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Think they stopped crushing Electric cars back in the 90's? Think again.

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posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 10:07 PM
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We've all heard the stories. "How GM killed the Electric Car", "How Henry Ford killed the Electric Car". Thing is, those stories were supposed to have stopped in the late 90's / early millennium. In some cases, the stories date back a century.

Today is supposed to be the day of the electric hybrid. The dawning of a new era of fuel economy and affordability for everyone. Green words and a green world!
Except, that's what they want you to think.

Enter: The Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Contest

Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Contest




Held between 1980 and 1985, the contest was designed to inspire creative young people to design a motorcycle with better fuel economy, through aerodynamics and imaginative gearing. Unlike the Shell Oil tests of the same Era, the contest would give realistic results by testing in real highway conditions.

It culminated in 1985 with the development of a prototype Honda by Matsu Matsuzawa, which reached a staggering 470 MPG under real highway conditions. Matsu took the gold that year, and everyone went home thinking that they might have changed something.




Or so they thought…

Fast forward 27 years, and Craig decides to get in touch with Matsu, find out what he’s up to, and if he can give any information regarding his amazing prototype. The conversation can be found here: Interview with Matsu, but I’ve outlined a few tidbits below:



What worked?
*Everything

What did not work?
*None

Can you tell us what mistakes you made so the new generation of builders does not have to make them?
*I do not remember


Right away, Matsu is quite vague. Even barring the language barrier and 20 years, one should expect you to remember something of the prototype that broke barriers and holds a record for highest fuel economy ever tested publicly.

However, this is explained a few questions later when we find out:



what you are doing today?

*Creating Honda’s Global Corporate Advertisement.

*Trying to make Honda as the most crazy company.


So it appears Honda hired him on at some point after his record breaking attempts, but merely as a showman to help sell the company through advertising. Perhaps this explains his reluctance to detail the machine he built? Honda is, after all, in the fuel business to a certain extent. It also explains the following quote:



Today, if you wanted to build a usable, high mileage machine for real, solo, cross country riding (coast to coast) please describe what kind of machine you would start with and what you would do to it:

*Buy Honda Insight, drive easy with air conditioner. The size…two seater Hybrid.


Doesn't answer the question at all, just tries to sell a gas-using car. Curious behavior indeed, no?

The real earth-shattering moment comes a few questions later, which explains all:



Is your Fuel Economy bike still around? Where?

*Honda had the machine crushed about 2006.


Yup, that's right. For a company supposedly in the business of sustainability and green transportation, Honda is just like every other automotive giant on the planet. One of the most amazing Fuel Economy prototypes ever built, and they had it crushed. Crushed in 2006 no less! Doubtlessly it sat around in a storage unit for a few decades until they realized what it was and wanted to prevent the ingenuity contained within from leaking out to the general public.

It also explains Matsu's reluctance to discuss any specifics. Doubtlessly Honda has made it clear internally to him that they do not want knowledge of the machine spreading out beyond a few niche people who remember an obscure contest from 30 years ago. Given as he works as an advertiser for Honda, it makes sense, he represents the brand.

Can you imagine the reaction if it got out that Honda has had in it's possession, for 30 years, a working motorcycle capable of 470 MPG?. Publicity nightmare.

They didn't stop crushing the efficient vehicles 10 years ago, it's still going on today as this article demonstrates. One could hazard that it will continue going on, until there is not a single drop of fuel left to wring a dollar of profit from.




posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 11:13 PM
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4 flags and no discussion? Come on ATS, I know you better than that! Lets have some enlightened commentary here!


+6 more 
posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by D.E.M.
4 flags and no discussion? Come on ATS, I know you better than that! Lets have some enlightened commentary here!


It's not that we don't want to discuss it, it's just that a company buying up patents and paying off people, squashing new technology that will truly help mankind and the environment, is nothing new, and is something we have unfortunately come to expect


+2 more 
posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 11:36 PM
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What we could have today should look like Star Trek.

What we do have today looks like the year 1900, with shiny paint.



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by 30_seconds

What we could have today should look like Star Trek.

What we do have today looks like the year 1900, with shiny paint.


Too true. The biggest roadblock is money. Until we move from a monitary system people will never be used for their talents and innovation. As long as profit is the main motivation technology will continue to be squashed.

I remember long ago cleaning out my parents basement and finding some national geographics from the mid 50s. Flipping through the ads in them was the first time I really realized that we had no real new technology. It was all just updates and they were squashing anything of value.



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 11:52 PM
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coz there are still people who are stupid enough who will buy whatever they're offering as long as its got shiny paint.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by D.E.M.
It culminated in 1985 with the development of a prototype Honda by Matsu Matsuzawa, which reached a staggering 470 MPG under real highway conditions.


I have several comments on this. First, I'd like to have a motorcycle that gets 470mpg. It probably isn't very powerful, but if it's enough to get around and drive at highway speeds that's enough. I think aerodynamics would play a role and it might even help for the rider to wear an aerodynamic suit. So I'm personally disappointed nothing like this was ever commercialized.

Now, regarding the reasons it wasn't commercialized:

I'd really like to know.

Companies make dumb decisions all the time. I heard one CEO giving advice to other CEOS which was "IF you want to know about some of the dumb things your company is doing, ask your people, they'll tell you". So maybe it was just a dumb decision.

Or maybe, as the OP implies, maybe there was a more sinister motive, to deprive the public of this technology for some reason. What I don't really get about this idea, is how it benefits Honda to do that? Point me to cost cutting, corporate greet, or any of the other popular corporate mantras and I'm on board because that's what corporations do, cut costs and pursue greedy profits.

Now here's another theory. What if this thing had so little power that it took 5 minutes to accelerate from 0-60? You'd end up being a decoration on the front grill of a tractor trailer trying to merge onto a freeway in California with acceleration that slow. And how does that tie into the corporate greed motivation? Nobody would want to buy it. And no buyers means no sales and no return on investment, no profits. Now this is a logical scenario, but I don't know what the true explanation is.

I don't really see how Honda benefits from big oil though, it seems to me like they would benefit from making fuel efficient vehicles that people are willing to buy. All the car companies will be putting themselves out of business sooner by making gas guzzlers, because the more gas that's guzzled, the sooner we hit peak oil and deplete our oil resources, lowering sales of the car company's oil-powered products because the cost to operate them becomes too high on the supply vs demand curve. Big oil may profit, but Honda isn't big oil, right?



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by D.E.M.
 


It's Big Brother Aliens, just trying to keep us little humans down.


A 400 mpg motorcycle is astonishing. The suppression of this technology is not...



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by D.E.M.
Honda is just like every other automotive giant on the planet. One of the most amazing Fuel Economy prototypes ever built, and they had it crushed. Crushed in 2006 no less!



I don't know if I would use the word "amazing".

This is something I experienced just a few weeks ago while I was pumping gas.
I'm standing there, waiting for my tank to fill when I hear some huffin and puffin' I look around and notice these two Kroger (supermarket chain) employees pushing a lady in her vehicle towards an unoccupied gas pump.

I sure wish I had my cell phone with me because that picture would have been making the internet rounds by now.

The vehicle they were pushing, of all things, was a Honda Hybrid.


This clearly told me the technology is not quite there with electric cars and if you run out of gas you better be near civilization.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:10 PM
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this is a great post and find

i think it exposes the gas guzzling system for what it really is



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by AnonymousMoose

Originally posted by D.E.M.
4 flags and no discussion? Come on ATS, I know you better than that! Lets have some enlightened commentary here!


It's not that we don't want to discuss it, it's just that a company buying up patents and paying off people, squashing new technology that will truly help mankind and the environment, is nothing new, and is something we have unfortunately come to expect


This post represents my stance entirely.

This comes as absolutely no surprise for me and there's little I can add to the topic bar this thumbs down:


Big business has proven time and time again that wealth > people in their modus operandi.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


There's a graph on the website, that I neglected to link. The performance gain was 80% due to the Aerodynamics of the "Shell" Matsu made for the 'cycle, along with performance tweaks to the engine.

However, it retained speed and power 100%. No worries about ending up on the front of a tractor trailer, it would have happened during the trials if that were the case. They held this contest on the open highway mixed in with other traffic. That's what I meant when I said Real Highway Conditions.


My guess is that Honda is in the business of building cars. Cars that run on gas, cars that run on Hybrids, cars that run on whatever the Oil Companies are pushing these days. Hybrids are a joke, look into the engineering and you'll soon realize that a true hybrid should give you a 300% increase over what market "hybrids" perform at. My buddy just put an HHO system on his Jeep, still tweaking it but its already boosted his fuel economy an extra 10 MPG.

Bottom line (In my opinion of course) they hid it because a vehicle design that brutally efficient means less profits for the oil companies. Anyone who thinks the Car Companies and the Oil Companies do not have a buddy system going on has to be off their rocker.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by 30_seconds

What we could have today should look like Star Trek.

What we do have today looks like the year 1900, with shiny paint.


This is sooo true... where the hell did we go wrong? It makes me depressed to see us still relying on oil and you're telling me that the closest thing to a green world we can get is Hybrid?

That's like saying "Ok... we tried it... we just like our way better".

Some say we can't get electric cars or hydropowered vehicles because the materials cost too much... I don't believe that, when it comes to mass production.

This damn world is screwed.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:38 PM
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IMO it;s all part of the lie. It's more about control than anything else.

They have crushed hundreds and hundreds of patents which would have been fantastic.

If we had free energy they wouldn't be able to control us nearly as well, same for natural medicine we could make ourselves, etc, etc. Look at everything they do.....it is about keeping us controlled, dumbed down and slaves.

Want to know why marijhuana is banned? Because the HEMP plant is the answer to many of the world's current problems. Do some looking on the web, you will see what I mean.

I look forward with infinite joy to the day this and so much more information about these evil monsters is leaked out and available to the public. Can't wait.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:44 PM
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In my opinion, the best evidence electric vehicles have been supressed is how we've had fully working electric forklifts since the freaking 20's, because they simply can't use combustion engines indoors or underground. If for some reason they could use combustion engines in enclosed areas, you can bet the electric forklift would be erased from history in the interests of a few extra bucks as well.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by wcitizen
If we had free energy they wouldn't be able to control us nearly as well, same for natural medicine we could make ourselves, etc, etc. Look at everything they do.....it is about keeping us controlled, dumbed down and slaves.


Wary citizen, if we had free energy, who would control it? Do you think, given our current state of affairs with an elite echelon controlling most of what you and I do and say, that we would really have access to such technology.

What gets me is how they know who these people are who are working in secret, not divulging their methods. How do these people end up dead?

If aerodynamics was such a key, then it should be fairly easy to discover what made this bike tick. And aerodynamics would only become a relevant factor above certain speeds. What about in-town driving?



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 01:06 PM
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How about we actually build something? Everyone here talks, but few do.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur

Originally posted by D.E.M.
It culminated in 1985 with the development of a prototype Honda by Matsu Matsuzawa, which reached a staggering 470 MPG under real highway conditions.


I have several comments on this. First, I'd like to have a motorcycle that gets 470mpg. It probably isn't very powerful, but if it's enough to get around and drive at highway speeds that's enough. I think aerodynamics would play a role and it might even help for the rider to wear an aerodynamic suit. So I'm personally disappointed nothing like this was ever commercialized.

Now, regarding the reasons it wasn't commercialized:

I'd really like to know.

Companies make dumb decisions all the time. I heard one CEO giving advice to other CEOS which was "IF you want to know about some of the dumb things your company is doing, ask your people, they'll tell you". So maybe it was just a dumb decision.

Or maybe, as the OP implies, maybe there was a more sinister motive, to deprive the public of this technology for some reason. What I don't really get about this idea, is how it benefits Honda to do that? Point me to cost cutting, corporate greet, or any of the other popular corporate mantras and I'm on board because that's what corporations do, cut costs and pursue greedy profits.

Now here's another theory. What if this thing had so little power that it took 5 minutes to accelerate from 0-60? You'd end up being a decoration on the front grill of a tractor trailer trying to merge onto a freeway in California with acceleration that slow. And how does that tie into the corporate greed motivation? Nobody would want to buy it. And no buyers means no sales and no return on investment, no profits. Now this is a logical scenario, but I don't know what the true explanation is.

I don't really see how Honda benefits from big oil though, it seems to me like they would benefit from making fuel efficient vehicles that people are willing to buy. All the car companies will be putting themselves out of business sooner by making gas guzzlers, because the more gas that's guzzled, the sooner we hit peak oil and deplete our oil resources, lowering sales of the car company's oil-powered products because the cost to operate them becomes too high on the supply vs demand curve. Big oil may profit, but Honda isn't big oil, right?


Even so even if the cycle was modified to get more power and only got 200MPGnit would be awesome!



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by Alxandro

Originally posted by D.E.M.
Honda is just like every other automotive giant on the planet. One of the most amazing Fuel Economy prototypes ever built, and they had it crushed. Crushed in 2006 no less!



I don't know if I would use the word "amazing".

This is something I experienced just a few weeks ago while I was pumping gas.
I'm standing there, waiting for my tank to fill when I hear some huffin and puffin' I look around and notice these two Kroger (supermarket chain) employees pushing a lady in her vehicle towards an unoccupied gas pump.

I sure wish I had my cell phone with me because that picture would have been making the internet rounds by now.

The vehicle they were pushing, of all things, was a Honda Hybrid.


This clearly told me the technology is not quite there with electric cars and if you run out of gas you better be near civilization.


You're conclusion is faulty not the technology. The lady forgot to fuel the hybrid car. As in the combustion engine needs fuel ...



edit: for clarity

[edit on 22-6-2010 by AllIsOne]



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


Speak for yourself. I'm in the process of converting 2 vehicles to utilize HHO combustion, rebuilding an old motorcycle to fully electric, and re-doing my gardens for permaculture.

In addition to attending a few courses on Beekeeping, I think I've got more than a full plate, yes?




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