Par hete elejtettem Amory Lovins hyperauto-koncepciojat. Azota tobben kertek
tovabbi reszleteket, egy referenciat meg is adtam. Azota kaptam toluk ket
cikket (rovid es laikusoknak is ertheto), ha valakit erdekel, esetleg
elkuldhetek postan egy masolatot. Egy osszefoglalo a tanszekunkon tartott
WILL THE HYPER-CAR BE THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE?
By William Golove
On March 7, 1995, Amory Lovins, Director of Research at the Rocky
Mountain Institute and internationally recognized expert on energy
efficiency, spoke at an Energy and Resources Group brown bag lunch.
Lovins discussed his most recent research project, the "hyper-car."
Although a couple of pre-prototypes have been built, this personal
vehicle is still largely theoretical. It is projected by Lovins to
achieve fuel efficiencies ranging from 200 to 1000 miles per gallon by
using advanced composite materials for the body and a hybrid electric
The basic engineering principle behind the design of the hyper-car comes
from Lovins' earlier work on energy efficiency in buildings which he
introduced by displaying a supply curve of conserved energy. This curve
incorporates his notion of "tunneling through the cost barrier." He
explained this concept by suggesting that there were declining marginal
returns to efficiency investments until a synergy was achieved, at which
point marginal returns dramatically increase.
An example of such a synergy might be the introduction of efficient
lighting, advanced wall-construction materials, daylighting, and super
efficient windows into an office building. The individual effect of each
item on improved energy efficiency is small. Taken together, however,
they may greatly reduce or completely eliminate the need for an
air-conditioning unit. Thus, the combined result is an enormous savings
in both capital and energy.
Lovins then showed how the idea of engineering synergies provided the
framework for the hyper-car. In short, use of advanced composite
materials for the vehicle's body and hybrid electric motors for
propulsion result in a dramatic decrease in vehicle weight and increase
in fuel efficiency. Lovins contended that such vehicles would be safer
than those currently on the road since, unlike today's steel bodies and
frames, auto bodies of the new composite material would not buckle inward
with dangerous jagged edges. Also, energy-absorbing crash structures in
the bodies would absorb a substantial amount of the energy transfer from
a crash, and advanced, computerized braking and steering systems would
reduce the incidence of accidents altogether. Lovins also stated that the
hyper-car would also offer straightforward re-manufacture potential as
future technologies evolve, and would be completely recyclable to the
extent that re-manufacture is undesirable.
Lovins went on to say, however, that these vehicles would not solve
traffic congestion. In fact, he said, they might exacerbate the issue.
The increased efficiency of the new vehicles would make driving
significantly cheaper, thus allowing those whose total driving is
currently constrained by cost to drive as much as they want. Lovins
speculated that a cross-country drive in the hyper-car would require only
a single tank of gas. He offered no suggestion as to the resolution of
the congestion problem, however. Lovins expects the hyper-car to be
commercially available as early as 1997 or 1998.
Lovins concluded his presentation with a question and answer session.
One of his more provocative comments, made in response to a question from
an ERG Ph.D. student, was that he expected the current electric utility
industry to be obsolete within five years as distributed generation
replaces central power station generation of electricity. Although his
claims and predictions are undoubtedly controversial, Lovins continues to
present a visionary perspective on possible, future patterns of energy