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DailyDirt: High Performance Vehicles Without Internal Combustion Engines

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Racing cars is supposed to lead to technologies that eventually end up in consumer vehicles. So if that's the case, there should be a lot more electric car races on the way, right? Well, there are... But the performance of electric cars isn't always awe-inspiring (except for straight-line drag racing, perhaps). By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Jeff S., May 20th, 2011 @ 7:15pm

    Electric McRae Buggy for the 2012 Dakar Rally

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous, May 20th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

    Assumptions

    An average speed of 86 MPH on the Nürburgring is plenty impressive. You seem to be assuming that that track is a straight line or an oval. It's not.

     

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  3.  
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    darryl, May 21st, 2011 @ 1:53am

    Got to get away from burning dead things for energy.

    Too bad that translates to a somewhat unimpressive average speed of 86 mph, though

    And where abouts on the roads can you drive at 86 MPH ?

    I believe the national US speed limit is 55 mph, is that correct ?

    From maths, I think (citation needed) that 86 mph is HIGHER than 55 mph. ;)

    • All-electric cars usually suffer from limited range (compared to hydrocarbon-burning vehicles),

    ALL cars USUALLY !!!!!!! great engligh !!

    Motors in hugs reduces frictional losses, that would apply equally well to IC (internal combustion) engines.

    If you reduce friction losses, you increase range.

    Petrol cars also have VERY limited range, have you ever noticed how many servo's there are when you go out ???

    That is because cars consume vast amounts of fuel.

    And the energy content in fuel is higher than the energy content in the equavelent weight of batteries.

    But electric motors can be built with 98% efficiency, whereas the IC motor has a maximum possible efficiency of 56%, and rarly goes about about 25% efficiency.

    So if you can store the same energy value in batteries as you can in the equivalent weight of fuel (petrol), ie energy density the same.

    Then an electric car would have a range of 3 to 5 times that of an equavelent petrol powered vehicle.

    The latest generate of LiPo batteries (Lithium-ion polymer) batteries have a energy density value comparable or greater than the same weight in petrol, or deisel.

    Once those batters come done in price, and receive more development, IC engines with their 25-30% eff at best will be blown away by electric equivalents with their 98% efficient motors and batteries.

    Only trouble is most of your electricity in the US is derived from coal. So you lose a great deal of 'system' efficiency by using an inefficient power generation system to charge your batteries.

    that still means you are running on fossel fuel.

    Nuclear, and the development of fusion power will save the earth...

    We are such a primitive race that so far we have not evolved from burning things we pick up off the ground for our energy source !!!!

    Just as the cave men did.... now that's progress.

     

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  4.  
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    Richard (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 3:59am

    Re: Assumptions

    9 minutes around the Nurburgring is around a minute quicker than a typical high performance saloon car can manage. As you say 86 mph is mot slow on a twisty circuit - it was Jackie Stewart's average speed when he set pole position in the 1973 Monaco GP.

     

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  5.  
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    Richard (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re: Got to get away from burning dead things for energy.

    And where abouts on the roads can you drive at 86 MPH ?

    German autobahns (where the Nurburgring is).

    Ever wondered why the German car industry is so successful? Well part of it is down to the existence of de-restricted roads in that country.

     

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  6.  
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    Cynyr (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 8:03am

    in wheel motors

    As much as i like the idea of in wheel motors, unsprung weight is something of a no-no in car design. Maybe just sticking the motor in the middle of the car and using a CV shaft would be a better plan.

    Un-sprung weights make the car unresponsive, and handle poorly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsprung_mass for more reading on it.

     

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  7.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Electric cars

    The very first automobiles (steam driven) couldn't compare to a good horse-drawn vehicle.
    So, using that analogy, autos were doomed, right? Wonder why they are still here; or why eventually all vehicles will be powered by other than fossil fuels (probably electric)?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous, May 21st, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Re: Got to get away from burning dead things for energy.

    You're kind of a moron. I recommend you refrain from posting.

     

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  9.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 21st, 2011 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Ever wondered why the German car industry is so successful?

    As successful as the Japanese? But the Japanese don’t have any “de-restricted” roads.

    Cue quick re-rationalization in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

     

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  10.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 21st, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Electric cars

    Gene Cavanaugh:

    The very first automobiles (steam driven) couldn't compare to a good horse-drawn vehicle.


    Yes, but they pirated all the goods and passenger traffic that rightfully belonged to the horse-drawn transport, and that’s how they became successful! The enginetards stole all that equine-tellectual property!

     

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  11.  
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    Darryl, May 21st, 2011 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Got to get away from burning dead things for energy.

    Sorry but Nurburgring is NOT on the autobahn.

    and not all cars on the planet run on the autobahn either.

    If fact MOST do not.

     

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  12.  
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    Darryl, May 21st, 2011 @ 10:22pm

    Re: in wheel motors

    the latest high speed trains that can travel at 515+ Kms/h use hub motors directly coupled to the wheels, yes all that unsprung mass, in a very responsive and efficient design.

    But just replacing the 100 Hp petrol motor that is 25% efficient (actually consuming 400 hp to produce that 100 hp).

    with a 98% efficient DC brushless motor that consumes 102 hp to generate 100 shaft HP, then you have blown away the range and performance/efficiency of the vehicle.

    So a simple engineering problem of 'unsprung mass' might be enough to stop you in your 'tracks', but it seems it is not an issue in the real world.

    Not to mention there are allready electric cars with hub motors, so saying it cant be done is quite odd, seems it is routinely done.. Just may be not by you..

    But to state we 'cant do something, because of a simple technical issue' therefore we will continue to burn fossel fuels is why we are where we presently are.

    The ONLY reason we use fossel fuels at present is because we are lazy F&^%s and dont give a shit about the future.

    And would rather spend money on war and killing than investing money in a clean and secure energy source.

    If petrol and deisel were banned from sale for cars and trucks, then within 6 months the market would be filled with effective, efficient and very usefull electric vehicles along with the required infrastructure to support them.

    The only reason that is not happening is because we are cheap and lazy.

     

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  13.  
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    Darryl, May 21st, 2011 @ 10:30pm

    Unsprung weight - solved.

    Weight savings

    Eliminating mechanical transmission inc. gearboxes, differentials, drive shafts and axles provides a significant weight and manufacturing cost saving, while also decreasing the environmental impact of the product.

    [edit] Unsprung weight

    A design consideration with wheel motors is unsprung weight. Most conventional electric motors include ferrous material composed of laminated electrical steel. This ferrous material contributes most of the weight of electric motors. As excessive unsprung weight can lead to less than optimal vehicle handling, several recent wheel motor designs have minimized the electrical steel content of the motor by utilizing a coreless design with Litz wire coil windings to reduce eddy current losses. This significantly reduces wheel motor weight and therefore unsprung weight.

    Another method used is to replace the cast iron friction brake assembly with a wheel motor assembly of similar weight. This results in no net gain in unsprung weight and a car capable of braking up to 1G. [11] A good example of this is the Michelin Active Wheel motor as fitted to the Heuliez Will that results in an unsprung weight of 35 kg on the front axle which compares favorably to a small car such as a Renault Clio that has 38 kg of unsprung weight on its front axle. [12]


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub_motor

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2011 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Got to get away from burning dead things for energy.

    Speed limit in Colorado is 75 and higher than that in Texas. Out east the speed limits are lower but for some reason they all drive faster..some places in the Atlanta area I have been passed like I was standing still while driving 80.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous, May 22nd, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    You keep making a fool of yourself.

    You really should stop posting.

    There is only one significant difference between the Nürburgring and the regular autobahn: it is a toll road. It is still a highway without a speed limit.

    Additionally, there is no reason why the vast majority of cars that are operated regularly today are not driven on the autobahn or the Nürburgring.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous, May 22nd, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: in wheel motors

    In order to provide a counter-argument to the extremely poor handling characteristics of electric vehicles, you bring up a train?

    This is the height ridiculousness. Trains are very well known for having extremely poor acceleration and deceleration and are literally unable to go around a corner and can only follow carefully planned straight lines and only if necessary, an extremely wide turning radius.

    Additionally, motor-in-hub designs are nowhere near perfect, or even competitive. They are expensive, weak, and provide inferior braking performance in comparison to common disc brakes.

    You don't seem to understand that the main reason people don't buy entry level EVs is this: they are slow, heavy, expensive, unreliable, boring, miserable piles of shit.

    The very, very few EVs that break out of this mold are so hilariously expensive that it's trivial to pick another vastly superior vehicle for much less money.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, May 22nd, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    National speed limit

    You are correct. The US does not have a national speed limit. The Texas state-wide speed limit was recently raised to 85 MPH.

     

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  18.  
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    Schmoo, May 23rd, 2011 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re: in wheel motors

    "latest high speed trains that can travel at 515+ Kms/h use hub motors directly coupled to the wheels, yes all that unsprung mass, in a very responsive and efficient design"

    If you think a vehicle that travels on rails is 'responsive', then you quite clearly don't know what responsive means in the context of vehicles. I am concerned for cynic within you - you seem to have a remarkably strong opinion for somebody who has done little enough fact-checking to spot this (IMHO) glaring error.

     

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  19.  
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    dgdfgdfg, May 23rd, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Re: You keep making a fool of yourself.

    " It is still a highway without a speed limit."

    Minor niggle: they have a couple of places where there is a speed limit on days where the track is open to the public. A few of the more blind/twisty/evil-camber type bits that would be unacceptably dangerous for the average road driver to choose their own speed for... but in general, yes, it's just a toll road that goes back to where it started. You can only still be prosecuted for passing on the right, for example.

     

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  20.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Got to get away from burning dead things for energy.

    "ALL cars USUALLY !!!!!!! great engligh !!"

    just a minor note here... the original was "All-electric cars usually" -- meaning "all-electric" as opposed to "partial-" or "hybrid-" electric cars. (That hyphen actually has a purpose...)

     

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  21.  
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    Richard (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Ever wondered why the German car industry is so successful?

    Name the Japanese cars that compete successfully with high performance German cars like Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.

    The Japanese have cornered the utility market (where the unrestricted roads don't matter) but Germany rules the high end...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 4:51am

    Re: Name the Japanese cars that compete successfully with high performance German cars like Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.

    The Honda NSX.

     

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