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Zero-60 in 3.1 Seconds, Batteries Included

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-even-like-the-color dept.

Power 230

FloatsomNJetsom writes "Popular Mechanics has a very cool video and report about test-driving Hybrid Technologies' L1X-75, a battery powered, 600-hp, carbon-fiber roadster that pulls zero-60 in about 3.1 seconds, and tops out at 175 mph. Of course, there are few creature comforts inside, but that's mainly because the car's 200 mile range is meant for the track, not the road. Nonetheless, Popular Mechanics takes the car for a spin up 10th Avenue in NYC. Oh, and the car recharges via a 110 outlet. They also test-drove Ford's HySeries Edge, a hydrogen fuel-cell powered, plug-in series hybrid that, unlike the L1X-75, is unfortunately at least 10 years away from production and nearly 100 mph slower."

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Not bad at all. (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656451)

How would a bike version do? Existing litre bikes can manage around 2.5 seconds... Or is gravity the limiting factor here, I have hellish problems keeping my front wheel on the ground.

 

Re:Not bad at all. (2, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656469)

Wouldn't work - you can't get a good weight ratio on an electric bike with respect to overall performance. The batteries would be too heavy.

Re:Not bad at all. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656565)

Technically you don't get one with gasoline either, without sacrificing lots of range. If it's anything like a car, you'll find that electric bikes will get half the range of an equivalent car if you want to keep the weight and size reasonable. My SV650 gets 40-45mpg, but only has around a 150-180 mile range due to the scant 4.5 gallon tank.

Electric cars right now are topping out at around 150-200 miles at a form factor similar to gas cars, which means with the bikes if we keep that 50% of a car expectation... you're looking at only 75-100 miles *at best*. Try to get back to the mileage you get with a gas powered bike and yeah, you'll find the weight of the batteries becoming quite obscene. But the same would happen if you tried to make an electric car go as far as a gasoline powered car.

The bike (singular) is even faster (4, Interesting)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656535)

The Killacycle used to be powered by spiral-wound AGM cells, but the producer went out of business.

Since then, it was repowered with A123Systems' LiFePO4 cells. It now does 0-60 in 1.5 seconds [typepad.com] and the quarter mile in 8.16.

Electrics need not be slow, and their range is growing by leaps and bounds. The ICE has received its terminal diagnosis; the future is electric.

Faster than jumping out of a plane (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657085)

Cool, that's close to 2G acceleration.

18m/s^2

Re:Not bad at all. DISPENSE (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656623)

I have hellish problems keeping my front wheel on the ground.

Just dispense with the front wheel altogether and race a unicycle. All the weight over the wheel, and no way to lift it off.

Or put the wheels side-by-side Segway style.

Re:Not bad at all. DISPENSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656957)

Should I assume you're trying to be funny? I think I shall, because the alternative assumption, regarding your knowledge of physics, makes me want to cry crocodile tears.

Re:Not bad at all. DISPENSE (1, Funny)

Somnus (46089) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657267)

Two axes of stability is boring.
One axis of stability is fun.
Zero is .... adventurous.

ATTN: Windows/Linux refugees! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656945)

Still looking for the "maximize" button when your Mac has "zoom" [apple.com] instead? Take the hint, switcheurs: If you can't cope with seeing more than one window at a time, GTFO of our platform. The Mac wasn't designed for one-track minds.

quarter mile time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656455)

Why do car manufacturers always quote 0-60 time when quarter mile is what everyone really cares about?

Re:quarter mile time? (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656511)

It's useful to know when you'r racing away from a traffic light.

Re:quarter mile time? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656617)

> Why do car manufacturers always quote 0-60 time when quarter mile is what everyone really cares about?

Because you can play games with gearing and traction to get a good 0-60 time. But 1/4 mile trap speed is hard to fake, and trap speed (even more than 1/4 mile E/T) correlates with how fast a car "feels" to drive in the real world or on a racetrack.

My car does about 11.7-8 @ 124 mph in the 1/4. I can pick up half a second of E/T just by going to sticky tires, but improving my trap speed is much harder. I've driven cars that are "as fast" as mine when you look at 0-60, but they don't feel anywhere near as fast in practice. Yeah, they'll keep up from 0-60 by dumping their clutch at high RPM. But coming out of a 40 mph turn on a track into a long 150 mph straight, I will totally obliterate them.
b

Re:quarter mile time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656827)

Hi Alonso, didn't know you're on Slashdot as well!

Re:quarter mile time? (4, Interesting)

Bertie (87778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656723)

Actually I'd rather know how it does 30-70 in gear, as that's the kind of acceleration I actually need - getting up to speed for joining a motorway. Blasting away from the lights is strictly for boy racers, and how fast my car does it is of no practical value to me.

Re:quarter mile time? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657193)

I guess It won't be slow neither ... electric cars don't need to shift gears.

Re:quarter mile time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657275)

Let's see... 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds, top speed 175mph, 600bhp motor. I'd guess, just offhand, PRETTY GODDAMN QUICK. As in, way way quicker than whatever you drive now, unless you're "joining the motorway" in a Ferrari Enzo.

Not that you'll be "joining the motorway" in this electric car -- in case you didn't make it all the way throught the summary it's racetrack-only, which means it's "strictly for boy-racers" anyway.

American car companies (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656465)

Remember, American car companies are heavily invested in the big oil companies. Which is why we have had shit for gas mileage for so long. It has taken some serious market blow-back to even get the "big" automakers interested in addressing the major shortcomings of their engine designs. Even with that, they have succeeded in getting "laws" passed to bail them out once again. Meaning they are hoping to not have to make cars with efficient gas-mileage any time in the future. As for competition, they just get more laws passed to curb any such from imports. It is easy - like stealing candy from a baby - the way America car companies play the American people.

Expect tons of these prototypes, like usual. But nothing seriously worthwhile in production, ever.

Re:American car companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656539)

It's a conspiracy!!!! RUN ET RUN!!!!!!!!111111one1eleven

Re:American car companies (1)

mastershake82 (948396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656593)

This seems like conspiracy theory at best.

Although I have no factual information to back this up, I would assume that auto manufacturer's stand to profit far more from developing low cost fuel efficient engines than by stifling innovation to benefit oil companies who kick money back to them.

When you consider that the main concern of many company fleet purchases is mpg and it's also on many consumer car checklists, I would imagine that the market interest created by a low cost fuel efficient vehicle would overcome any perceived loss of profit from deals with oil companies.

Re:American car companies (1)

awfar (211405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656691)

Wow,

I would agree with your assessment on a normal market playing field. Auto manufacturers are no longer auto manufacturers; they are owned, run, influenced by holding corporations or corporations that influenced by many areas. Look and see where GM made most of its money in past years; not in making cars, but in the fincancing of cars; theirs or others. You know, make money on the razor blades, not the razor.

Another I watch is G.E. - they make nothing, directly, anymore. Good or bad company? I'm not sure.

I also have no factual information to back this up, so maybe we need to verify this ourselves.

Re:American car companies (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656639)

So how come I can buy a Civic or a Yaris? Are they not fuel efficient? Is Toyata an American auto company now? They sell a damn lot of cars in the US.

Re:American car companies (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656719)

There is no such thing as an "American" auto company anymore. There hasn't been for a long time. They are all internationally owned.

Re:American car companies (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656807)

I don't know, the big institutional holders of Ford are vaguely American:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=F [yahoo.com]

but they certainly aren't only American, if that's what it takes.

Re:American car companies (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657323)

The entanglements are too much for me to handle. I'll have to accept your premise unless someone points out how much foreign investment there is in those institutions. Anyway I shouldn't really care where the car comes from. I just want a good one. On the subject of your original question, I thought that GM has a big chunk of Toyota, and they do have some factories in the US.

Re:American car companies (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657637)

Based on this:

http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/ir/stock/outline.html [toyota.co.jp]

if GM owns any of Toyota, they own less than 60 million shares(which is ~1.6%), or do it very indirectly. I wasn't under the impression that the companies had any relationship at all. Err, that is, I was under the impression that they were separate(except maybe for some research programs or whatever, but their operations are separate).

My original reply was because somebody had modded up the post, so it seemed worth throwing in some dissent, but not worth going to extreme lengths to do it. I have to agree about the entanglements being a bit of a chore and barely worth looking into, and that it doesn't really matter where a car gets made(or really, who owns the factory).

Does this surprise anyone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656491)

We are talking about an electrical motor here. From the time that you push the pedal to the time that torque is applied should only be on the order of nanoseconds. If you want to decrease the 0-60 time you could make the electrical engine as large as you want and put tons of batteries in parallel so that a current surge doesn't kill cause the batteries' internal resistance to spike decreasing current (though at a certain point you will no longer have traction unless you increase the weight of the car--which will slow your acceleration time down).

Doesn't work, refer back to Newton, Faraday et al (4, Informative)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657273)

No, you can't. You are talking utter nonsense, I'm afraid. First, you have to control all that current. It's no good having a huge knife switch with on and off positions. The arcing will destroy it instantly. You need a lot of control electronics to manage the power to the large brushless motor you will need, and you will need big gears and shafts to handle the torque. This adds weight, and also adds the need for ever more advanced cooling technology.

You also have to accelerate the batteries as well as the rest of the vehicle, and of course the more batteries you have, the greater the mass to be accelerated. In fact, it doesn't take a genius to see that once you reach a certain size the weight of the driver is hardly a factor and any increase in power will scale precisely with increase in mass, and hence acceleration will rapidly asymptote to a nearly constant value.

The only way you can really improve this is to either produce batteries and control electronics which can produce more power for a given mass, or improve the efficiency of the drive chain significantly. Modern brushless motors and FET controllers are better than the old systems but there is not a lot more to gain. Battery technology - minimising internal resistance, developing polarisation free chemistry, finding completely reversible cycles that can handle high oxidation rates - is the key to producing high acceleration electrical vehicles.

Unfortunately, such are engineering tradeoffs that long life and high discharge rate rarely go together, and these experimental vehicles seem largely to be about either getting publicity or bragging rights. One thing is certain: factor in the battery manufacture and recycling costs, and they are no solution to global warming. I believe there is a claim that, when total life cost is taken into account, even some small SUVs are actually lower energy impact than a Toyota Prius.

Re:Doesn't work, refer back to Newton, Faraday et (2, Informative)

Talchas (954795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657437)

I'm pretty sure that last time that SUVs are better than a Prius thing came up here, many people did a very good (and reasoned) job of smashing the claims to really little pieces.

Wrong. (4, Informative)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657543)

when total life cost is taken into account, even some small SUVs are actually lower energy impact than a Toyota Prius.


I've seen this claim before. If this is "for certain", then I suppose it should be easy for you to produce some actual evidence to back it up. And please, don't bother linking to this [cnwmr.com] discredited [autobloggreen.com] study.

Re:Does this surprise anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657697)

Is it possible you could make that last sentence a little shorter because it makes it much tougher to read when you keep running on about decreasing 0-60 time by making the engine really large and then you talk about adding tons of batteries in parallel and then you blab some more and then add more blather about internal resistance and then you start talking about traction and then some more about weight leading up to your mention of slower acceleration.

If you want, there are some really good grammar and punctuation primers on Digg. Or just keep typing like an idiot. Your choice.

Wrightspeed X1 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656515)

The Wrightspeed X1 goes from 0-60mph in 3.07 secs... Not much faster but certainly a cooler looking car. Not to mention that the X1 HAS turn signals..

More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrightspeed_X1 [wikipedia.org] and http://www.wrightspeed.com/x1.html [wrightspeed.com]

Re:Wrightspeed X1 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656933)

Not to mention that the X1 HAS turn signals..
Only because the Aerial Atom (on which it is based) has them. Unfortunately it doesn't actually have any bodywork to speak of. If A Lotus Elise is "hardcore" and a Caterham is "bonkers", then the Atom is some way the other side of "bonkers".

More like concept car (1)

glorpy (527947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656525)

10+ years until production makes this a concept car, which is about as much as we can expect from American car manufacturers trying to make energy efficient vehicles.

Some concepts are closer to reality (2, Informative)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656561)

The performance isn't quite as good, but Tesla Motors was already taking orders last year.

Re:Some concepts are closer to reality (2, Informative)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656863)

As is Commuter Cars [commutercars.com] .

Re:Some concepts are closer to reality (1)

rgbscan (321794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657051)

I linked to this elsewhere, but Phoenix Motorcars [phoenixmotorcars.com] is as well (for fleet sales).

Few creature comforts... (1)

writermike (57327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656533)

Of course, there are few creature comforts inside
The high-G force helps add to the notion of "few creature comforts." ;-)

Re:Few creature comforts... (2, Informative)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657259)

The high-G force helps add to the notion of "few creature comforts." ;-)

Actually, it's only 0.88g. Which is still a LOT for acceleration in a car, but nothing like the 6-10g that people can handle momentarily before they start to black out.

Re:Few creature comforts... (1)

writermike (57327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657601)

The high-G force helps add to the notion of "few creature comforts." ;-)


Actually, it's only 0.88g. Which is still a LOT for acceleration in a
car, but nothing like the 6-10g that people can handle momentarily before
they start to black out.

Good point. Thanks. But I think that at that g, I would fart a bit too easily. ;-)

I'm guessing not a family car.. (1)

cb_is_cool (1084665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656541)

Because of it's nature, this type of car would have to be made out of very lightweight materials, and even then, panels as thin as possible. Seeing that the majority of car sells are in the sedan/family models, it wouldn't be reasonable for auto manufacturers to market and produce a car like this - that won't be very safe and crash survivable - on a large scale.

Re:I'm guessing not a family car.. (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656699)

Because of it's nature, this type of car would have to be made out of very lightweight materials, and even then, panels as thin as possible. Seeing that the majority of car sells are in the sedan/family models, it wouldn't be reasonable for auto manufacturers to market and produce a car like this - that won't be very safe and crash survivable - on a large scale.
Lightweight materials (like carbon fiber) allow you to built very strong frames.
The only catch is that it is very expensive.

Price, not strength, is the reason you won't be seeing a carbon fiber sedan.

Re:I'm guessing not a family car.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657635)

Price, not strength, is the reason you won't be seeing a carbon fiber sedan.

There are other factors: carbon fiber is brittle. In a collision, carbon fiber tends to break and not absorb a lot of energy. Steel is far safer for the occupants. Afterwards, carbon fiber is nearly impossible to repair.

Re:I'm guessing not a family car.. (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657305)

Well, since it's a two-seat roadster, no, it's not a family car. But there's no reason light cars can't be safe - people regularly walk away from 150mph crashes in F1 cars.

Long Way Away (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656575)

It's pretty awesome, I'll grant you that, but it'll be expensive to gear up production on this thing (not to mention sell it - I couldn't see any speculation on price in TFA, but I imagine it won't be cheap). I don't see this being sold in any halfway-large volumes until at least after the other side of peak oil. Until then, it's a nice toy, but it doesn't make any econmic sense.

Re:Long Way Away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656839)

True enough, here's hoping the zap-x can do it though (60k is still a bit much, but the car's range, and uber fast 110v recharge time = realistic :( )

Re:Long Way Away (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657347)

I don't see this being sold in any halfway-large volumes until at least after the other side of peak oil. Until then, it's a nice toy, but it doesn't make any econmic sense.
Yeah, just look at Tesla Roadster [teslamotors.com] . It's the same miserable failure. Like, they sold they production for 2007 in 4 months. If this thing costs less than $100k, it will have dramatic success.

How about the rest of the story? (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656599)

Oh, and the car recharges via a 110 outlet.

Yes, and in how many days to pass that much energy back into your car. Not exactly a candidate for a quick pit stop, unless they can swap the entire battery pack in 10 seconds.

Re:How about the rest of the story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656677)

The Car Gets most of its charge in 4 to 5 hours. To get the final 10% of the battery charged (like all Li-Ion Batteries) you have to slow down the current. But charging a Li-ion past 90% reduces its calender life.

Re:How about the rest of the story? (4, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657433)

Well... If you are rich enough to buy a six figured electric car, might as well buy two.

electric (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656633)

There's a reason the TGV is electric

Make electric cars cool (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656659)

Wired had an article a couple of years back about a guy that was making electric race cars. His whole philosophy was that to sell electric cars, you have to make them cool.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.03/drag_pr.ht ml [wired.com]

Re:Make electric cars cool (2, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656967)

They never sound right so it will never be cool enough.

Re:Make electric cars cool (3, Interesting)

rossifer (581396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657511)

They never sound right so it will never be cool enough.
I think silence and/or natural noises (wind noise) are pretty damned cool. But then, I prefer sailboats over motor boats, vibrating phones over polyphonic ring tones, opening the window over central heating/AC, backpacking over theme parks, reading over television...

So, I'm a wierdo. But I did manage to find a wife who agrees with me on noise, so I'm not alone, just outnumbered.

Less glibly: I would love to be able to eliminate my motorcycle tailpipe and make it completely silent. I've heard that this would make me less safe, but I've noticed that when driving, I've never heard a motorcycle coming up behind me. Even the ones with loud pipes.

Regards,
Ross

Re:Make electric cars cool (1)

mandos (8379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657097)

Funny enough gas cars weren't popular alternatives to carriages when they first came out. Henry Ford got his start making race cars. I wonder if the Tesla Motors folks are hoping to do the same with electric vs. gas as Ford did with gas vs. horse. Regardless, electric cars are gaining momentum these days (pun intended). (Also, it seems odd that we're still measuring electric motor power in "horse power".)

It's all about continuity and safety (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656707)

Ben from Popular Mechanics, before taking the test drive, says he's going to "hand the mic over and take this thing for a spin". The next shot is of him driving with the microphone. Hahahah Both key factors continuity and safety are thrown completely out the window so to speak.

Global Warming (1, Insightful)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656735)

I've heard that electricity generation produces more carbon pollution than combustion engine technology. So is this a productive application of technology?

Yeah, hydro dams do that (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656789)

It is caused by the water dropping down, releases ton of carbons. As for wind power, those blades are made of carbon and they just evaporate in the sun. Nasty stuff.

When will people finally get it into their head that the move to electric/hydrogen cars means that you break the direct link between your source of energy, and the energy to put in a moving vehicle?

A wind powered car would be inconvenient, by an electric car whose electricity comes from windpower isn't.

A country like greenland could use geothermal energy to create hydrogen and ship it to the rest of the world.

But yeah, some power plants currently use carbon based fuels, so electricity causes carbon pollution. We wouldn't want to confuse you.

Re:Yeah, hydro dams do that (2, Informative)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656961)

If by "some power plants" you mean "the vast, vast majority", then yes some power plants use carbon fuels like coal.

Your response was rude and hardly very enlightening.

Re:Yeah, hydro dams do that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657355)

You seem to know a lot about energy production. I find it incredible that you haven't been exposed to the well-trodden arguments surrounding this issue such that you need to raise it in this /. discussion.

Why is this red herring moderated up? (4, Interesting)

guidryp (702488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657629)

He makes a clear point. Electric cars break the tie to any single fuel type. That means at any point the generation is cleaned up by adding renewables/nuclear even old electric on the road benefit.

You concentrate on the worse case scenario without even looking into it. You can look up carbon content per megajoule of energy today and do the comparison numbers.

You will still produce much less net emissions by using an electric car because of it's much higher efficiency.

Under no circumstance is an electric car producing more net emissions. This long tailpipe argument is an old unsupported red herring.

Re:Global Warming (3, Insightful)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656793)

That depends on how your power is generated. In Manitoba, we're mostly hydro electric, so the only bi-product is flooding behind the damn. If your in places that use coal, oil, gas, or any other carbon fuel to generate electricity then you will have this issue. But using renewable energy such as hydro electric, geothermal, nuclear, only product heat.

Mod parent -1 troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656799)

This argument is well debunked in every electric car discussion everywhere. parent is obviously trying to ignite that.

Re: Global Warming (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656809)

So is this a productive application of technology?

Without digging into the production details and uncovering the carbon footprint, there is no way to know - my guess...not by any means, or they would have mentioned it.

Wrong. (4, Informative)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656899)

When considering the full energy cycle of ICE cars vs EV's, EV's are more efficient by a fairly significant amount.

REFERENCE: http://www.evadc.org/pwrplnt.pdf [evadc.org]

Tesla (2, Informative)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656763)

The Tesla [teslamotors.com] that appeared in the last IEEE spectrum issue is also a nice looking car with also good specs when compared to this one.

* ~t3h PeNgU1N oF d00m~* (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656785)

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Re:* ~t3h PeNgU1N oF d00m~* (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656803)

Glad you passed through friend, but don't let the door hit you on the way out ...

More info (4, Informative)

laing (303349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656787)

Some real specifications are here [hybridtechnologies.com] . It's not quite as fast as PM is claminig and it has only half the range.
No price mentioned other than "six figures".

What is the point? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18656837)

Every so often a story pops up like this and I find myself scratching my head. Considering that, in most areas in the world, there are speed limits of some sort, what is the point of having a car that can go 175mph or get to 60 in 3secs -if you can't ever use it-?

Even in places like Germany (i.e., Autobahn), drivers tend not to drive at top speeds, either due to being responsible/safety conscious or, lacking that, because they simply won't be able to (due to other drivers who aren't driving as fast.) Unless you're driving at a racing track for the day, I don't see many places where you could fully take advantage of the car.

It's similar to the people I see driving around London in their Ferraris. Yes, of course, Ferrari make some lovely cars, but when the speed limit is 20mph and you're constantly stuck in traffic, what is the point? I mean, seriously, my bicycle is quicker!

Re:What is the point? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657039)

anything you say, nancyboy.....

I don't live where there's bumper to bumper traffic.......which incidentally is the real reason for smog; too many lemmings living in one small area.

I also have the balls to let her rip on more isolated areas......

If you like wasting your breath, you can sound like a poindexter and tell me how I shouldn't ever break the law.....then go back to ironing your underwear into a perfect square that takes a easily divisible portion of the drawer you put them in.

Brushless motors have pretty much unlimited power (4, Insightful)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656853)

With electric cars, the h.p. rating it typically limited to overheating the motor. As opposed to a motor with brushes, a brushless motor can take as many amp as you will as long as it does not overheat. That means a lot if you only want to accelerate for a few seconds. The same goes for the control electronics and batteries.

So while you may have 600hp to accelerate, you may only have 50hp of continuous power. This may be exactly what you want in a car, but the term may be somewhat meaningless.

Instead of a gas engines power/torque curve vs rpm, a power curve vs time would give us this information.

When? (2, Insightful)

sithkhan (536425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656875)

When will we be allowed to build a sufficient number of nuclear reactors to power these vehicles? I enjoy the feel of my internal combustion engine, but for the efficiency of nuclear power for electricity, I'm ready to switch.

Free the atoms! Free the atoms!!
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Re:When? (1)

wonkobeeblebrox (983151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656989)

> When will we be allowed to build a sufficient number of nuclear reactors to
> power these vehicles? I enjoy the feel of my internal combustion engine,
> but for the efficiency of nuclear power for electricity, I'm ready to switch.

I'm pleased to hear that you are ready to switch.

What's needed is for you (and others) to contact car manufacturers and _ask_ for this capability. I have. Here's a link to enable you do just that:
[pluginpartners.com] http://pluginpartners.com/whatYouCanDo/onlinePetit ion.cfm [pluginpartners.com]

As for the comment about nuclear power.... yes, generating nuclear power itself is "cleaner" than some alternatives like coal, but... did you ever think how much pollution and destruction comes about and is emitted from the mining all of that uranium?

On the bright side, a lot of the power needed for everyone to have electric, recharging cars is already in our electric system-- just have your car charge up at night while you (like most of us) sleep...

Re:When? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657321)

Did you ever think of how much pollution and destruction comes from mining all that coal?

MSRP? (3, Interesting)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18656889)

When I can buy one of these for under $40K, call me. Until then, this is a neat idea which requires much more development before anyone will be interested.

I'm all for green power, green transport, et. al. But if it costs me more than my house, what's the point? Nobody will buy it because nobody can afford it, good intentions or not.

Now if all automakers would suddenly convert over to pure carbon-fiber bodies, CF production costs would (eventually) plummet to the point where it's the same cost (or cheaper) than steel. But that's not likely to happen anytime soon.

Re:MSRP? (1)

rgbscan (321794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657025)

Check out phoenix motors. The SUV and truck are estimated to retail for $45k once they roll out to the general public.

Link: Phoenix Motorcars [phoenixmotorcars.com]

Re:MSRP? (2, Insightful)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657649)

Sometimes conquering a specific 5% of total users means selling way more than 5% of the total market value. This is very clear on the beer market, I'm not sure about the automotive business. What I do know is that F1 racing has an impact on what may turn up on production cars some years later. If a company delivers an electric car that has extra performance compared to the usual suspects in the high-performance segment: Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW... they have a chance to get the attention of the people who are more willing to invest in bringing the tech to other market segments. Besides, all high performance vehicles put together might have a larger impact on emissions than a lot of regular cars. Selling these cars for more than what a house costs may be a first step in a desirable direction.

Ford Hybrid (3, Insightful)

drix (4602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657011)

Ten years from production don't mean shit when your company is three years from oblivion.

what a maroon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657171)

You actually think Ford is going to dissolve? Did you also think Delta, AA, and USAir weren't going to be around by now?

Re:Ford Hybrid (1)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657393)

You really believe that Ford will actually disappear? If things get bad enough for them, somebody will buy them, or the Feds will bail them out. Simply put, domestically owned domestic automobile production is a defense asset, and I don't believe the government will allow either Ford or GM to collapse.

If I were Toyota, I'd be cutting back US sales, because if things get bad enough for GM and Ford, both the unions AND the money will be lobbying for tariffs and other protective measures. And don't think Toyota's American plants will protect them, either. They will find a way to hit them. That is a risk you take when doing business on your competitor's home turf.

Re:Ford Hybrid (2, Interesting)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657507)

Ford as a nameplate will always be around, but the company/with factories will not. They've screwed the pooch, along with all the other auto execs in Detroit. They believed their own PR about the world never changing from big gas-fueled hot rods, and now they are toast. Chrysler is the first to go on the chopping block. There is no recovery plan, as they *have no cars* the new world market demands -- electric, non-polluting, cheap, very low margin. They still want to make Americamobiles. Their only chance is a government that wants to bail them out -- not impossible, considering the clout they wield over elections.

Re:Ford Hybrid (1)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657773)

While it is a remote possibility that Ford's car factories could be shuttered permanently, I find it unlikely that their truck factories (which DO produce an excellent product) will be closed, even if Ford was purchased. Chrysler is already dead. That Diamler-Chrysler "merger" was the death of the company, they are now just a nameplate to be bought and sold. Ford can still turn the trainwreck around. They do still make the occasional shocker, look at the initial sales of the Focus and the Fusion. Ford's problem is that it is a quirky company with no memory. They quickly forget their mistakes, and are easily distracted. Perhaps their resurrection of the Taurus name suggests that Mullaly is changing this mentality, perhaps not. Realistically, Ford NEEDS to come out with the next bestselling CAR. They still hold the truck market, and that is all that is keeping them alive right now, albeit on life-support. They NEED to gamble, like they did in the 80's with the original Taurus.

The fall of these companies is necessary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657651)

Until they falter, they can't break the unions.

When the unions are gone, they can do whatever they want. Unions hurt their profitability.

Watch and see. This whole process is to break the unions.

Re:Ford Hybrid (1)

drix (4602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657743)

No, I don't think Ford will disappear. 100 years' worth of brand equity is certainly worth something, even if the last 30 are synonymous with ugliness, unreliability and inefficiency. Someone--Toyota?--will come snap them up in a few year's time, scrap the entire product line, and sell rebadged versions of their own products--a foreign car in disguise. In fact I've heard rumors that Toyota is absolutely champing at the bit to do this, because it would remove the last major hurdle for a lot people to buying a Toyota.

But the Ford as know it is a dead duck, as is US auto production in general. American deindustrialization is a trend that will carry forward as far into the future as you care to look. If you really believe politics can stand in the way of that, ask yourself how we got to where we are today, when 60 years ago Americans produced nearly every car in existence, Union membership was probably 6x (at least three [trinity.edu] ) as high as it is today, and UAW was one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington. Efficiency, capitalism, big business and money run the show in this country, and together they demand that our autos be made somewhere where the reservation wage is a lot, lot lower than Ohio or Michigan. And I also question the political feasibility of a protective tariff anyways, when half the cars we buy [automotivedigest.com] are made overseas. Also, the US is already on record with the WTO as opposing tariffs on auto parts when China tried to do just that.

Your point about homeland security is well taken, but really, how tenuous are our trade relations with Asia (excepting China)? How much does this impact homeland security preparations? Whatever the case, I still don't see this issue standing in the way of the triumphant march of the almighty buck.

batteries included? (1)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657067)

... so the batteries were accellerated to 60 mph *together* with the car?

Aha. I deduce that we are not dealing with trolley car in this particular case.

And? (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657069)

It's old news (Wow bet you are suprised! ;) ). It isn't the first, and any car that weighs in under 1200 kilos and has 600 HP damned well better pull that kind of time. The Electric Ariel Atom smokes this car. Of course the Ariel Atom pulls sub-3 second 0-60 times (2.8) with a mere 300HP motor. And yes again the key factor is weight: It weighs in at just under half the weight of this car - about 500 kilos. The electric one pulls 3 seconds in the 60 and weighs in at about 700 kilos. The fact that the two variants of the Atom are so close in performance is testament to the impact of the vehicle's weight on the performance of the vehicle more so than power source.

I don't car what your power source is. If you have a car priced at $125,000 with 600HP of power that weighs a mere 1200 kilos you better pull times like this. Otherwise go back to the drawing board. The Corvette Z06 weighs in at a hefty 3100 pounds, has 500 less HP and pulls 0-60 times of 3.2-3.8 with 3.5 being the official result.

Drag racing, especially 0-60 times, is all about power to weight. Source is irrelevant outside of that.

Re:And? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657329)

Well, traction also plays a role in acceleration times. But the reason this is notable is that it demonstrates that electric cars can achieve the same sort of power-to-weight ratios as gas.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657383)

Corvette's have 500 HP less than 600? THe only "vette" car i can think of that has 100 HP and can go 0-60 in less than 3.5 seconds is a Chevette shoved off of a cliff... ;-)

Re:And? (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657513)

If you have a car priced at $125,000 with 600HP of power that weighs a mere 1200 kilos you better pull times like this. Otherwise go back to the drawing board. The Corvette Z06 weighs in at a hefty 3100 pounds, has 500 less HP and pulls 0-60 times of 3.2-3.8 with 3.5 being the official result.

the corvette does all that with only 100HP? that's amazing.

Context please (1)

K8Fan (37875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657089)

For those of us who are not total gearheads, how is 3.1 seconds for 0 to 60 compared to internal combustion engines? Anyone have a chart of 0 to 60 times for Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and various types of race cars?

some context (3, Informative)

hc5duke (930493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657241)

  • Ford Mustang GT = 4.9 seconds ($30k)
  • Chevy Corvette Z06 = 3.4 seconds ($70k)
  • Lambo Murciélago LP640 = 3.3 seconds ($300k)
  • Enzo Ferrari = 3.14 seconds ($650k)
  • Bugatti Veyron = 2.46 seconds ($1.5MM)

The Veyron is the so-called "most expensive production car", so 3.1 seconds would be considered very good. All speed numbers from Wikipedia. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject -- so you know you are getting the best possible information.

Re:Context please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657555)

I have spent a lot of time at the track, and not once seen a Ferrari or Lamborghini. So I don't see how that would put it into context for you. Although the other reply includes cars that you're more likely to see.

ELECTRICAL VERSION-----RECHARGE? (1)

jattpunjabi (1085103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657101)

yo !! this is really cool/.,,/ The elctric version will soon come for almost everything/,../,.the eco-freindly way/./.But what about the recharge?????? how much does it take to recharge that exotic car????? and how long does each full recharge remains in the car??? but anyways/,,./this is really cool,./,i can't wait to test drive one?>>?/,./,

Re:ELECTRICAL VERSION-----RECHARGE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18657795)

.,.//.?YEAH/../././.,?//!!1?mE TOO!?213/..3,..,./,../,

GT1 car (1)

Precio-Venta (1083349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657145)

This car seems a GT1 car.

GM EV1 vs 300zx (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657183)

I saw this on Discovery Channel years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tYgqq3zvlQ [youtube.com]

More recently... (1)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657359)

Check out the videos [plasmaboyracing.com] on the White Zombie EV drag racer site.

Comparison Charts (1)

DarkLegacy (1027316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657255)

Internal combustion charts Ferrari 575M Maranello (not fastest but don't have the booklet) - 4.0 Seconds Fastest Porsche : 911 Turbo (480hp /40torque) - 3.7 seconds on manual / 3.4 seconds on Tiptronic S. Fastest BMW : M6 Coupe (500hp/383torque) - 4.5 Seconds Fastest Lexus : GS450H (340hp/torquenotlisted) - 5.2 seconds *All figures taken from respective manufacturer's product catalogs that were handed out at the Manhattan 2007 Car Show on April 6th. 0 - 60 in 3.1 seconds for an electric car is pretty damn impressive.

Why no Solar Cells? (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657715)

One thing thats been bothering me for a while, is every electric car or hybrid I've seen lacks solar panels. To me that makes perfect sense, quick charge battery's have a short life as well as being as it being difficult to find a charge point and cars like the above use standard connections but obviously the charge time is long enough to be annoying.
I know solar cells have a dubious enviromental advantage but a small set on a spoiler or on the roof (silicon or the new type which is less efficent) would provide a constant small charge during the day, I know most car journeys seem to be work runs or school trips where the car spends a great deal of time inactive. I know that you can buy portable solar cells like the following http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=96902 &criteria=solar%20cells&doy=8m4 [maplin.co.uk] ass you place three of those on a spoiler thats a steady stream of 54watts to charge your motors and is effectivily 'free' energy, adding something like that as an optional extra and I'm sure it would pay for itself in added range/costs over the lifetime of the car.

I don't get it. (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18657781)

I never understood why people watch the 0-60 timing and top speed of a car. On the road, what you need is a stable, safe, efficient vehicle.

Noone really want to go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and reach 175mph, unless they're looking to die, and do it as fast as possible.

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