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Transportation Earth Toys

The Lightning Hybrid and the Inizio EV 128

Posted by kdawson
from the zum-zum dept.
Mike writes "With auto show season hitting its stride, there's no shortage of incredible prototypes on display. First up is a brand new 100-mpg supercar by Lighting Hybrids. The biodiesel-fueled vehicle has its sights set on the automotive X prize and uses a hydraulic compression system to store energy from regenerative braking. Next, the Liv Inizio, a sleek fully-electric roadster that boasts a scorching top-speed of 150 mph and a 200-mile range, placing it in direct competition with the Tesla roadster."
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The Lightning Hybrid and the Inizio EV

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  • Price (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @01:53AM (#27237649) Journal

    Just so everyone knows:

    Tesla Roadster (all electric): $98,000
    Liv Inizio (all electric): $100,000
    Lightning Hybrids car (biodiesel): $39,000-$59,000

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fusionstein (1163067)

      Just to point out: 'biodiesel' = 'diesel'

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        i sill dont understand whats so great about biodiesel?
        i mean we burn our crops in our cars instead of using the fields to harvest food for people who are starving

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Tubal-Cain (1289912)
          You can't grow oil.
          And who says we need to be burning food crops?
          • Re:Price (Score:5, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @02:18AM (#27237803)

            You can grow oil.

            It just takes a long, long time.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by sortius_nod (1080919)

            No, you don't burn crops, you burn what is grown on land that could be used for crops driving the price of food up in 3rd world countries.

            Biodiesel is the bane of every food aid agency in the world.

            • Re:Price (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Smidge204 (605297) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @08:35AM (#27239563) Journal

              This argument assumes at least two things:

              1) That arable land is used for growing biofuel crops instead of food crops. There are many biofuel crops that will grow on land unsuitable for food crops.

              and

              2) That all arable land is used for growing food. The US has so much food growing capacity we actually pay farmers to NOT grow anything, since the abundant supply would ruin the value of the crops.

              I'm sure there are other glaring holes in your argument but that's what immediately comes to mind.
              =Smidge=

              • Re:Price (Score:4, Insightful)

                by smoker2 (750216) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @10:29AM (#27241039) Homepage Journal
                What you appear to miss is that the US offshores everything it can and so you end up with Brazilian rainforest cut down to grow crops for US bio-diesel, and existing third world subsistence farmers switching to bio-diesel crops because they are worth more money in exports than local market produce would bring. Meanwhile, YOUR farmers are still getting subsidies on excess corn production because that's the way it is.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by J05H (5625)

                #3 - mass-produced biodiesel in the future will be generated by algae in tanks, not crops grown in soil?

                • by Smidge204 (605297)

                  Those tanks will, presumably, be placed on top of soil somewhere. :)

                  =Smidge=

                  • by J05H (5625)

                    No, they'll be on concrete pads over gravel, with the top soil having been scraped off and sent to the organic farm of your choice! 8)

              • by w0mprat (1317953)
                Many of the most promising biofuel crop plants do not compete with food crops, as they grow in conditions that nothing else grows in. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatropha_oil [wikipedia.org]

                The plant yields more than four times as much fuel per hectare as soybean, and more than ten times that of maize (corn). A hectare of jatropha produces 1,892 litres of fuel.

                This is actually a good thing for the 3rd world as they tend to have most of the worst non-arible land.

                Biofuels will only impact food supply initially as farms of maize etc enjoy temporarily inflated prices as the craze gets underway, but ultimately biofuels from these kind of crops will out-compete food based sources.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by DuckDodgers (541817)
              It doesn't have to be that way. There is ongoing research to produce biodiesel from sources like Miscanthus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscanthus), Switchgrass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchgrass) or Algae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel). We'll do more harm than good to the environment as long as we continue using biofuels sourced from palm oil or corn, but with the right sources biofuels are a win.

              Any of those three sources I listed can be grown on land that is poorly suited to growi
        • I wholeheartedly agree! Furthermore, I demand we ship all those tonnes of wasted Algae to the starving people in third world countries!

          Side note: "Bio-" is a catch phase. Biodiesel and Oil were both created from Biological stuff, but we don't call oil "Biooil".

          • Re:Price (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MrNaz (730548) * on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @03:13AM (#27238047) Homepage

            Yea, because excess corn in the US finds its way into the mouths of starving Africans.

            The food shortage myth is propagated by oil companies so that whenever someone talks about a carbon cycle neutral crop alternative to fossil fuels, they can say "but think of the poor starving people!".If you want to know what big oil thinks about starving people go have a look at Shell's history of dealing with Nigerian villages, or Chevron's dealings with Ecuadorian natives. Big oil's obnoxious effort to feign concern over the welfare of the poverty stricken makes me sick.

            The only reason food crops (such as corn, which is horribly inefficient as a fuel crop) are used is due to the insane subsidies that the US government offers them. Of course, the US government would never subsidize proper fuel crops such as rapeseed, flax or linseed because that would step on the toes of big oil.

            So cut it out with the "think of the poor starving masses" rubbish please, it's so obviously a load of BS.

            • Re:Price (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @05:07AM (#27238515)
              The only reason food crops (such as corn, which is horribly inefficient as a fuel crop) are used is due to the insane subsidies that the US government offers them. Of course, the US government would never subsidize proper fuel crops such as rapeseed, flax or linseed because that would step on the toes of big oil.

              I don't think big oil is the problem. I think it's more about keeping the corn farmers happy.
              • by $1uck (710826)
                Is it really that difficult for a corn grower to move some or all of their production from corn to rapeseed/flax/linseed/ whatever crop is best for bio-diesel? IANAF, so serious question how difficult(expensive) would it be?
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by ArcherB (796902)

                  Is it really that difficult for a corn grower to move some or all of their production from corn to rapeseed/flax/linseed/ whatever crop is best for bio-diesel? IANAF, so serious question how difficult(expensive) would it be?

                  I am not a farmer either, well, not a professional one anyway. I do have one hell of tomato crop starting this year. Anyway, the areas that are ideal for growing corn may not be ideal for growing rapeseed/flax/linseed. You also have to consider the millions in investments (per farmer!) in equipment that is proprietary to corn farming like harvesters and such, that will become worthless if the farmers start growing switchgrass.

                • the subsidies go towards corn itself. Farmers could move to crops other than corn, but corn (as a food) is considered more important to promote the growth of than fuel-crops.

                  This is due to a combination of two factors:
                    - We've had food shortages in the past, while there have never been any fuel shortages, ever
                    - Food is vital to the survival, while Fuel is an unimportant luxury

              • The corn subsidies aren't to keep corn farmers "happy", it's to prevent the type of massive food shortage of the type which could easily happen if people only grew "as much as they needed to".

                Grow "only as much as you need" (as any sensible businessman would do)
                Subtract "as much as is wiped out due to an unexpected event"
                and you have:
                "less than as much as you need"

                Same logic as banks which stopped paying into FDIC when "the interest in there is enough to cover what we would be paying in anyway!".

                Som

              • I don't think big oil is the problem. I think it's more about keeping the corn farmers happy.

                Big corn?

              • I so *wish* I was kidding. I hate the taste of most fizzy drinks in the U.S. everything's got 'high fructose corn syrup' in it. Disguise it as you might try, there's that hint of raw corn (grab some raw corn on the cob, squish the juice out of some of the corns, taste.. that's what it tastes like) that ruins the drink for me. I actually -prefer- the 'soda fountain' drinks over bottled/canned drinks for that reason - they seem to use different sweeteners.

                Maybe I'd get used to it over time, but I'd rather

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Yea, because excess corn in the US finds its way into the mouths of starving Africans.

              Corn prices rising due to wrongheaded ethanol production (making fuel from topsoil is fucking stupid - especially from crops fertilized with petroleum products) is not a myth, it most certainly is affecting the average Mexican family.

              The only reason food crops (such as corn, which is horribly inefficient as a fuel crop) are used is due to the insane subsidies that the US government offers them

              That is correct. You can get paid to inefficiently produce corn, which is at best what, 15% energy-positive or so? It takes a shitload of water, too, although if you're not eating the corn the water need not be all that clean I guess. At least not bacteriologically.

              Of course, the US government would never subsidize proper fuel crops such as rapeseed, flax or linseed because that would step on the toes of big oil.

              There is no

              • Re:Price (Score:5, Informative)

                by afidel (530433) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @09:36AM (#27240217)
                There is no such thing as a "proper fuel crop" except algae, the only feedstock crop which is not topsoil-based, and thus the only one we should be using.

                While I agree in general (not using food as fuel) I also have to point out that Jatropha is another good candidate for fuel production. Jatropha grows in very poor soil with very little water needed and produces seeds which are 1/3rd oil. I'm not sure what huge kind of acerage you would need to supply world energy demands but not every solution has to do it all. Algae is great if you have the water and the infrastructure to support that kind of production, but it's definitely possible that poorer places may need a different form of production which is less capital intensive.
                • by drinkypoo (153816)

                  Algae is great if you have the water and the infrastructure to support that kind of production, but it's definitely possible that poorer places may need a different form of production which is less capital intensive.

                  Capital intensive? Almost everyone has the water because algae will grow happily in dirty water, making it cleaner. As for capital, algae is produced in raceway ponds which could be made of mud-baked clay and waterproofed with cactus juice (not kidding, look it up.) Centrifuges can be made from old oil drums etc; biodiesel processors can be made from old propane and refrigerant tanks, and more oil drums. If you don't have the means to produce algae fuels, you probably can't make them from jatropha either. A

                  • by afidel (530433)
                    Oh, I guess if you just want to use a pond to do it you can, but that's not a useful way to produce algae oil, to do it in a practical manner you need much better sun exposure and a way to get more CO2 to the algae than simple surface diffusion allows. The answer is large vats of glass with injected CO2, but as I said that's relatively capital intensive.
                    • by drinkypoo (153816)

                      Oh, I guess if you just want to use a pond to do it you can, but that's not a useful way to produce algae oil, to do it in a practical manner you need much better sun exposure and a way to get more CO2 to the algae than simple surface diffusion allows.

                      That's really not true. There is quite good sunlight penetration including UV to about 1 foot of water. You use a paddlewheel (typ. solar or wind powered but any form of motive force works, and not much is necessary) to achieve mixture and agitation.

                  • by fifedrum (611338)

                    I believe algea for fuel use will be grown vertically in large bags made of two long flat pieces of plastic.

                    See Invasion of the Body Snatchers in your head, with long rows of flat bags hanging in the desert. Instead of bodies in the bags, see green oily soon-to-be fuel.

                    A factory worker friend of mine told me to think like him, instead of an engineer for a minute and see two long rolls of plastic wrap on their spools. The same plastic that's made of dino-oil, of course, but could be made of bio-fuels.

                    One rol

                • by Shark (78448)

                  I'm not sure if it's just propaganda by big-pot, but isn't hemp one of easiest and best-yielding crop?

                  • by afidel (530433)
                    Nah, hemp is fairly low yield per acre (about a half ton of seeds that contain only 30% oil) and requires much better soil than Jatropha. Cellulose based ethanol from hemp is a non-starter as well.
        • Re:Price (Score:5, Informative)

          by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @03:02AM (#27237997) Homepage Journal

          ``i sill dont understand whats so great about biodiesel?''

          What is great about it is that the CO_2 you realease into the atmosphere when you burn it has first been extracted from the atmosphere while the crops you make it from were growing. In other words, biodiesel is CO_2 neutral: it does not add to the total amount of CO_2 to the atmosphere. It is often also cleaner than regular diesel in other ways, e.g. it contains no sulphur.

          ``i mean we burn our crops in our cars instead of using the fields to harvest food for people who are starving''

          We can do that (and that certainly happens), but we can also make biodiesel from things that don't use up land that could be used for farming food crops. The crops that are best for feeding people and the crops that have the best yield for making bio fuel are not the same. Algae, for example, have very high oil yield and will grow on water, and even on desert land. If we do it right, we can produce bio fuels in addition to food.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by anagama (611277)

            I'm not saying biodiesel is bad, but realize that it won't be carbon neutral. This is because we basically eat natural gas, NG being the main feedstock for ammonia, which of course becomes fertilizer. Because our food isn't carbon neutral, it won't make carbon neutral fuel.

            Perhaps someday fueling stations will sell diesel, biodiesel, and organic-biodiesel for successively greater prices. But we'll never ever be able to replace the energy we get out of mineral oil with organic-biodiesel for a price anywhe

            • by anagama (611277)

              I should have included a link to the NG to ammonia process (Haber-Bosch): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haber_process [wikipedia.org]

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by vlm (69642)

              This is because we basically eat natural gas, NG being the main feedstock for ammonia, which of course becomes fertilizer.

              Its far worse than that because of diesel used for transportation and tractors and insecticides and, well, everything else.

              http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915 [harpers.org]

              "Every single calorie we eat is backed by at least a calorie of oil, more like ten."

              The theoildrum.com scientists seem to think ten is much more correct, a blathering mainstream media claims its 1:1, so it's probably somewhere in between, probably much closer to the scientists on theoildrum than to some magazine journalist. So, you can turn

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Lumpy (12016)

                After a multi-hour 30 mile bike ride I am very hungry and can easily eat two pounds of food (and still lose weight, if it's salad and not eight quarter pounders with cheese and bacon).

                Because you are riding a low efficiency junker.

                Upgrade to a recumbent velomobile and your efficiency goes up DRASTICALLY. your comparison on biking is like comparing a Honda insight to a Hummer H1 driven in 1st gear the whole way. Your bicycle, yes even that overpriced $4500.00 trendy bike is a piece of crap in aerodynamic

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by maxume (22995)

                Feel free to stop glad-handing yourself anytime. 7000 Calories (That's 2 pounds of pure fat, you pretty much can't digest anything more energy dense than that) is equivalent to (just under) 0.21 gallons of gasoline. That ends up being about 1.3 pounds of the stuff. So using the 10:1, that's 13 pounds (or about 2 gallons) of gasoline that went into feeding you 7000 Calories of fat. If you use a more reasonable number that includes water weight and non-fat foods, you are going to get something less than a gal

              • by wrook (134116)

                2 pounds of vegetables costs between $1-$2. 3 gallons of gasoline costs about $5.

                Now this is an inaccurate measurement (the cost of gasoline and food is inflated to the consumer and doesn't necessarily reflect the cost at production). But regardless, they aren't spending more money on oil than they are charging at the register.

                While I personally believe oil is a large percentage of the final price of food, it's nowhere near what this article is suggesting. Even still, I think it's a good idea to grow your

                • by M-RES (653754)

                  Even still, I think it's a good idea to grow your own wherever possible...

                  Are you advocating growing cannabis? hehe ;)

              • My car gets about 30 MPG and after a half hour 30 mile drive is thirsty for a gallon of gas. After a multi-hour 30 mile bike ride I am very hungry and can easily eat two pounds of food (and still lose weight, if it's salad and not eight quarter pounders with cheese and bacon). Anyway, that two pounds of food obviously takes twenty pounds of gasoline to grow and process and ship and cook. Now at 6 pounds of aviation gas per gallon (note I am not a pilot, but that is my fuzzy memory from wanting to be a pilot decades ago) that would make a bit over 3 gallons of gas to grow the food to bicycle 30 miles.

                Your argument only works if you assume that otherwise you would not have consumed those 2lbs of food. Obesity-associated illness trends [nih.gov], in the USA at least, would indicate otherwise. By biking, you burn calories you would be eating anyway, improve your health, and save gas too.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              I'm not saying biodiesel is bad, but realize that it won't be carbon neutral. This is because we basically eat natural gas, NG being the main feedstock for ammonia, which of course becomes fertilizer. Because our food isn't carbon neutral, it won't make carbon neutral fuel.

              This objection does not apply to biodiesel from algae, the only viable feedstock. Fuels based on topsoils are idiotic not for the reason you describe, which is not a requirement for growing these crops; they're stupid because they deplete the soil. You can grow them in guilds but then they're hard to harvest, especially efficiently enough for feedstocks. Algae does not need to be purchased (it comes free with the air) and is easy to harvest, and a plant is coming online shortly [gas2.org]. This technology was develope

            • organic-biodiesel

              Isn't that redundant?

              • by hb253 (764272)
                I'm waiting for cage-free free-range organic community supported biodiesel.
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          "i mean we burn our crops in our cars instead of using the fields to harvest food for people who are starving"

          I think if you look at the average American, you can see we definitely have NO problem with starvation here.

        • So your argument is: "Why should farmers grow something which they can sell, when they could be dedicating the same amount of time/energy/labor/resources towards growing so much excess that they have no choice but to give it away?"

          That is what you're saying, right? just so we're clear.

        • by furby076 (1461805)
          I wouldn't worry about burning crops so much. Two reasons:
          1) Certain people will specifically be farmers for the fuel industry so it won't have a negative impact on our food sources. Farming is completely sustainable. The US only utilizes a small percentage of it's land for crop farming. We could double that usage and still not feel any negative effects. In fact more crops = more plants creating oxygen.
          2) The US has very strict regulations with regards to food. If a farm product does not meet certain
        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          The breakthrough we're all waiting for is a decent biofuel crop that can grow where edible crops can't, meaning we can double our agricultural output.

          There are a few candidates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_vs_fuel#Non-food_crops_for_biofuel), but at the moment we're still mostly just burning food.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KnightMB (823876)
      The guys at this forum have already done many projects similar to this at a fraction of the cost. I guess for a sports car, the cost is about right, but not everyone needs to do 150 mph. Sometimes people just want to the take the family and friends out to dinner, doesn't look like you'll fit more than a few people in most of those. It's still cool though that more are interested in building electric hot rods instead of the ICE counterparts.

      Find a lot of the pioneers in the forum below.
      http://endless-sph [endless-sphere.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        Actually...these performance cars, that don't look like a fugly Prius...are the only things that are starting to garner my attention. I'm all for performance, and something that looks like a sports car.

        If they could get these down to the Vette price range, I'd be all over buying one. If they can get them into the $50K-$65K range, put me on the list.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about a cheap, regular electric car I can drive every day instead of overpriced sports models? I am no car fan, I sometimes use a car to drive my ass and my bicycle from point A to point B, and I see no reason whatsoever to spend on a car that can do stuff I don't need.

      Get me something moderately fast, reliable, not really ugly and reasonably priced that I can plug ... and drive.

    • by Mask (87752)

      Just so everyone knows:

      Tesla Roadster (all electric): $98,000

      Liv Inizio (all electric): $100,000

      Lightning Hybrids car (biodiesel): $39,000-$59,000

      After taxes it should cost like my house.
      My bank will surely give me a mortgage for one of those. This investment is definitely safer than what they had been doing a couple of years ago.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "After taxes it should cost like my house.

        My bank will surely give me a mortgage for one of those. This investment is definitely safer than what they had been doing a couple of years ago."

        You know..I really don't know why people are so shocked and all that houses went down in value...??

        I mean, they are a commodity just like anything else...they can go down in value.

        I'm particularly blown away by people complaining, and apparently going to get bailed out because they are 'upside down' in their homes. Wh

        • ...and apparently going to get bailed out because they are 'upside down' in their homes. Why?

          The problem isn't necessarily that their homes lost value. The problem is that they made the stupid decision to get adjustable-rate mortgages and can't afford to pay since the rate went up, but can't refinance because the bank won't give them a loan for more than the property is worth. The root problem was idiots buying things they couldn't afford, but the drop in values exacerbated it.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Yup. toys for the rich only....

      Call me when they have a hybrid that sells for less than $15,000. And even then it will only be available to the upper class poor. ($35,000 a year and less income)

      The sweet spot to get this to the masses is $9,999.99 Even a 2 seater at that price will change the world, well not the world, they already have cheap, high efficiency cars in europe. Change the USA.

    • by loshwomp (468955)

      Tesla Roadster (all electric): $98,000

      Slightly available.

      Liv Inizio (all electric): $100,000

      Imaginary.

      Lightning Hybrids car (biodiesel): $39,000-$59,000

      Imaginary.

      • Regarding the Inizio, FTA:

        While the date for release is still a bit sketchy, the first vehicle already has an owner - it was sold for $100,000 at a Sam's Club.

  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @02:14AM (#27237773) Journal

    See? Told ya they've been holding out. Put that fancy secret carburetor that Exxon has under wraps on there and you'll get 200.

  • Looking at the pictures, somehow I don't think it'd do too well up here in central Alaska.
  • batteries (Score:3, Interesting)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @02:27AM (#27237847)
    what is the cost and environmental impact of a car full of batteries? how do the batteries perform after 10 years?
    • by nrgy (835451) *

      Not being rude in any way but how or what else are cars that don't run gas supposed to use if not batteries?

      I don't think (would love to be proven wrong of course) that any solution for travel will ever not have an impact on th environment. I'd even wager that getting above 50% would be a dream come true.

      I just don't understand what we are supposed to use when I see comments like yours about a new technology that is better then the current. Gotta start somewhere no?

      • by Shatrat (855151)

        I just don't understand what we are supposed to use when I see comments like yours about a new technology that is better then the current. Gotta start somewhere no?

        (emphasis added)
        How can you say it is better than the current, if it all going into a junkyard or landfill 10 years from now?
        Without knowing the answer to the GPs question, you can't.

        We've already 'started somewhere', it would be smart to make sure the next step is an improvement and not a step in the wrong direction (not saying that this is, but just assuming $FAVORITEGREENPOWER is better without examining it is foolhardy).

    • by tftp (111690)

      If you must ask these questions then you can't afford the car.

      This is exactly why all three vehicles are "super-luxury" cars, where cost does not matter. Manufacturers (tiny shops) can afford to assemble each car by hand and there is enough money left to grow business. A car for everyone (Smart, Prius etc.) must be made by robots, and in quantity, to have a reasonably low cost. No small business can sink a billion dollars on an assembly plant.

      • by Brickwall (985910)
        Quite seriously - I think there are going to be auto plants in Canada and the US going for quite reasonable prices (i.e. much less than a billion) in the very near future. The Canadian government (where many assembly plants are) would definitely provide bridge loans to anyone with a credible business plan. In addition, Canadian-based Magna is one of the largest parts makers in the world, and they have already expressed some interest in partnering with Ford on an advanced hybrid. If one of the modern Chrysle
        • by afidel (530433)
          An auto plant is a LOT more than just a building, it is a complex system of interlinked parts. Modern plants are designed by machine (the CAM in CAD/CAM) to optimize workflow and fit all the necessary steps into the given footprint. The cost of simply changing an engine plant from one line to another can reach into the hundreds of millions and since Ford built River Rouge I don't believe anyone has done an integrated assembly plant, they are all cogs in the bigger machine that is an auto company with inputs
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        If you must ask these questions then you can't afford the car.

        I don't think he was asking for himself. I think he was asking for the whole human race. And I agree with your assessment, even if you didn't realize what you were making it on; If we (as a species) have to ask these question, then we (again, as a species) can't afford these cars. The simple truth is that a TDI-engined VW gets better mileage than a similar gasoline hybrid, does it on a fuel which takes less energy to produce and can run on fuel produced from algae, and has a dramatically lower initial energ

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ... because distributing your pollution across the environment over 10+ years is much better than having a single contained and recyclable problem after 10+ years are up, right?

  • I don't care about a sedan; I commute alone, and so do millions of others. Start mass-producing these things, for the love of my wallet: http://www.rqriley.com/xr3.htm [rqriley.com]
  • They don't appear to have enough wherewithal in that little shop to produce an actual production automobile in a year.

    But I may be wrong.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Clockwinder (1256918)
      Lots of private companies have tried to build electric and other high mileage cars, most never succeed.

      Several years ago I was closely following a company called ZAP(zero auto pollution). They promised MANY nice affordable electric cars. None have made it or been sold in USA, except one called the Zebra. The one I wanted was call an Obvio.Here is an Article about some of the ZAP stuff. http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/the-zap-x-and-a.html [wired.com]

      I think its great that innovative people are trying, and we s
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      All they need is an established car manufacturer to buy the patent/concept of the car and there you go. It takes very little retrofitting for an established car company to change production types. In fact there is no real reason a company MUST use that body type, they just need the engine type. 2010 seems a little early for concept car that has no prototype. Once they have a working prototype that is a different story. I am thinking if they can get a major car company to buy it, once they get their 10
  • Inizio EV? Don't bother, it's just another money grab by Verisign! This, time, really really really secure.
  • Enjoy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have a virtual bridge I'd like to sell all their customers.

    Also the slashdot article should read future tense ("will use" and "will boast" instead of "uses" and "boasts"), as all we've seen so far are videos of a prototype (with no airbags, carbon fiber body and 6 figure price tag) and some pretty 3d models.

  • *Snore* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @03:56AM (#27238231) Journal

    Please wake me, when they start building family cars at affordable prices...

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      "Please wake me, when they start building family cars at affordable prices..."

      Yeah...like that is exciting. *snore* indeed.

      :)

      If they can get the Inzo or Tesla in the $55K range...THEN I'm interested. Then again, I've never owned anything by 2 seat sports cars in my life.

  • Family car (Score:2, Interesting)

    by calagan800xl (1001055)
    I think there's a bigger need for a decently-sized, affordable electric car than a Tesla Competitor. That's why EV Innovations' PT Cruiser conversion (Liv Surge), priced at 55K seems much more interesting.
    • by afidel (530433)
      $55k for a battery powered NEON?!? You have GOT to be kidding me, that's the stupidest idea ever. I'm sorry but doing a 4 door Volt seems like a much better idea, and in fact the test mule for the Volt is a Malibu so Chevy could actually do it if they wanted to.
  • by bvimo (780026)
    Lighting or lightning, can somebody fix the fine summary.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:49AM (#27239235)

    In a car? The safety issues with the high pressures required aside , how reliable would this be over the cars lifetime and what would the maintenance costs be? Also I don't see how you can provide 150hp for any useful length of time from a pressure vessel that needs to fit into a sports car chassis. Call me cynical but I'll wait for v2.0 before I part with any cash for something like this.

    • by necro81 (917438)
      Hydraulic accumulators generally have greater power density (W/kg, or W/L) than batteries+motors, even though their energy density (Whr/kg or Whr/L) is less. They aren't positioning these cars to compete with plug-in hybrids that can do your commute on a single charge. They are competing with the Prius and other current gas+electric hybrids where the hybrid configuration provides acceleration boosts and regenerative braking; thus get better gas mileage by running a smaller internal combustion engine more
    • by smoker2 (750216)
      Safety issues with high pressures ?
      You do realise that your car runs on harnessing explosions (actually controlled burns - but fast). How do you get any power except by harnessing pressure and releasing it in a controlled fashion.

      The pressure on the piston in a steam engine was only around 7psi for a 100HP engine (obviously quite a large piston for 100HP). I don't get how they are proposing a hydraulically pressurised system. You can't compress a fluid, and if it's hydraulic it isn't using air/steam. The
      • by Ken_g6 (775014)

        It's a hydraulic hybrid, so despite the name Lightning, there is no electric motor. If it's a serial hybrid, it probably uses a hydraulic motor [wikipedia.org], powered by hydraulic fluid moved either by the diesel engine or by gas compressed in a piston (the pressure vessel).

  • The Lightning Hybrid looks more like a coupe then a sedan. It's two doors short of a sedan. Other then that it looks sexy, and at 39000-59000 it is closer to the range of affordable...not so much for middle class folks (unless you like to live on a lean budget which is economically a poor choice) but definitely for those making 75,000+
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Saw the pictures, getting into the backseat requires tilting the front seats forward...still not a sedan. Also, three wheels = tipping hazard. And last but not least -- it's all digitized, where's the actual working model? I am glad on paper they broke the 100 MPG value but what about RL?
  • ..."a sleek fully-electric roadster that boasts a scorching top-speed of 150 mph and a 200-mile range, placing it in direct competition with the Tesla roadster."

    I'm sorry, did I miss something? Is NASCAR looking for a eco-friendly division?

    Just curious if the Engineering team has ever heard of the term "target market" before. Average Joe isn't exactly looking for a 150MPH supercar for his/her next eco-friendly daily driver...I'm all for millions in R&D and innovation, when there's a point.

    • by CompMD (522020)

      Actually, if NASCAR were looking for an eco-friendly division, the amount of funding for alternate fuel vehicles would probably skyrocket, consumer prices would come down, engineering quality would go up, and we'd all have awesome cars.

  • FTFS:

    First up is a brand new 100-mpg supercar by Lighting Hybrids.

    FTFA:

    Loveland, Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids has its sights set on the $10 million automotive x-prize with a sleek biodiesel-fueled vehicle that they claim will break the 100MPG barrier for a production sedan. Once completed, their hydraulic hybrid prototype will boast 240 hp, a carbon fiber chassis, and a 0-60 speed of 5.9 seconds.

    5.9 seconds is NOT supercar territory. It's actually in family sedan territory nowadays. In the late 70s/ear

  • I was under the impression that hydraulics was one of the least efficient methods of transmitting power to the wheels, due to fluid friction. You've got a rotary bio-diesel engine running a compressor to compress fluid in a tank, a hydraulic line to the motor, then a turbine or some other mechanism to convert compressed fluid back into rotary motion to drive the wheels. Any hydraulic engineers want to estimate the losses in this system? Hydraulics is great to use as a force multiplier (just use a much small
    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      INAE: I'm not an engineer but hydraulic drives can be made pretty efficient, indeed they are pretty well developed and widely used in many applications. Where the efficiency can be found in hydraulics the relatively ease with which you can recover and reuse energy. These generally make electric energy recovery systems look pretty inefficient.

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