150 mpg car?

150 mpg car?

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The inventor’s argument is that manual control of a hybrid car will result in better overall fuel economy than the computer-controlled system provided by the manufacturer. Maybe, but I’m not buying it. Here’s the link for my fellow skeptics: http://www.99mpg.com/mima/mimaintroduction/. My money’s on the computer for overall performance, emissions regulation, and economy.

Big deal…when I was in college in the early 80s, the winner of the SAE high mileage competition got almost 1500 mpg.

The hard part is getting people in the US to drive very small, light cars.

Rick–also you have to consider the legal implications of manual control by folks who don’t really understand what’s going on in their car, which is most of the population.

That’s kind of cool, though I wonder how many cycles his battery will last now that he has foregone the computerized battery monitoring. Don’t Lead-Acid batteries lose their ability to recharge fairly quickly if you drain them all the way repeatedly?

I know this really dosn’t fit here…but. Can someone tell me how to start a NEW thread? I’v found info on everything BUT how to start a thread.


Click on the Portal/Forum button at the top on the tool bar. Go to the appropriate subject and you will find a new thread button at the bottom left of the page.

That wasn’t hard…lol. I just couldn’t find any info on how to do it. Thanks Again

I have to say, sometimes I wish my Ford Escape Hybrid had an option to shift through varying amounts of automatic and manual control of the hybrid components of the vehicle. On the positive however, It’s probably the best hybrid system for efficient logic I’ve seen… mine regularly gets 40mpg in the summer, and still manages 28mpg in the dead of winter.

However, I’ve found the Toyota Highlander Hybrid my mom drives much more eh… bothersome. It RARELY runs in electric only, and you pretty much have to blow on the accelerator if you want it to stay in electric even for a tiny bit of time while coming out of a stop sign/red light. It does have an “EV” button, but when EV is engaged it only stays locked in for about a minute at low speeds (25mph).

Cars/Green Automotive things I’m looking forward to:

Aptera: http://aptera.com/
Hymotion BREMs: http://hymotion.com/
Chevy Volt: http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/?evar10=HP_promo_right_electriccar
Chvey Tahoe Hybrid (heaviest hybridized consumer vehicle to date): http://www.chevrolet.com/hybrid/?evar10=TAHOE_PROMO2_LEARN_MORE

And… that’s my green-blooded-vulcan showing. :wink:

Any other hybrid drivers in our midst?


They had an indepth article on this guy in the Hartford Courant a year or two ago. The most intriguing thing I thought of was his manual override “clutch” for the hybrid system.

And while the computers in current technology are powerful and be able to perform very well, they still do not have nearly the same level of intelligence as humans have. I can easily see how having manual control of the hybrid threshold can easily boost gas mileage, just as how one can get better gas mileage via a manual transmission than an automatic.

I’m more skeptical of the fifth wheel, but I guess if one really does not want to start major modifications and a redesign of the chassis and powertrain, then I guess it’s a decent compromise.

Which brings me back to always wondering why Detroit always insists on fighting new emission and environmental standards with lawyers instead of engineers… :confused:

They fight the standards with lawyers, but meet them with engineers…

It’s the fighting part that just seems inane. These companies will launch hugely expensive lobbying and public relation campaigns to try to dissuade the public and government from tightening the standards, claiming that it is going to cost them too much to make the changes. I just love the irony of the situation.

Why not just cut to the chase and sink these millions of dollars straight into research and development to meet the new deadlines? Why not hire more engineers instead of more lawyers?

Like in the case of the electric cars in California, where GM claimed it would take too much money and time to develop fully electric cars, and yet little companies like Tesla Motors (with but a fraction of the resources of GM) come out and develop the Roadster from scratch in only a few years, with plans to expand into lower price and higher production cars within a decade.

Maybe it’s just because I’m going to college for engineering that makes me biased towards engineers over lawyers. But the fact that what these car companies are claiming does not line up with what modern engineering is possible of doesn’t help their situation.

IMHO… you can keep your 150 mpg sardine cans.
I want a car I won’t die in a collision with a shopping cart.
And being of an older generation that get a thrill hearing the raw muscle of a V-8 with a free flow exhaust.

Give me a 150mph car any day… if gas get too hard to come buy… I’ll grow some corn and make some gas!

Better yet… why don’t you wiz-kids come up with a diesel powered 150 mph car that I can burn used fry oil in :smiley:

btw… having more user controlled applications for todays vehicles is a very unsafe idea… most users (they not good enough to be called drivers) are too busy text messaging their friends, chatting on the cel ph, or surfing their play list to be bothered with a little thing like signaling when they change lanes, never mind switching from gas to electric or shifting gears.

-p “the last V-8 driver in America”

Give me a 150mph car any day… if gas get too hard to come buy… I’ll grow some corn and make some gas!

And while you’re doing it, you’ll drive up food prices, use as much fossil fuels to grow your corn as you get out of it, cause the deforestation of enormous tracts of forest elsewhere (because of higher food prices, it becomes economically viable to clear sub-par agricultural land). Not that I’m a car-hating hippie (I’m actually entering the 24 hours of LeMons this summer), but us petrolheads are in a poor situation. At the very least, ethanol from corn doesn’t seem to be the answer, no matter how much the farming lobby and first state in the primary process want it to be.

The Volt needs to arrive in a hurry, do everything it promises, and Nanosolar needs to coat every roof on the planet in cheap-like-paper solar cells so that cars like the Volt can get their energy from a clean source. Also, having ITER happen on-time, on-schedule, and above break-even wouldn’t hurt either.

  1. The handful (as in “less than 20”) of production Teslas that have been delivered to date have transmissions that the company has already said they would replace under warranty because of ultra-short life expectancy. To get even close to production, Tesla has had to request a waiver from current air bag rules. The vehicle is very late in shipping. Welcome to real-world engineering. Everything looks better in PowerPoint than it does in reality. To get even close to production, Tesla has had to request a waiver from current air bag rules.

  2. This is a low-volume vehicle that costs $100,000. They may have “plans” to produce low-cost vehicles, but there is no evidence that they have the ability to do so.

  3. The world is littered with the remains of low-volume, high-cost car makers. I’ll bet you a dollar that Tesla is not making more than 1,000 units a year five years from now. The car industry is not for amateurs or the faint-hearted. I doubt Tesla has what it takes to compete with Toyota, Ford, Honda, VW, and GM in the world marketplace for cars that are as reliable, usable, and low-cost as the major manufacturers. They might – just might – hang on as a boutique provider of limited production toys for the rich.

The Prius and Hybrid Escape are far more reasonable views of the future than the Tesla.

Are you claiming that all those thousands of experienced engineers at Ford and Toyota could build a $15,000 electric car tomorrow with the range and capacity of a Honda Accord, but that they choose not to do so for non-technical reasons? That a manufacturer that could easily double their sales if you are right has rejected that option for some hidden, sinister motive? I think you need to think these things through a little bit. They aren’t that stupid. Honest.

Good point Rick, but…

Some of us noticed that the auto industry “cried wolf” a few times in the 1960s-80s, yet they did manage to make cars meet the safety, clean air, and mileage standards set by the government. Maybe that’s what Art is talking about?

Although we have surely reached the point of diminished returns.

Wow… you mean that little patch of corn I grow for deer feed and cook outs has caused all that?
Plus what I don’t use in the car I could put into mason jars just in case of snake bite.

Trust me, I am well aware of the issues that Tesla was having with their first generation Roadsters, like their transmission glitch. But just based on the fact that they are committed to actually doing this is what gets them my respect. They aren’t complaining that it is hard or difficult, rather they set out to actually bring this to market.

The Detroit auto makers have been showing us the “car of the future”, but they always seem to cancel it or only put in a half-hearted measure of support.

Besides, I like dealing with numbers, hard evidence, and rational decision. As such, it’s not hard for me to see why Detroit doesn’t want any electric cars on the roads, like when they killed off the EV-1. The electric cars have batteries, an electronics system, motors, a very simple gearbox and brakes. I know that this is quite a simplification, but part for part, an EV has less moving parts than a internal combustion car.

And as a fact, car companies make a lot of money off selling repair parts to keep all those moving parts working. If you want anything fixed on one’s car, other than maybe changing the oil, it costs an arm and a leg. And often times buying these parts and installing them oneself still costs a lot.

So as a company executive looking to maximized profits for their shareholders, which makes more sense: a vehicle with less parts than can break or a vehicle with more moving parts (and hence the potential for more profits)? If I was that company executive, I’d sure pick the latter to score brownie points with the investors, as is that not the job of a company executive, to maximize profits?

As such, I don’t expect Tesla to be anywhere near the level of any of the big car companies in five years. Heck, not even in ten years. But I can easily see how over the long run they will be successful. All the current car companies did not become instantly successful overnight; most of them stayed low production (mostly catering to the higher income audiences) for the first twenty years, until Ford was able to bring start producing them cheaper and cheaper. And even then, it took Ford an entire decade to bring the cost of a car well below the average annual income of people at the time.

I don’t expect results overnight, but I do want a commitment to long term goals, which I see in companies like Tesla. I’ve only seen countless broken promises from the existing car companies, and it will take more than fancy commercials or full-page newspaper spreads to convince me otherwise.

I never called the engineers who work at any car companies stupid, and I have a high level of respect for them, as I do for all engineers. But engineers don’t make the decisions on which cars or products to make. Those come from upper management. Actually, with the exception of maybe Google, who offers their “20% Time” to employees, I don’t think there are many companies really let their employees design or do anything they want.

Rather, as I said above it made more sense for short term financial goals for the car companies to keep producing car gas cars than is does for them to seriously produce more hybrid or electric cars. I would never want to be the executive who has to tell shareholders than for the next two, three, five or ten years we are going to have less profits than might otherwise be profitable as we focus on long term stability goals. And as a shareholder*, I would want the company I invest in to be devoted to bringing as much money back as possible in my quarterly dividend check.


Yep, that’s it. Whether they were seat belts or air bags, the car companies have complained that doing this will “destroy” the industry or result in huge price increases for the consumers. But yet, here they are today. And I don’t attribute the woes of many in Detroit to meeting deadlines, rather I blame it on creating and marketing cars which were not good enough to outsell competing brands.

Honda and Toyota are certainly doing well, so it’s not like the entire industry is in shambles and cannot possibly cope with meeting environmental standards.

That’s a bit of a harsh attack that seemed kind of personal the first time I read it.

I have no problems with people who drive SUVs or pickup trucks, if they have a need for it. My parents’ primary cars are an Explorer and an F150, neither or them hardly count as “green”. But my parents needed the storage space and offroad/4x4 capability offered by these vehicles, and actually use these features.

And if someone likes muscle cars, then I respect that. (Plus many of them were pretty sweet cars. :cool: )

You won’t be alone. :wink:

I would love to work on a side project (if I had the free time…) to take something like an old [domestic] pickup truck, and overhaul it to use a hybrid V8/electric system, like what diesel train locomotives have been doing for decades. I’m sure you could get an insane amount of low-end, stump-pulling torque out of such a system, and it would definitely be a cool project to work on.

But before this thread goes on forever, I would like to point out that I respect everyone’s differing opinions and point of views. And as such, I think that after this post I may just agree to disagree with everyone, as it seems like the discussion at hand is getting down to which point of view is correct, and debating things like this over the Internet don’t usually change anyone’s mind either way. If my posts are factually wrong, and anyone can prove it and refute my points through hard, concrete evidence, then by all means keep the discussion going. But otherwise, I just don’t want to see the discussion start going downhill if it starts getting too heated or go on and debate the same topics ad nausem. :slight_smile:

  • I actually have quite a bit invested in the stock market; I started officially on my 18th birthday. And I had a lot of previous experience with the stock market, as I used to love competing in the stock market games held at schools ever since they first offered it when I was in sixth grade. I usually did very well; the very first time I played my team was ranked the highest of the 100+ in the state; starting with $50k of “play money” to invest, eight weeks later our portfolio was worth over $106k.

Maybe because they let lawyers, not engineers, write the standards. At the direction of politicians.

The autos also spend beaucoup bucks on market research, so that whatever they decide to build will have buyers. Why aren’t there loads of econoboxes out on the roads today? Because up until last year, no one would buy them. They were available (admittedly from foreign makers) but they didn’t sell. Detroit decided to put their research into products that might just make them a profit.


Perhaps because then, as now, no one in the world knew how to meet those standards. Rather than complain about dragging feet, perhaps we should be appreciative of what they managed to accomplish.

Remember the Dodge Omni from the early 1980’s? A small car. 20 years later the Dodge Intrepid was on the road. A full size model. With better fuel economy and lower emissions than the Omni. I guess those engineers did something right.

Toyota and Honda are doing well primarily because they don’t have the tremendous legacy costs of retirees. Until last year, their fuel economy was going down, as they did the same thing the Big 3 were doing: Bringing out larger and more profitable cars and trucks.


We have a Prius, ‘because we thought it was a good idea’ as commuters and because we are high tech we thought it was a cool car. Well, the first time I was going down I95 at 70 mph and a Semi passed me… that was the end of that theory!

The Prius does have a great ‘around town’ EV mode that keeps it locked in.

I myself, like the solidness and ride of a full American frame underneath me. The roar I get from my custom exhaust system each and every day makes it worth the 12 mpg I get in my Commander.