrote:
>>Tinkerers fiddle with hybrids to increase efficiency
>>Bottom of Form 1
>>CORTE MADERA, California (AP) -- Politicians and automakers say a car that
>>can both reduce greenhouse gases and free America from its reliance on
>>foreign oil is years or even decades away.
>>Ron Gremban says such a car is parked in his garage.
>>It looks like a typical Toyota Prius hybrid, but in the trunk sits an
>>80-miles-per-gallon secret -- a stack of 18 brick-sized batteries that
>>boosts the car's high mileage with an extra electrical charge so it can
>>burn even less fuel.
>>Gremban, an electrical engineer and committed environmentalist, spent
>>several months and $3,000 tinkering with his car.
>>Like all hybrids, his Prius increases fuel efficiency by harnessing small
>>amounts of electricity generated during braking and coasting. The extra
>>batteries let him store extra power by plugging the car into a wall outlet
>>at his home in this San Francisco suburb -- all for about a quarter.
>>He's part of a small but growing movement. "Plug-in" hybrids aren't yet
>>cost-efficient, but some of the dozen known experimental models have gotten
>>up to 250 mpg.
>>They have support not only from environmentalists but also from
>>conservative foreign policy hawks who insist Americans fuel terrorism
>>through their gas guzzling.
>>And while the technology has existed for three decades, automakers are
>>beginning to take notice, too.
>>So far, DaimlerChrysler AG is the only company that has committed to
>>building its own plug-in hybrids, quietly pledging to make up to 40 vans
>>for U.S. companies. But Toyota Motor Corp. officials who initially frowned
>>on people altering their cars now say they may be able to learn from them.
>>"They're like the hot rodders of yesterday who did everything to soup up
>>their cars. It was all about horsepower and bling-bling, lots of chrome and
>>accessories," said Cindy Knight, a Toyota spokeswoman. "Maybe the hot
>>rodders of tomorrow are the people who want to get in there and see what
>>they can do about increasing fuel economy."
>>Plugged or unplugged?
>>The extra batteries let Gremban drive for 20 miles with a 50-50 mix of gas
>>and electricity. Even after the car runs out of power from the batteries
>>and switches to the standard hybrid mode, it gets the typical Prius fuel
>>efficiency of around 45 mpg. As long as Gremban doesn't drive too far in a
>>day, he says, he gets 80 mpg.
>>"The value of plug-in hybrids is they can dramatically reduce gasoline
>>usage for the first few miles every day," Gremban said. "The average for
>>people's usage of a car is somewhere around 30 to 40 miles per day. During
>>that kind of driving, the plug-in hybrid can make a dramatic difference."
>>Gremban promotes the CalCars Initiative, a volunteer effort encouraging
>>automakers to make plug-in hybrids.
>>Backers of plug-in hybrids acknowledge that the electricity to boost their
>>cars generally comes from fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases, but
>>they say that process still produces far less pollution than oil. They also
>>note that electricity could be generated cleanly from solar power.
>>Gremban rigged his car to promote the nonprofit CalCars Initiative, a San
>>Francisco Bay area-based volunteer effort that argues automakers could mass
>>produce plug-in hybrids at a reasonable price.
>>But Toyota and other car companies say they are worried about the cost,
>>convenience and safety of plug-in hybrids -- and note that consumers
>>haven't embraced all-electric cars because of the inconvenience of
>>recharging them like giant cell phones.
>>Automakers have spent millions of dollars telling motorists that hybrids
>>don't need to be plugged in, and don't want to confuse the message.
>>Nonetheless, plug-in hybrids are starting to get the backing of prominent
>>hawks like former CIA director James Woolsey and Frank Gaffney, President
>>Reagan's undersecretary of defense. They have joined Set America Free, a
>>group that wants the government to spend $12 billion over four years on
>>plug-in hybrids, alternative fuels and other measures to reduce foreign oil
>>Gaffney, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy,
>>said Americans would embrace plug-ins if they understood arguments from him
>>and others who say gasoline contributes to oil-rich Middle Eastern
>>governments that support terrorism.
>>"The more we are consuming oil that either comes from places that are bent
>>on our destruction or helping those who are ... the more we are enabling
>>those who are trying to kill us," Gaffney said.
>>Now vs. later
>>DaimlerChrysler spokesman Nick Cappa said plug-in hybrids are ideal for
>>companies with fleets of vehicles that can be recharged at a central
>>location at night. He declined to name the companies buying the vehicles
>>and said he did not know the vehicles' mileage or cost, or when they would
>>Others are modifying hybrids, too.
>>Monrovia-based Energy CS has converted two Priuses to get up to 230 mpg by
>>using powerful lithium ion batteries. It is forming a new company, EDrive
>>Systems, that will convert hybrids to plug-ins for about $12,000 starting
>>next year, company vice president Greg Hanssen said.
>>University of California, Davis, engineering professor Andy Frank built a
>>plug-in hybrid from the ground up in 1972 and has since built seven others,
>>one of which gets up to 250 mpg. They were converted from non-hybrids,
>>including a Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Suburban.
>>Frank has spent $150,000 to $250,000 in research costs on each car, but
>>believes automakers could mass-produce them by adding just $6,000 to each
>>vehicle's price tag.
>>Instead, Frank said, automakers promise hydrogen-powered vehicles hailed by
>>President Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, even though hydrogen's
>>backers acknowledge the cars won't be widely available for years and would
>>require a vast infrastructure of new fueling stations.
>>"They'd rather work on something that won't be in their lifetime, and
>>that's this hydrogen economy stuff," Frank said. "They pick this kind of
>>target to get the public off their back, essentially."
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