New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * gmail.com to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#326 2021-06-24 12:45:52

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

It's actually E0.18 per KwH for households.

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistic … statistics

Obviously I didn't think you were referencing domestic usage when talking about steel production. Sweden I believe is still a big producer of steel. Their electricity costs E0.06 KwH for non-household usage. I  think that's an average. So could be lower for big industrial plants.

You were looking to the future, and so was I. It's clear the cost of green energy and storage is falling dramatically and these falls will continue. While it's true the cost of building a green energy infrastructure has increased the price to date, once the storage issue is addressed, we will see prices fall.

Calliban wrote:

Louis, €0.2/kWh is the average EU electricity rate right now.  Not what it will be in 10 years time.  The UK is at the high end at €0.22/kWh.
https://strom-report.de/electricity-prices-europe/

It keeps going up, not down.  The average UK rate of €0.22/kWh is $US0.3/kWh.  Surely you pay electricity bills?  If you pay $0.02/kWh, then I am envious.  My electricity bill is £1000/year.  The UK has some of the best wind power resources in the world.  And $0.3/kWh is what we pay for this bountiful gift.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#327 2021-06-24 16:22:40

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

tahanson43206,

While the idea of using a solar power satellite has some merits to it, the energy expended to create and maintain such a series of orbiting mega-structures will be truly staggering, absent more efficient orbital transport vehicles that simply don't exist because we haven't tried to develop them in any serious way.  The space agencies are only interested in satisfying their scientific curiosity, not building the foundations for improved transportation technology.  For example, name the last new rocket engine that NASA developed that was put into production and is in current use.  So far as I'm aware, we use the RS-25, the APCP solid rocket boosters, RL-10, and some variant of the dual chamber Russian engines used in the Atlas series of rockets.  The J-2X and all other engines have been science projects that resulted in no actual hardware pushed into production use.

Apart from medium-sized solid rocket boosters for commercial launch vehicles, the Merlin / Raptor / BE-3 / BE-4 are the only "new technology" rocket engines that were in part funded by NASA or the US Air Force.  No microwave-powered expander cycle engines have been funded by the US Air Force.  That means that a fundamentally more efficient rocket engine (1,000s Isp range) won't be forthcoming, because private enterprise uses well-proven technologies with decades of engineering and manufacturing development behind them.  The most "radical" new designs are no different in operation or even materials used than what existed before I was born.  3D printing of complex turbo machinery parts is the greatest technological innovation to come along in my lifetime.

Full reusability has yet to be demonstrated for an orbital class launch vehicle.  We need LH2 monopropellant rockets with 1,000s+ Isp, full reusability of all major components, 24 hour turn-around times, and advanced vehicle control computer / engine / heat shield diagnostics to support economical reusability to maintain the launch cadence required to construct orbital solar power satellites.  Beyond that, we need space flight qualification of doped CNT-based wiring to reduce the mass of the electrical subsystem for those satellites, and some additional development of 10MW+ gyrotrons for beamed power transmission.  Everything else only requires engineering rather than technological development.

Even with all of those technological advancements, building solar power satellites does nothing to actually reduce energy consumption.

We don't need AI-piloted compact electric cars that weigh as much as pickup trucks do, using vastly more computing power than the Space Shuttle ever did.  There is no "necessity" for such technology to exist, nor is it even practical using existing technology.  Since all of these idiotic contraptions can have their software remotely hacked by a terrorist with a laptop, it's only a matter of time before someone commands a bunch of them to drive over a cliff, or through the living room in a house, or into electric step-down transformers that disable the entire electric grid in a city or even an entire state.  It's a futurism fantasy-based human brain construct concocted by people who, while highly imaginative, are also very poorly educated about what the details of their science fiction fantasies actually require in order to function in any practical sense.  All such nonsense is a recipe for vastly increased raw materials consumption requiring vastly more energy consumption.  Unfortunately for humanity, endless consumption growth can't be sustained by a planet with finite resources.  Ultimately, it's a recipe for energy poverty disaster when engineering reality doesn't remotely correlate with science fiction fantasy.

In my "glittering vision of tomorrow", we spend more time and money teaching people how to properly drive a car, how to make minor repairs to their car, perform routine maintenance (air up the tires, check and change the oil before the idiot light illuminates on the dash), and won't grant them a driver's license unless they can demonstrate those skills (because there is such a thing as being too ignorant to drive a car).  We will also teach them how to use basic math in their everyday lives to avoid being suckered into demonstrably false propaganda that's wildly incongruent with basic math.  Heck, we may even throw in some free lessons in "uncommon sense" for good measure, such as having a manual air pump that doesn't require electric power or hydraulic power or unicorn power can prevent you from being stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire.  That simple hand-operated air pump may take a little bit more time to inflate a tire and necessitate the use of some old-fashion muscle power, but it sure beats spending $50 on an electric pump that will burn out before you can inflate one tire, or $100 to $200 for a tow truck or freezing to death in the winter if your cell phone died.

We need less energy-intensive technology and much greater understanding of the technology that we do use, so that we can make good decisions about the practicality or lack thereof, as it relates to switching to newer and more complex technology that is great when it works, but less than worthless when it doesn't.  We've mastered simple mechanical devices and basic electrical systems.  There are a handful of people on this planet who have the expertise to write or modify a computer control program for a bank of thousands of tiny batteries if a malicious software program bricks the computer controlling them.

Knight Rider was a TV show for a reason, namely Hollyweird imagination run wild, not a practical future technology for the masses.  Recall how Kit had its own dedicated engineer and semi truck filled with computer equipment for diagnostics and repair?  Recall how they could never quite figure out why some software problems persisted?  I'm guessing your average motorist doesn't have that kind of equipment for maintaining his or her vehicle, much less the knowledge required to use it.  The net net is that we should keep it simple.  AI won't be taking over any equipment that requires human muscle power to start, operate, refuel, and repair.

Offline

#328 2021-06-24 16:35:50

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Louis,

It appears as if households pay most of the electricity taxes on behalf of corporations in Sweden, unless corporations there typically own their own electric generating infrastructure.

Why is that arrangement necessary if green energy is so cheap?

Are energy-intensive European corporations like steel mills otherwise unprofitable or not competitive, due to the cost of green energy?

We know it's not because European countries are using the taxes to meet their defense spending obligations to NATO, since nearly all of them fail to do that.

Offline

#329 2021-06-24 17:16:33

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Well in 2019 nuclear tied with hydro in Sweden, at 39%, so nuclear has to take its share of the blame!

https://www.statista.com/statistics/101 … by-source/

It's just good old market economics I presume. A big industrial plant can always choose to create its own energy source if the grid won't supply it cheap enough. Big industrial plants are just way more powerful than individual households, so through their consumption they command lower prices. That is a pattern across the world.

kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

It appears as if households pay most of the electricity taxes on behalf of corporations in Sweden, unless corporations there typically own their own electric generating infrastructure.

Why is that arrangement necessary if green energy is so cheap?

Are energy-intensive European corporations like steel mills otherwise unprofitable or not competitive, due to the cost of green energy?

We know it's not because European countries are using the taxes to meet their defense spending obligations to NATO, since nearly all of them fail to do that.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#330 2021-06-24 18:51:29

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Louis,

Unless those wind turbines and solar panels produce electrical power 24/7, then a backup plant is always required since there's no such thing as a battery-based grid scale storage solution anywhere in the world.  Nuclear power doesn't care at all about whether or not the Sun shines or the wind blows.  If the backup is a gas turbine or a coal fired power plant, then it's turning and burning 24/7 to deal with the fact that those types of plants don't spin up instantly and don't like thermal cycling and they need to produce power 24/7 to pay for themselves.

Edit:

We keep rehashing the same basic concepts related to energy production over and over again.  I'm not learning anything, except that the ideology of "green energy" evangelists is impervious to accepting the actual cost of their ideas to electricity consumers.  Wind and solar costs every bit as much as nuclear power, and then some, given its very short average lifespan before retirement and replacement is required, and the fact that a backup power plant is always required.  Nothing has fundamentally changed.  Batteries are every bit as impractical for replacing fossil fuels as they were when I was born, which was 40 years ago and counting.  If Lithium-ion battery costs fall to the same as that of Lead-acid, then it'll be slightly less wildly impractical for energy storage.  Nobody uses Lead-acid for storage because it costs too much.  Energy density is nearly meaningless for a stationary battery.  Only total cost of ownership, time in service before retirement, and recyclability actually matters.

Last edited by kbd512 (2021-06-24 19:03:07)

Offline

#331 2021-06-24 19:23:52

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Well of course Sweden has its hydro "batteries" so storage is not a problem.  It doesn't really need anything else in terms of storage but it is not best placed for either wind or solar energy. In fact if you look at the mass of humanity probably 97% or more have better access to solar and wind energy than do Swedes - they are lucky to have their hydro and to be next to nations (Norway and Denmark) who can provide cheap wind and hydro energy.

kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

Unless those wind turbines and solar panels produce electrical power 24/7, then a backup plant is always required since there's no such thing as a battery-based grid scale storage solution anywhere in the world.  Nuclear power doesn't care at all about whether or not the Sun shines or the wind blows.  If the backup is a gas turbine or a coal fired power plant, then it's turning and burning 24/7 to deal with the fact that those types of plants don't spin up instantly and don't like thermal cycling and they need to produce power 24/7 to pay for themselves.

Edit:

We keep rehashing the same basic concepts related to energy production over and over again.  I'm not learning anything, except that the ideology of "green energy" evangelists is impervious to accepting the actual cost of their ideas to electricity consumers.  Wind and solar costs every bit as much as nuclear power, and then some, given its very short average lifespan before retirement and replacement is required, and the fact that a backup power plant is always required.  Nothing has fundamentally changed.  Batteries are every bit as impractical for replacing fossil fuels as they were when I was born, which was 40 years ago and counting.  If Lithium-ion battery costs fall to the same as that of Lead-acid, then it'll be slightly less wildly impractical for energy storage.  Nobody uses Lead-acid for storage because it costs too much.  Energy density is nearly meaningless for a stationary battery.  Only total cost of ownership, time in service before retirement, and recyclability actually matters.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#332 2021-06-24 19:40:31

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,913

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

The thing with solar and batteries is that no matter how good they are they are limited to hours and energy received to not 100% being save or being able to be used later. That the laws of demand can not exceed the amounts which can be received period. Any choice to use to the max only allows for the system to fail...That any diminishing levels of received must also be compensated for by an equal amount not wanted to be used to prevent damage.
yes a system can be expanded over time for both what we can collect, what we can save for later use and expanded for the higher demand but the equations still do not change.

Offline

#333 2021-06-25 04:11:37

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,338

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

kbd512 wrote:

We keep rehashing the same basic concepts related to energy production over and over again.  I'm not learning anything, except that the ideology of "green energy" evangelists is impervious to accepting the actual cost of their ideas to electricity consumers.  Wind and solar costs every bit as much as nuclear power, and then some, given its very short average lifespan before retirement and replacement is required, and the fact that a backup power plant is always required.  Nothing has fundamentally changed.  Batteries are every bit as impractical for replacing fossil fuels as they were when I was born, which was 40 years ago and counting.  If Lithium-ion battery costs fall to the same as that of Lead-acid, then it'll be slightly less wildly impractical for energy storage.  Nobody uses Lead-acid for storage because it costs too much.  Energy density is nearly meaningless for a stationary battery.  Only total cost of ownership, time in service before retirement, and recyclability actually matters.

I have noticed the same thing.  Louis doesn't seem to want to take no for an answer and brings up the same stuff over and over again.  I don't think he even reads a lot of the stuff that is posted here.  But as Tahanson has reminded us, the value of this exercise is to explore the limits of the possible for anyone that might make use of this forum.


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

Offline

#334 2021-06-25 07:41:08

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,338

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

kbd512 wrote:

The all-steel Ford Anglia E04A coupe of the 1940s weighed around 1,640lbs, a 10hp engine, and a top speed of around 55mph.  The space saved in the engine bay by using an air-cooled V-twin engine can be used to beef up the passenger compartment for sake of crash-worthiness.  The shorter / slightly wider / lower height Korean-made Chevy Spark weighs 2,200lbs to 2,300lbs for comparison purposes.  Weight is largely related to design choices.  A common air-cooled Harley-Davidson V-twin can produce about 67hp, which is more than enough for a 75mph top speed.  While air-cooled engines require more maintenance than water-cooled engines, it's cheaper to produce (time and energy) and maintenance doesn't require lots of expensive specialty tools and diagnostics equipment.  150 pounds for a V-twin vs 216 pounds for the Chevy Spark's Inline-4 (minus the radiator and other accessories).  Anything faster than about 75mph is illegal, no matter where you go in the US, as well as all places in Europe not named "Autobahn".

A sheet steel 4 seat chassis with Aluminum air-cooled engine, Aluminum manual transmission, and Aluminum wheels would minimize the weight and number of superfluous moving parts.  The use of manual steering / transmission / windows / mirrors would reduce the weight of materials and energy cost associated with manufacturing.  The Chevy Spark already does this to a degree, but the decision to use a much heavier liquid-cooled engine, automatic transmission, and to load up the interior with a bunch of electrical and electronic toys necessitated other design choices that substantially increased the weight of the Spark over the Anglia E04A, by about 600 pounds or so.  600 pounds is the weight of a complete motorcycle, and not a small one at that.

All models would have EFI / EI engine control, just as all new-built Harley motorcycles already do, an oil-to-water cabin heater would be provided to both cool the engine oil and provide heat during winter months.  Luxury models would also include an AC unit.  Wealthier owners could plug in their iPad on the dash for infotainment capabilities, but this would not be part of the vehicle, since it greatly increases energy consumption and therefore cost.

2,300 pounds to 1,600 pounds is a drastic weight reduction, so far less power is actually required to move the vehicle.  We could potentially use a much smaller displacement 20hp generator engine that would still double the power-to-weight ratio of the old Anglia E04A.

This sounds like a design improvement.  Rising ECOE is resulting in rising inequality and declining real incomes for a large percentage of the population.  There is definitely a business opportunity for a company able to produce small, light and cheap cars, with excellent fuel economy (is 100mpg achievable?).  Low capital cost is important to people that don't have a lot of free cash and wouldn't qualify for loans.  We need vehicles that are affordable to blue collar workers and cash in hand workers.  These people would certainly be willing to compromise on added features, if the car is affordable and gets them to where they want to go.  Top speed is less important than fuel economy.  To keep capital cost down and fuel economy good, the engine and all other subsystems need to be simple and easy to make and repair.  Hybrid options are a way of improving fuel economy, but need to be carefully balanced against weight and capital cost.  Regerative breaking would save a lot of fuel in urban driving conditions.  There are other options than using batteries.  Flywheels, compressed air and hydraulic accumulators may be more cost effective options.

An interesting engine development.
https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a … -13817971/

Fuel should be gasoline, rather than diesel.  LPG and CNG would both work well in spark ignition engines.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-06-25 08:07:15)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

Offline

#335 2021-06-25 09:59:24

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,338

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Hydraulic capsules pipelines are a technology that appeared to be full of promise, yet it remains largely undeveloped and unheard of.
https://www.osti.gov/biblio/5730680-sma … t-july-may

The idea is similar in many respects to a canal.  Freight is loaded into capsules, which are adjusted to ensure that they are neutrally buoyant in water.  Capsules are then loaded into pipelines and are carried along the pipeline at speeds of 2-3m/s, by the flow of water through the pipeline, with the capsules floating in the water.  Pipelines like this could span thousands of miles and an interconnected system of pipelines, with node points at major cities, could carry the vast majority of US inland freight, using a small fraction of the energy used by a truck and without so much as a drop of diesel.  Water can be pumped using grid electric power, or even direct mechanical wind power.

Pipelines have proven to be the most economical and energy efficient means of transporting bulk liquids and gases.  With Peak Diesel already behind us, it would make sense to to begin building systems that transport goods without it.  The US already uses railroads to transport large quantities of freight for a fraction of the energy cost of trucking.  A pipeline system should be designed to interface with the rail freight network.  Capsules would function as containers, which can be lifted on and off of railroad flatbed trailers and also onto HGV trailers.  This would allow all three modes to use the same watertight freight containers, with pipelines gradually replacing truck routes as diesel supply declines.

Each node at towns and cities, will be a junction point between pipelines and a place where containers can be loaded and unloaded.  Short range electric vehicles could be used to transport containers to and from each node to the surrounding area.  When the pipeline network is complete, no electric vehicle would need range greater than 30 miles.

Another old technology that may be resurrected in the future.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_shaft

The green lobby have put us on a path that will make electricity grids difficult to maintain.  If the SHTF, wind power will be the most practical (best EROI) mechanical power for most people.  It can be used to deliver direct mechanical power using very simple devices, with few moving parts.  A wind turbine delivering a few tens of kW of power, can be made using wood, with a stone tower and steel bearings.  A line shaft would deliver direct mechanical power to equipment within a workshop, using belts or a clutch system.  There would be no energy storage, save perhaps a flywheel, but machines would be coupled and uncoupled to maintain speed within a range.  We could run all sorts of mechanical equipment in this way.  Excess power could be absorbed within a water brake, which would provide hot water.  There would be times when wind speed was insufficient to work the equipment.  People would take time off when that happens, or would maintain their equipment.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-06-25 10:40:52)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

Offline

#336 2021-06-25 12:37:50

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Calliban,

We need to drastically simplify the design and reduce weight, to the point that a simple structure can be quickly fabricated and a single microchip controls EFI / EI for the engine and nothing else.  The more I consider steel tubing and fabric aircraft construction, the better it looks in terms of strength, ultimate durability, total weight of materials, and therefore energy cost.  If it's feasible to precision cut / bend / grind / robotically weld 4130 steel tubing to produce what is essentially a race car chassis, then perhaps we can cover it with a durable fabric like CarbonX.  CarbonX is not flammable or electrically conductive (it's used to protect welders, electricians, and race car drivers), it significantly attenuates noise, and has some minor ballistic properties.  A 67hp Harley V-twin in a 1,200 pound chassis built that way, with a 200 pound driver, would go from 0-60 in about 9.3 seconds.  Since the average American making $40K per year will never be able to afford a Tesla of any variety, this is an economical alternative that minimizes energy consumption and maximizes driving enjoyment.  I think that engine and chassis are well matched to produce a vehicle with considerably better acceleration than a Chevy Spark, for considerably less money.  The Spark's liquid cooled engine will require less maintenance, but when the engine or CVT transmission breaks it probably won't be economical to replace, which means the entire vehicle and all the energy that went into making it is destined for the junkyard.  Since the exterior will be fabric covered, there's considerably less paint on the car.  A home enthusiast with a welder can alter or repair the chassis, if required, since the tools and fabrication experience working with sheet metal is not needed.

Offline

#337 2021-06-25 14:28:04

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

500lbs -  4130 tubing for a ridiculously strong 2 seat roll cage
200lbs - Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 107 cubic inch engine with oil and 3 gallons of fuel
80lbs - steering gear
88lbs - 4 Harley-Davidson Fatboy polished solid billet Aluminum wheels
72lbs - 4 Harley-Davidson Fatboy rear tires
60lbs - 4 Aluminum coil-over shocks
50lbs - 2 CarbonX fabric covered ABS plastic bucket seats
40lbs - 4 small disc brakes
40lbs - CarbonX fabric chassis covering (a multi-layer covering of Kevlar and CarbonX)
20lbs - Gauges, electrical system, lights

Those seem like realistically achievable sub-assembly weights using known components and that's around 1200lbs.  Production vehicle weight might increase by 100lbs or so, but that is a very solid 2 seat vehicle with better durability than must production cars, and crashworthiness more closely associated with race cars than production cars.  If we beef up this design to match the weight of the Anglia E04A, then it'll be the toughest little 2 seat urban transport on the road.  The engine I was thinking of is apparently 86hp, not 67hp, so no matter the weight increase, it will be a good bit faster than the much heavier Chevy Spark.  That power comes in at 3600rpm vs 5000rpm+ for the Chevy Spark, so plenty of torque for acceleration.  We can use foam cores woven into the Kevlar / CarbonX fabric to limit road noise.

SpaceNut is always posting about various types of motorcycles and trikes because those types of vehicles are within his fuel economy and price range, but what if we had a sub-$10K Chevy Spark replacement with equal or better gas mileage that someone like him could easily work on in their home garage with simple hand tools?

I think that price point is achievable with mass production.  4 seat models with weights closely matching the Chevy Spark are also possible.

Offline

#338 2021-06-25 17:37:23

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFSJDSh1jmE

This $4000 EV automobile will be quite attractive to a lot of young couples I imagine.

Certainly gives the lie to the idea that EVs are only for the rich.

If we develop electric roads (induction charging as you drive) then these vehicles will become even more desirable: cheap to run, cheap to maintain and you will be able to go long distances with them .


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#339 2021-06-25 19:33:38

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,913

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Of course the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV is going to be 2 to nearly 3 times the amount once it gets past all of the Red Tape...

The smart car was to sell for near that and its selling in the 12,000 ish area...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuling_Hongguang_Mini_EV

In 2020, the Hongguang Mini had a price starting at US$4,162, and tops out at US$5,607 for a fully loaded model, making it China's cheapest EV

https://electrek.co/2021/06/17/4700-ele … s-mini-ev/

https://insideevs.com/news/516146/wulin … iew-china/

The Wuling Mini EV has a 17.4 horsepower (13 kW) electric motor driving the rear wheels and it can be had with either a 9.2 kWh battery or a larger 13.8 kWh pack; the latter gives it an NEDC range of 170 km / 110 miles.

Size-wise, it is slightly bigger than a first-gen Smart ForTwo, except for its overall width, which is 23 millimeters lower than the Smart’s. It weighs 665 kg (1,466 pounds)

Offline

#340 2021-06-26 03:58:03

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Louis,

I continue to wait for something like this to become available here in America.  Since the Mini EV has a top speed of 62mph and a 17.4hp motor, it doesn't have enough power to drive on Texas highways, but it would be fine in an urban area.  The 27hp motor variant should have sufficient power for highway driving.  Here in Houston every drive is a combination of 30mph to 40mph street and 60mph to 70mph highway driving, and the street / highway split is 30 / 70 to 40 / 60 if you commute to work, as nearly everyone does.  Since you can't buy one in the UK, it may not conform to standards for highway vehicles.  I do like the price point, the finish of the interior, and the fact that it's simpler than our drastically more expensive Tesla EVs.  It's much too early to determine the ultimate durability of these vehicles since they only started shipping them last year.

Offline

#341 2021-06-26 09:33:19

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Continuing on with the theme of a low-cost DIY 2 to 4 seat vehicle using aircraft / race car chassis construction methods, I've noted that the Aluminum alloy wheels are much more expensive, at $125 to $350 each (cast vs billet), than 15x5 steel trailer wheels, at $50 to $150 each (bare steel vs black powder coat vs chrome).  The weight differential is not what I thought it would be, either, as the weights are very close (+/- 4 pounds for all options under investigation).  The 22x3 billet Aluminum Harley-Davidson Fatboy wheels are therefore out of the running for this 4-wheeler, since they're about 4 pounds heavier than, and considerably more expensive than the more common steel trailer wheels.

V-Twin Cylinder CVT Transmission 1000CC Dune Buggy UTV 4x4

That's a $7,500 unit, also from China, and weighs 1,984lbs, but it has a lot of superfluous steel welded into the structure for off-road durability and utility for cargo carrying.  However, this design is an on-road type vehicle.  This entire concept is sort of loosely based upon a V-twin dune buggy / sand rail / ATV, except that it doesn't need the features or heavier chassis associated with off-road use.  Nobody will be jumping these things off sand dunes at 40mph.

A 1,200 pound 2-seater or a 1,600 pound 4-seater looks pretty feasible to do.  The abundance of used or refurbished 60hp to 90hp Harley-Davidson / Honda / Yamaha V-twin engines for sale for $1,000 to $1,500 would seem to indicate that there are plenty of options for the engine, such that users who prefer one type of engine over the next have a good selection to choose from.  All of these engines have good OEM and aftermarket support.

I've decided against using 4130.  4130 is considerably stiffer than mild steel and can be approximately half the weight of mild steel while conforming to NHRA tech specifications, but it doesn't deform as well in crash and is more expensive.  NHRA says mild steel requires a 0.118" minimum wall thickness.  NASCAR uses a lot of 1.75" OD with a 0.09" wall thickness for their cages.

As such, I'm specifying 1.75" OD with a 0.095" wall thickness, which is 1.68lbs per foot of tubing.  If the chassis contains 100ft of tubing, then that's 168lbs and $850 from "Online Metals".  That would be quite a bit of tubing to use for the primary safety structure of a small 2-seater, but let's assume that we add quite a bit of reinforcement.  Given the small physical dimensions and low weight of a V-twin engine, the shock mounts would be welded into the cage, rather than as part of a secondary structure.

I'm specifying a 0.12" wall thickness and that stuff is available from a lot of different suppliers.

Chassis: $1,000 (assumes some additional cost for shock mounts, fabricated engine / transmission mounts, etc)
Engine: $1,500 (used V-twin engine from Harley-Davidson, Honda, or Yamaha)
Transmission: Borg-Warner T-90 "Jeep" transmission, roughly 70lbs and around $850 refurbished
Wheels and Tires: $500 (Wal-Mart has a deal for $230 per pair)
Brakes: $400 (DuraLast premium components with corrosion protection)

We're up to $4,250, not including the steering gear ($100 to $300), flywheel ($75), bell housing ($75), rear differential ($200 to $600), drive shaft ($100), dash cluster ($100), electrical system ($250) for the lights.  This presumes the use of Yamaha dune buggy parts that are suitable for the purpose.  Pretty much all of the drive train (engine / flywheel / bell housing / rear differential) could be sourced from Yamaha parts, although their transmissions aren't really suitable for the torque curve of a V-twin because they use very high-revving 2 to 4 cylinder engines.  All said and done, it's $5,550 for all of the parts at retail prices, not including the CarbonX fabric coverings, and presumes you provide the labor to weld the chassis and assemble the vehicle.  I almost forgot, but we also need tempered automotive safety glass as well, since plastic is not legal in the US for on-road use.  That's around $400 right there for flat panels.  CarbonX fabric is sold in 36" x 60" or longer rolls for $65, so $39 per square yard.  If you have 8 square yards of fabric covering, that's another $312, so let's say we're up to $6,000 for all of our major parts and materials.  I'd wager about $1,500 worth of tooling is required to cut and weld mild steel tubing.  Technically, it could be easily cut with a $5 hack saw, but everyone I know uses an electric miter saw and bench grinder.  Most of the cost would be the welding machine, gas bottles, and hand tools for assembly.

CarbonX Fire Retardant Cloth

We can probably get someone with an industrial sewing machine to sew closed cell foam into a CarbonX cloth sandwich to attenuate road and engine noise.  Places that make nylon gear for the military and law enforcement typically do odd jobs like this because they have a large number of skilled women who have lots of time using industrial sewing machines.  My wife has a sewing machine, but not the kind we'd need to sew this sort of cloth.  Said machines run $1,000 to $1,500 for a good quality sail cloth type industrial sewing machine.

The end result is a vehicle with real road wheels, not those dinky little things on the Smart Car / Spark / Wuling EV (which means it stands some chance of actually surviving the huge potholes here in Houston), it has engine power more appropriate for a highway vehicle- more than enough to safely pass another vehicle on the highway, and it uses a lot of dirt common parts and materials.  Since I included such a generous margin in the primary structure weight allowance, we're very likely to meet our 1,200 curb weight target.

Offline

#342 2021-06-26 09:43:57

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,913

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

The hourly cost to assemble such a vehicle is what's killing the american auto industry versus when we buy from other nations where the exchange for the hours are not equally considered. Its why we can only afford to buy from those countries since the buying power of the dollar is slowly shrinking. So they skimp on the amount of materials used and type to make the vehicle smaller and cheaper.
Nice write up of the vehicle to build.

Offline

#343 2021-06-26 10:52:13

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

SpaceNut,

Here's an example of a plans-built dune buggy that's closer to what I had in mind, in terms of size and weight:

Edge X2 Dune Buggy Plans

The Edge X2 weighs 1,250 pounds and uses a more powerful engine than what's needed for a road-bound vehicle.  The vehicle I had in mind doesn't need wheels that big or 20" of suspension travel, perhaps 6" of travel at most, so the shocks could be much cheaper and lighter.  However, it does use a simpler and lower cost chain drive so the vehicle could benefit from not requiring as much weight or cost by using that simpler power transmission setup.  We could potentially knock $1,400 or more off the price of the vehicle using that kind of setup, which incidentally is the same as a motorcycle, so it's every bit as cost-competitive as the Wuling EV and will still be usable as a vehicle in 10 years time, instead of collecting dust in a junkyard.

Offline

#344 2021-06-28 06:02:10

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,338

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

A large new onshore oil find in Namibia.  This is likely to be the last remaining large onshore oil find on Earth.
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gene … ecade.html

The basin could contain around 40 billion barrels of oil.  Certainly sufficient to cushion the impact of peak oil and maybe buy the world another decade of economic stability.  Let us hope that will be long enough to get Mars colonisation up and running.  Let us also hope that this oil find lives up to its promise.  When it is developed, it should add over 1 million bpd to global production capacity and should be able to produce at <$10/bl.  That may be enough to stabilise oil prices beneath $40/bl for a while.  The problem is that these finds can take quite a while to develop.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-06-28 06:09:20)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

Offline

#345 2021-06-28 06:22:04

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 8,110

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

For Calliban re #344

Thanks for reporting this find! 

While I agree it is cause for celebration for Namibia, I'm wondering what effect dumping that much more Carbon into the atmosphere might have.

A better use for that irreplaceable resource is as feedstock for materials needed by industry, instead of as a fuel.

If the human race fails to get it's act together, life on Earth will be daunting for generations after ours.

Meanwhile, all that energy just keeps flowing by the Earth, minute after minute, day after day, totally untapped.

(th)

Offline

#346 2021-06-28 06:24:42

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

I hope it's a cause for celebration. Oil in Nigeria was virtually a total socio-economic disaster. Gabon was better, I think.

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Calliban re #344

Thanks for reporting this find! 

While I agree it is cause for celebration for Namibia, I'm wondering what effect dumping that much more Carbon into the atmosphere might have.

A better use for that irreplaceable resource is as feedstock for materials needed by industry, instead of as a fuel.

If the human race fails to get it's act together, life on Earth will be daunting for generations after ours.

Meanwhile, all that energy just keeps flowing by the Earth, minute after minute, day after day, totally untapped.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#347 2021-06-28 06:56:08

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,338

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Calliban re #344

Thanks for reporting this find! 

While I agree it is cause for celebration for Namibia, I'm wondering what effect dumping that much more Carbon into the atmosphere might have.

A better use for that irreplaceable resource is as feedstock for materials needed by industry, instead of as a fuel.

If the human race fails to get it's act together, life on Earth will be daunting for generations after ours.

Meanwhile, all that energy just keeps flowing by the Earth, minute after minute, day after day, totally untapped.

(th)

The oil is processed through heating and fractionation and then cracking heavier fractions into lower molecular weight molecules using hydrogen.  Some will be LPG, about one third will be gasoline, another third diesel and the remainder heavy oils and tar.

Whilst this find is huge, it is only equivalent to about 1 year of global oil consumption in real terms.  But it is more than that when one considers that this oil will produce a lot of diesel, which is the premium fuel that powers the real economy of finished goods transport, mining and agriculture.  A large part of what the US calls oil production, is actually natural gas liquids.  These are dominated by propane, butane, pentane and ethane and are not useful in production of diesel, although pentane does find its way into gasoline.  It is the growing proportion of NGLs in global oil production that make it sensible to convert aircraft, trucks and trains to LPG or gasoline relatively soon.

Whilst hybrid and electric cars offer some value, it is heavy goods transportation that must be guaranteed if we are to avoid economic collapse as a result of energy depletion.  It is much more difficult to electrify goods transportation, because the range between stops for an HGV is directly proportional to the amount of stored energy in its fuel tanks.  Even the best Li-ion battery carries about 1MJ/litre.  Diesel on the other hand, is 36MJ/litre.  This is why electric trucks are marketed towards regional goods transportation, where range is limited to about 100km.  That is fine for transport within an urban area from a central depot, but no good at all if you want to haul goods across country.  There are options for doing this without fossil fuels or at least, with a lot less fossil fuel.  Extending the US rail network would be a smart move.  I have discussed the possibility of pipelines here as well.  But these are all long-term projects that will take decades to implement.  Right now, goods transportation relies almost entirely on diesel.  And maintaining diesel supply long enough to put in place alternatives is of crucial importance.  Which is why cancelling Keystone Stage 4 is probably the most mentally retarded thing that any US president has ever done.  Keystone ships Canadian syncrude, which is a heavy oil which must be mixed with US shale oil to produce an API which is suitable for US refiners.  At the refinery, natural gas is reformed to produce hydrogen, which then allows the heavy oil to be cracked into a range of fractions that are high in diesel grade fuels.  By cancelling Keystone stage 4, the Biden presidency put further pressure on global diesel supply and render a large part of US shale oil production functionally useless.  A rather stupid move at a time when global oil prices are already contributing to a wave of inflation that could trigger another great recession.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-06-28 08:19:33)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

Offline

#348 2021-06-29 03:40:49

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,338

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

In Europe, non competitive power prices are derailing economic performance.
https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/europe … ail-growth

Tim Watkins explains why climate change is likely to be relegated down the list of priorities for most governments, as Peak Oil increasingly undermines prosperity.
https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2021 … relegated/

Last edited by Calliban (2021-06-29 07:22:04)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

Offline

#349 2021-06-29 20:58:01

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,913

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

bought gas the other morning and it had climber to $3.11 a gallon....slow and steady is ok....

Stopping the subsidies is just one way to get real pricing of a commodity but that needs to be accross all forms of energy deriving materials.

Offline

#350 2021-07-02 05:43:14

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: Current Gasoline/Petrol Price$

Apparently, this idea for a motorcycle engine powered car is already out there:

Part 2 - Motorcycle Powered Car - How and Why: Fuel System, Exhaust, Intake, and Controls

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB