Archive for cars

Progression of Aggression

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Organic Development, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2013 by Drogo

Modern automobiles are a deadly fun convenience for transportation. Yay human civilization, fuck everything else. Roads and vehicles basically say a big FUCK YOU to birds, bees, bugs, plants, animals, and life in general on Planet Earth. Cars and trucks are one of the main killers of life on this planet every day. The truly suicidal thing about the race for bigger and badder killing machines, is that besides murdering billions of deer, possum, skunk, turtles, and other cute critters, we are murdering ourselves too.

TV Shows like ‘Top Gear’ are entertaining, and i certainly have enjoyed watching their stupid antics and testosterone driven points; but there must come a time when we all collectively say “Who the fuck put assholes in charge of running and hosting everything in society?” Even the most ‘hippy’ of the 3 annoying hosts made a statement about alternative cars that made me feel sorry for the state of humanity. What that jerk said may be accurate about hydrogen-fuel-cell electric cars as being the only ‘car of the future’ because they “have all the convenience and horse-power of our current petrol car standards” (or something to that effect) because we have all been pressured to feel that ‘Progress = Aggressive Power’, just as that host was advocating as though the company had given him a bribe.

Progress does not have to mean going faster, moving with more thrust, or being better. Yes often progress should mean being more efficient, breaking records, and all that competitive ‘dog eat dog’ ‘survival of the fittest’ shit. However popular commercial peer pressure is driving the need for road-rage, arrogance, aggression, and pollution as ‘progress’; and to prove that this should not always be our definition of what is ‘good progress’, we need only think about technology that some of us realize we are too stupid to use all the time. For example how many of us say we need to only use nuclear bombs or stronger weapons all the time, since anything less would be ‘going backwards’.

We need to be teaching kids not only that they do not always have to ‘win’ or be ‘winning’ all the time; but sometimes we need to decide to throw the ring into the volcano. To learn how to begin to want to put harmful ideas or technology aside, must start at a young age; otherwise you get tons of middle-aged men having problems figuring this out even during their mid-life crisis with their fucking sports cars. Commercial sports and cars may be fun, but they are both fucking idiotic.

Idiot Puncher

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Tensions in Sustainable Transportation: Tesla Motors Not Allowed in Virginia

Posted in Science & Math, Technology - Vehicles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by Jessica Bowen

I was a bit surprised and irritated when I found out that Tesla motors, an upcoming electric car company, wasn’t allowed to have a dealership in Virginia. They still have a gallery in Tysons Corner, VA, but can’t directly sell cars from the location. Fortunately, there are other dealerships in the relatively close locations of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Raleigh, North Carolina. However, this serves as an example of how our current system works in a way that perpetuates itself, and makes it difficult to integrate new ways of doing things.  It’s another illustration of the way that our system is not yet set up to really handle sustainability.

Tesla Model S

Tesla is a relatively new manufacturer, and they sell their cars directly to consumers, with no middle-people doing the transactions.  In Virginia, as in some other states, laws are in place that make manufacturers work through a franchised dealership to sell their cars to the public. There are loopholes, in case there are no dealerships available (as in the case of Tesla.) Despite this, the Virginia state Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner, Richard D. Holcomb, ruled that there is no evidence that there is no dealership Tesla can sell through. And so they can’t sell cars in Virginia at all.

Perhaps, though, this has more to do with tax dollars than dealerships. As in the case of other states considering adopting legislation to tax electric cars more than fossil-fuel cars, keeping a Tesla dealership out of Virginia could be a way of trying to keep some number of electric cars out of the state, thereby guaranteeing more tax revenue through gas purchases by the public.

A quick Google search even revealed to me a document on Virginia’s website by Richard Holcomb, concluding that the “DMV is facing a nearly $20 million decline in revenue starting July 2013.”

(Image Copyright University of Maryland)

With this in mind, if the State does generate a good bit of money from gas sales, losing that could be intimidating to them. In my mind, that might make a state want to increase the gas tax, to maintain revenue as the (polluting) fuel becomes less available and push for the public to purchase electric vehicles or use other means of transportation. At the moment, though, it seems that we have built a system around gasoline-powered vehicles. And we do still need to fund roads, of course.

The ideology behind the free market’s supposed ability to fix social and environmental problems is a big consideration, as it has become very ingrained in our thinking and structure.

In a lighter sense, Tesla’s being denied access to public car sales in Virginia could be seen as just one hiccup in a much wider change that is happening. Despite this one dealership denial, Teslas can still be seen driving around the DC area, proving that they’re still somehow available to that public. And so, maybe the car maker’s dealership denial can be seen as both an illustration of the way our current system works to keep change out, but also an illustration of how change will find a way.

[article written by SCOD Member Jessica Bowen]

Inverse Appropriation of Power

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Environmentalism with tags , , on October 5, 2012 by eposognatus

overcompensatingIt continually astounds me how people crave more than they need, or even more than they could ever possibly use. The automotive industry is a horrific offender in the more than you need category, and while we – in the US – still do not produce any fuel-efficient vehicles worth speaking of, we continue to cater to the horsepower crowd.  The majority of people today have no contact with horses. Because of this, and their immensely poor elementary education, they have no concept of the power of single horse. Horsepower is a measurement of work performed over time, equivalent to 746 Watts or 33,000 ft·lbf/min. Since this still is meaningless to most of us, let me put it in terms of driving. To maintain 60 MPH on level ground the average car only requires about 12 HP. That’s it. All the extra is there for acceleration, passing, and going much faster than the speed limit.

Power output of automobiles has varied over the years, with the earliest cars making around 20HP and going from there. The point here however isn’t how much and when but why. The average passenger car today comes with well over 200 HP. If you look at what you can do with that much power, you really have to start wondering why you need it to drop the kids off at school and pick up groceries.

The above graphic illustrates some popular vehicles and their HP ratings. These were not chosen as extremes, but as well known and commonly-operated models. The Toyota Camry and F-150 are consistently in the top five best selling vehicles in the US, and the D6 and Skyhawk are iconic in their roles.

From Low to High

Caterpillar D6n: 150 HP

Cessna Skyhawk: 180 HP

John Deere 6170r: 200 HP

Toyota Camry: 268 HP

Dodge Grand Caravan: 283 HP

Ford F-150: 360 HP (or more).

SCOD Alternative Fuel Vehicles Project

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2012 by Drogo

Creative Commons Cars – Share your ideas here so no Company can buy it and bury it! Once your idea is public it is closer to immortality.

Have you ever wanted to design an innovative auto? Please contribute your design ideas to this theoretical project for the greater public good, by simply posting them here on this page, or contacting us. Using sustainable industrial design concepts, even if only fictional, will help encourage innovation and other alternatives to traditional fossil fuel combustion engines. Please submit essays, drawings, photos etc. that can all be used by others without copyright. There is no deadline, and all entries will be published here.

Also feel free to post inspirational examples of any alternative fuel ideas! Check out the SCOD Gallery for Alternative Fuel Vehicles. If you contact us, we can add your ideas to that webpage also. https://sites.google.com/site/scodgalleries/alternative-fuel-vehicles

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/drogo-empedocles/consumer-market-for-alternative-autos/10150858124121910

Note: You do not have to be a professional industrial designer or an automotive expert to be a part of this collaborative project. SCOD is simply seeking a collection of creative designs.

2012 Alternative Fuel Car List

Posted in Economics, Environmentalism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by Drogo

This is just a quick summary of some popular hybrids and other alternatives. Advertising has still not improved to help promote this new technology. So even with the American Car Companies going Bankrupt, and getting Billions in Bailouts, most Americans still don’t know shit about hybrid cars, or don’t give a shit, or both. A recent SCOD poll answered by 20 people showed: most were interested in learning more, but only 2 people actually owned an AFV and the rest had negative responses. All of this despite the fact that it has been proven for many decades (about a century) that fossil fuel combustion engines pollute our environment on a mass scale. Sad.

2012 Alternative Fuel Car List

(prices have gone up since 2007, despite the recession)

Toyota Prius Hybrid $24,000 51/48 mpg

Honda Civic Hybrid $24,000 44 mpg

Hyundai Hybrid $25,000 35/40 mpg

Chevy Volt Sedan $40,000 gas only backs up battery

Nissan Leaf Electric $33,000 no gas

Mitsubishi I micro-coupe ???

Ford Fusion/Focus ???

* note: or you can buy a diesel and use bio-diesel in warm climates