June, 2007

Don't let those batteries just sit around

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I'm a bit wiped from the initial burst of installing all the battery racks, so I took it a bit easier on Friday and Saturday to do some of the smaller installation steps. Here is the starter block-off plate to cover the hole left from the removed starter motor. Like the previous day, I was a bit surprised that the holes in the plate didn't match the spacing of the bolts on the transmission.

2007 100

Confusion Reigns at CARB

Plugs and Cars

Gov Schwarzenegger has fired Chairman Sawyer and others at CARB and it is not immediately clear why. The LA Times reports on unprecedented administration interference in the agency, seeking the firing longtime staffers. The Governor has publicly chastised the board for delaying implementation of Central Valley clean air targets, but everyone seems confused.

2007 100
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Trending Sources

Recharge IT

Plug In Partners

G oogle proved it is serious about Plug Ins with its new Recharge IT initiative. Here is part of the story. Google.org to to Accelerate Plug-In Hybrid and Vehicle-to-Grid Technology Google.org , the philanthropic arm of Google Inc. today announced the RechargeIT initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil dependence by accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

2007 100

Cranking on the Battery Racks

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, I've spent the last two days with EV parts strewn about the house attempting to install the battery racks. I ran into some issues that others might find as well. Here's mounting the first rear-rack support post. The triangular bracket above it gets in the way of the rack and must be removed. Here is the same area with the bracket removed and edges hammered flat. The tube off to the left is the drain for water that hits the engine compartment hood. I hope I can keep these in the vehicle.

2007 100

Christmas Time!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

YeeHaw! The crate from Electro Automotive finally showed up. I'm in business again! Here's the crate on the semi-truck. They remembered the liftgate this time (whew!) Here's the delivery person rolling the crate on a pallet jack to my garage. I'm very thankful that today was sunny. The single-car garage doesn't have the space to store the crate and the 914. The crate arrived just as I was cooking dinner (er, baking a frozen pizza.).

2007 100

Visiting Gary of the OEVA to get a Crimper

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

As I mentioned yesterday, Gary Graunke (president of the OEVA) graciously offered to let me borrow a lug crimper to attach high-current lugs to the welding cable I purchased. This morning I drove out to his place and found a virtual Disneyland of EV stuff. Gary has a Honda Insight and Toyota Prius and an electric Chevy S10. His current project is to upgrade the batteries in his all-electric Insight to lithium-ion cells. Here's Gary in front of his garage. There are EV toys everywhere!

2007 100

Biting the Bullet

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

As you may remember, I received a package from Azure Dynamics several weeks ago with a notice saying that the bolts on their electric motors tend to work their way loose occasionally. They provided an upgrade kit with lock washers and loctite to remedy the problem. I had already installed the motor in the 914 and chose to not perform the upgrade due to the hassle of removing the motor.

2007 100

More Trending

Tell Toyota to Get With the Program!

Plugs and Cars

Rainforest Action Network is prodding Toyota to add plugs to their hybrids. Google is spending oodles doing it to their cars, but the rest of us need the carmakers to produce the plug-in hybrids and electric cars we want. Add your voice to the campaign by clicking here. Of course, Toyota could do it today with larger NiMH battery packs. I'd wager there is more than one plug-in Prius hidden away at Toyota's skunkworks in Japan.

2007 100

Google Gets It - It's the Plug, Stupid

Plugs and Cars

Finally an entity is stepping up and saying unambiguously it's about electricity. Google.org has launched RechargeIt.org A comprehensive vision of clean electricty, plug-in hybrid and electric cars, and vehicles as distributed energy storage devices for clean power. With Google's street cred (Wall Street and your street,) intellectual prowess and financial clout, electricity may at long last get a seat at the table.

2007 100

An E-mail from Electro Auto

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Hi All, I just got back from a 10-day vacation and will be looking at hooking up the batteries. While I was gone, I did finally get an e-mail from ElectroAuto regarding shipment of the battery racks and boxes "soon," so we'll see what happens. Onward to battery straps

2007 100

Tata Takes On Air

Plug In Partners

W ith all of the accelerated development in advanced batteries, most car companies are focusing on that technological track. Here is an exception from the largest car maker in India. Air-Car Ready for Mass Production Bob Ewig Popular Mechanics May 31, 2007 The world's first commercial compressed air-powered vehicle is rolling towards the production line. The Air Car , developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre, will be built by India's largest automaker, Tata Motors.

2007 100

Filling up a Prius vs. Plugging In a RAV4 EV

Plugs and Cars

Prius: > $6 per 100 miles RAV4 EV: 0 - $2.50 per 100 miles Prius: Fill up at multi-national corporate outpost RAV4 EV: Fill up at home with solar electricity or cheap, abundant, night-time power Prius: Hang around toxic fumes while filling up RAV4 EV: Margaritas all around Hat tip to Darell at evnut.com.

2007 100

Trouble in Hydrogen Heaven

Plugs and Cars

The World , a PRI/BBC radio collaboration, has a report on the problems bringing Iceland's hydrogen dream to fruition. Still only one filling station, now without any customers. The hydrogen busses have been retired to a museum. With abundant renewable electricity, if it can't happen there, it can't happen anywhere. Jori Lewis reports from Reykyavik. Have a listen.

2007 100

Batteries are Here!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After much time on the phone with UPS Freight, the 8-volt golf cart batteries finally showed up today! Although the Bill of Lading clearly stated that this was a residence requiring a liftgate, UPS seemed to overlook that part of the order. Here's the semi that showed up at my doorstep to block off the street. Here is the pallet of batteries in the truck bay, minus the shrink wrap. I had to move each of these 70 pound monsters by hand down to the sidewalk. Here they are on the sidewalk.

2007 100

Zero-Carbon Drive to Sacto Anti-Carbon Rally and Back

Plugs and Cars

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) held a rally in Sacramento Thursday outside the lobbying offices of the Association of Automobile Manufacturers to protest their continuing lawsuit against California's greenhouse gas legislation. Dan Kalb of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Bonnie Holms-Gen of the Lung Association were there to lend their voices of protest against the auto industry's continuing legal assault on California. And I was there representing Plug In America.

2007 100