CalCars... Taking a Prius Hybrid to 100+ MPG!

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So Laura heads to Maker Faire and gets indepth information on those ridiculously high gas prices. Okay, well kind of. She talks to the founder of CalCars and learns how they can convert a Toyota Prius so that it can be charged using your household electricity ... power that is a whole lot cheaper than the gas a normal Prius uses to generate all of its electric power. Learn how they make this work, and how much easier it would be for Toyota to make their hybrids work this way in the first place. Enjoy! Oh and Laura's not so bad either.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      interesting new bug. lol

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      interesting new bug. lol

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      FOUND THE VIDEO.... It's 1 pixel by 1 pixel.... if you squint real hard you can see it...

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      FOUND THE VIDEO.... It's 1 pixel by 1 pixel.... if you squint real hard you can see it...

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      On a seperate note: Eating 3 packs of orange tictacs have made my tongue numb....

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      On a seperate note: Eating 3 packs of orange tictacs have made my tongue numb....

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      see... i knew video viagra would work

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      see... i knew video viagra would work

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      Cool how they are hooking up hybrids. Relatively speaking, gas is way too expensive up in hea, and FL doesn't have a real mass transit system in effect. pita

      Now only if we could have Hydrogen Powered Vehicles.... That would be cool.

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      Cool how they are hooking up hybrids. Relatively speaking, gas is way too expensive up in hea, and FL doesn't have a real mass transit system in effect. pita

      Now only if we could have Hydrogen Powered Vehicles.... That would be cool.

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      my tongue is not numb anymore but it's still kinda raw and sensitive. damn tictacs

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      my tongue is not numb anymore but it's still kinda raw and sensitive. damn tictacs

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      I've been following hybrid technology closely these past two years, but I still think its the wrong direction.  Electric engines are complex and use alot of power while the internal combustion block is still dependant on gasoline.  Even if you rebuild the electric power block to handle all the load, the engine still draws too much power and can be maintenace intensive.  Plugging your car in is convenient, but it draws alot of power that is still coming off the grid from some polluting power station somewhere, unless your home is solar powered or something...doubtful considering the low current of solar power.  Anyway, I'd rather see us developing full ethanol or hydrogen powered cars that burn or vaporize cleanly.  That's unlikely considering all the special interests in Washington.  Too many politicians have become too rich on oil, and won't let us get off it anytime soon.

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      I've been following hybrid technology closely these past two years, but I still think its the wrong direction.  Electric engines are complex and use alot of power while the internal combustion block is still dependant on gasoline.  Even if you rebuild the electric power block to handle all the load, the engine still draws too much power and can be maintenace intensive.  Plugging your car in is convenient, but it draws alot of power that is still coming off the grid from some polluting power station somewhere, unless your home is solar powered or something...doubtful considering the low current of solar power.  Anyway, I'd rather see us developing full ethanol or hydrogen powered cars that burn or vaporize cleanly.  That's unlikely considering all the special interests in Washington.  Too many politicians have become too rich on oil, and won't let us get off it anytime soon.

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      I'm guessing Laura is away at E3 and this week will be almost all Tina all the time!  Hell yeah.

      Has anyone else noticed that Tina always leaves exclamation marks after her segments?  Very enthusiastic.

      Finally, nice shirt T-Dub.  I wish Tommy T. would do a concert close to me sometime.  I've heard alot of good things about Video Games Live!

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      I'm guessing Laura is away at E3 and this week will be almost all Tina all the time!  Hell yeah.

      Has anyone else noticed that Tina always leaves exclamation marks after her segments?  Very enthusiastic.

      Finally, nice shirt T-Dub.  I wish Tommy T. would do a concert close to me sometime.  I've heard alot of good things about Video Games Live!

    • User profile image
      Duncanma
      It is interesting that both you and njcu mentioned hydrogen powered cars... I spoke to the engineers working on the CalCar conversion and they were very convincing that Hydrogen is not the answer and that the Hybrid technology is a better direction for now. You have to consider the practical side; the infrastructure for hydrogen fueling stations doesn't exist, while everything we need for a car like the CalCar already does... and if you are unable to recharge the car, you can just use more gas and you are still able to get where you need to go. Of course, ethanol is an important option for the fuel for a hybrid vehicle... and it can be dispensed through the existing network of fueling stations.

      I'll let the CalCar guys know that folks are discussing this here though and perhaps they can give some more knowledgable comments Smiley
    • User profile image
      Angela

      I wouldn't hold my breathe for hydrogen cars. I also think they're not the answer, not for the next couple dozen years.

      Hybrids and these PHEVs are still too expensive for the average person. It would be one thing to spend the money upfront to purchase the car, if you are going to make your money back in the long run. That doesn't seem likely from what I've read about average savings on gas. The technology has to keep progressing to lower upfront costs. Practicality is what's going to be the key to reaching the most people about changing their minds on using alternative means for travel.

    • User profile image
      Angela

      I wouldn't hold my breathe for hydrogen cars. I also think they're not the answer, not for the next couple dozen years.

      Hybrids and these PHEVs are still too expensive for the average person. It would be one thing to spend the money upfront to purchase the car, if you are going to make your money back in the long run. That doesn't seem likely from what I've read about average savings on gas. The technology has to keep progressing to lower upfront costs. Practicality is what's going to be the key to reaching the most people about changing their minds on using alternative means for travel.

    • User profile image
      Angela

      Demand is high (and rising), so even if the price is less, the quantity sold would make up for that. I would think. Plus, a lower tag price would tap into a whole other demographic. The non-environmentally conscience person would be tempted to make the switch. Maybe for economic reasons, but who cares it would get the same outcome for the environment which is what matters.

    • User profile image
      Angela

      Demand is high (and rising), so even if the price is less, the quantity sold would make up for that. I would think. Plus, a lower tag price would tap into a whole other demographic. The non-environmentally conscience person would be tempted to make the switch. Maybe for economic reasons, but who cares it would get the same outcome for the environment which is what matters.

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      Thanks for the imput, Duncan.  My interest in hydrogen powered cars stems from environmental concerns, mainly global warming and sulfuric rain.  Even ethanol engines have to combust the fuel, and while this equals a quick solution to adapt to our current infastructure, it still contibutes to our gross carbon output into the atmosphere.  The only biproduct of hydrogen fuel cells is water vapor, safe and clean.  I would agree that this is an expensive and difficult solution to our problems and it requires alot more research, but I think it might be just the thing we need.

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      Thanks for the imput, Duncan.  My interest in hydrogen powered cars stems from environmental concerns, mainly global warming and sulfuric rain.  Even ethanol engines have to combust the fuel, and while this equals a quick solution to adapt to our current infastructure, it still contibutes to our gross carbon output into the atmosphere.  The only biproduct of hydrogen fuel cells is water vapor, safe and clean.  I would agree that this is an expensive and difficult solution to our problems and it requires alot more research, but I think it might be just the thing we need.

    • User profile image
      Martino A. Sabia

      I think that this is a great solution to avoid be victim of oil. But, isn't electric energy even so difficult to produce? I think this kind of solution solves only part of the trouble, i think we even need new ways, economically ways, to produce and deploy electrical enery.

      Btw, i love your shirt Tina Big Smile (even if I'm not american).

    • User profile image
      Martino A. Sabia

      I think that this is a great solution to avoid be victim of oil. But, isn't electric energy even so difficult to produce? I think this kind of solution solves only part of the trouble, i think we even need new ways, economically ways, to produce and deploy electrical enery.

      Btw, i love your shirt Tina Big Smile (even if I'm not american).

    • User profile image
      Martino A. Sabia

      but hydrogen doesn't exist in nature and you have to produce it starting from... water. AFAIK to obtain a 1KWh of enery produced by Hydrogen you have to spend 3 to produce it! I think that with todays problems to produce electrical energy, hydrogen isn't a good solution... IMHO.

    • User profile image
      Martino A. Sabia

      but hydrogen doesn't exist in nature and you have to produce it starting from... water. AFAIK to obtain a 1KWh of enery produced by Hydrogen you have to spend 3 to produce it! I think that with todays problems to produce electrical energy, hydrogen isn't a good solution... IMHO.

    • User profile image
      tomdriscoll

      This is terrific!  When all carmakers offer these great plug in hybrid cars, we can cut our gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions tremendously, as well as save lots of money for ourselves instead of sending it overseas for oil.  Tell the automakers and the politicians that you want these right away!

    • User profile image
      tomdriscoll

      This is terrific!  When all carmakers offer these great plug in hybrid cars, we can cut our gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions tremendously, as well as save lots of money for ourselves instead of sending it overseas for oil.  Tell the automakers and the politicians that you want these right away!

    • User profile image
      tomdriscoll

      The cost to manufacture Plug in hybrids would drop dramatically if built that way from the ground up.  Also, the battery technology is moving forward quickly.  In addition to big improvements in Lithium batteries, Firefly is a year or so away from offering a lead acid battery that will rival Nimh batteries in power density and handling at a fraction of the cost and about the same durablility.  When these are widely availalbe, look for plug in hybrids and all electric vehicles to be far more affordable and practical.

    • User profile image
      tomdriscoll

      The cost to manufacture Plug in hybrids would drop dramatically if built that way from the ground up.  Also, the battery technology is moving forward quickly.  In addition to big improvements in Lithium batteries, Firefly is a year or so away from offering a lead acid battery that will rival Nimh batteries in power density and handling at a fraction of the cost and about the same durablility.  When these are widely availalbe, look for plug in hybrids and all electric vehicles to be far more affordable and practical.

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      this is true, there is no infrastructure nor is there a very effiecient way of producing Hydrogen in such large quantities efficiently. I see hybrids and electric vehicles as stepping stones to hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe, kinda hard to run out of. The US can presently produce hydrogen somewhat easily.

      There was a time when there was no infrastructure for gasoline, as more and more people adopted this fuel source and created a demand more and more stations were built. Refineries cleaned up and made making fuel faster and more efficient.

      The same should be true for hydrogen and argueably solar power(heard there was some breakthroughs recently turning out 10x's the amount of power), i think we are just dragging our feet for the inevitable. It's gonna happen, whether it takes 10 years or a 100 years. I'm sure the oil comapnies want it to be the latter and since they run this country it probalby will be.

    • User profile image
      Rafael Nieves

      this is true, there is no infrastructure nor is there a very effiecient way of producing Hydrogen in such large quantities efficiently. I see hybrids and electric vehicles as stepping stones to hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe, kinda hard to run out of. The US can presently produce hydrogen somewhat easily.

      There was a time when there was no infrastructure for gasoline, as more and more people adopted this fuel source and created a demand more and more stations were built. Refineries cleaned up and made making fuel faster and more efficient.

      The same should be true for hydrogen and argueably solar power(heard there was some breakthroughs recently turning out 10x's the amount of power), i think we are just dragging our feet for the inevitable. It's gonna happen, whether it takes 10 years or a 100 years. I'm sure the oil comapnies want it to be the latter and since they run this country it probalby will be.

    • User profile image
      Kent Sharkey

      It does depend on how the electricity is generated: coal/gas == bad, hydro == better, solar == better still, except for the solar panel production, wind/geothermal/wave/tide == better still.
      There are clean electricity sources, and battery plants (being point sources) aren't as bad at polluting as the many cars out there.

    • User profile image
      Kent Sharkey

      It does depend on how the electricity is generated: coal/gas == bad, hydro == better, solar == better still, except for the solar panel production, wind/geothermal/wave/tide == better still.
      There are clean electricity sources, and battery plants (being point sources) aren't as bad at polluting as the many cars out there.

    • User profile image
      MarkN

      Especially one of these CalCars!

    • User profile image
      MarkN

      Especially one of these CalCars!

    • User profile image
      Clint Comer

      That would be so sweet.

    • User profile image
      Clint Comer

      That would be so sweet.

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