In line with the Shell Eco-Marathon and the EducEco challenge organized to set sobriety records with minimalist vehicles, the EcoGreen Gas had a distinctive feature. A discussion forum was associated with the events on the circuit of Fay-de-Bretagne (44). Nicolas Meilhan seemed perfectly in tune this May 18, 2022.
“We know how to make vehicles that consume little fuel”
Mobility is now accentuating the trade balance deficit. Not only concerning the vehicles themselves, but also because of the petroleum origin of the fuels.
« The mobility of the future is a good opportunity to correct this and create jobs. This will not be the case by having the VTCs and taxis piloted by robots. It is no more relevant that the batteries of electric cars are manufactured abroad where coal represents a big source of energy “, launched Nicolas Meilhan, scientific advisor and specialist in mobility and energy transition issues.
« The peak of oil production is probably behind us, in 2018. PSA and Renault were to develop cars that would consume only 2 liters of fuel per 100 km/h. Renault presented its Eolab prototype in 2014, requiring only one liter per 100 km. Earlier, in 1987, the manufacturer had made the Vesta “, he recalled.
« We know how to make vehicles that consume little energy. Already in 1946 with the Mathis Andreau 333 equipped with 3 wheels, 3 places for 3 liters of consumption “, he added.
increasingly heavy cars
« For 50 years, passenger cars have gained an average of 5 kg per year. In 1961, the average weight was 758 kg. It is now 1,266 kg. One of the explanations put forward is the use of more steel for safety “, put forward Nicolas Meilhan.
« In the 1990s, we still had particularly light models in France, such as the Citroën AX and the Peugeot 205. In 2008, CO2 regulations were the same for all manufacturers. But at the Copenhagen COP the following year, Nicolas Sarkozy gave Angela Merkel a gift. He agreed to change the rules with differentiated goals by brand. The 130 g of CO2 per km required for 2015 favored heavy cars, such as those of Mercedes “, he reported.
The requirements have become proportional to the average weight of new car sales. A scenario that penalizes manufacturers of lighter models. They must make equivalent efforts without being able to fully pass them on in prices to customers with less purchasing power.
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« The heavier the car, the more it earns its manufacturer. This is why Peugeot announced the end of the 108 and Renault that of the Twingo. Elisabeth Borne should reconsider this rule “, Illustrated the speaker.
The heavier it is, the more it pays
« I had advised the establishment of a bonus system for lighter cars. For a model that weighs less than 1,250 kg, for example, its manufacturer would receive a check. If its weight is above, the manufacturer should pay some sort of penalty. So, in summary, it would be a bit like if German manufacturers should issue checks to French manufacturers “, detailed Nicolas Meilhan.
« We must put an end to the ‘Swiss army knife’ car and separate daily journeys from long-distance ones. An electric car is suitable for small daily trips. A model that consumes little energy and is accessible to everyone is better than an SUV. By driving 30 km per day with it, the price difference is amortized “, he assured.
« A second-hand rental Renault Zoé is the ideal car for yellow vests. It will be less burdensome on the budget than having to pay for expensive fuel “, he compared.
Tesla Model S vs PodRide
During his presentation, Nicolas Meilhan opposed the PodRide to the Tesla Model S. On one side 70 kilos on the scale, against more than 2 tons at the other end of the ring. About 30 times lighter, the quadricycle rests on a footprint 7 times smaller: 1.35 against 10 m².
With a range 7 times lower (60 km compared to 450), the PodRide requires approximately 1,000 times less power (0.250/235 kW) and 100 times less energy capacity (0.7/70 kWh) to complete the journeys Daily. And on arrival, the price to be paid is 25 times lower, around 3,000 compared to 80,000 euros.
The mobility of the future certainly does not go through the generalization of solo driving in the mind of the mobility adviser. This is why, in addition to mentioning carpooling ” which allows everything to be divided by as many occupants he compared the weight and the space taken up by a person according to the modes of transport.
At the ends, the private car which mobilizes 1,000 kg and 7.7 m² for one person, and the classic bicycle (10 kg/1 m²). Between the 2: the quadricycle (500 kg/3 m²), the bus (430 kg/1.4 m²), the scooter (125 kg/2 m²), and the VAE (20 kg/1 m²).
« There is no point in pitting energies against each other. We will need all of them. And over long distances, it will be difficult to do better than diesel “warned Nicolas Meilhan.
« By exploiting methanation, biogas is a good alternative for fleets. Regarding biofuels, it is necessary to observe the entire value chain with a systemic perspective. It works for example in Brazil with sugar cane “, he advanced.
« I believe more in biofuels for aircraft than in hydrogen. It would be necessary to build 16 nuclear reactors to make all planes fly with the H2 molecule “, he encrypted.
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Field sobriety records
Hydro Motive 12, Cityjoule 2, Polyjoule 2, Idra, Microjoule 4, Helios CH4, TIM 09, Helixia, etc. : The 14 machines entered to beat world records for sobriety on the circuit of Fay-de-Bretagne on May 18 and 19 weigh only a few tens of kilograms. And yet, they have achieved incredible performances in the hands of passionate students from the Netherlands, Italy and various corners of France.
Records have fallen : 2,934 km for the equivalent of the energy contained in one liter of SP95 with Microjoule 5 powered by bioNGV supplied by AgriBioMéthane in Mortagne-sur-Sèvre (85), 1,982 km with the Italian Idra prototype running on hydrogen green produced by the Lhyfe electrolyser in Bouin (85), 7,051 km with the Polyjoule 2 electric vehicle.