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Solar/wind charging, 4 wheel hub motors, I'm interested.
Stinger Motors Inc. Looks like they don't have a website yet but they are featured on this site:
They do have a pdf though
It seems that solar/wind charging is best done while parked, as alignment of panels to the sun is haphazard when in motion, and any solar array large enough to capture enough energy in a single day to propel most vehicles even 20 miles would be bigger than the vehicle! I have a 2KW array, which can charge my Vectrix filly on a good sunny day, or over 3 or 4 not so sunny days--The 20 solar panels, ofc 100 watts each, weigh about 800 pounds-more than the vectrix with my 200b pounds aboard!--Small solar arrays, such as might be affixed to a scooter or bike, can barely keep the batteries "topped off" while parked/stored for extended periods, unless carefully placed an aligned with the sun. Improvements of any significant amount, as regards range increase by mounting and using panels while in motion, are difficult to obtain in a practical vehicle. Wind driven power sources, other than power by SAIL on water, are also not practical when in motion, unless you have a strong wind directly at your back!-Bob
Robert M. Curry
Yes, but even if the solar panels only gave you a couple of miles of additional charge, some people have a very short commute to work. I had a 5 mile commute to work. For someone like me, I might not ever have to charge the car with the plug. But if I want to take a longer trip I would have the 220 and 110 chargers on board to extend my range. But we will have a better idea how much the panels and the turbine really help when I call him tomorrow to get some more detailed specs.
Ok, it looks like this car is not going to be available for a liitle while but I have the interview on my EV blog with Dr Alberts of Stinger Motors Inc. At the end of the article there is a link to the China Car Forums where there is more detailed information on the car.
Interview with Dr Alberts of Stinger Motors Inc
Steve: Your upcoming EV replenishes it's batteries from several different sources. Can you talk a little about that?
Dr Alberts: That's the beauty of my design Steve, it began not as a metal bodied ICE conversion with a square hole cut in the roof for solar, but rather has its' genesis in the design style of solar racers. This is important because the entire upper surface area has been maximized for free battery charging from the sun; even at the lowest points on the horizon, such as daybreak or dusk, The Stinger is still receiving some free off-grid power. Likewise, like other advanced EV designs, The Stinger also recaptures typically lost power during braking by regenerating (reversing the motors to charge like an generator) that power as well. Even while the car is being powered by only one drive motor (in 1wd economy mode), the other motors are returning some otherwise lost energy to the battery. Similarly, air coming through the front grill opening is forced through duct work, inside the body, to turn impellers designed to capture and reuse this wind resistance at highway speed. Of course if you are driving and have depleted your charge completely by nightfall, you would need to either use one of the 110volt or the 220volt (quick charging) systems to repower on the grid. However, the key claim here is not that The Stinger would normally repower itself entirely off the grid in all driving conditions, but instead that it recaptures more lost energy than any other four passenger highway going EV design- for free!
Steve: This car will be one of the first EVs to have on board solar charging. Although many ev enthusiasts would like to propel their personal rides with the power of the Sun, there are only a handful of solar EVs in the entire world, and zero from major auto manufacturers. What made you decide to use this type of charging?
Dr Alberts: That' a complex question which requires potential mainstream EV buyers to ask why others have not done so- especially considering the solar racers have been around since the 1980s (but primarily sponsored by oil giants now heavily invested in this technology). This then becomes a question of what is motivating the other EV producers to continue using antiquated (mostly golf cart) technology that builds in planned obsolescence. Here's the bottom line, the ICE producers are set up to keep stamping out steel body parts attached to a steel frame because they are financially motivated to do so. In reality, except for the most powerful drive systems (of any type) with massive torque, the steel frame is definitely not needed (fiberglass powerboat designs prove this) and stamped steel body parts rust as other mechanical systems also fail; this of course, requires new cars be purchased at three to six year intervals. I could go on speculating about major automakers' back washing the oil industry's gasoline, motor oil, transmission and hydraulic fluid, etc...but by now, any serious potential mainstream EV buyer already sees these realities. Besides being motivated to build a car to truly last for 20 years or more and needing lightweight materials for energy efficiency, The Stinger's number one design goal was to capture free energy from the sun. The only way to safely do this in a mainstream, extremely safe, passenger vehicle- is to mount the cells in non-conducting material (carbon fibre) and then encapsulate the assembly in a thin acrylic film mounted on a fiberglass body. Form follows function, not sweetheart deals, here.
Steve: It seems to me that FEMA and other govt agencies would be interested in a vehicle that would have a good water seal for use in hurricane and flood recovery. Are you planning on marketing to these groups?
Dr Alberts: Though The Stinger's design byproduct was, in fact, a car that will float in an emergency situation like a flood, it has no safe mechanisms for steering, braking or even opening the gull-wing doors (as water could rush into the cockpit) for a rescue mission, so definitely not. On the other hand, God forbid, someone is unintentionally swept up by flood waters, while already on board The Stinger, they could hopefully remain afloat long enough to reach dry land. Saving even one life is worth the extra expense of completely sealing the body from all moisture. Though The Stinger has several characteristics of a boat- using it primarily as a watercraft is a terrible idea in terms of safe operation and will void the warranty if such regular usage is discovered.
Steve: Did you have any influences that inspired the design of the Stinger Coupe? Eg. the Batmobile, the spinners from Blade Runner, etc.
Dr Alberts: Long before teaching college, as a boy, I played with the Hotwheels Brand cars. Many of these cars were based on prototypes by Harley Earl, et. al. and never saw production; these cars inspired my artistic creativity and eventually I sketched a lightweight, sporty four passenger coupe (inspired by a wasp) in great detail back in my art school days around 1984. Time went by and learned to present useful automotive features and benefits as a top Acura salesman in L.A. around 1990. Since then, I've personally restored the mechanicals and bodywork of over 45 muscle and sports cars; all have inspired me, as do the concept cars currently being displayed at the major international auto shows.
Steve: What made you decide to pursue EV manufacturing?
Dr Alberts: Honestly, I felt compelled to do so after comparing the realities of the exciting and efficient technology available vs. the garbage EVs really being (not even) offered and promoted by major automakers. Between the greenhouse gas pollution creating global warming and the ridiculous profits of the oil companies plus the expense on top of planned obsolescence built into the ICE designs- my next car had to be a highway capable quality EV. As was the case with my teaching career, I saw a vacuum and thought I could do a better job of filling the void than others. Though there is now a glut of NEVs at the bottom of the market and even a growing upper end market with Tesla, the planned Fisker and Lightning offerings, still no-one wanted to tackle the mainstream (under 30k) market demand for clean, fuel efficient, performance and every day usability- enter The Stinger.
Steve: In the minds of a lot of car buyers, EVs have to look like a strange alien contraption, eg. the Tango and most of the Zap cars. Is that an idea that you wanted to challenge.
Dr Alberts: I'm not sure that buyers won't say that about The Stinger. Gore's outfit, Kliener Perkins told me that women who buy the Accord or Camry would never consider my design because it doesn't look like a traditional four door grocery getter. Then again, they probably would have made the same assessment of the CD or DVD a few years ago as being too strange and different for buyers to accept. With that said, some new design features, like my entirely removable upper shell that utilizes gull-wing doors and does away with door post auto body construction, must be considered on its' merit of form following function to get the (lightweight and easily serviced) job done whereas design excesses to meet DOT motorcycle loopholes are another matter (mostly of passenger safety and realistic every day usability). Our challenge to some of the designs you've mentioned comes mostly in the form of creating a traditional four wheeled car that has comfortable room for four passengers and offers a sleek integrated design with features like 4wd and all of the other interior amenities expected in a primary vehicle (A/C, cruise-control, fold down rear seats, sound system, a usable trunk, etc...). Our goal was to make the interior layout as familiar as possible while remaining true to our EVs goals.
Steve: What are some of the benefits of the variable motor engagement? (When the car switches the number of motors engaged in propelling the car)
Dr Alberts: This idea has been around for years even with the number of cylinders firing in an ICE design, so the concept of only using the power immediately needed was simply applied to these realities: Four wheel drive is not needed (very inefficient and wasteful) at highway speeds. If you are doing 75mph and hit a patch of ice, for example, vehicle momentum- not 4wd- dictates the direction of your driving path. Conversely, when a vehicle is at a dead stop on a loose or slippery surface, traction is needed in order to get the initial vehicle momentum going. Thus, we recommend shifting out of 4wd after reaching freeway speed and shifting into 2wd (to maintain throttle response) only long enough to get out of traffic congestion and into 1wd "Economy Mode". Then the power tracker can match the highest producing solar quadrant to the single motor drivetrain. At this point, the solar racer concept becomes realized and on a bright Summer day offers an almost limitless daylight driving range.
Steve: Do you have any kind of projected date for when you car will be available to be purchased? (Even a tentative ballpark date would be of interest.)
Dr Alberts: No, but I can tell you it's taken two years for readily available overseas Asian bulk manufacturing to get to our current point of departure and have hub motors (though slightly undersized and inefficient), quality lithium based power systems (though still overpriced), a greater variety of carbon fiber suppliers (getting better) and somewhat reliable automotive grade LED lighting -not to mention the "space spec" solar cells needed to make The Stinger a reality. Stinger Motors Inc. has recently put out the call to manufacture The Stinger in an economy of scale that would be cost effective for all, but all of the aforementioned technology is just starting to become cost efficient to mass produce while still not quite meeting our quality requirements. In other words, reasonably priced -and- readily available technology may be the biggest deterrent in establishing concrete time lines right now.
Steve: Is there a website where we can keep up to date on your progress?
Dr Alberts: Yes, right here on your blog. I'll keep you posted. We just don't yet see the need to create a consumer oriented commercial site when the key to the entire project is actually getting the car, crash tested/DOT approved, mass produced and readily available in local dealerships. Without a definitive manufacturing agreement and distribution channels in place there is no reasonable belief we can meet our market price goals now. When this happens...
Steve: And finally, is there anything else you would like to add that we have not already covered?
Dr Alberts: Yes, I'd like to tell all of your bloggers, casual readers and future EV buyers that Stinger Motors Inc. is committed to delivering an exciting real world product at a price that will show our EV to be superior, in almost every respect, to currently offered mainstream ICE four passenger sport driving designs and the best combination of EV value and technology at any price. Unfortunately, as the market of get rich quick EV profiteers seems to grow exponentially every day, every one of those, "I won't sell my capacitor, battery, charger or hub motor for less than a million per unit" mentalities only makes the "I'm ready to buy a fun to drive, four passenger, highway going, medium distance, efficient EV for under 30k" buyer that much further from the ICE to EV global market changeover that we all know is inevitable. If only the existing market giants are allowed to play and win by driving the retail consumer costs to artificially high levels totally unrealistic (for EVs with only 700-900 parts) for the average buyer- we all loose. On the other hand, if Stinger Motors Inc. can simply ink a deal with a globally capable manufacturer and exchange our marketing and distribution rights for bulk per unit pricing and availability- just perhaps- then everyone can win and have a quality long lasting EV at an affordable fair-market price.
Click on the link below for a more detailed information on the car.
China Car forums
With 4 solar panels of 75 watts each, I estimate that about 150 watts would be available for charging, on a good day. If you assume this power is generated for 4 hours, you would have 600 watt-hours, or about enough to operate the vehicles 3 horspower motor for 12 minutes, or 5 miles at 25 miles per hour. (Actual performance may be slightly LESS, due to power lost in charge/dischage cycle, and controller/motor losses)-Positioning of the vehicle relative to available sunlight, will greatly affect solar energy captured!-Bob
(4 times 75 is 300, but 300 watts would not be generated, as not all panels would directly face the sun at any given time)
Right, but a light detector or manual adjustment will allow full exposure to the sun - I have an incredible idea, but im keeping it secret, cause its an invention... stay tuned.....
Check this out while you still can: http://criticalunity.org/news/in-focus/energy/283-history-of-new-energy-invention-suppression-cases.html
I've seen a few panels that are good at generating power at acute angles so in places as far south as Florida it could be possible to get a few more hours of usable charging.
Um, there are elements of a joke site here. Doesn't this look like a 2CV?
Their main page image is a pre-2008 blurb from Aptera.
On-vehicle PV is largely useless for primary current supply, though one E-Scooterist added a nice set of folding solar wings for use while parked and claims to have been "off grid" for several years.
As to wind charging, yeah, right.
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