Old Tech, New Tech

The Saturn moon rocket, at full chat, produced about 3% of the entire world’s power. Yup, every coal power stations, nuclear power plant, hydro dams, every car engine, every jet on every plane, all added up, that’s numbers in the teraWatts. And one machine made 3% of that (admittedly, only for two and a half minutes).

The engines used 5000 litres of fuel each second.

Anyway, this being the 21st Century, here’s this:

What? Me? The smelly dread-locked tree-hugging hippy posting about a car? Especially one that does 0-100 in 4 seconds, top speed of “I’m sorry Sir, you’re not allowed to do that”, and looks just slinky, like the sexiest Jag that they never got around to building.

Yeah, its electric, lithium batteries, 400 kms range, $1 of electricity will fill the tank. When I have my mid-life crisis, I’m going to get one. Luckily, they’ll be available in 2008.

(Also, it doesn’t have brakes. Slows down solely by using the motors in reverse.)

11 thoughts on “Old Tech, New Tech”

    1. Its okay, its guided by computers.

      Oh, you mean the car? Well sadly, in the 21st century, the navigation of our cars is somewhat less advanced than the navigation of rockets built in the 1960s.

      1. Navigation

        To be fair, the rockets of the 1960s could go to only one destination, had almost nothing else to run into, and were unusable after a single trip. So I think the navigation of cars is a slightly more complicated problem…

        I do, however, want that car. Although I suspect it has basically zero luggage space.

        Ewen

          1. Re: Navigation

            I suspect it’ll store _only_ golf clubs. It’s a common design criteria for cars that appeal to rich business executives. But if it won’t, eg, hold a week’s shopping it’s less useful to the average person.

            Computer guided cars do exist now. There are annual races across both Europe and Australia for computer guided autonomous vehicles, and the more recent ones have been reasonably successful even in actual traffic (although the registration rules require them to have people following the car in a position to disable it, with a remote kill switch or similar). So the computational requirements are almost achievable now. What’s needed is a bunch more work on the software to make it ultra reliable, and able to cope with more “unusual” situations. Which is part of what the races are trying to motivate people to do.

            I figure it’ll be less than 20 years. But possibly not less than 10 years.

            Ewen

  1. i had read that the environmental impact of making all those lithium batteries , computer components and other magical high-tech materials far outweighed the disadvantages of drilling up oil and burning it.

    please note this is not a troll, i’m interested in your take on that.

    grist.

    1. afaik a whole lot of the components of lithium batteries are recyclable. And if you use electrickery from renewable resources, at least you know you aren’t going to run out of it super fast. With oil, we’re not so sure how much we have left, and given that it took hundreds of thousands of years to form, we really do need to try all alternatives while we can.

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