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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I've been a thinkin'.....

Maybe someone has come up with this previously, but I haven't seen it. Before you shoot it down, think on it a bit.

I suggest the following:

Rally in the U.S. should have a class TOTALLY UNRELATED TO FIA (so no "Group this and that") that is for hydrogen powered and/or hybrid and/or electric cars. As of now hybrids would probably be the easiest to implement.

This class would be a distinctly U.S. rally class. If other countries want to adopt it, fine.

Would the car manufacturers go for this? I don't know, but it might be worth a shot. I always thought trying to sell Subarus/Mitsubishis/Hyundais with 300-400hp 4WD cars was a waste of money for the manufacturers, a money pit for SCCA rally, and generally a sham.

Will the general rally community embrace my idea? I doubt it for several reasons, none the least of which is because it is my idea. Also, they like their high horse power FIA type rally cars.

The pessimist in me says this is a waste of time, because soon we will be involved in a world war on a scale that will dwarf the previous two world wars. The body count will be unprecedented. However..... The optimist in me says this is a good idea. I remember the gasoline lines of 1974.

To start I think something like a production class would be best. If that worked, then maybe a performance class that would bring in some really original high tech thinking.

For those who like "spec class" racing there might be an opportunity here too.

Before you puke, think on it a spell.
 

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i have always maintained that for alternative fuel vehicles to catch on there must be a performance oriented one available.

this would be a good showcase for such a vehicle.

someone is rallying a older prius in canada, i think.
 

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I bet the Sierra Club would be more open minded to Hybrids racing in THEIR forests. Who knows, you might be on to something? Personally, I'd rather stick to c16. Actually, Methanol sounds even better yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A couple of things that come to mind....

If people like this idea I hope that RA and NASA would work together to define some rules. (you, as competitors, can push them to work together)

Class names:

IFFO (Independence From Foreign Oil)
IFO (Independence From Oil)
ECO (ecology)

After there are a sufficient number of cars to warrant further definition of the class(es) the (IFO/ECO/Whatever you name it) would be followed by a number or something further defining the type of vehicle

Start with something small like.... At a rally such as (Rally NY, Maine, Oregon, STPR, etc) have a car show and/or a simple TSD rally with some pretty stickers.

If ya'll think I'm on to something, I would like to have some involvement with this (however for the time being my involvement would have to be minimal and remote).

If there is some interest maybe someone can start a poll here to see if anyone reading this forum has one of these types of cars.

Thanks for listening.
 

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If I recall correctly a couple hybrids have raced already. One in Europe for sure, and I thought one up in Canada as well.

Jon Hamilton has been running a turbo diesel Golf for couple years now, with quite a bit of success.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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>I think this is one of the Canadian ones:

No that is not the Canadian one. This one is from the UK, you can see in the photo that it's RHD. The Canadian one was the 1st Gen. Prius and the one in the photo is the 2nd Gen.
 

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How peculiar that this should come up right now. I was just this afternoon looking at VW TDI engine specs and biodiesel performance and musing that perhaps there should be another displacement multiplier for alternative fuel engines. From the little research I've done, it looks like biodiesels up to about 5% have similar performance to conventional diesels, but B20 (20%) and up seems to have about a 20% power loss.

I couldn't find figures on Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) power, but I assume it's about the same as 100% biodiesel, or less. Based on that, I was musing that a .65 displacement modifier would be about right for both of those.

It'd be great to get another class going for this, but I don't know where the competitors would come from. There aren't very many alternative-fuel cars out there right now, and it seems like it'd be hard to get enough momentum going to make it an appealing class to build a car for, considering that they're all pretty low horsepower cars, and most of them are pretty new and therefor expensive. Also, biodiesel and SVO both seem to have viscosity-related problems at low temperatures, so I imagine there wouldn't be much of a following in northern climates.

Hm...requires more research, I think.

My preliminary research started because I got an idea that it would be interesting to get a TDI engine and throw it in my GTI (along with fuel lines and a different gas tank, etc, etc) and run it on biodiesel at Pikes Peak next year as a publicity stunt. I'd have to paint the car green of course...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>Those are both Mk1 Prii.

Okay, so far I have learned one thing; the plural spelling for Prius.

Next....

Should I take it there is not much interest in my idea?
 

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I dig your idea Jens. I worry about battery weight/logevity for electric only cars. Maybe for sprints?

Hybrids and alt fuel vehicles seem like the ticket. It would be interesting to talk to those teams that have run the Toyota hybrid to see how well the cars (and their electronics) have held up. Civic, Prius and Element exist off the shelf. I think making your own would be a nice option too. San Diego State (I think) has made a diesel electric 2-seater convertible using a VW Lupo motor. http://www.engineering.sdsu.edu/~hev/text.html

I've spoken with a few people here in Oregon who have done hydrogen conversions to their cars and are pretty pleased with them. I think trying to get a sanctioning body to buy off on a non-fuel cell hydrogen powered car will be an uphill (ala Hindenburg) battle.

Bio-diesel and straight veggie oil are probably the easiest of the three. Policing the fuel is a hurdle though. Do you have to run B100, or is B20 'alternative' enough? How do you test? I think the honor system might work best here, let karma deal with rule-breakers.

Those are just a few of the thoughts I've had on this.
 

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I really don?t think the world is ready for Hydrogen cars yet, even though they seem to be arriving. I recently attended a seminar on hazardous materials with regard to building codes, and it was a real eye opener when one of the instructors, a fire protection consultant, voiced his concerns with H cars. He had watched a video of a 5000 cu. ft. H tank that was placed on a fire to simulate a car fire. When it blew up, the fireball was a block in diameter, which is also the distance the tank traveled. Supposedly the goal is to have 10,000 cu. ft. tanks in large vehicles so the cruising range is competitive with gasoline. Hydrogen only has an energy density of 320 BTU per cu. ft., vs. 126,000 BTU per gallon of gasoline, so a 5000 cu. ft. H tank is equivalent to a 12.7-gallon gasoline tank. Because of the low energy density, H requires extremely high pressures to have reasonably sized tanks. A small fuel line leak that drips gasoline is one thing, a high-pressure flammable gas leak is something else?

In addition, H cars would not be permitted in parking ramps or repair garages under current building codes. All repair garages are designed for gasoline/diesel vehicles; with all electrical outlets a specified distance above the floor to prevent explosions from heavier-than-air gasoline fumes. H is lighter-than-air, so all switches, outlets, light fixtures, electric motors, etc. would have to be explosion-proof. I know a tank full of gasoline can be enormously destructive, too, but extremely high-pressure flammable gases are a whole ?nother beast, and I don?t think people know what they?re getting into. I?m definitely going to let other people be the guinea pigs on this one?
 

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>Class names:
>
>IFFO (Independence From Foreign Oil)
>IFO (Independence From Oil)
>ECO (ecology)

Yeah right. A hybrid car is powered 100% by oil and does nothing but damamge to most natural ecosystems. However, the testing and technology development could be argued as a benefit - or at least a step in a better although still environmentally catastrophic direction.

A more interesting and significantly quieter / less spilling / less fire chance would be a stright electric rally car. With 1000Lbs of batteries you can have something that .... well just look at the stats on this:

http://www.acpropulsion.com/tzero_pages/tzero_home.htm
 

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>>Class names:
>>
>>IFFO (Independence From Foreign Oil)
>>IFO (Independence From Oil)
>>ECO (ecology)
>
>Yeah right. A hybrid car is powered 100% by oil and does
>nothing but damamge to most natural ecosystems. However, the
>testing and technology development could be argued as a
>benefit - or at least a step in a better although still
>environmentally catastrophic direction.
>
>A more interesting and significantly quieter / less spilling /
>less fire chance would be a stright electric rally car. With
>1000Lbs of batteries you can have something that .... well
>just look at the stats on this:
>
>http://www.acpropulsion.com/tzero_pages/tzero_home.htm
>
>

Of course, the batteries are most likely recharged with power from a coal fired plant. Oops!
 

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Steve, In response to your post above about the dangers of hydrogen, the saving grace is that hydrogen disipates extremely quick.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
>Our 5 cents per KWh power here in Vancouver is hydro...

Damming rivers has no adverse environmental impact?

Hybrid cars aren't the end solution. They are a starting point.
 
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