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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2001, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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What next for cars? O/T

I've been thinking alot lately about this "Energy Crisis" we're having. If gas keeps getting more expensive and harder to find, what's next? Electric motors? Something else? What will us Jeeper's do? What will all 4-wheelers do? Think it'll happen in my lifetime? BTW - I'm 18 right now I hope not. I love driving my car! I'd totally switch to something else that was cheaper and cleaner, but I still want the power! Sorry, just kind of thinking out loud

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2001, 11:58 PM
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

Electric cars are actually pretty powerful and the torque curve is pretty flat. The biggest problem with the electrics is the batteries[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]. Battery technology is coming along, but it still has a ways to go. But the thing that is not often thought about is the energy required to produce all the alternative fuels. At some point there is going to be some process that the greenies don't like. They rave about hydrogen powered cars, but where will the hydrogen come from? The fact of the matter is, energy is lost at each step in fuel production, whether it is fossil or otherwise. And almost always, unless it it nuclear or hydro (and the greenies hate both), fossil fuels will be there somewhere. It would probably take more energy to seperate the hydrogen than it does to produce gasoline[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]. That just puts the inefficiency at the other end of the process. Whether you are burning the fossil fuel in your car, or it is being burned to produce some other fuel, the energy is still lost. The enviro's get too rapped up in emotion, and don't think about things rationally. I am sure that our oil is a limited commodity, but right now I think the oil companies are capitalizing on a "media induced energy frenzy"[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/mad.gif[/img]. We can thank the Californicators for a lot of this crisis. All the energy consumption is related at some level. And a greater demand in one area means increased prices for everyone.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 12:13 AM
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

"I am sure that our oil is a limited commodity"

I'm not so sure of that. The majority of our oil is imported nowadays. Even though we have great oil untapped wells in the U.S.

To my knowledge, there is very little oil being pumped in Texas even though we know where great pools exist. Supposedly, it's cheaper to import it. I wonder if it's still cheaper now.

Joey

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 07:22 AM
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

I know natural gas has been used in vehicles for a while but it never really caught on other than some govn't vehicles. If they could lower the cost of converting a vehicle or somehow change it to a liquid it would be great cause it produces much lower emissions, mostly water I believe. Up here in Nova Scotia we supposedly have more of it offshore than we know what to do with. It's being piped to New England but none of us here see any benefits yet.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 08:33 AM
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

"i wonder if its still cheaper now"

i would probably be cheaper to tap the wells we have in the US or else they wouldnt be discussing about tapping into Alaska. im sure there are some big pools of it where the greenies wont cry about it, we just havent found it.

What do you think about tapping into Alaska?

~Goot
post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 09:02 AM
 
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

<font face="Comic Sans MS">Are you kidding? "Where the greenies won't cry about it"??? They'll cry about it no matter where it is. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/mad.gif[/img] Oh... I think tapping into Alaska, going for more offshore drilling like in the Gulf of Mexico, even under the great lakes perhaps is a good idea. Techniques have been getting cleaner and safer. The greenies don't mention a ton of facts regarding the ANWR drilling, such as only about 2000 acres would be used for drilling (that's a relatively tiny area compared to the millions of acres the ANWR covers). They can build ice roads to get to the equipment so they do not trample the tundra, horizontal drilling is quite safe, and many other things on the horizon. In my email list archives I have a news article talking about some techniques for seperating the oil from sand. This technique (I'll try to dig up that article) said that they have developed a process (that works in a lab at least) that will release the bonds that hold oil to sand so efficiently that you could safely plant things for human consumption in that oil. Incidentally that technique could easily secure oil supplies and oil based products for at least another 500 years, or so it is said... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] I'll post that item when I locate it... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

But all good things must come to an end someday. And to replace the good thing that we know as petroleum distillates, I'm betting that hydrogen fuel cells are going to be it. Some automakers (chrysler last I heard had one in development, as did honda). Same technology used to power the electronics in the space shuttle. Extremely clean power generation (the only byproduct is water). You can put one electric motor on each wheel and have some advanced control unit actuate the wheel speeds so they're always the same, etc... Might turn out to be better than conventional 4x4's actually because you don't have to worry about a differential, you could have a solid axle still just connecting the fronts if you'd want, but have the electric motors tucked up like the portal axles, etc... A lot of possibilities. On the other hand, the downsides are that in order to work on it yourself you'll likely have to posess a degree in electrical engineering... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img]</font>

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 09:16 AM
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

Last week, I read a 60 pages study/report on the energy crisis situation.. It was mostly about western Canada, since that is where the crisis is tracked back to for us canadians... Canada would be self sufficient in oil, but opening our doors with the free trade agreement kind of f%cked it up for us... since the US have such a large demand for our fuels, that are quickly diminuishing by the way as all our national resources, the prices of fuel reflect that demand... even worse, the price we canadians pay for our own fuel is more than what our american friends pay for it... and if you think natural gas is a solution, it's prices have rose more than 700% compared to some 300% of oil.... hey, I'm no socio-economical scientist by the way, so don't flame me for this... I think (opinion) that since the price of fuel is set by the demand, what should be done is erase the demand... if we didn't depend on fuel as much and found other alternatives for the things that use the most of it, like say the daily driver automobiles and electricity plants, 18 wheelers....
I saw something way cool 4-5 years ago.. Hydro-Quebec had developped an electric powered Chrysler Intrepid, magnet plates in the wheels provided both acceleration and braking by simple reversal of polarity, it was 4 wheel drive... and when they deactivated the anti-spining program, the car developped more than 3 times the torq rating of a 350 from a corvette... I saw footage of the car spinning all 4 wheels, a major smoke show, it was just staying there and eating up it's tires... unfortunately, like all technological break through we canadian make, some political bastard shut it down...

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 09:25 AM
 
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

Even with electric cars they still have to burn something ...DUH !!
If Queerafornia cant supply enough electrical power now how could they do it with everyone driveing electric cars ....Without building MORE & MORE power plants to burn MORE & MORE fuel we don't have according to the powers that be...Oh I forgot they don't want anymore power plants in Queeryland isn't that why they don't have enough power to begin with .So we should all build power plants in our states to supply more power to them .HUMMMM totally new concept...NOT
But I digress ...Nevermind

Ray
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why does everyone ask if I am gonna paint it ?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 09:40 AM
 
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

<font face="Comic Sans MS">Actually you do not need to burn anything in a hydrogen fuel cell setup. Just add some hydrogen and oxygen and do some strange voodoo magic (chemistry) inside a specific type container made from specific materieals (the fuel cell itself, of which I have little concept of how it works) that very few people (including me) completely understand and you produce lots of power. Not even much of a need at all of batteries. While I realize we need electricity to seperate the hydrogen and oxygen to power the fuel cell, future technologies (nuclear fusion which at least the younger people here should see at least one fusion reactor come online in our lifetimes), which are clean and produce massive amounts of heat which can be used to heat water to make steam which turns large turbines much like conventional coal and natural gas fired powerplants currently do, except 100's of times cleaner and more efficiently. (just look at the sun and you'll see a huge nuclear fusion reactor)... Berkley can currently hold a fusion reaction for a lot longer than before. They're still working on getting the efficiency up though. Last I heard they still have to put more power in than they get out of it, however within the next 20-30 years, they expect to at least break even and have the reactor put out more power than they put into it. The reason for this is they use a magnetic field to hold the plasma in a tight ball where it can react. The sun uses gravity which is a huge advantage for it, because nobody has to use a magnetic field to hold it together like they would here on earth...

But even the technology of current power sources can and perhaps should be expanded. And non conventional sources can be used also, even reclaiming the methane gas that cattle farms and landfills emit can help ease our electric needs. We could theoretically even pump air, moisture, and micro organisms down some of the vent stacks in the land fills which would in theory produce the methane even quicker. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] There's a ton of options, most of which aren't even being seriously looked at yet. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] Even an upgrade for carbuerated vehicles to break the vacuum as CJDave suggested would help considerably ease the fuel needs of us, but most aren't implemented or get beyond the research stage... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img] But I digress...</font>

Tim "Sandman"

ORC Land Use columnist:
My February article on ORC
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2001, 10:46 AM
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Re: What next for cars? O/T

Well my idea would kill 2 birds with one stone . Each vehicle could be equiped with a small Nuclear Reactor[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] powering some type of turbine adapted to the transfer case, tons of endless power for winches , lights etc... And at the same time it would make all the Greenies drop dead of sheer shock (hehe) [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


Jeff



<font color=black>Summer is just around the corner [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] </font color=black>
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