Transport

Storage and access for vehicles is a significant part our our design process and a consideration in the layout of our home and garden. There are a huge range of vehicle types and we have pinned some amazing ones on Pinterest.

Our family transport can basically be split into four main areas:

  • Human powered - Bicycles, karts, etc. I probably spend more time on a bicycle than I do in a car and it is my main method of getting to work.
  • Cars - We have moved away from petrol vehicles and our main cars are now diesel powered. Petrol is still the only real option for sports cars though!
  • Electric vehicles - Don't own one yet but plan too.
  • Flying vehicles - Flying is the future and learning to fly is a goal.

Human Powered Transport

A large and increasing amount of our transport is by bicycle and we are actively progressing some projects to increase this.

Fossil Fuel Powered Transport

We have pretty much come to the conclusion that transport powered by fossil fuels has a limited lifetime. Legislation, environmental controls, pollution, and the costs simply mean that cheaper and cleaner alternatives are required, progressing rapidly and are slowly arriving into the market place. There are some interesting engine developments though:

Wave Disk Generator

Wave disk generator engine
The Wave Disk Generator is a prototype petrol engine a that requires no transmission, crankshaft, pistons, valves, fuel compression, cooling systems or fluids.

Bio-fuel Vehicles

Bio-fuel vehicles have had a lot of bad press (and in many cases, rightly so) but, there is a place for bio-fuel vehicles in our view, so long as they remain a niche vehicle and a part of the solution. It's when bio-fuels become a large-scale, commercial operation that the environment and the indigenous people tend to suffer.

Hybrid Vehicles

There is definitely a role for hybrid vehicles at the moment. If nothing else, they are real-world test-beds for new technologies. They are quite likely an evolutionary dead-end though.

Hydrogen Powered Vehicles

As desirable as the concept of a hydrogen powered car is, it is our view that there are too many limitations for this to be a realistic alternative to fossil fuel. These issues are nicely summarised in this article.

There is an amazing amount of research underway to tackle the issues in hydrogen production. Using electricity to create it only works if you have a clean way to generate electricity. More intelligent ways to create hydrogen are required.

In September 2011, Honda opened the UK's first filling station.

News & Articles

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have issues. The electricity has to come from somewhere in the first place, that doesn't involve a power station and fossil fuels. It should also not involve wind farms across the whole of our countryside. Storage of electricity currently requires expensive and heavy batteries, that have a relatively short life-time. The biggest issue with electric vehicles is currently range though. Clever hybrids can help solve the range problem but they introduce other issues. There is currently not real cost effective electric car available to buy in the UK but, we are hoping this will change.

Given that we are planning local electricity generation, it makes a lot of sense for at least one of our vehicles to be electric and charged using some of our excess capacity. This is going to require suitable wiring and connectivity in the garage for charging.

Our current view is that electric vehicles are still in development and really new advances in the battery technology to beciome a realistic alternative on both performance and economic grounds.

We have covered specific brands of electric cars on another page.

News & Articles

Personal Mobility

There are many electric powered personal mobility devices but, many are not legal on UK highways.

Honda UNI-CUB

Honda UNI-CUB
The Honda UNI-CUB is a new personal mobility device and uses Honda's proprietary balance control technology.

Myway Quick Scooter

MyWay Quick
The MyWay Quick is a very compact, folding electric scooter.

Segway

Segway
The Segway has been around for a while now but, it has not taken off in the UK due to legislation that bans it from roads and pavements. It is a 2-wheel device (in parallel) that uses sensors and a microprocessor to balance.

Flying Vehicles

Not sure what design steps could or should be taken to accommodate this. Its largely down to the plot size and local facilities available.

Flying is generally considered an environmentally bad thing to do but, these assumptions are based on existing aircraft designs and means of propulsion. Avoidance and reduction of road congestion is one positive but, my primary interest is in innovative new airplane designs and unpowered craft (gliders). In particular, I'm following the development of electric and hydrogen powered aircraft with interest.

FlyNano aircraft
This FlyNano aircraft isd a tint electric airplane.

Synergy aircraft
This Synergy aircraft has caught our eye as it aims to be more fuel efficient per mile than the average car.

Miscellaneous

Other stuff that has caught our eye ...

This Concept luxe land yacht caught our eye as a wind powered vehicle. With its single seat, its not likely to replace any mainstream transport though!

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