[Paleopsych] 250 miles per gallon? They're doing it

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Tue Aug 16 04:02:24 UTC 2005

These ideas can be applied on a wider scale.

Here's a car we saw in Europe:


This is the future in America :-)

Steve Hovland

-----Original Message-----
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.

Gerry Reinhart-Waller

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 
>be available.
>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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