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 Post subject: Super Efficient Cars [very large pictures]
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:52 am 
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Greetings,

I've been watching for super-high efficiency cars, and they are starting to emerge. This first one is called Aptera, and you'll need to forget any preconceptions you may have about cars:
Image
(Click on this image to get to the Wikipedia entry)
Let me cut to the chase: this two person car gets a claimed 233MPG !!! :shock: :o :twisted:
Image
(click on this image to get the the Aptera web site)
It will be available next October(ish) in two versions: an all-electric with a 120 mile range, and a version where they shrink the battery pack a little, and add a gasoline powered generator (12kV) to recharge the batteries on the fly. It seats two, weighs ~850lbs, has a drag coefficient of 0.11 which is outstanding. They claim it is very crashworthy (borrowing F1 techniques) and it has a 45" frontal crush zone. It has available side airbags, GPS/computer, three camera/screen rear view system, and a solar PV climate control system, that can run even when the car is off. Oh, and it does 0-69mph in about 10 seconds, which is pretty typical for most cars.

The loaded all-electric version is ~27K, and the loaded hybrid version is ~30K.

Some more pictures of the Aptera:
http://www.autobloggreen.com/photos/aptera/422170/
http://www.autobloggreen.com/photos/aptera/422168/
Image

Pretty amazing.

Here's a different car -- much more conventional (or is it?).
Image
Loremo's site
Hmmm...this is different...
Image
Image

A bunch more:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/loremo/tags/car/

The Loremo seats four, weighs ~1,320lbs (600kg) and it will come in two versions initially: a 157mpg version that has a 20HP turbo diesel, and a 85mpg version with a 50HP turbo diesel. They plan on either an all-electric and/or a hybrid, as well. The target price is under 15,000euro and by 2010 at the latest.

Here's new-but-familiar face; the VW space up! blue:

Image
(click on picture for link)
http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/16/is-the-vw-space-up-interface-developed-by-apple/
Image
(click on picture for link)
This is a hydrogen/electric hybrid concept car -- it has a hydrogen fuel cell and batteries, with electric drive, weighs 1,090 pounds, and some PV solar cells on the roof. Kewl!

Here's another very interesting concept car, from Toyota called the 1/X:
Image
(click on picture above for link)
Image
(click on picture above for link)
Image

It has a 926-pound curb weight (420 kilograms -- about one third the weight of the Prius), gets 125mpg, and seats four -- what's not to like?!

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:01 am, edited 13 times in total.

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 Post subject: Good find
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:39 pm 
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I'm waiting for the BMW 123d to be brought over to the states. I'll be happy with a 50MPG 4-cylinder diesel with RWD, a manual transmission and 290ft/lbs of torque. All those cars are interesting, but don't look to be terribly involving from a driver standpoint. However, they get one thing right - light weight!

-D

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 Post subject: Re: Super Efficient Cars [large pictures]
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Hello,
NeilBlanchard wrote:
an all-electric

NeilBlanchard wrote:
this two person car gets a claimed 233MPG !!! :shock: :o :twisted:


Gallons of electrons? :lol:

Sorry had to make that one.

I think it's pretty cool looking. Far from my typical preferred aesthetics in cars, I would like to drive one just for the looks it would attract. Is it street legal?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:12 pm 
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Great post Neil,

The first one looks like an aeroplane without the wings to me and it’s pretty nice actually, though I don’t think I would test cornering with it whilst in flight mode. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:15 pm 
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i've always wondered... why don't they use a diesel motor in hybrid cars? wouldn't you get way more out of that than one that uses gas?

re: loremo
20hp seems a LOT more sensible for moving a few people around, than the current standards...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:47 pm 
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mr. poopyhead wrote:
20hp seems a LOT more sensible for moving a few people around, than the current standards...
20hp seems a lot more sensible if you want to wait 20 minutes turning into a busy street.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:57 pm 
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20HP I've seen go karts with more than that :lol:

But seriously there is some cool concepts here. I really dig the first and 2nd ones you posted. First one I think tries a little too hard to look like a spaceship. Also, it appears that there is no suspension in that car? Could just be seeing it wrong.

As for the BWM, I don't think it's coming to America w/ a diesel is it? Something about our prohibitive environmental / low sulfur standards here.

EDIT: wow, I'm really excited about the Aptera. The design is really great. I hope something like this really pans out. I'd love to say "SUCK IT!" to OPEC, in a manner of speaking. Just think what this could do for peace and foreign policy, economic growth. Since we already get much of our oil from Canada and Mexico, we could totally forget about the middle east.

Also with the low coefficient of drag, low weight, an no noisey engine and the right materials, this thing could be nearly silent while cruising at 55mph. Imagine being able to have a decent conversation at normal volumes... or even listen to music w/o having to crank it. It's like an SPCR wet dream. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:33 pm 
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Hello,

There are two versions of the Aptera: one is all-electric (plugin) that has a range of 120 miles -- though if they use the new 10X more powerful lithium ion batteries, that should go up to over 1,000 miles. The other is a serial hybrid (where the engine charges the batteries, and the electric motor pushes the car). This is the one that is rated at 233mpg. They have been doing testing for the X-Prize, and on the 100 mile cycle, it got about 340mpg!

They were going to do a diesel in the Aptera, but it could not be made to meet the California emissions standard, so they are using a small gasoline motor.

The Loremo is also going to have two models: a 20HP turbo diesel that gets 157mpg, and a 50HP turbo diesel that gets 85mpg. This can also burn biodiesel, and they are planning hybrid models as well.

The cornering stability of the Aptera is my biggest concern, as well -- the front wheels are fairly far apart, and it is fairly long, too -- check out the pictures on their site.

The Aptera definitely has suspension: the struts move and the springs and shocks are inboard, and the rear wheel is on a swing arm -- again check the pictures and videos on the Aptera web site. They are planning on starting production in October 2008 -- later this year. And it is street legal -- it is classified as a motorcycle, because it has three wheels.

I think the Toyota 1/X has a lot of potential, too -- 926 pounds is amazing.

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:40 pm 
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Quote:
i've always wondered... why don't they use a diesel motor in hybrid cars? wouldn't you get way more out of that than one that uses gas?


problem is diesel engines already carry a weight/price penalty, if you add in a hybrid system you add more weight and increase the cost (a lot) without gaining substantially better fuel consumption (law of diminishing returns). some efficient diesels in europe already have better CO2 numbers than the Prius. that said, Peugeot are developing a hybrid version of the 308 TDi, imaginatively named the Hybride.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Greetings,

Actually diesels are about 20% more efficient than a gasoline engine -- the combustion process is better and the fuel has more energy in it, too. They do have a weigh disadvantage, because the stresses are higher because of the higher compression, but this is not a deal-buster, I don't think.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:59 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
And it is street legal -- it is classified as a motorcycle, because it has three wheels.

I think the Toyota 1/X has a lot of potential, too -- 926 pounds is amazing.


I wonder how it would be done in Germany then. Here you have to make an extra motorcycle license, costing about 1000€, in order to drive a motorcycle.

I was just kidding about the gallons of electrons, I saw there were 2 models. I assume the electric one would be more efficient (assuming you can compare electric and hybrids) than the other model, but it may be hard to say.

926 pounds is insane! I read 926kilos and though, wow awesome, that's lotus elise weight.
But 926 pounds?!? That is a bit concerning, wonder how strong the body is in a crash.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:34 pm 
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Sorry, but IMO except for the Volkswagen these are ugly as hell. And this is coming from a guy who liked the 1998 Fiat Multipla.

It's definitely a step in the right direction though, unlike this week's announcement of a 6.1 L-engined Dodge Challenger.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:24 pm 
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We'de all be driving eco-friendly hydrocarbon free cars by now if the auto companies, oil companies and a few well placed politicians hadn't castrated the California Clean Air law and gave GM the wedge to withdraw and stop upgrading the EV-1. Other car companies are equally culpable.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:21 am 
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NyteOwl wrote:
We'de all be driving eco-friendly hydrocarbon free cars by now if the auto companies, oil companies and a few well placed politicians hadn't castrated the California Clean Air law and gave GM the wedge to withdraw and stop upgrading the EV-1. Other car companies are equally culpable.


I disagree. Gas was cheap and plentiful up until 5 years ago. That's why we've been driving gasoline powered cars for so long. I have a very hard time believing that the gov't and the auto industry has been keeping the ideas of hybrid/electric cars suppressed. Do you also believe that 9/11 was an inside job? Just curious.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:03 pm 
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I like this Aptera more and more and the only thing that concerns me , and Neil pointed out too, is that the cornering capabilities might be a problem, but its nice to see something new, design wise as well, furthermore, the cockpit looks fairly spacious and “lightâ€


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:55 pm 
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qviri wrote:

It's definitely a step in the right direction though, unlike this week's announcement of a 6.1 L-engined Dodge Challenger.

I think you have it the other way around.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:43 pm 
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Hello,

Aptera has many new pictures and an excellent video on their site:
Image
(click on picture for link)

video link

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Sat May 31, 2008 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:06 pm 
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Hrm. Hopefully they'll eventually expand outside of CA for the Aptera, and outside of the EU for the Loremo.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:12 pm 
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djkest wrote:

As for the BWM, I don't think it's coming to America w/ a diesel is it? Something about our prohibitive environmental / low sulfur standards here.



They're definitely bringing the 335d to the US (6-cylinder twin-turbo direct-injection diesel) for the 2009 model year. My hope is that they bring the 4-cylinder used in the 123d to the US in 2010 or so as it is a hell of a lot lighter than the 6-cylinder, gets around 50MPG on the freeway (the 335d gets about 35MPG) and has 290 lb/ft of torque.

Need any stumps pulled, mate? :D

-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:56 pm 
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I didn't say the information was suppressed - just te
he efforts to actually implement the technology. I suggest as a starting place a documentary called "Who Killed The Electric Car?"

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:57 pm 
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A friend of mine just bought the BMW 123d, and I have to admit, I almost never had so much fun in a car. It goes off like a rocket and yet it consumes only 5.something l/100 km (as long as you drive reasonably). You could even go 250 on the Autobahn, but then your consumption looks more like 12 or 13 l/100 km.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:20 pm 
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my neighbour has the 535d..... awesome power for a diesel!

However the only diesel I'd drive is a Audi R8 TDi lol

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:29 am 
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mexell wrote:
A friend of mine just bought the BMW 123d, and I have to admit, I almost never had so much fun in a car. It goes off like a rocket and yet it consumes only 5.something l/100 km (as long as you drive reasonably). You could even go 250 on the Autobahn, but then your consumption looks more like 12 or 13 l/100 km.


<sigh>

You're killing me here.

Back to my well-loved 13-year-old 318i.

-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:30 am 
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derekva wrote:
Back to my well-loved 13-year-old 318i.

-D


Still a good car, and not overly consuming as well.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:18 am 
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sea2stars wrote:
Hrm. Hopefully they'll eventually expand outside of CA for the Aptera, and outside of the EU for the Loremo.


The Aptera would be a great grey market car for illegal importation to Europe. At $26,000, that would only be about 13,000 pounds, or 18,000 Euro. That's a cheap car, but of course taxes assure that none will legally make it to Europe that cheap, even if Aptera wanted to sell there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:33 am 
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Quote:
even if Aptera wanted to sell there.


They might not even be allowed to, it might not meet the crash standards (I can only guess by looking at it).


Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:43 am 
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Hello,

Aptera claims that it's crashworthiness (if that is a word?) is excellent: they use composite materials similar to those used in Formula 1m and there is a 40"+ crush zone in the front.

Check out the video I linked to (that is on their main page) -- there are a number of details about this and other construction features shown in it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:01 am 
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Loremo article

After its 2009 release in Europe, the Loremo will be redesigned to reach the North American market the following year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:22 am 
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Hello,

Thanks for the link! 2010 and ~$22,000 sounds pretty darn good to me!

Someone here in the office says he saw a 1/2 hour TV show on the Loremo about a week ago -- does anybody have any more info on this?

BTW, the Loremo is also supposed to be very safe -- this is the whole point of the entry "doors" in their design. There are steel bulkheads supporting the front, rear, and sides of the passenger compartment.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:11 am 
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Me too. I'd be curious to hear more about their hybrid diesel plans..

I'd be curious to see that TV spot as well.

*chuckle* Have you seen the concept sketches of a convertible version?


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