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Sustainability in car design #661543
11/09/20 06:35 AM
11/09/20 06:35 AM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 529
Reading
Rob Thornton Offline OP
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Rob Thornton  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2015
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The discussion in the Suffolk Car thread relating to SUVs (not sure how that happened) and the debate regarding EVs has prompted me to start a new thread and not just because I happen to have an XC60!

Debate about both topics seems to be inspired mainly by an assortment of pressure groups with particular agendas which are also politically motivated. I notice that, for instance, a report to government yesterday by a selected group of members of the public put SUVs high up on a list of things to be banned. The fact that this represents a wide range of practical vehicle types including small, economic two wheel drive variants is overlooked in sweeping generalities of course.

What concerns me is that the factors that make up the true but complex aspects of 'sustainability' are now getting overlooked in the rush to gain political points. The sowing of panic by pressure groups and activists targeting younger supporters is also a worry. In relation to car design, criticism is almost entirely focussed on the the means of propulsion rather than the means of production and longer term maintenance. In this context I would like to see an easily understood scoring system which takes into account true whole life costs (cradle to cradle) of individual vehicles rather than a reliance on fuel consumption as a measure. Perhaps there are already 'carbon footprint' measures available but at the moment consumers seem to be bamboozled by binary choices and soundbites related to the use of fossil fuels.

I've put this rather naively I know, but such a system may even put Morgans very high up on the list of sustainable vehicles and remove some of our hidden guilt! I know that mass production is a different kettle of fish but economic longevity of products and their recyclability must be as high up the list of desirables as a switch in their power plants.
Many years ago one of Volvo's biggest sales points, as expressed in their marketing literature, was that their vehicles were almost entirely recyclable - as well as being constructed from British steel if I remember correctly. (This was at a time when Volvo estates and their drivers were suffering the same criticism as SUV drivers today ironically).

It would be good to see marketing reverting to such facts rather than reliance on fashionable 'lifestyle' aspiration, but I realise that this might not sell many cars!
Rant over.


Rob T
2001 Royal Ivory Plus 8
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: Rob Thornton] #661544
11/09/20 06:51 AM
11/09/20 06:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,965
howard Offline
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Why SUVs? Because they are unnecessarily large. Put a leccy powerplant in one and you will be lucky to be under 2 tonnes when the weight of an average family car 30 years ago was below one tonne. And weight means energy needed to move, which is why despite huge advanceds in engine technology, the guel consumption of the average family car is now little different to what itr was 30 years ago.

In short we now have way more vehicles on the roads and they are way heavier, many chosen as with SUVs on the basis of fashion. They are also physically larger than needed thus clogging up traffic and parking. Doubt that? Next time you are out and about counrt the number of vehicles with more than 1 person in them.

As for energy useage, I couldnt quickly find an analysis of the energy taken to build a car but two tonnes of steel requires 1400 kwh. That is equivalent to 155 litres or 34 gallons of petrol. OK thats a pretty rough and ready calculation but it gives you orders of magnitude when 1000 miles of SUV motoring uses as much energy as nmaking the steel in the SUV itself.

I have long thought that not only should the motor industry have fuel consumption targets but that cars weighing over 1 tonne oufgt to be banned.

P.S. Worth adding that the energy used to move a leccy 2 tonne SUV will be more than half of that for a petrol one because of the weight. But the pollution generated will be way way less. The same thought still applies though - make it lighter and use less energy. Maybe all vehicles should be 2 seaters?

Last edited by howard; 11/09/20 07:06 AM.
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: howard] #661546
11/09/20 06:58 AM
11/09/20 06:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,609
Northamptonshire UK
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Stringers Best Mate  Online NoMood
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Northamptonshire UK
Originally Posted by howard


In short we now have way more vehicles on the roads



That's the big issue..

We over produce

We drive journeys that are short

Anyone who walks or cycles in traffic knows what a huge pollutant cars are.

Using the term 'SUV' is just an attention hook.


Steve
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: Stringers Best Mate] #661552
11/09/20 07:09 AM
11/09/20 07:09 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,965
howard Offline
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howard  Offline
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Originally Posted by Stringers Best Mate
[quote=howard]

Using the term 'SUV' is just an attention hook.


No it isnt . Like rapp they are a barbarous American import, irrelevant and wrong in the size of country and roads that we have. Unnecessary for the school run when kids should be walking or cycling.Much loved by women for maybe the same strange reason they like big horses?

Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: howard] #661558
11/09/20 07:55 AM
11/09/20 07:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 130
Cheshire
Chilliblu Offline
L - Learner Plates On
Chilliblu  Offline
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Cheshire
Originally Posted by howard
Originally Posted by Stringers Best Mate
[quote=howard]

Using the term 'SUV' is just an attention hook.


No it isnt . Like rapp they are a barbarous American import, irrelevant and wrong in the size of country and roads that we have. Unnecessary for the school run when kids should be walking or cycling.Much loved by women for maybe the same strange reason they like big horses?


I completely agree. They are large and high up. They give drivers (Men and Women) a false belief they are safer than a "normal" car. They try to improve these huge machine to handle and perform like a car. An impossible task but people now believe that unless they are also in a large monstrosity they will be unsafe. I think we have all possibly experienced this driving in a Morgan. You can feel intimidated by some of these over large vehicles.


Andy
2014 Morgan Plus 4
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: Rob Thornton] #661559
11/09/20 07:57 AM
11/09/20 07:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 51
Preston, Lancashire
Saxonian Offline
Just Getting Started
Saxonian  Offline
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Posts: 51
Preston, Lancashire
Like the OP I would like to see a side by side comparison of "cradle to grave" of a "standard ICE" car versus a "standard EV".

All those chemicals to create the batteries have to be mined from "somewhere"......
The electricity to charge them isn't free - I'm sure we aren't using to fossil fuels to generate electricity - But we do use nuclear power (How "green" is that!!??)
At the end of the batteries life - what happens to all the chemicals & metals / plastic they are encased in?

I know ICE vehicles aren't "green" - but are they "greener" over their lifespan than EV's?


Ian S

2019 Sports Green Morgan Plus 4
2019 Gunmetal Mercedes 220 CLA
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: howard] #661560
11/09/20 08:04 AM
11/09/20 08:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 529
Reading
Rob Thornton Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular
Rob Thornton  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 529
Reading
Originally Posted by howard
Originally Posted by Stringers Best Mate
[quote=howard]

Using the term 'SUV' is just an attention hook.


No it isnt . Like rapp they are a barbarous American import, irrelevant and wrong in the size of country and roads that we have. Unnecessary for the school run when kids should be walking or cycling.Much loved by women for maybe the same strange reason they like big horses?


It is, of course a bit of both as always in these debates. The term in the UK is mainly a marketing ploy. One of the biggest selling 'SUVs' is the Nissan Juke. At just 1334kg and with fuel consumption only dreamt of 30 years ago i.e 48+mpg it comes nowhere near the scale of the larger vehicles that seem to be the main bugbear in these exchanges.

What I was getting at was that there ought to be some more visible or comprehensive measures available to car users to judge the environmental impacts of their choices. The building industry uses BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). I am sure that there are some on this forum who are familiar with that and can comment on how effective they think it is but a rating of this sort might be helpful so that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

I can agree on the rap though Howard!


Rob T
2001 Royal Ivory Plus 8
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: Rob Thornton] #661564
11/09/20 08:39 AM
11/09/20 08:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,533
Köln Germany
Heinz Offline
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Köln Germany
This is actually about SUVs and not about battery cars. But I am afraid there are connections. At least our car manufacturers thought so. Because no one could reach the range of a Tesla, they simply took larger cars as basic bodies, because there was no more battery volume and weight. Voilà, SUVs. There are such things from Audi and Mercedes, I'm not interested in the exact type designation, they have almost a ton of battery weight, so they can drive 400km, that is 250 miles.

In the sum of all these characteristics this is a catastrophic miscarriage.

- SUVS, either with the emotions of superiority or a feeling of safety (although it borders on a subliminally aggressive feeling of safety at the expense of others).

- The size of the SUV feigns social competence. One forgets that in everyday life it is designed for 4 adults only, unless it is a Chevy Suburban. But there is usually only one person sitting in it, or a mother with a child.

- The CO2 footprint. It is already embarrassingly bad for the SUV, if you calculate the mass of car per passenger, even for the ICE. If you add 900 kg of battery, then good night.

There are several studies from different institutes that show that a normal car is much greener. A normal medium-sized electric car, e.g. a Golf, has to drive 120.000 km electrically before its CO2 footprint is justified in comparison to diesel (but only „this good“ if the battery has not to be replaced in the meantime).
For an SUV with 900Kg weight of the battery this calculation or such a study has not been done yet.

I am not a socialist, but it is a problem when masses (in this case the more wealthy masses) are misled by false attractions to buy in combination with false fashions. In the case of the (electric) SUVs I think a pseudo green ideology is just a wrong fashion. The worst kind of cars are morally unscrupulous. This is a success of marketing in combination with successful showing off on the street and in front of ones own garage driveway.
And that is the reason why high-legged compact cars absolutely also want to call themselves SUV.


'14 4/4 graphite grey
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: Rob Thornton] #661571
11/09/20 09:24 AM
11/09/20 09:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 18,888
South Yorkshire
DaveW Offline
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South Yorkshire
Well said Heinz. thumbs


DaveW
2005 Corsa Red Roadster S1
2016 Saffron Yellow (Narrow) AR Plus 4
Re: Sustainability in car design [Re: Heinz] #661582
11/09/20 10:20 AM
11/09/20 10:20 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 7,833
Hampshire
Alistair Online happy
Smile, it confuses them
Alistair  Online Happy
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Posts: 7,833
Hampshire
Originally Posted by Heinz
SUVS, either with the emotions of superiority or a feeling of safety (although it borders on a subliminally aggressive feeling of safety at the expense of others).

- The size of the SUV feigns social competence. One forgets that in everyday life it is designed for 4 adults only, unless it is a Chevy Suburban. But there is usually only one person sitting in it, or a mother with a child.

- The CO2 footprint. It is already embarrassingly bad for the SUV, if you calculate the mass of car per passenger, even for the ICE. If you add 900 kg of battery, then good night.


Pretty much agree with all of these however I suspect there is a merger of "imbecile" with superiority/safety of the SUV driving position here? You can put a cretin in an Audi S3/2TDI an M135i or an SUV and they will drive like a cretin. Fashion has now put them in SUV's more often. The issue of driving style is a mental issue not a capability of the vehicle. The first time they try and perform an emergency stop or swerve they will realise it is better to be a cretin in a smaller car. They will remain a cretin.

It is easy to compare the additional eco cost of the SUV in some ways. I had an MB E63s estate with the 5.5L BiT V8. It did 22-25mpg with my foot beating it up. I decided to see what this SUV thing was all about and bought an ML63s with the same engine. Mostly same seats, luggage and other capabilities. E63 handles a LOT better. The ML does 18-21mpg and wears out brakes a lot quicker. Not only do you burn petrol speeding it up but you create a lot of heat slowing it down. So 20% loss due to SUV body?


Just time to burn a little more petrol before dinner.
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