2007

Battery Equalizer Schematics Rev 1.0

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I'm currently working on a battery equalizer for the 914 EV based on the whitepaper at the following link: [link] The above two schematics show the circuit that I'm experimenting with using 12V batteries. It seems to work fine on my bench. The circuit above costs less than $10 per battery in parts and I hope to make this available to everyone to help people make their batteries last longer. By clicking on the images, you can get a much larger version of the pictures.

2007 131

Financial Times on Th!nk

Plugs and Cars

Financial Times Deutschland has a report on Th!nk nk Global. Putting a little flesh on the bones of previous reporting. 10,000 Think City electric cars in 2009. Parts manufacturing in Thailand and Turkey. As previous reported, plan is to sell the car (€25,000) and lease the battery. Zebra batteries first. Online marketing and sales. Think says it has battery supply contracts with three companies, and is moving into production.

2007 100
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Trending Sources

Super Charge It

Plug In Partners

T his has been a good week for new advanced battery announcements. Here is a big story from the Japanese electronic giant Toshiba: " Toshiba have stunned the world with their announcement of what's pretty much the holy grail in Lithium battery technology – the Super Charge ion Battery , which recharges up to 90% of its energy in just five minutes , and has a lifespan of over 10 years.

2007 100

Subaru to Begin EV Sales in Japan in 2009

Plugs and Cars

Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has issued a press release, according to Green Car Congress , announcing that 2009 rather than 2010 will see the sales of the first 100 electric Subarus in Japan. FHI's President Ikuo Mori foresees the price down below $20,00 by 2012 for this subcompact, as production ramps up for the Lithium battery packs.

2007 100

Electric Smart Car ForTwo Delivered by Mercedes

Plugs and Cars

Mercedes-Benz has delivered the first of 100 electric Smart ForTwos to fleet customers in the UK. Coventry City Council will be using the electric Smart in its fleet. Smart Car of America has the most complete report, straight from Daimler, with most of the relevant stats. The energy storage is a sodium nickel chloride battery. Same battery the first new Th!nk nk City cars are said to be using. Only stat missing in the report is the size of the battery pack.

2007 100

Popular Mechanics Takes Aptera for a Drive

Plugs and Cars

This wingless Jetsonian vehicle has seemed to me to be too much design, too much gadgetry, too much website, and not enough practical, buildable car. I thought I could smell the vapor. Well, Popular Mechanics asked and the Aptera folks let them in. The magazine's Ben Stewart took the all electric car (3 wheeler) for a 20 mile spin in Carlsbad CA. And he came back impressed. There's video , lots of stills and most of the basic stats you'd want to know. And plans for a serial plug-in hybrid.

2007 100

Snatching the Transmission Back

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, I'm back to square one again on the tranny. Rennsport Systems kept my transmission for over two months and didn't work on it. I asked the good folks over at 914world.com about the situation and most people suggested that I was waiting far too long and paying far too much for what I was doing. Two folks highly recommended I go out to the Rennsport shop without calling ahead of time and just take the transmission back, just to be sure they didn't start working on it as I drove over.

2007 100

More Trending

Did Mayor Bloomberg in China Drive a Miles Javlon?

Plugs and Cars

Autobloggreen is reporting that Mayor Bloomberg has driven the first Miles Automotive highway-legal all-electric car off the production line.

2007 100

EPA Says No: Dems Get Rolled Again

Plugs and Cars

It took less than 12 hours. The Democrats got rolled again. Bush started the day signing the energy bill that Nancy Pelosi called "earth-shattering change in terms of energy policy" and Sierra Club's Carl Pope said "is a clean break with the failed energy policies of the past and puts us on the path toward a cleaner, greener energy future."

2007 100

Everybody Happy: Bush to Sign Do-little Energy Bill

Plugs and Cars

The opening line of the Detroit News story says all you need to know: The House approved a stripped-down energy bill Tuesday and sent it to President George Bush, who is expected to sign the legislation. The headline is a 35mpg CAFE standard for cars produced 13 years from now. Big whoop. The best stuff in the bill is energy efficiency standards, including phasing out the incandescent light bulb.

2007 100

Senate Strives for Palatable Energy Bill; Plug-in Credits In

Plugs and Cars

The Detroit News is reporting on the efforts in the Senate to craft a viable energy bill. As presently consitituted, the Senate bill drops the requirement of electricity generators to achieve 15% renewable sources, but includes higher CAFE standards and major provisions for plug-ins, including conversions. The bill also increases to just more than $1 billion consumer tax credits for buying a plug-in hybrid, with a $5,000 per-vehicle maximum.

2007 100

Menahem Anderman: Enough Already

Plugs and Cars

Menahem Anderman, PhD, is Mister Battery Consultant. CARB, DOE, Congress all seem to turn to him to analyze the state of battery technology. His reports always suggest batteries won't quite cut it for freeway-capable cars. His report at CARB in 2003 seemed to suggest the electric cars then on the road couldn't be functioning as well as they were. Drivers of electric cars were stunned at his low opinion of the state of battery technology.

2007 100

EV1 Stirs Emotions Decade Later

Plugs and Cars

An emotional Alexandra Paul, actress who appeared in Who Killed the Electric Car? , is interviewed by Matt Kelley of Next Gear in front of an EV1 that made an appearance at RenewableLa put on by by Energy Efficiency Solar. I gather GM really did destroy the molds and sever relationships with suppliers, but it is so clear that if they simply re-released the EV1 today it would still be a show stopper. Who thinks that GM couldn't sell 5-10,000 EV1s for between $50,000 and $75,000?

2007 100

German Battery, German Electric Car?

Plugs and Cars

An Agence France Presse report has produced a small flurry of articles this past week, here and here , for example, that has a German company developing Lithium batteries that would be suitable for electric cars. Li-tec is said to be working in cooperation with Bosch and Volkswagen, which has heightened interest. One can only hope, despite scant evidence, that the fierce grip of internal combustion on the German automakers might loosen.

2007 100

Slate's EV Acid Test: Are electric cars greener?

Plugs and Cars

Every electric car advocate is asked the same question every day: Are EVs really cleaner, greener, better for the environment? The long tailpipe, and all that. Slate, the online magazine, has an enviro Q&A column, The Green Lantern , that asks the question today. Driving one still has an environmental cost, mostly associated with the use of Santa's most feared stocking-stuffer: 49.7 percent of our nation's electricity is generated by the burning of coal.

2007 100

Th!nk City: Electric Civic for the 21st century?

Plugs and Cars

Business 2.0's s Green Wombat blogger Todd Woody has written up an optimistic report on the Th!nk nk City titled A Honda Civic for the age of global warming. As I mentioned a week or so ago, the first new Th!nk nk City electric car has rolled off its Norwegian assemblyline. Everything in the piece agrees with our previous understanding - Zebra batteries for now, EnerDel and A123 Lithium in the future; battery leasing in Norway; US release a number of years away at best.

2007 100

French CO2 Feebate Plan Good News for Electric Cars

Plugs and Cars

The French government's Ministry of Ecology has instituted a CO2 based "feebate" scheme. Low emission vehicles will receive a rebate, high emission cars will be assessed a fee. Mid level emitters, representing about 45% of the cars currently sold, will be unaffected. As reported on the Green Car Congress website , electric vehicles would receive 5 times the rebate available to the best currently conceivable ICE vehicle.

2007 100

EVS23: It's the Plug, Stupid

Plugs and Cars

John Voelker has posted from EVS23 for IEEE's Spectrum, and he ain't writing about fuel cells. Except to point out that Honda's FCV rep actually got hissed as he dissed lithium batteries. The same lithium batteries without which Honda's much heralded Clarity who chug along like a quiet 1960s era VW bug. The FCX Clarity will be leased for $600 a month, starting next summer, to selected customers in Southern California.

2007 100

IEEE Tech Talk: Times They are a'Changin'

Plugs and Cars

IEEE Tech Talk's John Voelker's report is titled EVS-23: A Surge of Energy for Electric Cars. It is a first comment on the palpable difference being experienced at this year's Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS23), the electric drive industry trade show. An astounding 450 people attended Sunday's plug-in hybrid workshop. A member of congress, for the first time, spoke from the floor about promoting electric vehicles through federal legislation. Five major automakers have expensive displays.

2007 100

A123 & LG Chem Battery Packs for Chevy Volt Unveiled at EVS23

Plugs and Cars

GM-Volt.com is reporting on battery announcements at EVS23. Both A123 and LG Chem/Compact Power have delivered packs to GM for testing in the Volt. GM has announced plans for real world testing in vehicles in spring 2008, and with these batteries in hand, they appear to be meeting their announced timetable

2007 100

Entourage Star Breaks Parking Law in BMW Hydrogen 7

Plugs and Cars

It's a shame the video on TMZ.com doesn't include the reporter's voiceover, because the narration I heard when the story aired on TV caught the reality of hydrogen hype better than most serious enviro journalism. Automakers using movie stars to greenwash was its essence. The story, as reported on TMZ.com: He's all for saving the environment, but Jeremy Piven also likes to break the law!

2007 100

First New Th!nk City Rolls Off Line

Plugs and Cars

Good news from Norway. Automotive News (subscription required) reports: Think Global has launched production of an electric minicar for European markets. On Wednesday, the first City minicar rolled off the assembly line at Think’s plant in Aurskog, northeast of Oslo. This project is on time. We are building full production cars with all the right components from the right suppliers,” Think Global CEO Jan-Olaf Willums said.

2007 100

V2G Test Drive

Plug In Partners

T his story is a month old, but it's an important one because it shows how utilities , car manufacturers , and government labs , coupled with innovative companies can forge an alliance that can test and demonstrate the practicality of plug in hybrids.

2007 100

Still waiting for the Transmission

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, it's been over a month since I've posted since the holidays are here and I'm still waiting for the transmission to get back. I talked with a guy at Rennsport Systems last week and he said he'd see what was going on and get back to me. Still haven't heard from him. I'll try again tomorrow. On a more positive note, Ross Cunniff got his 914 AC kit running recently and Bob has been making progress on his BMW 325i performance EV (see links at right).

2007 100

Fahrvegnügen and fuhgedaboutit: V-Dub Disses Hybrids, Hydrogen & CO2 Concern

Plugs and Cars

Edmunds Inside Line 's Alistair Weaver interviewed Wolfgang Hatz, the head of powertrain for the entire Volkswagen Group. The title of their piece, Mr Engine Fuels the Future , probably tells you all you need to know. Quotations from the interview below; first, my somewhat snarky synopsis. Hatz, in short: Hybrids are bogus - "a very expensive way to save a small amount of fuel." But because Americans have fallen for the idea, the politically expedient thing for VW to do is make some hybrids.

2007 100

London Calling: Congestion Charge Recharges Electric Cars

Plugs and Cars

London could soon replace California as the electric car capital of the world. Thanks in large part to Mayor "Red Ken" Livingstone, who enacted London's much criticized congestion charge policy in 2003. The policy, which exempts electric cars from hefty daily taxation, is resulting in increasingly significant vehicle choices for English consumers. India's Reva was first into the market with the G-Wiz. The French Mega City appeared next from NICE (No Internal Combustion Engine).

2007 100

Andy Grove Advocates Disruption

Plugs and Cars

In the Wall Street Journal Online, The Informed Reader , Andy Grove, onetime CEO of Intel, discusses corporate "cross-boundary disruption," such as Apple moving into the music business. As a suggestion, Mr. Grove says General Electric Co. could benefit from a cross-boundary disruption by building an electric car. Neither auto makers nor energy companies seem willing to exploit new energy sources or reduce the U.S.’s s dependence on foreign oil.

2007 100

Oil Flirts Again with $100 a Barrel

Plugs and Cars

NY Times late Wednesday: Oil prices flirted with the symbolic $100-a-barrel level in overnight trading. Crude oil futures briefly rose above $99 in overnight trading and an Energy Department report showed that inventories fell slightly last week, leaving investors wondering how soon oil will be nudged above its inflation-adjusted record of $102. Crude settled in New York trading at $97.29, down 74 cents

2007 100

GM's Bob Lutz Queried

Plugs and Cars

US News and World Report interviews GM's Bob Lutz. So of all the different technologies GM is working on, how would you prioritize them? Electric. Advanced hybrid. Plug-in hybrid. Advanced clean diesels. And far out, there's hydrogen.

2007 100

LA Times Op-Ed Poses Real Choice Facing California

Plugs and Cars

The op-ed in today's LA Times (We Need Voltswagens in the print edition; Bring back the electric car online) deserves attention from the public and state policy makers.

2007 100

Th!nk on the Move

Plugs and Cars

Aftenposten TV news clip of the new Th!nk nk City here including shots of the assembly line and interview with CEO Jan Olaf Willums. The report mentions a price for the car and monthly charge for the battery, but more than that I couldn't comprehend. How's your Norwegian?

2007 100

Volt Project on Track, Says Lutz

Plugs and Cars

Bob Lutz of GM is in LA. He's meeting with journalists and electric drive advocates. The first report I've seen from the LA Auto Show regarding the much anticipated Volt, in the UK's Guardian , says Lutz expects to see road-tests of "a street-drivable" Chevy Volt by the end of Q1 2008. Now talking specifically about a November 2010 showroom launch.

2007 100

Renault to Build Electric Cars in Israel?

Plugs and Cars

Associated Press is reporting out of Paris (via Forbes.com) that Renault is "studying a possible plan to build a manufacturing plant for electric cars in Israel, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday." Shai Agassi, an Israeli entrepreneur whose Project Better Place is looking at infrastructure and battery schemes to facilitate electric cars, could be involved in a partnership, according to Renault spokeswoman Rochelle Chimenes.

2007 100

IEEE: Will CARB Take Part in Plug-in Car Revival?

Plugs and Cars

The IEEE Spectrum Magazine for November 07 touts on its cover "Battery or Fuel-Cell Cars? A California Cabal Will Decide." Interesting choice of headlines. Surely a strong argument can be made that something approaching a cabal turned a practical electric-cars-on-the-road mandate into a research and development program for hydrogen fuel cells vehicles. Carmakers are desirous of delaying the inevitable but problematic move to electric drive.

2007 100

Here Come the PHEVs

Plug In Partners

Audi Metroproject Quattro T his has been a big week of announcements from car manufacturers. One is from the new auto start up Fisker. Fisker's high end-plug in CNET News Blog Posted by Michael Kanellos Fisker Automotive. Think of it as a marriage between the Chevy Volt and the Tesla Roadster. The company is planning to come to market in about 18 months with a high-performance, high-end, plug-in hybrid sedan. The car will cost $80,000.

2007 100

$98.62

Plugs and Cars

One 11am EST AP report in the NY Times •U.S. oil supplies fell last week for the third straight period. Stockpiles of gasoline also dropped, the government reported Wednesday. Demand for gasoline over the past four weeks was 0.8 percent higher than a year earlier. •.prices prices had climbed as high as $98.62 in electronic trading. •At At the pump, gas prices rose nearly 2 cents overnight. For the week ending Nov. 2, crude oil inventories fell by 800,000 barrels to 311.9

2007 100

$97.07

Plugs and Cars

As the price per barrel goes beyond $97, one story in the NY Times reports : •Bombing in Afghanistan kills 64. Attack on pipeline in Yemen. Domestic oil inventory to fall. Severe weather forecast for North Sea. Oil platforms evacuated. Dollar weak. Severe weather shuts Mexican ports, disrupts oil supply to US.

2007 100