The current lineup of alternative energy vehicles

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Ugg, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #1
    link

    A very interesting article showcasing vehicles that use fuel cell technology and other alternative fuel sources (one uses compressed air!) and either are available now or will be by the end of the decade. It is a very interesting read.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #2
    Wow, interesting stuff! By the time these come out, hopefully I'll have a real job and be able to afford them
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    cyberddot

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    #3
    Thanks for the link! I compromised on my "cleaner" burning VW diesel because of the 52 mpg. I'm really looking forward to the BROAD application of fuel cells. Affordable vehicles will mean I can make up for the years I will have spent driving this rig.

    dot
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Billicus

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    #4
    That's interesting. Sounds like alternative fuel sources will finally be making their way into the mainstream market.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #5
    that one with the "skateboard" steering system seemed really weird to me. wouldn't you need a whole new driver's licence? I mean, it's not the same set of controls as driving a car, and just cause you can do one doesn't mean you'll be able to do the other! (I'm sure you can learn, but right off the bat I mean.)
     
  6. Ugg
    thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    It's hard for me to grasp the concept behind that one. We are creatures of habit when it comes to driving, but on the other hand change isn't a bad thing. Two systems would be confusing though.

    I think the carbon fibre idea is great, much stronger yet more resilient so it would mean safer travel.
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #7
    Nah, its drive by wire - sort of like a video game in reality. Very cool and by making the 'skateboard' platform standard you can do just about anything above the floor.....:D

    These are great cars, but the efficiency is still not quite there. I love the Natrium :D

    Handful of sodium borohydride pellets, add some water and off you go....that's hi tech!

    D
     
  8. Ugg
    thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #8
    The Natrium is incredible! I'd never heard about it before.

    Even though the tech isn't quite there yet, it is a heck of a lot closer than I had imagined it was. It's great that there are so many competing technologies, I really thought it was all still about natural gas based fuel cells.

    Too bad that there isn't a viable solar car yet. For areas with lots of sun I would think they would be ideal.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #9
    Does anyone happen to have a picture of that HyWire (skateboard) system?? They say GM is going to produce it .. but I'd want to see it before trying to give an opinion on this crazy-sounding idea (oops, too late). I think I'd rather stick with the feel of a steering wheel under your hands and the accelerator at your foot .. :)
     
  10. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    HONDA FCX

    How does a hydrogen molecule split into 2 +ve ions and 2 electrons? :confused:
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

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    #11
    I think Ford is working on a hybrid version of one of their SUVs, the Escape. I think that the new Toyota Prius looks much better than it did, too.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #12
    you can find pics of the hywire on the net, look for newspaper reviews and such. It's a really fabulous concept, long overdue since we've been using the current system for so long... It does not take advantage of our abilities in an increased world of hand-eye and technological coordination, and it's expensive to make and maintain. I'm hoping the hywire will be nice and cheap, if i can afford one i'll be waiting in line the day they show up in lots...

    pnw
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #13
    I'm a big fan of fuel cells, but don't they need a supply of hydrogen? In other words, won't I be driving the Hindenberg to work every morning?

    Such is life...
     
  14. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #14
    Yeah, just google up Hy-wire fuel cell and you'll get plenty - looks pretty cool :D

    The Natrium is a great concept - only thing is the vehicle they're putting it in -Chrysler Mini-Van - blah! They'll need to work on that one - but I'm all for fuel pellets :D

    D
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #15
    the city where i live recently added a fleet of hydrogen cars...heck, we even have our own hydrogen filling station. the city has used electric rav's for quite a while too.

    toyota's rumored to be introducing a small suv hybrid soon...that will do me until the fuel cell cars become affordable( and available).

    one of my clients has an electric honda and it is so hard to get used to riding in it. it always surprises me when we zoom off without hearing the motor start first.
     
  16. macrumors demi-god

    LethalWolfe

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    #16
    I don't think I like the hy-wire's all hands, no feet approach to car control. I don't think it would be all that comfortable for extended periods of driving.


    Lethal
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #17
    Isn't that what cruise control is? And cruise control is specifically designed for extended periods of driving.

    I do enjoy using the gas pedal myself, however, but on the highway it's so much easier to maintain your speed with cruise control.
     
  18. macrumors demi-god

    LethalWolfe

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    #18
    I was thinking more of city driving, stop 'n go traffic jams, and bumper to bumper traffic where you are creeping along at 5 mphs.


    Lethal
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #19
    Yeah, I wouldn't feel safe in that without being able to put my foot down on a brake. But then again, if I used one of these collective control systems I might feel better about it.

    Imagine that. I'm sitting there in traffic, freaked out because I'm not so sure about how securely my car is stopped, and about the giant tank of hydrogen gas under me. And we call it innovation :)
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #20
    In Autoweek's review of the HyWire, they said the controls were not implemented very well.

    GM used a very short steering ratio to make the car more manoeuvrable -- a neat idea until you think of the problems -- imagine having a PS2 joystick to drive with and sneezing on the autobahn -- whoops! Full left lock at the flick of a digit isn't so smart anymore!! A twitchy thumb isn't going to do much damage on a conventional steering wheel at any speed.

    So, to make sure sudden inputs at highway speed wouldn't throw the wheels sideways, GM had the software vary the ratio depending on speed, which can be seriously dangerous to try to calculate and limits what you can do to avoid an accident.

    In Autoweek's test drive, they had to slow down to take a corner at speed; the car would have kept going straight through it rather than let them take it fast. Rather dangerous.

    link
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #21
    Ha, sounds like they've got a bit of work. I don't see the reason for changing the pedal, steering arrangement. And they might be forced to implement it here. But another thing by having everything on the steering wheel, you'd have to keep both hands on most of the time. I could see how that gets to be a problem.

    One other thing, though, is that cars fitted out for handicapped individuals sometimes have all controls on the steerwheel, so its not that it can't work.

    D
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #22
    If I remember correctly the water is split into an oxygen atom, which has a neutral charge (yes, I know its diatomic, but this reaction is taking place in parallel across a fairly large catalytic membrane), two H+ ions and their associated electrons. The electrons are stripped from the hydrogens because of oxygen's high electronegativity.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #23
  24. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    Okay, the F-300 Life-Jet is sic!!! :eek: Yes, I said sic. Don't know why.

    @ tpjunkie: Thanks, thats what I thought. The quote made it sound as if they were turning a single Hydrogen atom into 2 H+ (ie: 2 positive charges) and 2 electrons. I thought that maybe they were referring to subatomic particles when they mentioned 2 +ve charges but didn't call them H+ atoms. ;)

    Crazy world we live in. One day, I'll feel like driving and taking a bath at the same time, and maybe with automated steering, braking, and accelerating, my dream of complete lazyness will come true. :cool:
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I think it might be better to use ethanol for burning or for fuel cell instead of hydrogen.

    That is, until they find a bug that can turn biomass into hydrogen gas without using fossil fuels
     

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