MAX Update No. 20: The Most Real Green Car at the EG


| 12/23/2008 11:10:34 AM


The EG was a hoot and I'm so glad I went. 

EG stands for Entertainment Gathering, as far as I can tell — I was in way over my head. It featured the most eclectic group of presenters I've ever seen in one bunch. My personal favorite speaker was Teller, of Penn & Teller, who spoke of how knowing how something is done does not lessen one's appreciation of the act, even if the act is magic on stage.

Many other presentations were inspiring: One laptop per child? Good idea. Digital motion control in the arts? I'll use those lessons to make MAX's next body. Peter Diamondis of the X Prize Foundation? Heck yeah, but he'd already inspired me. International goofy dancing? The world's not such a bad place, is it? But Teller renewed my dedication to open sourcing the MAX project. If there's anything about MAX I'm not telling you, it's not because it's a trade secret, it's because I haven't figured it out yet.

 

MAX at EG 
Photo by Jack McCornack
 

MAX was well-received, partly because (as a commenter predicted in MAX Update No. 19: A Roof Over Our Heads) it was the only Auto X Prizer that got there on its own steam. The Physics Lab of Lake Havasu folks brought their “Green Giant” SUV, but they brought it on a trailer. ZAP brought a scale model of their much-anticipated Alias trike, which they maybe brought in a hatbox. Both companies have loftier goals than Kinetic Vehicles, and if the cars were being judged by projected performance, MAX would have been the loser. Instead, I was giving rides during the breaks and MAX was getting bonus points for being real.



During my talk, I described my design philosophy as minimalist, and got a good laugh with my definition: A pessimist says the glass is half empty. An optimist says the glass is half full.  A minimalist says “We're using about twice as much glass as we need here.”

Cheryl _2
1/1/2009 3:03:12 PM

I agree with B R Clark, if I had enough money I would do my own research. I am tired of waiting for companies and others that could make it possible to come up with alternative energy to power automobiles. I too have waited many many years for something to become available to all of us. Europe is so far ahead of us with tech like this. I am ashamed. We could break our dependence on fuel from foreign countries. B R Clark's comment: To me the ultimate hybrid would be a plug in EV with a very small and efficient combustion engine to run a generator to extend the range indefinately. And why isn't the roof of every EV/Hybrid a solar panel? You could drive it to work, park it in the sun for 9 hours and let mother nature recharge your batteries. I wish I had the money to conduct my own such experiments. I'm looking for a golf cart to modify as such and let the kids drive it around the farm to see how well it works. I heard the prius was looking at such a mod. But I've been asking why for 10 years!


Brian A. Stewart
12/29/2008 3:00:39 PM

I'm curious as to why you used more gallons of diesel than vegetable oil? That seems backwards to me. (Some day I would like to convert an old school bus into a motor home running on waste vegetable oil primarily, and bio-diesel for starting and stopping, since that should be cheaper and more renewable.)


B R Clark
12/29/2008 11:16:42 AM

Jack, I just want to know if yo're hiring?? I've always been a conservationist minded fellow, and wondered why many things aren't implemented into basic transportation. I swear to you, I had an idea for "regenerative braking" long before anybody ever mentioned it. I didn't know what to call it, or how to implement it, but if it's all about energy, why can't we turn rolling energy into something besides heat when stopping? To me the ultimate hybrid would be a plug in EV with a very small and efficient combustion engine to run a generator to extend the range indefinately. And why isn't the roof of every EV/Hybrid a solar panel? You could drive it to work, park it in the sun for 9 hours and let mother nature recharge your batteries. I wish I had the money to conduct my own such experiments. I'm looking for a golf cart to modify as such and let the kids drive it around the farm to see how well it works. I heard the prius was looking at such a mod. But I've been asking why for 10 years! Keep up the good work Jack. I hang on every work! I guess I should've went to engineering school so I could save the world.....




Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters