Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

GM, Ford and Chrysler all had prototype 5-passenger cars that got 72 mpg, 10 YEARS AGO!!!

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:45 AM
Original message
GM, Ford and Chrysler all had prototype 5-passenger cars that got 72 mpg, 10 YEARS AGO!!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PNGV

"GM, Ford, and Chrysler all created working concept vehicles of 5 passenger family cars that achieved at least 72 mpg <4>. GM created the 80 mpg Precept, Ford created the 72 mpg Prodigy, and Chrysler created the 72 mpg ESX-3."

But what happened to all this progress, much of it with the help of the US government and promoted by then-president Bill Clinton?

"The partnership, formed in 1993, involved 8 federal agencies <1>, the national laboratories, universities, and the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which comprises DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation. On track to achieving its objectives, the program was cancelled in 2001 at the request of the automakers, with some of its aspects shifted to the much more distant FreedomCAR program."

The MANAGEMENT at GM, Chrysler, and Ford caused their own downfall, and the workers suffer for it.

More on the Dodge Intrepid Hybrid here: http://www.allpar.com/model/intrepid-esx3.html
More on the Ford Prodigy here: http://www.electrifyingtimes.com/fordprodigy.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. people will start to realize
exactly how much influence the oil lobby has had on our lives
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sentelle Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
53. Is that how you read it?
My thinking on it is as such.

Its 2000. Toyota and Honda already have a production model of what the big three are trying to do. From a competitive measure, it makes sense to leapfrog the technology. Hence freedomCAR.

What doesn't make sense is that the lessons learned (with government subsidies no less) did not show up in production cars the big three made. Even if it made existing cars more powerful without sacrificing fuel efficiency, it would be worth doing.

The money was already spent. Prototypes built. Why not at least use the technologies.

Why must the large percentage of 'new' big three cars come from overseas? The Pontiac G8? Its a Holden Commodore. The Vibe? Joint developed with toyota. The Ford fusion? Can we say Mazda 6? The Cobalt? From Daewoo.

It shows that American car companies don't care about small (low profit) cars. It almost backrupted them in the last oil crunch, and it may to it again now. And you wonder why can't American business learn?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. The auto companies were probably under a lot of pressure from oil companies to drop it.
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 04:15 AM by Selatius
If every car got 72 miles to a gallon, the day-to-day demand for gasoline would drop through the floor. Gas prices, thus, would have to fall. This would represent a decreased profit for oil companies. Also, given that these were diesel-electric models, it's safe to assume that even gas-electric powered models would still get 50 miles to a gallon or better, since diesel engines of the same size would be more fuel efficient.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. but, but, but - it's peak oil! why do they want us to use more?!!!
(sarcasm)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I doubt the oil companies had anything to do with it
Oh, sure, if they managed to buy up some gizmo that a guy made in his basement, then yeah, maybe there's something to that.

The Big Three make cars; they don't make a profit on what those cars burn. The profit from making a all-electric car would be the same as from a gasoline-powered car. The only reason I can think of that the Big Three would not do this is because nobody wants to be the first to try something massively expensive that may not work due to technology limitations or customer preference.

Every single year that GM makes a 3800-series V-6, that's another year of profit from an old, tried-and-true design. If they don't have to, they're not going to. Think about all the new engines the Big Three have introduced in the last ten years or so. They're expecting to get 30, 40 years of life out of those designs!

The costs of switching over would not be recovered for years. Tooling is expensive! And the new assembly lines, the new logistics, the new training... And the risk of failure.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. I'm going to play devil's advocate here. Cost was another reason...
According to the link for the Intrepid hybrid, the car would have ended up costing $60,000.

Now, I understand that prices would have eventually come down, but at that time, no car company in their right mind was going to take a risk on a family car that costs as much as a nicely loaded Mercedes, no matter how good of mileage the car got.

However, with all the advances that have been made in the last ten years, I think Chrysler should seriously consider looking at this design again. With the advances that have been made, They could probably get away with selling this car for about the same as a Prius. Yes, re-tooling and retraining factory workers and dealer mechanics would be expensive, however, now Chrysler has a chance to start making some serious money with a car like the Intrepid hybrid.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
screembloodymurder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. No car company ... in the U.S.
Toyota and Honda were just a couple of crazies.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Profitable crazies run by people that care less about their stock price
Americans worry too much about quarterly earnings, which is kind of ridiculous when the design cycle of a car is 4 years.

And even still, they didn't really start selling them until the oil prices soared. It took 6 years for Toyota to sell 500,000 Priuses in the US, with nearly all of that coming in the last three yars. The vast majority of Prius sales since they were introduced in 1997 has been in the last three years as well.

And of course those companies were headquartered in resource-poor Japan with very expensive gasoline.


If Congress had kept raising the CAFE standards after 1985 instead of leaving them steady for 30 years, we'd be a lot closer to the technology as well, just because the Big Three would be looking for something with superior fuel mileage to counterbalance the SUVs. Because the CAFE standard didn't move, cars like the Escort and Cavalier and Neon were enough. If CAFE was 40mpg now instead of 25, the automakers would have either had to ration SUV sales, sell lots of microcars, or begin to produce electric or hybrid vehicles.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. You should've read down to the end. 3rd Gen proto only $7500 more than production '98 car
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 09:08 AM by leveymg
The reason why this gets 72 mpg is that it's very light-weight and runs on a turbo-diesel. All very conventional technology - they could be producing this today, but have chosen not to.

Intrepid ESX-3

The ESX3 costs only about $7,500 more than a comparable gasoline-powered car, down from a $15,000 premium with the ESX2, and $60,000 with the ESX.

The ESX3's mild hybrid electric (or "mybrid") powertrain combines a clean diesel engine, electric motor, and lithium-ion battery to achieve 72 miles per gallon (3.3 liters/100 km). That is two miles per gallon better than the fuel efficiency of its predecessor, the ESX2 in 1998, and close to PNGV's goal of up to 80 mpg (2.9 liters/100 km).

A unique electro-mechanical automatic transmission (EMAT) provides the fuel efficiency of a manual transmission with the convenience of an automatic.

The lightweight body uses injection-molded thermoplastic technology that cuts weight and cost. The ESX3 weighs 2,250 pounds (1020 kg) while meeting all federal safety standards. The vehicle is more than 80 percent recyclable.

Rethinking the car's electronic and electrical systems cut several pounds from the weight of electronics while providing an ergonomic system of controls and indicators, high-performance audio and video systems, and a state-of-the-art telematics package.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
25. Actually, the final Intrepid hybrid model was under $30,000
"The ESX3 costs only about $7,500 more than a comparable gasoline-powered car, down from a $15,000 premium with the ESX2, and $60,000 with the ESX."

That's less than $30,000 retail. The first Prius model, released at the same time in Japan, also had a premium of several thousand dollars more than a comparably sized non-hybrid car. With mass production and further refinements, that premium has largely been negated.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. "The profit from making a all-electric car would be the same as from a gasoline-powered car..."
nope.

an all electric car has almost no parts to fail and need to be replaced, compared to gasoline/diesel engines.
no oil filters no spark plugs no air filters, etc...
watch the movie "who killed the electric car" and they do a good job of explaining the cost differences in repair and maintenence between electric and internal combustion, and why auto makers make so much more money off the internal combustion vehicles.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. That's routine maintenence, not production costs.
Assuming you don't account for development costs, it takes as much effort to build an electric car as a gasoline car. All the fabrication, welding, sheetmetal, tires, brakes, suspension, etc., still has to be done regardless of whether you're dropping in a big electric motor or a gasoline engine.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. but the auto compnies make A LOT off of the parts for maintenence.
as i said, if you haven't seen the movie 'who killed the electric car', you really should- because they do a good job of explaining how much money auto companies still make once the car leaves the lot- think mopar, delco, etc-

also- cars with an internal combustion engine has a MUCH more complex engine AND transmission than electric cars do.

see the movie- they explain it very well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I intend to ...
I think it's in my NetFlix queue someplace! :-)


I just know I can't recall ever replacing any parts in the cars that I've fixed with OEM parts. I get used part or aftermarket ones.

Of course, my cars have been pretty durable too. Thank god.

But remember as well that the auto makers would still make money on parts not related to the drivetrain, such as body panels and light fixtures.


Regarding transmissions, I think that since they already make quality transmissions they'll just keep putting them in electric cars. After all, the slower the electric motor spins the less wear and tear goes on the bearings. Just because an electric car only needs two forward speeds doesn't mean that you can't usefully have more.

And electric motors are expensive! A 3hp DC motor costs nearly $1,500! And you need at least 75hp in an electric motor to get adequete performance.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/guideBrowse.shtml
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bunkie0913 Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #12
52. I watched that just yesterday
Having seen "Who Killed the Electric Car" listed on many different sites, I finally watched it yesterday when David Swanson had it on After Downing Street. Figured if it was on that site, it must be worth the 90 minutes of my time. Powerful movie and it explained the power the corporations have to control the auto industry.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
27. Unfortunately there is much less profit in an all electric car. Watch the film
"Who killed the electric car". There is huge money in keeping this old, inefficient, wasteful, technology on the road. Far less maintenance, far fewer parts, etc.

They already showed that it can be done and did the re-tooling to produce the EV-1. They shit-canned it after they were able to buy enough officers in CA. to kill the mandate.




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
36. There is probably no smoking gun that is a secret memo
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 04:39 PM by truedelphi
Wherein Big Oil and Big Auto are complicit in the deal, but believe me they are.

When you look at the insurance, banking, pharmaceutical, or oil interests it all ends up being the oil interests. When Big Auto gets out their check books to ask Congress to not mandate increased mileage, Big oil gets their check books out also.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
46. I believe you are wrong! The big auto makers and the Petroleum Mafia have been in collusion

for years!!!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
47. iow -- short term gain wins out over long term survival. in the end the best (Japanese) cars won.
that's the free market for ya. except that the program was set up to help the auto companies not bear all the cost of R/D. it's in the interest of government that people/goods/services have cheap, reliable transportation. CEOs not so much.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
31. wonder how it's working out for them?
oh, right. They are going out of business and taking us with them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HowHasItComeToThis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. WALL STREET QUARTERLY OBSESSION DRIVES EVERYTHING
TEMPORARY GREED
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 05:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. the "downfall" is planned, & the workers' suffering is precisely the result desired.
us auto companies have made fuel-efficient vehicles in europe & other countries for decades, & they're making plenty of profits overseas.

it's deliberate & strategic & the us public has been seriously conned & robbed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Yes, because car manufacturers will be the biggest beneficiaries
of total economic collapse :eyes:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. Not sure how you got "total economic collapse" from what I said.
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 07:15 AM by Hannah Bell
US auto companies have been making large chunks of their profit, & fuel-efficient small cars overseas for some time. With expensive 1st world unionized labor & cheap non-unionized 3rd world labor.

But they can't do it here, haven't figured it out in 40 years' time.

In a national market, firms will play labor forces & regions off against each other, & they do it in a global market too. GM's spent billions building plant in China since well before 2000.

Here's an article from 1988: GM made most of its profit overseas that year; unfortunately, for the second year in a row, there was no profit-sharing with the US unions.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE5DA...

It's not "stupidity". Their business strategy is longterm & global, not local, get it, eyeroller?



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. I think it has more to do with the U.S.'s lack of national health care.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hogwyld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
34. Yes they would benefit!
Once this enchilada falls apart, we will see people lining up for miles to work for a mere pittance to buy some soup. They've been plotting this for years to punish the unions for their high wages. When we become a 3rd world nation, with 3rd world wages, you'll see some manufacturing come back.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #34
59. No
with a collapsed economy, there's nobody to buy cars.

These pat answers here are far too simple. It's a complicated issue and to understand it takes more than a bumpersticker answer.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heywood J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
43. Not total, but the auto companies would actually stand to make a bundle
out of going bankrupt. The company continues to work, probably makes a shitload from government bailouts the way Chrysler did in the eighties, the CEO gets a bonus the way NWA and other airlines did recently, and re-emerges from bankruptcy without those nasty pension obligations, while having slashed employee pay in the name of "returning to profitability".

It's not like there haven't been a dozen recent precedents on this subject. Hell, look at American Axle, Countrywide, 3Com, Nortel, Bear Sterns, Enron, etc. The companies go in the shitter and the top executives make out like bandits. Of course bankruptcy is profitable for them. Money to be made coming and going.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
curious one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. we have the technology but lost the chance to dominate the market.
Why? Oil companies, should I say more?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:03 AM
Response to Original message
9. The only thing that could save them now would be a 150 MPG 4 WD Hybrid pickup
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. B.S. - A 50 mpg 5-passenger crossover would sell by the millions
A 2750 pound turbo-diesel hybrid 4wd can be produced with existing technology. See my post above. A 2200 lb version with no pretenses to off-road ability would get 70 mpg.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. A 2700 lb AWD hybrid would be ridiculously tiny.
A RAV-4 with AWD runs around 3500lbs with a standard gas 4 cylinder. Then you'd need to add several hundred pounds in order to make it a turbo-diesel hybrid (the turbo and all the associated plumbing plus the weight of all the batteries). I don't doubt that right now a 2700 lb hybrid getting 70 mpg could be made, but it certainly wouldn't be an AWD/4WD crossover unless it was so diminutive as to be almost unusable. I think to get something even the size of the RAV4 down to that weight would require such extensive use of carbon fiber and other expensive light weight materials that the cost would be extremely prohibitive. Even a 911 Turbo is quite a bit heavier than that (I bring up the 911 Turbo because it's an AWD vehicle where weight savings are of paramount importance). Every year there are new features that become essential for cars to have and that drives up the weight of these vehicles. Even the Miata has become a good deal heavier over time in spite of how much cheaper lightweight materials have become over the years.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Read the link to the Dodge Intrepid Hybrid in the original post
It used thermoplastic molding to reduce the weight of the car to 2200 lbs while still using a diesel engine, electric motor and battery pack. Add a few hundred pounds for an AWD and another few hundred for a turbo and you'll still get the weight below 3000 lbs AND have a mid-size sedan. Not tiny at all.

All this added approximately $7000 to the base price of the standard Intrepid, which really isn't bad at all.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CRF450 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Oh god... turbo and supporting plumbing alone does not weigh another few hundred pounds.
But I too would like to see a good hybrid pickup, the new Silverado hybrids are cool as hell, and get much better than the 16mpg my Dakota gets, but there way too expensive for me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. I was adding some weight for proper steel subframes.
I wouldn't do much off-roading in a '57 Lotus Elite. That's what the Chrysler chassis sorta sounds like.

A small turbo and intercooler system adds perhaps 75 pounds, if that much.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #28
40. If it's so easy to shed a half ton from a car's weight...
then why aren't we seeing this weight reduction in sports cars that cost under six figures? And keep in mind, you aren't talking about a sedan, you're talking about a crossover (SUV). 2200 lbs is less than the weight of a Miata today. Miata engineers worked their asses off to get the weight down to around 2400 lbs, using the lightest weight materials they could find while still making the car reasonably affordable. If that's the best Mazda's engineers could do for making a 2 seater sports car, how could it be so easy to do the same with a 5 passenger sedan while keeping the price reasonable? Why aren't we seeing this technology utilized in luxury sedans which are spending big bucks on weight saving techniques like monocoque and aluminum intensive frames? If you spend 80 grand on a Jaguar XJ8, you can reap the benefits of the massive amounts of R&D Jaguar put towards their latest frame. If they could make a frame half as heavy as their current one for so cheap, why aren't they?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #40
49. Composites are expensive to produce and -- particularly -- to repair.
A typical F1 car is about 1200 lbs, but could be considerably lighter if the rules allowed. Of this, the carbonfiber/kevlar hull is less than 150 pounds. If you apply the same technology to the chassis of a roadgoing passenger car, one could scale up to a five passenger crossover with modest off-road 4WD capability that weighs 2700 poundsor less.

By the way, I own a 1st gen Miata, the dimensions of which are only a bit larger than a mid-'60s Lotus Elan, which it so strongly resembles. The Miata is 800 pounds heavier, primarily because its structure is almost entirely welded steel structures. The Lotus had a steel backbone chassis, but the rest of the hull is made of fiber glass. A similar design using modern composite material instead of fiberglass would be strong enough to pass today's impact requirements, but it would be very expensive to produce because the laminates are hand-laid and then baked in a vacuum oven.

But, here's the real reason we don't see more modern composites, except on very high-end sports cars: the insurance industry. A Carbon-fiber/kevlar tub is extremely strong and stiff, but once damaged, must be replaced in its entirety - it's practically impossible to repair any but the most localized damage.

It is possible to design a composite chassis, road-going passenger car/light truck with modular (bold-together) substructures. It would make the most sense, structurally, to bolt the front and rear subframes to a central spine (like the Elan) that is attached to the cabin hull. That would reduce repair costs, somewhat, over a monocoque, but the manufacture and replacement cost would still be more that pressed and welded sheet metal.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #9
55. Well... close
http://www.gm.com/vehicles/results.jsp?bodyStyle=05&fue... |_2008_GMBP_Segment_|_IMG_Hybrid_Truck_Segment_|_GM_Shop_Hybrid_Pickup_HV_|_hybrid_pickup&exist=false

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
13. Diesels and fuel cells would not have been the solution
That wikipedia article is hardly an article.

IIRC, these automobile requirements were driven by air pollution regulations in California. The program was changed to the hydrogen automobile: a ridiculous proposal with a long timeline.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
14. This makes me so damn mad I could break something..nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
22. Uhoh--KILL THAT PROJECT!!--and take the Electric Car with you!
they don't do anything to help the consumer. Only the shareholders--and oil producers whose prodeuct they totally depend on.

FRAUDs
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
29. I remember the ESX-3. It was all plastic.
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 03:16 PM by Xithras
I think I still have an old copy of Popular Mechanics out in the garage with an article on it. I recall that there was a bit of buzz at the time about whether people would buy an all-plastic car (the ESX-3 had a light aluminum frame to make the plastic rigid, but that's it). Even more importantly, would people buy an all-plastic car that would have been street priced at around $10k more than its less efficient competitors. The consensus ended up being that they wouldn't, and the project was scrapped.

On edit:

I searched PM's website and found the article on the ESX-3: http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/motorsports/... It was a 3 cyl diesel hybrid linked to a paltry 20HP electric motor.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
30. That's what I'm talking about...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
32. K/R. Required reading for the GM sycophants here. n/t
Duke

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #32
56. And here's something for the Toyota suck-ups, too
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
35. Things changed with the Caspian Region bust of '01
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 04:21 PM by loindelrio
But GM et.al. were too content with getting smoke blown up their ass regarding supply by Exxon propagandist CERA among others.

+++++++++++

Following is a post by 'Petrodollar' in the following thread at peakoil.com. This poster seems to know what he is talking about (has written a book on the subject), and what I have previously read about the situation 'plots' with his summary.

I am reproducing the post here because it provides excellent factual information for the coming attacks on why the Clinton Administration did nothing regarding energy independence.

http://www.peakoil.com/fortopic21121-0-asc-60.html

On the one hand I can understand your desire to "blame" Gore for not publicly discussing Peak Oil until recently, but you must put history in context before you draw condemnations. Indeed, a lot more is known today than what was known just 8 to 10 years ago.

The first "authoritative" and analytical report on global peak oil that I am aware of was Petroconsultant's 1995 report The Worlds Oil Supply (19302050) - which predicted that peak oil production would occur in the decade following 2000. (written in part by Dr. Colin Campbell). It is rumored the CIA is or was the largest client of Petroconsultants (now IHS Energy), but it is unknown if this report was well received as far as the veracity of the data - but it is a good question for historians....

Anyhow, the one big caveat in that report I suspect were all the estimates from the mid-1990s until late 2001 that the Caspian Sea region could have up to 200 billion barrels of untapped oil, making it the oil find of the century" - and push back Peak Oil for 12 to 15 years. I think Enron was "banking" on cheap natural gas from the Caspian and a trans-Afghanistan pipeline to save their company re their huge investment in India...

{For that famous quote about the "oil find of the century" see: Stephen Kinzer, Pipe Dreams: A Perilous New Contest for the Next Oil Prize, New York Times, September 24, 1997, IV-1}

Indeed, from 1997-1998 the US government and Taliban were negotiating over a trans-Afghanistan pipeline, but these talks were interrupted when two US Embassies in East Africa were bombed during August 1998. These terrorists attacks were attributed to Osama bin Laden, who was a guest of the Taliban regime. Former president Clinton subsequently launched a cruise missile attack against targets associated with bin Laden, ordered the negotiations with the Taliban called off, and imposed sanctions against the rogue regime. Any exploration and worthwhile extraction of the Caspian oil would have to wait until the landscape in central Asia become more conducive to oil pipelines, etc.

{FYI: According to Jean Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie in the French book, The Forbidden Truth, the Bush administration ignored the UN sanctions that had been imposed upon the Taliban and entered into secret negotiations with this supposedly rogue regime from February 2, 2001, to August 6, 2001. The Taliban were not cooperative, according to the statements of Mr. Naik, Pakistans former ambassador. He reported that the US threatened a military option if the Taliban did not acquiesce to Washingtons demands about a proposed pipeline route that had to traverse Afghanistan. But I digress...}

I suspect in the late 1990s and perhaps even as the Bush administration entered office in 2001 that the US government may have deducted that the "vast and untapped" Caspian oil would push Peak Oil somewhat into the future. Here's a sampling of the euphoria that surrounded the Caspian in the late 1990s...

Quote:
I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.

Former CEO of Halliburton, Dick Cheney, 1998

However, in December 2001, just after US troops took over the capital of Afghanistan, British Petroleum (BP) announced disappointing Caspian drilling results. According to Dale Allen Pfeiffer, an oil industry analyst and former researcher for Michael Rupperts www.fromthewilderness.com website, after three exploratory wells were analyzed, it was reported that the Caspian region contains much less oil than originally reported, although there are vast amounts of natural gas. Also, it was discovered that Caspian oil is of poor quality, with up to 20 percent sulfur content, which makes it expensive to refine and creates huge volumes of environmentally damaging waste products.

In 2002 the consulting group PetroStrategies published a study estimating that the Caspian Basin contained only 8 to 39.4 bb of oil. Shortly after this report was discussed in the petroleum news sources, BP and other Western oil companies began reducing their investment plans in the region...and at that point I think the reality of Peak Oil began to creep into consciousness...

Despite exaggerated claims of the oil find of the century and predictions of a 'new Saudi Arabia' outside the Middle East, the State Department announced in November 2002 that Caspian oil represents 4% of world reserves. It will never dominate the worlds markets.

Unfortunately, this unexpected realization about the Caspian Sea region had serious implications for the US, India, China, Asia, and Europe, since the estimated amount of available hydrocarbons for industrialized and developing nations was now significantly decreased - by 20% in fact if you believed the 200 b/bl estimate. For me, the arguments regarding PO became more valid and convincing after that point, but it was only 4 years ago that the "Caspian myth" was essentially de-bunked

Bottomline: I seem to recall a much more optimistic assessment of global energy supplies (both oil & gas) up thru 2000 when Clinton & Gore left office. Oil was only $10 a barrel in 1998, and talk of Peak Oil would have labeled Gore or whomever an "alarmist" at the very least, and certainly not helped in any future election based on what happened in 1980. (more on that in a moment)

Did the data in the mid to late 1990s support that Peak Oil was imminent? It's hard to tell until relevant CIA and/or DOE documents are released - at which point you will likely be in your 30s or 40s - assuming such documents will ever be released.

The only US President to really address the issue was Jimmy Carter - and every US politician believes that he lost his re-election bid to Reagan in part due to his "pessimistic" (honest) views on global energy supplies, along with that embarrassing incident re American hostages in Tehran during 1979 and the disastrous/failed rescue mission in 1980 didn't help either. Indeed, 30 years ago Carter stated something that no US politician has dared stated until March 2005 when Rep Roscoe Bartlett began his PO crusade in Congress.

Quote:
We are grossly wasting our energy resources as though their supply was infinite. We must even face the prospect of changing our basic ways of living. This change will either be made on our own initiative in a planned and rational way, or forced on us with chaos and suffering by the inexorable laws of nature.

Jimmy Carter, 1976

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
37. Yes it is sad. And sad to have learned about rail tracks ripped out of our cities too.
The End of Suburbia was a very interesting DVD.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. Yep. Near me their were docks with traintracks leading from them to other distribution points.
Now fewer things are delivered by ships, and the train tracks are either torn up, or in such disrepair that they could not be used.
Now we rely on planes and trucks to do all the deliveries.
The same is true of the ferries that used to run all over NYC. They built bridges and tunnels and stopped the ferry services. Ironically, now they are bringing back some of the ferry routes that were shut down, and talking about restarting many more.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
38. Ford had a gas engine that got 40% more mpg, too.
My brother helped design it. It was shelved as too expensive to build and maintain.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
41. The MANAGEMENT at GM, Chrysler, and Ford caused their own downfall, and the workers suffer for it.
Absolutely true..and it is those incompetent, greedy decision makers who will end up with the golden parachutes, leaving the autoworkers with nothing.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jazzgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
44. Goes back further than that.
I have a friend from Detroit who had a good friend that worked for GM. He bought a new GM car back in the 70's (don't remember the model but it was a big 8-cylinder gas guzzler). Of course he got a good deal being a GM employee and left the dealership with a full tank of gas. He drove around....and drove around.....and drove around for several days but the needle on the gas gauge didn't move. He decided there was probably something wrong with the gas gauge and pulled into a gas station to fill up. Mind you, gas was really cheap during this period (probably less than $1). He was only able to get a little over $1 in the tank. He was pleasantly surprised and drove off. He received a letter from GM's lawyers saying that the car he had was a prototype that was accidentally sold to him and that he needed to return it where they would replace it with a new car. He refused. They took him to court and, of course, they won. He figured he was getting about 70 miles to the gallon at the time. They have been able to do this for many, many years. They must've made a deal with the oil industry to shelve any technology that allowed them to increase gas mileage exponentially to increase profits. Sick, sick world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
45. If India can make and produce a vehicle that runs on air, why in the
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #45
57. Can we make them a wee bit bigger and prettier, though?
Those of us with children wouldn't dare put them in that - and, even if I didn't have kids, the car looks like Munch's The Scream.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #57
61. Any vehicle that runs on compressed air, instead of gas, is beautiful!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
48. Every fucking technology has advanced over the past 10-20 years EXCEPT THIS
Weird, isn't it. There's absolutely no fucking reason why your average car shouldn't be getting at least 60-75mph, with the more fuel efficient models over 100mph. No reason whatsoever.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
50. You conspiracy theorists are a trip. How did the Big 3 stop Toyota, Honda, VW, Hyundai, Renault,
et al. from producing this modern miracle? Since the only thing stopping these miracle cars was Detroit's collusion with big oil (the basic law of physics, to whit: that heavier cars get worse mpg having nothing to do it with!!!) then we should see 75 mpg cars from all of the aforementioned companies too.

So how do we account for the lack of these supercars from foreign manufacturers and keep this conspiracy going? Hmmmm? :silly:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
51. Electric cars were on the road at the top of the 20th Century
Big Oil and bigger profits with the internal combustion gasoline engine changed that.


http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/223/electric-car-timeline....
http://www.reformation.org/who-killed-electric-car.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geek_sabre Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
54. GM has created a hydrogen car (SUV)
I've read a few articles about it recently (Chevy Equinox). A few hundred people have test driven it, but it won't be ready for market for several more years. They're wanting to make it available for $25-30K or so.


If they can make this, they can certainly make a 100mph car. Something else is holding them back, and I don't think its "Big Oil."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
58. They have only themselves to blame.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
60. Someone please check my math
I was ruminating on the energy content of a gallon of gas and how (ignoring conversion efficiencies) this translates into horsepower.

If:
1 gal gasoline = 125,000 BTUs
1 W-hr = 3.41 BTUs
1 hp = 745.7 W

Then:
1 gal gasoline = 49.1 hp-hrs

That represents the maximum energy content of a gallon of gas.

So say you need 20 hp to cruise at highway speeds, on the level, just overcoming wind and rolling resistance, etc. That represents 2.5 hours on a gallon.

Now thermodynamics (entropy) has something (a lot actually) to say about maximum efficiencies that can be achieved with any heat engine, let alone internal combustion. But typically, 40% if I recall my undergraduate thermo.

Not taking one side or the other, here. Just wanted to get a feel for an idealized starting point and how it translates to mpg.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Dec 19th 2014, 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC