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post #81 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 08:48 AM
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But aren't the hydrogen lines high pressure? I know that the tanks have to be compressesed to 5000 PSI and more in order to hold practical amounts. The other problem is the molecules are so small that fuel tanks can leak in a matter of weeks. Not insurmountable problems but they cetrainly preclude using any of our current infrastructure.
Only pressurised to get enough fuel into a car's fuel tank to make it worth the bother. If you had a constant supply of H2 then no you wouldn't need to pressurise it.
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post #82 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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The Tesla was on a "Mildly Moist" track and at 1:27.3 was only 3 tenths behind the Exige at 1:26.9 (dry). ANd shifting advantages are not made for the Stig. Still, a pretty good time for a one point OH.
...i'll have to watch the first episode of series four again to doublecheck, but wikipedia lists the naturally-aspirated exige at 126.4 on a mildly moist track, actually...

...by shifting advantages i mean that the exige had to change gears where the tesla didn't...also, the stig only had about a month's experience on the top gear track when he drove the exige versus five years under his belt when he drove the tesla - by all rights, it should have decisively trounced the naturally-aspirated exige, if not for the tesla's sloppy handling...

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post #83 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 10:59 AM
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Sloppy is a relative thing.

Sloppy compared to a Lotus, okay.

Sloppy compared to other cars that weight close to 3000 pounds and are sprung/damped for the street?

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post #84 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 12:06 PM
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...i'll have to watch the first episode of series four again to doublecheck, but wikipedia lists the naturally-aspirated exige at 126.4 on a mildly moist track, actually...
All I have is the board that shows on the Tesla video.

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...by shifting advantages i mean that the exige had to change gears where the tesla didn't...
Right, which would make a big difference to a newbie (or granny) but should make zero difference to someone who drives for a living.

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also, the stig only had about a month's experience on the top gear track when he drove the exige versus five years under his belt when he drove the tesla ...
I want to say see my last point -but I agree. 5 years is a long time to hone a track (assuming it's been the same guy under the helmet the whole time). Also to your first point. back then, TG probably did not even start qualifying the runs with the MM and W for wet conditions till someone complained.
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post #85 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 12:13 PM
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I pretty sure Clarkson wouldn't be exclaiming about the NA exige being so fast with "nearly slick tires on wet tarmac" if the tarmac wasn't in fact wet

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post #86 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 12:20 PM
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Only pressurised to get enough fuel into a car's fuel tank to make it worth the bother. If you had a constant supply of H2 then no you wouldn't need to pressurise it.
Hmmm. I thought the hydrogen was under pressure to compress it to a liquid to reduce volume and be able to carry enough fuel for practical travel distances. The FCX in that TG Film could go 270 miles on a fill-up.

Today if you drove a Tesla and an FCX one way (both around 250 miles or so) at least you could find a place fill a Tesla..
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post #87 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 02:16 PM
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This is an extremely interesting subject that I think could benefit from a bit of historical context.

Weíre seeing a mature and highly developed technology (the internal combustion engine) face a challenge in the marketplace from a fundamentally different and immature technology in a very early state of development (electric motor/battery drivetrain). This overlap of two fundamentally different technologies has happened many times before in history and it is a truism that the last generation(s) of an older technology are almost always superior to the first generation(s) of the newer technology.

Consider these examples before you judge the Tesla too harshly.

-The first operational jet fighter was the German ME-262. It had terrible low speed acceleration, 10%-20% the endurance of a P-51 mustang with drop tanks and its engines literally died after only 12-24 hours of use. I donít mean the engines needed an overhaul, I mean they were thrown in a smelter to be recycled after a handful of flights. The only aspect of the ME-262 that was superior to a contemporary piston aircraft was that it had greater power at high speeds. It was an inferior product by every other measure, in many cases embarrassingly inferior. After just ten years of development jet engines were the dominant power source for any large or performance oriented aircraft and today piston engines are only used in small niche aviation applications.

-In the late 1930ís/early 1940ís the most powerful steam locomotive (4-8-8-4 Big Boy) made about 6300 horsepower. At the time a comparable diesel locomotive (EMD FT) made about 1300 horsepower. The diesels were cheaper to maintain and more efficient but otherwise, when judged by any standard that was important to a railroad company executive, the steam locomotive was superior in every way. The two technologies were economically competitive for less than a decade (although it took many more decades for steam to completely die out due to its entrenchment) and then diesel completely eclipsed steam technology.

Just so I donít sound too one sided here, let me clearly state that I donít like the Tesla enough to buy one and when viewed as a consumer product and instrument of driving enthusiasm I largely agree with many of the complaints on here, but when viewed in historical context, the fact that weíre complaining about it only circling a track as fast as a 911 GT3 and exhibiting too much body roll is effectively a staggering and monumental endorsement of how successful Tesla's effort has been. Remember, the first jet fighter couldnít last 20% as long as its piston contemporary and you had to throw the engines away after 12-24 hours of use. When viewed in that context, the Tesla is an enormous success.

Just to add a global note to this conversation, lest anyone think otherwise, the only reason every single person on this board isnít driving an electric car right now is solely due to the fact that battery technology is so poor. Electric motors are already superior to a combustion engine in every way that matters to an engineer (if not necessarily to an auto enthusiast). I am not expecting this to happen anytime soon, but for the sake of hypothetical argument letís say someone invents a battery that stores an order of magnitude more energy per mass unit than current batteries do. If that were to happen it would be a complete and irrevocable death sentence for the gasoline engine. It would take decades to convert all the factories and for all consumers to migrate over but the end would be inevitable. And before I get flamed with everyone waxing on about how much they love the sound of a flat plane V-8 inside a prancing horse, remember that lots of people loved their hand made horse drawn buggies with French lacquer and custom cherry horse whips as well. History shows unequivocally that sentimentality and emotional attachment arenít enough to keep a leapfrogged technology and its associated infrastructure alive.

Personal disclaimer- Iím not a died-in-the-wool environmentalist. I donít have any emotional attachment to environmentally responsible products. Iím a technology enthusiast who is looking at the big picture. And I am emotionally attached to my Lotus.

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post #88 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 02:46 PM
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I love the 06 N.A. Exige vs the Apache helicopter one ^^^

Here is their Exige S review, which in true top gear form (why I love the show) they still take a couple digs on it (even rating it uncool at the end. lol) Finally one with a Lotus on a dry track. I've used the plastic toaster line, turnip farmers, and the middle eastern hotel chain about the Queens mark before- as I've seen many here have. I like how he is self depreciating too- calling himself a fat bloke vs the Stig in this one and a similar reference in the other Lotus review. They do say the Lotus is not made for top speed, but show what it is made for and it does well against the top speed, big dollar cars. I'd say they drove it plenty hard too in all the vids and fortunately no failures in any of them. I'd say that is a little harder than the average Joe drive his car. But a high percentage of Lotus owners (compared to other marques and a percentage of cars on the road) do actually track them. I was blown away by the fun I had putting mine on the track.

<object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/r_iMhhQwtTo&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/r_iMhhQwtTo&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object>

Have they done a review of the S240, or any of the cup cars or 211?

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post #89 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster View Post
This is an extremely interesting subject that I think could benefit from a bit of historical context.

Weíre seeing a mature and highly developed technology (the internal combustion engine) face a challenge in the marketplace from a fundamentally different and immature technology in a very early state of development (electric motor/battery drivetrain). This overlap of two fundamentally different technologies has happened many times before in history and it is a truism that the last generation(s) of an older technology are almost always superior to the first generation(s) of the newer technology.

Consider these examples before you judge the Tesla too harshly.

-The first operational jet fighter was the German ME-262. It had terrible low speed acceleration, 10%-20% the endurance of a P-51 mustang with drop tanks and its engines literally died after only 12-24 hours of use. I donít mean the engines needed an overhaul, I mean they were thrown in a smelter to be recycled after a handful of flights. The only aspect of the ME-262 that was superior to a contemporary piston aircraft was that it had greater power at high speeds. It was an inferior product by every other measure, in many cases embarrassingly inferior. After just ten years of development jet engines were the dominant power source for any large or performance oriented aircraft and today piston engines are only used in small niche aviation applications.

-In the late 1930ís/early 1940ís the most powerful steam locomotive (4-8-8-4 Big Boy) made about 6300 horsepower. At the time a comparable diesel locomotive (EMD FT) made about 1300 horsepower. The diesels were cheaper to maintain and more efficient but otherwise, when judged by any standard that was important to a railroad company executive, the steam locomotive was superior in every way. The two technologies were economically competitive for less than a decade (although it took many more decades for steam to completely die out due to its entrenchment) and then diesel completely eclipsed steam technology.

Just so I donít sound too one sided here, let me clearly state that I donít like the Tesla enough to buy one and when viewed as a consumer product and instrument of driving enthusiasm I largely agree with many of the complaints on here, but when viewed in historical context, the fact that weíre complaining about it only circling a track as fast as a 911 GT3 and exhibiting too much body roll is effectively a staggering and monumental endorsement of how successful Tesla's effort has been. Remember, the first jet fighter couldnít last 20% as long as its piston contemporary and you had to throw the engines away after 12-24 hours of use. When viewed in that context, the Tesla is an enormous success.

Just to add a global note to this conversation, lest anyone think otherwise, the only reason every single person on this board isnít driving an electric car right now is solely due to the fact that battery technology is so poor. Electric motors are already superior to a combustion engine in every way that matters to an engineer (if not necessarily to an auto enthusiast). I am not expecting this to happen anytime soon, but for the sake of hypothetical argument letís say someone invents a battery that stores an order of magnitude more energy per mass unit than current batteries do. If that were to happen it would be a complete and irrevocable death sentence for the gasoline engine. It would take decades to convert all the factories and for all consumers to migrate over but the end would be inevitable. And before I get flamed with everyone waxing on about how much they love the sound of a flat plane V-8 inside a prancing horse, remember that lots of people loved their hand made horse drawn buggies with French lacquer and custom cherry horse whips as well. History shows unequivocally that sentimentality and emotional attachment arenít enough to keep a leapfrogged technology and its associated infrastructure alive.

Personal disclaimer- Iím not a died-in-the-wool environmentalist. I donít have any emotional attachment to environmentally responsible products. Iím a technology enthusiast who is looking at the big picture. And I am emotionally attached to my Lotus.
Excellent post! The lessons of history are priceless.
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post #90 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 02:58 PM
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Its not just cars either, battery technologies are holding us back on lots of fronts, if we did have such super packs with the power, you'd probably see something other than cars anyway, i think that it would leapfrog the petrol for sure, but it might shoot past the teslas too.

jetpacks!


i've been reading up all morning about the 270E and its hydrogen generator pulling in CO2and creating methanol, be an interesting project.

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post #91 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 03:33 PM
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... The diesels were cheaper to maintain and more efficient but otherwise...
Why are they called diesels when they are driven by electric motors?
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post #92 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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...diesel-electric locomotives and ships use a diesel generator tuned for maximum efficiency continually run at its optimum powerband, and then use its electricity to drive the electric motors: best portability of an energy source coupled with best torque where it counts...

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post #93 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 07:21 PM
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Its not just cars either, battery technologies are holding us back on lots of fronts, if we did have such super packs with the power, you'd probably see something other than cars anyway, i think that it would leapfrog the petrol for sure, but it might shoot past the teslas too.
The tesla is designed to have a replaceable battery pack for just such a reason. Assuming there is a quantum leap in battery tech you could replace the current battery pack with an equally heavy one with twice the range or go for something half the weight with the same range. In fact you could get both and leave the lighter version at the local racetrack - that way you have plenty of power at the track and can use the heavy one to get you to and from the track.

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post #94 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 02:01 AM
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Hmmm. I thought the hydrogen was under pressure to compress it to a liquid to reduce volume and be able to carry enough fuel for practical travel distances. The FCX in that TG Film could go 270 miles on a fill-up.

Today if you drove a Tesla and an FCX one way (both around 250 miles or so) at least you could find a place fill a Tesla..
Yep - thats what I was saying. If you had a H2 fuel cell in your house with H2 piped down the current gas mains instead of methane then you wouldn't need to pressurise the feed as you'd always have a constant supply as you needed it. You could then have a very high voltage connection to the car for quicker charging and as a bonus run you house on it too.

One technology that is making a comeback is flywheel based storage systems as theres lots of potential with these. For example, you could have a small motor spinning a flywheel at you house using a tiny amount of power and then use that to dump high voltage into a car. It's also great for storing energy if you have an excess (certainly cheaper than a fuel cell at the moment). We have a server farm UPS system driven by a couple of flywheels - they cost pretty much nothing to run certainly thousands of times cheaper than trickle charging lead acid batteries. It can also power the everything on the farm (100's servers) for 10 minutes whilst the diesels start up. Although one did fail and demolished the building it was located in...

I've no doubt that eventually we'll all have "Mr Fusion"'s on our cars but I don't think electricty storage systems will work over vehicles having their own onboard generator (fuel cell, IC).
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post #95 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 03:34 AM
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Hmmm. I thought the hydrogen was under pressure to compress it to a liquid to reduce volume and be able to carry enough fuel for practical travel distances. The FCX in that TG Film could go 270 miles on a fill-up.

Today if you drove a Tesla and an FCX one way (both around 250 miles or so) at least you could find a place fill a Tesla..
Yes you would need to pressurise the H2 before using it as a fuel for a car. Modern fibre wrapped cylinders can hold 5,000psi (~350bar) which means that sufficient H2 could be carried for a ~300mile range with a well designed fuel cell vehicle. Unfortunately compressing H2 to that level takes a significant amount of energy and therefore has a significant impact on overall "well to wheels" efficiency. BUT it is doable! And if you did have H2 fueling stations it would essentially replicate current vehicle useage patterns.

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Yep - thats what I was saying. If you had a H2 fuel cell in your house with H2 piped down the current gas mains instead of methane then you wouldn't need to pressurise the feed as you'd always have a constant supply as you needed it. You could then have a very high voltage connection to the car for quicker charging and as a bonus run you house on it too.
This is also true - if you had H2 piped to your home you could generate as much electricity as you need which could be used to charge a battery vehicle... but it would be better to have natural gas piped to your home and electricity generated via a high temperature fuel cell with the waste heat used to provide heating/hot water - see CeresPower - Fuel Cell Technology for an example (the website could be better - but the technology is great )
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post #96 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:38 AM
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Interestingly, I got to drive the FCX Clarity yesterday, it's pretty neat

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History shows unequivocally that sentimentality and emotional attachment arenít enough to keep a leapfrogged technology and its associated infrastructure alive.
I give you... the Swiss watch industry as a glorious exception to history's unequivocal display.


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Interestingly, I got to drive the FCX Clarity yesterday, it's pretty neat
I was far more impressed with and curious about it than the Tesla. $600/mo. for a 3-yr. lease only deal is a bit much to stomach for a Honda. While I'd rather drive a fun car out to the country and hug some trees, the FCX Clarity is definitely a step in a more appropriate direction as far as I'm concerned.

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post #98 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 08:40 AM
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I was far more impressed with and curious about it than the Tesla. $600/mo. for a 3-yr. lease only deal is a bit much to stomach for a Honda. While I'd rather drive a fun car out to the country and hug some trees, the FCX Clarity is definitely a step in a more appropriate direction as far as I'm concerned.
I agree, but I think it was smart of Tesla to make a sports car first, look at all the media attention it got, what better way to get their name out there?

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post #100 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 02:35 PM
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I give you... the Swiss watch industry as a glorious exception to history's unequivocal display.




I was far more impressed with and curious about it than the Tesla. $600/mo. for a 3-yr. lease only deal is a bit much to stomach for a Honda. While I'd rather drive a fun car out to the country and hug some trees, the FCX Clarity is definitely a step in a more appropriate direction as far as I'm concerned.
600 includes maintenance, and collision insurance....

compared to the electric mini which I believe was $899/month it is a bargain

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