Transport rant


What the hell, right. Where the fuck are our carbon fibre electric cars that weigh less than a tonne and are designed to last a century, dammit. We can totally do this shit, have been ever since lithium batteries have been a thing, and everybody just shrugs their shoulders and goes, meh, capitalism.

Fuck that noise. I love driving, but I’m sick of feeling morally inferior to cyclists as a motorist…

Only Bernie Sanders would ever stand up to the vile scum ruling the world.


Elon Musk may have finally lost it

The BMW i3 is a step in that direction. Just over a tonne, I’m not sure you’ll get the century out of it though. If I was in the market I’d be seriously considering it.

The Gordon Murray T.27 is rumoured to be actually nearing a production version soon too.


Uh, carbon fiber cars are probably being researched at the moment. Ford and Chevy and whoever else want to keep their NHTSA rating for road safety. And they’re slow and suck at R&D. My cellphone has more connectivity and greater processing power than all the computers in the car combined, yet they just figured out how to put a 4G>WIFI hotspot in a car like 2 years ago. Because they’re idiots and lame, and have no idea how to make cars nicer. Just faster, and gas-wastier, and feel-better-about-my-small-penisier.

It takes a technologist to do the auto industry’s job. That’s why I’m voting for Elon Musk.



Because it takes time and money to get things where you can mass produce them easily.
Carbon fiber can probably be done now as I have seen a carbon fiber Corvette. But look how long it took Boeing to make a airplane out of a new material and they are still finding out things about how it works in the real world.
Electric all comes down to the battery technology. I am excited by the Chevy Bolt concept that is supposed to go 300 miles on a charge and 20 years ago now both Toyota and Honda were betting all their research money on the ICEs being dead technology and we are just starting to see the beginnings of it. It will take another 20 years for it to really become widespread.


I am on so many other projects lately that I don’t have time for this one. But I have been dreaming about a parametric stamp mill for about two years. So, instead of having to manually prepare the die (or even CNC-prepare a die), this thing has hundreds of hydraulic cylinders. Feed it the sheet of metal, and the press presses it into the form your code tells it to. This development would mean 1. much faster metal-forming, for whatever you have the shaping files for. 2. much faster re-forming, in case of needing to make a repair on an existing part, assuming it is in annealed or pliable form and not overhardened. And even if the press does split the metal, feed it a fresh sheet and you’re back. There are, of course, still sub-processes that need to be worked out, such as tabs and other interior features to the panels, like ribbing and support or channels for wires, etc. But the main sheet forming technique would be sped up greatly.

This doesn’t quite get you to carbon fiber cars that last 100 years, but it DOES get you the ability to change the body shape to whatever you want every few years. Or to be able to replace panels that get damaged or rust out. Even painting could be sped up if the parts are painted then affixed, instead of assembling the car and having to tape it up and get it ready for powdercoat. There’s lots of ways this incremental improvement could shift us away from “disposable cars” to ones that have a frame built to last and the ability to accept continual improvement on a small-shop or at-home basis.


I like being able to push the hollow bumper in.

If it had just a little more range, I’d have been tempted to buy one recently. I hated the style when I first saw it, but it’s grown on me.

As soon as Tesla or someone else manages a 200 mile range electric car for ~$40K I’m in. Yes, most days 50-100 miles would be plenty, but not every. I really didn’t like BMWs range extender engine solution to that, though.


I am still of the opinion that a carbon bodied electric vehicle with either diesel or natural gas generator is the perfect bridge technology. Nat gas is probably a none starter due to lack of infrastructure, but having a decent clean burning generator gives us the breathing room to let electric storage improve.


Correct. I need to be able to go do something an hour or two away (100 miles or so), and then be able to come right back home without having to attend to the car in the middle of when I’m off doing my thing. The car has to retain a minimum amount of my personal attention when I am working on other stuff.


just like my bicycle :smile:! That sounds great.


A natural gas fuel cell would be amazing. We have so much natural gas and methane compared to the other stuff, and burning it all is out of the question, but reacting it… well… we could have much longer ranges if the power were generated on-board in a fuel cell.



Or out… As the case may be, depending on one’s personal driving style… Ahem, not that I have any experience with broom handles and mallets on the insides of plastic bumpers.


I am honestly surprised the current gas hybrid cars are not set up that way. Baby steps I guess. I do love the Prius we have and it is currently a toss up for fuel economy with the 400cc scooter. Advantage to the scooter is I get to take the diamond lanes, the advantage to the car is I can stay dry and listen to tunes.


Isn’t there a loss to generate and store instead of directly driving a motor? Prii don’t just charge then run off a charge. In startup mode, electric runs, but then after a few seconds the gas engine starts. Then the motor drives the wheels and electric assists so the motor doesn’t have to work as hard, when there’s a surplus of charge. Regen braking charges the electric on downhills and glides.

Are you suggesting (and this is not a pointy accusation because I know nothingk!) that generating power would be more efficient than direct drive from whatever fuel the vehicle is using?


That’s how diesel train engines do it (and they are very fuel efficient for their size) so it seems like it should be doable for a car, but I dunno I didn’t get that far into things before I switched from mechanical engineering to math. Could be more of a pain in the ass mechanically and maintainance wise over direct drive as well.


Apologies for the quality. Enjoy.


I know what. We need to normalize the data from two power sources. Take specs on a few diesel or gas generators and figure out how many BTU’s per kWh, convert that to how many needed to move 1000 kilos 1 km, and we will have that side. Then figure out how many BTU’s in directly burning fuel in various Prius sized internal combustion engines per 1000kilos per km and we will have the other side and can compare them and know which is currently better. I bet someone like @shaddack just knows this right off the top of his head because he memorized a table somewhere and can do the conversions in his head without a computer…



I like the bananamobile. For obvious reasons.