Ode to Earthday, how far we have come

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shivetya, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #1
    http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZDY1YmE5NTk3OTA1MDZkMjYxYjNlZTliOGI2ZTdlNWY=

    A 2010 Mustang traveling down the road emits less than a parked 1970's Mustang with its engine OFF.


    WOW.


    With all the doom and gloom yesterday from many speakers; mostly all who would benefit if we took their suggestions; it is nice to know that there has been a lot of progress. I do know that you can smell many automotive fluids around older cars but didn't realize just how polluting that state was.
     
  2. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    I thought this was a very thought provoking statement:

    "The ’70 Mustang emitted the equivalent of 3.7 grams of hydrocarbon (HC) per mile sitting still, according to Kulick."

    This statement also was well said:

    "The ’10 is certified at 0.055 gram of HC per mile when cruising the interstate at 70 mpg."

    This comparison does not look at GHGs or fuel efficiency. Ford has had 40 years of engineering experience and they have only raised the fuel efficiency of the Mustang from about 13/17 mpg to about 17/23 mpg. The 1970 Mustang had a horriblly oversized carburetor for its horsepower and they still haven't managed to find a way to improve the mpg that much.
     
  3. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #3
    Thought provoking, perhaps, but poorly written. If it is sitting still, the mileage covered is zero.
     
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    It says 'equivalent'....meaning that in the time the mustang would have travelled a mile, it has emitted 3.7 grams of HC.

    The old cars constantly emit vapors and therefore, hydrocarbons. True, it could have been clearer. I mean, what it the time frame of going that one mile? Is it the same as the '10 Mustang travelling at 70mph? So 3.7 grams every 48 seconds?

    Sounds pretty high.
     
  5. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    That was my point. I was attempting to draw attention to the poorly written Autoweek article.
     
  6. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #6
    Comparing the pollution caused by production of a 70's car with a modern one would be an interesting exercise.
     
  7. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #7
    You also have to account for the increase of power. The mileage hasn't improved much because they've been gaining power with technology gains, not mileage.
     
  8. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I'm still waiting for the headline: More communities built that don't force people to rely on cars

    Then you can get rid of both Mustangs and just ride a bike.
     
  9. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #9
    Or, drive the Mustang at full-tilt pedal-to-the-floor joy on the racetrack and then ride your bike to work.

    I like cars, but I resent that cities are designed with cars, rather than people, in mind.
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Yeah, weren't the original Mustangs pretty low powered? Meant for the ladies, and what not? I recall hearing that it wasn't until a few years later that the idea of the Mustang-as-muscle-car came to pass.

    New (old) Urbanism discussion, here we come!

    Who wants to get rid of all the Mustangs? Not everyone can ride a bike, nor take public transit. Although many could, would, and should use alternative transportation methods; you'll never create a society that doesn't provide for some level of individual transport along the roadways. Are there ways to lessen the impact of cars? Surely. Smart design can go a long way towards reducing the need for use of a car, and the impact the car has on our cities. Smart politics can also provide a big impact on use of cars. And smart business (like ZipCars) can help too.

    But there will always be people who want to line in rural settings. You'll never convince everyone to live in cities, or in communities with upwards of 20 dwelling units per acre, the typical minimum average density needed to sustain a mass transit system, or a walkable community. It's not a realistic thing to expect of everyone. Any strategy intended to lessen the use of cars needs to address this issue successfully.

    So given that you will need some form of the car for the foreseeable future, it would seem to make sense to work towards a goal of an extremely low-emitting car, and a roadway system that can aid in running those cars efficiently.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    With Tesla making the electric car capable of competing with the combustion engine, I daresay we won't need gas-powered cars soon enough. All the excuses for internal combustion engines are beginning to disappear. Granted, the Tesla is far too expensive at the moment, but now that we know it's possible... I would love to take a spin in one of these.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    Electric cars will help, but that's still using fossil fuels for power, albeit more efficiently than in an internal combustion engine.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #13
    The one problem with electric cars that has not yet been resolved is charge time. You can't take a Tesla on a road trip because it takes hours to recharge. They need to find a way for an electric car to fully charge in about the same amount of time it takes to fill up your gas tank until electric cars will be viable replacements.
     
  14. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #14
    Which engine/transmission package is that? My 2000 model (V6 + manual) still gets 20/26 despite being nearly 10 years old. Then again, I'm one of those weird people that actually maintains their vehicle properly and doesn't drive like a maniac.
     
  15. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    The record for fuel economy is something over 230mpg - using a slightly modified Opel, set in 1972. The dealer who bought the car recently said he could not see what they did to the engine, other than running the fuel through the radiator.

    Yes, I understand that they were running at a constant speed, with special tires, over a flat track. Nonetheless, it showed how much could be accomplished with just some small modifications. I cannot help but think that even the amazing 50mpg a Prius gets ("Toyota: it's the last car you'll ever drive") is simply pathetic, that innovation has somehow been stifled by market forces.
     
  16. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

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    #16
    We see them out here all the time in LA. The lotus was already a beautiful car to begin with. It's weird to hear them though :D
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

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    #17
    I bet they're great for LA.
     
  18. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    I wish I could find the article, but I was reading something about these researchers at MIT that had developed a battery matrix (the structure that actually holds the charge particles) that could charge and discharge nearly instantly. If you think about the battery matrix like a sponge, and the charge like water, and you picture what happens when you put one end of the sponge into the water, that's a rough analogy of what's going on in a battery.

    A typical battery today is like a very slow saturation of the sponge, which is why it takes several hours to charge a battery today. But imagine if you could dip one end of the sponge into the water, and it would saturate the sponge almost instantly throughout the entire structure.

    This would mean that you could charge anything from your phone to your car in a matter of seconds. The problem, of course, becomes the electrical delivery system. That kind of power draw for your iPhone alone would probably snap the normal 20 - 30 amp breakers in your average home. For a car, you would need heavy industrial power delivery infrastructure to accommodate the power draw. So, ok -- it gives filling stations a rationale to continue to exist. You could potentially be in and out of the "gas" station in far less time than it takes to gas up even the smallest of cars today.

    How close this is to any kind of practical reality, I couldn't say; but it was an extremely interesting article, and the implications for our gadgets is immense. Imagine if your phone got low, and you could get it back to 100% charge by simply plugging it in to an outlet for 5 seconds.

    More efficiency...
     
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #19
    Now, that would work. The car could charge in one of two ways. You could plug it into your home outlet and let it charge for a few hours, like it is now, or go to a "gas" station which would have the beefed up equipment to charge your car a few seconds. Hopefully that technology is close to reality.
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    Found it.

     
  21. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    Sure, but many of the cars could also be connected to solar or wind arrays in a way that's fundamentally impossible with fossil-fuel cars.

    I think this problem is overstated. Most commutes are relatively short and that's the primary usage for most cars. Obviously, it's unrealistic to expect Americans to buy a car for commuting and a car for road-trips, but I suspect that many Americans would be fine with a car that goes 256 miles on a single charge and many households do support multiple cars.

    Of course, personally, my household's daily commute is about 16 miles total, so the long-range of both our cars means we rarely stop at the gas station; I've actually forgotten which side the gas cap is.
     
  22. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

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    #22
    These types of capacitors are called supercapacitors and ultracapacitors. When developed with carbon nanotubes (as they're doing at MIT), they're basically designed down to the atomic level to hold as much capacity as possible. The potential of nanotubes and graphene in electronics is truly exciting for anyone involved in the field.

    They hold a lot of promise for energy harvesting activities such as solar use.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Now we're talking. If you can power highly efficient electric cars with renewable energy, you've gone a long way towards reducing the overall footprint of the car on the environment.

    You could also use the car batteries as short-term storage devices to smooth out fluctuations in renewable power production. One of the Scandinavian countries is looking at this, IIRC. The plan would be something like this: Power is generated via wind turbines offshore. During the night, there is an abundance of power, since people are asleep. During this time, the cars are charged -- and the cost is low because the electric rates are contingent upon demand. You drive to work in the morning, and plug your car in. The car knows how far you usually drive to get home in the evening, and it discharges your battery to this level plus a safety factor during the day, the power companies buy the power back from you at the higher daytime rates. Thus there is a financial incentive for people to participate. And if you're going out somewhere after work, you can override the discharge setting.

    It seems to make sense, if you're going to produce all these batteries for electric cars, with all the environmental issues associated with battery production, you might as well put them to maximum use.
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    I think that's actually a slightly different subject, wherein the goal is to increase energy density in storage devices. When I finally found the article, they explained that this quick charge experiment was conducted on lithium ion batteries -- a very common battery type today. This process did not lead to any increase in the storage capacity of a battery, it only affected how fast it charged and discharged.

    What you are talking about in terms of graphene and nanotubes is, I believe, the next level of battery storage type with a much higher theoretical energy density. And also very cool.
     
  25. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #25
    Yes, I looked at your post and assumed you were talking about carbon technologies. There's still plenty of improvement to be had in classic battery types.
     

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