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Sahimo Hydrogen Vehicle Gets Over 1,300 mpg

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the see-it-to-believe-it dept.

Transportation 453

Mike writes "Students from Turkey's Sakarya University have unveiled a remarkable attempt at creating Europe's most fuel-efficient vehicle. Dubbed the Sahimo, their pint-sized hydrogen car is cable of eking out an incredible 568 km on 1 liter of fuel (about 1,336 miles per gallon). An aerodynamic carbon-fiber construction keeps the vehicle's weight down to less than 110 kg (243 lbs), and the designers hope to push the Sahimo's performance even further to a full 1,000 km per 1 liter of fuel before participating in the Global Green Challenge in October."

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453 comments

WTF (-1, Offtopic)

koreaman (835838) | about 5 years ago | (#28618275)

What the hell Slashdot, post the Google OS article already!

1300 MPG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618317)

> incredible 568 km on 1 liter of fuel (about 1,336 miles per gallon)
568km on 70 grams of hydrogen? I call total bullshit.

Re:1300 MPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618363)

Ranks right up there with the ShamWow.

Re:1300 MPG (1)

koreaman (835838) | about 5 years ago | (#28618373)

Billy, we hardly knew ya

Re:1300 MPG (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618469)

Billy Mays is going to bed. He crawls under the covers and says a little prayer...

"Lord, this week you saw fit to take Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson..."

and the Lord interrupts, "BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!!"

Re:1300 MPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618501)

I wish I had mod points to give you :(

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618347)

I second that.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618541)

The last 10 articles have been posted by kdawson.

You don't honestly think he's allowed to announce anything that earth-shattering do you? :)

Re:WTF (0, Offtopic)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | about 5 years ago | (#28618713)

Slashdot has always been a day late and a dollar short.

1336 MPG (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618279)

1,336 MPG

Still 1 short from being leet!

The real question (5, Funny)

AntiOrganic (650691) | about 5 years ago | (#28618281)

At 110 kilograms, how far will it fly when it gets T-boned by a Hummer?

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618323)

Far enough to get you a ticket for flying without a license.

110 kilograms (5, Funny)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 5 years ago | (#28618943)

From the article: "The SAHMO is truly a lightweight carbon fiber vehicle, weighting less than 110 kilograms."

The entire car weighs less than an overweight American.

Re:The real question (4, Informative)

Djupblue (780563) | about 5 years ago | (#28618357)

We don't have that problem in Europe, especially in the richer countries. In Holland it is very popular with cars in sizes from smart cars and a bit larger. Then again fuel here cost about $6.5/gallon. And even while driving much smaller cars than north Americans do we still have less people killed in traffic here in Europe. You are doing something wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_OECD_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate [wikipedia.org]

Re:The real question (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#28618491)

Aside from being a bit judgmental, you obviously didn't read the article did you :)

I've seen electric Barbie jeeps that are bigger than that thing. The average Slashdotter could not fit half an ass cheek in that thing. This thing is merely a prototype to demonstrate their technology, and not an attempt at a practical car at all.

Re:The real question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618509)

The average American Slashdotter could not fit half an ass cheek in that thing.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:The real question (2, Informative)

Djupblue (780563) | about 5 years ago | (#28618705)

If you define looking at the pretty pictures as "reading" then sure I did! ;)

Of course it is very small, even as a production car it is unfair to compare it to a regular multi-seated car. This is more of a personal vehicle, it has a different use. What it does show is possibility. It is possible to build an extremely efficient car if you put your mind to it. A smart car sized version would probably not get the same mileage but if it got even close, that would be fantastic!

I, and many others live in a city where parking space is expensive and hard to find. If there was cars like this we could have miniature parking spaces, maybe even put the cars standing up. In the same space for one normal car you can park four or five like this. I don't really need a bigger car for almost any trip. If it had place for two then it would cover 99% of my needs, the rest i can rent a car or borrow one for. It is much cheaper than to pay a lot of money for parking, gas and of course finding space for it.

It is time for small cheap cars. In cities and in developing countries they WILL sell like crazy soon.

Re:The real question In any case... Can it write (0, Flamebait)

davidsyes (765062) | about 5 years ago | (#28618711)

Haiku as the sponsors laugh all the way to the bank after receiving any patents and royalties (assuming Toyota hasn't sponsored them and bought their designs and any universities along with them...

It is STILL a real "Rice Rocket": It's white, short-grained, oblongish. But, will it fit in sushi rolls. Anyone getting run over in that thing will look like baluga and salmon eggs rolled into one bite-sized pill. With blood and shit, it WILL be on bitter sushi pill to swallow.

Re:The real question (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | about 5 years ago | (#28618801)

No no, the inside dimensions are *much* larger than the outside dimensions. Look at this picture: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/07/07/sahimo-hydrogen-vehicle-travels-568-kilometers-on-1-liter-of-fuel/sahimo8/ [inhabitat.com] , they ALL fit in!

Re:The real question (2, Insightful)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | about 5 years ago | (#28618989)

Wait? It was actually built by Time Lords?

Re:The real question (2, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | about 5 years ago | (#28618879)

Im not surprised that you have seen Barbie Jeeps bigger than that car. In America, there are only two sizes of anything available. "Huge", and "way over the top freaking enormous". Heck, even the size of the American model of Human is following that trend.

Re:The real question (5, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 5 years ago | (#28618591)

If you are referring to the first column in that table, it's a bogus comparison. Americans drive many more miles per year on average than Europeans, hence more chances to get killed. Second column "Road fatalities per 1 billion vehicle-km" is a better comparison and US figure very much in line with west European averages. An even better comparison would take into account the average speeds involved in the accidents as I bet US average speeds are higher (much wider roads on average and more highway driving as trips are generally over greater distances). Yes, I know about autobahns but still in general I think that's true.

Note: I live in the US and drive a small fuel efficient car so don't mistake me for an SUV lover, I just hate misleading statistics

Re:The real question (4, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | about 5 years ago | (#28618733)

Americans drive many more miles per year on average than Europeans, hence more chances to get killed.

Don't forget to mention that you allow sixteen year olds driving cars.

Look at Scandinavia versus US (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 5 years ago | (#28618773)

The really interesting question is why the Scandinavian countries (including the UK) are so much safer than the others (except Switzerland.) I wonder if this applies in the US too, with States with a lot of settlement from Scandinavia and the UK having lower fatality rates than, say, the Southern States?

Incidentally, on UK roads, although an accident may be more survivable in an SUV, you are more likely to have an accident involving a collision with an oncoming vehicle, owing to our narrow roads and many obstructions. Also, journey times in SUVs are longer because you are likely to be held up so much more often. The recession and the oil price spike has brought a sudden halt to the SUV-ification of the UK, and most new cars are either company cars or small ones. The result is that driving on my mixed urban/rural commute is getting noticeably easier. This trend may accelerate.

Re:Look at Scandinavia versus US (1)

kamochan (883582) | about 5 years ago | (#28618911)

In Scandinavia one of the key reasons for relative traffic safety is the climate.

Because of harsh winters, our roads get to crap condition in no time flat. Hence, you need a WRC style car to go fast anywhere. Also, our drivers' ed is fairly thorough, requiring a separate winter driving course.

Or, it could be the ridiculous taxation, which means that nobody can afford to drive a fast car...

Re:Look at Scandinavia versus US (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | about 5 years ago | (#28618945)

Switzerland isn't a Scandinavian country. I think the reason they have less fatalities is that they are required to take slippery driving courses (at least I saw they do this in Finland, not sure about the others) to get a licence.

Someone local please correct me if I'm wrong, I just remember seeing something like this on TV one time.

Re:The real question (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#28618633)

We have dangerous roads. Here in California at least, we have roads that are not divided like freeways, but still allow freeway speeds. All it takes is someone to slip on the wheel, or decide to play chicken, and there's a death. I've known personally two people who died that way. It's sad.

You know how people always compare death statistics to driving? That it's more dangerous to drive? That's something we could fix, with divided roads. And yet we don't. But then the F22 is one sweet plane.

this thing, motorcycles, and safety (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#28618853)

A driver of one of these would have significantly more safety on a motorcycle.

That thing, if t-boned by a motorcycle, would likely result in the driver dying. This thing has a curb weight of 243lb, which is 100lb less than a small non-highway motorcycle. Consider, also, that it's (likely steel- or aluminum- mesh substructure) carbon fiber: it's significantly less resistant to fracture than any metal (except maybe over-hardened iron).

Additionally, the driver's vantage point is low. Very low. Again, if hit by a motorcycle, the driver's head would be right at the bike's center of gravity. This is right at the "bumper" level of other 4-wheeled vehicles. The driver would be fucked.

Finally, this thing is unlikely to produce the noise that a motorcycle does (which adds to others' awareness of the biker), lacks the agility of a 2-wheel vehicle, and decreases the driver's visibility over what is available on a bike (due to the 'cockpit' as well as the low perspective). Driver competence aside, a motorcycle is safer.

Finally, there are a lot more drivers per capita in the US than in Europe. This might have something to do with the death rate (as well as the endemic nature of car ownership here). The bar is significantly lower for ownership, combined with the fact that the roads are likely much more full of cars as a result (and that people drive more often/regularly here) may lead to this statistical difference. If someone has a daily commute of 30+ miles each day - with tens of thousands of other people doing the same thing, rain or shine - the likelihood of an accident goes up.

As a parable, someone who gets certified to sky-dive and does it a handful of times isn't as likely to have a problem as someone who does it with regularity (say, someone in Airborne) due to the sheer number of times it's performed. Shit happens, and is more likely to happen with increased exposure.

Re:this thing, motorcycles, and safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618905)

Two "Finally"' paragraphs, and a redundant post....hey can i have a puff too, that sounds like good weed youre smoking man.

Re:this thing, motorcycles, and safety (1, Flamebait)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 5 years ago | (#28618985)

Why is it that you Americans instantly react to stories like this with "I could crush that like a bug under my monster truck"? What the fuck is wrong with you people?

Re:The real question (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 5 years ago | (#28618947)

we still have less people killed in traffic here in Europe

How the hell do you reach that conclusion given the chart you linked to?!? Did you even look at it? According to it you can conclude that driving in the USA is safer than driving in Ireland or Belgium.

You are doing something wrong.

No u

Re:The real question (1)

WeblionX (675030) | about 5 years ago | (#28618361)

Judging by its size, it's more likely to just be pushed along when hit by a Hummer than to be t-boned in any real manner.

Re:The real question (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28618475)

How did you think they got that insane milage, duh...

Re:The real question (4, Funny)

Atario (673917) | about 5 years ago | (#28618367)

Joke's on that Hummer -- it'll be shattered by the massive hydrogen explosion.

Re:The real question (1)

lxs (131946) | about 5 years ago | (#28618779)

Oh the Humanity!!!

Re:The real question (1, Insightful)

Mr_Plattz (1589701) | about 5 years ago | (#28618405)

At 110 kilograms, how far will it fly when it gets T-boned by a Hummer?

I'll have to let someone from American answer this. Every other country in the world don't appear to have an obsession with oversized cars to drive to work in.

Ironically, majority of Americans (not the type who would visit Slashdot) wouldn't know that the rest of the world doesn't drive Hummers.

Re:The real question (1)

koreaman (835838) | about 5 years ago | (#28618429)

I haven't personally seen one, but I know many people who have seen hummers in France. They're a lot more rare, but they definitely exist.

Re:The real question (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | about 5 years ago | (#28618953)

I've seen them in Australia. But only because the Victoria Police bought some to put fear into the hearts of late-night drunks.

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618567)

I know of one hummer owner less than a block from where I live in Australia. Thankfully he appears to be the the exception and not the rule.

Unfortunately though a surprisingly (depressingly) large fraction of the population hereabouts seems to think that medium/large (though thankfully sub-hummer) 4WDs are somehow necessary for city driving, despite the obvious expense and typically crappy crash safety ratings those things have.

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618657)

Australia would like to have a word with you. So would South Africa. Last time I was in Zurich, the vehicles weren't that different than in the states.

Fuck off with your elitism, especially when you're as clueless as you are.

Re:The real question (2, Interesting)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | about 5 years ago | (#28618407)

It won't, it will get crushed and people will die.

Just like when any other compact car gets hit by one of those behemoths.

Hint: I don't think it's funny idiots are allowed to drive contraptions like the hummer on public roads. It makes me want to buy a nice second hand tank to even out the odds.

On the other hand, it seems that, at least, the age of the hummer is finished. Not even the Chinese would buy it off GM, for a measly 86 million.

Re:The real question (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618441)

It makes me want to buy a nice second hand tank to even out the odds.

First have to figure out how to purchase a tank and have it delivered without the US Military getting involved.

On the other hand, it seems that, at least, the age of the hummer is finished. Not even the Chinese would buy it off GM, for a measly 86 million.

that is because they would have been buying a company worth -68 billion.

Re:The real question (1)

tonyr60 (32153) | about 5 years ago | (#28618729)

It makes me want to buy a nice second hand tank to even out the odds.

First have to figure out how to purchase a tank and have it delivered without the US Military getting involved.

No sweat here in New Zealand... http://www.tanksforeverything.co.nz/ [tanksforeverything.co.nz]

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618913)

>First have to figure out how to purchase a tank and have it delivered without the US Military getting involved.

one word: eBay ;-)

Re:The real question (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#28618877)

The Chinese wouldn't buy the Hummer because they've already stolen (and re-implemented) the design. Why buy something you can steal?

Re:The real question (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 5 years ago | (#28618585)

At 110 kilograms, how far will it fly when it gets T-boned by a Hummer?

I hear American version will weigh 120kg - the extra 10kg is a roof-mounted AT guided missile. Specifically for the Hummers.

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618687)

wider seats and re-enforced frame for the fat Americans.

Driver Outweighs Car, You Insensitive Clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618837)

And even if I didn't, if the thing's big enough to hold two adults, they'll still outweigh it.

Re:The real question (1)

DBCubix (1027232) | about 5 years ago | (#28618703)

Just like the smart car, this new design doubles as a coffin too. For a few dollars more you can get the optional sunroof for those that want open casket ceremonies.

Re:The real question (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 5 years ago | (#28618803)

that or run over by a semi, but they would only think it was a oddly placed speed bump

Of course (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618307)

it'll only take 2 hours for a 5 mile commute to get that effiiciency.

Not too impressive. (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 years ago | (#28618319)

Considering that high-school students in the U.S. have built viable vehicles that get over 1,000 miles per gallon of gasoline. They should be able to do better with hydrogen.

Re:Not too impressive. (1)

koreaman (835838) | about 5 years ago | (#28618331)

Much less hydrogen fits in one gallon than does gasoline.

Re:Not too impressive. (5, Informative)

Tontoman (737489) | about 5 years ago | (#28618493)

Gases are compressible. Gallon is a measure of volume. Theoretically, highly compressed hydrogen would give you liquid hydrogen. Hydrogen compressed occupies 3 times more volume than gasoline for the same energy. http://www.planetforlife.com/h2/h2swiss.html [planetforlife.com]

Re:Not too impressive. (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 years ago | (#28618731)

I stand corrected. While it is what I would consider to be non-intuitive, it turns out that hydrogen contains massively less potential energy per volume measure than gasoline.

Re:Not too impressive. (2, Informative)

rtyhurst (460717) | about 5 years ago | (#28618365)

Re:Not too impressive. (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28618525)

That thing only travels 25mph. Any of the vehicles in the World Solar Challenge [wikipedia.org] could do the distance in half the time without using any fuel at all, and (it feels weird to say this) be more practical, at that.

21g of fuel per 100km is incredibly impressive, yes, but when there are clearly superior solutions to the same problem, it becomes mainly of academic interest.

These types of competitions are interesting (3, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | about 5 years ago | (#28618327)

but I'd rather see a competition that takes regular cars and modifies them to get the most gas mileage. The problem with these uber gas-mileage vehicles is that they're street legal, have no safety equipment, and don't go very fast.

Re:These types of competitions are interesting (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about 5 years ago | (#28618333)

Hmmm, that should say "they're not street legal"

Re:These types of competitions are interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618369)

Anyway its impossible to know what they mean by 1 Litre of hydrogen. That could be 170grams if its liquid hydrogen or upto 12 kilograms if it was presurised. Sounds more like swapping fuel for a pressurised container.

Re:These types of competitions are interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618587)

Compressing hydrogen to 12 kg/L? How do you do that? I thought it was already challenging to get 800 atmospheres in a light-weight tank, which gives you a density comparable to liquid hydrogen.

Re:These types of competitions are interesting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618691)

12kg/L is only 56k atmospheres

Re:These types of competitions are interesting (1)

Starlon (1492461) | about 5 years ago | (#28618353)

You're talking about the Model-T right? Granted with a little work, someone can fix those issues.

but, how to do it? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#28618919)

This is how I'd start to approach making a modern street car more fuel efficient:

* start with a small sedan (Ford Focus, Honda Accord, etc.)
* rip out anything unnecessary from the inside. This includes all the comfort electronics. Weight requires more energy, so remove as much as possible.
* remove all unnecessary subsystems that leech from the alternator: air conditioning, power steering, ABS, etc.
* remove the "emission control" measures, which seem to invariably sap a good 25%+ fuel efficiency.
* add an HHO system and run the engine rich, either tricking the sensors or modifying the computer to ignore the high readings
* if you plan on heavy city driving, add in the break energy collector and a fuel cell of some sort.

Bet you could get close to 100MPG if you did something like this. Too bad performance and fuel efficiency seems to drop off quickly if you go below a 4 cyl engine.

It would get over 600km/l... (1)

turing_m (1030530) | about 5 years ago | (#28618371)

...if it had smooth disc wheel covers and an attempt at wheel skirts.

Blast! This tech has been known since 1970's. (-1, Offtopic)

NRAdude (166969) | about 5 years ago | (#28618419)

References: Alex Schiffer, Paul Phantone and "Joe's" JoeCell, Stan Mayer, et al. They have been teaching this for years, to run any alleged inefficient big American or Australian big-block combustion enine on atomic gasses Hydrogen and Oxgen (HHO) derived from over-efficient Water Electrolysis and "negatively charged Water."

Please kick Toyota and all the other corporations that try to put their patents on already public-domain materials that have already been disclosed.

As early as the 1st steam engine was this forked from, and as early as World War 2 did the German Nazi tank commanders supplement their diesel tanks with atomic 1-part Hydrogen gas and 2-parts Oxygen gas (HHO) derived from water.

I've been actively using this technology since 2002, a HHO torch to replace my Oxy-Acetylene torch. Many that I know have been running their cars off this technology in HHO cells, depending on the effeciency of their assembly as a complement to an **-Octane Petrol from the pump or as is to a governor to mix with atmosphere to not race the engine.

It's all over YouTube, it's on OUPOWER.COM, it's everywhere.

Please, whatever anyone does, don't buy into the nonsense that you need to buy a new car and a new car engine just to run this stuff.

Kick out the corporations marketing this technology, because they are only here to fleece the public with the illusion that it is a faint and delicate fuel that needs to be harnassed with hand-tools and technicians outside the ordinary and only they may certify.

If GM and Chrysler is going down, and possibly Ford next, then please kick all the imports out of the states.

Re:Blast! This tech has been known since 1970's. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 years ago | (#28618643)

This stuff doesn't work.

Why ahsn't this gone to mass production?

Re:Blast! This tech has been known since 1970's. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618739)

Because there are massive vested interests that would lose money if it did?

Yeah just wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618425)

Until you get rear ending by a semi truck. Or t-boned by a f-150, etc

Re:Yeah just wait... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28618455)

Um, you're gonna be f**ked if you get rear-ended by a semi no matter *what* you're driving. Avoiding being crushed by much larger entities is one of the keys to staying alive, y'know?

Re:Yeah just wait... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618727)

Not necessarily. A friend of a friend (I met him, heard the stories and saw the pictures) got t-boned by a dump truck loaded with gravel which happened to run a red light at over 50 mph. He just remembers trying to hold on to the steering wheel as it pulled away from him. Luckily, the guy was seriously into racing. His car was outfitted with a steel roll cage, carbon fiber racing seats and a five point harness... he walked away with literally no bruises. The car, however, was completely destroyed (as in no easily identifiable parts left outside of the roll cage, just debris littered over the street.) He won't drive anything without race-spec safety anymore, but the truck driver isn't even allowed to operate a Tonka anymore.

Re:Yeah just wait... (4, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28618959)

OK, if your car is built to race spec then yeah, you'll have a much better chance. There was an F1 driver a few years back who hit a concrete barrier head-on at around 200mph and he escaped with (iirc) broken legs and a lot of bruising. They quoted his actual deceleration distance as being something like 65cm. If you're willing to spend the money, you can make cars very safe indeed - it's just that no private driver is willing to spend that much.

Getting Crushed by a Volkswagen... (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 years ago | (#28618887)

Now that I've started commuting, it's time to replace my old Chevy Van with a more efficient car. The Smart car looks pretty attractive at first (it's actually possible to park one in San Francisco, unlike the van :-), but the big drawback with it or the other small lightweight cars on the market is safety. Admittedly I've only had a collision every few decades, but the van's never been the smaller vehicle, while the small cars are smaller than most other things on the road, plus they're short enough that you don't have as much visibility.

On the other hand, a friend of mine totalled her Miata once and walked away with only some airbag burns - a truck ahead of her on the freeway lost a ladder, and there was no time to dodge it. She spun around a couple of times and banged into the median barriers.

Re:Yeah just wait... (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 5 years ago | (#28618473)

Car would probably roll in either case. Carbon fiber is actually stronger than steel.

Electricity Hydrogen (3, Informative)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 5 years ago | (#28618433)

In my opinion cars driven by electric motors are where we should be placing our bets.
Electric motors can go very quickly (at least the speed limit), have great acceleration, don't require a grid of hydrogen fuel stations to be built, don't require the massive amounts of energy used for electrolysis (the process of making useable hydrogen), have 0 risk of exploding (although admittedly hydrogen vehicles are pretty safe, but its more of a mental thing), and are ridiculously efficient. You know that about 3% of the energy used in internal combustion engines actually ends up moving the driver? With an electric motor, it is more like 50-80%, depending on the type of vehicle.

You could argue that we're just shifting the dependance (and the green house gases) to power plants- but this would open a door to a 100% maintainable system, it just requires an eventual (much more eventual than current state) shift over to clean power for plants. Our existing grid could easily handle 20 million plugin cars.

The only thing we're waiting on is efficient battery technology for the range of the things.

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (4, Insightful)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 5 years ago | (#28618589)

Electric motors [snip] have 0 risk of exploding

Yeah because lithium-ion batteries are perfectly safe! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (4, Insightful)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 5 years ago | (#28618619)

A lot safer than compressed hydrogen canisters- especially considering that the batteries in electric cars are separated to prevent any sort of massive failure. Worst case scenario one out of 6,300 cells pops, and you have to open it up and replace it.

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (1)

adolf (21054) | about 5 years ago | (#28618847)

...which, of course, will always work just fine. Everyone knows that safety systems are all infallible, and all work exactly as intended.

Oh. And nothing ever catches fire.

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (2, Informative)

Make (95577) | about 5 years ago | (#28618635)

That's the general problem when you concentrate a lot of energy in little space. There are practical differences between fossil fuel, hydrogen, urane and batteries, but the concept of accidentally releasing (converting to pressure/temperature) much of this energy is pretty much the same.

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618625)

Hydrogen is just a way to store the electricity.

What you have is hydrogen + fuel cell + electric motor.

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618723)

The only thing we're waiting on is efficient battery technology for the range of the things.

Maybe the battery could be of a special type: It would split water into H2 and O2 as electricity enters, store the H2 in a compressed tank, and convert it back to electricity with a fuel cell on demand. To save weight, the water-splitting component could even be separated from the car and attached to the power outlet instead.

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (1)

jamesswift (1184223) | about 5 years ago | (#28618757)

"Our existing grid could easily handle 20 million plugin cars"

I'm not sure it could. Take for example the 10 minute fill up of this car http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/advanced-cars/electriccar-maker-touts-10minute-fillup [ieee.org]

"To charge a 35-kWh battery in 10 minutes requires 250 kilowatts of powerâ"five times as much as the average office building consumes at its peak. That rules out rapid charging at home. Even rapid-charge âfilling stationsâ stretch the imagination, as youâ(TM)d need a megawatt power feedâ"generally available only at electrical substationsâ"to simultaneously operate four power pumps. "

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (1)

tonyr60 (32153) | about 5 years ago | (#28618759)

In my opinion cars driven by electric motors are where we should be placing our bets.

Electric motors can go very quickly (at least the speed limit), have great acceleration, don't require a grid of hydrogen fuel stations to be built, don't require the massive amounts of energy used for electrolysis (the process of making useable hydrogen), have 0 risk of exploding (although admittedly hydrogen vehicles are pretty safe, but its more of a mental thing), and are ridiculously efficient. You know that about 3% of the energy used in internal combustion engines actually ends up moving the driver?

I think you mean 30%, if you are referring to petrol (gas in USA) and 45+% for diesel.

No, 3% is closer.. (2, Informative)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 years ago | (#28618917)

If you're an average American, your car probably outweighs you by a factor of 10-20 (unlike this lightweight vehicle, which you might outweigh :-). So no more than 5-10% of the energy is moving you as opposed to the vehicle, and *then* you can go multiply by 30-45% depending on fuel, etc.

Also, one of the most common methods of producing hydrogen today isn't electolyzing water, it's cracking methane or other hydrocarbons.

Re:Electricity Hydrogen (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#28618929)

ICE are actually about 30-40% energy efficient in terms of the energy utilized to move the vehicle. I assume that was what you were referring to, unless you're under the presumption that a vehicle with an electric motor can weigh about 1.5x what the driver does.

Per liter, why is that hard? (5, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | about 5 years ago | (#28618489)

I'm sure you can find some nice radioactive thermal generators that have under a liter of fuel in them. That will get you a hundred thousand miles per liter easily.

Re:Per liter, why is that hard? (2, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | about 5 years ago | (#28618867)

Yes, but most cars don't require a NRC license to own/operate/sell.

Under current NRC rules, you could be held responsible if you sell the car and:

The new owner wrecks it, causing contamination.
The new owner takes it apart and manufactures nuclear weapons and/or contamination-based weapons.
The new owner sells it to people who do the above.
The new owner gets rid of the car by driving it off the local dock or into the local rock quarry.

City or Highway? (1)

Burning1 (204959) | about 5 years ago | (#28618631)

1,336 MPG? Is that city or highway?

Seriously though... What is the practical fuel economy of this vehicle under normal driving conditions? With a strong tail wind and solid tires, everything I own is 'capable' of 100MPG. In practice, 40 MPG is about what I expect.

Shell Eco Marathon, 1246 km on 1 liter (5, Informative)

skeffstone (1299289) | about 5 years ago | (#28618701)

I'm surprised. Why does this 3rd place winner get this attention? If the numbers are anything to impress with, take a closer look at the winner, the Norwegian contribution, clocking in at 1246 km per 1 liter of fuel equivalents. Official Results: http://www.shell.com/home/content/eco-marathon-en/europe/2009/results/app_results_2009.html [shell.com]

Re:Shell Eco Marathon, 1246 km on 1 liter (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | about 5 years ago | (#28618719)

I'm surprised. Why does this 3rd place winner get this attention?

because it looks like a vehicle a consumer would buy, not like an "amoeba with wheels"

Not a good measure (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 5 years ago | (#28618753)

Miles per gallon, or kilometers per liter, is only a useful measurement when we're comparing vehicles with the same fuel. Getting a 25% increase in miles per gallon of gasoline would be great. But is 568 kilometers on a liter of Hydrogen even GOOD? How expensive is that hydrogen? (How many kilos of coal were burned to generate the energy to generate the hydrogen?) How dangerous is a fast-moving vehicle with a liter of hydrogen?

This may be great, but the statistic is pretty meaningless. They could get a lot BETTER miles per gallon out of a gallon of plutonium, I'd wager, if we're making those sorts of comparisons. Don't even get me started on antimatter.

Re:Not a good measure (5, Informative)

skeffstone (1299289) | about 5 years ago | (#28618789)

Again, for all participants in Shell Eco Marathon, including the Norwegian contribution, and the Turkish one, they are allowed to use the amount of energy in 1 liter of petroleum. The unit is not 1 liter of hydrogen, but 1 liter of gas. They use hydrogen which is consumed in fuel cells, but the amount of energy in that xxx volume hydrogen equals the amount of energy in 1 liter of gas. The efficiency of the whole system is reflected directly by how far they get with the fuel they are allowed to take on board the vehicle. UrbanConcept Fuel Cell class: 1st place: 1246 km 2nd place: 804 km 3rd place: 568 km

Easier to massacre now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618775)

I for one welcome our new fuel efficient, genocidal overlords.

Hydrogen != Petrol (0, Redundant)

strawberryutopia (1301435) | about 5 years ago | (#28618817)

One problem I see with that number is that, yes 1300 mpg is impressive, but it's 1300 mpg of hydrogen fuel. The only useful comparison that can be made to current cars is that it'll be ages between each fill-up.

Without doing any research, I have no idea whether 1300 mpg is impressive for hydrogen fuel or not.

DUDE! COMMON (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618855)

there are .62 km in a mile your calculations are way off!! its not 1300 miles pergallon its more like
  568
x.62=352.16
silly people no offense

Re:DUDE! COMMON (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618935)

568 kilometers = 352.938837 miles So you are correct if it is miles per Litre.
1 gallon = 4.54609 Litre
77mpg

Re:DUDE! COMMON (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | about 5 years ago | (#28618967)

568 km/l to mpg [google.com]

In the Metric System (1)

superFoieGras (1423701) | about 5 years ago | (#28618885)

That's only 0.18 l/100km !

http://windowsku.blogspot.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28618903)

nice post..

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