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Old 24th May 2021, 07:38 AM   #921
SuburbanTurkey
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One factor I think about now is how many households in the US are multi-car, especially in areas without public transit like the suburbs or rural areas.

Thinking about my own example, it would be pretty easy for my wife and I to replace one of our cars with EV and keep the other ICE. If I had any way to charge an EV, there would be very little reason, besides current cost, not to do so now. I imagine a lot of people are in a similar situation, where replacing some, but not all, cars in their household with EVs would be a pretty easy step if there were appropriate infrastructure.

I wonder if straddling the fence in this way will become common in the near future. It would certainly dramatically reduce the ICEs on the road now, and still give many people the flexibility to go on long drives should they want it.
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Old 24th May 2021, 07:39 AM   #922
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Well yes an EV is absolutely perfect second car.

Which is great if you can afford a second car.
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Old 24th May 2021, 07:40 AM   #923
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Pie in the sky solution:

Start manufacturing travel trailers with EV batteries in them, feeding through to the towing vehicle.

Adds a few hundred miles range, replaces the generator at the campsite (if you are a site with no hookups). Probably not really practical though, as it would spike the cost of the trailer and there could still be issues with the geometry of the charging station/vehicle/trailer combination and issues with mixing and matching the trailer's batteries and connectors with different brands of towing vehciles.

It might, however, be worth pointing out that RV hookup stations are easily adapted as charging points. If you are RV camping at a site with hookups, there is a charging station right at your destination.

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Old 24th May 2021, 07:45 AM   #924
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well yes an EV is absolutely perfect second car.

Which is great if you can afford a second car.
That's the rub with the whole EV thing. It assumes that our current system of transportation that is primarily built around private vehicles is the best way forward.

I don't even know if there's any way back from our current situation of sprawling suburbs, tedious traffic jams, and endless parking surfaces gobbling up all our public space. It kinda sucks, but I doubt that's going anywhere anytime soon. The climate crisis seems like a pretty good opportunity to reassess the primacy of the car in our society and reinvest in public transit, but I doubt that's going to happen.

According to the statistics, 58% of households had at least 2 vehicles in 2017.
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Old 24th May 2021, 07:53 AM   #925
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
That's the rub with the whole EV thing. It assumes that our current system of transportation that is primarily built around private vehicles is the best way forward.
Not to beat a dead horse (because hey why not just go back to horses and get rid of cars...) but it's easy if you just ignore people who don't live close to everything and actually need a car.

Once you get outside the city limits; hell the dense urban cores, a car (not a bike, not a ride share, not public transportation) is as essential as a home.
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Old 24th May 2021, 08:00 AM   #926
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Originally Posted by Shalamar View Post
Started our 14 hour trip from Seattle to Yellowstone.

Driving from supercharger to supercharger.
Nice. Iíd like to hear how it goes!
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Old 24th May 2021, 08:03 AM   #927
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Not to beat a dead horse (because hey why not just go back to horses and get rid of cars...) but it's easy if you just ignore people who don't live close to everything and actually need a car.

Once you get outside the city limits; hell the dense urban cores, a car (not a bike, not a ride share, not public transportation) is as essential as a home.
Sure, but rural people also have advantages when it comes to EV that urban places don't.

Single family homes are more common in rural areas, so there's likely going to be much less free-for-all street parking than in urban centers. Installing charging spots into existing single family homes, which likely already have dedicated parking, seems like an easy lay-up. Parking at businesses tends to be abundant too, and adding EV stalls wouldn't be too tricky if they really wanted to.

My point is that in urban and suburban areas, where the vast majority of Americans live, pollution is only one part of the downsides of car-centric transportation. Living in Atlanta or LA would still be hell if all the ICEs magically poofed into EVs.
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Old 24th May 2021, 08:06 AM   #928
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but what happens with the people which are the majority, that don't have off street parking to charge.
Long term solution is going to have to be a major change in infrastructure with the installation of charging points along the street. Think parking meters with charging points on them. That's a lot of wire to run, but it's gonna have to happen.

It's gonna have to work its way from the suburbs in towards densely populated areas.
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Old 24th May 2021, 08:47 AM   #929
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
Long term solution is going to have to be a major change in infrastructure with the installation of charging points along the street. Think parking meters with charging points on them. That's a lot of wire to run, but it's gonna have to happen.

It's gonna have to work its way from the suburbs in towards densely populated areas.
You're getting way ahead of yourself. Long before street chargers, you're going to need a hell of a lot more electric generation and grid capacity.

And realistically, that means either a lot more coal or a lot more nuclear. Solar and wind won't cut it.
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Old 24th May 2021, 09:30 AM   #930
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With all these new stalls going in I have a pressing investment question: is Ditchwitch still the leader in trenching technology and who owns that brand?
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Old 24th May 2021, 09:31 AM   #931
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You're getting way ahead of yourself. Long before street chargers, you're going to need a hell of a lot more electric generation and grid capacity.

And realistically, that means either a lot more coal or a lot more nuclear. Solar and wind won't cut it.
I remember hearing that there is a hard limit on how much wind and solar power can be generated in the US, but I forgot the number.
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Old 24th May 2021, 09:32 AM   #932
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The sprawling suburbs and their need for long drives to get to anything don't need to be the way they currently are, and undoing the zoning laws (and cultural factors) that have made them this way would improve life in ways that have nothing to do with our vehicles' power source. But it would also take years for those changes to have their effects.
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Old 24th May 2021, 09:41 AM   #933
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By the way, I’m a huge advocate for EVs and one of those edge cases that will be harder to solve. My wife and I really like to travel by RV and that means towing a trailer 300-500 miles a day when we are on the road. Stopping every 125 miles in rural western states would be a bit of a pain in the ass. So, any future tow vehicle is going to at least be a hybrid. I’d prefer a plug-in hybrid truck.

Otherwise, our longest travel days are about 300 miles. Six hours is a long time to spend driving in a day. (Despite our high speed limits I still find that most trips average about 50 mph once you factor in traffic and rest stops.) if we gave up the travel trailers we could probably do without gas. Or, if there were more fast charging capabilities in rural areas I could plan on going electric when the batteries get a bit better. I think 200-250 miles of towing range would be enough to get me into a showroom.

As to adding trailer batteries, I think that could happen. The issue is that most travel trailers are fairly light weight frames with rather lumpy construction. Adding thousands of pounds of batteries would require a redesign from the ground up. I’m sure there are DIY folks doing it right now. I wonder how long it will take for a major manufacturer to give it a shot now that the F150 Lightning is out there.
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Old 24th May 2021, 09:46 AM   #934
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And if we move the continents back into Pangea we won't need giant container ships either.
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Old 24th May 2021, 10:42 AM   #935
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And if we move the continents back into Pangea we won't need giant container ships either.
Thatís silly. It would ruin our views off the coast.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:32 AM   #936
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This seems relevant:

Tesla’s first-ever Semi ‘Megacharger’ to be installed at Frito-Lay’s Modesto plant

Quote:
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Frito-Lay would be receiving 15 Tesla Semis before the end of 2021. It was a massive announcement because Tesla has delayed the Semi project on several occasions due to battery constraints. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last year to company employees in a leaked email that it was time to begin “volume production” of the Semi. However, nothing really ever came of it because the demand for Tesla’s passenger vehicles was through the roof. Instead, the automaker chose to focus on ramping up the production of the Model 3 and Model Y and expanding its production footprint to Europe and Texas.

Now, documents reveal that Frito-Lay is planning for the imminent delivery of the Tesla Semi units. @MarcoRPTesla uncovered several planning documents that indicate Frito-Lay will install the first-ever Tesla Semi Megacharger at its Modesto, California, plant. According to the documents, Frito-Lay is also plotting out some space for designated parking areas for the Tesla Semi.
(Note that the photo in the article doesn't show the semi-megacharger, it looks more like a semi parked in front of a bunch of regular superchargers. )

Anyway, back to the subject of towing - if these Megachargers get installed in enough places, that might be an option for a regular car/trailer combination to charge there without unhooking the trailer, assuming the voltage and connectors and software can allow a Megacharger to be used on a vehicle designed with Superchargers in mind (that is to say if the power can be reduced depending upon what sort of vehicle is attached).

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Old 24th May 2021, 12:42 PM   #937
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
By the way, Iím a huge advocate for EVs and one of those edge cases that will be harder to solve. My wife and I really like to travel by RV and that means towing a trailer 300-500 miles a day when we are on the road. Stopping every 125 miles in rural western states would be a bit of a pain in the ass. So, any future tow vehicle is going to at least be a hybrid. Iíd prefer a plug-in hybrid truck.

Otherwise, our longest travel days are about 300 miles. Six hours is a long time to spend driving in a day. (Despite our high speed limits I still find that most trips average about 50 mph once you factor in traffic and rest stops.) if we gave up the travel trailers we could probably do without gas. Or, if there were more fast charging capabilities in rural areas I could plan on going electric when the batteries get a bit better. I think 200-250 miles of towing range would be enough to get me into a showroom.

As to adding trailer batteries, I think that could happen. The issue is that most travel trailers are fairly light weight frames with rather lumpy construction. Adding thousands of pounds of batteries would require a redesign from the ground up. Iím sure there are DIY folks doing it right now. I wonder how long it will take for a major manufacturer to give it a shot now that the F150 Lightning is out there.
Switch to a motor home and tow a Tesla or Leaf!
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Old 24th May 2021, 01:10 PM   #938
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Switch to a motor home and tow a Tesla or Leaf!
If someone is in the Tesla or Leaf you are towing with their foot on the break then they can recharge that way, right?
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Old 24th May 2021, 01:12 PM   #939
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
If someone is in the Tesla or Leaf you are towing with their foot on the break then they can recharge that way, right?
Ironically yes, although it's not recommended.

https://www.carthrottle.com/post/you...ably-shouldnt/
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Old 24th May 2021, 01:13 PM   #940
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Or even better. Just get two Teslas and wield them together front to back. You drive to work one way and the Tesla charges the other Tesla, then you drive home the other way and the second Tesla charges the first Tesla.
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Old 24th May 2021, 01:34 PM   #941
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Switch to a motor home and tow a Tesla or Leaf!
Motor home versus travel trailer? This forum couldnít handle that argument.

Itís bad enough that I own trailers from three different brands, each with its own cult. Iím a heretic in all three communities. Even though two of them pretend to be part of the same cult.
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Old 24th May 2021, 01:35 PM   #942
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Or even better. Just get two Teslas and wield them together front to back. You drive to work one way and the Tesla charges the other Tesla, then you drive home the other way and the second Tesla charges the first Tesla.
I think youíre on to something!
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Old 24th May 2021, 02:54 PM   #943
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
I think you’re on to something!
You can’t wield two Teslas at the same time! What if you cross the beams?!
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Old 24th May 2021, 02:56 PM   #944
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So this Ars Technica article covers the major influence on the economics of EVs and the way its quietly been improving:

Eternally five years away? No, batteries are improving under your nose
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Old 24th May 2021, 04:10 PM   #945
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
With all these new stalls going in I have a pressing investment question: is Ditchwitch still the leader in trenching technology and who owns that brand?
I don't know if they're the leader, but they're definitely still in business, the house brand of a machine company in the midwest.

I think it will be some time before we can all go all electric, but I don't see why we need to worry right away about an all-or-nothing solution. If a goodly percentage of cars become electric, the infrastructure will improve, and the technology will improve, and at the same time the crisis of excessive carbon consumption will ease somewhat even if there are still plenty of gas vehicles around.

We're a multi-car household here, and replacing one vehicle with an electric makes plenty of sense (or will in the near future). We don't have to immediately worry about how we'll get to Maine, or whether my truck will get where it needs to go in the winter.

On the idea of putting the batteries in a trailer, I recently saw a pioneering hybrid made long ago by Briggs and Stratton, which used that idea. This was back when they were still using lead acid batteries, and they had a fairly normal looking car, with a little two cylinder B&S engine in front, and an electric drivetrain, and dual rear wheels to support a heavy rear battery bank. Not really a trailer, because its not horizontally trailing, but similar.

Theoretically, one could likely have made that rear section removable, and either left it at home when not needed, or set it up as swapable.

I can't remember the episode, but you'll find it on Jay Leno's garage web site.
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Old 24th May 2021, 04:22 PM   #946
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
So this Ars Technica article covers the major influence on the economics of EVs and the way its quietly been improving:

Eternally five years away? No, batteries are improving under your nose
Some idiot on my other forum started a thread about amazing technology, with batteries as the first example.
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Old 24th May 2021, 05:57 PM   #947
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Large SUVs like the GMC Suburban WERE trucks (as in, like a large pickup truck). And nobody had to be programmed to like them. In fact, they arenít very popular even now. Itís the small SUVs, like the Honda CRV, that really took off. As to why, itís simple: they have advantages over cars. More cargo room, more headroom, better view of the road, and if you live anywhere with snow, better handling in the snow. In fact, the CRV is the most popular car model in New York. Because, get this, it snows a lot in winter, and CRVs are pretty good in snow.

I wouldn't conflate SUVs with big trucks. Sensibly-sized SUVs are popular for all the reasons you describe. But that doesn't explain why the giant Ford F150 pickup truck is one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S.
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Old 24th May 2021, 08:39 PM   #948
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I wouldn't conflate SUVs with big trucks. Sensibly-sized SUVs are popular for all the reasons you describe. But that doesn't explain why the giant Ford F150 pickup truck is one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S.
Not "one of". It is THE best selling vehicle in the USA.
And most of them these days have four full doors and a bed too short to haul my small trebuchet.
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Old 24th May 2021, 10:18 PM   #949
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I think part of the F-150 popularity just has to do with an American love of bigness. People are getting bigger, building bigger houses, buying bigger furniture. In the crew cab short bed version, it's really more like a big SUV that makes you feel kind of country-ish. You can imagine needing something to carry the horse feed or the ATV. And it says "off road" on the side, so you can picture yourself off in the jungle, with the optional bars and guards to protect you against random rhinoceri. And it tells the world you can afford the gas too. The full size crew cab pickup is the emblem of American exceptionalism, the long bed version with dual rear wheels that of the horsey aristocracy at play.

It seems everything gets bigger. Cars that start out small get bigger with each iteration. A Honda CR-V or a Rav-4 used to be really small. Now they're big. Even Minis are getting bigger.

Besides, below a certain exotic price point, all the cars look about the same. Once upon a time your car had chrome and fins, and you could tell the difference as soon as a car appeared on the horizon. Your Buick had portholes and your Pontiac had stripes. I can still tell the difference between a 1950's Dodge and a DeSoto and probably get the year right too. Now you can't tell one SUV from another, or one sedan from another. You can't even tell a Mercedes from a Toyota at a distance. But that big Dodge Ram with the enormous chrome sheep on the grille, and the towering F-150 with running boards and flags and roo bars and the chrome extension to turn the empty short bed into an empty long one...a statement is made, even without putting flags on it.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:32 PM   #950
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Seems to me that there is a great opportunity here for the Government to help out some businesses with startup loans for them to EV supercharging stations. Get in and help people build the infrastructure and all the issues being raised in this thread will be solved, including space for charging vehicles with trailers. Heck could even have stations set up their own wind turbine and solar to create the majority of electricity they will be selling right there on site. Add a cafe with broadband and wifi, and a store, and people will even have things to do and spend money on while they wait.
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Old 24th May 2021, 11:51 PM   #951
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You're getting way ahead of yourself. Long before street chargers, you're going to need a hell of a lot more electric generation and grid capacity.

And realistically, that means either a lot more coal or a lot more nuclear. Solar and wind won't cut it.
Thereís a lot of electricity generation that is used for refining petroleum that will be freed up.
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Old 25th May 2021, 12:07 AM   #952
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Thereís a lot of electricity generation that is used for refining petroleum that will be freed up.
It may even be possible that vehicles might get more efficient overall though perhaps it will prove impossible to reverse the trend towards larger, heavier SUVs and Pickups.
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Old 25th May 2021, 02:55 AM   #953
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
But that doesn't explain why the giant Ford F150 pickup truck is one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S.
That's great for Ford, but as a statistic relating vehicle type to popularity the sales figures for any one model are meaningless.

In 2020 40% of new vehicles sold were 'crossovers', 20% were 'pickups', 10% were 'mid-sized cars', 10% were 'small cars', 9% were 'SUVs', 5% were 'vans', 5% were 'luxury cars', and 1% were 'large cars'.

While the Ford F series is 'the best selling vehicle' of all individual models, it's class runs a distant second to smaller 'crossovers'. If we add mid-size/small cars and SUVs to the 'car' category then trucks are even less popular in comparison, and the F150 even less popular than that.

But if we are going to play statistical games then the Tesla model 3 is by far the most popular small to mid-size luxury car in the US, with sales ~3 times higher than its nearest rival (BMW 3 series). Nevermind that luxury cars as a whole are only 5% of the market.
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Old 25th May 2021, 04:08 AM   #954
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It may even be possible that vehicles might get more efficient overall though perhaps it will prove impossible to reverse the trend towards larger, heavier SUVs and Pickups.
I have definitely read that MPG rates haven't kept up with increases in energy efficiency because cars are bloating, probably because "hey, same mileage, but 50% more headroom, which you never knew you needed."
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Old 25th May 2021, 04:22 AM   #955
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Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
I have definitely read that MPG rates haven't kept up with increases in energy efficiency because cars are bloating, probably because "hey, same mileage, but 50% more headroom, which you never knew you needed."
To be fair, the increased requirement for safety features means that equivalent cars are far bigger and heavier than they used to be. IIRC a Mk1 or Mk2 VW Golf is much smaller and lighter than the current VW Polo, a vehicle a class smaller.

That said, a lot of people seem to have been convinced that larger = safer and so instead of having a small or medium sized car to biff around town in, people are choosing an SUV, or something that looks like an SUV instead.

At the moment, the main road between Chepstow and Monmouth is closed for road works. The local "Karens" seemingly cannot follow the posted diversions and are instead crawling down our narrow single-track lane in their oversized SUVs. They are causing absolute havoc because not only are they moving so blinking slowly (I was out on my pedal cycle the other day and one was holding me up) but they seemingly cannot reverse at all so if they encounter a vehicle coming in the other direction, that vehicle has to reverse a couple of hundred metres to a passing spot as opposed to the SUV backing up a few metres.

The other day, two met outside our house and there was a standoff for a full 15 minutes until one of them finally relented and moved (by which time there was a decent sized queue in both directions.
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Old 25th May 2021, 04:47 AM   #956
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
To be fair, the increased requirement for safety features means that equivalent cars are far bigger and heavier than they used to be.
I question that. Weight and size != safety. Your average sedan back in the 70s were way bigger and heavier than the ones today and were much, much less safe.
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Old 25th May 2021, 05:20 AM   #957
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
I question that. Weight and size != safety. Your average sedan back in the 70s were way bigger and heavier than the ones today and were much, much less safe.
That's really a myth.

The best selling car in 1980 was the Oldsmobile Cutlass (5th Gen), with a 108 inch wheelbase and a curb weight of 3,300 pounds.

The best selling CAR (ignoring that full size pickups make the top 3 and various size SUVs take up 2 more top spots) in 2020 was the Toyota Camry (8th Gen) with a curb weight of... 3,340 pound and wheelbase of 111.2 inches.

And the Cutlass was considered a full sized car while the Camry is a large compact / small midsized one.

In 1991 in its first year a Ford Explorer, one of the first SUVs, was 184 inches long. A 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is 182.

We've normalized older cars as "big" because they were boxy and square and made horrible use of their interior space.

My favorite example of this is the H1 Hummer, which despite being a pop culture joke as a oversized vehicle throughout the entire 90s and into the 2000s is smaller than every single full size pick up (again the most popular vehicles on the road right now) sold. A Hummer H1 is shorter than the aforementioned Toyota Camry midsized car... by over 7 inches. But it's wide and boxy and square and it looks way bigger than it is. And if you're like me and have ever had to take a long trip in a Hummer the interiors are goddamn TINY in those things. It barely sits 4 in the original configuration. I swear those things are like a TARDIS in reverse.

Now yeah there's one or two exceptions here or there, go look up Doug Demuro's review of a 1980 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon or the 1977 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz ("The car ends and then there's like... a foot more car on each end...") if you want a good laugh at a hilariously overly large old vehicle, but in general cars look smaller because they are sleeker and more aerodynamic and just generally packaged better (cab forward design and the fact that cars no longer have hoods which are so long they get to your destination 10 minutes before you do are a big factor) and they share the road with giant SUVs and pickups, but they've gotten way bigger.
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Old 25th May 2021, 07:09 AM   #958
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
I question that. Weight and size != safety. Your average sedan back in the 70s were way bigger and heavier than the ones today and were much, much less safe.
You're right that weight and size do not guarantee safety but safety requirements have made cars bigger and heavier than they otherwise would have been - in Europe at least.

Just look at the difference in door construction between a typical car from the 1970s one from today with impact protection and airbags.

Likewise with size, cabins are wider to allow doors to deform on impact without severely compromising the passengers.

Joe Morgue has covered the myth of the big heavy 1970s car but for reference a Mk1 VW Golf is 3.7m long and has a kerb weight between 790kg and 970kg depending on model.

Despite the best efforts of VW's engineers to manage weight, the current model is 4.3m long and has a kerb weight between 1,255 and 1,465kg. The current Polo, a class smaller, is over 4m long and between 1100 and 1350 kg. The VW Up, the smallest car they currently make and two classes below the Golf is nearly as long as the Mk1 Golf and as heavy as the heaviest Mk1 Golf.
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Old 25th May 2021, 07:22 AM   #959
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
I question that. Weight and size != safety. Your average sedan back in the 70s were way bigger and heavier than the ones today and were much, much less safe.
Unfair comparison. That's a bit like saying wattage is unrelated to CPU performance, because a low-watt CPU today can outperform a high-watt CPU from the 70's.

The correlation for cars between weight and safety isn't as strong as between CPU performance and wattage, but it still exists. Heavy cars of the 70's were generally safer than light cars of the 70's, and heavy cars today are generally safer than light cars today. We could make VERY light cars today that would pass 70's safety standards, but wouldn't pass today's standards.

To give a concrete example, the 1988 Honda Civic LX weighed in at 2138 lbs. The 2002 Civic LX weighs in at 2515 lbs. The 2021 Civic LX weighs in at 2771 lbs. That's a pretty substantial weight gain.
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Old 25th May 2021, 07:25 AM   #960
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Even so all that does is get us back to "Heavier cars are safer for me, but screw the people in the cars I hit."

That's basically what happened. If you're equating "safety" with "size" even if it's true within certain contexts, all that does is create an arms race of everyone wanting to drive the biggest car on the road so they aren't at a disadvantage in an accident.
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