TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Future Cars on Discovery Channel

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by danny, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Just watched this on the discovery channel. I would guess they are gonna show it over the next few days/weeks. This was just the first episode in a few part series. Very interesting and a lot on electric cars including companies like AC propultion(i think, could be wrong) and venturi.
     
  2. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    I saw it too. Venturi was shown very briefly with little explanation of the cars. The T-Zero got a lot more coverage. I felt the show was all flash, very little substance. It was like a series of "look at this, isn't it amazing?" comments with barely any explanations of what we're really seeing or how anything works. I had hoped for something better.

    I think the remaining three episodes will appear each coming wednesday.
     
  3. Tesla2Go

    Tesla2Go Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    92
    Is this series available online somewhere?
     
  4. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    i'm not sure, you may want to search for torrents at torrentspy.com
     
  5. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Got confirmation that the Tesla Roadster will the featured on this show at some point so keep watching ;)
     
  6. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    I just got through watching the second episode.

    This show covers a lot of ground, and some of it is what I would consider nonsense. For example: fawning over the GM "Skateboard" platform, which seems like a great thing at first glance, but GM's engineers have already been forced to back away from because they just couldn't make it work. It's not grounded in existing technology. (Somewhat like the Chevy Volt.)

    I have a particular gripe against GM because their corporate culture treats designers like rock stars, yet they never give a thought to science or engineering concerns in their designs. Aerodynamics is a particular sore point. You've got all these designers sketching like mad and making clay models, but you never see them put something in a wind tunnel until after the design is finished -- then they fight kicking and screaming against any change, however small, that the lowly aerodynamics engineers beg them to make.

    Another example was a segment on the goofy and impractical Zooop car: http://blog.scifi.com/tech/archives/2006/07/12/zooop_car_look.html Does anybody seriously think this is the future of the automobile?

    Now, let me get to the parts that impressed me. . .

    I never heard of Luigi Colani prior to Futurecars. I love this guy! He takes aerodynamics seriously. He seems like an eccentric and flambuoyant character -- but he's not merely trying to shock people with unconventional designs (which I suspect was the real purpose behind the Zooop). There's a method to Colani's madness, and it's all aimed toward practical goals of speed and efficiency. It helps that the cars also look great. They look smooth, sleek and fast, and way cooler than the chunky, angular shapes coming out of Detroit nowadays.

    Futurecars only looked briefly at the Loremo car (http://www.loremo.com/index_en.php), but I was impressed. The GT version will have only a 50 HP motor. . . but a top speed of 136 MPH! That's efficiency. They've taken mass reduction to a new level. Up to now cutting weight has been largely about building the same old components out of lighter materials. At Loremo they started over and said: how can we design this so it won't require as much material? Let's get rid of the side doors!

    They had a look at the "tweel" technology that Michelin are developing to replace pneumatic tires, it seems very promising.

    They had a brief segment on narrow vehicles, and they showed the Carver and one or two others. . . but no Tango, strangely. It would have fit right into that part of the show. It could still show up next week, I guess.

    Next week's show is all about alternate fuels, so we will see the Tesla Roadster, the biodiesel-hybrid K1 Attack Roadster, and hydrogen, hydrogen, hydrogen!
     
  7. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Great writeup. Luigi Collani is a very intriguing character. Some of the cars hes designed are beautiful. I am much more a fan of the rounded organic designs then the sharp angles. I loved that part about the Caparo T1, www.caparo-t1.com. This car has 1000 horsepower per ton, and goes 0-100 and back to 0 in 8 seconds I believe. Look up the specs very impressive. It may not be electric but its still an impressive feat of engineering in weight and aerodynamics.
     
  8. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    I missed last nights "the fuel" episode. Did anyone catch it?
    Anyone know when it is gonna be on again.
     
  9. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    I caught it, but you really didn't miss much. The Tesla segment was okay, but the show as a whole was a very weak effort.

    Their explanations of the alternative fuels (when they bothered to provide any explanations) were very vague and muddled -- particularly regarding hybrid vehicles and biodiesel. They presented the claims of the thermal depolymerization people uncritically, the claims of the air car people uncritically, the claims about hydrogen uncritically. Worst of all was the ending where the narrator suggests you could connect an air compressor to a compressed-air engine and make a perpetual motion vehicle! That is wrong on so many levels.

    "In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

    It's sad to see how far Discovery Channel has fallen. It just makes me wish somebody would make a serious documentary on this subject. I wonder if the producers of Modern Marvels would take a crack at it?

    Autoblog Green posted this bit, which actually is a lot better than what I saw on Futurecars:

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/02/22/fox-11-auto-evolution-video-series-online-covers-fuel-cells-p/
     
  10. Phyte

    Phyte Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    They mentioned at the end of the show that there would be a marathon on sometime, not sure when.

    tony - I was dosing off right at the end and I heard the "perpetual motion" comment. My eyes immediately opened and I started laughing.. Ridiculous.

    Phyte
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Thanks for the Fox post Tony.

    My comments:
    Part 1   Hydrogen
    They admitted the $1Mill each car cost and touched on the difficulty of a fueling infrastructure -good for them.
    They showed a still shot of the Hindenberg. Knowing it's a local TV report they must have wanted to show the flaming disaster so bad they could spit. The reporter did ask more than one question of the car's owner feeling safe.

    Part 2
    2nd time see that Volt video. Lame-slow My E golf cart could beat that thing down the street. They should have made it look like the footage was shot in slow motion.

    Part3
    The Tesla gets perfunctory coverage compared to Wright’s car and Phoenix’s SUV. Kind of odd because they are the only ones who got the investors and have sold cars
    Nice to see the Altair Nano batts in operation.
    How did they miss the Ebox? San Dimas is just as close to LA as Ojai.

    Part4
    I was put off by the Honda guy’s comments so I watched him again and technically he's right about Electric cars my angst was cooled when they cut to a series of folks bashing fuel cells.
    The closing comments said the cars covered were two years away (and longer) but they had mentioned earlier the Tesla was due out this year.

    It's funny at the end they referenced an old car-tech show from 5 years before when things were so close to happening in alternate transportation. Are we perpetually in childhood BEV birthday-eve and we can't sleep because of all the wonderful things we asked for are going to be ours in the morning? Or is this really the year of the BEV?

    I'm out of the country but I Tivo'd the Future Cars show, I'll comment when I see it, meanwhile, my wife liked the Tesla :)

    e
     
  12. Future

    Future Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    11
    ARGH! hydrogen Hydrogen HYDROGEN! That is all I ever seem to hear when the media talks about the cars of the future. When that honda guy said that Fuel cells are clean in the production of hydrogen and in the usage of it, I got mad. I figure that alot of you already know how hydrogen is an inneficient pollution amplifyer, but in case you are unaware, i suggest reading The Hype About Hydrogen by Joseph J. Romm. It is a great read.

    Inefficency and pollution aside, there is a saying about hydrogen. Hydrogen is the fuel of the future. And it always will be. In ten years it will still be the fuel of the future. In twenty years it will still be the fuel of the future.

    Ok rant over.

    I realy enjoyed the section on the Roadster on the futurecar show. However, the rest of it (at least the fuel episode) was horribly innaacurate. I cannot believe that they even mentioned perpetual motion (apperantly being serious), when they debunked it themselves on mythbusters!

    Oh well, I guess my rant was not really over. :D
     
  13. Takumi

    Takumi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    IL
    +1

    LA TIMES
    “’People are not going to go through all the trouble of buying a hydrogen car, which is going to have all these limitations, when it won't even be as environmentally beneficial as a Toyota Prius when you consider the environmental cost of making that hydrogen fuel.’"

    http://www.cool-companies.org/hydrogen/inthenews.cfm
     
  14. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,442
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Well sure, but remember all those estimates that calculated today's stock price based on expected sales of GEN-III? Well, if it just got less likely that those expectations are valid that will affect today's fair value.

    EDIT: mobile app is completely bugging out on me. This post doesn't belong here. Will try to fix when I can get to a PC.
     

Share This Page