Author Topic: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?  (Read 7196 times)

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Offline Andrew A.

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Offline Ryan

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 12:00:06 PM »
Absolutely not. A few things to consider, after recently buying a car that we average a bit over 40 mpg with:

- The most fuel efficient car we looked at was the least expensive. You could turn it into a plug-in hybrid, get it rated at 60 mpg or better, and still be competitive with the prices of other small sedans.

- The 40+ mpg Ford we have now has greater acceleration than a Ford Mustang from the 1960s (2011 Ford Fiesta 1.6L I4 with auto transmission: 0-60 in 9.5 seconds - 1966 Ford Mustang V8 with auto transmission: 0-60 in 10.9 seconds). Invest advances into better mileage instead of greater performance that isn't actually necessary and you'd see a big increase in mileage.

- Gas prices aren't going to be going down in the next decade and a half. Maybe it won't be $10/gallon in 2025 but it will be high enough that people would be willing to pay a reasonable premium to double their gas mileage.

- Hybrids are already coming down in price as the technology matures. Plug-ins will do the same. There is still a significant premium because the technology is new. Give the technology time to mature and the makers time to make plug-ins a significant segment of the market and you'll see those prices come down.

Offline Ed

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 01:14:29 PM »
Hydrogen cars and the way to go.  Especially considering that solar power can help create the hydrogen.
 
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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 03:48:40 PM »
We need both, more likely.  What have you heard about hydrogen?  The last I heard on it is that it would not be able to be developed for the market for the foreseeable future, I forget the reasons.

Battery change stations for EVs are already in the proverbial pipeline, c/o Better Place: http://www.greenbang.com/europe-to-debut-its-1st-e-car-battery-switch-station_18556.html


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Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 06:38:06 PM »
.
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

Offline Ryan

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 06:30:27 AM »
Whether hydrogen or battery power, I don't understand why the roof, hood and trunk of every car can't be made out of photovoltaic material. Even if it was a secondary power supply, it's free energy. Think about how many cars are sitting in parking lots every day. My car is sitting in the parking lot at work 45-50 hours a week, during the peak hours of sunlight.

Combine this kind of solar charging with in-home charging stations, the technologies in current hybrid vehicles such as regenerative braking, EV charging stations or the type of battery change station Andrew mentions, and other technologies either already released or in the pipeline and we're not that far from the potential of a mass produced 60+ mpg vehicle. A lot of these technologies are already coming down in price or will be in the near future, others could if companies got serious about developing them for a mass market. The potential is there. The question is whether the car companies have the willpower to give us these vehicles. With gas prices going how they are and with no reason to believe the trend won't continue, the market will be there if they got serious about this.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 08:03:29 AM »
The latest model of Prius comes with a solar roof as an option.  In fact, I have heard something about a plug-in Prius with a solar roof sitting in a parking lot on a sunny day feeding back into the grid once its batteries have topped off.  Solar arrays that double at shade structures in parking lots would seem just as ideal to me.  I would estimate that the reason the trunk lid and hood might not be an option (at present) is because they are moving parts and are perhaps far more prone to damage (and needing replacement), whether in a wreck or simply through typical use, than the roof panel would be.
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 08:57:29 AM »
Yes, the Prius comes to mind whenever I think of a solar roof. As for the trunk and hood, I could see those being a bit more problematic. Also, when it comes to the Prius, off the top of my head, I don't think it has a trunk and the hood is quite small. Same with the Fiesta we just bought. Small trunk and hood but pretty decent amount of space on the roof.

Solar arrays on covered parking lots sound great but require a lot of infrastructure upgrades. Cars are already being turned over on a fairly regular basis so adding solar to them seems more practical and less costly. Let's get companies to add solar panels to the roof of their buildings before trying to convince them to add the infrastructure for covered parking lots.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2011, 09:03:20 AM »
I mentioned that mostly because I saw CU adding some parking lot solar arrays next to residence halls that presumably would be tougher to retrofit solar arrays onto the roofs.
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
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Offline Andrew A.

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Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
‎"There is no such thing as an overachiever. We are all underachievers to varying degrees." - John Wooden.

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