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ripskii

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  • Micro-Hybrids: The Fuel Efficiency Innovation Of The Decade [View article]
    The big mileage improvement derived by the electric hybrid vehicle comes primarily from using the electric motor to accelerate the vehicle from zero to a moderate speed. In that regime the IC engine/transmission is very inefficient while the electric motor is very efficient. The addition of regenerative braking just increases the efficiency by recovering some of the waste braking energy. And of course once the electric hybrid system is installed the stop/start of the IC engine is added to increase efficiency. Note that the hydraulic hybrid does much the same thing without batteries by storing energy in the accumulator and using the stored energy to aid the acceleration of the vehicle.

    http://bit.ly/s4KY5n/
    Nov 10 07:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micro-Hybrids: The Fuel Efficiency Innovation Of The Decade [View article]
    Arguing the precise definition of hybrid car seems futile at best. Most realize that many technical terms are twisted by intention by the marketing types to gain a perception advantage over competitors. The result is often confusion. The electric hybrid is a good example of this while the hydraulic hybrid is mostly ignored, but usually not confused with an electric car.
    Nov 9 08:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle, Lithium-Ion Battery Investing For Imbeciles [View article]
    Yes, and you don't really need high pressure fuel lines as the only need for high pressure is to store a reasonable quantity of fuel in a small volume. A pressure regulator right on the tank could step its pressure down to the much lower values needed for engine.
    Nov 7 02:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whiting Petroleum: Growth, Value, And Speculation In One [View article]
    Mike, On another subject I know is of interest the latest Scientific American (November 2011) has an interesting article on fracking. As one should expect the subject is more complex than generally mentioned, but one point it made was that the long experience with fracking vertical wells doesn't directly transfer to what is going on with the horizontal drilling now used on most of the shale plays. While the article doesn't answer all the questions it does outline some of the problems that require more attention.
    Nov 4 03:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Whiting Petroleum: Growth, Value, And Speculation In One [View article]
    Mike, thanks for drilling down on WLL for us. I've followed it off and on for a while and agree it is definitely a promising company. I've also owned VLO for quite a while and there is no doubt in my mind that the E&P stocks have much more upside potential than the refiners. The oil producers will benefit from rising oil prices while the refiners will tend to have their margins squeezed.
    Nov 3 09:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle, Lithium-Ion Battery Investing For Imbeciles [View article]
    The unladen weight ratio to gross weight determines "load capacity" of the vehicle which is an important parameter, especially for a cargo carrying vehicle. Many designs strive to maximize the load capacity in order to maximize utility. This may be less important for our typical passenger vehicles which, as many have noted, travel with only the driver aboard.
    Nov 2 02:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle, Lithium-Ion Battery Investing For Imbeciles [View article]
    Increased rail use is clearly a step toward increased efficiency, but trucking is still needed as we don't have an adequate point to point rail system. Our $1B per day cost of imported oil, most of which is used in transportation is killing our economy and drives a large portion of our trade deficit. Substituting domestic natural gas provides an immediate savings until we can implement better long term solutions like advanced nuclear power generation that is unfortunately more than a decade in our future.
    Nov 1 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle, Lithium-Ion Battery Investing For Imbeciles [View article]
    I too am a fan of natural gas use for transportation fuel in the U.S. for the reasons you cite. In fact I find it amazing that we have done so little toward that end considering the huge multi-billion dollar bonus that move would save our country. I also agree that most government mandated programs are sub-optimum. Even so, it seems to me that the benefit is so big that even a government derived program would yield overall positive results for our country and be worth trying.
    Oct 31 09:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micro-Hybrids: The Fuel Efficiency Innovation Of The Decade [View article]
    Old Wizard: I have to take issue with your characterization of R&D. The quality academic research in the U.S. is typically funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is awarded on the basis of peer review of the proposed science. While the process is not perfect it pretty well weeds out the sort of programs you object to. Most R&D doesn't try to result in products, but expand the knowledge base of science and technology so that companies can develop products based upon that science. There are many examples of this process working well. For example Westport Innovations (WPRT) licensed research funded by the Canadian equivalent of our NSF and worked with Cummings and others to produce natural gas fueled engines suitable for trucks and buses.

    I believe what you are really objecting to is government industrial policy moves where the bureaucrats (who usually don't know the science well) commit large sums of tax dollars toward some perceived solution to a problem.
    Oct 27 03:49 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Reality Check For EV Investors [View article]
    While reading a Honda article recently I came across the statement that they had analyzed the various vehicle efficiencies and determined that hybrid electric, diesel, and gasoline IC technology offered the best path toward increased fuel mileage. The most interesting comment was they had carefully examined plug-in hybrid designs and determined they were not a cost effective solution and therefore would not pursue that direction.
    Oct 25 08:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Reality Check For EV Investors [View article]
    Osterix: Your diesel engine example is a very good reminder of what can go wrong. Note that today even with much higher gasoline prices many American drivers still avoid the very efficient diesel technology available from a number of quality European manufacturers. Instead they pay a very large premium for hybrid designs that can produce expensive surprises. Eventually all these batteries will require replacement, but I doubt most factor that into the cost equation.

    I had several friends who owned the early GM diesel power cars. All of them sold the cars is disgust after numerous problems at big discounts to their initial price.
    Oct 23 12:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Reality Check For EV Investors [View article]
    John, the basic thesis of your article is spot on. And all this ignores the practical problems connected to equipment failures that are sure to accompany many of the "new" developments. I've mentioned in a prior comment the impending failure of a friend's batteries in a Honda hybrid and the difficulty experienced in addressing the replacement of those batteries. Of course this expense (and disillusionment with new high efficiency) isn't factored into the "savings" expected or calculated in attempting to make a new high efficiency vehicle pay it way. As more of these problems surface and become known it will surely dull the image of the many of the high efficiency designs and perhaps even kill off some of them. Accelerated lab tests often fail to disclose long term problems (some of them fatal) that turn up in real life production and use.
    Oct 22 09:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Lithium-Ion Battery Stocks: Investment Opportunities Or Subsidized Laggards? [View article]
    Yes, and another consideration, usually overlooked in the race into economic autos, is the cost of failures. I've mentioned the experience of a friend with his Honda Civic hybrid and the impending battery failure. It doesn't take much in the way of system/equipment failure to totally neutralize cost savings promised by many of the new innovations. With all its faults the ICE and its relatives have over a century of development and testing with many incremental improvements over that time frame. Hybrids and other developments will tend to suffer a similar path to cost efficiency.
    Oct 16 08:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micro-Hybrids: The Fuel Efficiency Innovation Of The Decade [View article]
    Vehicle weight reduction will finally become an important factor in achieving better MPG numbers. As an example BMW is moving more into carbon fiber for both structural and body parts in their concept vehicles. They are setting up a carbon fiber manufacturing facility to supply the materials for these developments, so we should see its application in production vehicles in the near future. Commercial aircraft have followed this path, first with smaller non-structural parts like fairings and interior components, then larger components like flaps, ailerons, rudders and tail parts and now the major fuselage in the Boeing 787. All this is to save weight in order to reduce fuel consumption and increase load capacity. Autos will follow a similar path as energy costs soar and the pressure for greater economy increases.
    Oct 13 07:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micro-Hybrids: The Fuel Efficiency Innovation Of The Decade [View article]
    Ford is also moving forward on NG dual fuel engines for their truck lines.

    http://yhoo.it/qtrjB8
    Oct 10 09:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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