Future Cars: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

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UptownSport
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Re: Future cars

Postby UptownSport » July 11th, 2013, 10:11 am

Pointing out the lack of plural, there sir?

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Le Sueur
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Re: Future cars

Postby Le Sueur » July 11th, 2013, 2:48 pm

^
Image

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woofner
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Re: Future cars

Postby woofner » August 6th, 2013, 10:50 am

I thought it was more recently that we were talking about this, but the Do the Math blog just had a post about electric vehicles, and linked to this EPA site that tells you the energy mix and carbon intensity of your region's electricity:

http://oaspub.epa.gov/powpro/ept_pack.charts

It shows that the upper midwest is more carbon-intensive than the nation as a whole, and if my understanding of the Do the Math explanation of the formula for the net carbon footprint of an electric vehicle is correct, that means that electric vehicles in MN are significantly worse for climate stability than gas vehicles. Check the section called CO2 Emissions in this post:

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/201 ... bite-back/

This graphic is from the post, and to understand part of why electric cars in MN have a larger carbon footprint than gas vehicles, multiply the length of the bar labeled 'Electricity (Calif. mix)' by 2.5:

Image

He also linked to this article in the IEEE magazine which looks interesting but I haven't read yet:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewab ... -any-speed
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David Greene
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Re: Future cars

Postby David Greene » August 6th, 2013, 11:01 am

Very interesting article. I just want to highlight this since it's not directly related to the current topic.

"Although I don’t self-identify as being in the 'upper class,' our income edges us into the top quintile in the U.S. "

This, I believe, is at the root of most of our society's ills. Here's a guy who makes more than 80% of people in the U.S. and he doesn't even consider himself being "upper class." I know people in the top 5% who think they are middle class.

I believe this phenomenon is explained by the incredibly steep income curve as you travel through the top 10%. People at the top 5% point don't feel rich, even though they are, because those in the top, say, 3% make *so much more* money. In a sense, people instinctively understand the income and wealth disparity but can't actually name it.

In any case, the fact that people don't know they're rich is why it's been easy to give tax cuts to the rich -- the lie is calling it a middle-class tax cut. The consequences for our infrastructure and social services is well documented. It also explains the decreased sympathy for the *real* middle class and working poor. Those making $100k+ seems to be thinking, "*I'm* middle class and making it, why can't they?"

When money becomes god, this is what happens.

mulad
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Re: Future cars

Postby mulad » August 6th, 2013, 11:22 am

I suppose I'm trying to find a silver lining in a pile of turds, but multiplying the California electric mix by 2.5 results in a number around 100 or just a bit larger. I'm betting that our gasoline is generally worse than California reformulated gasoline, since a large chunk of it comes from tar sands oil, which gets piped in from Alberta. I think there's still a lot of conventional oil being produced up there, but tar sands oil is an increasing proportion over time.

So while it would probably be best for a lot of Minnesotans to switch to CNG vehicles, there aren't a whole lot of those available. I still figure it's best to go electric and just pay Xcel a bit more for Windsource, or do whatever else you feel like to get a more renewable type of energy.

I also used to buy carbon offsets for my car through TerraPass, though I guess I've lapsed with that for a few years.

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Re: Future cars

Postby David Greene » August 6th, 2013, 11:28 am

mulad wrote:I still figure it's best to go electric and just pay Xcel a bit more for Windsource, or do whatever else you feel like to get a more renewable type of energy..
Or charge it with solar panels, which is our plan.

talindsay
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Re: Future cars

Postby talindsay » August 6th, 2013, 11:43 am

Or buy a VW turbodiesel. We love ours.

UptownSport
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Re: Future cars

Postby UptownSport » August 10th, 2013, 8:27 pm

Our family had our first one, 79 rabbit that my bro literally drove the wheels off of (it wasn't a turbo, just diesel), now they have two VW TD's.
Efficiency is insane.
The diesel farm trucks get in the low 20's, also remarkable because they're so much heavier than a half ton.

EPA did a study using VW diesels direct injecting E85.
The fuel was more efficient than fuel oil, and, obviously much less expensive

UptownSport
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Re: Future cars

Postby UptownSport » August 28th, 2013, 6:51 pm

smart released an e version, 68 mile range.
They claim to sell for as low as $12,490

http://www.smartusa.com/models/electric ... _LEASE_139

mulad
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Re: Future cars

Postby mulad » August 30th, 2013, 10:06 pm

I found a site that tracks monthly sales figures for all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars. I think that a lot of these models have regional appeal, since I see Chevy Volts basically every day, Nissan Leafs around once every week or so, and I've still only seen one Tesla Model S so far -- in overall figures this year, all three are pretty much neck-and-neck. I've also seen a few Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, which is not even selling at 1/10th the rate of the others. I'm not sure how many of these may be fleet sales to the city or UMN or whatever...

Most of the remaining models are just available with an electric option, and are hard to distinguish without looking for distinctive badging or aerodynamic tweaks.

http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

mplsjaromir
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Re: Future cars

Postby mplsjaromir » August 31st, 2013, 6:53 am

I see a Fisker Karma often.

blobs
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby blobs » November 22nd, 2013, 11:27 am

I have a feeling that by the time SW LRT gets build, we will have autonomous cars (self-driving) or be just a couple years away from having them, rendering LRT obsolete.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous ... rojections
By 2018, Google expects to release their autonomous car technology.[84]
By 2020, Volvo envisages having cars in which passengers would be immune from injuries.[77][85]
By 2020, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Nissan and BMW all expect to sell autonomous cars.

VAStationDude
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby VAStationDude » November 22nd, 2013, 11:32 am

Wouldn't the same technology made the train driver obsolete and thereby make LRT even more economical than it currently is with a well paid union driver operating each train set?

Tom H.
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tom H. » November 22nd, 2013, 1:08 pm

Even if that comes to pass in quantities large enough to even be meaningful, why would this make LRT (or any form of transit) obsolete? Self-driving cars still require highways, individual vehicle ownership, vehicle storage facilities, costly fuel, harmful emissions, etc. - i.e., 90% of the problems associated with automobiles today.

Silophant
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » November 22nd, 2013, 1:16 pm

Yeah. The fact that each vehicle needs an attentive driver is not a major reason transit is better.

MNdible
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » November 22nd, 2013, 3:25 pm

There is a thought that automated cars would increase the capacity of freeways substantially by eliminating bad driver behavior.

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Nick
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Re: Future cars

Postby Nick » November 23rd, 2013, 11:39 am

I had a subscription to Popular Science as a kid, and it seems like driverless cars have been right around the corner, standing next to fusion power and everyone telecommuting, for decades.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Future cars

Postby Mdcastle » November 23rd, 2013, 12:58 pm

Also they'd reduce or eliminate accidents, which either block lanes or cause everyone to slow down to take a good look.

UptownSport
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby UptownSport » November 23rd, 2013, 2:26 pm

MNdible wrote:There is a thought that automated cars would increase the capacity of freeways substantially by eliminating bad driver behavior.
Interesting observation. IF guidance were sophisticated enough to link to each adjacent vehicle, less buffer would be required (think the 'two second' following rule)
Lane could be narrower and following distance next to nothing.

Portions of these systems are already here.

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kellonathan
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby kellonathan » November 23rd, 2013, 6:06 pm

MNdible wrote:There is a thought that automated cars would increase the capacity of freeways substantially by eliminating bad driver behavior.
There is also a thought that automated cars would dramatically increase travel demands, too. Think of all those empty cars on their ways to pick up their owners! :P
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