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March 26, 2010


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Tom G.

This is really well written and should be required reading for every high school student and their parents. It sure would be nice if some of the automotive designers also read it and we started paying more attention to Coefficient of Drag and the weight of vehicles. I am so sick of driving a box on 4 wheels. When will we ever get cars that meet the needs of the urban driver. Cars like the Aptera or MIT city car.

At my current electric rate of .11 cents per kW that means that it would cost me a measly $1.56 for every hour [60 miles] I drove in my all electric vehicle [.11/kW X 14.2]. Of course that assumes I have an electric car which of course I don't.

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Useful tests. But in 20 years all oil and gas vehicles will be too old and out of date. alternative sources of energy is thing of the future.

Peter Munro

Great Description.

I have been looking for some real numbers. I have a KurbWatt. I have been trying to figure out how large a range extender generator I need.

This might be realistic
4 kw might power 25 mph
8 kw might power 40 mph
12 kw might power 50 mph
16 kw might power 60 mph

The VW Jetta diesel might be the max.

My question is why are small diesel engines not very efficient?

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The numbers might even become more convincingly in favor of the EVs when we arrive at being able to figure in clean renewable energy as an alternative to coal, for example. Thanks again for the numbers. As an engineer, I appreciate that.

Projector Headlights

In all sense the calculator is right, for which it is the ideal value. But what we can't control are the resistances that apply to our car when we drive it, practical value.

Man with the Plan

200 MPG is good but if you get rid of the combustion engine and put in a motor concisting of really strong magnets for the power source(free energy)with a generator to create electricity to drive electric motors. You would never need gas or have to plug your car in to charge it.


There are several thnigs you can do to improve your gas situation. You can make sure your tires are always filled properly. Staying off the lead foot goes along way to stretching out that tank of gas for a few more days. Let your torque do the accelerating for you, not the horsepower. I drive a V6, and as long I keep the RPMs between 2000-2500 it gives me a smooth and steady accelration without gunning the engine. (besides, if your town is anything like mine you only speed up to stop at the red light 200 feet away ). And you might also try running your car on 3/4 or 1/2 tank of gas. Especially if you live in LA, (or some equally stop go city) all the extra weight of a full tank can make your engine work that much harder, while using up a little extra gas. (It won't double your mileage, but in times of higher gas prices and empty wallets, the little thnigs can add up.) Oh, and I almost forgot, a good, clean air fliter also helps a bunch. Hope this is of some help to you.


compared to what? the old engine it had? prblaoby not, especially if they used the old external components like the spark plugs, filters and wires. The only time you might notice a tiny significance is when you do a tune-up which is when you replace old spark plugs, engine oil and filters with new ones and transmission oil (change time varies from car to car). Also proper air in the tires helps and not having a ton of extra weight inside the vehicle as well. What also helps is cleaning the fuel injectors with a cleaner every six months.


Steve,I guess I'm one of those eco-fanatics you complain about. We've only got one plaent earth and if we foul it sufficiently life will get a lot tougher real soon. It seems that the market place, i.e., the price of gas and diesel is only one of the factors that can spur positive change and innovation. Sometimes government, we the people, in order to care for the commons , need to make some behavior illegal, like black and white restrooms or housing or sexual preference discrimination.


Steve,I guess I'm one of those eco-fanatics you complain about. We've only got one plaent earth and if we foul it sufficiently life will get a lot tougher real soon. It seems that the market place, i.e., the price of gas and diesel is only one of the factors that can spur positive change and innovation. Sometimes government, we the people, in order to care for the commons , need to make some behavior illegal, like black and white restrooms or housing or sexual preference discrimination.


Yes, it's crazy we don't have diesel here. Too bad the 5 seires has such mediocre safety rating. There is a diesel in all the great safe cars Audi A4, A6, etc. But not in the USA. Very, very strange. And how about let's say a Cadillac CTS diesel, or a Ford Taurus? Lots of duh going on here.


fluffy:Death be to the Intrigue!!30 mpg with 3.5 litre engnie = 10535 mpg with 2.2 litre engnie = 77Above numbers represent displacement efficiency score , a measure created by ME to demonstrate the fuel efficiency of a vehicle regardless of engnie size.Chevy Cobalt would have to get 47.73 mpg to equal displacement efficiency score of Oldsmobile Intrigue.Death be to the Intrigue!!


trombass08April 28, 2010 I think the 230 mpg is a conservative estitame. Seriously, if you only drive 40 miles or less a day, you could practically eliminate gas consumption for your car. That tank of gas that's used after you finish your 40 miles could sit in there for years.


in the United States (especially eco-fanatic California) emissions rolegatiuns are about political posturing. Steve- if it wasn't for those eco-fanatics' back in the 60 s, the Clean Air Act might never have passed, and you'd be looking at skylines in the US similar through air like that choking the athletes in Beijing this summer.


That's insane!! When my Lumina got nalied there was way more damage on the front end and it was only 1300 that their insurence paid. Speaking of... have you foung out anything on cell phone chicks insurence?


system streamlines the chgnairg of electric vehicles and extended-range hybrids by eliminating the nuisance of the cord and the plug. For those that have been hesitant to purchase


Sorry if this answer is too long but its the only way to dsircebe it My guess is that when things start to get tight there will be two options for aircraft and they will utilize both First is ethanol farm high sugar content crops ferment them to convert to ethanol a few additives and you've got some pretty good avgas. (Of course biofuel could work good for jet fuel too!)Second is solar energy planes that have demonstrated this have been light in weight, with the majority of their weight actually being solar cells Also because the cells are rigid and straight the wings on the plane were more rigid on top. They didn't have that nice curve that generates the most lift. Solar companies are now developing solar cells that weigh up to 10 times less then their silicon predecessors, and they are flexible! These new cells have been demonstrated to work but are still in the development stage. Also the efficiency of solar cells in general is on the rise meaning they can pull more energy out of the sun. By the time were running out of fossil fuels this technology will be much cheaper and powerful.So you'll end up with a kind of hybrid plane, covered in cheap solar cells that flex to fit the streamline shape of the plane. For take off (when the most power is needed) it will use ethanol for fuel to power the engine, (by then our engines will be very efficient too!) and then after your above the clouds and in cruise the solar takes over, providing free unlimited energy to keep the plane aloft. Imagine the endurance on that plane! You could stay up there indefinitely!


There are currently 6 jeeps in the line up. Two are crovsoser that are not technically Jeeps but re branded Mitsubishi's (compass and patriot). They get great gas mileage (up wards of 30mpg highway). However they do poorly offroad since they are actually cars that resemble an SUVs, conversely they are excellent on road. Those two are the only ones that come with a 4 cylinder engines and before that only the wrangler, liberty and cherokee had them and they weren't that much better than the six cylinder when it comes to gas mileage (low 20's) added to that they were extremely underpowered. Jeeps or any real offroad vehicle are not good with gas mileage and you should not expect it to be otherwise since offroad ability and gas mileage are exclusive to one another.


Yes what a milestone our car maeufacturnrs have reached. I saw a commercial a week or so ago where GM was hailing a new era of cars with good MPG. They claimed they had like 19 cars that get over 20MPGs.1) how many of them are actually from foreign companies GM bought?2) how many total cars do they make? Like 100. So 19% of their cars get over 20MPGs?3) Didn't we have cars that get over 30MPGs 50 years ago? How is this some huge big thing to celebrate?


I thought it was. Stuff like this is only pslsiboe because we can make engines that think now. Of course, they only think about combustion, but still that's pretty cool. Friend of mine is a diesel mechanic. His nickname is Diesel Dick . And that is the name of his shop.


Here's your proof. Before the car is turned on the only engrey in the system is in the gas and in the battery. Fill up does not provide ANY ENERGY to the system. The scammer in the video drives with better power (maybe) because the battery is making hydrogen. The battery is therefore tired, and must be replenished by the charging system, that draws power from the engine, that runs on GAS. Making HHO is not perfectly well-organized. They only get about 70% of the engrey it takes to make it back.


The injectors need to be aehacttd. The fuel pressure alone is enough to shoot the injectors out of the fuel rail at least 40psi, many of the modern return-less systems have a base fuel pressure of 58psi.There are a few ways this can be accomplished, but in all applications the fuel rail(s) must be bolted down.A majority of the manifolds have a tapered bore that the business end of the injector sets in, it gets smaller going into the manifold like this: \ / . Others have a straight bore with a stop at the end like this I_ _I . There are a few applications that have a straight bore through to the inside of the manifold, this style needs clips that hold the injector to the rail and the injectors have a pintle cap designed to hold the lower o-ring/seal on the injector.


I have a 90 GMC suburban. That rtnlceey broke down. Engine shut off and would not start. Fuel pump is working fine, fuel filter etc. Throttle linkage is also fine. My guess is something electronic, maybe a safety feature is causing the fuel injectors not to release fuel. All fuses have been checked.Any ideas for things to check? It is an electronic fuel injected throttle body.


These will all help but some are more practical than otrehs1.Maintain constant speed, avoid accelerating and braking 2.Slipstream another vehicle 3.Have your engine service to ensure you are running rich (greater fuel air ratio than required) 4.Close windows 5.AirCon off 6.Correct Tyre pressure 7.Remove excess weight, spare type, passenger seats 8.On downhill sections, press the clutch down to coast. 9.Although this is not great for the clutch if are running on fumes and it's still a few miles to the petrol station, it helps 10.If you're trying to go as far as possible on a single tank, fill up in the morning when it's colder. Fuel is denser when it's colder so you can fit more in. 11.have your ECU reprogrammed. Manufacturers program them to get a balance of performance and economy. In the same way you can get them remapped for performance, you can have them remapped to improve economy.


Make sure you get the lubricants chagned after a fixed time period, keep your car tuned and drive at low speed in high gears if it is manual. I mean change gears quickly instead of reving it up in every gear. Lastly make sure your injector nosels are clean as a whistle, deposits can lead to poor fuel economy. Cheers.

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