Electric cars, hybrids, and related vehicles


That depends on what you’re drinking.


“Saloon” is definitely a weird word for a car. Apparently the progression was Saloon (drinking hall) -> Saloon train car (luxury car outfitted like a saloon) -> Saloon automobile (luxury automobile).


I didn’t even bother to check that it was AWD, I assumed it would be given almost all Panameras are!

The Supra dyno is well off, looks like the took the second turbo and installed a much, MUCH bigger one that takes over later than the original - the near-flatlining is the smaller sequential turbo starting to run out of steam.

I only meant to illustrate what you already know - torque is fun, but torque is an illusion. All things being equal, I’d take a slower car with more torque. Less dangerous and less likely to lose my license. A few members of the car club I’m in have had E60 535d (280hp 430lb-ft) before graduating onto an M5. All three of them went back to the 535d.


I remember the first time i rode a horse, the sense of speed and acceleration was incredible (I was just 5 at the time mind you) :)


It’s been said for years - HP is king, but torque rules the street.


For cars under 700 HP, generally they leave the existing turbochargers in place and shunt more exhaust gas through them to increase pressure, i.e. by replacing the downpipe with a larger one. Conversions to a larger, single turbocharger are somewhat common, but usually end up with a lot more than the 450 HP in the graph. It’s also possible we’re looking at a NA-T conversion, where they took a normally aspirated Supra and added a turbocharger, but usually they shoot for higher HP with those as well.

I honestly don’t know one way or another. It was difficult enough finding a dyno graph that didn’t peak at 1000+ HP. The Supra tuning scene is pretty extreme.


I’ve always has a soft spot for 4WD and more ‘robust’, so this hybrid might be interesting:


It has a decent battery for a hybrid @ 30 miles approx range, but maybe still not as much as i would like (i’d find 50 to be more useful, but maybe it is a limit of the hybrid tech currently).


There are a lot of reasons to like 4WD, even if it does come at a weight cost. That the P85D is 4WD is another reason to lust after it. I intensely dislike SUVs, though.

30 miles is indeed quite good for a PHEV. If you want more than that, you really have to look at something that’s more of a proper EV with a gasoline range extender, like the BMW i3.


The Oatmeal went to Google to check out their self-driving cars. (Which are also fully electric.) Fun read. I agree wholeheartedly with #5: I want this technology to succeed, like … yesterday.


Yeah, I want to sell my car and be able to call a self-driving car to show up at my house whenever I want to go somewhere. I heard a podcast about all the things that would change if this technology were widely adopted - for one, there’s an obscene number of parking spaces created per car (it’s 2+ spaces per car, at least in the US). If people could just get a car when they needed transit, and let it go when they don’t, you wouldn’t need so much parking. Plus you could game all the way to and from work!


isn’t that called ‘a train’ or something?


I think it’s called a taxi. Isn’t a PhD from India much cheaper, faster, and better able to handle various conditions compared to a high-tech super-computer?


Yeah, except that a train won’t come to my front door, pick me up, drive me to work, drop me off, and then go away until I need it again. I envision a future where cars are a service, not an expensive thing you buy

And before you say “aren’t you talking about taxis” no I’m not. Or maybe I am, except it’s a super-duper 300th generation taxi where everyone turns in their personally owned cars and uses these self-driving goobers. Like in all the sci-fi movies!


<snark> Or New York! </snark>

It would be really cool to effectively have no delay on demand transportation.


Johnny Cab?

That would be kinda cool, these take you to hyper-transport hub where you can zip across to whatever city you work in etc. Isn’t Elon Musk working on some kind of futuristic high speed train network for the usa?


The point of “aren’t you talking about taxis?” is that even though we currently have a system where you could get many of the same benefits, the advantages of owning a private vehicle so outweigh that system that almost no one uses taxis as a primary transport.

Except in New York, of course, and even there it’s largely because private transport is already straining the limits of the infrastructure. Parking spaces are at such a premium that double parking is commonplace. I was driving in upper Manhattan yesterday due to a GPS goof-up, trying to get back to the George Washington Bridge, and I encountered 3-4 instances of double-parking in that relatively short drive.

I don’t see a shared network of self-driving cars becoming the main system of transport here ever. If the technology ever does mature, it will be primarily in privately owned vehicles, and parking will remain just as much a problem as ever.


That cheap small Zoe EV i’d been thinking about has had a few changes for the new 2015 model, including a new engine design to improve range:


It also seems it will lose it’s 43Kw charging rate, dropping down to 22Kw as it’s new maximum rate. I wonder if that has anything to do with the issues involving ‘not able to charge’ error messages users had been reporting? So in short you won’t be able to do a full charge in 30mins, but now it takes 1 hour, but you can charge faster at lower voltages than before, and the range is now about 140 miles on a full charge.

I’ll keep watching to see how it goes, not quite ready to pull the trigger yet, and it seems it was a good idea to wait if the engine needed that redesign?


‘Electric cars could cut oil imports 40% by 2030, says study’:


Electric cars could cut the UK’s oil imports by 40% and reduce drivers’ fuel bills by £13bn if deployed on a large scale, according to a new study.

An electric vehicle surge would deliver an average £1,000 of fuel savings a year per driver, and spark a 47% drop in carbon emissions by 2030, said the Cambridge Econometrics study.

The paper, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, said that air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and particulates would be all but eliminated by mid-century, with knock-on health benefits from reduced respiratory diseases valued at over £1bn.

But enjoying the fruits of a clean vehicle boom will require an infrastructure roll-out soon, as the analysis assumes a deployment of over 6m electric vehicles by 2030 – growing to 23m by 2050 – powered by ambitious amounts of renewable energy.

“There will be a transition in the next five-10 years but you won’t see a sudden shift to electric vehicles until consumers have got over their ‘range anxiety’ concerns and that will only happen with infrastructure spending,” said Philip Summerton , one of the report’s authors.

With recharging stations still relatively few and far between, the ‘range anxiety’ fear that battery-powered vehicles could run out of power has been a notorious deterrent for consumers.

One study earlier this month found that such concerns were more common among less experienced electric vehicle drivers. But the EU also believes that a lack of recharging infrastructure is holding back the budding industry.

Two years ago the European commission proposed a €10bn (£7bn) public works programme, which would have exponentially grown recharging station numbers across Europe. In the UK alone, their numbers would have multiplied from 703 in 2012 to 1.22m in 2020.

But the Tory-led government helped to successfully oppose the measure because of the costs involved in ensuring that a minimum 10% of recharging stations were publicly accessible in every country. Despite this, British subsidies of about £5,000 for new electric car sales have helped the industry develop, industry sources say.

The knock-on benefits to the UK’s GDP from reduced oil costs and increased vehicle spending could amount to between £2.4-£5bn by 2030, the study says. Between 7,000-19,000 jobs would also be created.


‘Toyota Mirai review: A futuristic, super-smooth hydrogen fuel cell car’:

Early adopters pay for the privilege of having the latest technology. That will certainly be true for the dozen UK customers who will take delivery of a new Toyota Mirai by the end of the year. Buying one outright will mean laying out an eye-watering £66,000 for the mid-sized fuel cell hybrid—more than twice the price of the similarly-sized, but utterly conventional, Toyota Avensis saloon. Most Mirai customers will probably opt for a lease deal which includes servicing and the £10-a-kilo cost of hydrogen fuel, for a still-hefty £750 monthly fee.

What they will get, according to Mirai chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka, is an innovation “even greater than that of the first-generation Prius"—a usable, capable four-door saloon powered by electricity that’s generated by reacting hydrogen and oxygen together in a fuel cell stack, a technology that Toyota has been developing in-house for automotive use since 1992.


Do Brits call cars “saloons” for some bizarre reason or is Zak’s translation subroutine on the fritz?