atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1892: $8,000

I was right again! The Tata Nano will cost around $8,000 when it is brought to the US market.

The car costs $2,500 in India because it doesn't have to meet US safetey standards, which are the most stringent in the world. A US version will have to be built to meet both those standards and the pollution-control standards, which are also pretty strict.

Given that, then, the car will get excellent fuel economy. But while it'll be the cheapest car in the US market, it won't be all that cheap, considering that you can get a stripped Hyundai Accent for about $10,000.

* * *

One of the great injustices of the "econobox" world is that two-cycle engines are so dirty.

There are ways to fix that problem, but none of the companies which tried to fix those problems ever got anywhere. In particular I'm thinking of a company called Orbital, which had a prototype engine that weighed 90 lbs and produced 90 HP. You could tuck it under one arm and carry it.

Two-cycle engines are powerful. Where a single-cylinder four-cycle engine has a power stroke for every two revolutions of its crankshaft, a similar two-cycle engine has a power stroke for each revolution.

The downside, though, is that they are less efficient, and they're dirty: because of how the cylinder exchanges exhaust for fresh air/fuel, some of the air/fuel mix gets out before the gas ports close. Besides, the fuel is a mix of oil and gasoline, because this mixture provides lubrication for the engine internals.

Orbital's engine attempted to remedy those problems. I don't remember the details, but I believe they used a pressurized oiling system (similar to a four-cycle engine) and some kind of fuel injection to eliminate mixing oil with the fuel. It ensured only air and fuel were burned (not oil) and fuel injection ensured that little unburned fuel went into the exhaust.

But they disappeared, and we're still running big four-cycle engines even in cars meant to be economy cars.

Well, it's economics: we know how to build four-cycle engines which produce good power and low emissions while turning in acceptably long service intervals. These engines aren't the best for the application but they have the advantage of being economically sound.

* * *

I don't have anything else to discuss.

I'm not going to talk about WoW today: I had a good time last night playing it, and ended up shutting down only when I began falling asleep during gryphon flights, but nothing really notable happened.

I didn't watch any anime, though I did digitize music from Haruhi, Spice and Wolf 2, Excel Saga, and Telepathy Shoujo Ran. (Yeah: that OP from TSR that I said I hated? It grew on me.)

The ED from Haruhi ended up with a weird spectral groan in it. I heard it while it was digitizing but I thought it came from Mom or one of the cats, only when I listened to it on the MP3 player it was there, so I've got to redo it. I'll try a different ep and see if it's better.

Yeah, that's it.

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