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Last night, on the PBS program NOVA, the importance and the science of improving our transportation technology was shared in an accessible and entertaining manner. From NPR, Click and Clack from the Saturday morning program "Car Talk" (which has helped people understand, fix, and laugh about problems with their cars for decades) were our guides, with John Lithgow (of 3rd Rock from the Sun and 2010: The Year We Make Contact fame) as the narrator.

 

 

 

The site for the episode, with additional information and resources, is here:

 

NOVA | Car of the Future | PBS

 

 

 

You can watch the entire program online (split into 6 chapters) at the following:

 

NOVA | Car of the Future | Watch the Program | PBS

 

 

 

Please watch the program and tell us what you think (or, if you've seen it already, just jump right into your comments).

 

 

Which approach do you think will be most fruitful?

Which approach do you find most lacking?

 

If you support a combination of approaches, perhaps you can assign a percentage, based on your own opinion, as to the role each approach should (or could) play as we move forward into the future.

 

 

Above all... watch, enjoy, learn, and hopefully discuss. :shrug:

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I just finished watching it.

 

I still like the idea of electric the best. Of course, supplementing this with petro improves the range, but does not solve the foreign dependence issue (unless you use ethanol of course, but that's a whole other quaqmire).

 

I'd have to agree with the guys from GM. We need better battery tech, not only in terms of storage capacity and safety, but also in terms of recharge time and longevity. No cross country trips to grandma's house in the Tesla just yet.

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What I wondered is, "Why don't we put solar panels on the cars to help recharge the batteries?"

 

Heh, I was thinking the same thing. They made the comment about putting solar panels on the roof of your house and using that to charge your car and I was thinking, "why not keep those panels on the house FOR the house and through some on the roof of the car FOR the car".

Also, there is work being done on solar paints. We could paint the cars with this, and voila!

I don't recall reading about the solar paint idea, though it does sound familiar. I'll have to go look it up.

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Heh, I was thinking the same thing. They made the comment about putting solar panels on the roof of your house and using that to charge your car and I was thinking, "why not keep those panels on the house FOR the house and through some on the roof of the car FOR the car".

 

I don't recall reading about the solar paint idea, though it does sound familiar. I'll have to go look it up.

 

The energy density of solar panels is far too low to be of any use in charging the volt or any other solar car you drive every day. Even if the entire surface of the car was a solar panel it wouldn't do much in the way of charging the battery or extending the range. If you only drove a couple days a week or a hour or so a day you migth have something but I would rather ride a motorcycle that gets 60 mpg+ than drive a car that will only get me across town twice a week. If the battery problem can be solved and the car doesn't cost more than I'll make in the rest of my life I would buy one for sure. Of course to really help with the CO2 thing you would need to have a sizeable percentage of your eletricity made by nuclear power. and we all know how much the greenie nuts love that:eek_big:

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The energy density of solar panels is far too low to be of any use in charging the volt or any other solar car you drive every day.

Not when coupled with regenerative braking, hydrogen fuel cells, high efficiency quick charging batteries, and "plug and drive" technology. It's not about silver bullets. It's about tommy guns. ;)

 

 

Come on, people! It's time to get off of our asses!!! ;)

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Not when coupled with regenerative braking, hydrogen fuel cells, high efficiency quick charging batteries, and "plug and drive" technology. It's not about silver bullets. It's about tommy guns. ;)

 

 

Come on, people! It's time to get off of our asses!!! ;)

 

I can't believe you said that dude, with fuel cells you don't need the batteries! If they can figure out a way to safely store large amounts of hydrgen then all we need is nuclear power to generate hydrogen! A plug and drive car would be cheaper than a hydrogen fuel cell car, both to make and to drive. Why take the extra step to make hydrogen? Once you get the batteries right there is no need for hydrogen in a short drive vehicle and no need for batteries in a long range hydrogen vehicle. Combining the two only makes it that much more expensive. Like having a diesel engine for long range travel and a gasoline engine for short range.

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Did you watch the show? What did you think?

 

 

That was just my opinion. The larger point being that attacking one technology does not imply that some combination of technologies cannot work. We need to make this work, that's realy my larger point in nearly all of my posts here at Hypography.

 

We have the technology.

We have the ability.

We have the intelligence.

 

 

 

Now, we NEED the collective wherewithal to get it done. Man on the moon by the end of the decade... that sort of thing.

 

Except, this is for our collective survival, not just bragging rights over some other nation.

 

 

 

Sorry... went off there for a second. Watch the show. Let's talk about that. ;)

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Did you watch the show? What did you think?

 

 

That was just my opinion. The larger point being that attacking one technology does not imply that some combination of technologies cannot work. We need to make this work, that's realy my larger point in nearly all of my posts here at Hypography.

 

We have the technology.

We have the ability.

We have the intelligence.

 

 

 

Now, we NEED the collective wherewithal to get it done. Man on the moon by the end of the decade... that sort of thing.

 

Except, this is for our collective survival, not just bragging rights over some other nation.

 

 

 

Sorry... went off there for a second. Watch the show. Let's talk about that. ;)

 

Yes I watched the show, I loved the concept, but it looked a lot like expensive toys for rich boys. I'll be impressed when they come up with a car that someone like me can afford. Until then it's just pie in the sky.

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Yes I watched the show, I loved the concept, but it looked a lot like expensive toys for rich boys. I'll be impressed when they come up with a car that someone like me can afford. Until then it's just pie in the sky.

Well, then I can only suggest that you go and build one for yourself, instead of assuming the defeatist attitide that nobody will ever bulid one for you at some impossibly low cost.

 

 

Build your own street-legal solar-powered electric car - Engadget

 

How to Make a Fuel Cell-Powered Car | Popular Science

 

Converting Your Car To An Electric Vehicle : TreeHugger

 

Clean, Quiet Conversions[on converting gas-powered car to full electric] | relocalize.net

 

The Battery Powered Car

 

Electric Car Conversion Questions (and Answers!)

 

 

 

I'll just say... there are many more sites like this chock full of the information you need to get off of your *** and do it... That is, of course, if you really take yourself seriously.

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I watched maybe 10% of the show and listened to the other 90% while doing chores in the kitchen. Really enjoyed it.

 

I think the answer for cars will eventually be the high efficiency, linear-DC, pulse-driven electric motor and a combo of high energy density batteries and the methane fuel-cell.

 

They have methane fuel-cells now the size of an A battery that produces several times the current of an A battery. Trouble is the lifespan. The carbon dioxide from the methane eventually clogs the sucker up. But that's a technical problem I believe will be fixed in the next pi/2 decades.

 

The regen-braking is a nice touch, too. But we're all going to have to live with hiway speeds under 60 mph. If you want faster than that, take a bullet train (fueled with H2).

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While not quite the huge step forward many of these idea are, Hymotion has started taking orders for a module for the Prius which will bump the mileage to as much as 150mpg for short trips.

I am probably going to get 90-100mpg considering my driving habits.

On another front, Th!nk in Norway has announce US distribution (thank you Norway!) About TH!NK North America / Our Company / Home - Think.

A much more affordable car than the Tesla;)

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Well, then I can only suggest that you go and build one for yourself, instead of assuming the defeatist attitide that nobody will ever bulid one for you at some impossibly low cost.

 

 

Build your own street-legal solar-powered electric car - Engadget

 

How to Make a Fuel Cell-Powered Car | Popular Science

 

Converting Your Car To An Electric Vehicle : TreeHugger

 

Clean, Quiet Conversions[on converting gas-powered car to full electric] | relocalize.net

 

The Battery Powered Car

 

Electric Car Conversion Questions (and Answers!)

 

 

 

I'll just say... there are many more sites like this chock full of the information you need to get off of your *** and do it... That is, of course, if you really take yourself seriously.

 

I don't think my current budget restrants will allow me to do any of these things:( maybe i need to raise taxes on my minions!

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