1,615 miles per gallon!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Doctor Q, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #1
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    Gina Parodi, a California State University Los Angeles student, built an egg-shaped car that achieved 1,615 miles per gallon over a 10-mile course. It was the top American entry in the international Super-mileage competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The overall winner was a Batmobile-like car from the University of British Columbia.

    CSULA's "Super Eagle":

    [​IMG]

    Can I get one with a built-in TV and DVD player?
     
  2. applemacdude macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

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  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #3
    Unless I'm misreading, The U of BC car did even better - what sort of mileage did it achieve?
     
  4. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #4
    You are right - BC #1, but I was working from news stories with the usual American slant. I'd like to know more about the winner too. Does anybody want to hunt for a photo or details?
     
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #5
    The U of BC car had an amazing 1747 mpg. All of it is pretty impressive!
     
  6. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #6
    That article says "Achieving an impressive 1747 miles per gallon, British Columbia's eco-friendly vehicle gained a notable improvement from its third place finish of 927 miles per gallon last year." An article I read said that each entry must be substantially different from the previous year. I guess their's was!
     
  7. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

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    #8
    we have been able to make cars achieve high MPG for years now. they just wont implement it because then gas companies will loose out. if we has gas milage like that in consumer vehicles (and it is possible), we would only have to get gas 1/90 of the amount of times we do now!!
     
  8. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #9
    um, well, these are specialized vehicles, not ones you'd drive in day to day. And like the article said, speed is not the issue here.

    I'd tone down the conspiracy talk and worry more about looking at reality :D

    D
     
  9. Darwin macrumors 65816

    Darwin

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    #10
    1,615 miles per gallon, pretty good, doesn't look like a family car to me :p
     
  10. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #11
    Cross america on two gallons of gas! WOOHOOOO!! :D :D :D :D
     
  11. drMinky macrumors newbie

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    #12
    >I'd tone down the conspiracy talk and worry more about looking at reality<

    Unfortunately, the reality is fuel efficiency is the US hardly commendable (thanks Clinton, Bush, Texaco et al) . Noone expects family cars to be as efficient as these protoypes, but it does suggest a LOT more could be done if the political will was there to do it.

    1700 miles per gallon potential compared to the (as of 2003) US SUV regulation of ...21 miles per gallon? and car regulations of 27.5? c'mon! That means regulations demand an motor vehicle be at least 1.6% efficient!..Not exactly pushing the envelope!

    cases in point:
    http://www.djc.com/news/enviro/10059224.html

    SUV popularity lowers overall fuel efficiency
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The popularity of gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles has pushed down the average overall automobile fuel economy to its lowest level in nearly 20 years, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

    http://www.freep.com/money/autonews/ford18_20030718.htm

    "Fuel efficiency in Ford's SUVs worsens"
    Ford Motor Co.'s SUVs have become less fuel-efficient, even as the automaker worked toward a goal of using 25 percent less fuel over five years -- a goal it disavowed earlier this year.
     
  12. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

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    #13
    I think it is more a factor of good old supply and demand. If the demand was really there, companies would make more efficient cars. Not to say that the demand isn't there for efficient cars, just that in order to sell the cars they have to affordable. It's a balancing act.

    Look at the new hybrids. They get pretty amazing mileage, but their sales are pretty low. Why? could it be that the cost to percieved performance ratio is not there in the eyes of the public? Or could it be that we are all brainwashed by big oil?

    Anyone know what these prototypes cost to make? I think that cars of this efficiensy are too expensive to mass produce right now.
     
  13. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

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    #14
    I'd heard years ago from a friend of mine who'd worked as a mechanic in the Army that US car manufacturers have known for years how to design an engine to get 45-50 mpg or more, but didn't make them for political reasons.

    While I don't think that thousands of miles per gallon in a consumer sedan is a reasonable expectation, I do think it questionable that amidst all the other advances in technology over the past couple decades, the fuel efficiency of cars has remained basically the same.
     
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #15
    Of course they know how to design an engine that gets 45 MPG -- it's called small and less powerful than the 200+ HP beasts that grace a lot of vehicles these days. If you'd like to try one, buy a decade-old Honda CRX or a new VW Jetta TDI.

    Of course, car companies could also build a much bigger car (an SUV or full-sized sedan) that got somewhat better gas mileage than the current ones do, but they don't, because surprise, surprise most people these days (certainly the ones who drive SUVs) prefer power to fuel efficiency, even with gas in the US approaching $3/gallon (where I live, anyway). They also don't want to bother spending the money on R&D if the government isn't going to force them to with stricter standards--why bother, if it's not a big selling point compared to even more power?

    I really find the ongoing urban legends about the miracle 100MPG car that was never built because the oil companies wouldn't want it amusing; why would a car maker care one way or the other what the oil companies think? It's not like if you make Texaco angry they're going to stop selling gas for your cars, and if somebody compares your 20MPG SUV to a competitor's 50MPG SUV, which one do you think they'll buy?

    Even if it were a US government conspiracy (again, I don't quite see why they'd bother--people still seem to use more than enough fuel), then why aren't these miracle engines available in Europe, Japan, or Korea? Because they don't exist.

    You can buy a fairly efficient car right now, it's just going to be a lot smaller and less powerful than what most US consumers seem willing to put up with. Wonder if that'll change when gas hits $5/gallon.
     
  15. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #16
    Still my hope is that the technology used for the vehicles in this competition will help with gas mileage in the future. There must be applications that can be modified in the future.
     
  16. blackfox macrumors 65816

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    #17
    In response to makosuke's post (in part), while I do not really see a "conspiracy" per se, I do beleive that the car companies have something to gain by not using more efficient technology in their engines.

    It is my understanding (as a non-expert) that the internal-combustion engine has not evolved much/is still very inefficient. If a more efficient process was utilized, it might allow for drastically improved fuel-mileage and longer-lasting engines. The latter might be a big problem for the auto-makers, and an incentive to only change things incrementally. Things along that line...

    Just theorizing...otherwise, I do wish there were more diesel-models to choose from in the US, although I believe that may be changing soon...
     
  17. oldschool macrumors 65816

    oldschool

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    #18
    i go to UBC, and the sad thing isn't that the story had an american slant, its that my school's website didn't even mention the accomplishment.
     
  18. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #19
    I guess he did not take luggage with him on his trip;) I bet he would lose a couple hundred mpg with the xtra weight;)
     
  19. jwtillema macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Actually, I read in some automotive technology magazine that electric supercharging has been developed that allows a 3.0L V-6 to develop 400hp and ahieve 45MPG for a combination of city/hwy. They also put the electric supercharging system in a Dodge Viper and got 1200hp, and if memory serves me correctly, there was no impact on mileage. I wish I could remember the magazine.
     
  20. macsrus macrumors 6502

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    #21
    The thing they didnt tell you about these cars is....
    They drive a whopping half a mile an hour....
    Why not just walk instead

    Na actually they can go fast... almost 60 mph
     
  21. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #22
    Ah, but I hate to bring politics in this....

    Its not just about politics, its what people look for in a car. I agree with the fact that fuel efficiency is not all that great, but there are no viable options today that would easily replace what we have and still *have* the same types of vehicles. People what a car to have power, speed and prestige of some sort. You just don't get that with a Prius :D

    A lot of it is economics as well. More efficient cars have come at a higher price, and until recently, its been tough to find decent alternatives.

    I do believe that things will change in the future, electric, hybrids, fuelcells - but its going to be while before this happens. There has been a paradgm shift over the past few years and many more economic vehicles will be available. As California continues to up the emission standards, I can see them leading the way so that all cars will have to have something other than just a standard IC engine - that or strange tech to make it really clean.

    The big question is will the fuel supply last long enough for these new vehicles to make it to the consumers or will things get really ugly for a while. If it takes more than a couple decades, it could be tough.

    D
     

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