Sustaining Future

Friday, October 06, 2006

Future of Cars

It was rumoured that
At a recent COMDEX computer exposition, Bill Gates compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 mpg." [see for example and many others]


Well it now seems to me that the next surge of innovations for cars will come sources other than the auto industry.

Here are some sign posts.

From Business 2.0
Ian Wright has a car that blows away a Ferrari 360 Spider and a Porsche Carrera GT in drag races, and whose 0-to-60 acceleration time ranks it among the fastest production autos in the world. In fact, it's second only to the French-made Bugatti Veyron, a 1,000-horsepower, 16-cylinder beast that hits 60 mph half a second faster and goes for $1.25 million.


The point is that Ian Wright, before designing this magic electric race car (called X1 and is based on Ariel Atom) is a routers and switches designer.

From Wikipedia
A British engineering firm has put together a high-performance hybrid version of BMW's Mini Cooper. The PML Mini QED has a top speed of 150 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. The car uses a small gasoline engine with four 160 horsepower electric motors — one on each wheel. The car has been designed to run for four hours of combined urban/extra urban driving, powered only by a battery and bank of ultra capacitors. The QED supports an all-electric range of 200-250 miles and has a total range of about 932 miles (1,500 km). For longer journeys at higher speeds, a small conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) is used to re-charge the battery. In this hybrid mode, fuel economies of up to 80mpg can be achieved.


Well not 1,000 mpg yet, but impressive when compared to today's conventional cars.

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