Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-19-2008, 10:13 AM   #21
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Except all are either NEV's (restricted to roads with 35mph speed limits), very expensive and/or available only in CA or other countries.
I'd love to have one of these for running errands here in town; we can get from just about any place to any other place on roads marked at 35 or less. The problem is that these things are (currently) almost the same price as a new gas-powered car and much more limited in utility, so the cost just can't be justified.
__________________

__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-19-2008, 10:36 AM   #22
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
I thought about this thread when I read this story in today's Chicago Tribune:

Solar car completes first-ever round-the-world trip -- chicagotribune.com

The car is completely solar powered. Not practical by today's standards, but for the Jetsons, who could take that monorail everywhere, a car like this would fill in nicely for little trips here and there. It got up to 55 mph, according to the story.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg solar car.jpg (39.1 KB, 74 views)
__________________

__________________
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 10:59 AM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I thought about this thread when I read this story in today's Chicago Tribune:

Solar car completes first-ever round-the-world trip -- chicagotribune.com

The car is completely solar powered. Not practical by today's standards, but for the Jetsons, who could take that monorail everywhere, a car like this would fill in nicely for little trips here and there. It got up to 55 mph, according to the story.
These stories are interesting, but counterproductive, IMO.

I think the general public walks away thinking that a solar panel on a car is a good idea. But it is a terrible idea.

That panel will *never* be in an optimal position to the sun (unless you live near the equator). It will be parked in shade much of the time, etc - it is a waste of the energy it took to maker the panels. Plus, it is a waste to move the weight and added air drag of those panels around day after day. They would be far better off in a fixed mount, producing energy whenever there is sunshine. For practical use, you are going to need enough batteries to provide full performance in a car like that anyway, so ditch the wasted solar panel.

So why invest 'creative energy' and time in a dead end? Silly, IMO. And the wrong kind of media attention.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 11:03 AM   #24
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Well it DID go 33,000 miles--it made it out of the lab and onto the street.

And the Jetsons would love it....
__________________
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 11:15 AM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I'd love to have one of these for running errands here in town; we can get from just about any place to any other place on roads marked at 35 or less. The problem is that these things are (currently) almost the same price as a new gas-powered car and much more limited in utility, so the cost just can't be justified.
I'd consider a VOLT w/o the range extender at the right price. There are only a few times a year that I use *my* car for a round trip over 40 miles, and some of those I could plug in during my visit to handle maybe a 60 to 80 mile round trip. We can take the other car for long trips.

But I'm not interested in paying more for a car with those restrictions, and until battery prices come down, I think that is where we will be.

Imagine if that range extender engine was completely modular, with a slide in mount, and quick-connect system. You could just rent one when you needed it, then you would not be carrying that extra weight around when you don't need it, you wouldn't pay for it upfront, and it wouldn't sit around idle for 90% of the time. I've seen some ideas like this with a little trailer behind. I think that could be workable, if it was fixed to the car, so you wouldn't need trailer-backing-up skills.


-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 11:29 AM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Well it DID go 33,000 miles--it made it out of the lab and onto the street.

And the Jetsons would love it....
But here is the point:

Quote:
The two-seater travels up to 55 mph and covers 185 miles on a fully charged battery.

...

the car is powered by solar cells that it hauls on a trailer. ...
It is much, much better for the environment to put those solar panels in a fixed place, out of the shade, and tilted optimally towards the sun. That gives more energy out, relative to the huge amount of energy it took to make the solar panel in the first place.

Their approach is actually anti-environmental, because it is not making the best use of the energy it took to make the solar panel. And it's dragging the panel around, wasting more energy.

The alternative is charge those batteries at night. Two benefits - those solar panels would be providing energy into the grid during the day when it is needed the most, and you would charge the car at night when the grid is underutilized.

Remember that it takes about two years for a solar panel, under optimal conditions, to produce the amount of energy it took to make it. So until that time, it is a net energy sink, not a 'saver' of energy. And anything you do to reduce that (like pull it around on a trailer), extends that energy payback time.

33,000 miles on the Sun's schedule - not a typical commuter schedule.

It should stay in the lab, IMO. It has no place on the street. I don't care how good you make the solar panels, they are still better off in a fixed mount, feeding the grid. So this whole exercise is pointless, it is going down the wrong path. A waste.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 11:44 AM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
If a car is lightweight, slow to accelerate, and can't do at least 70 MPH, it will be a dangerous vehicle to have out on the roads/highhways. A motorcycle is probably safer per mile driven than many of these proposed small cheap electric cars. While a motorcyle offfers very little crash protection, it offers very good accident avoidance: You can out accelerate most cars (very handy for getting out of a trouble spot), it can keep up with traffic, your head is high enough to see over many sedans so you can spot trouble coming farther in advance, and it is narrow enough to allow the operators to squeeze between cars for safety (e.g. sitting at a light behind cars and hearing locked-up brakes from behind you--I'd quickly dart between the vehicles and let ther bumpers take any impending impact). No, I don't think motorcycles are safe vehicles, but in one of these low, slow, car-eggs you've got almost everything working against you from a safety perspective.

To be safe on the real-world roads I think you need to have the weight, accceleration, and top speed of an IC-powered car. That's not going to come cheap with today's battery technology.

Where's that cheap ultracapacitor we've been waiting for?
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 03:05 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'd consider a VOLT w/o the range extender at the right price. There are only a few times a year that I use *my* car for a round trip over 40 miles, and some of those I could plug in during my visit to handle maybe a 60 to 80 mile round trip. We can take the other car for long trips.-ERD50
I thought it was intriguing too until I heard "Bob Lutz revealed to the Seattle Times that the price point for his company's Chevy Volt series hybrid electric vehicle will be $40,000, or around $10,000 more than originally estimated. Lutz also told the paper that the first-generation of the Volt would generate no profit for General Motors." And these guys want a bailout?
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Aptera Update -
Old 12-02-2011, 10:00 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Aptera Update -

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Finally a car that looks like what Popular Science said we'd be driving in the year 2000.

Attachment 2787

The electric model is said to go 120 miles/charge. Lowest coefficient of drag of any car. Hybrid model said to get 230 MPG. Has special safety features. Cost: $28,000.

Aptera
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
The next big breakthrough in electric car technology is virtually always 1-2 years away.
And it still is... 2007, 2008... 2011 and out!


Electric car maker Aptera goes belly up

What a surprise!


-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
55 year old Texan will retire within the next year russingr Hi, I am... 7 05-25-2007 09:40 AM
A new car? Khan Other topics 25 04-24-2007 10:15 AM
Your TOTAL % return so far this year and last year. modhatter FIRE and Money 49 10-19-2006 05:03 AM
44 year old woman takes advantage of 13 year old boy Dawg52 Other topics 37 05-25-2006 12:15 AM
Financing a car/car buying advice usc_et Young Dreamers 14 11-01-2005 11:59 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:36 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.