Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Life after gas...

  1. #1

    Life after gas...

    I'm sure many of you will have seen the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth by now, and realized just what an important and really urgent message is contained in it.

    I know some of us are already involved in the business of alternative power, but I just found this interesting little car, an all electric runabout built on the chassis of the Lotus Elise. It'll do about 250 miles between charges using regenerative braking like the Prius - here is the Tesla.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  2. #2
    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    104
    I try to avoid anything with Al Gore's name on it!

    I don't think electric is going to be the answer here. A temporary cure. Cute car, though!
    ___________________
    MollyShark
    Red/Crema Tan top (both of us)

  3. #3

    I wouldn't trespass on anyone's politics....

    but you should really see it as it is a very well made documentary with a very important message. There is nothing political about it, except the messenger's previous job, so put party preferences aside for this one. What he is talking about is simply what is happening on our planet right now.

    I am not sure whether electricity is the best way forward or not either. However those of us in the sunshine states can put solar panels on our roofs, something I'm researching right now, and these will charge the car and run the household with power to spare. While the initial investment is pretty pricey the tax breaks make it worthwhile. If I'm right once the initial outlay and tax return is completed the cost isn't that bad, and amortized over the 20 year life span of the kit it means you are getting almost free electricity and transport power, which doesn't make electricity seem to shabby to me.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  4. #4
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    I think if you are using electricity generated by a power plant which is burning fossil fuel then its probably not an improvement, but if you can generate your own electricity from a renewable source like solar then it really is a net gain. And I would imagine the emissions from this motor are virtually nill. There are 2 questions to be answered:

    1. what to do with all those batteries- remember they are using something like 6000 laptop batteries so how to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way is an issue - but probably not impossible.

    2. how safe is this car, especially if a hard impact right on to the batteries/ engine? I don't know the answer to this.

    Overall it looks like a very exciting concept and I wish them the best of luck pursing it.

  5. #5
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    20

    Politics, Science (?) or Cars?

    Z8s are powered by petrol.

    If an electric conversion (not that it was suggested) was avaiable it would have to produce 461bhp as mine does. I can fix the frame for less than that would cost and I am toatlly unconvinced that my resolved rocket would destroy the planet.

    Let's talk about Z8s as they are. None of us is really competent to save the earth, although collectively I'm sure we will.

    Herb Summerfield
    Herb Summerfield

  6. #6
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    889

    Did you go to the premier unvieling of the Tesla in LA...

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly
    I'm sure many of you will have seen the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth by now, and realized just what an important and really urgent message is contained in it.

    I know some of us are already involved in the business of alternative power, but I just found this interesting little car, an all electric runabout built on the chassis of the Lotus Elise. It'll do about 250 miles between charges using regenerative braking like the Prius - here is the Tesla.

    Earlier this week? The first 100 will be Signature series and cost around $100K. The remainder will be around $80K. The batteries are a concern as they are in anything electrical (have you given much thought as to how the batteries on your other cars are disposed of when you need a new one?) but there are already appropriate disposal processes in place via every dealer or battery company (like Sears, or your dealer).

    As far as safety, it still has to pass the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration regulations to be used on US highways so more than likely, it will at least pass a minimum safety standard for it's classification.

    I have been aware of this car for a while and as Andrew put it, with renewable solar energy on the house to, it is a win -- only down side may be getting it serviced?
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  7. #7

    Sadly I couldn't get out....

    as I've been working every day for the last couple of weeks, so I missed it. The cost is really huge minus, yoou can buy 4 Prius's for the same amount, so I think while it is a great idea, it is a great idea whose time hasn't come. One day.

    However it did get me to make a bunch of appointments with solar power specialists to get some real world quotes on making my roof work for me!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  8. #8
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    229

    Caveat Emptor

    As an engineer for over 30 years I have learned to question the scientific claims by those who used to frequent the back row of my science classes, notably those colleagues who went on to become politicians and journalists. How quickly they hope we forget how really bad they were!

    I question the graph in the Tesla sales literature showing it getting about 125% efficiency. That whirring you hear may not be the speedy little engine in the Tesla, rather Monsieur Carnot, or perhaps Dr. Gibb who pointed out that all transformations of energy all come with a thermodynamic loss. Pay no attention to that cord snaking under the drapes (with its 7.5% transmission loss) connected to a power plant burning coal and turning about 40% of it into electrical power - the remaining 60% being used to heat the air, or a nearby body of water.

    Tesla claims their battery pack will go at least 100,000 miles. Yet they claim a 250 mile range. A quick search of lithium ion batteries shows they can be recharged around 300 times -- let's see 250 x 300 - falls a little short (about 25,000 miles worth) of the 100,000 mile claim. Even a 100K miles battery life (if it could get it) pales in comparison to the poor little Diesel Beetle I drive every day. It's looking a bit tired at 115K miles - I've had to replace a few light bulbs, and have to stop at the truckstop of my choice about every 550 miles, but its still going strong with no major lumps having to be replaced. Four seconds 0-60 is impressive, bu nowhere in their literature did I see the impact these 0-60 runs had on the range of the vehicle. In fairness, the Z8 can kiss the low 20 MPG range if you're good. In can also get well into the single digits if you want to demonstrate its "capabilities". The Tesla is no different.

    As for the environmental concerns. The blurb for Gore's latest diatribe mentions Katrina being a harbinger of storms to come - the fact that we had no major hurricane this year sort of (excuse me) takes the wind out of that. Coastal flooding? Ever notice how that glass of ice water never overflows? Notice how the ice floats? The Arctic cap a big (less dense than liquid water) ice cube floating on (more dense than ice) water. If the less dense polar ice melts to form more dense water, I still don't think we are going to see Fresno-by-the-Sea. For some good, balanced reading, I could suggest Michale Fumento's "Science Under Seige".

  9. #9

    Great insight into the practical realities....

    of electrictal storage dilemas. Sadly I'm sure that you are right about the Tesla, but I am hopeful that the next generation of plug-in hybrids will greatly lower local fuel consumption, and ethanol and bio-diesel will help our free our dependence on fossils as our primary source of power.

    However all the world's transport combined creates just 17% of our global pollution, and as you rightly point out coal fired power plants are the single biggest generators of both power and pollution on the planet.

    As a very keen amateur geologist (that's what photographing landscapes does for you!) I can tell you that what was very well documented in Al Gore's documentary is part of a very real and also natural cycle first identified by Milankovitch in the 1930's.

    I am certain that what is outlined in Gore's very well researched documentary is fact not fiction, and there is a huge body of evidence and science to support it. I've already locked horns with others here who simply attempt to discredit him because they are blinded by politics, and can't accept that a man who was in politics could be a credible source of information. To me that is simply silliness, especially when every scientist in the world agrees with the findings outlined there. It wasn't Al Gores invention, it was simply a story he cared about enough to dedicate himself to the telling of, because he believes in the importance of the information. I think everyone should listen to a man when he speaks from the heart, and then do your own follow up research to make up your own mind.

    If you are interested I can share many of the links I have on the subject, as it is one of great interest to me.

    I do believe in trying to do my poat in what I believe is a real problem, and I will will soon be able to post pictures of my new 4KW solar roof, which after rebates will have cost me just $4,000.00 - about one year's power bill at my cosy abode!

    When everything points to energy being what we need the most, and to prooduce the most efficiently and creatively I don't know why California is so far behind Carolina's inspired One Million Roof initative.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  10. #10
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    229
    First allow me to state my credentials: 31 years as a practicing Chemical Engineer, the past 15 years as a Senior Scientist/Engineer. I have authored over 50 papers in refereed journals, and while unlike Al Gore, I have never had my picture on the cover of Time, I have had one of my papers featured on the cover of "The Journal of the Institute of Environmental Sciences". I am also the primary inventor on 14 US patents and have twice received the Governor's Environmental Award in the state of Vermont, although thankfully I didn't have to put up with Howard Dean at the ceremony.

    I did not state "coal fired power plants are the single biggest generators of both power and pollution on the planet." In the scientific community such a statement would be irresponsible as I do not have the truth to support it. Thiis is typically why the best science is usually the least newsworthy -- unfortunately the converse is equally true. Here is an example: Consider the compound that is the single largest component in the combustion of fossile fuels. It is present in automotive exhaust at a level 12.5% higher than carbon dioxide. In its most prevalent form, it is toxic to humans. Its role in climatic change is proven and well-documented. In 1978, the cost of damage attributable to this compound was estimated at 8 billion dollars in the United States. It contains both a strong oxidizer and a flammable in explosive proportions. It is acidic at a level of 100,000 ppt, and is a carrier for other toxic materials. Every word of this is true. The compound in question contains hydrogen. The general formula for a typical fossile fuel, e.g., a linear, saturated hydrocrabon is CnH2n+2, so combustion will produce exacly one more molecule of the compound in question than it will CO2. The model for gasoline, octane, contains eight carbons and 18 hydrogens, thus 12.5% more of this is compound is produced than is CO2. Areas with abundace of this compound have distinctly different climates than those that do not, when the dirstribution changes, it drives catastrophic climatic changes. My copy of CORROSION ENGINEERING by Mars Fontana and Norbert Greene (copyright 1978) estimates the cost of corrrosion (which would not occur in the absence of this compound) at 8 billion dollars in the United States. Put down your cup of coffee, because when I tell you that the compound contains two atoms of flammable hydrogen to one atom of the element that lent its name to the term "oxidizer" -- oxygen, you will recognize this environmental bad actor as dihydrogen oxide, or perhaps by its trivial name -- water. Surely water isn't poisonous, excuse me, toxic. It is in "its most abundant form", seawater which contains a toxic level of sodium chloride. I hate to admit it, but the idea for this came from a very bright high school student, who despite his knowledge of chemistry probably recieved a mediocre grade for his efforts by forgetting that today the most important science isn't chemistry of physics, but political "science".

    Another bad example of poor research "especially when every scientist in the world agrees with the findings outlined there." Have you polled a representative population of the world's sceintists and computed the rejection level of your hypothesis? I guess it is clear that my credentials qualify me as a scientist and I clearly do not agree with Mr. Gore. Now that you have irrefutable evidence to the contrary, please do not make this statement again as your hypothesis stated as fact has been disproven.

    Electrical, hydrogen and ethanol will not free our dependence on fossil fuels. As I stated, there is the thermodynamic areality that there will always be a net loss in converting one form of energy to another. With fossil fuels, the "thermodynamic tax" has already been paid. While ethanol can be produced by fermentation and distillation, the most efficient means to produce ethanol is still the hydration of propylene a component of natural gas. Biodiesel is attractive, but all diesels have a problem that is not associated with their fuel - the combustion temperature is so high that the oxygen and nitrogen in the air react to form NOx compounds.

    I don't know if I would agree that California is behind the curve when I see the number of wind generators in the Altamont Pass -- close to San Francisco, so transmission lossses are minimized; however this is geographic serendipity. I grew up on the Niagara Mohawk power grid that used hydro as its chief form of generation.

  11. #11

    Actually, no....

    Now that you have irrefutable evidence to the contrary, please do not make this statement again as your hypothesis stated as fact has been disproven.
    I have simply your word against the words of so many others in print, on the radio and on the TV. Who are you to discredit all of them?

    While you have shared some illuminating facts, you totally ignore the real issue at hand. This planet has geological cycles which include the heating and cooling of the atmosphere and the oceans, and the ice records show that these occur along with rises and falls in co2.

    Your "I know better than thou" attitude doesn't help look into what is really happening on our planet today, and see what we can do to, if anything, about it.

    FWIW I am prepared to believe that there is a very strong possibility that 200 years of fossil fuel emissions may be speeding up a natural cycle. Either way seeing what is held in the history of geological cycles can help us plan around any changes that might be in store. I would prefer to progress into the future looking at all possibilities.

    Is our fossil fuel habit the only thing at play here? I could also see the huge rise in population will consume more oxygen, and exhale more co2, something not noted anywhere else. Each human must have a measuarble intake and exhaust, and I don't see this discussed or measured anywhere. Add to that the rise in natural fires that global warming has brought on. In the mid 60's the US Forestry Service lost around 1.5 million acres to fire a year. It has logged (pardon the pun) a steady increase in forest lost to fires to this years total of more than 9 million acres!

    I could well respect your acomplishments and your learning, but not your attitude. Don't forget that it was a lack of seeing the full range of possibilities that sank the Titanic long before it ever set sail.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  12. #12
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    229
    Allow me to include my etire quote rather tan a cleverly edited snippet

    "Another bad example of poor research "especially when every scientist in the world agrees with the findings outlined there." Have you polled a representative population of the world's sceintists and computed the rejection level of your hypothesis? I guess it is clear that my credentials qualify me as a scientist and I clearly do not agree with Mr. Gore. Now that you have irrefutable evidence to the contrary, please do not make this statement again as your hypothesis stated as fact has been disproven.

    You stated "especially when every scientist in the world agrees with the findings outlined there."

    I am asking you to support your statement: How many scientists are there in the world? How many have you polled on this subject? Until you can answer questions such as these, you cannot make such a statement. Your statement is a hypothesis: A hypothesis is rendered invalid by one peice of contradictory evidence -- evidence which I provided for you. [1]I am a scientist. I believe I have provided sufficient credentials to establish that. [2]I do not agree with the findings outlined here. Ergo, your hypothesis is invalid. This is a demonstration piece for the rigors demanded by science. "Every" is a word that is very rare in sound scientific research. The answer to your question is "yes" I agree or 'no" I don't. The responses are a simple binomial distribution, the statistics of which are very well estalished. A representative sample of scientists could be chosen and polled for agreement. A hypothesis that a majority of scientists agree could be made, then based on % of the sample agreeing and the number polled, a statistical test could be made supporting acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis. In fact, I did this once, concerning our friend Mr. Gore -- in November, 2000. His insistence that "every vote must be counted" showed his ignorance of statistics. Data was available from a number of news sources on the vote distribution in Florida by county and the number of votes in dispute. After a couple of hours on Excel, I was able to compute the probablity that the oustanding votes would be in a ratio that would give Gore the majority in Florida. It was at the far end of the distribution - a confidence level far in excess of 99% for rejection.

    "Add to that the rise in natural fires that global warming has brought on. In the mid 60's the US Forestry Service lost around 1.5 million acres to fire a year. It has logged (pardon the pun) a steady increase in forest lost to fires to this years total of more than 9 million acres!" Please explain the causal effect of global warming on forest fires, especially since there is significant year-to-year variation. A few minutes of search in an on-line almanac showed the following:

    2000 - 8M acres consumed
    2001 - 3M
    2002 - 6M
    2003 - 1M

    This is hardly, as you claim, a steady increase. in fact, a least squares analysis of the data shows a 1.8M acre per year decrease in the above data.

    This is my problem. There are a lot of claims of the validity of unsupported and second-hand data being made by people who frankly don't have the background to make such statements. Many of these claims are just bad science.

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,704
    There is little life around after I gas.
    thegunguy

  14. #14

    Facts, fictions and figures...

    You seem to love picking things apart, which shows a great analitical approach to research, but I see little that shows any desire to embrace the larger idea here.

    Do I think that there is something here? Yes.

    Do you? I'm not sure, all you seem to find issue with here are Al Gore and my words?

    I would actually like to sit with you and watch the Al Gore documentary, writing down together every compelling item, and then spend some time doing research on it with you. Since you clearly dislike Gore, and disbelieve anything he says on principal, I feel that a real, honest and open look at this subject would be most invigorating. Preaching to the choire is always easy, but I would really enjoy to spend some time investigating all the counterpoints through your eyes.

    So, to some of your points and problems...
    every scientist in the world or whatever.
    This is something I have read in relation to Climate Studies in the Economist, National Gepgraphic and on several related websites and news organizations, (I tend to stick to the BBC and .edu sites when looking at this stuff). Of course it is also in the Al Gore documentary which you seem to delight in decrying.

    The figure of the US Forestry Service wildfire stats show a much more random reality than the column I had read about that in either the Economist or Wall St Journal some weeks ago stated. Indeed, you can always say don't believe everything you read, but then again I don't spend my time checking every fact of every piece of news I read. If I did you wouldn't have this resource to enjoy!

    Now, will you sit down, watch this show, create with me a list of items that we each feel are compelling, and enter into some serious research on the subject?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  15. #15
    Sport Button On Z8Mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    28
    Belief in "Global Warming" is more akin to relgion than science and will no doubt go the way of "acid rain". Andrew there are thousands of scientists that disagree with the "junk science" of global warming, over 17,000 as of last count. For a listing of these people, as well as many helpful articles on the subject, please go to www.sitewave.net.

  16. #16
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    229

    thegunguy, Andrew & Z8 Mark

    Mr. gunguy -- please don't. Methane is among the so-called greenhouse gasses and your actions could send Al and Andrew into a tizzy.

    Andrew - As a result of poor choices made by others, I have already had eight years of Al Gore and his lascivious buddy. If that wsas not enough the two show up on television tryng to talk Californians into even higher gas prices. More of Al would fall into the category of cruel and unusual.

    Z8 Mark - thank you.

  17. #17
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    229

    thegunguy, Andrew & Z8 Mark

    Mr. gunguy -- please don't. Methane is among the so-called greenhouse gasses. According to Al and Andrew you would probably melt a glacier the size of Crow's Landing, California

    Andrew - As a result of poor choices made by others, I have already had eight years of Al Gore and his lascivious buddy. If that was not enough the two show up on television trying to talk Californians into even higher gas prices. More of Al would fall into the category of cruel and unusual punishment. If you are so concerned about the environemnt and the effect of fossil fuel combustion, why do you drive a Z8 - is it OK for you but not others.

    Z8 Mark - thank you.

  18. #18

    Osterich's with heads in the sand unite....

    The only cruel and usunusal punishment I've seen lately is that dealt to the economy and dollar (now at almost $2 a ?1) at the hands of our hideously corrupt government. You no doubt approve that the White House Environmental Committee made up of all of all Cheney's little oil buddies.

    If you are so concerned about the environemnt and the effect of fossil fuel combustion
    that, if you bothered to read what I wrote, is why I am putting a 4KW solar roof on my house, and ordering a 'plug-in' hybrid. When I use the Z8, about 3,000 miles a year, the muck I throw into the atmosphere is less than an average motor launch does in a weekend, or a GulfStream in a single take off cycle! However FWK-Z8 if you think it is such a crime that I enjoy the Z8 and doing this site, might I suggest that you keep your posts to Roadfly.

    Mark, since all your facts are culled from the right end of the spectrum of the right wing press they look political in nature to me. I see much of the belitteling the other guy, and little taking a long hard look at all the possibilities, and arriving at a really wise and useful set of answers from which to navigate into the future. In pm's you mentioned acid rain too, as if this was some crazy spectre that was invented by loonies. It was and is a reality, just not on our doorstep.
    http://www.acidrain.org/
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/acidrain/
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/acidrain/2.html
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  19. #19
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    229

    Acid Rain

    Andrew's goverment site lists the pH of acid rain at about 4. Not suprisingly, other sites list it as 5.2. Those sites also lit the pH of "normal rain" as 5.7. The difference in acidity, or hydrogen ion concentration between these is 0.006 ppm for the "acid" ran and 0.002 ppm for normal rain. It might be interesting to compare "acid" rain (pH 5.7) to some other common substances such as apple juice (pH= 2.9 - 3.3 - about 400X more acidic than "acid rain") or grapes (3.5 - 4.5) or tomato juice (3.0) - about 500 times more acidic.

  20. #20
    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    104
    And of course the most extreme acid, at about a pH of 1, is sitting in my stomach at the moment. Let's not turn this board into a political free-for-all. I totally side with one of the parties in this foray, but will keep it to myself. Let's be glad that even our gas-guzzling Z8s, or at least mine, gets nearly 20 mpg. Compared to the muscle cars of back when, or even my 1967 Impala pulling a cool 9 mph on a nice day, we've got something special. Sure gas was .29/gallon then, but I was making 1.90 an hour working overtime then also! Proportionally with gas even 10 times that, am I making more than ten times 1.90 an hour? Obviously or I wouldn't be driving this car! I would love to end our oil dependency on enemy nations even more than most and hopefully that day will come shortly. Meanwhile, at least here, let's enjoy what we do have in common..namely love of these fine machines. (Pretty drastic for a basically kinda hawkish type, huh?) BTW, it has been top down weather here for nearly 3 days in a row this much into November. Enjoy.
    ___________________
    MollyShark
    Red/Crema Tan top (both of us)

  21. #21
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,704
    Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?
    thegunguy

  22. #22

    a chart....

    for comparrison.....
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  23. #23

    Thanks Molly!!

    I think at this point I'll do something I've never done to an ongoing thread, and lock this one down, as it has got much too far from the joy of driving.

    Always takes a woman's wisdom to see reason, thank heavens we now have one as a Speaker! (sorry, couldn't resist! :-))
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  24. #24

    OK, so let's try this again,

    I read this today and I just thought it was information that I should both share on this thread, and reopen it for.

    I know some of you are not yet convinced there is an issue that warrants our attention, but I continue to be convinced there is. If there is a problem it will take all of our combined ingenuity to solve it, so I'd prefer this thread to become an active think tank for what could be done rather than disagreeing about the observed changes.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.