Category Archives: cars

Forget Wires! We are Going Wireless!

This sentence might get you thinking

Naysayers abound, but magnetic induction and resonant coupling is not just possible on a large scale—it’s inevitable.

What does that mean?

Imagine a future where you can charge your electric vehicles while in motion using a charging mechanism built into the road on which it drives. Where the electrical grid is no longer reliant on power lines, utility poles, or expensive transformers and underground cables. A future where power companies stop chopping down trees that threaten nearby power lines.

Wow! Check out this link to learn more!

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EV, the Coal Fired Car?

Electric Vehicles (EV’s) are the current darling of the environmental movement, promising zero emissions from the tail pipe. But there is a a problem.  To make and run an EV, you need a lot of electricity. First, to make the aluminum for the car, and then to operate the car. And these days, that energy production uses lots of coal.

Bottom line

Without a complete paradigm shift in electricity generation and industrial production, EVs will simply send CO2 emissions upstream.

Why I love Tesla

I am a Tesla fan boy. The reason is that its CEO, Elon Musk, has consistently produced WOW!

From the first roadster up to the new big rig and updated roadster, each vehicle goes way beyond what you might expect. They do not just switch the power source from gas to electric, they make the chicle much, much better.

So the new big semi, for example, has much better brakes than traditional semis and eliminates the clutch. Eventually, it will be driverless.

Image result for Tesla semi

And the new roadster? Zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds. Wow! That is the fastest acceleration of any street car on the planet.

Image result for Tesla roadster

Musk had this to say ab out the surprise unveiling of the new roadster

(It is) a “hardcore smackdown to gas-powered cars.” He said it would make petrol-burners look like “steam engines with a side of quiche.”

And there is more

On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk didn’t just announce his plans to remake the trucking industry. He also served notice to rail carriers.

Convoys of semis using auto pilot may be cheaper than rail freight transport! Very interesting!

Errr … steam engines with a side of quiche? Go Elon! And I hope you find a new late night squeeze!

Rebuilding a Gyro-X

This is a Gyro-X back in the 1960’s

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Is that a smile on the driver’s face? If so, it was short lived. The original designers and builders of this two wheeled self-balancing car never got it into production.

But there was a prototype hanging around. It was bought and sold over the decades. And recently, some enterprising dudes decided to buy it and get it to work.

This is their very cool story! It starts off like this

At the far end of the field, hundreds of yards past the 1930s Duesenbergs, the prewar Rolls-Royces, and the grand touring Ferraris, curious showgoers at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance gather around a particularly unusual kind of car. They listen to the quiet hum and puzzle over the thing, bright red, about 15 feet long, and hardly wider than a motorcycle.

Enjoy with coffee and some smoked trout on toast!

 

 

 

Hooray! The Model 3 is Here!

I admit it. I am a Tesla fan boy. I like the audacity of the venture and the consistency by which Musk et al exceed expectations.

And does the Model 3 achieve this? Matt DeBord says “yes”.

… there isn’t anybody who’s going to sit in the driver’s seat of this car and not want it, if only briefly. The Model 3 stokes immediate desire, and the lust lingers. That truly changes everything.

Check out his article to find the details!

Jack Stewart reviews the Model 3 for Wired here.

Why Volvo Went Back to Quirky

Volvo started off by emphasizing its quirky car designs Volvos were just different. This worked for a while, but back in the 1990’s it was no longer clear that the Volvo business model was sustainable. It was just not generating enough cash to invest in new designs. Ford bought Volvo but had no idea what to do with the brand.  The Chinese car maker Geely bought Volvo back in 2010.

As Wired reports, this has worked for both sides. Volvo has new cash with enough freedom to build new quirky designs and Geely will use pieces of those designs to create a futuristic car package called Lynk and Co.   Here is a peek at the key ideas that are to come

Lynk And Co. plans to sell its cars directly online, replace keys with smartphones, allow for car-sharing through an app, and even, potentially, handle upgrades and ownership on a subscription basis, not unlike what phone companies offer. Of course, the cars will never go without an internet connection.

Meanwhile, Volvo is going electric by 2020.

Very interesting!

BTW, here is a link to an article that gives more detail on volvo’s tech. Impressive!

Volvo is First to Ditch the Combustion Engine

Well, not exactly. Volvo made an announcement that as of 2019, it will stop designing combustion only engines. It will still make the old ones. But still, they are the first car company to take this step.  And keep in imnd that Volvo previously said it would sell 1,000,000 electrified vehicles by 2025.  This is a step in that direction.

Not too long ago, this would have sounded very radical. Now it is a “what’s the big deal`?” sort of thing. Electric cars are already mainstream.