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The Lightning Hybrid and the Inizio EV

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the zum-zum dept.

Transportation 128

Mike writes "With auto show season hitting its stride, there's no shortage of incredible prototypes on display. First up is a brand new 100-mpg supercar by Lighting Hybrids. The biodiesel-fueled vehicle has its sights set on the automotive X prize and uses a hydraulic compression system to store energy from regenerative braking. Next, the Liv Inizio, a sleek fully-electric roadster that boasts a scorching top-speed of 150 mph and a 200-mile range, placing it in direct competition with the Tesla roadster."

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a....car? (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237637)

That's SO XXth Century!
Og fuck it: GM is dead, now do something valuable, Yanx!

Price (4, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237649)

Just so everyone knows:

Tesla Roadster (all electric): $98,000
Liv Inizio (all electric): $100,000
Lightning Hybrids car (biodiesel): $39,000-$59,000

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

fusionstein (1163067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237689)

Just to point out: 'biodiesel' = 'diesel'

Re:Price (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237743)

i sill dont understand whats so great about biodiesel?
i mean we burn our crops in our cars instead of using the fields to harvest food for people who are starving

Re:Price (1, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237789)

You can't grow oil.
And who says we need to be burning food crops?

Re:Price (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237803)

You can grow oil.

It just takes a long, long time.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237825)

That's what I was gonna say...

Re:Price (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237849)

It just took you a long, long time to say it.

Re:Price (5, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237837)

not that long [gas2.org]

Re:Price (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237841)

Try telling that to a peanut farmer... oh you mean that kind of oil!

Re:Price (1, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239045)

No, you don't burn crops, you burn what is grown on land that could be used for crops driving the price of food up in 3rd world countries.

Biodiesel is the bane of every food aid agency in the world.

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239563)

This argument assumes at least two things:

1) That arable land is used for growing biofuel crops instead of food crops. There are many biofuel crops that will grow on land unsuitable for food crops.

and

2) That all arable land is used for growing food. The US has so much food growing capacity we actually pay farmers to NOT grow anything, since the abundant supply would ruin the value of the crops.

I'm sure there are other glaring holes in your argument but that's what immediately comes to mind.
=Smidge=

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27241015)

You also assume two things:

1) That unsuitable or idle land can be farmed more cheaply than land currently used to produce food

2) That unsuitable or idle land will be sufficient to produce enough fuel to heat homes and power cars in a country with an increasing population

Re:Price (3, Insightful)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241039)

What you appear to miss is that the US offshores everything it can and so you end up with Brazilian rainforest cut down to grow crops for US bio-diesel, and existing third world subsistence farmers switching to bio-diesel crops because they are worth more money in exports than local market produce would bring. Meanwhile, YOUR farmers are still getting subsidies on excess corn production because that's the way it is.

Re:Price (2, Informative)

J05H (5625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241219)

#3 - mass-produced biodiesel in the future will be generated by algae in tanks, not crops grown in soil?

Re:Price (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27242291)

Those tanks will, presumably, be placed on top of soil somewhere. :)

=Smidge=

Re:Price (2, Informative)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239955)

It doesn't have to be that way. There is ongoing research to produce biodiesel from sources like Miscanthus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscanthus), Switchgrass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchgrass) or Algae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel). We'll do more harm than good to the environment as long as we continue using biofuels sourced from palm oil or corn, but with the right sources biofuels are a win.

Any of those three sources I listed can be grown on land that is poorly suited to growing traditional food crops.

But for now, diesel is once again so cheap that biofuels are not cost effective.

Re:Price (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237915)

I wholeheartedly agree! Furthermore, I demand we ship all those tonnes of wasted Algae to the starving people in third world countries!

Side note: "Bio-" is a catch phase. Biodiesel and Oil were both created from Biological stuff, but we don't call oil "Biooil".

Re:Price (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238047)

Yea, because excess corn in the US finds its way into the mouths of starving Africans.

The food shortage myth is propagated by oil companies so that whenever someone talks about a carbon cycle neutral crop alternative to fossil fuels, they can say "but think of the poor starving people!".If you want to know what big oil thinks about starving people go have a look at Shell's history of dealing with Nigerian villages, or Chevron's dealings with Ecuadorian natives. Big oil's obnoxious effort to feign concern over the welfare of the poverty stricken makes me sick.

The only reason food crops (such as corn, which is horribly inefficient as a fuel crop) are used is due to the insane subsidies that the US government offers them. Of course, the US government would never subsidize proper fuel crops such as rapeseed, flax or linseed because that would step on the toes of big oil.

So cut it out with the "think of the poor starving masses" rubbish please, it's so obviously a load of BS.

Re:Price (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238515)

The only reason food crops (such as corn, which is horribly inefficient as a fuel crop) are used is due to the insane subsidies that the US government offers them. Of course, the US government would never subsidize proper fuel crops such as rapeseed, flax or linseed because that would step on the toes of big oil.

I don't think big oil is the problem. I think it's more about keeping the corn farmers happy.

Re:Price (1)

$1uck (710826) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239095)

Is it really that difficult for a corn grower to move some or all of their production from corn to rapeseed/flax/linseed/ whatever crop is best for bio-diesel? IANAF, so serious question how difficult(expensive) would it be?

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239423)

Is it really that difficult for a corn grower to move some or all of their production from corn to rapeseed/flax/linseed/ whatever crop is best for bio-diesel? IANAF, so serious question how difficult(expensive) would it be?

I am not a farmer either, well, not a professional one anyway. I do have one hell of tomato crop starting this year. Anyway, the areas that are ideal for growing corn may not be ideal for growing rapeseed/flax/linseed. You also have to consider the millions in investments (per farmer!) in equipment that is proprietary to corn farming like harvesters and such, that will become worthless if the farmers start growing switchgrass.

Re:Price (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239545)

the subsidies go towards corn itself. Farmers could move to crops other than corn, but corn (as a food) is considered more important to promote the growth of than fuel-crops.

This is due to a combination of two factors:
  - We've had food shortages in the past, while there have never been any fuel shortages, ever
  - Food is vital to the survival, while Fuel is an unimportant luxury

Re:Price (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239933)

Modern farming techniques basically transform natural gas and diesel into food. Fuel is a necessity.

Re:Price (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240845)

Fuel crisis 1970's. Never ?
No fuel, no transport, no harvest, no food. Luxury ?

Were you hoping for "insightful" ?

Re:Price (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239507)

The corn subsidies aren't to keep corn farmers "happy", it's to prevent the type of massive food shortage of the type which could easily happen if people only grew "as much as they needed to".

Grow "only as much as you need" (as any sensible businessman would do)
Subtract "as much as is wiped out due to an unexpected event"
and you have:
  "less than as much as you need"

Same logic as banks which stopped paying into FDIC when "the interest in there is enough to cover what we would be paying in anyway!".

Sometimes you have too much. Ideally, you /usually/ have too much. It's the unusual situations that one takes out an insurance policy to protect against.

Re:Price (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239553)

I don't think big oil is the problem. I think it's more about keeping the corn farmers happy.

Big corn?

..and now everything tastes like corn :( (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241405)

I so *wish* I was kidding. I hate the taste of most fizzy drinks in the U.S. everything's got 'high fructose corn syrup' in it. Disguise it as you might try, there's that hint of raw corn (grab some raw corn on the cob, squish the juice out of some of the corns, taste.. that's what it tastes like) that ruins the drink for me. I actually -prefer- the 'soda fountain' drinks over bottled/canned drinks for that reason - they seem to use different sweeteners.

Maybe I'd get used to it over time, but I'd rather not.. that's like saying I should just get used to the fact that water there tastes like chlorine (unless you install a brita filter - in which case, why bother chlorinating the water to begin with? *sigh*)

I like corn.. cooked, on the cob, slab of bread with butter on it, some salt - aw yeah, good eats. But please keep it the heck out of my drinks, candies, etc. But alas, all that subsidized corn has gotta go *somewhere*.

Maybe they should figure out a way to grow sesame seed instead. Should make McDonald's, Burger King, etc. happy if they could get that cheaper domestically than having to ship it over from China/India/etc.
( as long as they don't end up putting high fructose sesame seed oil in my drinks, that is )

Re:Price (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 5 years ago | (#27242107)

I don't think big oil is the problem. I think it's more about keeping the corn farmers happy.

I don't think that keeping corn farmers happy is the problem. I think it's more about keeping big agri-business happy.

Re:Price (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239521)

Yea, because excess corn in the US finds its way into the mouths of starving Africans.

Corn prices rising due to wrongheaded ethanol production (making fuel from topsoil is fucking stupid - especially from crops fertilized with petroleum products) is not a myth, it most certainly is affecting the average Mexican family.

The only reason food crops (such as corn, which is horribly inefficient as a fuel crop) are used is due to the insane subsidies that the US government offers them

That is correct. You can get paid to inefficiently produce corn, which is at best what, 15% energy-positive or so? It takes a shitload of water, too, although if you're not eating the corn the water need not be all that clean I guess. At least not bacteriologically.

Of course, the US government would never subsidize proper fuel crops such as rapeseed, flax or linseed because that would step on the toes of big oil.

There is no such thing as a "proper fuel crop" except algae, the only feedstock crop which is not topsoil-based, and thus the only one we should be using. It doesn't take a genius to see that pouring oil on crops to grow them as a feedstock to make more fuel doesn't make any sense. It shouldn't take a genius to see that cars are big and heavy and it takes more energy to move them around than it takes us, and so they can never live on the feedstocks which could be grown from humanure, either. Agriculture has done more damage to the planet than anything else, period.

Re:Price (4, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240217)

There is no such thing as a "proper fuel crop" except algae, the only feedstock crop which is not topsoil-based, and thus the only one we should be using.

While I agree in general (not using food as fuel) I also have to point out that Jatropha is another good candidate for fuel production. Jatropha grows in very poor soil with very little water needed and produces seeds which are 1/3rd oil. I'm not sure what huge kind of acerage you would need to supply world energy demands but not every solution has to do it all. Algae is great if you have the water and the infrastructure to support that kind of production, but it's definitely possible that poorer places may need a different form of production which is less capital intensive.

Re:Price (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240367)

Algae is great if you have the water and the infrastructure to support that kind of production, but it's definitely possible that poorer places may need a different form of production which is less capital intensive.

Capital intensive? Almost everyone has the water because algae will grow happily in dirty water, making it cleaner. As for capital, algae is produced in raceway ponds which could be made of mud-baked clay and waterproofed with cactus juice (not kidding, look it up.) Centrifuges can be made from old oil drums etc; biodiesel processors can be made from old propane and refrigerant tanks, and more oil drums. If you don't have the means to produce algae fuels, you probably can't make them from jatropha either. And the corollary is that the ethanol you need for the process can be made from about any plant matter, with a solar still. I'm still (heh) looking for some good plans on that one. My dad read about it decades ago, I guess the federal government of the US has some kind of still permit that you can get for off-road fuels, so you can make ethanol for your tractor or what have you.

Re:Price (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241165)

Oh, I guess if you just want to use a pond to do it you can, but that's not a useful way to produce algae oil, to do it in a practical manner you need much better sun exposure and a way to get more CO2 to the algae than simple surface diffusion allows. The answer is large vats of glass with injected CO2, but as I said that's relatively capital intensive.

Re:Price (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27242459)

Oh, I guess if you just want to use a pond to do it you can, but that's not a useful way to produce algae oil, to do it in a practical manner you need much better sun exposure and a way to get more CO2 to the algae than simple surface diffusion allows.

That's really not true. There is quite good sunlight penetration including UV to about 1 foot of water. You use a paddlewheel (typ. solar or wind powered but any form of motive force works, and not much is necessary) to achieve mixture and agitation.

Re:Price (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240571)

I'm not sure if it's just propaganda by big-pot, but isn't hemp one of easiest and best-yielding crop?

Re:Price (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241127)

Nah, hemp is fairly low yield per acre (about a half ton of seeds that contain only 30% oil) and requires much better soil than Jatropha. Cellulose based ethanol from hemp is a non-starter as well.

Re:Price (4, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237997)

``i sill dont understand whats so great about biodiesel?''

What is great about it is that the CO_2 you realease into the atmosphere when you burn it has first been extracted from the atmosphere while the crops you make it from were growing. In other words, biodiesel is CO_2 neutral: it does not add to the total amount of CO_2 to the atmosphere. It is often also cleaner than regular diesel in other ways, e.g. it contains no sulphur.

``i mean we burn our crops in our cars instead of using the fields to harvest food for people who are starving''

We can do that (and that certainly happens), but we can also make biodiesel from things that don't use up land that could be used for farming food crops. The crops that are best for feeding people and the crops that have the best yield for making bio fuel are not the same. Algae, for example, have very high oil yield and will grow on water, and even on desert land. If we do it right, we can produce bio fuels in addition to food.

Re:Price (2, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238111)

I'm not saying biodiesel is bad, but realize that it won't be carbon neutral. This is because we basically eat natural gas, NG being the main feedstock for ammonia, which of course becomes fertilizer. Because our food isn't carbon neutral, it won't make carbon neutral fuel.

Perhaps someday fueling stations will sell diesel, biodiesel, and organic-biodiesel for successively greater prices. But we'll never ever be able to replace the energy we get out of mineral oil with organic-biodiesel for a price anywhere near what it takes suck oil out of the ground and refine it.

Re:Price (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239225)

This is because we basically eat natural gas, NG being the main feedstock for ammonia, which of course becomes fertilizer.

Its far worse than that because of diesel used for transportation and tractors and insecticides and, well, everything else.

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915 [harpers.org]

"Every single calorie we eat is backed by at least a calorie of oil, more like ten."

The theoildrum.com scientists seem to think ten is much more correct, a blathering mainstream media claims its 1:1, so it's probably somewhere in between, probably much closer to the scientists on theoildrum than to some magazine journalist. So, you can turn (the equivalent of) ten barrels of crude into (the equivalent of) one barrel of human food.

As a side issue, that is why it is not efficient to bicycle... if it takes ten gallons of gas to make the food equivalent of one gallon equivalent of bicycling. Just think about it. My car gets about 30 MPG and after a half hour 30 mile drive is thirsty for a gallon of gas. After a multi-hour 30 mile bike ride I am very hungry and can easily eat two pounds of food (and still lose weight, if it's salad and not eight quarter pounders with cheese and bacon). Anyway, that two pounds of food obviously takes twenty pounds of gasoline to grow and process and ship and cook. Now at 6 pounds of aviation gas per gallon (note I am not a pilot, but that is my fuzzy memory from wanting to be a pilot decades ago) that would make a bit over 3 gallons of gas to grow the food to bicycle 30 miles. Lets be very pessimistic and round my car down and bicycling up. I'm sure I can do better than 20 MPG for a car and I'm sure I'd do worse than 15 MPG for a bicycle. It's even worse if you have four people in the car vs four bike riders. Now bicycling is fun and good exercise, the fact that I'm wasting fossil fuel by bike riding instead of driving does not stop me from having a little fun, but I don't operate under some delusion that bicycling saves the planet compared to car driving.

Now if you're not going to bother making the food safe for humans to eat (like ethanol, or food that is imported from China) you can get that ratio down to maybe two barrels of crude makes one barrel of inedible fuel. Use far more toxic insecticides, process the inedible parts of the plant, a little rot at harvest time is OK as long as the overall total yield increases, bugs will ferment into fuel just as well as food ferments into fuel, etc. Some marketing people claim that under ideal perfect never attained conditions in the perfect climate ignoring some minor details like maintenance or personnel costs it is possible to turn one barrel of crude into slightly more than one barrel of ethanol, but no one believes that unless they are getting a marketing salary, or live in Brazil where they have a uniquely perfect climate.

Re:Price (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239595)

After a multi-hour 30 mile bike ride I am very hungry and can easily eat two pounds of food (and still lose weight, if it's salad and not eight quarter pounders with cheese and bacon).

Because you are riding a low efficiency junker.

Upgrade to a recumbent velomobile and your efficiency goes up DRASTICALLY. your comparison on biking is like comparing a Honda insight to a Hummer H1 driven in 1st gear the whole way. Your bicycle, yes even that overpriced $4500.00 trendy bike is a piece of crap in aerodynamics and efficiency. A velomobile in a recumbent position and set up right will give you incredible upgrade in efficiency.

I Ride a recumbent tadpole trike. I'm more efficient than they 2 wheel brothers on their pedalies. I swapped with a friend on a long ride last year. he was riding a http://www.go-one.us/ [go-one.us] go-one and the difference was insane. I could go twice as fast with the same effort. I can see riding 24 miles in that thing for a daily commute to be a very doable thing. I could easily average 25mph on flat roads in it.

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240057)

Feel free to stop glad-handing yourself anytime. 7000 Calories (That's 2 pounds of pure fat, you pretty much can't digest anything more energy dense than that) is equivalent to (just under) 0.21 gallons of gasoline. That ends up being about 1.3 pounds of the stuff. So using the 10:1, that's 13 pounds (or about 2 gallons) of gasoline that went into feeding you 7000 Calories of fat. If you use a more reasonable number that includes water weight and non-fat foods, you are going to get something less than a gallon of gasoline (a gallon of diesel has more energy than a gallon of gasoline, so it would be even less diesel).

Re:Price (1)

wrook (134116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240587)

2 pounds of vegetables costs between $1-$2. 3 gallons of gasoline costs about $5.

Now this is an inaccurate measurement (the cost of gasoline and food is inflated to the consumer and doesn't necessarily reflect the cost at production). But regardless, they aren't spending more money on oil than they are charging at the register.

While I personally believe oil is a large percentage of the final price of food, it's nowhere near what this article is suggesting. Even still, I think it's a good idea to grow your own wherever possible and to buy directly from local farmers where not.

Re:Price (1)

M-RES (653754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241465)

Even still, I think it's a good idea to grow your own wherever possible...

Are you advocating growing cannabis? hehe ;)

Re:Price (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239575)

I'm not saying biodiesel is bad, but realize that it won't be carbon neutral. This is because we basically eat natural gas, NG being the main feedstock for ammonia, which of course becomes fertilizer. Because our food isn't carbon neutral, it won't make carbon neutral fuel.

This objection does not apply to biodiesel from algae, the only viable feedstock. Fuels based on topsoils are idiotic not for the reason you describe, which is not a requirement for growing these crops; they're stupid because they deplete the soil. You can grow them in guilds but then they're hard to harvest, especially efficiently enough for feedstocks. Algae does not need to be purchased (it comes free with the air) and is easy to harvest, and a plant is coming online shortly [gas2.org] . This technology was developed by the US DOE in the seventies and eighties.

Perhaps someday fueling stations will sell diesel, biodiesel, and organic-biodiesel for successively greater prices.

You can already purchase waste-biodiesel (for a higher price) if you look around. Or you can spend $1500 on a processor which will make 20 gallons in 48 hours (you can make one for less, but this is more realistic) and a $500 pump (get a good one!) so that you can transfer free oil. You'll come out under $1/gal for a more closely carbon-neutral fuel. I'm currently looking into solar stills to produce ethanol for making biodiesel.

Re:Price (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241323)

organic-biodiesel

Isn't that redundant?

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239363)

You have to realize agro-fuel is NOT carbon neutral. Most agricultural crops require fertilizers to grow, which are made of... Guess what... Fossil fuels!

Then, when you burn your "carbon-neutral" fuel you get to a second problem: you are burning your soil. Take a moment to consider how soil is made: it is an accumulation of layers of rotting dead plants, which are transformed by the ecosystem into food for new plants.

If you burn the plants instead of letting them go back into the normal cycle, you're impoverishing your fields. At the end of the day, a poor soil means more fertilizer necessary, that means more fossil fuels...

So, whichever way you're looking at the problem, agro-fuels are NOT a viable solution.

Try again...

Re:Price (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239097)

"i mean we burn our crops in our cars instead of using the fields to harvest food for people who are starving"

I think if you look at the average American, you can see we definitely have NO problem with starvation here.

Re:Price (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239435)

So your argument is: "Why should farmers grow something which they can sell, when they could be dedicating the same amount of time/energy/labor/resources towards growing so much excess that they have no choice but to give it away?"

That is what you're saying, right? just so we're clear.

Re:Price (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239597)

I wouldn't worry about burning crops so much. Two reasons:
1) Certain people will specifically be farmers for the fuel industry so it won't have a negative impact on our food sources. Farming is completely sustainable. The US only utilizes a small percentage of it's land for crop farming. We could double that usage and still not feel any negative effects. In fact more crops = more plants creating oxygen.
2) The US has very strict regulations with regards to food. If a farm product does not meet certain requirements (too small, too dull in color, etc) it has to be thrown away. It can't be sold, donated to US or foreign charities, etc. There was a news special I saw back in the late 90's about this. We throw away a LOT of food due to these regulations (not saying they are wrong). So now instead of discarding this food we can turn it into fuel.

Point is the US has no shortage of food, and neither do other industrialized nations. The shortages come to 3rd world countries who can't grow their own food due to war or poor climate (think sub-saharan africa), and those that cannot afford to buy it - not because it is expensive (e.g. mcdonalds) but because they have 0 money. With regards to poor war-torn countries...if they didn't have war they could begin feeding themselves by growing/foraging. Right now they are just trying to dodge bullets and can't invest time in rebuilding.

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

KnightMB (823876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237877)

The guys at this forum have already done many projects similar to this at a fraction of the cost. I guess for a sports car, the cost is about right, but not everyone needs to do 150 mph. Sometimes people just want to the take the family and friends out to dinner, doesn't look like you'll fit more than a few people in most of those. It's still cool though that more are interested in building electric hot rods instead of the ICE counterparts.

Find a lot of the pioneers in the forum below.
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/ [endless-sphere.com]

(Edit: ICE = Internal Combustion Engine)

Re:Price (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239125)

Actually...these performance cars, that don't look like a fugly Prius...are the only things that are starting to garner my attention. I'm all for performance, and something that looks like a sports car.

If they could get these down to the Vette price range, I'd be all over buying one. If they can get them into the $50K-$65K range, put me on the list.

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237887)

How about a cheap, regular electric car I can drive every day instead of overpriced sports models? I am no car fan, I sometimes use a car to drive my ass and my bicycle from point A to point B, and I see no reason whatsoever to spend on a car that can do stuff I don't need.

Get me something moderately fast, reliable, not really ugly and reasonably priced that I can plug ... and drive.

Re:Price (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241633)

Aptera 2e [wikipedia.org] : $24,000-$46,000
Tesla Whitestar [wikipedia.org] (AKA: Model S): $60,000
Zap Zebra [zapworld.com] : $11,700 (There are a few of these in my area. 25 mile range on one charge, 40 mph)

Re:Price (1)

Mask (87752) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238165)

Just so everyone knows:

Tesla Roadster (all electric): $98,000

Liv Inizio (all electric): $100,000

Lightning Hybrids car (biodiesel): $39,000-$59,000

After taxes it should cost like my house.
My bank will surely give me a mortgage for one of those. This investment is definitely safer than what they had been doing a couple of years ago.

Re:Price (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239157)

"After taxes it should cost like my house.

My bank will surely give me a mortgage for one of those. This investment is definitely safer than what they had been doing a couple of years ago."

You know..I really don't know why people are so shocked and all that houses went down in value...??

I mean, they are a commodity just like anything else...they can go down in value.

I'm particularly blown away by people complaining, and apparently going to get bailed out because they are 'upside down' in their homes. Why? Have these people never bought a new car? You are upside down in a car the second you drive it off the lot. Why should a home be any different. It isn't an 'investment' as such...it is a freakin' place to LIVE.

Just because it had been a long time since home value sank...doesn't mean it couldn't happen again.

Re:Price (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240383)

...and apparently going to get bailed out because they are 'upside down' in their homes. Why?

The problem isn't necessarily that their homes lost value. The problem is that they made the stupid decision to get adjustable-rate mortgages and can't afford to pay since the rate went up, but can't refinance because the bank won't give them a loan for more than the property is worth. The root problem was idiots buying things they couldn't afford, but the drop in values exacerbated it.

Re:Price (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239527)

Yup. toys for the rich only....

Call me when they have a hybrid that sells for less than $15,000. And even then it will only be available to the upper class poor. ($35,000 a year and less income)

The sweet spot to get this to the masses is $9,999.99 Even a 2 seater at that price will change the world, well not the world, they already have cheap, high efficiency cars in europe. Change the USA.

Re:Price (1)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241307)

Tesla Roadster (all electric): $98,000

Slightly available.

Liv Inizio (all electric): $100,000

Imaginary.

Lightning Hybrids car (biodiesel): $39,000-$59,000

Imaginary.

Anonymous Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237655)

First up is a brand new 100-ppm (Posts per min) superPOSTar by Lighting Fast Posters, Inc.

(Capacha is wheeled!) LOL.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237663)

Slashdot goes 0-3 posts in 8 minutes!

100-mpg supercar (4, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237773)

See? Told ya they've been holding out. Put that fancy secret carburetor that Exxon has under wraps on there and you'll get 200.

Re:100-mpg supercar (1)

weirdo557 (959623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237923)

too bad diesel engines dont use carburetors

Well... (1)

TFer_Atvar (857303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237813)

Looking at the pictures, somehow I don't think it'd do too well up here in central Alaska.

batteries (2, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237847)

what is the cost and environmental impact of a car full of batteries? how do the batteries perform after 10 years?

Re:batteries (1)

nrgy (835451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237963)

Not being rude in any way but how or what else are cars that don't run gas supposed to use if not batteries?

I don't think (would love to be proven wrong of course) that any solution for travel will ever not have an impact on th environment. I'd even wager that getting above 50% would be a dream come true.

I just don't understand what we are supposed to use when I see comments like yours about a new technology that is better then the current. Gotta start somewhere no?

Re:batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239833)

You've never heard of it either? I learned about it earlier this year, but never in school or anywhere else for that matter. (mysteriously)

Gasification. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasification [wikipedia.org]

Re:batteries (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238021)

If you must ask these questions then you can't afford the car.

This is exactly why all three vehicles are "super-luxury" cars, where cost does not matter. Manufacturers (tiny shops) can afford to assemble each car by hand and there is enough money left to grow business. A car for everyone (Smart, Prius etc.) must be made by robots, and in quantity, to have a reasonably low cost. No small business can sink a billion dollars on an assembly plant.

Re:batteries (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238911)

Quite seriously - I think there are going to be auto plants in Canada and the US going for quite reasonable prices (i.e. much less than a billion) in the very near future. The Canadian government (where many assembly plants are) would definitely provide bridge loans to anyone with a credible business plan. In addition, Canadian-based Magna is one of the largest parts makers in the world, and they have already expressed some interest in partnering with Ford on an advanced hybrid. If one of the modern Chrysler or GM assembly plants became available, Magna owner Frank Stronach has a big enough ego that he might take a chance. Details here:

http://auto.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090305.whautobuzz0305/GAStory/specialGlobeAuto/home [theglobeandmail.com]

Re:batteries (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239611)

If you must ask these questions then you can't afford the car.

I don't think he was asking for himself. I think he was asking for the whole human race. And I agree with your assessment, even if you didn't realize what you were making it on; If we (as a species) have to ask these question, then we (again, as a species) can't afford these cars. The simple truth is that a TDI-engined VW gets better mileage than a similar gasoline hybrid, does it on a fuel which takes less energy to produce and can run on fuel produced from algae, and has a dramatically lower initial energy cost at the time of production. Everyone who has bought a Hybrid has done it purely for the Smug factor, because TDIs have been available ALL ALONG (Californians had the option to leave the state to buy one, and thus dodge sales tax in the bargain! - non-California models can be registered in California for no additional fee and without paying the taxes a second time, these days) and are more efficient at all levels, from production through use and into recycling, which requires special measures when it comes to hybrids. Nothing special need be done to recycle a TDI VW, but all hybrids have two power systems and require special attention.

Hybrid vehicles as they are currently implemented are complete scams and the people who bought them are attention whores. If we can start seeing some series hybrids with plug-in capability, then we might have something. Parallel hybrids fail to take advantage of the most compelling benefit - elimination of the powertrain.

Re:batteries (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238039)

... because distributing your pollution across the environment over 10+ years is much better than having a single contained and recyclable problem after 10+ years are up, right?

Looks a fair bit like a lotus elise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237909)

topic says it all.

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237913)

Where can I drive these? 2nd Life?

I don't care about a sedan (1)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237927)

I don't care about a sedan; I commute alone, and so do millions of others. Start mass-producing these things, for the love of my wallet: http://www.rqriley.com/xr3.htm [rqriley.com]

Re:I don't care about a sedan (3, Interesting)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238071)

Geez, never seen one of those before [doranev.com] !

(Plans for the Doran Electric were always for sale in the back of the Popular Science magazines I used to collect when I was a kid, I'm talking 1986 or so, I always wanted to build one :).

Re:I don't care about a sedan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238881)

i've always been kind of skeptical of those 3 wheel cars. i'm not sure about the weight distribution but generally speaking, a single wheel in the back means less grip in the back which means easier spinouts and less safety... even if it is front wheel drive. 4 wheels are a standard for a darn good reason.

Re:I don't care about a sedan (3, Interesting)

Bruiser80 (1179083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239617)

There's a really good reason these vehicles are 3 wheels - it allows these vehicles to not be classified as a "car," thus circumventing a bunch of safety laws around the world.

Re:I don't care about a sedan (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240159)

So you could (at least) double your fuel efficiency by car pooling. And all it would cost you is a little bit of convenience.

(I realize that it might not actually be an option for you, for many reasons, but it surely makes sense for thousands of people, thousands and thousands of dollars of sense)

Lightning looks a bit Tucker-ish (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237935)

They don't appear to have enough wherewithal in that little shop to produce an actual production automobile in a year.

But I may be wrong.

Re:Lightning looks a bit Tucker-ish (2, Insightful)

Clockwinder (1256918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238253)

Lots of private companies have tried to build electric and other high mileage cars, most never succeed.

Several years ago I was closely following a company called ZAP(zero auto pollution). They promised MANY nice affordable electric cars. None have made it or been sold in USA, except one called the Zebra. The one I wanted was call an Obvio.Here is an Article about some of the ZAP stuff. http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/the-zap-x-and-a.html [wired.com]

I think its great that innovative people are trying, and we should help them somehow without getting scammed. Because the truth is most models will never see the general public.

Re:Lightning looks a bit Tucker-ish (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239655)

All they need is an established car manufacturer to buy the patent/concept of the car and there you go. It takes very little retrofitting for an established car company to change production types. In fact there is no real reason a company MUST use that body type, they just need the engine type. 2010 seems a little early for concept car that has no prototype. Once they have a working prototype that is a different story. I am thinking if they can get a major car company to buy it, once they get their 10 mil X prize money, the cars would be produced (assuming no hinderance from the oil companies) in about 2-5 years. So looking at 2012 at best. This is a guess.

WIth regards to the oil companies. Once enough people have hybrids rest assured the oil companies will raise the prices again, you know to about $8 a gallon to keep their quarterly profits up. They will then start selling biodeasal. Remember they have existing oil plants, distribution systems, and gasoline stations. They are in a prime spot to swoop in and control this market. It doesn't matter if production is 25 cents on the gallon..prices will be $8/gallon.

just another money grab (1)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238013)

Inizio EV? Don't bother, it's just another money grab by Verisign! This, time, really really really secure.

biznat3H (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238083)

Private sPex party

Enjoy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238125)

I have a virtual bridge I'd like to sell all their customers.

Also the slashdot article should read future tense ("will use" and "will boast" instead of "uses" and "boasts"), as all we've seen so far are videos of a prototype (with no airbags, carbon fiber body and 6 figure price tag) and some pretty 3d models.

*Snore* (2, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238231)

Please wake me, when they start building family cars at affordable prices...

Re:*Snore* (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239187)

"Please wake me, when they start building family cars at affordable prices..."

Yeah...like that is exciting. *snore* indeed.

:)

If they can get the Inzo or Tesla in the $55K range...THEN I'm interested. Then again, I've never owned anything by 2 seat sports cars in my life.

Family car (2, Interesting)

calagan800xl (1001055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238607)

I think there's a bigger need for a decently-sized, affordable electric car than a Tesla Competitor. That's why EV Innovations' PT Cruiser conversion (Liv Surge), priced at 55K seems much more interesting.

Typo (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238929)

Lighting or lightning, can somebody fix the fine summary.

Hydraulic accumulator? (2, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239235)

In a car? The safety issues with the high pressures required aside , how reliable would this be over the cars lifetime and what would the maintenance costs be? Also I don't see how you can provide 150hp for any useful length of time from a pressure vessel that needs to fit into a sports car chassis. Call me cynical but I'll wait for v2.0 before I part with any cash for something like this.

Re:Hydraulic accumulator? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239995)

In a car? The safety issues with the high pressures required aside , how reliable would this be over the cars lifetime and what would the maintenance costs be? Also I don't see how you can provide 150hp for any useful length of time from a pressure vessel that needs to fit into a sports car chassis. Call me cynical but I'll wait for v2.0 before I part with any cash for something like this.

The EPA has done quite a bit of research on this topic. Here are a few articles:
Hydraulic Hybrid for UPS [epa.gov] (PDF warning)
Hydraulic Hybrid a Proven Approach [epa.gov] (PDF warning)
Slide Show Presentation [epa.gov] (PDF warning)

In summary, they are no more dangerous than a scuba tank.

Re:Hydraulic accumulator? (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240419)

Hydraulic accumulators generally have greater power density (W/kg, or W/L) than batteries+motors, even though their energy density (Whr/kg or Whr/L) is less. They aren't positioning these cars to compete with plug-in hybrids that can do your commute on a single charge. They are competing with the Prius and other current gas+electric hybrids where the hybrid configuration provides acceleration boosts and regenerative braking; thus get better gas mileage by running a smaller internal combustion engine more efficiently.

On the other hand, being very expensive niche vehicles, it isn't quite correct to say they are competing directly with the Prius and other mainstream hybrids.

Re:Hydraulic accumulator? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241827)

Safety issues with high pressures ?
You do realise that your car runs on harnessing explosions (actually controlled burns - but fast). How do you get any power except by harnessing pressure and releasing it in a controlled fashion.

The pressure on the piston in a steam engine was only around 7psi for a 100HP engine (obviously quite a large piston for 100HP). I don't get how they are proposing a hydraulically pressurised system. You can't compress a fluid, and if it's hydraulic it isn't using air/steam. The system must be related to an automatic transmission / torque convertor somehow, but the naming is confusing if they are using a pressure vessel. Forcing fluid under pressure into a spring loaded chamber I could understand, but a pressure vessel ?

BTW you can already get this kind of stuff http://www.nicecarcompany.co.uk/mega-city.html [nicecarcompany.co.uk] and http://www.mygreenwheels.com/ev-comparison-guide/ [mygreenwheels.com]

Also I don't think it runs full time on the accumulated pressure, it just reclaims that energy to supplement the electric motor as you accelerate after braking.

How is 100mpg that exciting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239417)

I own a 2year old diesel Corolla Station and do 80mpg (diesel) at a fraction of the cost of these (something like 20k$), why is it news that a car can do 100mpg?

Re:How is 100mpg that exciting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240567)

I own a 2year old diesel Corolla Station and do 80mpg (diesel) at a fraction of the cost of these (something like 20k$), why is it news that a car can do 100mpg?

Because you are using imperial gallons, in US gallons that would be more like 64 mpg. This is still impressive, but your car also doesn't meet US emissions and safety requirements. After all of that is taken into consideration, your car would probably make less than 50mpg in the US.

Sedan? (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239491)

The Lightning Hybrid looks more like a coupe then a sedan. It's two doors short of a sedan. Other then that it looks sexy, and at 39000-59000 it is closer to the range of affordable...not so much for middle class folks (unless you like to live on a lean budget which is economically a poor choice) but definitely for those making 75,000+

Re:Sedan? (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239523)

Saw the pictures, getting into the backseat requires tilting the front seats forward...still not a sedan. Also, three wheels = tipping hazard. And last but not least -- it's all digitized, where's the actual working model? I am glad on paper they broke the 100 MPG value but what about RL?

Vaporware like all the others (1)

bolosmith (1205878) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239635)

More vaporware from a start up company that will implode in a year after draining investors of their cash... And you failed to mention their continued development of the Rockwell invented Retro-Encabulator...

they're doing it wrong (1)

jaimz22 (932159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240299)

You know they said they are competing for the x-prize for the 100mpg sedan... maybe someone should tell them that they made a coupe.

NASCAR, the next target market? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27241045)

..."a sleek fully-electric roadster that boasts a scorching top-speed of 150 mph and a 200-mile range, placing it in direct competition with the Tesla roadster."

I'm sorry, did I miss something? Is NASCAR looking for a eco-friendly division?

Just curious if the Engineering team has ever heard of the term "target market" before. Average Joe isn't exactly looking for a 150MPH supercar for his/her next eco-friendly daily driver...I'm all for millions in R&D and innovation, when there's a point.

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