• Feb 21st 2007 at 8:42PM
  • 14
Discovery channel has been running a four part series called FutureCar for the past few weeks and one of the segments focused on the GM Skateboard chassis that was first shown a few years back, featuring fuel cell power and complete by-wire controls. A variation of the Skateboard is used on the Sequel concept.

The segment doesn't delve too deeply into the technology, but instead focuses on a group of design interns . They were with tasked developing some new concepts that took advantage of the packaging flexibility afforded by low profile chassis and electronic controls. The Ford HySeries Drive system is similar in concept, minus the by-wire controls, and the Airstream concept was also designed to showcase packaging flexibility, even if the aesthetics were questionable.

[Source: Hugg.com - thanks to Linton for the tip]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "FutureCar: The Fuel" was "The Worst" episode yet. They really confused VegOil and biodiesel, which I can forgive Willie Nelson, but not a "science" program. They actually said "diesel cut with vegetable oil".

      The compressed air car inventor said "compressed air is an energy carrier", but then I cringed when the voice over ran on about a "perpetual motion" car!
      • 8 Months Ago
      Yeah, in the first episode they discussed the Opel Eco-Speedster, a lightweight 1.3l diesel-powered race car which had broken somewhere north of a dozen records when it ran in a 24-hour race a few years back. In the show, they claimed that it ran 24 hours at an average of ~140 mph, all while running at 113 miles per gallon.

      Um, no.

      That car is apparently capable of running over 110 mpg (UK) in European standard driving cycle tests, but it was somewhere closer to 20 mpg during the race -- which is still exceptionally good, but the producers of the show should have just sat there and thought about it for a minute... Anyway, the point of the car was to make something that used less than 2.5 liters per 100 km in normal driving.

      ...Oh, and the breathless narrator also annoys the heck out of me on that show ;-)
      • 8 Months Ago
      can u tell me when this product will come out in storesand when deisgns will come out on this and it will actully be used on the streets of the world. not only usa. because this would be unbelieveable. i am interestewd because i just saw a production about this car on tv on the science channel and would lik to ask, with nothing on it, just the "skateboard" itself, how much do u estimate it will cost?
      • 8 Months Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, allow me to pile on and say that I haven't cared for this series, either (what little I've seen of it, in fairness). Just watched them go ga-ga for ethanol without mentioning any downsides to it at all. And, they stated that most of the gas sold in the U.S. is already E10 when I believe the figure is less than 40%. I think there might be some interesting info in there somewhere but between the bad writing, the quick edits and funky camera angles it's hard to tell.

      Somewhere, however, a 12-year old is enjoying this immensely.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Who let the conspiracy theorist out...now where's my tinfoil hat?
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hydrogen power, ethanol power/diesel power is readily available now via conversion kits which don't cust much at all. Ranges from $100 - $1000 for the systems(including service). As we all know fuel for these converted vehicles would be as easy as going to your local grocer. Just do it.
      • 8 Months Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Remember people. TV, including the "news" is NOT there to educate or inform. It exists ONLY to make PROFIT from selling advertising. They do this by offering ENTERTAINMENT.

      Entertainment is filled with erroneous and partial information. I was taught that half-truths are the blackest of lies because they can be partially defended. Half truths like “what is, is?” and “Hydrogen is a clean, efficient energy carrier.”

      Those who EXPECT anything more from entertainment will often be disappointed. Those who 100% believe what they see on TV, or read in the “news” paper are fools.
      • 8 Years Ago
      the latest futurecar was on tonight and it was about future fuels...they talk all about biofuels, hydrogen, hybrids, electrics, and even air powered cars, but they never delved into the technical side of how we get all this future fuel. in regards to the air powered car they even suggested a perpetual motion air car!(?) sorry but anyone with a brain knows it takes more energy to compress air than you get out of it, just as hydrogen needs more electricity to produce than the energy produced by burning hydrogen...this could've been informative and intelligent, but its more about entertainment. still watchable, just don't expect too much brain food.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "The segment doesn't delve too deeply into the technology. . ." That's a pretty good summary of the whole Futurecar series. I've learned a few things, but on the whole it's been very disappointing -- all flash and fluff, little substance. There are few explanations of how things work, and the explanations given are often muddled, like for example this episode's description of hybrid-electric cars. Basically the only thing this series is good for is a brief, breezy introduction of vehicles and people to look up online and get the real story about them. The show also repeats claims with a complete lack of critical examination.

      The nadir came at the end of this episode when the narrator explained how one might be able to couple an air compressor to a compressed-air engine and make a perpetual motion vehicle! That is wrong on *so* many levels. It's really embarrassing.

      It's sad to see how far Discovery Channel has declined in their standards. It just whets my appetite and makes me wish somebody would do a real, serious, educational documentary film about these subjects. Maybe the producers of Modern Marvels could do it?
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