Why cars are crap

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  • Why cars are crap
  • gobuchul
    Member

    None of that considers the losses in generating the electricity in the first place.

    Also, you need a lot of electricity to produce the hydrogen.

    Once you factor that in, they would be a lot closer.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    That and alternative methods of transportation for those people who need a car etc.

    brooess
    Member

    Aren’t bikes 99% mechanically efficient? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Not sure if anyone’s extrapolated that all the way backwards to the energy content of the food that goes in to provide power for the legs though…

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    the human is around 20% efficient at energy in -> useful work out.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    They really are a bit crap aren’t they

    Well, define crap. What kind of arbitrary %age would you consider good? Why would you consider it good?

    They are the best currently available technology for moving people individually over longer distances. I could make a list of why electric cars are crap and cars are brilliant, but I cba.

    the human is around 20% efficient at energy in -> useful work out.

    In terms of calories in vs out, yes, but what about the calories needed to grow the food to begin with? Cycling could be one of the least efficient methods ๐Ÿ™‚

    iolo
    Member

    What distance can you go on battery cars? About 20 miles max before recharging. How much power to produce the electricity to charge the batteries?
    Your comment “cars are crap” is a bit silly as battery or hydrogen cars are still cars.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    You assume drivers don’t eat?

    I define crap as being “like a car” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes we are about 20% efficient but then again, the byproduct is we stay alive! Cars just piss it all out as heat.

    This is not a pro electric car rant (though I did drive the i3, and I loved it). It’s just that bicycles are great!

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Your comment “cars are crap” is a bit silly as battery or hydrogen cars are still cars.

    I’d read the OP as hydro and leccy cars are still crap

    They are the best currently available technology for moving people individually over longer distances

    just a pity most of them are used to move individuals over walking distance, those that aren’t are cycle distance with only a minority going train distances

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    iolo – Member
    What distance can you go on battery cars? About 20 miles max before recharging.

    About 306miles on the tesla I think. http://www.teslamotors.com/goelectric#range

    In terms of calories in vs out, yes, but what about the calories needed to grow the food to begin with? Cycling could be one of the least efficient methods

    As opposed to all the calories needed to grow the plants and animals to produce sufficient chitin to in a specific rock formation then be buried by geological processes powered by plate tectonics and heated an pressurised to the exact pont of cracking with losses at eith side of that pressure temperature window then exhumed by more geological processes to a point where reservoirs are formed in anticlines with losses from fracturing and faulting, pore space migration etc. then be extracted then refined then transported then transported again then burnt?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    and to expand on the Tesla thing above in somewhere sunny and windy like Australia & with a spare battery it would be possible to self generate the energy to run the car. So imagine that a car that you could refuel for free for most of your local journeys ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d be smug about that one!

    (OK there is a bit more about the actual charging where the solar is DC not AC for charging but minor details!)

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    To be honest, the main reason cars are crap is this (I know it’s not absolutely correct as it assumes 1 person per car, but that is almost always the case in the main!)

    Just the sheer amount of space we give over to motorised transport beggars belief really ๐Ÿ™

    ooOOoo
    Member

    http://www.efficient-mileage.com/hydrogen-cars.html

    Pretty crappy….and if you assume a driver weighs 80kg and their car weighs 1520kg, then a full 95% of that energy to motion is just moving the car. Giving the petrol car a whopping 1% overall efficiency in moving a human.

    They really are a bit crap aren’t they.

    traildog
    Member

    Even if you factor in the generating the electricity, electric cars are a lot more efficient. The trouble is range, although it’s a lot more than 20miles mentioned above. I would think most peoples commute to work is under 50 miles, so they’d be good for that, especially as they don’t take much power when stuck still in a queue!

    Not sure on the environmental impact of batteries though.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    As opposed to all the calories needed to grow the plants and animals to produce sufficient chitin to in a specific rock formation then be buried by geological processes powered by plate tectonics and ……

    good work!

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Subscriber

    the ‘food as power for cyclists’ is a red herring because cyclists use pretty much the same amount of food as the car driver

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    This is not a pro electric car rant (though I did drive the i3, and I loved it). It’s just that bicycles are great

    Of course, and I am guardedly pro-electric cars, but I can’t stand people reducing science to pithy but basically incomplete soundbites to try and push their own agenda.

    Re range, the i3 is available with an onboard generator. Now I want one ๐Ÿ™‚

    the ‘food as power for cyclists’ is a red herring because cyclists use pretty much the same amount of food as the car driver

    If the driver only ate what he needed, this would not be true ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    here are my 2 main problems with cars:

    1) physical inactivity is killing tens of thousands of people every year in the uk alone.

    2) cars need lots of infrastructure, towns and cities built to accommodate cars are horrible places to live in

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I don’t think it’s cars’ fault that (some) towns and cities are horrible places. If more emphasis had been placed on aesthetics and less on conveninece in the 60s we’d be far better off.

    People didn’t realise that buldozing an inner ring road through a load of old houses and building a bus station and supermarket would be so damaging; they thought it was shiny new progress.

    Cars are ok – over-use of cars isn’t. Ration fuel based on circumstances, I say.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    It’s really a conclusion I reached a while ago molgrips, and as much as I loved my E30 318is, once I started realising how wasteful cars generally are I stepped back from the whole car culture and realised that, basically, it’s bollocks.

    i3 on the petrol range generator is only 30mpg ๐Ÿ™ …but per mile on electric it’s about a tenth of the petrol cost ๐Ÿ™‚

    edit..but for my 4 mile commute I (sadly) can’t justify it & (luckily) can’t afford it.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    molgrips – Member

    I don’t think it’s cars’ fault that…

    i know what you mean, the existence of cars doesn’t necessarily mean horrible town planning, but, show me an example of town where it’s been done well…

    (‘it’ = a transport system/network designed for 90%* of all journeys to be made by car)

    (*number obviously made up on the spot, but, y’know, please feel welcome to replace my made-up-stat with the correct percentage for the uk)

    Anyone have a figure on how many KW or Amp hrs a litre of petrol or diesel generates?
    Do electric cars really cost 1p a mile to run?

    Move away from car ownership – rent a car when you need one. Have exclusion zones in urban centres where you’re not allowed to register a vehicle – you must own/be the tenant at a property where you register your vehicle. Rural types who need a car get to keep one urban types who don’t can rent for long journeys and commute on the super dooper improved public transport we’re always supposed to be getting. What can possible go wrong? I’d have banned private vehciles from city centres years ago and usied some of that brownfield they can’t build houses on for park and ride. FYI There may be a few minor flaws in these proposals.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    Cars are crap fact #2

    Road damage per vehicle mile is roughly to the fourth power of vehicle weight.. (Reply #31) – Democratic Underground
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=170758

    So a car twice as heavy, does 16 times more damage.

    For example:

    1963 – Mini Cooper – 630Kg
    2014 – Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 – 1380kg

    = 23x more road damage per vehicle mile

    But hey, the roads are crap too, so what people need are 2 ton+ 4x4s.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    “the ‘food as power for cyclists’ is a red herring because cyclists use pretty much the same amount of food as the car driver “

    If the driver only ate what he needed, this would not be true

    That’s probably not going to make the difference given just how efficient a bike is.

    A relatively light and slow vehicle with low-friction tires and an efficient chain-driven drivetrain, the bicycle is one of the most energy-efficient forms of transport. A 64 kg (140 lb) cyclist riding at 16 km/h (10 mph) requires about half the energy per unit distance of walking: 43 kcal/mi, 27 kcal/km or 3.1 kWยทh (11 MJ) per 100 km.[4] This converts to about 732 mpg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_efficiency_in_transportation#Bicycling

    Oh, and: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla_model_s

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    1963 – Mini Cooper – 630Kg
    2014 – Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 – 1380kg

    Mini Cooper 2014 NCAP rating – 5*
    Mini Cooper 1963 NCAP rating – deathtrap

    I remember a few cities in France where the motorway entered into a tunnel, you parked your car underground and popped up in a nice quiet city centre. I forget where though.

    Move away from car ownership – rent a car when you need one.

    As a mobile consultant, I’d like to see, for my job:

    1) Vastly more telecommuting
    2) Decent busses between my house and the train station (that’ll take folding bikes)
    3) Not having to wear ‘office’ clothes for work as it’d make clothing choices easier
    4) A company account with an on-demand car hire place with depots everywhere
    5) Not being obliged to own a car to get an extra ยฃ280/mo net salary (although I am not obliged to use it)

    Re the i3 – shame the mpg is poor on generator, I’d have hoped it’d be better. I wonder if that’s charging battery as well as running the car? I wish someone would do a long term test, in normal usage, and see how much petrol they actually end up using. On long trips you could probably do a few charges at motorway services.

    Re the Tesla – not impressed tbh. Oh, batteries in electric cars are expensive and don’t hold much charge. Our solution – fill the car with them anyway and charge ยฃ60k. We’ll just fit a fatter motor (easy to do), make it tiny and call it a sports car.

    2) Decent busses between my house and the train station (that’ll take folding bikes)

    Once had a puncture and no means of fixing it (yeah Inkow – left me kit in my camelbak), **** miles from anywhere, tried to get on a bus – you can’t take that on here mate. Offeredt to take the wheels off and pack it down but no, the universe would have imploded so 4 mile wlak to train station and an hours wait for the next train. If i had a clothes horse and ironing board or a collection of scaffolding poles I’d have been let on. Integrated transport.

    None of that considers the losses in generating the electricity in the first place.

    If you going to do that, you also need to factor in the energy to extract, refine and transport the petrol before that can be used too. Petrol doesn’t just grow on trees you know.

    Molgrips –

    A few of the car mags on the highstreet are running long term tests to test real world fuel usage. Just go browse a couple in Whsmith

    MrSalmon
    Member

    4) A company account with an on-demand car hire place with depots everywhere

    This would be really good, for people as well as companies. It’s obviously harder than it looks though as Car2Go has just packed up in Birmingham…

    Also, what thestabiliser said.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    None of that considers the losses in generating the electricity in the first place.

    Solar/Wind Home generation.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Ration fuel based on circumstances, I say.

    rationing hmmm…maybe, but circumstances you say? Do people who chose to live 80 miles from their place of work and commute daily automatically get more petrol rations?

    (I jolly well hope not)

    Higher petrol prices may be easier to run but any system you come up with is going to be open to abuse, the fairest way could be to make drivin less and less convenient and public/alternative transport much more so (and hella-cheaper)

    ooOOoo
    Member

    Some good ideas here. Personally I really wish they’d invent buses & trains that could take 50 bikes instead of 5. Obviously the weight of bikes is relatively tiny (especially on here) but it’s the volume they occupy.

    Best thing about the i3 was the instant torque & the absolute silence generally. Makes a rolls royce seem coarse (not that I’ve been in a roller)

    I did enjoy getting schmoozed back into the whole BMW thing. My username is actually meant to look like the front of a 3 series….
    1200kg & rear wheel drive. Just like my E30. But my bike is 15kg and I enjoy the exercise. So I rent cars occasionally. Always new and no maintenance issues. The novelty still hasn’t worn off.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    but circumstances you say? Do people who chose to live 80 miles from their place of work and commute daily automatically get more petrol rations?

    I’d say yes, because you’d never be able to tell why they live out there. Coudl be all sorts of reasons. Plus they still have to buy it. And if they all moved into London or wherever the prices would go even more insane.

    CountZero
    Member

    Cars are crap fact #2

    Road damage per vehicle mile is roughly to the fourth power of vehicle weight.. (Reply #31) – Democratic Underground
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=170758

    So a car twice as heavy, does 16 times more damage.
    And how much damage does a bus do, or a 40-60 ton truck?

    andyl
    Member

    surely the damage depends on the tyre footprint and contact pressure.

    Bit like a 50kg person in stilettos can do more damage to a wooden floor than a 100kg one in trainers.

    mattsccm
    Member

    I saw that as aren’t they all inefficient.
    TO compare them to a human for example is irrelevant. Its just a statement saying that all forms of cars are inefficient.

    samuri
    Member

    the ‘food as power for cyclists’ is a red herring because cyclists use pretty much the same amount of food as the car driver
    If the driver only ate what he needed, this would not be true

    I do 30 miles a day on a bike and eat no more (and probably less than most) than a person who doesn’t exercise. Fit people are more efficient. It’s one reason why all that calorie nonsense is complete bollocks.

    squirrelking
    Member

    Mechanical device in drivetrain inefficiency shocker…

    For example:

    1963 – Mini Cooper – 630Kg
    2014 – Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 – 1380kg

    = 23x more road damage per vehicle mile

    Why did you compare the original Mini to a 4×4 that carries the Mini badge but little else to do with the original? Why not compare it to the base Mini? By deliberatly misleading to justify your point you make yourself look daft imo.

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