The 1990s 2000s in .NET

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Environmental and conservation concerns put real teeth back into EV efforts, and even General Motors got the message Indeed, GM did a complete about-face and led the parade to electric vehicles Resumption of interest in EVs during this wave was led by unprecedented legislative, cooperative, and technological developments Electric vehicles of the 1990s also benefited from improvements in electronics technology, because the 1980s mileage and emission requirements increasingly forced automotive manufacturers to seek solutions via electronics Although EV interest was in a lull during the 1980s, that same decade saw a hundredfold improvement in the capabilities of solid-state electronics devices Tiny integrated circuits replaced a computer that took up a whole room with a computer on your desktop at the beginning of the 1980s, and by one that could be held in the palm of your hand by the beginning of the 1990s Development at the other end of the spectrum high-power devices was just as dramatic Anything mechanical that could be replaced by electronics was, in order to save weight and power (energy) Solid-state devices grew ever more
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muscular in response to this onrushing need Batteries became the focused targets of well-funded government-industry partnerships around the globe; lead-acid, sodiumsulfur, nickel-iron, and nickel-cadmium batteries advanced to new levels of performance Everyone began quietly looking at the mouth-watering possibilities of lithium-polymer batteries Table 3-2 compares electric vehicle specs from the major automotive manufacturers at the beginning 1960s to the 1990s At first glance, Table 3-2 appears to be a step backward from Japan s accomplishments of the 1970s as shown in Table 3-1 But first impressions are misleading The 1990s electric vehicles offer substantial technology improvements under the hood, are more energy-efficient, and are closer to being manufacturable products than engineering test platforms Six trends highlight EV development during this fourth wave: High levels of activity at GM, Ford, and Chrysler Increased vigor created by new independent manufacturers New and improved prototypes High levels of activity overseas High levels of hybrid activity A boom in individual internal combustion vehicle conversions Leading up to the 1990s, General Motors warmed to EVs through a series of events First, GM decided to enter the 1987 Australian World Solar Challenge, a project championed from within by Howard Wilson, then vice president of Hughes They turned for help to a little company called AeroVironment, founded by Paul MacCready MacCready had already won prizes for the longest human-powered flight with his ultra-lightweight and efficient Gossamer Condor in 1977, and for the first humanpowered plane to cross the English Channel with his Gossamer Albatross in 1979; in addition, his solar-powered Solar Challenger flew 163 miles from Paris to the English coast in 1981 AeroVironment was now given the ultimate challenge from GM creating a vehicle capable of going 1,900 miles across the Australian outback on solar power only AeroVironment did it GM s winning Sunraycer beat the competition by 2 days, proving what was possible with electric drive
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Range (miles) Top speed (mph) Power train Batter y pack Curb weight (lbs)
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GM Impact car 120 75 2 ea 54 hp ac Lead-acid 2200
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Ford Ecostar van 100 65 75 hp ac Sodiumsulfur 3100
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Nissan FEV car 150 80 2 ea 27 hp ac Nickelcadmium 1 1980
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Table 3-2
Leading Electric V ehicles F rom The 1990s Compared
Build Your Own Elec tric Vehicle
Figure 3-12
The GM Impact electric vehicle, which later became the GM EV1
MacCready and Wilson wondered what might be possible with an electric passenger vehicle Wilson was able to present the question personally to Bob Stemple, who sought approval in 1988 by then-chairman Roger Smith, and the rest, as they say, is history GM s Impact electric vehicle, shown in Figure 3-12, appropriately debuted at the January 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show, and promptly set the automotive world on its ear Offering 50- to 70-mile range (a Gen II EV1 with NiMH batteries provided 120 140 miles of range), a 0-to-60 time of under 8 seconds, 80-mph freeway capability in a slippery package that had a 019 coefficient of drag (still the most aerodynamic production car ever made), the Impact was not your grandparents electric vehicle For a while, GM proceeded to show the rest of the world the way With his do more with less philosophy, MacCready himself provided much of the inspiration: No one had ever tried to build a super-efficient car from scratch That s because no one had ever needed to Energy had always been cheap and pollution controls were relatively recent, so automakers never needed to pay fanatical attention to efficiency GM produced 50 Impacts and loaned them to utilities, local governments, and individuals to provide feedback about performance capabilities and user requirements in an innovative program known as PrEView Drive, which lasted from 1994 to 1996 Meanwhile, GM hedged its bet by working on the hybrid I-IX3 concept minivan that used a gasoline-powered 40-kW generator to extend the range of its two 60-hp AC front-wheel-drive electric motors Ford had a different idea; by using its European Escort van as the platform, building on the sodium-sulfur battery technology it invented in 1965, and applying its 1980s ETX-I and ETX-B drivetrain experience, Ford was hoping to leapfrog its competition and be the first to production with 80 Ford Ecostar vans (see Figure 3-13) planned for distribution to fleet customers in 1994 Ford was serious management, resources, tooling, and facilities had been put in place Weighing in at 3,100 lbs and driven by a solid state controlled 75-hp AC induction motor coupled to an integrated front-wheel drive and powered from sodium-sulfur batteries, the Ford Ecostar s specs were impressive at the time 75 mph and 100-mile range, with the ability to carry an 850-lb payload All of which led automotive writer Dennis Simanaitis to comment in the February 1993 issue of Automobile, The first electric vehicle you re likely to see is the most transparent we ve driven so far Chrysler took yet another approach, building on the TEVan ( T for T-115 minivan platform, E for electric) The already-proven electronics, drivetrain, and batteries lifted from their TEVan were used in their next generation lighter-weight Epic van,
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