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Modified Prius gets up to 180 Miles Per Gallon

timothy posted about 9 years ago | from the oh-what-I-wouldn't-give-for-that-in-my-subaru dept.

Power 907

shupp writes "The NY Times (free reg. required) reports in that some folks are not content with the no-plug-in rule that both Honda and Toyota endorse. By modifying a Prius so that it can be plugged in, Ron Gremban of CalCars states 'I've gotten anywhere from 65 to over 100 miles per gallon'. The article also reports that 'EnergyCS, a small company that has collaborated with CalCars, has modified another Prius with more sophisticated batteries; they claim their Prius gets up to 180 mpg, and can travel more than 30 miles on battery power.'"

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907 comments

Oil industry? (2, Insightful)

yoblin (692322) | about 9 years ago | (#12122211)

anyone think that the oil companies might have something to do with this not being adopted on a larger scale?

Re:Oil industry? (3, Interesting)

zarthrag (650912) | about 9 years ago | (#12122218)

More importantly, why has Honda/Toyota decided not to adopt these as factory options?

Re:Oil industry? (5, Insightful)

tha_mink (518151) | about 9 years ago | (#12122430)

Don't be silly. Just because it's not using gas doesn't mean that it's not using oil, or some worse form of energy conversion (it's noookular). How do you think the electricity gets made when you plug it into the wall? Just because you can plug it in, doesn't mean it's better than burning gasoline.

Certainly (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 9 years ago | (#12122278)

"anyone think that the oil companies might have something to do with this not being adopted on a larger scale?"

Certainly. The same oil companies that tricked John DeLorean into buying cocaine, squashed the 500-mpg carburator, and killed the genius who invented the car that would run on snot.

Re:Oil industry? (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 9 years ago | (#12122287)

Could it be that us Americans LOVE a nice beefy engine loaded with top end horse power?? I mean, you need to keep it fed with fuel right. And thus, we consume oil knowingly

So what's wrong if the oil companies what to sell us their product in a free market?

Re:Oil industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122357)

Everybody has to share the air we breathe. Until producers and consumers of polluting products indemnify everyone that is harmed by the pollution that results from their activities, there will be a strong argument for regulation in the public interest that reduces or illiminates the pollution.

Re:Oil industry? (4, Insightful)

Slack3r78 (596506) | about 9 years ago | (#12122442)

I don't understand this argument. If this were the case, why are big, heavy, and above all else *slow* SUVs selling so well? I'd say it's a 'bigger is better' syndrome more so than having anything to do with real power.

A MazdaSpeed Protege will sprint to 60 in 6.9 seconds, gets 30 miles to the gallon on the highway, and does this with a 2.0L engine. It's hard to say that's not relatively 'beefy.'

It's a bit of an extreme example, sure, but the H2 which seems to be selling like mad is just as extreme in the other direction - you'd be amazingly lucky to see 60 inside of 9 seconds, while burning up over twice as much fuel.

I think saying that Americans have an obsession with power is a bit of a cop out. It's an obsession with size, plain and simple.

Re:Oil industry? (0)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 9 years ago | (#12122298)

No. They are energy companies, not just oil companies. For instance, Shell and BP have pretty large solar divisions. They'd like to profit from hybrid cars or solar houses as anything else.

The energy to charge these batteries has to come from somewhere. The only part they can't profit from is the regenerative braking portion.

Re:Oil industry? (2, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | about 9 years ago | (#12122434)

The only part they can't profit from is the regenerative braking portion.

Or the hamsters. WHY WON'T ANYONE THINK OF THE HAMSTERS!?!?!?

Re:Oil industry? (1, Insightful)

Raynach (713366) | about 9 years ago | (#12122320)

Industrial oil is one of the biggest businesses in the world. Even if car companies had come out with a car that could do great on a limited amount of gas, it's not like these two industries work independant of each other. They both know that they need each other to stay alive. Car makers won't release a fuel system that is going to be optimal, just because oil companies are their biggest backers. It may seem a bit like a conspiracy, but it makes sense.

So much for capitalism spurring innovation, eh?

Electric power != mpg (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 9 years ago | (#12122368)

Saying you're getting 180mpg by using utility electric power is just stupid. By a similar measure, golf carts (been around for tens of years) are getting infinite mpg.

Of course I didn't RTFA, that's cheating.

Re:Electric power != mpg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122398)

Given the speed of commutes on traffic clogged roads you might as well be in a golf cart...

Re:Electric power != mpg (1)

Heem (448667) | about 9 years ago | (#12122419)

This is a very good point. It would be interesting to calculate how much the electricity cost to charge it up - or even, what type of fuel was consumed at the power plant and how much of it. Now, If I had a solar panel at my house and generated the electricity that charged that battery, then it would truly be free, once I of course absorbed the investment of the solar panel.

Re:Oil industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122396)

Maybe, but I have to wonder what their leverage is. It's not like they can tell Toyota, "If you make your cars able to run without gas, we will start charging you double for gas." Maybe they can lobby for laws that make it more difficult, though.

I don't know. You tell me: how can the oil companies influence what types of cars are for sale?

Re:Oil industry? (1)

thorndt (814642) | about 9 years ago | (#12122399)

I tend to doubt it. Oh, I'm not saying that oil companies aren't greedy--but here's the point: they're no longer just oil companies, they're ENERGY companies. So, electricity or gasoline--not too much difference to them.

The other side... (1)

FreeLinux (555387) | about 9 years ago | (#12122414)

Anyone think that though nervous, the oil industry isn't too worried yet because despite the conspiracy theories, the real reasons that these systems haven't been adopted yet are because they are inconvenient, expensive as hell and terribly useful for anything beyond short trips. Plus there's the whole; "I'd rather have a V8" or "if it weighs less than 6,000 pounds, I'm not interested" mentality.

SARCASM Naw, your probably right. It's the Saudi oil cartel that is controlling the development of the automobile and exerting mind control on the consumer. That's what it is. /SARCASM

Re:Oil industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122431)

Why? Where do you think they're getting that electricity from, magic beans?

Re:Oil industry? (1)

spike hay (534165) | about 9 years ago | (#12122437)

No. This is an electric car. Electric cars have been around for over a century, and they have always gotten unparalleled gasoline mileage.

As the name implies, they often require electricity. That comes from coal, oil, or natural gas, typically.

APIRL F00L (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122219)

n/t

INDEED, YOU ARE. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122283)

n/t

The secret? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122226)

They've secretly replaced the gas with Folgers crystals. Let's see if they notice.

Must be an average... (5, Funny)

PoprocksCk (756380) | about 9 years ago | (#12122231)

"By modifying a Prius so that it can be plugged in...

The 180 miles per gallon must be some extremely tough-to-calculate average since a car that's plugged in can only go as far as the power cord (unless they got a really , really, really long power cord ;-)

Park and charge (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 years ago | (#12122392)

a car that's plugged in can only go as far as the power cord (unless they got a really , really, really long power cord

Let's see... when you're not on a long-distance road trip, how long are you away from parking where (given infrastructure) you could charge your car's battery? Drive to work, park and charge, drive home, park and charge, rinse and repeat.

Re:Must be an average... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122397)

They only need a cable long enough to reach the pick-up truck with the generator driving in front of the Prius.

Now that's what I call environmentalism.

Misleadning (4, Insightful)

Quixote (154172) | about 9 years ago | (#12122233)

they claim their Prius gets up to 180 mpg,

This is misleading. Is it 180mpg sustained? On a 10gal tank of gas, will it go 1800 miles??

Obviously not. Adding extra batteries and charging them up will let the car initially give better "mileage"; heck, in the first 20-30 miles it may give infinite mpg because it is not burning any fuel. But the true measure of mpg is sustained travel over a long distance under somewhat realistic conditions (like city driving or highway driving).

Re:Misleadning (1)

Karl Tacheron (841799) | about 9 years ago | (#12122263)

It's not like he's driving the car continuously until he runs out of gas. The reason he gets that figure is probably because he drives back and forth between home and plugs it in each time, and only has to go and get gas every once in a while.

Re:Misleadning (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 9 years ago | (#12122323)

and plugs it in each time

And then the energy comes from somewhere else.

How many pounds of coal are used for him to plug it in overnight?

Economies of scale (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 years ago | (#12122428)

How many pounds of coal are used for him to plug it in overnight?

It's a lot easier and potentially cheaper to make one coal power plant more efficient than to make thousands of gasoline automobiles more efficient.

Re:Misleadning (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#12122269)

Obviously not. Adding extra batteries and charging them up will let the car initially give better "mileage"; heck, in the first 20-30 miles it may give infinite mpg because it is not burning any fuel. But the true measure of mpg is sustained travel over a long distance under somewhat realistic conditions (like city driving or highway driving).
A lot of trips are less than 30 miles. If you drive 15 miles to the office, plug in, then drive 15 miles home, plug in, your gasoline consumption for the week drops to zero.

Re:Misleadning (1)

magarity (164372) | about 9 years ago | (#12122328)

If you drive 15 miles to the office, plug in

I have to ask: Where do you work that there's sockets in the parking lot to plug in cars???

Re:Misleadning (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122362)

An extension cord from your cubicle would do the trick.

Re:Misleadning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122369)

uh. Canada?

Re:Misleadning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122381)

I have to ask, where to you work that there isn't? Where I work there are 6 charging stations.

Re:Misleadning (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 9 years ago | (#12122388)

Where do you work that there's sockets in the parking lot to plug in cars???

That's not uncommon in some parts of Canada, and probably Alaska. It's for plugging in your car's block heater (in winter) so that you can actually start it when it's quitting time.

Re:Misleadning (4, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 9 years ago | (#12122367)

If you drive 15 miles to the office, plug in, then drive 15 miles home, plug in, your gasoline consumption for the week drops to zero.

And your grid electricity consumption goes way, way up.

Tradeoffs.

Re:Misleadning (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#12122400)

And your grid electricity consumption goes way, way up.

Tradeoffs.
Up here, at less than 6 cents a kwh, and $4.50 a gallon for gas, running the car on cheap hydro sounds pretty good.

communism (0, Flamebait)

hildi (868839) | about 9 years ago | (#12122234)

if these communists get their way, then the great american oil industry will go the way of the great american manufacturing industry

I own a prius, so don't get me wrong... (5, Interesting)

SuperficialRhyme (731757) | about 9 years ago | (#12122241)

I'm not trying to bash what these guys have done - but isn't plugging it in and then looking at MPG very decieving?

On the other hand, it would be interesting to see how the $/mile stack up to see whether or not a plugged in prius can be more efficient in terms of cost.

Words words words.. (5, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | about 9 years ago | (#12122326)

As usual, the Slashdot headline is misleading -- this time, because it's taken out of context. Here's the precise claim in the article:
And EnergyCS, a small company that has collaborated with CalCars, has modified another Prius with more sophisticated batteries; they claim their Prius gets up to 180 m.p.g. and can travel more than 30 miles on battery power.
In other words, the improved milage comes from better batteries, not from plugging the car in.

Still, it's a claim to be approached cautiously. Perhaps improved batteries can improve hybrid milage -- but by a factor of 3? In any case, the "up to" is a hint that this is one of those meaningless "gee whiz" statistics, as with "The IQ of Slashdot users is as high as 300."

Re:Words words words.. (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 years ago | (#12122354)

If they can be charged more rapidly you can store a lot more of the power rather than just dumping it into a resistor when you do regenerative braking - or, of course, by engaging the friction brake. This last has to be done at the end of the braking process regardless, but the point is that if you can charge the battery faster you save a lot of otherwise-wasted energy. Haven't RTFA though.

Re:Words words words.. (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 9 years ago | (#12122423)

Thanks for the explanation. That suggests that the "up to 180 MPH" figure comes from tests where they did a lot of sudden stops!

Still, it's meaningless to compare such a figure with any published figure for an unmodified Prius. Re-running the EPA tests (which is where the official mileage figures come from) would be more informative.

Re:Words words words.. (1)

SuperficialRhyme (731757) | about 9 years ago | (#12122359)

Actually I was talking about the part where the users have modified their prius to plug it in. I understand that the battery packs don't fall into this catagory (though they cost energy to produce, which you may not recoup - even with the higher MPG).

Re:Words words words.. (2, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 9 years ago | (#12122444)

Which is why the Slashdot headline is misleading. The article is mostly about the mod you mention, not about EngergyCS's improved batteries. The headline makes it sound like they're trying to count plugin time towards mileage, which they certainly are not.

Re:I own a prius, so don't get me wrong... (4, Insightful)

rossifer (581396) | about 9 years ago | (#12122335)

isn't plugging it in and then looking at MPG very decieving?

Exactly. They're taking advantage of a second energy supply and only claiming the cost of the first.

In order to normalize the figures, you need a common divisor. As you suggested, money sounds like a good idea to me. I use 91 octane from the station around the corner in my Honda Nighthawk motorcycle. I get about 45mpg. The price I pay is $2.61/gal (California!), which comes to about 6 cents spent on fuel per mile travelled. If you're getting 60mpg, you're at about 4.5 cents per mile.

We need one other number to compare these modified Prius's: the change in size of the energy bill. We could get by with off-peak rates from the CPUC and a miles/kWh figure for the Prius when only using battery power.

Anyone?

Regards,
Ross

Re:I own a prius, so don't get me wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122347)

Agreed, it is deceiving. When people look at miles per gallon, they think in terms of cost to themselves in gasoline. But last I heard, electricity costs money too. Until somebody does a study on comparative total prices, it is pretty much a moot point.

I'm not saying that it is completely useless, as I'm not particularly fond of our dependence on oil, and this goes some way towards possible independence. But until it is economically sound they are wasting our time.

OPEC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122393)

The point that they're making is that you can improve the mileage by charging the batteries from the wall jacket instead of burning gasoline to charge them. I give two thumbs up for less dependency on OPEC.

unfortunately (2, Insightful)

computertheque (823940) | about 9 years ago | (#12122252)

When something like this happens it becomes amazingly clear that an industry can die. This type of car shows how quickly a hybrid car could kill the the heavy dependence on gas, but the electric companies go crazy. It's a fine line of balance, but it all comes down to politics and everyone knows it.

Re:unfortunately (1)

ElGanzoLoco (642888) | about 9 years ago | (#12122390)


Car fuel is just a part (a big one, but not 100%) of the oil business. Power plants, trains, planes, trucks, house heating, plastics, chemistry, etc, all rely deeply on oil & its differents derivatives.

I'd love to see the combustion engine go away though (I bike in Paris, and I'm afraid I'm inflicting severe damage to my lungs).

Re:unfortunately (2, Insightful)

AnswerIs42 (622520) | about 9 years ago | (#12122404)

Yep.. I can see it now.. hundreds of Prius's going down the road at 28MPH so they can use their electric motors instead of the gas engine.

Hybrids are nice... but they are only a TINY stepping stone. And NOTHING near a solution that will lower the dependance on gasoline.

Fule Cell cars are where the technology is going towards, and hopefully in 10 years will be economical enough to be mass produced.

Re:unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122408)

Ummm, oil is used for more than gas. Eliminating the need for need is a step in the right direction, but it will NOT solve our oil dependence problem.

this is stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122253)

It's idiotic to give a "miles per gallon" figure when you don't include the cost of producing the electricity you use to recharge the battery.

Boom... and he missed the target... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122420)

You're missing the point... it's not the money you can save that is the point... it's making us less dependent on oil.

This reminds me of tuner shops .... (2, Interesting)

Brigadier (12956) | about 9 years ago | (#12122261)


This reminds me of the tuner shops like shelby and such setting new standards for then detroit.
well with gas at $2.45 a gallon (southern cali) news like this is welcomed. I can't wait for the day when tuner shops specialize in modifying hybrids for longer range. the new ford cotsworth 80 mpg woot woot

Obligatory (1, Troll)

zerojoker (812874) | about 9 years ago | (#12122266)

How much is 65 to 100 miles per gallon in miles per litre?

Re:Obligatory (1)

MLopat (848735) | about 9 years ago | (#12122341)

1 US Gallon = 3.8 litres
1 mpg= 1 mile/3.8 litres
= 0.263 mile/litre
therefore
65 mpg = 17.1 miles/litre
or
3.6 litres per 100km which is the common measurement in Canada.

Google is your friend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122375)

17 [google.com] to 26 [google.com] miles per litre.

Re:Obligatory (1)

eyegor (148503) | about 9 years ago | (#12122382)

17.17 - 26.42 miles/litre

27.6 - 42.5 km / liter

If you really want to make your milage look good:
520 - 800 furlongs / gallon

Stoopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122267)

Doing it that way, they should have gotten infinite miles to the gallon. Of course they also, like always, fail to count the fuel burned to create the grid electricity in the first place, don't they.

About bloody time! (4, Interesting)

koreth (409849) | about 9 years ago | (#12122268)

The "no plug in" rule was always a big turnoff for me when I thought about whether my next car would be a Prius (or some other hybrid.) I have a bunch of solar cells on the roof of my house generating power, so during the summer, if I can plug my car in, it's like getting free fuel.

Well, okay, "free" in the sense that I've already paid for the solar setup -- but with oil prices rising, I suspect charging a car from my solar cells would make them pay for themselves a couple years ahead of schedule.

What they don't tell you (4, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 9 years ago | (#12122273)

I've RTFA, but what is missing is the real cost per mile of getting that 180 mpg, when the cost of the electricity is factored in. Electricity isn't free, and the efficency of the batteries to store it isn't that great either. So it would be important to give a break down in cost per mile, not MPG. Also, the articles do mention that it costs even more to outfit a hybred to be able to do this (along with the already premium cost of a hybred). So an even better figure would be cost per mile with these extra costs factored in over the expected life of the car and/or batteries.

And before the eco-kooks chime in that it's electric and so cleaner, it's not. The article point out that 60% of the country's electricity comes from burning dirtier coal. Much like hydrogen powered cars really just shift the polution to a very wasteful and poluting production of hydrogen away from the car, the plug in car talked about here may not be bringing any real benefit. We need real numbers to know if it is, and they are not given.

The benefit of that is... (4, Insightful)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 9 years ago | (#12122305)

"The article point out that 60% of the country's electricity comes from burning dirtier coal"

So? You have limited emissions to a very few sources, instead of having to worry about tens of thousands of catalytic converters and pollution control systems. It is a lot easier to deal with one or very few sources.

Re:The benefit of that is... (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 9 years ago | (#12122372)

It is a lot easier to deal with one or very few sources.

You just have to look at what the Bush administration and the EPA did to Mercury Emmision Regulations last month to see see that they are not dealing with it, or that their way of dealing with it is to say go ahead and polute the air. And the source of most of that mercury polution into the atmosphere is coal fired power plants.

Re:The benefit of that is... (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 9 years ago | (#12122407)

"You just have to look at what the Bush administration and the EPA did to Mercury Emmision Regulations last month to see see that they are not dealing with it"

So? The same guys are just not dealing with emissions from all those cars out there either. But when someome decides to do something about it, it is a lot easier to fix a few smokestacks than it is to fix a nationwide fleet of cars. The point remains: limiting the noxious emissions to a just a few points makes it easier to deal with.

Re:The benefit of that is... (3, Informative)

Xrikcus (207545) | about 9 years ago | (#12122376)

Not only fewer souces, but more efficient sources. Also sources running on a more plentiful fuel.

Re:What they don't tell you (0, Redundant)

dr_labrat (15478) | about 9 years ago | (#12122352)

Yeah, I know what you mean. And while we're at it: those damned new-fangled looms robbing people of their damned incomes.

Back in my days theys was called ground turkeys and they........ skgnkkkkkkk..nnnnnn.......zzzzzz

On the other hand... (3, Insightful)

lp-habu (734825) | about 9 years ago | (#12122276)

What is the cost of the energy required to charge the batteries?
What is the cost of disposing of the batteries once they have become unusable (which they will)?
How much additional energy (regardless of source) is consumed by hauling the substantial extra weight of the batteries?
Are the people who are doing this also pressing for more nuclear energy plants?

Re:On the other hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122378)

The local electric company charge 8c/KW for electricity. Compare that to regular unlead at $2.45 that's dirt cheap.

Now if we have more nuclear plants, the electricity cost can plumet down to 5c to 4c per KW

Possible (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | about 9 years ago | (#12122286)

It is completely possible that a modified Prius could sustain 180 MPG for more than a couple dozen miles. The more powerful the battery, the more the electric motor can help the car accelerate, which is what uses the most gas in the conventional motor. That way, the gas engine pretty much just powers the car while it is coasting, and those of you with newer cars with the "instantanious MPG readout" can attest that over 100 MPG can be attained for relatively long periods if you are crusing on a flat highway.

Plug in.... (5, Informative)

doormat (63648) | about 9 years ago | (#12122288)

In TFA, it said the price of adding plug-in tech was $3,000 to a hybrid vehicle. However, to recoup that $3,000 would require you to save about 1,300 gallons of gas (at 2.25/gal). If you were getting 50MPG, and bumped it up to 100MPG, you'd have to drive at least 130,000 miles to recoup it - and that doesnt even count the fact that you'd be spending money on electricity, that would only increase the amount of miles driven.

It can help in other ways, perhaps the power plant where you are getting the electricity from is cleaner burning (or nuclear) than your car, and it reduces overall air pollution.

Re:Plug in.... (1)

michaelhood (667393) | about 9 years ago | (#12122438)

perhaps the power plant where you are getting the electricity from is cleaner burning (or nuclear) than your car

But it's not.. from TFA, 60% of electricity produced in the US is generated by burning [much dirtier and more polluting] coal.

My car... (4, Funny)

jdreed1024 (443938) | about 9 years ago | (#12122299)

Obligatory Simpsons [snpp.com] Quote: "My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it!"

Re:My car... (2, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | about 9 years ago | (#12122436)

Does anyone else have a father who likes to tell the story about how Detroit's had cars that get 80 mpg since the late 1970s, but never release it for $CONSPIRACY_THEORY reasons? I remember randomly thinking about it one day, how all of a sudden I just didn't believe him, that it didnt make sense, and I think that was the first day I felt like an adult...

total energy cost (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122309)

Why are these people so ecstatic that they've reduced gasoline consumption at the pump? Electric power by and large comes from oil and coal. I wouldn't be surprised if the oil->electricity->car battery charging pathway through the wall socket consumes more total oil than the oil->gasoline->hybrid car pathway does.

Re:total energy cost (2, Insightful)

toybuilder (161045) | about 9 years ago | (#12122361)

True. But there is one advantage to plug-in cars -- as power plant efficiency at electric generators go up, the existing fleet of cars already on the road will all benefit from that improvement. Non plug-in cars, OTOH, is locked into the design's efficiency at the time or production.

The other beauty of electric propulsion is that for stop-and-go traffic in the city, the motor draws power only when it's in use. There's no idling at the stop light...

The market doesn't care about you. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122311)

Get over it. The market does not provide what you actually want and it doesn't provide things which are safe or effecient. It produces things which are effecient to the market and nothing else.

States need taxes from gas (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122331)

If this was adapted on a larger scale, it would cause revenue havoc for the states.

California is already suggesting taxing by the mile rather by the gallon as there revenue decreases from these energy efficient cars.

Maybe this is why they have the no plug in rule? It would be much more difficult to tax by the mile when you could charge up anywhere.

This doesn't help the environment, though. (2, Insightful)

ToshiroOC (805867) | about 9 years ago | (#12122344)

Even though these cars are using more electrical, they're still getting electricity from a grid largely powered by filthy coal and gas power plants, and through a system that's most likely less efficient than the car's internal power grid. They might be using less gasoline in the car, but in the grander scheme they're creating more pollution by making the power plants burn even more for them.

The Japanese are leaving us! (1, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about 9 years ago | (#12122345)

Yes, they are leaving us behind. When shall we hear of GMs, Chevys, Fords and other American companies making news as firsts in their respective fields? As our CEOs, CFOs and their cronies struggle with corruption allegations, the Japanese and Russians are slowly dominating us. One can hardly find an American music/video system now...next will be the automobile. We may fall just like the once great Romans did. Remember the Roman Empire?

Re:The Japanese are leaving us! (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 9 years ago | (#12122384)

Interesting. I think you plagiarized this post I found on Slashdot's archives from 1985:

"Yes, they are leaving us behind. When shall we hear of Magnavoxes, Philcos, and Penncrests and other American companies making news as firsts in their respective fields? As our CEOs, CFOs and their cronies struggle with corruption allegations, the Japanese and Taiwanese are slowly dominating us. One can hardly find an American television now system now...next will be the audio system. We may fall just like the once great Romans did. Remember the Roman Empire?"

I do remember the Roman Empire, actually. I found quite a few messages on it digging in slashdot's archives from A.D. 214.

Cost goes UP! (4, Interesting)

dlakelan (43245) | about 9 years ago | (#12122353)

At approximately 112000 BTU/gallon of gasoline [epa.gov] that's about 33kWh/gal. In California where the prices are about $0.12/kWh electric, it costs you about $4.00/gallon saved. With gas prices at about $2.40 in CA that's about $1.60 extra per gallon saved.

For those of you who say "fuel savings at any cost" consider that most of the california electricity is generated by burning natural gas, and that there are considerable losses involved in generating and transmitting the electricity.

Nothing to see here at the moment. Wait until the price of gas goes to $5.00 and then buy some solar panels to charge your car (or at least net-meter your electricity).

Re:Cost goes UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122432)

and that there are considerable losses involved in generating and transmitting the electricity.

Transmitting the electricity is inefficient?

You'll call it FUD... (1)

noerobert (868321) | about 9 years ago | (#12122379)

The 180 miles a gallon might help you economically, but the electricity costs alot enviomentally so if that is your motivation you arn't getting any real benifit, but if all you care about is money then i guess you luck out. Greedy Bastard.

On Discovery Channel last night.... (4, Interesting)

failedlogic (627314) | about 9 years ago | (#12122394)

I saw a French research company that is making cars run off of compressed air. Using a Carbon-fibre based compressed air canister, the PSI in the tank is about around 3500 or 3800. There is enough air in the tank to drive about 130 to 180 km @ 60 KM/H.

This is really interesting. The technology is out now. And, AFAIK, this form of transportation is emmissionless.

Just as a curiosity, though, why type of hybrid technologies do we have for *airplanes*. Our economy relies so heavily on planes that we need to find alternatives. IANA-Engineer, but I doubt a 747 would run on solar.

One for me, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12122427)

Now I know what's my next car is going to be... I'll order one on Monday.

Stop worrying and love the pebble-bed.... (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 9 years ago | (#12122435)

... Any talk about switching to either H2 or e- power for cars really depends on breaking thru the nuclear superstition barrier. We don't have 50 years to wait for fusion (hasn't practical fusion power been 50 years away for over 50 years?).

Then again, why even bother.. The Chinese will have PBRs and in 10 years, they'll own and operate GM and/or Ford anyway (after having bought them out of bankrupcy and smashed the UAW)...
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