VW Lupo 3L TDI, sadly now out of production because it was too
expensive for so small a car and VW thought it better to produce
nonsense products like the Touareg or the 1001PS Bugatti, the
development cost of which could have probably helped to maket the 3L
Lupo to larger volume and lower price...
Schwinn, Raleigh, Murray, Titan, To name just a few manufacturers. <grin>
Vespa used to have some scooters that were in that neighborhood. I'm not
familiar with current offerings.
The French-manufactured 2CV typically got 50mpg on a _bad_ day.
80mpg is _not_ unrealistic. With one of my old cars, I routinely got
in excess of 20mpg at highway speeds. NOT impressive in and of itself,
but that was with a car weighing roughly 7300 lbs, and powered with a
7.8L engine. Automatic transmission; _with_ the air-conditioning on.
Scaled down by a factor of 4 -- you're talking about something in the
1500 lb range, with a circa 1.6L engine (assuming you drop the a/c).
Its probably only going to have 2-place seating -- a 'roadster' type,
or maybe a Morris 'mini'.
Heh. Good point, but I get the feeling the guy was talking about cars.
He went from "many" to one model that isn't produced, pretty quickly.
Yeah, but I'm, er, pretty sure it wouldn't pass USA'n crash tests. What
with the seats being basically lawn chairs and all, for starters.
Well, if it was linear, sure. But, aerodynamics play a bigger part than
you'd think at higher speeds. A late 60's/early 70's Saab 96 weighs
something like 1900 pounds, has a 1.7 liter engine, and gets 25MPG.
Or, something lightened so far that it's unsafe. I'd rather spend a bit
more on fuel and live. Make it biofuel so we can make it here, rather
than giving money to people who hate us, and we're getting somewhere.
Lots of little motor-bikes and scooters over there -- a fair number of
which get mileage numbers in that range. Top speeds of 65 km/h, or less,
(sometimes significantly less) though. Supurbly suited for 'in-town'
errands and such, much less so for inter-city travel.
I know of at least 2 that are operating in the U.S. licensed, 'street
Yeah, you have to reduce the frontal cross-section, and thus aero drag,
proportionally, as well. Which is why I continued ....
I'm underwhelmed with those Saab figures -- in that same time-frame, got
23MPG in-town, with a 3200lb Dodge, with a 4.6L V-8 engine in it.
In the late 80s a friend was getting 43-44 mpg on the highway, with a
Nissan Sentra, with a 2.8L (I believe, might have been a 2.2) engine.
With the a/c running. More like 50mpg without the a/c.
Have you ever run the numbers on how much biodiesel one can produce from
an acre of farmland in a year?
Ethanol is better deal to date, but biodiesel is coming on...net
positive energy ratios are improving every year w/ better hybrids and
improved processes...neither will ever be 100%, but are both net
I dunno. maybe because the oil in those fryers -- at maybe 5-10 gallons
per site -- typically gets changed far less often than once a week.
Assuming there's 1 such fryer for every 10 people -- I have no real idea,
but I suspect its more like 1 per several hundred, if not thousand -- that
source will produce an average of 1 gallon/week per person. This isn't
exactly a significant dent in usage.
Primarily corn, yes. Sorghum doesn't have nearly the sugar content of
corn and nowhere nor the yield/acre. Sorghum is essentially a corn
substitute where corn is not economical to grow--dryland regions or
where excessive fertilizer costs are limiting, for example.
Much production is from hybrids bred specifically for ethanol production
and more is going that way every year. I've not seen a specific
I gather that the suagar/acre ration is lower for sorghum. I'm
not surprised that the corn kernals have a higher concentration
of sugar than the sorghum stalks but am surpised that there is
more sugar in the whole corn plant, than in the whole sorghum plant.
When corn is raised for ethanol production, do they squeeze the
whole plant, rather than just the kernals?
One wonders what selective breeding/genetic engineering can do for
each, improving the range for sorghum and the sugar content for
both. Appears it would take a ten-fold improvement in the yield
before biofuels could replace petroleum fuels and that still
does not address coals usage, which generates most of the electricity
used in the US.
No, the grain is the feedstock, not the plant...the grain must ripen to
achiece maximum energy content (and as a secondary necessity, must be
dry enough to be handled and stored w/o danger of mold damage and
spontaneous combustion) and at that time the sugars in the foliage are
largely used up.
There are continuing significant improvements in hybrids specifically
for ethanol production in corn and soybeans for biodiesel. I am unaware
of any research into large-scale usage of milo for ethanol--I believe
the potential yields are simply not competitive w/ corn.
No one, even its most ardent supporters, is claiming biofuels can
replace all petroleum. It is simply a resource that is (a) renewable,
and (b) does have a positive NEV (net energy value). The latter does
continue to increase owing to both improved feedstocks and processing.
I suspect both will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but
have no idea where we are now as compared to the ultimate that may be
As for central station generation, the switch from coal to
petroleum-fired was a major mistake as well was the abandonment of
nuclear which <should> be the predominant form of central station
I'm surprised ther eis more sugar in corn kernals than in the entire
sorghum plant. I'm not clear on why the grain is stored at all. It
seems ot me it would be more efficient to continuously process it
as it is harvested and just tank the jiuce. E.g. make the 'squeezer'
part of the combine.
How much electricity is generated from petroleum here in the US today?
When I was in the industry it was all but nil. Coal was tops, followed
by hydro and nuclear (not sure of the order) and those three accounted
at least 90% of the electricity generated in the US.
It isn't "squeezed", it's fermented (in essence). It also is required
simply for logistics--to have a continuous process, one must have
feedstock continuously--harvest comes only in a short period.
OTTOMH I'm not sure of the total fraction but it is now a measurable
fraction--the Clinton/Gore-era paranoia against coal caused a shift to
natural gas. Plus, siting issues made any other construction extremely
difficult and so there was a plethora of gas-fired turbines installed
for fast reserve generation and a lot of these then ended up as being
I've done some more looking specifically wrt to grain sorghum as
feedstock vis a vis corn and discover my perceptions were based on my
past knowledge regarding feed value more than current state of ethanol
production. In an summary assessment done by a KSU researcher, the
difference in grain feedstock is actually nearly immaterial to the
overall NEV and only a factor economically based on the actual
price--grain sorghum w/ it's historic discount as opposed to corn is
actually somewhat of a benefit. The major difference (and what confused
me) in NEV between, say, 1995 and present is <not> nearly as much
attributable to the feedstock as it is essentially all owing to
enhancements in the process itself.
What is apparently a limiting factor for ethanol may well be how to
generate sufficient market for the byproducts which are necessary to be
sold in order to make the profitability of the producing plants. The
distillers grains are feed for livestock but it appears there may become
a point at which there can not be sufficient demand for all that would
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