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Thread: dual personalities, automotively speaking

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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    dual personalities, automotively speaking




    Has anybody here driven, or even owned a modern hybrid? The main concept is nearly a century old with the 1914 Woods Dual Power using regenerative braking and the like. how about todays versions? Personally, I suspect the hybrid has a better chance of success than a hydrogen powered or totally electric car.
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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch



    Has anybody here driven, or even owned a modern hybrid? The main concept is nearly a century old with the 1914 Woods Dual Power using regenerative braking and the like. how about todays versions? Personally, I suspect the hybrid has a better chance of success than a hydrogen powered or totally electric car.
    Yep, all of them!

    They are mostly pretty good in terms of how they operate - but - and ironically - the one hybrid that was truly optimized to achieve the best possible gas mileage was cancelled due to poor sales.

    Anyone remember which one that was?

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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    They are mostly pretty good in terms of how they operate - but - and ironically - the one hybrid that was truly optimized to achieve the best possible gas mileage was cancelled due to poor sales.
    Honda Insight?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Brand
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    They are mostly pretty good in terms of how they operate - but - and ironically - the one hybrid that was truly optimized to achieve the best possible gas mileage was cancelled due to poor sales.
    Honda Insight?
    You are correct, sir!

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    I think hybrids are a stop-gap at best, a very expensive way to boost the fuel economy of a gasoline-engined car.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    I think hybrids are a stop-gap at best, a very expensive way to boost the fuel economy of a gasoline-engined car.
    I agree.

    I've ranted at length about this before - but:

    We could have $15,000 economy cars that get 50-plus MPG without expensive hybrid technology... IF we ditched federal safety mandates that have added hundreds of pounds to the curb weight of the typical compact car.

    How much is fuel economy worth? Is it worth a higher theoretical risk of injury in a crash that may never happen? Why not allow people to decide for themselves which is most important?


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    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    How much is fuel economy worth? Is it worth a higher theoretical risk of injury in a crash that may never happen? Why not allow people to decide for themselves which is most important?
    Well hush yo' mouf young Eric else'n you'll have Elf & Safety crawling out of your woodwork.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    I think hybrids are a stop-gap at best, a very expensive way to boost the fuel economy of a gasoline-engined car.
    I agree.

    I've ranted at length about this before - but:

    We could have $15,000 economy cars that get 50-plus MPG without expensive hybrid technology... IF we ditched federal safety mandates that have added hundreds of pounds to the curb weight of the typical compact car.

    How much is fuel economy worth? Is it worth a higher theoretical risk of injury in a crash that may never happen? Why not allow people to decide for themselves which is most important?

    I think that structures that meet present safety standards could be made a lot lighter.

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    I think hybrids are a stop-gap at best, a very expensive way to boost the fuel economy of a gasoline-engined car.
    I agree.

    I've ranted at length about this before - but:

    We could have $15,000 economy cars that get 50-plus MPG without expensive hybrid technology... IF we ditched federal safety mandates that have added hundreds of pounds to the curb weight of the typical compact car.

    How much is fuel economy worth? Is it worth a higher theoretical risk of injury in a crash that may never happen? Why not allow people to decide for themselves which is most important?

    I think that structures that meet present safety standards could be made a lot lighter.
    Probably - but it might require more expensive composites and alloys, which would add considerably to the bottom line cost of the car. Aluminum, for example, is used on Audis and Jaguars for almost the entire structure/panels - but these are high-end cars where the cost of the machine is less of an issue.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    I'm thinking they could just be cleverer with the finite element analysis and make lighter steel structures.

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    I'm thinking they could just be cleverer with the finite element analysis and make lighter steel structures.
    I dunno. If they could, at about the same cost of standard steel/manufacturing processes, why haven't they done so? A lighter/more efficient car would surely be desirable? My assumption is the cost is considerably higher. Heck, it's rare to see aluminum/composite panels on mid-priced cars.

    On economy cars, never.

    It would be much less expense and hassle to simple allow automakers to build economy-type cars the way they once were in the '70s and '80s. With today's high-efficiency engines/ECU/overdrive transmissions, etc., it would be a snap to build a 50 mpg econobox.

    My point is that if fuel economy is so important, perhaps "safety" should be balanced by that consideration...

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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Just ban vehicles over 1700KG or tax those over 1,200KG.

    After all, you got SUVs by calling them trucks.... and taxing them differently

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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    It would be much less expense and hassle to simple allow automakers to build economy-type cars the way they once were in the '70s and '80s. With today's high-efficiency engines/ECU/overdrive transmissions, etc., it would be a snap to build a 50 mpg econobox.

    My point is that if fuel economy is so important, perhaps "safety" should be balanced by that consideration...
    So why don't you do it?


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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    It would be much less expense and hassle to simple allow automakers to build economy-type cars the way they once were in the '70s and '80s. With today's high-efficiency engines/ECU/overdrive transmissions, etc., it would be a snap to build a 50 mpg econobox.

    My point is that if fuel economy is so important, perhaps "safety" should be balanced by that consideration...
    So why don't you do it?

    I would!

    But the damn government and "saaaaafety" lobbies are the ones with the power.

  15. #15
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    I would!

    But the damn government and "saaaaafety" lobbies are the ones with the power.

    I was at a convention once and a professional safety advocate told me that he was working towards getting air bags and seat belts built into each motorcycle sold in America. I told him that I ride and I prefer to rely on my helmet and just avoiding getting run over to not have an air bag. If I should happen to go down, my motorcycle weighs around 700 pounds and I would just as soon not be strapped to it when it goes bouncing down the road.

    I'll bet the reason Firestone took such a hit when the Ford Exploders started rolling was because Ford spent more money on lobbyists.
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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    "I was at a convention once and a professional safety advocate told me that he was working towards getting air bags and seat belts built into each motorcycle sold in America. I told him that I ride and I prefer to rely on my helmet and just avoiding getting run over to not have an air bag. If I should happen to go down, my motorcycle weighs around 700 pounds and I would just as soon not be strapped to it when it goes bouncing down the road."

    Honda, as I hear it, already has a prototype air bag for a bike in development. That's bad, but given a vehicle that requires body movement/weight shift to corner (the antithesis of the stable seating position of a car driver) the prospect of a seat belt seems absurd (and potentially, extremely dangerous to the rider) on its face. If, however, they find a way to do this I will just ride old bikes. The current state of the art is plenty for me already!


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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "I was at a convention once and a professional safety advocate told me that he was working towards getting air bags and seat belts built into each motorcycle sold in America. I told him that I ride and I prefer to rely on my helmet and just avoiding getting run over to not have an air bag. If I should happen to go down, my motorcycle weighs around 700 pounds and I would just as soon not be strapped to it when it goes bouncing down the road."

    Honda, as I hear it, already has a prototype air bag for a bike in development. That's bad, but given a vehicle that requires body movement/weight shift to corner (the antithesis of the stable seating position of a car driver) the prospect of a seat belt seems absurd (and potentially, extremely dangerous to the rider) on its face. If, however, they find a way to do this I will just ride old bikes. The current state of the art is plenty for me already!

    Honda has tried out their experimental airbag on a 'Wing. As far as I am aware it is a multi sensor system designated purely for protection in a full frontal impact situation. There is no requirement for belts of any sort. (Only a lunatic would suggest that anyway so I guess we are anticipating an 'Elf & Safety' or a politician's proposal here.) I saw a short video of a dummy rider impacting the side of a car (simulated SMIDSY). The car was severely damaged, the bike would have been a write off but, as far as I could see, the airbag did its job well and the rider would have escaped serious injury.

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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking




    Politicians often do things for their future advancement rather than the public good. Years ago, a Chicago city alderman by the name iof Burton Nataris tried to ban motorcycles from Lakeshore drive in Chicago. He found out real quick that motorcycles pay Federal taxes on fuel like any other motor vehicle and Federal funds were used on Lake Shore Drive. Therefore, Chicago would have to pay back mucho bucks to close it to bikes. You can still ride your motorcycle down the road. As much trouble as I have with names, for me to remember his name after all these years means it raised quite a stink. I believe this was back around '99-2000.
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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch


    I was at a convention once and a professional safety advocate told me that he was working towards getting air bags and seat belts built into each motorcycle sold in America.
    That must have been one of Joan Claybrook's followers. When she was head of NHTSA, someone at the agency came up with the idea of a motorcycle with a fixed front fork and 'hinged' rear. The air bag/seat belt idea may have started there, too.

    Can you imagine being on a bike with a castering rear end?

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    Re: dual personalities, automotively speaking

    You take insurance you ride bikes.

    Where is the problem?

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