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alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/28/23 12:06 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

So you want an EV to go 100miles and still weigh 1000 lb?

We've already established to go 100 miles, you need 25kwhr of battery, and the current lightest batteries that are 25kwhr, just the battery will weigh 250lb- this would be for the most expensive Li-Ion battery, which would far exceed the budget cap.  Which leaves only 750lb for the rest of the car.  Your low end 50hp EV motor is another 120lb.  The controller will be at more than 30lb, but for fun sake, lets keep it at that. 

And the "cheap" lead acid batteries to get 100mile will be over 1000lb. (a simple amazon search for a golf cart battery has them at 62lb, and you need 18 to get 25kwhr- so 1150lb just in lead acid batteries)

Now we are down to 600lb for a vehicle w/o any of the powertrain.  

Which is less than a normal golf cart.

You wonder why people are asking specific questions- it's because you make stuff up for the sake of making it up.  Your dream 3 wheeler to skirt the rules has been tried many times over the past decades, for the exact same reasons you think are so very important- and every single time it failed.  

A plastic chassis for a vehicle?  Would you ride a plastic bicycle?  Not a carbon fiber one, but a recycled plastic bike.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/28/23 12:12 p.m.
frenchyd said:
SV reX said:

In reply to frenchyd :

You are lumping way too many products under the one title "plastics". There actually are thousands of different plastics, each with its own composition and characteristics.

When you say "plastics", I think you are imagining things like carbon fiber F1 suspension pieces, or similar plastics that would make good structural components. Those are plastic, but they are definitely not cheap.  They are also not recycled.  Picture fender wells, plastic backer panels, foam and upholstery if you want to see what is commonly done with recycled plastics.  They are plastic, but they will never be structural components.

50% of the volume of a modern vehicle is made from plastics (only 10% of the weight), and 25% of those plastics are already recycled. Most of the metal components in a car are closer to 90% or more recycled.

Plastic ain't magic, and auto engineers have been using plastics in every way they can conceive for a very long time.

GM and Colin Chapman would disagree with you.  The Saturn had plastic body panels.  Colin Chapman's Lotus Elite  was all plastic.   It held an 1100 cc climax engine. Respectably fast for the era.  Then there is the Corvette.  But yeh! that has at least a metal frame so I'll give you that.  
    I was thinking a big 3D printer   Using the right version of plastic. Rather than steel panels. 

Plastic body panels is not a plastic car.  The Fiero and Saturn had a pretty stout metal chassis underneath.

And the Lotus has not been repeated as a car for some very good reasons- like cost, crash, durability, etc.  The vette is the closest thing to that, and it's got a lot of metal in it, and also costs a lot to make.  It's also very engineered non-recycleable plastic.  

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
1/28/23 12:53 p.m.

This thread is kinda funny-dumb. 

frenchyd said:

As I've said. Previously i  don't believe lead acid and lithium  are the only two choices for batteries.   But  we'll see won't we ?  As a serious gear head I'd like to have a cheap 100 hp ICE  proven a real value. 
     But there aren't enough American single moms  or college students.  Working stiffs who just need to get to work.  To sell a million a year. So sales are going to have to  go global    That means  low cost, reliable durable and simple.    

For now only the lithium chemistries are viable. A battery is either too heavy, has too little energy stored, self-discharges too much, has to narrow a temperature range to function. All others have short lifespans (lead acid) narrow temps (molten sodium) demand toxic electrolytes that need monthly replacement (Nickel-Iron, aka Edison batteries) rapidly break down past some point (drain more than 50% of a lead acid and they have 2 hours before cannabalizing themselves) or some combination of all those.

Nah, you ain't selling this no matter how much I even think about it. We know that, because the Altima doesn't, the F150 doesn't, the Spark doesn't, all of which are different cars with different abilities and roles. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 1:44 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

  I'm starting from a different point.   1000 pound "car"with only a 100 mile range.  Most cars are 3000+ pounds.  Trucks heavier. 
        So  perhaps we won't need to have very expensive batteries?  I'm really open.  Both lead acid and Litium. Are known commodities  I guess I need to fo a little research. 
I keep going back to lead acid. When I was young we used to recycle old batteries and get several years more life from them.    I'd pay $2 for the core charge.  Grab a decent looking one.   Pour the acid in a glass bowl  let it settle overnight. Grab the hose and battery then rinse out the white stuff ( lead sulfate )   In the dirt at the end of the concrete driveway. ( yes I know better now)  the suspended lead sulfate in the acid would settle to the bottom of the bowl and I'd take an old Turkey Baster and suck out the clear acid being careful not to get any lead sulfate. Putting it back into the battery.   Then top the cells off with distilled water ( i took from my mom's ironing board ) 

 What stops a lead acid battery from working is that lead sulfate. It shorts across the bottom of the plates and now the battery is junk. 
except  it isn't.  I'd often get 2-3 years out of a junk battery doing this. 
      A farmer  friend of mine is going on 25 years of life from Forklift dead batteries  for his wind generator.  
  OK is the weight penalty too high on lead acid?  How much lighter are lithium?   I honestly don't know?  
  I know most Lead acid batteries are now days recycled  and actually  so are lithium  car batteries. 
 

 Do you know enough to answer the questions I posed? 
  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/28/23 2:01 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Yes, you do need to do your research.  100 miles out of lead acid = 1100lb.  Which lets you -100lb for the rest of the vehicle.  Let alone the cost of those batteries will be north of $3000.  And that's the cheap one.

Li Ion is only 250lb but costs $19,000.

People have been pretty gracious in pointing out realities of your ideas, and you just double down on the opposite.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 2:02 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to frenchyd :

So you want an EV to go 100miles and still weigh 1000 lb?

We've already established to go 100 miles, you need 25kwhr of battery, and the current lightest batteries that are 25kwhr, just the battery will weigh 250lb- this would be for the most expensive Li-Ion battery, which would far exceed the budget cap.  Which leaves only 750lb for the rest of the car.  Your low end 50hp EV motor is another 120lb.  The controller will be at more than 30lb, but for fun sake, lets keep it at that. 

And the "cheap" lead acid batteries to get 100mile will be over 1000lb. (a simple amazon search for a golf cart battery has them at 62lb, and you need 18 to get 25kwhr- so 1150lb just in lead acid batteries)

Now we are down to 600lb for a vehicle w/o any of the powertrain.  

Which is less than a normal golf cart.

You wonder why people are asking specific questions- it's because you make stuff up for the sake of making it up.  Your dream 3 wheeler to skirt the rules has been tried many times over the past decades, for the exact same reasons you think are so very important- and every single time it failed.  

A plastic chassis for a vehicle?  Would you ride a plastic bicycle?  Not a carbon fiber one, but a recycled plastic bike.  

Thank you sincerely for all the information you've given here. None of which I  had really figured out. 
     Two points though. You asked about recycled plastic. 
      The hose buried underground is from recycled plastic and it's pretty strong.   I'm sure I leave some water in it in the fall when zi blow the sprinklers out. Yet in spite of being less than a foot  down and frozen like a rock for 4/5 months it's never broken. It's also probably in the sprinklers and they are right on the surface. 
      Are you familiar with Colin Chapmans Lotus Elite of the late 50's early 60's?  That's  all plastic, no frame anyplace. I'll have to check but I think it's about 11-1300  pounds .  
  Then there is GM with the Saturn, all those body panels are plastic.  
 And well,  Corvette which granted has a metal frame. ( steel and later aluminum )  

 And second. The Morgan 3 wheeler those are sold as motorcycles here in America.  There is also a 3 wheeler motorcycle that one of the snowmobile manufacturers  sells.  
      

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/28/23 2:08 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Again, plastic body panels is not a plastic car.  Lots of steel is still needed to build the car.

Again, the Elite hasn't been repeated for many good reasons you choose to ignore.

Again, you make a lot of plastic assumptions.

Again, the exact vehicle you are thinking of has been tried many times before for the same reasons you dream of, and not one of them have done anything significant.  

Good luck with your project.  I'm sure there's a valid opening at GM to make this vehicle.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 2:21 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver     
Fair enough. I'm guessing on all of this.   So 11-1200 pounds?    Ah, or lithium?   I've got no problem with that or any other battery.   Cost vs weight? 
On that lead acid battery I wonder how much of that 62 pounds is the case?  If I'm making a million of something  probably could build batteries as well.   
      Maybe I could engineer a filter system to extract lead sulfate? So the battery would last longer?

 A former Clark mechanic who lives on a farm over in Wisconsin  has a windmill powering his house and excess goes into a couple of old forklift batteries.   Those big heavy things.  He's now going on 25 years since he bought them for the core charge ( the business typically  gets 6-8 years of life out of  them). 
   Not that I need to use lead acid.   I'm not hung up on anything.  Lithium is also fine ( I just don't know -a simple way to recycle it though ).  
 Probably time to do a spread sheet. 
 Probably should have a few dozen spread sheets. 
 
       

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 2:27 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Well one they stopped making the Coventry climax engine used in the lotus Elite,   But the chassis itself was solid.   Jerry Halverson tried to restore one before •••• well his life ended.  Nothing horribly wrong with the chassis  even though it was 20+ years old.  Fun crawling around looking at it.  Typical crushed area's from parking incidents etc.  nothing structural.   Shockingly light though. 
     

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
1/28/23 4:00 p.m.

What you really want, is basically the GM EV1. 

frenchyd said:

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

  I'm starting from a different point.   1000 pound "car"with only a 100 mile range.  Most cars are 3000+ pounds.  Trucks heavier. 
        So  perhaps we won't need to have very expensive batteries?  I'm really open.  Both lead acid and Litium. Are known commodities  I guess I need to fo a little research. 
I keep going back to lead acid. When I was young we used to recycle old batteries and get several years more life from them.    I'd pay $2 for the core charge.  Grab a decent looking one.   Pour the acid in a glass bowl  let it settle overnight. Grab the hose and battery then rinse out the white stuff ( lead sulfate )   In the dirt at the end of the concrete driveway. ( yes I know better now)  the suspended lead sulfate in the acid would settle to the bottom of the bowl and I'd take an old Turkey Baster and suck out the clear acid being careful not to get any lead sulfate. Putting it back into the battery.   Then top the cells off with distilled water ( i took from my mom's ironing board ) 

 What stops a lead acid battery from working is that lead sulfate. It shorts across the bottom of the plates and now the battery is junk. 
except  it isn't.  I'd often get 2-3 years out of a junk battery doing this. 
      A farmer  friend of mine is going on 25 years of life from Forklift dead batteries  for his wind generator.  
  OK is the weight penalty too high on lead acid?  How much lighter are lithium?   I honestly don't know?  
  I know most Lead acid batteries are now days recycled  and actually  so are lithium  car batteries. 
 

 Do you know enough to answer the questions I posed? 
  

It's literally right on wikipedia. Lead Acid is a max of 180 watts per kilo, whereas lithium is up to 340 in comparing specific power. This also doesn't compare discharge and charge rates- to start cars and have that depth of discharge car batteries are full of tiny through-channels to allow for electron movement across the lead plate, but this in exchange lowers the amount of power it can hold in total since your plates are full of holes. Either way when you crunch numbers your lead-acid pack is half a ton, easy.

Lead sulfate- yes it's their killer and you can desulfate, except eventually you have to remove it manually. That sulfation begins when you're below 50% depth of discharge, so even your "100 mile range" EV really has 50- because it'll start in about 2 hours once that occurs, and all sulfation has to be removed manually from the plates. Eventually they have to be melted because the through-holes fill and electrons can't move quickly across the surface- and that's a half ton battery, like hell that's happening easily.

That's why you're farmer friend's E36 M3 still works. Constant wind/solar means you have electrons always moving in some manner, and those traction pack batteries are built for capacity and not discharge like car batteries so they lack through-channels. But lacking said channels means you can't discharge much power, which you need to go up a hill. This discussion is the same issue and talk that's been going on since the first EVs with Baker Electric, Studebaker, ect. in 1900.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/28/23 4:18 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

The Elite. Let's see...

- It WASN'T entirely plastic. It had steel subframes to support the engine and transmission. It also had steel windscreen hoop, A pillars, jacking points, and rollover protection components. Huh... I guess Colin Chapman understood that you can't make everything from plastic. 
 

- It was produced for 6 years. In that time, Lotus only managed to produce a total of 1030 cars. That's a long way from 1,000,000.
 

- Poor quality control.

- It's suspension attachment points were regularly observed to pull out of the fiberglass structure. 
 

-Lotus lost money on every single Elite they built. Every. Single. One.  
 

Good luck. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 5:03 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

Thanks for that.  I guess you're right lead acid won't be a quality solution.    
        I didn't know about through holes.   I just would use a battery until it wouldn't hold a charge and then flush the lead sulfate out.    That worked well enough so that  I'd get enough life out of the battery (3-5 years after it was junked).  

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 5:19 p.m.
SV reX said:

In reply to frenchyd :

The Elite. Let's see...

- It WASN'T entirely plastic. It had steel subframes to support the engine and transmission. It also had steel windscreen hoop, A pillars, jacking points, and rollover protection components. Huh... I guess Colin Chapman understood that you can't make everything from plastic. 
 

- It was produced for 6 years. In that time, Lotus only managed to produce a total of 1030 cars. That's a long way from 1,000,000.
 

- Poor quality control.

- It's suspension attachment points were regularly observed to pull out of the fiberglass structure. 
 

-Lotus lost money on every single Elite they built. Every. Single. One.  
 

Good luck. 

See I was also going to use Chaparral  but that was a race car and they only made 3.   Then later race cars made of plastic they used  plastic?* pucks to spread the load rather than put all that load in a localized area. 
    * it was some kind of plastic that the resin and fiberglass bonded well with. 
 OK  you win. 

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
1/28/23 9:44 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Cheap recycled 'modern plastics' have very different mechanical properties than fiberglass... And not in a good way.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 10:13 p.m.

In reply to Driven5 :

Well I think there are something like 12 basic groups of recycled plastic.   I'm not sure how they are sorted out? Floating properties? Weight?  Bounce?    Each has different properties and characteristics.    Plus I'm sure there is a chemical  array that can alter properties and characteristics. 
     The attraction of recycled plastic is its abundance and cost.  But just like steel and aluminum there are various compounds  and shapes that achieve desired goals. 
 There are plastics you could stab and kill a person with and others that will barely tickle people. Modern sails aren't cloth anymore but plastic and you can't conceive  how  strong yet light they are. 
     The front frame of a Jaguar XKE weighs only 22 pounds  it's barely thicker than a beer can and it's not welded together but brazed. yet it holds a 730 pound engine  going 150 mph. Yet it passed the required crash testing  

  Look at homemade hot rod frames. Without exception they are massively heavier than what is actually required yet would never pass the crash test. 
  The difference between the two?   
Brilliant   engineering and guessing.

   I'm not suggesting we go through the garbage looking for anything plastic.   But a really brilliant person  would do wonders. 
    
   

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
1/28/23 10:29 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

There are really brilliant people working on an absolute multitude of solutions to these problems. Some are doing it on their own, some are doing it with the backing of shockingly large companies (automotive OEMs).

The fact that nobody has built what you are asking for should give you the reason why. 

 

Edited this part out, didn't help anyone. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/28/23 10:46 p.m.

In reply to classicJackets (FS) :

I'm sure whoever created the first Tesla has heard the same thing.  
  In all probability so did Henry Ford.  
 Not claiming any such brilliance.  Just  saying that because it hasn't yet doesn't mean it won't. 
  Actually I've kinda done that most of my life.  
  "You're never going to graduate" 
"You'll never fly"                                          " you'll never finish that car"                      "You'll never win a race"                             " You'll never be successful as a salesman"                                                       " You'll never own a house on the lake"                                                                "You'll never get a building permit".           "  you'll never get that house finished". 
" You'll never work again"                          " you'll never get a Jaguar for that price"   

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
1/28/23 11:32 p.m.
frenchyd said:

Well I think there are something like 12 basic groups of recycled plastic...

And to date, I am not aware of any that have been developed (or are in development) which are equal (let alone superior) to composites (including fiberglass) for structural applications. The Jaguar design did not achieve that level of structural efficiency by choosing inappropriate materials on a baseless whim.

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
1/29/23 12:16 a.m.

"Oh I’m sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?"

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic HalfDork
1/29/23 12:17 a.m.

I sure wouldn't want to get into a wreck with any composite structured car in -30F weather.

Steel stamping tooling is going to cost a fortune. I think you would need to use robots to CNC cut, bend, and weld up a steel tube chassis and bond plastic body panels onto it. That 3 wheeler model I made was designed to use a Subaru 4 banger, but a modern 3 cylinder would work now days. Front suspension would be easy to source and the single wheel rear suspension would be simple and not too hard to fabricate. The glass isn't that hard to have made.

I don't think that the world is going to transition to batteries anytime soon so a fuel efficient gas motor would keep cost to a minimum. I have no idea what the cost to build something like that is or if it would ever be profitable. This would be a no frills car except for air conditioning. Roll up windows and analog dash and a simple interior. Any color as long as it is candy apple red or candy sapphire blue.

How much does a robot cost anyway? smiley

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/29/23 4:16 p.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

Robots are cheaper than Chinese labor because you see them there.   Actually it's a different cost. You'd have to have labor work 24/7/365  in just enough light  and heat so service people can keep them running.  Don't quote me but I think they cost electricity and maintenance, plus purchase price around $7 hr.  Seems like it was a reasonably recent Newsweek article. 
      Plastics do not shatter in the cold as myth would have you believe.  Well I suppose liquid oxygen cold. But •••• Corvettes crunch and the damage is no worse than it would be in the summer.  Same with Saturns. ( actual plastic bodies)  in fact pour warm water on damage and the plastic returns to stock. 
     Have you seen a 3 D printer at work?    That's how I'd build the frame and body. Over in Germany?  I saw a video of one 3D printer building a cement house.   So why won't the future allow printing a car?  
     What I remember seeing is a contest to drop raw eggs from some height without breaking the shell.  Some college kid did it with plastic straws.    That's when  I started to focus on plastic.  Oh and I bought my daughter a 2001 Saturn  and she recently traded it in on a new Honda.  :0 years and the engine clutch transmission has only been touched for oil changes and service work.    

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
1/29/23 5:14 p.m.

Even if 3D printed plastics (are we still talking recycled on top of that?) were the structural materials you are looking for, which they're not, 3D printing is FAR too slow per machine to be cost effective for major components at 1M/yr rates. You also just upped the size requirements for your factory, and all of the associated costs, by an order of magnitude. 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
1/29/23 7:14 p.m.

All I will say is id rock a manual base Versa.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic HalfDork
1/29/23 7:31 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

Plastics do not shatter in the cold as myth would have you believe.  Well I suppose liquid oxygen cold. But •••• Corvettes crunch and the damage is no worse than it would be in the summer.  Same with Saturns. ( actual plastic bodies)  in fact pour warm water on damage and the plastic returns to stock. 

Ok, fair enough, I guess if you can hang a 600# 300hp outboard boat motor off of a fiberglass boat and then go crashing through waves at 70 mph, it could be used to used to support the normal loads of bouncing around the roads.  I'd like to see the high speed film of a McLaren passing it's barrier impact testing.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/29/23 8:48 p.m.
Driven5 said:

Even if 3D printed plastics (are we still talking recycled on top of that?) were the structural materials you are looking for, which they're not, 3D printing is FAR too slow per machine to be cost effective for major components at 1M/yr rates. You also just upped the size requirements for your factory, and all of the associated costs, by an order of magnitude. 

Could be.  Or maybe we could have  a massive amount of standard speed printers ;-) on the assembly line?  
      As far as recycled plastics go,  let's assume that it take some of A more of B plus a lot of C  etc. heated xyz for ? Minutes plus the addition of ???  To make the needed plastic to be used in the required 3D printer.  
  There are a lot of really smart people in this country and if we don't have enough let's import some more.   Really it's plastic. Not inventing rocket science.  I'm sure the right person can solve the issue.  
         Same with all the other obstructions  to making cheap transportation.  
   Hey if one guy can create a whole industry where everyone said it couldn't be done .then figure out a cheaper way to get into space.  Maybe he will colonize Mars. 
    Really all it takes is a can do attitude .  
         
   

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