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Old January 15th, 2017, 07:45 PM   #14221
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Guys, I don't know any modern car with automatic transmission that doesn't have a gear selector. Most often in the console, replacing the gear stick. In some fancier higher-tech cars, as a set of buttons, sometimes embedded in the steering wheel.

In most automatic transmission cars, you can position the selector to determine the exact gear you want to drive, or even the smaller relation gear it might select.

It is really no big deal.

Many automatic transmission cars also have different modes for gear shifting, such as an "economy" mode aiming for low fuel consumption and a "sport" aiming for higher overall acceleration.

Furthermore, automatic transmission's got really high-tech these days, you have more gears in automatic cars than in many stick-shift ones.

In any case, all of this will be a relatively moot point when the fleet is 99% electric. Electric motors are much better than ICEs and don't require gearboxes.

It is one of the nicest things about driving an electric car by the way - the torque curve is very different than ICEs, such curve is actually much flatter at lower (<70-90 km/h, when air resistance doesn't dominate opposing force vector against movement) speeds. Electrical stationary motors are just vastly superior to clumsy internal combustion engines, and have surpassed the former in almost all industrial applications.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 08:23 PM   #14222
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But... what's the purpose of an automatic transmission if I have to select the correct gear for it?

In any case, don't get me started on electric cars... currently, there are very few (if any) reasons to buy one
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Old January 15th, 2017, 08:32 PM   #14223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
But... what's the purpose of an automatic transmission if I have to select the correct gear for it?
You don't have to. Most modern automatic transmission adjust not only for speed but also by implicit car weight, grade of the road, pavement conditions. If you are driving an automatic car downhill and your speed is increasing without any push to the accelerator, it will bring the gear down (in most models)

I mentioned just that it is possible to easily override automatic gear selection.

In any case, gear selection is just a small part of the process that requires operating the clutch. Automatic transmission doesn't need a clutch pedal.

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In any case, don't get me started on electric cars... currently, there are very few (if any) reasons to buy one
Currently, yes. In 10 years, they will be everywhere and one country after the other will start enacting laws phasing out ICEs within city limits in a 20-25 year framework (at most, bigger metros might go for 12-15 I think).
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Old January 15th, 2017, 08:42 PM   #14224
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You don't have to. Most modern automatic transmission adjust not only for speed but also by implicit car weight, grade of the road, pavement conditions.
Even an ancient one would have to do that, otherwise car would be undriveable (they generally relied on hydraulic pressure balance from the load side vs a governor on the output...)
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Old January 15th, 2017, 08:50 PM   #14225
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The lack of enthusiasm among the Dutch populace to buy new cars is one of the reasons why I think electric cars won't become mainstream very soon in the Netherlands.

A € 30,000 - 35,000 Tesla Model 3 is significantly more expensive than what most people currently spend on a car (on average about € 12,000). It will be popular in the company car market, but the far majority of the Dutch car fleet is not a company car.

Also, once electric vehicles become more popular, the fiscal incentives for them will be reduced. I doubt if electric cars will really become more economical than petrol cars, at some point they will have to start paying taxes, most likely a mileage tax to make up for lost revenue of fuel taxes.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:02 PM   #14226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The lack of enthusiasm among the Dutch populace to buy new cars is one of the reasons why I think electric cars won't become mainstream very soon in the Netherlands.

A € 30,000 - 35,000 Tesla Model 3 is significantly more expensive than what most people currently spend on a car (on average about € 12,000). It will be popular in the company car market, but the far majority of the Dutch car fleet is not a company car.

Also, once electric vehicles become more popular, the fiscal incentives for them will be reduced. I doubt if electric cars will really become more economical than petrol cars, at some point they will have to start paying taxes, most likely a mileage tax to make up for lost revenue of fuel taxes.
And you can't really buy an second handed electric cars because of the decreased battery cycle lifetime. Electric bikes got similar issues.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:05 PM   #14227
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The lack of enthusiasm among the Dutch populace to buy new cars is one of the reasons why I think electric cars won't become mainstream very soon in the Netherlands.

A € 30,000 - 35,000 Tesla Model 3 is significantly more expensive than what most people currently spend on a car (on average about € 12,000). It will be popular in the company car market, but the far majority of the Dutch car fleet is not a company car.

Also, once electric vehicles become more popular, the fiscal incentives for them will be reduced. I doubt if electric cars will really become more economical than petrol cars, at some point they will have to start paying taxes, most likely a mileage tax to make up for lost revenue of fuel taxes.
Electric cars will become cheaper to operate. They are significantly more efficient in terms of energy conversion than ICEs, even accounting for losses on storage process. Such cars have much less moving parts as well, and, if that is not enough, vibrations are minimal.

Tesla is still a high-end automaker. Once the upcoming generation of batteries come around, it will be feasible to market economic cars with 300km range at industrial cost prices competitive with those of hatchbacks we have today. Battery technology significantly improved from 6-8 years ago.

The fun thing is that the arrival of electric cars will coincide with increased driving automation. I think self-driving vehicles will be allowed on controlled-access roads in Netherlands, without expectation of assistance of a driver, no later than 2021.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:09 PM   #14228
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but energy efficiency is of little import without considering cost of energy? 1 L gasoline is about 8-10 kWh.

Where I live, the marginal cost of electricity is 9 cents overnight, increasing to 19 cents at peak hours per kWh, and I filled my car the other day for 98,5 cents per L gasoline...

Furthermore battery technology is limited in cost improvement by the materials. Lithium (for one example) is highly expensive. We've seen massive cost reductions of all kinds of electronic devices, for example, LED light bulbs or computer chips... but they are basically made out of worthless sand... the cost is in the manufacturing equipment and technology. But a storage battery contains materials that are costly before anything has been done yet...
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:15 PM   #14229
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but energy efficiency is of little import without considering cost of energy? 1 L gasoline is about 8-10 kWh.

Where I live, the marginal cost of electricity is 9 cents overnight, increasing to 19 cents at peak hours per kWh, and I filled my car the other day for 98,5 cents per L gasoline...
At the limit, in the long run, fuel prices would reach an equilibrium with energy prices, else operations to burn fuel into backyard generators fueling car batteries would flourish.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:58 PM   #14230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Currently, yes. In 10 years, they will be everywhere and one country after the other will start enacting laws phasing out ICEs within city limits in a 20-25 year framework (at most, bigger metros might go for 12-15 I think).
I wouldn't be so sure. Energy storage still needs a major scientific breakthrough that's not in sight yet. It isn't sufficient just to put more batteries: they have to be way faster to charge, they must contain much more energy per unit mass, they should be made of cheaper materials and they shouldn't degrade so fast.

In 30 years, we will still drive fossil.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 10:05 PM   #14231
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I wouldn't be so sure. Energy storage still needs a major scientific breakthrough that's not in sight yet. It isn't sufficient just to put more batteries: they have to be way faster to charge, they must contain much more energy per unit mass, they should be made of cheaper materials and they shouldn't degrade so fast.

In 30 years, we will still drive fossil.
What about induction (embedded on streets)
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Old January 15th, 2017, 10:06 PM   #14232
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Producers of technology tend to overstate the capabilities of their product. If you listen to Tesla and other car manufacturers, it seems that autonomous vehicles are just on the brink of breaking through to the mainstream, but their capabilities are mostly limited to driving on controlled-access highways, by far the easiest driving environment as everything flows in the same direction with no crossing traffic or urban factors such as pedestrians and cyclists.

The Dutch government recently released an interesting report about autonomous vehicles. It expected fully autonomous vehicles (in which every occupant is just a passenger) no sooner than 2070 and maybe never.

One of the primary reasons is that autonomous vehicles would have to work on every road network, under all conditions. So not just motorways, but also hectic urban streets, in adverse weather. They estimate that it at least a factor 10 more difficult to design than an airplane completing the entire journey on autopilot.

The transition phase is particularly challenging, and may last forever. This is a scenario where both autonomous vehicles as regular vehicles share the road. The report also suggests that road networks in urban areas would need to be entirely overhauled, with more - not less - grade separation to separate automated traffic from humans. The development of car-to-infrastructure communication will likely be much slower than anticipated, given the fact that many authorities hardly spend money on traffic signal timing, not to mention equipping the entire road network with digital infrastructure. Although possible, it will take much more time due to budgetary issues.

It was also recently echoed at a Reason Foundation article: http://reason.org/news/show/surface-...ion-news-158#b

And on V2I, let's see a serious benefit/cost analysis that is subjected to rigorous peer review, before we even think about any kind of mandate for that. At a time when a very large fraction of urban traffic signals do not even feature state-of-the-art timing systems, it's a bit utopian to think that thousands of cash-strapped local governments are going to upgrade all kinds of roadside infrastructure to communicate with vehicles. How much would that cost, and over how many decades would it be implemented?
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Old January 15th, 2017, 10:50 PM   #14233
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I suspect that city traffic will change quite rapidly in the next 20 years utilizing autonomous vehicles in limited access pt lines and live updated car sharing pick up applications.

Getting this kind of traffic on the motorway should also not be a big deal. Especially in the Netherlands.

Making all the traffic autonomous is indeed more difficult.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 10:51 PM   #14234
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I think the impetus for the necessary adaptations will come the moment the moment deaths on highways (where automation of traffic is the easiest) plummet as a result of elimination of human error/distraction etc. which causes >95% of all car crashes (today, an exceedingly small number of crashes happen due to happenstance or mechanical failure).

I like to drive a lot, but I cannot justify, morally, delaying self-driving cars and abolishing for the most part of the territory human-controlled driving if that is enough to reduce deaths and injuries from road traffic by 90% or so.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 10:59 PM   #14235
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Quote:
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What about induction (embedded on streets)
Mmm, very cheap and practical, retrofit millions of km of roads...
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Old January 15th, 2017, 11:15 PM   #14236
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Any of you have driven an electric car or at least been a passenger in one? Hasn't happened to me yet...
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Old January 16th, 2017, 12:02 AM   #14237
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Any of you have driven an electric car or at least been a passenger in one? Hasn't happened to me yet...
Yes to both.

I've driven a Tesla (not mine) for 2000km.

I've also ridden a Tesla as passenger.
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Old January 16th, 2017, 12:29 AM   #14238
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Electric cars will become cheaper to operate. They are significantly more efficient in terms of energy conversion than ICEs, even accounting for losses on storage process. Such cars have much less moving parts as well, and, if that is not enough, vibrations are minimal.

Tesla is still a high-end automaker. Once the upcoming generation of batteries come around, it will be feasible to market economic cars with 300km range at industrial cost prices competitive with those of hatchbacks we have today. Battery technology significantly improved from 6-8 years ago.

The fun thing is that the arrival of electric cars will coincide with increased driving automation. I think self-driving vehicles will be allowed on controlled-access roads in Netherlands, without expectation of assistance of a driver, no later than 2021.
It will take a while before electric cars are operating at an acceptable rate. The fact that Tesla just started charging for charging () won't speed things up either. EVs still have much ground to cover and the gigantic petroleum industry will be a pain to deal with. They are now devoting almost half their budget to buying out start ups and patents that they see as a threat to their future business.

On the flip side there are other alternative powertrain technologies up and coming. Although slowly, I can see fuel cell (hydrogen) cars being a thing. I test drove the Audi A7 h-tron which runs on a fuel cell with an output of approximately 300 hp. Zero emissions, 500 kilometers range and it takes only 3 minutes to fill up. Audi and their e-gas division are investing heavily in infrastructure and making it available at regular gas stations.

Autonomous driving is also more complicated than it looks. Manufacturers are just touching upon the beginning phase of it all, hence it's called semi-autonomous. Tesla kind of slowed things down with their aggressive market approach and introduction of autopilot which was in no way 100% safe. That is why German premium manufacturers are introducing it at a slower pace, safety is the key word. I can see this technology posing all kinds of problems for society in general, curious where it takes us.

Comparing different semi-autonomous driving systems I feel like Mercedes' system is currently the best balanced (DRIVE pilot in the E-Class) and safest to operate. Tesla's autopilot is more user-friendly but it has several loopholes including the one where it doesn't automatically adapt to speed limits based on geographical location which is a pain.

As for drivetrain, as a petrolhead I can only hope that rumbling V12s and V8s will be around for at least a decade or two Despite electric efficiency, for me it does take all the fun of driving away. Launching to 100 km/h from standstill with zero lag in a Tesla gets old after a day or two and it's besides the point of driving electrically. The real performance models, e.g. Model S P90D, P100D are just as harmful to the environment as any of todays V8 powered sports cars. The energy that is needed to produce the gigantic battery for such a tesla is insane and the more power you use, the less range you will get out of it (naturally). Which means taking more electricity and that needs to come from somewhere as well.. Just as with the windmills that only about a year ago were feasible in the Netherlands (the majority of windmills built before 2016 cost more energy to produce than they will generate in a lifetime) to a certain extent the same goes for EVs. You have to start somewhere, but I laugh at anyone driving a €160k Tesla Model S telling me they're doing it for the good of the environment.
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Old January 16th, 2017, 12:32 AM   #14239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I think the impetus for the necessary adaptations will come the moment the moment deaths on highways (where automation of traffic is the easiest) plummet as a result of elimination of human error/distraction etc. which causes >95% of all car crashes (today, an exceedingly small number of crashes happen due to happenstance or mechanical failure).

I like to drive a lot, but I cannot justify, morally, delaying self-driving cars and abolishing for the most part of the territory human-controlled driving if that is enough to reduce deaths and injuries from road traffic by 90% or so.
Just another quick note. You will never be able to take the human error factor out of the playing field. Unless self-driving cars are mandatory, something I don't see happening anytime soon. Car-to-X communication still has a long way to go and could be a solution to this problem, if such a module becomes mandatory for every road car regardless of the model, make and year.
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[2017] > Düsseldorf, Mallorca, Geneva, Annecy, Montafon, Vorarlberg, Barcelona, Zürich, Crete, Lisbon, Cascais, Málaga, Ronda, Dolomiti, Sistiana, Kitzbühel
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Old January 16th, 2017, 01:29 AM   #14240
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The major environmental benefit of electric cars is to take away pollution at point of use. Pollution stops being an issue altogether. They are also much less noisy at speeds below 60-70 km/h or so. Incredibly so.
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