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#1 2020-10-08 18:51:32

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,743
Website

Fixing Americas car industry

Before Tesla started business, I looked at producing a kit to convert old cars to electric. Was thinking in-wheel electric motors, which rotate once per wheel rotation. That means no transmission, no differential. The differential is electronic. Full time 4 wheel drive. Was thinking of hydrogen fuel cell, but today's battery technology could do all electric. There are charging stations now, but almost no hydrogen fuel stations.

Would be interesting to do this for models of cars used as host for body kits. There used to be something called a Scorpion; a body kit applied to a Pontiac Fiero to make it look like a Lamborghini Countach. Not exactly the same, but close enough that the Scorpion looked real cool! Of course it would still perform as a Fiero. The reason was the Fiero was designed with a unibody, so relatively light chassis for it's time. And the body was simply bolted on, so easy to swap body panels. Today's cars are lighter; there are kits for other models of host car. So my idea is a power train kit to convert a used car to all electric, and specifically the same model cars used for body kits. The result could be a very nice car.

When I first posted this idea, one possible was a Smart Car For Two (fortwo). That's a very small car, two seat and no trunk. Obvious candidate for electric conversion. Shortly after I posted the idea on the internet, the manufacturer came out with an all electric version. So my conversion kit was obsolete before it was even designed. Smart Car was built as a division of Mercedes-Benz, with unfortunately high price. And since the "For Two" model has been discontinued. Too bad.
OEM_170529972_AR_0_NGAELIHTBOKU.jpg

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#2 2020-10-08 18:55:10

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,743
Website

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

I lived in Miami Florida from the beginning of June 1999 through end of March 2000. I attended a certification course to keep my skills up to date. Other students were young men who scoffed at the idea of energy efficient cars. When government tried to push energy efficiency, their response was to buy an SUV. As much of a gas guzzler as possible. With that attitude, no technology will ever help.

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#3 2020-10-08 19:04:16

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

The auto manufacturers could be sized for the number of occupants using them rather than thinking that every one needs a huge vehicles but they will not and if they did they would charge a full sized purchase price rather than the much small one that should be...

The average joes jobs are only possible in cities to be so close as to only be 5 miles away...Most folks need to drive 30 minutes to 2 hours one way for the most part along toll roads. The use of a bikes is dangerous along most roads and inner city traffic let alone a motor cycle in the bad weather which happens. The small human powered, electric cars would still need to be made faster and safer for driving in amoung real large vehicles to be practical in use under the conditions plus need to cost less..


Kits are still out there
s-l1600.jpg

Speedway Fiberglass Kit Car Bodies


Replacement Body Shells are fully licensed and made with all-steel


Body shells are complete stampings that replicate the original body of your vehicle

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#4 2020-10-09 07:49:00

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

Idealistic people tend to be drawn to purist solutions, regardless of their affordability and practicality.  That is why battery electric vehicles like the Tesla are being pushed as the future of personal transport, even though most people cannot afford them.  More affordable options for reducing CO2 emissions, like the hydraulic hybrid, receive little attention because they are still IC powered vehicles and hence they don't appeal to idealists who want a pure solution.

What will end up happening is that Tesla will go bankrupt as soon as QE discontinues and its share prices come to be based on its real revenue, which will crash in the approaching depression.  The car companies that are left will be the ones that offer products that provide people with the performance they desire at a purchase cost they can afford.  That will be the same IC powered cars that we use today, just smaller and with less superfluous electronics than we use today.

We will end up with nothing new, because the BEVs will not be affordable to very many people and the charging infrastructure will not be maintained.  The hydraulic hybrid will never be developed because it isn't interesting enough to affluent idealists, who would rather make unaffordable electric cars than affordable hybrids that do 100mpg, but are still IC powered.  Instead of getting a technology that does the same with 50% less fuel at an affordable price; the idealist will always insist on a 100% solution that doesn't work at all.  When the money runs out, as it very soon will, society will be left with nothing it can use.

Idealists end up ruining the world, because they blow huge resources and burden society with the cost of ideas that end up not working.  At the same time, they block the path for more practical but less ideologically appealing technologies.  For an idealist, the workability of an idea is nowhere near as important as its purity and emotional appeal.  Hence, we get wind turbines and solar farms, instead of nuclear reactors.  And we end up burning lots of coal and natural gas to produce electricity when these things aren't running.  We get expensive BEVs and charging stations, instead of hydraulic hybrids that would run more efficiently on existing infrastructure and resources.  When the idealistic vision fails, we end up with huge debts and technologies that we cannot afford.  But never let real life get in the way of an exciting idea.

Last edited by Calliban (2020-10-09 08:00:55)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#5 2020-10-09 18:57:04

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

The Cheapest Electric Cars in 2020

15 Best Hybrid and Electric Cars for the Money in 2020

12 Cheapest Hybrid Cars in 2020

What we are talking is $30,000 and upward in price....when most are looking at used vehicles every few years in the $5,000 and under range....

It appears that a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek - Starting at $22,245 can be about the lowest...

UK The cheapest electric cars on sale now

•Smart EQ Fortwo EV
•Skoda Citigo-e
•Smart EQ Forfour
•Seat Mii Electric
•Mini Cooper SE
•MG ZS EV
•Peugeot e-208
•Renault Zoe
•Vauxhall Corsa-e
•Nissan Leaf
•Hyundai Ioniq
•BMW i3
•Kia e-Niro

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#6 2020-10-10 14:13:53

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

Of course we are not looking for a speed deemer
Human-Electric Hybrid Three-Wheeler Goes 100 MPH, Has 75 Mile Range__opt__aboutcom__coeus__resources__content_migration__treehugger__images__2014__01__humanelectricvehicle-a9c98cc71ee347a89c7c7e8eb27af952.jpg

Of course we would want the generator
__opt__aboutcom__coeus__resources__content_migration__treehugger__images__2014__01__HEVpedals-0e35c358b0c84f70af3b956cc6c35130.jpg

Another pedal generator unit
?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewatlas-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2Farchive%2Fpodbike-velomobile-unveiled-5.jpg


This three wheeler is a single front tire
twike-car.jpg

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#7 2020-10-10 16:01:31

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

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#8 2020-10-10 17:39:05

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

For SpaceNut re topic ...

Science Fiction writers have been speculating for decades that eventually production of goods needed by humans will be totally automated.  An argument can be made that humans have enlisted automation (in the form of plants and animals) to grow food and other needed supplies for thousands of years.  That practice was not recognized as harnessing automation.

Today, I get the impression Elon Musk is pushing toward greater and greater automation of car production, although I understand he had to drop back the pace a bit when his demands were beyond the technology available to him.

It seems to me that as automation takes over more and more of the manufacturing process for automobiles, the cost ** should ** drop, until the cost is pennies per pound for raw materials, and the balance of the ticket price is used to pay back investors.

(th)

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#9 2020-10-10 17:58:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

The issue for most to keep a good running vehicles comes down to on what you are earning, how bad is your credit, the price of the vehicle plus insurance what sort of loan can one get.

https://www.dollartimes.com/car-loan/20000
https://www.retirementsimulation.com/ca … loan/20000
https://www.carinsurancedata.org/calcul … oans/20000
https://www.badcredit.org/how-to/20000- … ad-credit/

https://www.edmunds.com/calculators/affordability.html
https://budgeting.thenest.com/percent-i … 26532.html
https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loan … ar-payment

rule of thumb regarding car payments was 20-4-10. That involved making a 20 percent down payment and taking out a four-year loan, with the total amount not exceeding 10 percent of your gross income.

For got about fuel to make it run....

A person earning a 40 hr weekly pay at 10  an hr makes 400 a week or approx. 1200 less taxes to figure into that budget... so with the 10% rule payments need to be under 120 a month.... so roughly a 6,000 car is what you can shop for....which is 1/5th of what a new hybrid is costing so o wonder we are still using gas and diesel fuels....

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#10 2020-10-11 14:46:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

Going through the motions to get a hub motor capable of highway speeds  we will need wattage based off from total batter and vehicle mass in order to keep range. From what I have seen a pedal powered is still a pedestrian vehicle if less than a given wattage in each state but the moment you give it that 4th wheel its now a car.
So if we are looking at making a safe vehicle we are looking at the lightest possible car shell kit to put around the drive system.
This place carries batteries, hub wheel motors, chargers and controllers plus as a kit for use in either front or rear wheel drive uses.
https://calibike.com/shop/
I am sure that there are others which can provide the drive system to make a vehicle around.
Anything from that sub 1,000 watt upward is obtainable and a motor capable of highway speeds is likely to be in the 5,000 watt.

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#11 2020-10-18 08:20:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

I have been looking at all of the hybrid designs of which the electrical motor is placed.

Some manufacturers are placing the electric motor inside of the engine cavity which means to do repairs of that end of the engine requires removing it from the vehicle.

Some are also making it a part of the transmission whether its an automatic or manual format. Which means if we are all wheel drive there is the removal issue and cost increase to repair it.

The third option is an electric motor that is a section that is placed in between each engine and transmission making it a much easier to repair and maintain.

The all electrics are different in that some are direct and others use a differential or transmission to make the units for those vehicles. Of course the all electric suffer from battery capacity for how one uses the vehicle daily.

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#12 2020-10-23 20:43:57

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

America has any regulations that control the use of Bicycles, Trikes, Motor cycles With electric motors as well as for the wattage levels of the motor that can be used for the roads and trails. There is also the qualification of 4 wheels make it a vehicle of which speed is the limiter for classing of road use and since its got 4 wheels it can not use the bike roads or lanes where as a 2 or 3 can be restricted from road use.

Bicycle Brand Canyon Creates Concept Car960x0.jpg?fit=scale

960x0.jpg?fit=scale

The Emcycle: a 3-wheel, tilting, fully-enclosed 500 W pedelec weighing just 80 lb (36 kg)?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewatlas-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2Farchive%2Femcycle-human-pedal-electric-enclosed-tilting-threewheeler.jpg
A little bit thin for my likings

The Emcycle is a tilting, three-wheeled pedelec (electric pedal assist), with a foam-reinforced, Tegris composite monocoque body, full suspension and a kerb weight of just 36 kg (80 lbs).

The Emcycle will initially offer 500 W of electric assist with plans for 1,000 W (1 kW) and greater versions later. Indeed, there's every reason the Emcycle would make an ideal basis for a full electric version without pedals - as you will see later, a modest 2 kW motor combined with the Emcycle's light weight offers a very frugal yet rapid commuter vehicle.

I sort of like this but were are the doors for cold and rain...
Pedal-Powered Bio-Hybrid Cyclecar Splits From Schaeffler In MBO, Promises 2021 Debut960x0.jpg?fit=scale

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#13 2020-10-23 20:58:00

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

For SpaceNut re #12

First, thanks for showing these interesting vehicle designs!

Second ... per your question ... Side curtains could be snapped onto the frame.  And the vehicle seems to have a trunk, although I can only go by the picture you found, because the web site does not seem to show more views.

However, as i thought about the vehicle, I realized this is a fair weather system.  It would have to be parked during the winters in the part of the US where i live, and even more so in New Hampshire.

Still, for fair weather climates like most of California, side curtains would take care of the rain during rainy season.

(th)

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#14 2020-10-24 08:44:48

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

The curtains for a jeep are a mixed fabric all weather material

14317930_0.jpg

Replacement doors
bst51798-35_1

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#15 2020-11-08 22:52:24

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

Building of a different power train for the EV's of the future.
The new crate motor by EV West and Revolt fits just like a small-block ChevyElectric-crate-motor-640x427.jpg

Transmission and motor assembly

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#16 2020-11-24 14:26:19

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

One of the issues for buying anything is doing your homework.
You may be sorry if you buy one of these 2020's Most Unreliable Car models that score poorly for dependability.

This does not happen only on new vehicles but for older units as well.

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#17 2020-11-29 15:58:08

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

kbd512 wrote:

tahanson43206,

Speaking of human fear of nuclear whatever, AI should be used to devise passive nuclear decay heat mitigation systems and strategies that preclude scrammed reactors from melting down.

Here's how AI dramatically out-strips human innovation, as it relates to the design of the Czinger 21C hyper car:

A.I. Designed this Car | Donut Media

Recall what Elon Musk said about designing the machines to produce the machine you want to use being 2 to 3 orders of magnitude harder than fabricating the machine itself?

Well that's where AI really shines.  Tesla is using the same type of tech, just not to the insane degree the Czinger Vehicles did.  Kevin Czinger didn't have enough money to do it any other way, upholding Elon Musk's mantra of innovate or die.  Czinger Vehicles used AI to reduce the assembly plant cost from $500M to $3M, so yes, AI is "just that powerful".

Czinger 21C: the world’s first 3D printed hypercar | Top Gear

I would find it highly interesting if AI could not only tell us how to design individual components of a car that take weeks to months of design using an entire engineering team, days to weeks to design using iterations of sophisticated CAD simulation software, or mere minutes to hours using AI.  Fast forward to 6:10 in the second video to see the difference.

Equally importantly, AI should also to tell humans exactly how to move in ergonomic ways to assemble a car by hand, as rapidly as possible, or when to use machines.  Such as, install this component first because it makes installation of all the rest of the assembly components so much easier.  The same processes could be used in reverse to aid mechanics working on the car, or perhaps AI could look at assembly and disassembly from a "parts-to-assembled-car" and "broken-car-to-disassembled-parts-and-then-back-to-working-car" standpoint.

BTW, Mercedes Benz F1 team designed a gasoline engine that's 55%+ efficient at converting gasoline into horsepower, vs the usual 25% to 35% at best, by combining their engine with friction reduction, power recovery, and electrification subsystems.  IIIC, some aspects of their work involved the use of AI as well, but don't quote me on that.  BTW, Czinger is getting 930hp from a 2.88 liter V8 engine, so definitely approaching F1 engines, which are around 500hp per liter of displacement (11,000rpm 21C vs 20,000rpm F1).  The Czinger 21C is $1.7M, though, with $150M worth of technology invested into the car, so we need somewhat more realistic performance or mass production of the new technology.  At 20,000rpm, I hope you appreciate how vanishingly short the valve open/shut time is.

Enough about cars, though.  Imagine you're on Mars and a Raptor engine has a part that failed.  Whatsa country boy to do?  The AI says there's this piece of cargo that you'll probably never use, made from the exact alloy required, so you purloin the superfluous part, grind it into powder, put it in the 3D printer's hopper, press "the button", and watch the AI-enabled fab-magic begin to take shape.

As impressive as making machinery with advanced software and machinery is, rah rah for western technology and all that, but who really cares if you can't eat?  I want AI-enabled Star Trek replicators that can turn a few cups of chemical constituents / precursors into corn / rice / beans / beef, so I can eat my favorite fajita tacos for dinner.  I'm from Texas, and besides BBQ that's what we eat here, but maybe someone in Africa wants to eat something different.  The point is, we should have a machine that can make that stuff from scratch in time for dinner, maybe even season and cook it for us.  That's real "technology magic".

The same needs to be applied to medical technology.  You have cancer?  No sweat.  We have a machine that will deconstruct the tumor cells piece by piece and feed them to your gut for your next meal.  After we figure out what it is and where it is, we simply program the nano bots to find all of it and recycle it into energy that your body needs.

After we tackle those two major stumbling blocks that humanity has yet to overcome, then we can worry about warping space and time so we can run amok around our galaxy.  We can grab that asteroid made from precious metals to wipe out all debts and pay for everything we want to build.  There are dozens more where that came from.  In closing, there's no shortage of money, no shortage of brain power, and no shortage of technology, but we have to decide, as a species, to maximize the potential of what we build and use.

Edit:

This drivable car was 3D printed in 44 hours

If we can reduce that printing time even more with multiple print heads, then perhaps we can produce an entire car chassis in a day.  Take note of what that guy from Local Motors said about total parts count.  His vehicle chassis has dozens of parts in it, versus thousands, and because there are fewer parts that can fail, all design effort can be expended making sure that the few parts that were used don't fail.  Apart from that, he said a major automotive corporation has to scrap 20 pounds of raw material for every pound worth of final part that goes into a vehicle, whereas his material utilization rate is very nearly 1 to 1.  A mere $7K for a perfectly usable 2-seat electric car, maybe less if we can repurpose the batteries or combustion engines from older cars.  Reduce scrap, recycle as much scrap as we can, and reuse components, wherever possible- because it takes lots of energy to make new parts.  I say we make the chassis / suspension / motors or engines as durable as possible, like the Tesla Cyber Truck or a Trophy Truck.


AI need the rules of how to create and those rules do not include the cost of the unobtanium which is what gets created.

Second is desired features for the outcome can break the rules and you get not what you would like out of it.

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#18 2020-11-29 16:07:42

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

Tahanson43206 I agree that we can do designing smarter as kbd512 has put forward in above copied post

SearchTerm:3DPrintedCar Kevin Czinger http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 82#p174382
SearchTerm:AIDesign
SearchTerm:Car3DPrinted

That said we must also include whom we want buying the type of vehicle and its intended use rate for what it would cost to purchase as I buy used since I can not afford payments for new plus the higher insurance rate cost let alone the loan costs....also new would not allow for warrantees to be valid id you do the work on your own vehicle which is also the next reason for used.

Last thing to remember is not all would make use of a vehicle for highway speed and for distances more than 15 miles one way let alone 100 plus of miles one way...

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#19 2020-12-11 20:13:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

A startup opened orders for a $26,000 solar-powered EV that it claims never needs charging. The first batch sold out in 24 hours.

BB1bOfKn.img?h=416&w=799&m=6&q=60&u=t&o=f&l=f&x=1288&y=851

The lightweight, three-wheeled vehicle promises up to 1,000 miles of range, more than double that of the longest-range EV currently on the market — the Tesla Model S.
It has built-in solar panels that Aptera says can provide 45 miles of driving range per day.
The vehicles will cost $25,900 to $46,900, and Aptera plans to start deliveries in 2021.

The first round of 330 vehicles - special-edition models called the Paradigm and Paradigm Plus - sold out in under 24 hours, but prospective buyers can still configure their own Aptera for a $100 refundable deposit.

To much money

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#20 2020-12-12 19:21:20

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

A common vehicle platform can only go so far to driving down the cost to purchase a vehicle.
Geely Has Big Plans For Its New SEA EV Platform

BB1bSaJm.img?h=450&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

BB1bSaJo.img?h=450&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

BB1bSfxn.img?h=450&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

specs:

up to 700 km (435 miles) - under the NEDC test cycle used in China
0-100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4 seconds
800 V battery system
retain its range without degradation for at least 200,000 km (124,000 miles) and have a design life of 2,000,000 km (1.24 million miles)
all-wheel drive
single 400+ kW electric motor

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#21 2020-12-13 03:59:24

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,615

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

SpaceNut,

The reason people aren't buying EVs in the anticipated numbers is exemplified by that motor package from EV West.  A small block that makes 500hp does not cost $35K to build.  You can get the donor motor from a junkyard for a few hundred dollars, spend perhaps $5K on parts, use your own elbow grease to build it in your garage without the aid of a computer of any kind, and walk away with a motor that will still be running two decades later.  Money is one of those commodities you can't simply "talk into existence".  No amount of PR campaigning will paper over the fact that that electric motor alone costs as much as a semi-professional-level drag racing engine, yet you can't throw $50 worth of "fuel" (batteries) in the tank and go drag racing.  That electric motor is an absurdity unless it will last for at least 20 years or so, which it may, but if it doesn't, or you have a small software glitch, then only a handful of car enthusiasts are likely to ever buy it at that price point, in much the same way that nobody will pay $25K for a bulletproof gas powered motor.

It's almost as if the people making electric cars don't understand what "right" actually looks like.  A practical electric car has a 100 to 200 mile range, seats 2 to 4 people, and a pair of them should occupy the same physical space as a prototypical SUV, in order to reduce the horrendous traffic congestion and air pollution in our cities.  I don't mind the idea of driving an electric car at all, relegating gas burners to long haul highway trucking, racing tracks, or aviation, but seriously, these absurdities trying to pass themselves off as "solutions" to transportation problems that don't exist are stunting the market share of EVs.

Someone needs to inform all these well-intentioned but completely aloof electric vehicle designers to stop producing solutions to problems that nobody actually has.  Seriously.  I'm a real customer, but I don't pay for gadget nonsense.  I don't need or want a computer-controlled pinto bean shelling machine.  I want something that looks like that mini Chevy Nova or mini Cuda, not some modern art masterpiece like a Prius.  I really don't care in the slightest if $20K worth of structural kevlar / carbon fiber twill can provide an extra 50 miles of range over sheet steel, just make the thing out of good old fashioned steel and call it a day.  While I like the appearance of carbon fiber, someone needs to figure out how to do that for far less cost if they want to include it in a wheeled city transport machine.  Lamborghini already figured this one out; they call it "carbon forging".  It takes minutes to produce carbon fiber parts, not days.

I would settle for a 100hp motor and a single Tesla battery pack built into the floor of the chassis.  I want something I can plug in at night to a standard wall outlet and then drive to work the next day.  It doesn't need a 500hp electric motor in it that costs as much as a complete Tesla Model 3 sedan.  I could care less if my daily driver breaks all known land speed records from 0 to 60.  If I have a basic usable car with "road feel", no obnoxious "road noise", with reasonably good acceleration to 40, I'm a happy camper.  I would be willing to skip AC (a simple high-powered fan will suffice), power steering, cruise control, and all other forms of expensive electronic gadgetry that add nothing whatsoever to the driving experience.  The vehicle needs a fully functional lighting package, a speedometer, a motor temperature sensor, a battery pack temperature sensor, and a battery charge level indicator.  The machine needs just enough electronics in it to not fry the battery pack or motor.

It makes no difference at all if someone thinks a vehicle like that is worth $25K.  I'm going to pay $15K or less for one, or I'm never buying one.  I won't even look at it if it costs more than that.  No joke.  Not kidding.  Electric vehicles are supposed to be cheaper and easier to maintain than gas powered vehicles.  Someone needs to make one of those already, or admit that they're just concocting more of the same expensive and needless crap that the major auto makers defecate into their designs, with the intent of increasing the purchase and maintenance price of the vehicle while providing little to no actual utility to the owner of said vehicle.

Some of this stuff is so ridiculous that I'm seriously thinking about starting an automotive company that builds practical cars for working class Americans.  We're going to call the company "Jo Blo Motors", or JBM.  The company motto will be, "No nonsense, just great cars."  We're going to charge just enough to pay for our production machinery and work force.  We're not communists, so we won't pay an electrical engineer the same as a janitor, nor pay to have people twiddle their thumbs the way union members do, but there won't be a 1,000X salary differences between line employees and board members.  Every board member is going to have to show up for work every day and make good management decisions, or they ain't gonna have a roof over their heads.

Anyway, we're bringing back the classics.  JBM will offer scale / miniature 2-seat versions of our classic Ford Mustangs / Tunderbirds / Torinos, Chevrolet Novas / Chevelles, Pontiac GTOs, Dodge Chargers / Challengers / Demons, Plymouth Barracudas / Road Runners.  In other words, cars that normal working class people actually want and can identify with.  I'm sure the Aptera is a masterpiece of aerodynamic and electrical engineering, but people who have the money to buy an Aptera would just buy a real aircraft if they ever wanted to travel 1,600km.

Everything that can be made from steel will be.  If I've learned anything from Ford and GM, it's that plastic and Aluminum are NOT cheaper, by any metric that matters to the customer.  All fasteners will be simple hex head steel machine bolts, so anyone with a socket set can work on the vehicle.  In fact, we're going to include a socket set with the vehicle that covers every single fastener used.  Furthermore, all vehicles will use the same fasteners so anyone with the appropriate socket set can work on all vehicles.  You supply a ratchet and torque wrench.

Painting will be a single-step process, so it can be touched-up by someone in a home garage with a rattle can.  If someone wants their car "extra shiny", then they can break out a buffing wheel and go to town.  Apart from door and window seals, there won't be a single piece of plastic to be found in the interior of the car.  Every bezel, knob, switch, or dial will be matte finish stainless steel.  The windows and locks will be manual, much like most of the originals.  The computer that controls the batteries and motor will be mounted to a single circuit board.  If you want extra computers in the car for navigation, it's going to have a pair of charging ports and a mount bezel for an iPad in the dash.  The wheels will be made from Aluminum to reduce weight.

EV West lists used 5.3kWh Tesla Model S battery packs for $1,580 each, so that's $6,320 of my $10K manufacturing cost limit right there.  Tesla's new batteries are supposed to be cheaper, though.  I've seen the electric motors I wanted to use for about $5K, so that completely blows the manufacturing budget before any other component in the car has been paid for, never mind labor costs.  Now I think I know why we're still using gas powered vehicles.  We can't even get used battery packs and electric motors for less than what a simple 2 seater urban utility car is actually worth to the average consumer.  To eliminate parts and reduce costs, I think we're going to have to use axial flux DC hub motors.  Since there won't be any axles, we will have independent suspension for better cornering.  DC won't be the last word in electric motor efficiency, but it will eliminate the need for other expensive power conversion electronics.  On the bright side, it should come in at around 1,000 pounds or so.  We can offer optional carbon fiber hood, trunk, quarter panels, and doors for people who want to race them at the track.

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#22 2020-12-13 09:45:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

The cash for clunkers was to restart the american industry but all it did was put more foreign cars in the reach of Americans that could other wise not afford them as a means to drop the cost of fuel used weekly. So the value of my old 1,000 clunker was given a 5,000 turn in price. So that is my new limit on what I am buying for used vehicles. As you noted the Automakers are not making what we need in the US.

My research on motors have gone down the same path with the axial design hub motor plus design as you indicated in closing paragraph as well kbd512, of which we could get a anywhere from 250w bike all the way up to 5k w motor bike units which would operate off from 12v to under the 100v packs. Many of these are on several websites not to mention any particular brand. Most come with a controller, throttle plus which for bike use are speed limited, with the larger 5kw units give no limiter for its use.

The higher wattage units are typically just the motor and no rim of tire but with a bit of welding one could use a regular tire rim or do something different for speed and weight of vehicle design.

Battery pack supply range since most commutes are less than 50 miles one way and having 3 more seats for passengers make no sense to provide. So a selling point is to never need to plug it in to the electrical grid to recharge it or from those fancy Tesla charging stations as that costs one to make use of the vehicle. Solar roof would work for most days of use to recharge with or you could get in a workout with a pedal power generator to get the distance for daily use. Also if you had to use a portable power generator and gas as a last resorts to recharging the batteries for use with no reason to have more than a gallon of fuel onboard for use.

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#23 2020-12-13 19:50:08

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,615

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

SpaceNut,

My overriding point is that none of these people making electric vehicles are producing vehicles that are affordable for the masses.  Apart from that, they don't look like anything I'd be interested in driving, either.  I don't want or need a 3-wheeled two seat car that costs as much as a house.  That's an absurdity.  It may be a curiosity to some rich virtue signaler out there with enough money to buy anything, but it's not a real car and it's ultimate utility as an urban transport is highly questionable.  If you lived in the country and were surrounded by miles of perfectly maintained highways, then the Aptera makes a lot more sense.

The mini cars I've posted links to in other threads look like real cars, perform at least as well as the muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s, but don't cost a fortune to fabricate and operate.  Go ask some working Americans you know if they'd rather own a Toyota Prius or a Plymouth Barracuda or Chevy Nova if the emissions from both vehicles was exactly the same, the Barracuda costs the same or less and performs better than the Prius.  Nobody I know would have to think about that one very hard.  The other option has no soul.  It's a cheap plasticky piece of mass-produced garbage that nobody will ever miss.  On the other hand, people treat 1970s Toyota Land Cruisers like gold or diamonds.

If Tesla made their Cyber Truck look like a Trophy Truck, instead of some 1980s-inspired computer game silliness, they'd never keep up with demand.  If you want to prevent ordinary steel from rusting, then coat it with Nickel Boron.  It's shiny and it's cheaper.  Problem solved.  Stainless is one way of preventing rust.  It's not the only way.  That Hummer EV looks like a real truck or SUV.  If I had my druthers, Tesla would be designing the battery pack, an off road racing team would design the suspension, and Ford or GM would design the body and interior.

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#24 2020-12-16 19:26:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

This is something that we have talked about in why ev hybrids are so expensive and it would be a driving factor in making them cheaper...

Battery Costs Down So Much, EVs Could Soon Cost Same as Gas Cars

This a 3 wheel motorcycle that if you enclose it with a shell its car some think its what people want....
BB1bYMxS.img?h=600&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

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#25 2020-12-16 22:01:40

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,615

Re: Fixing Americas car industry

SpaceNut,

Have you seen the prices on EV West for USED Tesla batteries?  I'm still waiting for these dramatic price drops.  Thus far, they're nowhere to be found.

Good grief.  Again, with the silly scooters.  A car has 4 wheels, not 3 wheels nor 2 wheels nor 1 wheel, because a 4-wheeled vehicle is far more stable than a vehicle with any lesser number of wheels.  I'm not taking my kid to school on a motorcycle, nor am I riding it 25 miles to work on some of the busiest freeways in America.  I've never ridden a motorcycle or tricycle in my life, nor am I about to start at age 40.  You know what my father called people who rode those things when he still worked in the ER?...  Organ donors.

Those people who think a "scooter with a shell over it" is what people actually want, should really go to the eye doctor, get their vision corrected, and then take in a good 360 of any town or city in America to see what everyone is driving.  They're not driving scooters.  Promise.

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