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I'm not sure if this has been posted here yet, but I thought some of you would be interested.

http://www.evworld.com/blogs/index.cfm? ... &archive=1

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It would be a safe bet to assume, I think, that the Insight will continue to be produced in small numbers until Honda has developed a successor that it is confident will keep its name at the top of those fuel economy lists. I suggested this to Lindstrom and he nodded his agreement.
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(From Bill Moore's blog)
 

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Interesting that the article is about the future of the Insight, yet there is a picture of the IMAS which they don't even mention.
 

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Ah, actually the article did, " perhaps along the line of the IMAS concept car pictured above."

I'm happy if they keep producing it for any reason, (even to test the corrosion resistance of the aluminum body in the real world). When they finally do stop producing the Insight, I believe they will be highly collectable and will continue to promote Honda for decades. Then again, I'm rather biased. :wink: :D
 

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http://www.soultek.com/clean_energy/hybrid_cars/third_generation_toyota_prius_in_2008.htm

According to this, lithiu ion will greatly enhance fuel economy of hybrids. Imagine what a super efficent diesel insight, with 100% carbon fiber body, super efficient drag coefficeint of .1, drive by wire regen braking, and 25% efficent solar panels on the roof and hood could do!

Carbon fiber alone cuts 60% of weight while being up to 9 times stronger than steel. So 60% less weight, and also a 60% smaller engine, increase fuel economy by at least 2 fold.

Now imagine a super efficent diesel engine that allows the engine size to be dropped to a mere .25 liters and more efficent lithium ion 2 batteries, which will be out by 2010.

We could realistically triple the mileage of the Insight to 153 mpg, real world combined driving as recorded by Consumer Reports.

Then imagine what being able to plug in the Insight could do, with lithium 2 batteries allowing 150 miles EV only crusing, and solar cells recharging 50 miles while you're at work.

Hell, you would hardly ever burn any gas at all! Fuel economy could balloon to 300, 400, 500 mpg, with a range of 7,500 miles possible with a 15 gallon tank. You would only have to fill up once every 35 weeks!

Almost once every 9 months! You would only burn 60 gallons of diesel!

And for those who think I am mad, consider the expiremental plug in Prius which got 250 mpg around a track. If a bigger car, burning gas, not made out of carbon fiber, and with a drag coefficeint of .26, and no on-board solar charger can get 250 mpg, than a smaller, sleeker, super efficent diesel, working off of onboard charging, lithium 2 batteries, and home plug in can sure as hell het 500 mpg. Come to think of it, 1,000 mpg may be possible with a plug in feature.

Imagine filling up once every 16 months and one week. You could drive around the entire continental US, 8,700 miles, twice! On one tank of diesel! (I know, you'de need a 16.7 gallon tank, which then lasts over 18 months!)

Imagine buying only 12 gallons of diesel all year! Today that would cost $30! $30 for one year's worth of fuel! Even if diesel costs $20/gallon in the future, it still amounts to only $240/year! Today with average regular at $2.2 and an insight getting 60 mpg real world, (AC and carefull driving)
you still pay $440!

I can't wait to see the mileage numbers fly when this new tech hits and people start clamoring for fuel economy.

A rule of thumb is that the mandatory fuel economy is 10 times the price of fuel. So at $2.20 for regular, a car needs at least 22 mpg to be economically viable.

By 2010 we shall see 80 mpg insights, that should be viable for 10 more years. Eventually thought gas will be $10/gallong and any car that gets under 100 mpg will need to be recycled into a new super efficent hybrid.

Any thoughts?
 
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Hi Xmsr3:

___Before you get carried away, the Insight is already mostly aluminum. Carbon fiber will help reduce weight but at such an expense as to make the Insight ridiculously overpriced and/or unprofitable. Honda is already losing a ton of $’s on each Insight sold in its present form let alone anything more …

___About those diesel’s … A SI-ICE of equivalent size can produce more HP (less torque) and receive similar FE as a similar sized CI-ICE. There have been a number of reports out of Europe where the smaller SI-ICE based automobiles are taking the much higher FE rated CI-ICE automobile of the same make down in the FE department let alone being much more powerful without that Turbo and massive increase in fuel pressures. I can pull some links for you in a few days if you would like.

___About those packs. It isn’t the Ni-MH packs themselves that offer the FE, it is in the implementation unless you are talking PHEV’s. A Li-Ion in an Insight will not offer anything more then the Ni-MH with the right driver and not w/ IMA in its present form. If you are talking PHEV’s w/ 5 - 10 kWh packs and a separable EV capable drive train, you may never use any gasoline/diesel at all depending on how far you were to drive one … Li-Ion packs of that size are between $4 and $8K right now if I have kept up with the latest pricing. In other words, cost prohibitive. I do not know where you read of a 250 mpg Prius II but it would have to have pack of maybe 30 kWh’s and the ability to take its SoC from 100% down to almost 0% in order to cover 250 miles and that is throwing every trick in the book at her. Lets say 50 miles on gas and 200 in EV would still take a 40 kWh pack for the average driver to reach such a distance. Do the math with today’s Li-Ion pricing and you will see how this can get out of hand real quick.

___Solar charging? You may want to head back to a solar racer site to figure out how much power could be extracted under optimal sunlight exposure from the roof, hood, and rear deck of an automobile the size of an Insight let alone any outer automobile out there. Even with the most efficient and cost prohibitive super cells w/ ~ 25% efficiency under direct sunlight couldn’t power an automobile for anything worth the expense and weight of covering the body panels with them. You are talking a miniscule amount of miles on a solar charge w/ that small of an area!

___After all is said and done, the Daihatsu UFE - I, II, or III could achieve the 125 - 150 mpg EPA rating w/ its .6 L SI-ICE, Toyota second gen HSD, and extremely light weight (composite everything) today but the cost would be once again prohibitive with today’s composite prices. I am not including the additional weight of the safety HW most would demand killing off much of what the UFE’s are actually capable of.

___Finally, 80 + from an Insight is already in today’s cards. A year round and consistent 100 + mpg’s from an Insight like automobile may take a true PHEV pack w/ a real EV mode capability not available from an IMA derived Insight today.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Attempts at producing diesel hybrids have thus far been less than spectacular. The benefits of the two technologies become somewhat redundant when combined.

It will be qute a while before consumers will accept the look of a car with a 0.1 coefficient of drag.

Honda is however working on a technology that will posibly double the efficiency of the ICE. They may have a demonstratable engine in a year. Note that Honda is now in the solar cell buisness!

Honda also has the technology now to make the Insight more efficient. (Consider the new Civic Hybrid.) If it makes sense for them to do it, they will. :wink:
 

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"...25% efficent solar panels on the roof and hood..."

Bad idea if you bother to think it through :) It takes resources - materials, energy, money - to produce solar cells. (And the manufacturing process inevitably will produce some waste/pollution.) Logically, you want to maximize your return - the amount of energy produced - for that investment. Mounting them on a car is NOT the way to do that: The car's often in shade, or at a less than optimum angle to the incident sunlight. When you're not driving, they're charging batteries, so some of the energy is lost. They add weight & volume to the car, making it less efficient.

No, for best results, take the solar cells home and mount them on your roof so that they feed the electric grid all the time.
 

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Well now James, don't be too critical of the solar car assist. The key is in the implementation. :wink:

If the cells are used to blow air through the car when it is parked in the sun, the AC won't have to work so hard to bring the temps down on startup. During the winter they could be used to keep engine coolant residing in a thermos up to temperature for a quick warm up. Also if there is anything left to charge the vehicle batteries there really is no loss as the batteries would have to be charged using energy from the ICE with its attendant losses. Finally it comes down to cost however. If the cells are really cheap (Honda is working on a non silicon cell) and the cost of installing them on the car is negligible (due to mass production) it may be more effective that purchasing frames and paying to have the panels mounted on the roof of your residence, especially for apartment dwellers.

Personally I'd like to see solar panels on every available roof top, but from a purely economic point of view it is probably better to just install better windows, insulate walls and pipes and use more efficient appliances.

I agree with you that presently the technology is not there.
 
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Hi James:

___Mounting 25% efficient cell’s on anything is not a smart thing to do no matter what it is mounted on other then something you might send into space! Those cell’s are ridiculously priced unless you want your roof to cost more then the house that is under it ;)

___Have you followed past Solar Challenges? Some even lean the Racer and its embedded cell’s into the sun when the Solar racer is stopped for that last gasp of sunlight before the sun drops below the horizon. The best of the best w/ a huge flat surface area by comparison to an Insight’s upward facing body panels output just 1,500 W MAX! A max of maybe 300 watts would be available to a Solar panel covered Insight (I am guessing) when the sun is directly overhead on a perfect cloudless day … 300 W over an hour of the best sunlight you could ever imagine would take a pure EV modded Insight about 3 miles when pushed to its absolute limits and I mean absolute limits. A gallon of gas can take her ~ 110 miles and for the cost of ~ $2.30 depending on where you live. Maybe $15,000 in cell’s (I am guessing again) to go an extra 3 miles in a single hour under perfect sunlight or $2.30 to go 110 miles when its dark, light, overcast, sunny, parked in the garage, whatever …

___B1shmu63, PV’s powering a small block heater might work for a slightly less distant warm up time? Good idea!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
 

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I haven't paid much attention to the Solar Challenges, but the two solar-powered vehicles I'm most familiar with, Spirit and Opportunity, have logged a combined total of 7 miles or so in the last two years :)

"...but from a purely economic point of view it is probably better to just install better windows..."

Or to use the roof space for hot water and space heating collectors.
 

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Thanks Wayne. :D I'm basimg this on the Prius II, which has thermos bottles to store engine fluid. I reasoned that solar generated power could compensate for losses through the thermos.

25% solar cells? Apparently Honda is managing 10% without silicon! That's Yuuuuuuge! There are a couple of rumours out there that I'd like confirmed. :wink: One is a design for IR sensitive cells and the other for microscopic antenae embedded in a glassy substrate. The latter could be 80% efficient in theory. (Ok, things like 1 GIG of memory in a gum stick sized package impress me.)
 

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Any thoughts?[/quote]

Interesting but ...

Suspicision has it the roles will be "reversed" when it comes to the new hybrids in 2010 or so; the main power will be batteries with a very small gasoline motor-generator or perhas a super efficient diesel generator.

There are plenty of small gasoline engines available today; one and two hp (150kw) units which when attached to a generator may provide adequate power for recharging todays lead acid and the NiMH cells which in turn provide power to operate a small two place motor vehicle such as the Insight or a like vehicle.

At present a range of sixty to eighty miles is reasonable with such a configuration, which as I understand it is more than sufficient for a significant part of our current driving population's daily needs.

If you want to see some small vehicles, those which I'm thinking about, have a look at Robert Q. Riley's www page; i.e., the Urba and the Urba Electric. These are thirty, almost forty year old technologies, all of which are still quite applicable (if not more so) in this day and age. The Insight is a somewhat more "beefed up" version with a bit more "bells, whistles and chrome" added. In fact a good portion of the Urba vehicle parts come from the Honda A600, a 1971 vehicle, one of which recently sold on eBay for close to three thousand dollars or a bit more.

Fred
 

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The thing to keep in mind here is that gasoline is an extremely compact form of energy, and when you burn some of it, the rest gets lighter.

Electric storage in the form of batteries doesn't hold NEARLY enough power to push a car as far and fast as a gasoline based system of the same weight, and as you use up some of the stored electricity, the battery doesn't get any lighter.

Meanwhile, being rechargeable, electric systems do complement gasoline systems well. So long as you minimize the electric system so that it gives you whatever torque and accelleration advantage that you want over a short distance, it helps the efficiency of the vehicle. Once you start storing enough electricity to drive the car over a great distance, the system becomes less efficient.

The thing to keep in mind is that job #1 is efficiency. Electricity is not magic. It can't replace gasoline at the task we've come to expect, perhaps unrealistically, into perpetuity. Likely, at some point in the perhaps not distant future, humanity will have to deal with an environment that will no longer allow each of us to casually choose to move over 90 feet per second for hundreds of miles over paved roads any time we want.

If we lower that expectation by decreasing the speed, distance and frequency of travel, then maybe electricity or hydrogen or some other energy source will suffice, but so long as we want to move that many people that fast over that much distance, there is no Plan B. Gasoline is our only ticket to that particular show.

Physics. It's the law.
 

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Will M said:
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Physics. It's the law.
My husband the physicist would certainly agree. ;)

Coffee Mug #1 : SPEED LIMIT 186,000 Miles per Second. It's Not Just A Good Idea, IT'S THE LAW!

Coffee Mug #2 : BACK OFF MAN! I'm a Scientist!

Not sure whether Physics will keep the Insight in production. I'm just glad that Honda made the car and hope they continue. It will be a rare beauty no matter what.
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
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Next time he says _anything_ in regard to your better MPG tell him he needs to implement his conservation of motion better.
You are so right! :D

...and those attempts at 186,000 Miles per Second are really cutting the MPGs too!
 

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sputnik said:
Coffee Mug #1 : SPEED LIMIT 186,000 Miles per Second. It's Not Just A Good Idea, IT'S THE LAW!
Einstein was not always right - there could be a loophole. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive )

....of course, if we ever get to that point, we will be discussing anti-matter drives... :D
 

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... Imagine what a super efficent diesel insight, with 100% carbon fiber body, super efficient drag coefficeint of .1, drive by wire regen braking, and 25% efficent solar panels on the roof and hood could do!
... Now imagine a super efficent diesel engine that allows the engine size to be dropped to a mere .25 liters and more efficent lithium ion 2 batteries, which will be out by 2010.
... Then imagine what being able to plug in the Insight could do, with lithium 2 batteries allowing 150 miles EV only crusing, and solar cells recharging 50 miles while you're at work.
... Any thoughts?
Re. Carbon Fiber automotive shells, "super efficent diesel"s, efficent lithum ion batteries and "efficent solar panels" all installed on a given mass produced vehicle, while this is currently a dream, reality in that regard may be a lot closer than most currently suspect.

Fred :)
 
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