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post #121 of 128 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 08:36 PM
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WSJ reported today that several car makers, GM, VW, etc, are giving up entirely on hybrid cars, concentrating on pure electric as the path to the future. Interesting. No mention of FCA.
WSJ is probably in bed with C&D.


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post #122 of 128 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 05:52 AM
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Most people buy premium cars based on the social cachet of the brand.

Alfa needs to play up its Italian style and make owning one a personal fashion statement.

Beyond 0-60 time bragging rights, very few owners care about the technical aspects of their car.
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post #123 of 128 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 06:02 AM
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Regarding Tesla Model 3 acceleration.

The Tesla accelerates fast only at low speeds because the electric motor has maximum torque at zero rpm. An internal combustion engine increases its torque with engine rpm (up to a point, of course).

The Tesla Model 3 acceleration curve is very different from a typical gasoline-powered car:

(Image from https://fastestlaps.com/models/tesla-model-3 )
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post #124 of 128 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 06:05 AM
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At the moment the only EV that makes any commercial sense is a mild hybrid.

48v combination electric motor/generator serves as an engine brake regenerative device to charge battery from otherwise wasted braking energy, operates as a starter and stop/start device, gives an "overboost" for overtaking and off the line acceleration and replaces the alternator and the clutch/torque converter.

These systems are currently available to car makers as fully engineered transmissions that plug into the existing space in most current vehicles with no structural redesign required.

In addition, for very high performance applications these systems can be readily expanded with the addition of electric motors to drive the undriven axle on demand, replacing awd systems currently available with highly sophisticated and programable torque vectoring drive to individual wheels. Best applied to the front axle to add these features to a rwd chassis but the reverse is also eminently practical.

The cost of adding these features currently only makes sense in the context of the CAGW mania which artificially drives up the cost of purely conventional ICE vehicles.

The one really handy aspect of these systems from my perspective is that for fairly minimal weight penalty one gets EV only operation for about 30 miles or 50 km which is ideal for rush hour low speed driving. No noise, no stop/start effects, excellent creeping function and snappy acceleration from low speed or stationary, all with a fairly low cost increment. The ICE remains ready to kick in whenever the driver requires it to.

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post #125 of 128 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MALDI View Post
Regarding Tesla Model 3 acceleration.

The Tesla accelerates fast only at low speeds because the electric motor has maximum torque at zero rpm. An internal combustion engine increases its torque with engine rpm (up to a point, of course).

The Tesla Model 3 acceleration curve is very different from a typical gasoline-powered car:

(Image from https://fastestlaps.com/models/tesla-model-3 )
Every electric motor is also a generator. The torque curve reflects this reverse power effect. The faster the motor spins the higher the reverse force generated within the motor until net torque reaches zero and the motor in effect "stalls" at a pre determined maximum rpm. By stalls I mean as for a torque converter, not physically stopping.

A two speed transmission cures any acceleration deficiency. Tesla doesn't use a gearbox because it's designed for American conditions where driving above 100 mph eventually lands you in jail.

ZF has developed a two speed transmission for EV.

One odd fact is that the Tesla accelerates so fiercely because it is so heavy. To get the top speed up there and the required range needed big batteries which in turn required powerful motors. Because electric motor torque drops off at high motor speeds the need for sufficient torque at highway speeds means the torque available from standstill is stupendous. But that's not really by design, it is inevitable that an EV that can mimic an ICE powered car at high speeds is going to accelerate very quickly indeed from standstill.

It's not currently possible to build an EV that does both: performs well at highway speeds but is lightweight and highly efficient at city speeds, even with a two speed gearbox. But, if a page is taken out of the portable electric tool engineering with a suitable continuously variable transmission or multispeed planetary or DCT much smaller electric motors could be used with feedback type weight reductions, especially battery weights, and range increases. Lightweight modern starter motors also rely on high rpm and big reduction gearsets to do their job efficiently as compared to the relative behemoths fitted in the 60's.

The current technical limit for very efficient EV is building suitable transmissions and their control units.

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Last edited by Michael Smith; 08-14-2019 at 07:24 AM.
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post #126 of 128 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 08:32 AM
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Pretty happy with my Gas powered Stelvio Ti. I drive every week from NJ to MA, roughly 250 miles. Check into Residence Inn that has no charging stations, go to my office at a building with no charge stations. Hybrid sure I could do that although Most of my mileage is Hwy so no big hybrid benefit. EV not yet a practical reality yet for me. Not even counting in cold NE winter impact on battery performance.

If this thread is about the future of Alfa, sure they need to think about electrification but let’s get dealers, info systems and software right to sell an upper tier car. I am very happy with my Alfa, the service and the lack of a more advanced info system and no manual. I have old Alfas to relive my youth and enjoy the pleasure of mechanical driving. I am not going to drive an old Alfa 30k miles per year. That’s just me, everyone entitled to what meets their needs.
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post #127 of 128 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:04 PM
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I'd like to see a different style of ad for Alfa. Quick shots of the three going fast on deserted roads is great for starters but to appeal to the wider market and sell more some soccer moms will need to buy a few.

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

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post #128 of 128 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 07:11 PM
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Alfa Romeo was always a niche marque, and now it is a niche brand of FCA and needs to be very different in feel and looks instead of trying to be a metoo product. For me the Giulia is too bland in styling and I prefer the Stelvio although both should be more distinctive.

FCA are trying to push Alfa upmarket to compete head on with the German marques with the Giulia and Stelvio built on a new platform and using in top versions Ferrari engines but although magazines have rightly praised the driving habits of the cars they keep panning the build quality compared to those Germans and also the dealer backup and depreciation and those demerits are the strengths of the German cars and why they get repeat buyers. Reputation takes a long time to build but is easily ruined and as prices rise so do expectations.

Alfa Romeo are focusing on the small SUV, named Tonale, to be launched next year maybe, rightly so as the SUV market is the fastest growing in the world, and this is a very distinctive car in prototype. However Alfa Romeos should be less complicated since more complication (in terms of electronics) gives more chance for faults and if the future sports cars were less techy and more modular so that they allowed easy modifications and improvements (instead of plastic covers on everything and instead of microchips controlling unnecessary things) then a lot more enthusiasts would get interested because they would be able to relatively easily work on the cars themselves and this would translate to free marketing from these early adopters and make a new generation of alfa lovers.
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