Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mazda's i-ELOOP: Mild Non-Hybrid Regen

Mazda is promoting its new i-ELOOP regenerative braking technology as part of its "Skyactiv" suite of fuel saving technologies.

i-ELOOP is a system that uses a capacitor to store electricity from the alternator, which is controlled so that it generates electricity mostly during deceleration.  

So this is a regen system which runs from the belt driven alternator, and the small amount of energy it captures is used not to move the car but only to recharge the battery and run the electrical system.

This isn't hybridization, it is just alternator duty cycle optimization.  It won't save much fuel, maybe 3-5%, but on the other hand, it won't cost or weigh much either.  

The big fuel economy savings are when you store lots of energy from braking in a battery or super-capacitor, and then use that power to re-accelerate the car.  Mazda, however, isn't up to making the investment, apparently.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fisker's Bad Karma

Consumer Reports is a fairly tough judge of consumer vehicles.  I frequently disagree with their judgements, but they are very influential, so much so that the major automakers strive to develop their vehicles with CR testing in mind.

Consumer Reports does not like the Karma.  In fact, they give it a failing grade

The Karma ranks as our lowest-rated luxury sedan. Of all sedans, only three have lower overall scores: Chrysler 200,Dodge Avenger, and Nissan Versa SV.


It looks to me like Karma is going to be a beautiful failure.  With Tesla coming online, with a much more practical vehicle, and other big luxury players looking into electrification, customers will have few reasons besides styling to pick the Karma.  Years from now, collectors will gather to share horror stories about bad software and clumsy user interfaces.  

Still, I have to give credit to Fisker, even if they do fail, at least they managed to produce a beautiful and driveable vehicle, which is more than can be said for many other electric start-ups.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Leaf Batteries Wearing Out Early

Looks like Nissan's decision to use an air-cooled battery system on the Leaf is going to cost it a lot of goodwill.  Inside EVs writes up a well controlled test to determine if reduced capacity display Leafs also show reduced range.  Which they do.

Bottom line: if you live in a hot climate, don't buy a Leaf until they change the battery temperature management system design.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dirty Blonde

I just discovered that Atwater Brewery's excellent Dirty Blonde beer is now available in cans.  

I love good beer in cans, because they are lighter and less fragile than glass bottles.  And, you might be surprised ot hear, beer stays fresher in cans because they are opaque, unlike brown bottles.  Light is bad for beer.

If you have never tried it, Dirty Blonde is a cloudy light ale, not too hoppy, with a hint of orange peel.  It is a great summery brew.