View Full Version : Volkswagen 1-Liter Car
05-29-02, 11:45 AM
On April 16th, 2002, Volkswagen introduced a prototype of the world's most economical car licensed for road use. The 1-Liter Car gets approximately 239 mpg fuel economy, or 100 km per 1-liter of fuel burned. It is aerodynamically shaped, and weighs just 290 kg (comparable to a lightweight motorcycle with 1/10th the air resistance), so that an 8.5-horsepower engine gives lively acceleration and agile performance. In its debut testdrive on the Autobahn in Germany it covered 230 km on just 2.1 liters of diesel, at an average speed of 75 km/hr (46.6 mph), and a top speed of 120 km/hr (72 mph). With a 6.6-liter fuel tank, it can travel 650 km (390 miles) on a single tank of fuel. The car incorporates regenerative braking, which uses the alternator during braking to charge an onboard nickel-metal hydride battery. Because of the highly aerodynamic shape and the low-rolling-resistance tires, the engine is designed to use intermittent power technology, automatically turning off when reaching cruise speed, and allowing the car to coast until speed drops a few miles per hour before re-activating. This saves enormously on fuel.
The interior is compact, providing space for the driver and one passenger, as well as an 80-liter luggage compartment. Safety features include simulated crash tests, front crush zone with crush tubes that leave the footwell unaffected, safety belts, airbag, rollover protection, 4-wheel disk brakes and antilock braking system (ABS), low center of gravity and electronic stability program (ESP), rearview video cameras, parking brake, electronic door lock, LEDs for interior illumination at night, and remote keyless entry. The safety standard of the Volkswagen 1-Liter Car is equivalent to that of a GT race car.
In addition, if Volkswagen mass produces the 1-Liter Car for sale in Canada, cleaner diesel fuel will be available by the year 2006. Generally diesel is not used for personal transportation because they are heavily polluting. For example, diesel tractor-trailers and other heavy-duty vehicles account for 2 percent of the vehicles on the road, 6 percent of the miles driven, and yet generate over 70 percent of the cancer-causing soot and smog-forming nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions hanging over the city of Toronto. In December 2001 the Canadian government approved new Clean Diesel standards which will reduce the sulfur content of diesel by 95% to just 15 parts-per-million, which will in turn enable the use of after-processing hardware to be fitted in diesel vehicles to remove soot and NOx from exhaust. Furthermore, Chevron is now selling a new diesel fuel formulation called Proformix which reduces the size of fuel droplets and allows cleaner, more complete burning during the engine's combustion cycle. Proformix fuel will reduce soot emissions by a further 65%, and NOx emissions by 16% even before the use of after-processing hardware.
Clean Diesel standards will facilitate the introduction of super fuel-efficient, super low emissions vehicles such as the Volkswagen 1-Liter Car into Canada. Here is a detailed description of the Volkswagen 1-Liter Car prototype:
Definitely worth bookmarking this website!
Sounds interesting. But the mechanical engineers should let the electrical engineers take over. Drop the gear box and replace it with wheel based electric motors. Use a small engine to charge the NMH battery at peak efficiency. When at home or office plug it to the grid power.
You have not seen such a item yet because the car companies are still controlled by Mechs...old habits die hard.
06-04-02, 07:18 AM
Hybrids get marginal increase in fuel economy over diesel, low emissions, but the cost is huge. The NiMH battery will have to be replaced every 4 years at a cost of $4000. In contrast a diesel engine costs less at the outset, is incredibly reliable, requires no microelectronics, and will last for the entire life of the car. Higher emissions from diesel may be prevented by new regulations in Canada, in effect in 2006, which reduce sulfur content of diesel fuel by 95% allowing afterprocessing hardware to remove soot and NOx from the exhaust. Using fuel that is seeded with water will also reduce fuel droplet size and allow more complete burning during combustion cycle, further reducing soot and NOx emissions.
The reason we haven't seen anything like the VW 1-Liter Car is because cars are a status symbol in North America. They are a projection of the driver's self-image. Car makers will have to change the image of small cars, instead of making blunt, ugly, econoboxes like they usually do.
Cars are a necessity in North America. Look at California. Stupid urban planners design the city (policies and governance) such a way that people who live in north go to south to work and vice versa. The downtown in the age of Information is more congested than ever. So to get there from timbuktu, one needs transporation that can survive among large trucks and 18 wheelers.
Transportation is not an isolated problem, it is integral to how people work, how businesses do stuff. The other day I was in a large glass and concrete building in Dallas (Texas). The building manager said that 90% of people there work with their computers all day. He had to upgrade the substation power transformer for the increased power load. He wondered, why these people canot work from home or each company have their office in a suburb?
Forcing people to use bicycles will solve all the energy problems too. But not in America....
Kmguru has hit upon the very reason that I can not use a hybrid. (Let's not consider the cost as a reason)
All this is still in its infancy as automakers see the handwriting on the wall. Like it or no, at some point, petroleum will be used up as a fuel. We will either then have to grow and make it or find a substitute.
The land of America is fortunate in that it has plenty of space for living and recreation. Enough that you can chose within reason exactly where you wish to live. Like the city and all of the conveniences of city life? Then you can live in the city. If you care for the rural setting you can do that. Unlike the European countries, everything here is spread out. Even going to the store requires some form of transportation. When the farms to feed the populace is located 500 or 1500 miles away, the manufacturers of items located 1000 miles in an entirely different direction, and you need to move supplies and materials to keep these businesses going. Hybrids are not to good at moving heavy stuff yet. Nor are they good for long distances.
Typical ranges of hybrids do not reach out as far as I need go. Certainly not round trip. The automakers are looking for a solution to the problem. I am not willing at present to be the guinea pig for their products. When they have a developed product, with support for it on the highway, and infrastructure for fueling, I will consider it. Not before…
And there is another problem. The city dwellers in America try to dictate how county folks should live. These idiots go on talk shows and declare that everybody should live the way they live in the city....like in New York!
I hate people who go on talk shows because they are experts on a specific subject but provide opinion on opposite subjects. Example: Nobel prize winning Physician blabbing on military strategy and computer technology. Environmentalists talking on electrical engineering, economists talking about systems design, politicians designing system architecture....it never ends....
It is like hiring a plumber to design and build your dream home....
No wonder our country is so screwed up...
I think you just need to admit you don't like hybrids simply because they're different
Won't argue that one on not liking hybrids, I don't. I dislike being the guinea pig for auto industry to get it right. I also dislike the hefty price of the batteries that need replacing. You can buy an engine for less than the price mentioned earlier in this thread. There is still a lot of work to be done to get the price down a to a reasonable level. Speaking of which, I don't know about you but my paycheck has not kept pace with the rising cost of autos. To me, $20,000 is a lot of money.
I haul a bit of lumber or hay from time to time and other stuff too. I'm not a farmer but a car isn't going to do it for me. Call it life style or whatever, I need the capability of moving a load occasionally. I can not do that in a car.
07-31-02, 01:05 AM
I think you're prolly right. Right now Hybrids are alright. There are a few problems, such as batteries. But you are wrong in saying they're just as expensive as any other car. Because you're putting them in with cars of different classes. You could get a new Civic for less than 15 grand, I'm sure. But a Civic hybrid would be up in the 20's. Problems like that can be easily solved as they evolve and merge with other technologies. I expect that we'll see a whole hell of a lot more in the near future. As for clean diesel, I guess that sounds good. But I don't know much about it and I haven't heard much about it.
07-31-02, 03:40 AM
If you only need a truck occasionally, you're probably better off renting it when you need it. Typically costs around $100 for a couple of days. Sure beats paying $15000 or whatever for a truck, paying for extra insurance some $1000/year, maintaining the thing, it taking up garage space, etc. Not to mention those things are a pain in the ass to maneuver/park in tight places (e.g. city downtowns.)
Same thing goes for hotrods.
Clean diesel would be a nice alternative, as many gas stations already have a diesel pump.
Hybrids are awesome, man. I don't know where you get your info on battery replacement frequency or costs. The typical lead-acid batteries in cars need to be replaced every 4 years or so, but those are not the same thing as NiMH, lithium ion or whatever it is they use. The battery in a typical hybrid is good for the lifetime of the vehicle. For example, in the case of the Prius see here (#7):
08-01-02, 01:10 AM
Oh yeah. And as for the 1-liter Volkwagen. If they actually mass-produced that thing, there's absolutely no way you'd be able to afford it. It's made almost entirely of carbon fiber, titanium, magnesium, and aluminum. Doesn't have rear view mirrors because they interfere with the car's drag coefficient. So they use video cameras instead. The car isn't practical by any stretch of the imagination. It was merely an engineering exercise. To see what could be done with existing technology. Amazing outcome it is, indeed.
08-12-02, 02:44 AM
I happen to like diesel cars, and plan on getting a Golf TDI. One reason I won't get the Hybrid is because it is too expensive. I'm a kid, getting my first car, and I don't have 20,000 dollars. Another thing, the Volkswagen Golf is safer than the Civic, the Golf is european, and anyone that has driven european cars knows what's so special about them, so unless Volkswagen makes a hybrid, I might consider it but I highly doubt I would buy it. Diesel is highly reliable, torquey, and has no trouble getting up hills. I haven't test driven a hybrid, but I don't like the performance figures (torque), It must be hard getting that thing up a hill, loaded with people. The TDI is much cleaner than the diesel garbage trucks you see, and you shouldn't be b*tching about Volkswagen diesel emissions, when gasoline SUVs are worse, pitiful mpgs, and put all of us in danger on the road. I also agree with "I dislike being the guinea pig for auto industry to get it right.". Nobody buys the first year of a gasoline model after a redesign, why jump into a totaly new car that hasn't been around long enough? I'm sorry but I buy my car to keep for atleast 10 years, while the average american gets a new car every couple years, which is why there are too many cars in the first place. And come on, this is a 1 cylender diesel that's got low drag, light weight, what's the worst it's emissions could possibly be?
Take a look at this:
08-13-02, 02:04 PM
Diesel might be nice, but before we all rush to buy them we must first have an infrastructure of clean diesel fuel. As of now, trucking and transportation industries have been and still are vehemently opposed to all attempts at cleaning up diesel emissions. I'm sure everyone on this board has had the severe displeasure of driving behind a truck or bus running on diesel, or observing literally clouds of that noxious black smoke rise from these monstrocities (not to mention trains and ships.) And actually, I can still smell the diesel even from the latest Mercedes and BMWs -- even though it's certainly not as bad as older models. Still, regardless of how well the power trains are engineered the key is clean fuel; without it diesel is poison.
As for hybrids, the notion itself is really fuel-agnostic. You could have a diesel hybrid or even a fuel cell hybrid just as easily as a gasoline hybrid. Regardless of your fuel, you could still take advantage of regenerative braking and more fuel-efficient idling and cruising.
For your $ and the future - get a diesel and use Biodiesel for fuel. Better emissions, no foreign oil dependence, employment for farmers, zero balance CO2 cycle, relatively non-hazardous/non-toxic, and on and on. What's not to like? This isn't some pie in sky technology - you can do this today.
National Biodiesel Board (http://www.biodiesel.org/)
biodiesel doesn't work in very cold weather,it turns into gel!ok for some parts of the world,I guess.
hybrid-electric trucks are coming shortly;see the competition at www.futuretruck.org
or at least I hope so,need a truck for my work/lifestyle.(I live in it)
improving the burning eficiency of an IC engine,or designing new type of engine that burns more eficiently than the obsolete Otto cycle,(diesel's just a wee bit better)wouldn't be such a bad idea either.
there was 2cyl adiabatic engine that got 60 mpg,(in regular size car,)had 150hp in '83 Pop science built by Henry "Smokey"'Yunick,why no one used it is a good question.
here are other posible improvements that could make a huge difference IMO,if the big 3 put these into production;
www.coatesengine.com.(no need for oil changes,imagine the savings if all engines were like this)
you think it will ever happen?not if big oil corps control the game is my good guess.
03-01-03, 03:17 PM
DR EVYL is closest to a practical solution, I think. While you would not get oil from hemp, one is able to make alcohol from most any plant. Hemp would be an almost ideal plant to extract alcohol from because of it's fast growing properties and general hardiness. But alas the obvious legal problem. Corn would be a satisfactory replacement. Alcohol can and is used in standard combustion engines now. Go to your local dragstrip, and you will see engines running on alcohol making over two THOUSAND horsepower. Alcohol burns extremely clean as well. The only drawback I can see to widespread alcohol consumption (haha) is combustion engines burning alcohol require almost 50% greater volume to generate the same horsepower as gasoline. This would require much larger fuel tanks, a problem that would be relatively easy to overcome.