May, 2007

Israel, Jordan Moving Ahead With "Electric Peace Car"

Plugs and Cars

Ynetnews.com, an Israeli news site, reports on continuing progress on the Middle East electric car front. Building on initial discussions in Davos at the World Economic Forum in January, a meeting has now been held in Jordan to move the idea forward. Renault and Toyota are reported to be involved along with Shai Agassi, ex-SAP executive.

2007 100

Impatience.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

As you may have noticed, the blog entries have dropped off rather abruptly in recent weeks. I've sent three e-mails and one phone call to Electro Automotive asking about the status of the battery racks/boxes and received no reply. As you might imagine, I'm a bit frustrated with this and don't really know what to do next. I should be getting the 18 8-volt golf-cart batteries from American Battery Company early next week.

2007 100
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Volt for Real?

Plug In Partners

F or those who think that GM is not serious about its new PHEV , the Volt , here is a piece that makes you think they are: The Volt To Be Lutz's Legacy May 21, 2007 So, I heard General Motors’ Bob Lutz on National Public Radio’s “Wait. Wait Don’t Tell Me” this past Saturday.The GM product boss said the vehicle he is most excited about, and the one he thinks will be the most significant for GM, is the Chevy Volt. The Volt is the plug-in hybrid car GM showed at last January’s Detroit Auto Show.

2007 100

My ZEV Mandate Public Comment

Plugs and Cars

Chairman Sawyer, Members, my name is Marc Geller, and I represent the San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association. Many of our members, including myself, drove ZEV Mandate battery electric cars - GM EV1, Honda EV+, Ford Th!nk nk City - until they were confiscated by the automakers. A few of us still drive Toyota RAV4 EVs - a truly great car. I hope Board Members understand that we continue to use these zero-emission, zero-petroleum cars in our daily lives.

2007 100

Bush Says Farewell to Blair with Empty Rhetoric on Climate Change

Plugs and Cars

Tony Blair came to DC to say farewell. And make one final pitch for American cooperation on climate change. At a Rose Garden press conference within earshot of anti-war protesters beyond the White House gate, Bush's prepared remarks included this: And we talked, of course, about climate change. We spent a lot of time on climate change.

2007 100

Consumers Want Plug-in Hybrids, Industry Survey Finds

Plugs and Cars

Synovate Motoresearch presented some very interesting survey results at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Long Beach, CA last week, as reported in MIT's Technology Review. Simply put, as the first sentence of the article states, [W]hen consumers understand what plug-in hybrids are, they want them. All that's needed, the survey discovered, is a dollop of education.

2007 100

GM's Lutz Talks Up Volt at NPR Game Show; Sierra Club's Dan Becker Welcomes "Epiphany"

Plugs and Cars

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz took his promotion for the serial plug-in hybrid Volt to an NPR game show, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me." The NY Times reports : With the same enthusiasm that he has long used to describe high torque ratings and engine displacements, Mr. Lutz touted the Volt’s mileage, which he estimated will reach 151 miles per gallon, fueled by a combination of electricity and gasoline. His comments drew a huge round of applause from the NPR audience at the Michigan Theater here.

2007 100

More Trending

Automotive Class Lithium-Ion Cells from A123

Plugs and Cars

The California Air Resources Board may still be living in an alternate universe where hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles are making meaningful (if glacial) progress toward commercialization, but back here on earth battery power is where it's at. A123 Systems has introduced Automotive Class Lithium-ion cells. Read the press release here.

2007 100

Potbox and Backup Switch

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I went back to Parkrose hardware today to pick up stainless steel bolts to attach the motor cables to the controller. In the process, I got some two-conductor wire to make the connections to the potbox switch and backup-light switch cleaner. Here's the somewhat finished potbox. Note the added accelerator cable and extra pullback spring on the potbox arm. I found I could simply use the original accelerator cable barrell connector if I screwed it in from the backside of the potbox arm.

2007 100

They Don't Just Steal at the Pump

Plugs and Cars

PBS' Now profiles government auditor Bobby Maxwell's attempt to get oil companies drilling on government land to pay royalties due. The corruption in the oil business isn't only in Iraq. See the video here.

2007 100

Chatting with other EV folks

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Last night was the monthly OEVA meeting. There were many electric vehicles there to ponder and I got a chance to chat with a bunch of people. I'm kicking myself a bit for not bringing my digital camera, but that's life. Victor Tikhonov of Metric Mind and I talked about his new EVision system and how I might get involved with the embedded programming for his latest BMS (battery management system). I'll be visiting his company later today to talk more.

2007 100

Dear Customer.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I received a package from Azure Dynamics yesterday with a field upgrade to the bolts on the AC24 motor for the EV kit. Apparently, the nylon washers weren't good enough to hold the bolts in under all conditions and some of them may get loose. I'm happy that Azure sent these before I started driving the vehicle around, although no major field failures have been reported. Update: DOH! With the electric motor mounted in the car, I can't perform the upgrade because the bolts won't slide out.

2007 100

Dealing with Petroleum Addiction, British Style

Plugs and Cars

The British Government is attempting to strangle the electric car baby in its London cradle. The Times Online reports the British government's Department for Transport (DfT) has conducted a safety test on the all-electric Reva G-Whiz and found it wanting. The small, 45mph zero-emission vehicles have found a ready market in London - 850 sold so far - where electrics are exempt from the stiff daily congestion charge for driving in central London.

2007 100

What's Oil Got to Do With It?

Plugs and Cars

From Saturday's New York Times story " Cheney, on Carrier, Sends Warning to Iran " Vice President Dick Cheney used the deck of an American aircraft carrier just 150 miles off Iran’s coast as the backdrop yesterday to warn that the United States was prepared to use its naval power to keep Tehran from disrupting oil routes. Oil seemed to be on Mr. Cheney’s mind yesterday when he told 3,500 to 4,000 members of the Stennis’s crew that Iran would not be permitted to choke off oil shipments.

2007 100

Dealing with petroleum addiction, Texas style

Plugs and Cars

The Texas House of Representatives votes in favor of increased gasoline consumption. I should add that Texas, in the form of Austin Energy's Plug-in Partners effort, shows us the right direction to head, promoting plug-in hybrids (and electric cars) to use the electrical grid to replace gasoline.

2007 100

There are many paths to the same goal.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

My 914ev partner-in-crime Randy (who purchased the very first 914 AC kit from ElectroAuto) e-mailed me some photographs of how he's wiring up his terminal blocks and relays. Here are some pictures and descriptions from his 914 AC conversion. Thanks, Randy!) Excerpt from Randy's e-mail: I've also started on the wiring kit. I looked at the instructions and decided to rearrange things (typical).

2007 100

Easy as A123

Plug In Partners

P erhaps the most important milestone in developing Plug in Hybrids is the availability of an affordable, practical, and powerful battery pack. Here is a significant announcement by David Vieau , CEO of A123 Systems.

2007 100

Got Hydrogen?

Plugs and Cars

70 years ago today. Hat tip to Arthur Keller.

2007 100

Closing up more loose ends.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I'm still waiting on the battery racks/boxes from ElectroAuto, so I took care of a bunch of little things that have been neglected so far. Here's the battery tray that the directions said to remove. It came out surprisingly easily with a hammer and mini-crowbar since there were only a few spot welds holding it in.

2007 100

More SOC/SOH battery research

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I spent all day today going through those hundred technical articles on SOC (state-of-charge) and SOH (state-of-health) algorithms for lead-acid batteries. They were all fascinating, but the one I really liked involved a Kalman filtering algorithm to constantly estimate the internal parameters of the lead-acid battery. The algorithm models the battery and samples the current draw and voltage across the pack. Based on the current, it estimates the new voltage for the next sample time.

2007 100

Required Reading: Tesla Motors' Martin Eberhard Testifies

Plugs and Cars

Martin Eberhard, Tesla Motors CEO, testified at the Senate Finance Committee yesterday. In a succinct presentation, he makes the case for electricity. And he suggests turning the perverse federal incentives that brought us the Hummer on their head. Read his complete testimony here.

2007 100

$200,000 Google.org Grant to CalCars

Plugs and Cars

Google.org is stepping up to the plate for electricity in cars. Calcars.org has received a $200,000 grant to continue its advocacy of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Founder Felix Kramer has been dogged and successful in pushing plug-ins into the national and international media. Everyday Prius owners ask me where to get their car converted to a plug-in. It is largely thanks to Felix that hybrid owners now desire something more than a gasoline-dependent car. Bumper sticker below available here.)

2007 100

Measuring State-of-Charge on Lead Acid Batteries

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Since I'm still waiting on parts from ElectroAuto, I decided to take the plunge and do some extensive research on Lead-Acid battery technology. The 914 AC kit uses 8V golf cart batteries and I'm wondering if different batteries like Hawkers or Optima Yellow-Top batteries would be better.

2007 100

La Poste Plans to Buy 10,000 Electric Vehicles

Plugs and Cars

The French Post Office, La Poste, is seeking to place 10,000 electric vehicles in service in the next five years. This week La Poste will invite manufacturers to bid to build the first 500 for delivery in 2008. There has never been such a big order (for electric vehicles) in the world," said French Industry Minister Francois Loos in an interview with AFP, referring to the plans for 10,000 electric vehicles. Full story.

2007 100

Whither CARB?

Plugs and Cars

The California Air Resources Board , one of the culprits identified in Who Killed the Electric Car? , was originally charged with reducing pollution. Now it's actions are meant to help reduce carbon emissions and petroleum usage, as well. The electric cars produced to meet the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate uniquely contribute on all three counts.

2007 100