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Comments

Jim Bullis, Miastrada Company

So the engines of the Edison2 cars that were used on the track competition will not be identical to the engines that go into the dyno test?

If the 'mpge' on the track was done while monitoring of NOx emissions, this would be no issue, but with this engine configuration there is opportunity to tune it to higher temperatures to improve efficiency.

The electric cars of course can not tune the heat engines in the central coal fired power plants that provide electric power through the plugs. Not fair you say?

Before one gets too sympathetic to the plight of the electric cars, it should also be noticed that the competition rules handed them a factor of three in 'mpge' by ignoring energy losses in the heat engines altogether. If done correctly, none of these would have passed the basic qualification requirement of 100 'mpge'.

It was of course a struggle to come up with a definition of 'mpge' for an electric vehicle; a measure which has no real meaning at all for the main options for future electricity generation.
If renewable sources are involved, then 'mpge' is determined in a formula that involves dividing by zero, and the number is meaningless, but most would agree it suggest some very large result. It certainly does not enable much of a comparison in a contest.

If the reality of the heat engine, and of course it will be this for many years to come, is taken into account then the fact that about two thirds of the energy is thrown away when producing electricity is a burden on the calculation of electric vehicle efficiency that sinks the whole idea of the electric car as an environmentally friendly apparatus.

This reminds us of course that the electric vehicle will indeed shift from oil to coal, and the realists among us might say this is a sufficient accomplishment, and tough luck to the greenies who are the suckers in the game.

Josh

Please. Zap won't win, in spite of them having 3 people post a thousand comments saying how amazing they think they are. But who cares-- the winners will be Lithium-Ion Motors in side-by-side, X-tracer for tandem and Edison2 for mainstream. Though apparently Edison2 no longer has any cars. That's really annoying.

Swat DOWG

Bring it on,...this event is not made for non believers and the ALIAS is an undeniable reality.

AliasGeeG

Actually when finalists announced, "X-Tracer now last team standing in Tandem class", I was kind of unfulfilled...But hey this is a great chance to get the Alias Up and Running at no time...
I'm impressed alright!!

N.Rodriguez

Wow, this is how you start your lunch break in style-- We are still in for the 5 mil Prize.

But anyway let me get this right...
some of these boys evaluate an efficient product based on personal preference or what?

Well, time to go, my crew is on the move.

Oh, and congrats to all the advancing teams specially my favorite(?...?).

CG

I am not in acceptance of Mr. Bullis' interpretation of valid science. Our friends at Argon and the DOE have taken all factors into concideration when properly calculating MPGe and they are indeed accuratly assessing the energy used. For this competition there is no gray area with respect to these interpretations for MPGe. This is the best and most representative way to do it.

CG
Global-E

joseph

I still would like to see awards for aesthetics, and what vehicles are most likely to win in the marketplace. After all this was suppose to be a contest for production ready vehicles.

Josephl

That is exactly what I was about to post, Joseph. It seems like only 2 of these vehicles meet that requirement of 'production ready'.

TAP

Since Chrysler broke the engines by not down-shifting, why not have Chrysler pay for the engine replacement, and have Edison2 run valid dyno tests?

sarah

I would like to buy one of these vehicles. But it seems like only ZAP, Etracer and maybe Aptera are serious about production. I agree they should award the ones that are most production ready, I thought that what this competition was suppose to be about.

George - Mercedes Service Tech

I just stumbled across this. I hope you don't mind if I jump in, but What a great concept for a competition. I have to admit I was thinking the same as CG and Joseph. Edison2 is claiming the best results ever seen in a wind tunnel, but the cars are not production friendly. Sure someone might drive it, but it looks more like a concept car than a production vehicle.

Jim Bullis, Miastrada Company

Sorry CG, there is nothing gray about the two thirds of the energy used that is not counted.

Yes, our authorities such as Argonne, EPA, DOE, Dr. David MacKay of the UK DOE have decided to cancel the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and just ignore basic physics.

They are aided in this deception by the physics fool trick, where the fact that heat and electricity are measured in the same units tricks the indolent student into thinking these are exchangeable forms of energy. However, this mistake means that answers can be wrong by a factor of three. No, we are not talking about a little fudging here; I said a factor of three!!!

It is a national embarrassment, indeed it seems to be world wide, that hardly anyone seems to understand this. Poor old Lord Kelvin must be turning in his grave.

John Shore

Here and elsewhere, Mr. Bullis strongly disagrees with our decision to measure vehicle efficiency based on the amount of energy delivered to the vehicle at the pump (or plug).

Very simply, we chose MPGe as a pump/plug-to-wheels efficiency measure for two reasons:

(1) We wanted to have a simple and unambiguous efficiency measure that depends only on the vehicle, and not on any aspects of fuel production and distribution.

(2) Upstream (wells to pump/plug) issues are addressed directly and indirectly in our second figure of merit – the cap of 200 g/mi on total wells-to-wheels greenhouse gas emissions.

It was clear from the outset that – compared to gasoline vehicles - electric vehicles would have an easier time achieving 100 MPGe, but a harder time achieving 200 g/mi GHG emissions. Some argued that the competition unfairly favored electric vehicles, but we felt that the balance was reasonable. There’s no “right answer”, and one can continue to disagree about this. However, note that not a single electric vehicle made it to the validation stage in the Mainstream Class.

Those who wish to read in more detail the reasoning behind our figures of merit (and the debate around them) should check out the blog entry (and comments) Is Electricity a Fuel or Just an Energy Carrier? (http://autoblog.xprize.org/axp/2009/09/is-electricity-a-fuel-or-just-an-energy-carrier.html), and also these FAQs on pages 61-63 of the Competition Guidelines (http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/files/downloads/auto/PIAXP_Guidelines_V_1.3.pdf):

What is the basic reasoning behind the two figures of merit?

Why measure fuel economy pump-to-wheels rather than wells-to-wheels?

Don’t electric vehicles have a huge advantage?

Mr. Bullis’ opinion is valid, in the sense that a reasonable alternative choice is to define MPGe by including upstream energy conversions. But our choice is neither dishonest, nor the result of ignoring the laws of physics. For the record, we (along with Argonne, EPA, DOE, and Dr. David MacKay of the UK DOE) have not decided to cancel the Second Law of Thermodynamics.


Kevin Smith

In regard to "measure vehicle efficiency based on the amount of energy delivered to the vehicle at the pump (or plug)" some commenter’s seems to:
1. Attempt to account for all energy used in the production of electricity but not that in the production of liquid fuels.
2. Assumes IC engines are 33% efficient and that Electric motors are 100% efficient.

On the first point, it would seem that the commenter’s have neglected to mention that gas does not simply 'appear' at your local gas station in a usable form, it actually starts out as crude oil that needs to be pumped out of the ground from up to several miles down, it then needs to be stored and shipped to a refinery, don't forget the infastruction necessary to accomplish this task, e.g. pipelines, super tankers, trucks, military support, etc.; then there's the energy the refinery uses to crack the oil and convert it into useful products, shipping it to the gas stations, and the electricity used to pump it into a vehicles gas tank...to name a few.
Now, the production of electricity is also not free, however the conversion rate is greater and energy expenditure of turning a fuel source into electricity, including transmission losses through power lines, is far less then producing liquid fuels.

Second, very few consumer automotive IC engines are able to claim 33% conversion efficiency, most IC engines in commercial cars today are closer to 12%, when most commercial power plants achieve 35-48% conversion efficiency numbers and have far more and better emission controls than an automobile. A good AC motor is 95-97% efficient, within a certain range of operation. Put simply, the overall efficiency of an electric vehicle has a greater potential to be more efficient at converting fuel into useful energy even when the energy production is taking into account.

The competitions energy measurement/usage metric, MPGe, was established by the X PRIZE and available for review from the earliest draft competition guidelines, and as noted no pure BEV mainstream vehicle made it into the validation stage of the competition and only one in this class made it to the knockout stage. All competitors made their choice of drive train based on the competition rules, guidelines and their knowledge of the various drive trains. 111 teams were accepted into the competition and only 7 made it to the validation stage; of those only electric vehicles in the two alternative classes and only IC vehicles in the mainstream class. This tells me two things, 1. It is not easy, no matter what fuel source you choose, to achieve the goals of the competition as set forth in the guidelines, 2. That both IC and electric vehicles had a fair chance to achieve the goals in both mainstream and alternative class categories as the rules were established.

Also don't forget, there was more than one rule, one requirement, or one metric by which the vehicles were measured. Every power source came with it's pro's and con's.
So no matter what you may believe the proof is in the results.

Kevin Smith
Team Captain, Illuminati Motor Works

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