Dieselgate and CO2 emissions

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Volkswagen was caught cheating on emissions testing with their 2009-2016 diesels. Recently, a proposed settlement including a buyback program (as well as, potentially, a fix) has been announced for the 2009-2015 2.0 liter vehicles. One concern, however, is the CO2 emissions impact of this buyback – both in terms of manufacturing emissions, and in terms of fuel consumption. Continue reading “Dieselgate and CO2 emissions”

Cool airplane-based 3-wheel vehicle build on Hemmings

Stumbled on a cool airplane-based 3-wheeled vehicle build on the Hemmings blog tonight, and it’s for sale.

This thing is really friggin cool. Execution of the nose is a bit weak, but… I really like the layout.

Now I want to find a damaged four-place single-engine low-wing plane and do that myself. Two ways to get reverse, really – use the GL1500 drivetrain like that guy did as-is (I’d want Megasquirt and taller gearing, though), or do a through-the-road hybrid system with the hybrid system on the front wheels, and implementing reverse. That allows one to use the GL1200 fuel injected driveline instead – less displacement, lower cylinder count, etc., etc.

With a GL1500 megasquirted, I’m thinking it’d get around 70-75 highway, 40-50 city.

With a GL1200 FI and a hybrid system, 75-85 mpg highway, 60-90 city depending on how well the hybrid system is tuned.

Weight would be in the 1200-1500 pound ballpark I think, both engines are in the 90-100 hp ballpark (the GL1500 was all about more torque), so you’d be looking at 0-60 times in the 5-7 second ballpark, top speeds probably 140-150 mph (quite low drag), although you won’t want to go that fast.

And, it’d be a more practical layout than my main 3-wheeler project idea if executed properly – 4 seats plus some (not much) cargo room, instead of 1 normal seat, 1 barely usable seat, and less cargo room. Downside is, production would be less practical – it ain’t cheap to build things this light new. Piper wants $301,500 for an Archer TX – even if you go with the “half of the plane price goes to the lawyers” rule, and even if you knock $100k off for not needing all the FAA certs and the Lycoming engine and all, you’re still looking at $50k.

Why long haul trucking is an awful idea, and rail is far better for long-distance transport

Semi trucks are a common sight on American roadways, crossing the country, delivering goods quickly.

However, they’re actually a huge problem for our economy. They put tremendous strain on our infrastructure (and they don’t pay their way for their damage to our infrastructure), they’re inefficient compared to trains, and they present a serious safety risk to car traffic.

In my opinion, long haul trucking activity in the US should be extremely reduced. Read on for why that is the case. Continue reading “Why long haul trucking is an awful idea, and rail is far better for long-distance transport”