Re: Fuel Cells

Brian D Williams (
Mon, 7 Jun 1999 09:12:38 -0700 (PDT)


From: Eugene Leitl <>

>No, no, no. Using electrical cars has primarily one function: zero
>emission, at least in situ. Properly designed electrical cars
>should be lithium-cell driven composite-frame lightweight vehicles
>without a transmission (motors in the wheel hub), having a spike
>cache (e.g. a supercapacitor bank) and regen (brake energy
>regeneration) braking. These things would be environmentally
>clean, silent and have very impressive driving characteristics
>while being impact safe. Design studies of these have been made.

Yes this was the "HyperCar" project at the Rocky Mountain Institute. It is now a 2 billion dollar financed project taking place outside Chicago at Argonne National Labs, in the X-file's sounding building 453. (I think it was 453?)

From: James Rogers <>

>While safe in a structural sense, I am not so sure such a vehicle
>would be very safe for a human passenger. When two vehicles
>collide, the difference in relative momentum has an enormous
>impact on the injury suffered. While a lightweight vehicle may
>offer similar structural impact resistance to a steel framed
>vehicle, the protective value to a human is considerably

This has been studied as part of the HyperCar proposal. A monocoque (sp?) chassis has many times the resistance of a conventional chassis, compare it to the survivability of an Indy-type car rather than a typical piece of steel.

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