Thursday, May 21, 2009

Two TV Hosts - Two Electric Cars
Showcasing the Volt and the Aptera

As it so happens, I saw two comedian/television hosts checking out the latest electric cars. Both Jay Leno and David Lettermen are bona-fide "car guys" Jay Leno is famous for collecting every bizarre and interesting car under the sun (sometimes literally, as we'll see). David Letterman is also interested in the technical bits, but he's a sucker for fast. In the first video below, on Jay's Garage, Jay Leno checks out the Aptera, a three-wheeled electric vehicle. (None dare call it a car, because it's licensed as a motorcycle in most states.)

Jay goes on and on about the aerodynamics. With a drag coefficient of .15 it has half the drag coefficient of a good conventional car, but it's really not quite that good. The total drag is the drag coefficient multiplied by the frontal area. Since a certain portion of the frontal area of the Aptera breaks the wind just for the podded wheels, there is more frontal area than there would be on a conventional vehicle of the same size. Still, it's a damn efficient car. I can imagine commuting in one of these. (By the way, Jay parenthetically mentions his 1908 Baker Electric car. Here's a link to his video on this fascinating 100 year old electric car.)

The second video is GM's Bob Lutz showing off the preproduction Chevrolet Volt on Late Night with David Letterman. David had criticized the Volt earlier this year when he had Elon Musk and the Tesla Model S on his show. (Apparently Letterman bought a Tesla Roadster.) In the spirit of equal time, Letterman invited maximum Bob and the Volt on the show, and David was surprisingly accommodating and civil. Nice tan, Bob. I really hope the Volt makes it to market. I'd like to drive one.

With cars like the Aptera and the Volt, we just might hit the new Obama CAFE requirements.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.