From The Register:
Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here’s how
Crawling from the Wreckage
Cars are mass-produced consumer products sold to users who mostly know very little about them. They are optimised to make a profit for the manufacturer, so low build cost is paramount for most manufacturers – which automatically excludes many design and engineering ideas that would raise efficiency. John Watkinson has been busy in the garage and applied those concepts to his own vehicle and found that they work.
It’s the introduction to a piece by John Watkinson that starts as follows:
Like many others, my greatest problems are, or at least were, energy costs. I’ve solved my household energy problems, but that’s another story. Here I’m talking about solving vehicle efficiency problems – basically reducing the cost and the environmental impact of running a car.
As a designer, one of the problems I find is that consumer products are, almost by definition, sub-optimal and the more cut-throat the market, the more sub-optimal they will be. Cars fall into that category. Under that nice paint job can be some very questionable engineering. Accept that and the process of ceasing to be a consumer has begun.
It’s a terrific article – though of practical use for a very limited subset of motoring and technology enthusiasts – well worth your time to read. Well done that man!
Read it all, here.