GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Squeezing more out of cars without squeezing into them
By Doug Abrahms
Gannett News Service

WASHINGTON -- Americans don't have to drive tiny cars to save big amounts of gasoline.
A sport utility vehicle that today gets about 18 miles per gallon could get twice that by using better technology under the hood, lighter body materials and an upgraded electrical system that allows the engine to shut off while standing still.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, used current technology to draw up a blueprint for a more fuel-efficient SUV. But for now, the idea remains on paper.
With gas prices around $2 a gallon nationwide, environmental groups want to force U.S. automakers to build more efficient vehicles. But the energy bills being debated in Congress contain no provisions to substantially boost fuel efficiency either through mandates or incentives.
"Consumers do want fuel economy, but they just can't get it," Friedman said.
U.S. automakers, pressured more by foreign competition than by consumer demand, have started adding technology to increase fuel efficiency. But significant improvements could add a few thousand dollars to the price of a car.
Would consumers be willing to pay more for better gas mileage?
"I'd pay a couple thousand dollars extra to get 36 miles per gallon," said John Poole of Cherry Valley, Calif., who drives a Chevrolet Blazer. "I don't get bad mileage now, but it's not good either. With gas prices how they are, I would love better mileage."
The Big Three domestic automakers are caught in a place where consumers aren't calling for higher fuel efficiency, yet competitors are starting to deliver it, Smith said.
Detroit has made some improvements. Ford will offer a hybrid SUV this summer. General Motors plans to bring out full-size hybrid SUVs in 2007 that will get 30 percent better fuel mileage.
GM will put out a five-cylinder engine this year that uses less fuel and another that shuts off some cylinders when the engine is not accelerating. GM also is working on six-speed transmissions, electronic valve control and other technologies to improve mileage.

Full Article Here

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
I do believe that inside of a large sedan you have more space than in many suv's. If the car won't weight 5000lbs, for sure you will see some improvements in both driving agreement (acceleration, etc) and fuel economy...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,488 Posts
I got a '89 Chevy 1500 pickup...

I can't tell the difference in acceleration if I press the pedal 1/2 way or floor it....

it handles like a drunken cow...

tows nice, but still....

Shutting off your engine at stops a la Prius is not a very good move. If the car's motion is solely resting on the motor, shutting it off would have repercussions on instant unplanned acceleration (ie somebody's decided they would rather not have you around anymore ;>)

There is also a problem with power, an 18mpg 285hp 5.3l Tahoe (just for hypothetical purposes) could probably reach 23mpg max by downsizing or detuning the motor and raising the gear ratios. The problem is, the normal driving Tahoe becomes a dangerously slow slug....

DOD seems a pretty good idea, hoping we don't have a repeat of 1981 on our hands....



100% free webcam site! | Awesome chicks and it is absolutely free! | Watch free live sex cam - easy as 1-2-3
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by surferdude00711@Jun 20 2004, 08:55 PM
Why did you post a pic of the Malibu Maxx? And I won'd DOD now!
The Maxx is a good example of SUV cargo carrying ability and sedan-like fuel economy. Plus it should get DOD. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
954 Posts
Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@Jun 20 2004, 05:49 PM
Shutting off your engine at stops a la Prius is not a very good move. If the car's motion is solely resting on the motor, shutting it off would have repercussions on instant unplanned acceleration (ie somebody's decided they would rather not have you around anymore ;>)
The engines that shut off when not moving use 48+ volt electrical systems(or at least the trucks that I've read about do). They are designed to start instantly. Those starters must spin pretty damn fast :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
People will always complain about high gas prices because they see it hit their pocketbook on a regular basis. They always will say they want better fuel economy, but when it comes down to it, at $2/gal., it's not a major factor when it comes time to buy new car, truck or SUV. Unfortunately, people don't shop based upon practicality, if they did, there would be about 90% less SUVs on the road. As long as an SUV is a status symbol, there are going to be a lot of them sold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@Jun 21 2004, 12:49 AM
I got a '89 Chevy 1500 pickup...

Shutting off your engine at stops a la Prius is not a very good move. If the car's motion is solely resting on the motor, shutting it off would have repercussions on instant unplanned acceleration (ie somebody's decided they would rather not have you around anymore ;>)
No No No.....

These engine shut-off situations have a 42Volt electric system and use an electric motor - a Hybrid system. The electric motor offers instant power and torque to move the vehicle and the gas engine will kick on immediately to provide added acceleration power. Also, the 42 volt system allows the steering, brakes, and accessories to still work when the Gas Engine is off.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
It seems that it is widely agreed upon that the ultimate goal of the automotive industry for the future is to transcend the necessity of gasoline altogether, adopting some kind of alternative, renewable energy resource. With hybrids, and other fuel-saving technologies, I find it ironically counter-productive in that all we ultimately accomplish by increasing fuel efficiency is extend our dependence on oil, foreign oil specifically. I'm not saying increasing fuel economy is a bad thing, as we need to make oil last as long as necessary until reliable alternatives are available, I'm just saying that the sooner we run out of oil, the sooner we'll have an alternative (such as hydrogen) to replace it because there will be more pressure on car companies to research and develop a feasible, non-gas combustion vehicle.

Besides, hybrids need gas guzzlers to be effective anyway because if everyone gets good gas mileage the demand for gas will go down which will only drive the cost up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
The key point to hybrid technology is not as "counter-productive" as you'd assume. Hybrid technology (in the form of the Toyota system) proves various technologies that will be necessary when the next great leap occurs and ICEs give way to fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use electric motors and controllers, which are being proven in vehicles like the Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape.

If the demand for gas falls and the supply remains the same, the price will FALL. Currently, the demand for gas is going up which is contributing to the RISING gas prices.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
I never said that hybrids were a bad thing and were unnecessary relative to the development of alternative energy vehicles, I was merely trying to express my concern that heavy usage of such technologies will ultimately slow down the development of alternatives in that the oil "crisis" will be curbed, albeit temporarily, through reduced usage. Besides, how much could hybrid technology contribute to developing an alternative fuel vehicle when there hasn't been an industry-wide consensus on what that alternative fuel should be? Sure, electric motors and other parts can be developed in hybrids, which is necessary as such componentry will likely be used in an alternative fuel vehicle, but it doesn't answer the question of what the main fuel will be that'll drive the whole system.

Just because demand for gas goes down doesn't necessarily mean the price will go down too, at least not permanently, because the supply is not the same; it's a limited commodity, it'll eventually run out, unless demand completely stopped - something that won't happen until oil is completely gone (don't forget that cars aren't the only things that use fossil fuels in great quantity). If gas prices were to go down on account of low demand it probably wouldn't be by much, nor would it be for a long time (you weren't expecting 1$ a gallon days again, were you?). The crux of the situation is that whether demand goes up or down there will still be demand of some kind and the average cost of gasoline will always be on the rise because oil is not infinite. The question is how quickly oil will be used up, especially with demand outside of the U.S. going up such as in China and India.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@Jun 20 2004, 07:49 PM
I got a '89 Chevy 1500 pickup...

I can't tell the difference in acceleration if I press the pedal 1/2 way or floor it....

it handles like a drunken cow...

tows nice, but still....

Shutting off your engine at stops a la Prius is not a very good move. If the car's motion is solely resting on the motor, shutting it off would have repercussions on instant unplanned acceleration (ie somebody's decided they would rather not have you around anymore ;>)

There is also a problem with power, an 18mpg 285hp 5.3l Tahoe (just for hypothetical purposes) could probably reach 23mpg max by downsizing or detuning the motor and raising the gear ratios. The problem is, the normal driving Tahoe becomes a dangerously slow slug....

DOD seems a pretty good idea, hoping we don't have a repeat of 1981 on our hands....
for 2005 GM is changing the rear gear ratios on trucks to get better milage
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
Here's a press release from Toyota. You folks know most of this, but it's here for clarification:

Hybrid Hype? Fact and Fiction Surrounding the New Technology

June 23, 2004 – Torrance, CA – While hybrid vehicles are making history, they're also sparking a lot of mystery. As the public discovers and investigates hybrids, many questions are being asked about the new technology.

Below are some of the questions that have been raised about hybrid vehicles, as well as the answers.

Do hybrids meet their EPA fuel ratings?

The EPA's laboratory fuel mileage tests were initiated more than 25 years ago to provide a means for consumers to make valid fuel-mileage comparisons between vehicles. Posting of mileage numbers on the window sticker is required by law. Auto industry practice has consistently been to use the EPA-provided numbers to assure a level playing field.

However, many things have changed over the past 20 years - speed limits have increased, congestion has increased, and vehicles have more power-hungry accessory equipment, such as automatic climate control, to name a few. The EPA tests are conducted in controlled laboratory conditions, at average speeds of no more than 48 mph, without air conditioning and at moderate temperatures. While this provides consistent and valid comparison data, it is widely accepted that most drivers of all types of vehicles experience lower results than the labels.

Toyota has met with EPA on these issues, and we will work with them to help gather the data needed to evaluate whether label adjustments are necessary considering today's driving patterns and new vehicle technology.

At Toyota, we hear from early Prius customers that many of them average well over 45 miles per gallon in their cars. This is more than double the national average of 20.8 mpg for conventional vehicles. Prius owners are very happy spending less time and less money at the pumps, especially as prices continue to rise, while driving the cleanest gas-powered vehicle on the road.

Do hybrids need to be plugged in?

There is no need to plug in hybrid vehicles. They have electric motors and gasoline engines which work together to provide power. The batteries for the electric motor are re-charged by energy captured as the driver brakes or coasts in the car.

Why doesn't Prius offer a plug in option so it can run in electric-only mode?

Great efforts went into making hybrid cars so they DON'T have to be plugged in. If a car is converted, it will have a negative effect on the life of the batteries and the reality is that it's likely the grid electricity being used is derived from coal, so there's not much savings to the environment. Additionally, the electric-only mode would be good for less than a mile, so the practicality of it is very limited.

Can emergency workers get shocked by a hybrid that's been involved in an accident?

In the Prius, there are numerous safeguards to help ensure safe operation for drivers and protection of emergency response professionals in the event of an accident. High-voltage cables are located away from areas that workers might access, are painted orange, are shrouded in metal and have specific automatic disablement mechanisms to ensure the lines would have no voltage in them if an accident occurs.

Additionally, beginning with the first-generation Prius, Toyota has developed manuals and assisted in training exercises to ensure correct information is disseminated. These manuals are available on-line to all emergency response personnel. Most importantly, Prius hybrids have been on U.S. roads for five years and Toyota is not aware of any personal injury in the U.S. related to hybrid or EV electrical systems.

Aren't diesels just as fuel efficient as hybrids?

While some diesel vehicles get high fuel mileage, it's important to look at emissions when considering a vehicle's impact on the environment. The Prius is 90 percent cleaner for smog-forming emissions than the average vehicle on the road and produces no particulate emissions. Diesel cars are not available for sale in California, New York, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts because they do not comply with even the most lenient emissions requirements in those states. Hybrids can achieve outstanding mileage and have far less emissions at the same time.

Is Ford using the Toyota hybrid system?

Although the Ford hybrid system is very similar to Toyota's, Toyota is not directly supplying any components to Ford. Toyota and Ford have entered into a licensing agreement allowing Ford to use technology that had been patented by Toyota. Toyota welcomes the introduction of the Escape hybrid and Ford's effort to demonstrate and gain acceptance of this important environmental technology.

Have hybrid sales increased because of high fuel prices?

Fuel economy is the No. 1 purchase reason for the Prius, so it's safe to say that rising fuel prices are putting a spotlight on hybrid vehicles. However, it's difficult to conclude that high fuel prices are directly responsible for Prius sales, because there was strong demand and waiting lists well before the rise in gas prices. But awareness of the benefits of hybrids has dramatically increased.

Can you get a Prius?

Toyota's initial production estimates for the Prius for the 2004 calendar year were 36,000 vehicles for the U.S. That number was increased to 47,000 vehicles shortly after the Prius went on sale. The Prius plant and component sources are at maximum capacity, and we regret that waiting lists at dealerships can be several months or longer. The current backorder remains about 22,000 and we're working with the factory in Japan to see if the U.S. can receive more allocation of vehicles.

Are dealers charging a premium over MSRP for the Prius?

Reports of significant markups over MSRP are isolated and not typical. Although the Prius is in high demand, and some buyers are willing to offer more to get faster delivery, our dealers have been respectful of their customers. The MSRP for the Prius runs from the low $20,000s to about $26,000. Our information indicates that the average transaction price for a Prius is about $24,000. In a survey on Yahoo, 7 percent of the owners reported paying more than MSRP and 68 percent paid no more than MSRP. Additionally, only 2 percent of the customers calling Toyota regarding the Prius reported complained about dealer mark ups of the car.

Is Toyota making money on the Prius?

Toyota is in business to make money and this generation Prius will be profitable sooner than the last generation Prius. Economies of scale, especially with the unanticipated volume of the new Prius, will make that happen even earlier than initially projected.

Is there a recycling plan in place for nickel-metal hydride batteries?

Toyota has a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling nickel-metal hydride batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information and dealers are paid a $200 "bounty" for each battery.

Does driving a Prius really lower your cholesterol?

No, but wouldn't it be wonderful? However, it could help lower your blood pressure each time you fill it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,971 Posts
Originally posted by Ming@Jun 20 2004, 09:53 PM
Squeezing more out of cars without squeezing into them
By Doug Abrahms
Gannett News Service

The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, used current technology to draw up a blueprint for a more fuel-efficient SUV. But for now, the idea remains on paper.
:rolleyes: Sure.

Make the body and driveshaft out of titanium and carbon fiber composites. Cut your weight by at least a third with no compromises in safety.

Coat the cylinders and exhaust with ceramic insulators. The technology exists in racing today, but is not in production cars because it adds ~3-5% efficiency at a cost of thousands per engine.

Put in CVTs, 6 speed manuals, or 6 speed clutchless manuals. Stay at low RPMs under all but heavy acceleration for better efficiency, and eliminate losses from a torque converter.

Make the design as aerodynamic as possible.

Replace the standard tire materials with something of equivalent grip but substantially lighter. A lot of energy is spend overcoming the tires' rotational inertia.

Add a hybrid system with shutoff on idle and regenerative braking.

Use gasoline direct injection on the internal combustion engine half of the hybrid system so that you can jack up the compression ratio with less risk of knock.

;)
Voila, your 35 mpg H2 is now ready! Just write out that $2,000,000 check and you can drive one home today!

..... automakers don't have these existing technologies on the road yet because they still cost a fortune.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top