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PostPosted: October 13, 2021, 12:15 pm 
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Completely agree, I'm not a drag racer (either) regardless of car type.

I started this thread as more of a 100-mile view of where homebuilt cars seem to headed, not so much whether electrics will take over. Speaking of EVs, I'd be willing to bet that - and as you note - people are much less comfortable working on EVs, making it less likely that they'll be used to propel homebuilt cars. It seems like this is is only going to accelerate the demise of homebuilts, since if an EV drivetrain isn't used, and gas drivetrains are unavailable/banned/etc, what's left?

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PostPosted: October 13, 2021, 12:48 pm 
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KB58 wrote:
Completely agree, I'm not a drag racer (either) regardless of car type.

I started this thread as more of a 100-mile view of where homebuilt cars seem to headed, not so much whether electrics will take over. Speaking of EVs, I'd be willing to bet that - and as you note - people are much less comfortable working on EVs, making it less likely that they'll be used to propel homebuilt cars. It seems like this is is only going to accelerate the demise of homebuilts, since if an EV drivetrain isn't used, and gas drivetrains are unavailable/banned/etc, what's left?

I hear what you're saying, and I get it, but I wonder if our desire, our need to build and create will just morph with the tech a bit, as opposed to ceasing altogether? I'm getting older, and I figure I've got another 2 or 3 builds left in me before I age out of being a builder, and I'm assuming that within those builds, say the next 15 years, that our hobby will embrace retrofitting EV power plants into our projects.. I'm scared to death of electricity, but at the same time I'm looking forward to learning about the bits that make up an EV and utilizing those bits to suite my whim.. A 60 year old vintage car with 2026 technology under the hood? Sign me up! I love the sounds and smells and mechanizations of my beloved ICE, but as someone who for whatever reason must build something, must create, isn't the EV stuff just another tool for us to use to express ourselves? I hope so..

There will likely be a day when society proactively makes owning and driving an ICE car cost prohibitive (sin tax/ tiered registration $$/ gross-polluter 'fees'/ whatever), and when we cross that bridge, I'd like to do it in a 'cool'/rare/special/vintage/unicorn vehicle, even if it is propelled by electric power :cheers:

--ccrunner

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PostPosted: October 13, 2021, 1:03 pm 
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One trend is going to be rebodys. If DIYers want to mess with cars in a big way, but don't trust themselves with electric drives, more of us may move towards dropping something more interesting over the top. Tribute automotive in the UK has some neat rebodies for BMW Z3s such as:

Image

Image


Is that enough? Depends on the builder. But like guns, there's so much ICE already in circulation, we'll probably be dead before any bans can run their course.

I'm already contemplating the idea of chopping the body off a 1st gen leaf and building something lightweight and sporty on top. They have terrible range, but are just quick enough to be interesting once you've removed 600 lbs of extraneous bulk, and they are currently the least expensive donor. It would be perfect for my short commute with a little side trip to the hills for a blatt on the way home. Blatt? Not quite appropriate. Hummer? No leaves the wrong impression. A buzz? same problem.


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PostPosted: October 13, 2021, 2:10 pm 
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So somebody is moving our cheese... That doesn't mean more cheese isn't still out there somewhere, even if its not the 'same' cheese.

The manufacturers are all looking to make their EV architectures more modular. It's more efficient and cost effective to produce, and should ultimately be a boon to self-built cars. Once we have more Lego style plug-and-play systems developed, it should make things easier than it has ever been. The systems still have to be built so that the 'average mechanic' that works on them doesn't kill themselves either. So even as somebody who mostly understands electrical systems as running on magic smoke, there will be easy manual safety precautions that will cover anything the vase majority of even homebuilders would need to do. Not to mention, there will likely be pressure to adapt the laws to allow these systems to be retrofitted more easily to existing ICE cars, and companies/products to support them that we can use. So we're talking that less the self-builder needs to figure out to build the car and less that needs to be worked on after the car is build. Until then, we've still got plenty of ICE's and parts availability for the foreseeable future.

From a driving standpoint, the dynamics of the car don't necessarily have to change for the worse. Oh sure there's the weight of the batteries, the effects of which are largely mitigated by their placement in the floor, and having a fixed ratio transmission. But there's no reason that it can't be a an engaging and great handling RWD machine, with a mechanical limited slip and no stability or traction control. The power delivery could even be tailored to match the desired feel with the stroke of a few keys on a laptop.

Automotive enthusiasts have always been a tiny subset of the general population. The key to maintaining the presence of any group is in having the right person(s) adapting and broadcasting the message in a way that resonates with enough of those that haven't already been assimilated. For many of us here today that was a simple book, along with a forum of devotees. There's still plenty of DIY spirit in the younger generations. All that's really needed is for those right person(s) who embrace the change to update the right message and broadcast it through the right medium.

Whether they come to fruition or not, I actually see more possibilities than ever for self and niche/coach building automotive cottage industries in an EV based future.

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Last edited by Driven5 on October 14, 2021, 11:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: October 14, 2021, 10:47 am 
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Random thought. How about hydrogen as a fuel for homebuilts?

I have zero knowledge right now with respect to fuel storage, replenishment, power generation, etc., etc. Is it compact enough and simple enough (judging by prototypes from major car builders) to be built in a home machine shop, like a steam engine?

Some evangelists claim "it's the future."

Just askin'.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

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PostPosted: October 14, 2021, 12:46 pm 
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It would be like a natural gas conversion of an ICE; basically a venturi with a nozzle. I believe the flow is the throttle. Usually fleet vehicles with dedicated refueling stations.

A hydrogen cell to generate electricity to power an EV is much more efficient overall so the tank can be smaller. The only emissions are pure water and heat.

Hydrogen powered ICE is not anywhere near the efficiency of Hydrogen cell powered EV.
The record set in 2005 was 12,666 mpg compared to shell 95 unleaded, btu/weight.

I'll add that this competition was on motorsport tracks Nogaro and at Ladoux, the minimum speed to average was 30kmh, the power was 300w (not including the parasitic draw of the air compressor for the cell stack), I estimate the vehicle weight at around 250lbs with driver, and they consumed a little over one gram of hydrogen to go 26km.

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PostPosted: October 15, 2021, 10:31 am 
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Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:

. . . A hydrogen cell to generate electricity to power an EV is much more efficient overall so the tank can be smaller. The only emissions are pure water and heat. . . .


So, it doesn't sound beyond possibility then? That's good.

I wonder what state motor vehicle departments would do if you wanted to register a hydrogen powered homebuilt?

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: October 15, 2021, 11:57 am 
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Short answer: Whatever they want to do.

GM had equinox hydrogen loaners around 2006. 5000lbs with a 0-60 of 10-12 sec and 100 mph top speed with 300 mile range on the equivalent of 8 gallons, so plenty of room for improvement. Came with a home trickle hydrogen generator tapped into the water supply, similar to the "electrolyzers" that have been put on vehicles to generate hydrogen but results in a net loss of energy. I one a few years ago just to see what the fuss was about.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/driving-gms-new-hydrogen-car

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PostPosted: October 15, 2021, 3:47 pm 
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@MV8

Actually besides the size and sophistication of the hydrogen tanks themselves, that was a pretty positive article.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: October 15, 2021, 5:58 pm 
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I suppose that one could imagine a scenario where ones solar array is spending the daylight hours producing and compressing hydrogen for your car to be filled up in the evening. But in that scenario, what's to be gained by having the extra complexity and volatility of hydrogen at all, other than enable one to do away with batteries? Why not just go all-electric? The Hydrogen just becomes a storage medium with significant negatives attached.


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PostPosted: October 15, 2021, 8:15 pm 
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Twenty-odd years ago the office I was in was funding the development of an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system for a 'conventional' submarine. Rather than storing oxygen and hydrogen we reformed methanol to produce feedstock for the fuel cells. We only got as far as a shore-based demonstrator and never funded the 750kw submarine plant. The system gave improved performance over AIP conditions at snort depth when we could rely on atmospheric oxygen, although it was no longer AIP then, but more representative of automotive use. A submarine-based reforming plant is hardly automotive scale, but it does make the point that more conventional engineering fuels are often more attractive than elemental feedstock, especially for logistics reasons. Of course, engineering fuels = hydrocarbon refineries, so you can't escape logistics. Makes electric look pretty good, within the constraints of plug availability. Grrr ... logistics again.

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PostPosted: October 16, 2021, 8:05 am 
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The gains are practical (greater range, less affected by cold temps, greatly reduced weight, greatly reduced servicing and operating cost) and environmental (renewable, no hazmat consumable). The physical complexity is less than any ICE but developing the electronics for feedback and controls is outside the scope of most mechs or techs. Probably not an issue for an EE and programmer. A person would need an extremely varied skill set to do it all on their own.

It would be like an EV that could plug into 110vac and “charge” in much less time, had only one small battery, dropped hundreds of pounds from the curb weight, had much improved range, but needed servicing every 50k.

If it isn’t clear to some, a “hydrogen cell” is just a reactor. Different gases (Warren mentioned methanol) and appropriate fabrics can be used to produce electricity but hydrogen is the most efficient, renewable, and clean.

I’ve had electric mowers and chainsaws for decades. Well worth the cord for the reduced weight from a smaller motor with the same power operating on 110 versus maybe half that at best and carrying batteries.

I also don't like being forced to have corn ( and ultimately water) in my gasoline. :BH:

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