Friday, October 31, 2008

Technosanity #17: QA session with Ken Verosub, Jeremy Gilbert

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.7gen.com/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/1pixelout/player.swf", "swfobject2-id-13167576844", "290", "24", "7", "", {"playerID":"13167576844","autostart":"no","loop":"no","soundFile":"http:\/\/audio.davidherron.com\/technosanity\/ep-17-qa-vbr.mp3"}, {"swliveconnect":"default","play":"true","loop":"true","menu":"false","quality":"autohigh","scale":"showall","align":"l","salign":"tl","wmode":"opaque","bgcolor":"#FFFFFF","version":"7","allowfullscreen":"true","allowscriptaccess":"sameDomain","base":"\/","src":"http:\/\/www.7gen.com\/sites\/all\/modules\/swftools\/shared\/1pixelout\/player.swf","width":"290","height":"24"}, {"id":"swf13167576844"});

Q&A session with Ken Verosub and Jeremy Gilbert immediately following the presentations they gave and which were broadcast in immediately prior Technosanity Podcast episodes.
Technosanity #17: QA session with Ken Verosub, Jeremy GilbertExternal Media

Technosanity #16: Peak Oil Global Overview, An American Wake Up Call

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.7gen.com/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/1pixelout/player.swf", "swfobject2-id-13167576845", "290", "24", "7", "", {"playerID":"13167576845","autostart":"no","loop":"no","soundFile":"http:\/\/audio.davidherron.com\/technosanity\/ep-16-wake-up-vbr.mp3"}, {"swliveconnect":"default","play":"true","loop":"true","menu":"false","quality":"autohigh","scale":"showall","align":"l","salign":"tl","wmode":"opaque","bgcolor":"#FFFFFF","version":"7","allowfullscreen":"true","allowscriptaccess":"sameDomain","base":"\/","src":"http:\/\/www.7gen.com\/sites\/all\/modules\/swftools\/shared\/1pixelout\/player.swf","width":"290","height":"24"}, {"id":"swf13167576845"});

A presentation at ASPO-USA 2008 by Mr. Jeremy J Gilbert, Managing Director, Barrelmore Ltd Jeremy Gilbert. Jeremy is the recently retired Chief Petroleum Engineer from British Petroleum (BP) where he was responsible for the company's worldwide petroleum engineering performance and associated research and development program. He joined BP in 1964.

Technosanity #16: Peak Oil Global Overview, An American Wake Up CallExternal Media

read more

Review: Petroapocalypse Now

"We have to leave oil before oil leaves us." 'Petroapocalypse Now' is a story about cheap oil and the biggest party humanity has ever known.
We have built our world around the car & the airplane. Has enabled 'us' to colonize the entire planet. These cars and planes etc would be useless lumps of metal w/o oil. Cheap oil has put the burden of work onto machines and broke barriers of space and time.

External Media

read more

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Of creeping emergencies and Alaskan bellwethers

Chemical emergency. Dam Failure. Earthquake. Fire. Flood. Hazardous Material emergency. Heat emergency. Hurricane. Landslide. Nuclear emergency. Terrorism. Thunderstorm. Tornado. Tsunami. Volcano. Wildfire. Winter Storm. A scary list, but it's too late for Halloween, so what is it?
read more

Monday, October 27, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: BMW MINI E electric car gets boost from AC Propulsion in San Dimas

The web was buzzing last week with stories about BMW’s MINI E. To recap, BMW will be leasing 500 MINI Es from dealers in New York, New Jersey and Southern California starting some time early in 2009. To be considered for one of these cars, you have to go to http://www.minispace.com/en_us/projects/electric-mini-e/ and sign up, but remember, they are only going to consider you if you live in one of the regions cited above.
Those of us familiar with powerful EVs were curious where the drive train for the MINI E originated. There was speculation that Tesla was behind it, and not hearing Tesla deny it, rumors spread that it was indeed them. However, I called Nathalie Bauters of MINIUSA and she told me AC Propulsion of San Dimas, CA was their supplier. This is great news since the ACP 150 is the gold standard for EV motor/controller drive trains. She also confirmed ACP would be supplying the battery pack.
My guess is BMW finally figured out that their dalliance with hydrogen wasn’t going anywhere and that they’d better get on the stick with battery electrics, since that’s where everyone else was headed. Teaming with ACP gives them instant credibility in the EV community, and they’ll gain great marketing and technical intelligence fast.
Since it is ACP’s motor/controller that is the basis of the system used in the Tesla, this will be one very fast Mini! While 0-60 in 8.5 seconds is good, it’s not close to the Tesla’s sub 4 second quickness, but part of that comes from the gearing. I suspect that the 20-70 mph acceleration will be freaking awesome! I’ve driven the e-Box from ACP and that’s the response I got. They also seem to have incorporated the very cool regen braking from ACP. Once you are used to it, you pretty much drive and brake with just the accelerator pedal. This is very similar to the regen/accelerator used by the Vectrix scooter. It’s very cool!
One of the considerations for getting selected to spend a rather high $850 monthly lease payment is that you have a locking garage. BMW will be installing their own fairly fast charger in your garage. It will charge the 35 kWh pack in under 3 hours. This is close to twice as fast as charging my RAV.
The MINI’s range is said to be 150 miles. This is exactly the distance I consider to be the sweet spot for an EV. Anything more is wasted in my opinion. If you need a long distance car, you should be driving a plug-in hybrid. As for the 35 kWh pack, I was told only 28 kWh is usable. This is probably because, unlike NiMH batteries, LiIon doesn’t like being fully depleted or fully charged. I heard ACP keeps their packs from fully depleting or fully charging as they’ve learned this extends the life of the pack.
Lastly, there has been some speculation that BMW has no intention of making the MINI E into a full production car, since they apparently built these cars for the purpose of getting much higher value CARB credits by making them available in calendar year 2008, even though actual placement won’t occur until 2009. I’m not sure I agree with this thinking since it’s very clear the future is going to be electric and it makes sense for an OEM like BMW to test the market as well as test the batteries. The speculation is warranted, however, by the history of the EV that many of us experienced first hand.
Share/Bookmark

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More eCycling – deliveries

So, last week I had to do a bunch of ticket distribution as well as flyer and poster drops for an event we’re holding for NYE – Euchronia. Turns out the absolutely best possible vehicle for such a task [visiting half a dozen inner city suburbs within 3-4 hours, total distance around 25km, frequent stopping [...]

http://ebikeblog.org/?p=62

More eCycling – deliveries

So, last week I had to do a bunch of ticket distribution as well as flyer and poster drops for an event we’re holding for NYE – Euchronia. Turns out the absolutely best possible vehicle for such a task [visiting half a dozen inner city suburbs within 3-4 hours, total distance around 25km, frequent stopping and traveling along busy commercial streets with many shops and much foot traffic] is my trusty eBike! Bit windy out [as my chapped lips attest] but the job was made easy with my eBike, and headwinds didn’t deter me in the slightest. There will be more poster runs in future, and I’m looking forward to them!

Technosanity #14: Petroleum & Peak Oil 101

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.7gen.com/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/1pixelout/player.swf", "swfobject2-id-13167576846", "290", "24", "7", "", {"playerID":"13167576846","autostart":"no","loop":"no","soundFile":"http:\/\/audio.davidherron.com\/technosanity\/episode-14-petroleum-101.mp3"}, {"swliveconnect":"default","play":"true","loop":"true","menu":"false","quality":"autohigh","scale":"showall","align":"l","salign":"tl","wmode":"opaque","bgcolor":"#FFFFFF","version":"7","allowfullscreen":"true","allowscriptaccess":"sameDomain","base":"\/","src":"http:\/\/www.7gen.com\/sites\/all\/modules\/swftools\/shared\/1pixelout\/player.swf","width":"290","height":"24"}, {"id":"swf13167576846"});

Petroleum 101
Mr. Ken Verosub, Geology Professor, University of California, Davis
http://www.aspo-usa.com/aspousa4/ConfirmedSpeakers.cfm?bid=522
slides: http://www.aspo-usa.org/aspousa4/proceedings/Verosub_Ken_Petro_101_ASPOUSA2008.pdf
Specialist in paleomagnetism of sediments, the history of the geomagnetic field. He presents an introductory lecture in Petroleum Geology giving an overview of how geology & biology came together to create the gift of oil.

Technosanity #14: Petroleum & Peak Oil 101External Media

read more

Technosanity #13: Peter Wells at ASPO-USA 2008

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.7gen.com/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/1pixelout/player.swf", "swfobject2-id-13167576847", "290", "24", "7", "", {"playerID":"13167576847","autostart":"no","loop":"no","soundFile":"http:\/\/audio.davidherron.com\/technosanity\/episode-13-plenary-vbr.mp3"}, {"swliveconnect":"default","play":"true","loop":"true","menu":"false","quality":"autohigh","scale":"showall","align":"l","salign":"tl","wmode":"opaque","bgcolor":"#FFFFFF","version":"7","allowfullscreen":"true","allowscriptaccess":"sameDomain","base":"\/","src":"http:\/\/www.7gen.com\/sites\/all\/modules\/swftools\/shared\/1pixelout\/player.swf","width":"290","height":"24"}, {"id":"swf13167576847"});

Peter Wells.. Neftex Petroleum Consultants, Ltd
bio: http://www.aspo-usa.org/aspousa4/ConfirmedSpeakers.cfm?bid=510
slides: http://www.aspo-usa.org/aspousa4/proceedings/Wells_Peter_OPEC_ASPOUSA2008.pdf
Oil geologist and other work in the oil industry in the Middle East, former Soviet Union, West Aftrica, etc. Currently working as a consultant with one contract being Toyota. Toyota had studied and internalized Peak Oil long ago, and 6 yrs later developed the Prius.

Technosanity #13: Peter Wells at ASPO-USA 2008External Media

read more

RevengeOfTheEV: Killacycle World Record


KillaCycle Pilot Scotty Pollacheck "lights 'em up" alongside Team Leader Bill Dube.
One of our favorite guests from our shoot in Iceland, Bill Dube and his KillaCycle Team, made headlines this past week in Colorado with a new EV world speed record.
On Thursday October 23rd, 2008, Team KillaCycle set their latest drag racing world record at Bandimere Raceway. Rider Scotty Pollacheck piloted the wickedly fast all electric A123Systems NanoPhosphate battery powered motorcycle down the quarter mile in only 7.89 seconds, ending with a top speed of 168 MPH.
Scotty’s run qualifies as a new official NEDRA (National Electric Drag Racing Association) record, vaulting the KillaCycle into the history books as the world’s quickest quarter mile electric vehicle of any kind.
The KillaCycle’s A123Systems battery pack is comprised of 1,210 type ANR26650M1 cells arranged to deliver 375 VDC. The motorcycle’s Hi-Torque Electric motor was adjusted to draw 1850 amps for this particular run.
Click here to view a gallery of photos of the KillaCycle at Bandimere Raceway.
To read more about Team KillaCycle’s history making run visit their Bandimere 7.89 seconds blog entry here.
Congratulations Team KillaCycle!

Video of the 2008.10.23 KillaCycle 7.89sec @ 168MPH quarter mile
EV World Record run at Bandimere Raceway!

[Source: Team KillaCycle]
Share/Bookmark

Saturday, October 25, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: BMW MINI E Powered by AC Propulsion?


The automotive and green electric vehicle blogosphere has been abuzz with talk of the BMW MINI E ever since July 9th, 2008, when AutoblogGreen published the rumor that 500 of the intriguing new electric cars would be released later this year in California. Chris Paine’s docudrama “Who Killed the Electric Car” has raised awareness that plug-in electric vehicles are possible, and the demand for plug-in electric vehicles has never been higher. During the past couple of years the American driving public has witnessed how dependent they are of gasoline, and vulnerable to rapidly increasing energy prices. The biggest obstacle for those who would prefer an alternative has been lack of purchasable plug-in electric vehicles since 2003 when auto manufacturers ceased production of plug-in EVs like the GM EV1, Honda EV Plus, and Toyota RAV4-EV.
Amazing AC Propulsion eBoxes at AltCarExpo Saturday, September 27th, 2008.Amazing AC Propulsion eBoxes at AltCarExpo Saturday, September 27th, 2008.
While the past couple of years have been full of news about future plug-in electric vehicles arriving in 2010, BMW plans to leap frog ahead of all automakers on the electrification front by releasing 500 all electric plug-in MINIs at the end of 2008. From the news that has been trickling in along with a BMW October 18th, 2008 press release, these MINI Es will be worthy electric vehicles. I’ve been eagerly reading the flurry of blog entries and ongoing speculation on the MINI E. Per BMW’s press release the MINI E will be motivated by a 150kW electric drive system with a range of 150 miles per charge and a top speed of 95 mph. The battery pack is comprised of 5,088 lithium-ion cells for a cummulative 35kWhrs of energy storage. These specifications sound strikingly similar to the electric drive and energy storage system found in the very impressive AC Propulsion eBox electric vehicles which also sport a 5,088 lithium-ion cell battery with 35kWhrs of capacity. Both BMW’s press release and Gizmag allude to an accelerator pedal based regeneration braking system. Other than Vectrix electric motorcycles which have a DAaRT (Deceleration, Acceleration and Regenerative Throttle) system, the only vehicles I know that have phenomenal accelerator based regen are those equipped with AC Propulsion’s fabulous AC150gen2 electric drive system.
AC Propulsion's 0-60mph in 3.6 second li-ion powered tzero.AC Propulsion's 0-60mph in 3.6 second li-ion powered tzero.
Could it be that BMW has seen the brilliance in AC Propulsion’s decades of electric drive system engineering and refinement and teamed with them in order to produce these 500 fantastic electric MINIs? This would be wonderful news as AC Propulsion is the gold standard when it comes to electric drive technology. How impressive is AC Propulsion electric drive genius? A perfect example is the licensing of AC Propulsion’s core electric drive technology to Tesla Motors for use in their beautiful Tesla Roadster. The Tesla Roadster represents the evolution of AC Propulsion’s 12 year old tzero which in 2002 pioneered the use of lithium-ion batteries (6,800 cells) demonstrating 0-60mph acceleration times in the 3.6 second range.
If in fact AC Propulsion is involved with the MINI E project, this would confirm the electric MINIs will be wonderful high performance and modern plug-in electric vehicles. AC Propulsion after all has been involved in the development of the modern electric vehicle from the late 1980s having engineered the Power Electronics Unit for the original GM EV1 Impact prototype. If my speculation holds true congratulations are due both to BMW and AC Propulsion. We’ll know soon enough when we get the opportunity to see the debut of the all electric plug-in MINI E in November 2008 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Below is a video of the AC Propulsion eBox First Peek debut from August 18th, 2006.


[Click here to see more photos of the BMW MINI E.]
Read BMW’s press release on the MINI E after the jump.

Here is the full text of the entire BMW MINI E press release (in case the link goes bad).
URL: http://www.press.bmwgroup.com/pressclub/us02.nsf/fwPressemeldungFrame?readform&docid=7F5F361A09612BCCC12574E500783F6E
A NEW EXPERIENCE – DRIVING PLEASURE WITHOUT EMISSIONS: THE MINI E 10/18/2008
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 18, 2008… The BMW Group will be the world’s first manufacturer of premium automobiles to deploy a fleet of some 500 all-electric vehicles for private use in daily traffic. The MINI E will be powered by a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor fed by a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery, transferring its power to the front wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox nearly without a sound and entirely free of emissions. Specially engineered for automobile use, the battery technology will have a range of more than 240 kilometers, or 150 miles. The MINI E will initially be made available to select private and corporate customers as part of a pilot project in the US states of California, New York and New Jersey. The possibility of offering the MINI E in Europe as well is currently being considered. The MINI E will give its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19 and 20, 2008.
The MINI E’s electric drive train produces a peak torque of 220 Newton meters, delivering seamless acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 152 km/h (95 mph). Featuring a suspension system tuned to match its weight distribution, the MINI E sports the brand’s hallmark agility and outstanding handling.
By introducing the MINI E, the BMW Group is underscoring the resolve with which it works towards reducing energy consumption and emissions in road traffic. The BMW Group is drawing on its unique technological expertise in the field of drive systems to develop a vehicle concept enabling zero emissions without renouncing the joy of driving. Putting some 500 cars on the road under real daily traffic conditions will make it possible to gain widely applicable hands-on experience. Evaluating these findings will generate valuable know-how, which will be factored into the engineering of mass-produced vehicles.
The BMW Group aims to start series production of all-electric vehicles over the medium term as part of its Number ONE strategy. The development of innovative concepts for mobility in big-city conurbations within the scope of “project i” has a similar thrust, as its objective also includes making use of an all-electric power train.
The energy storage unit: cutting-edge lithium-ion technology engineered specifically for use in the MINI.
Based on the current MINI, the car will initially be available as a two-seater. The space taken up by back-seat passengers in the series model has been reserved for the lithium-ion battery. When in use in the zero-emissions MINI, the battery unit combines high output with ample storage capacity and a small footprint with power ratios that are unrivalled in this field of application so far. The lithium-ion storage unit will have a maximum capacity of 35 kilowatt hours (kWh) and transmit energy to the electric motor as direct current at a nominal 380 volts. The rechargeable battery is made up of 5,088 cells grouped into 48 modules. These modules are packaged into three battery elements that are compactly arranged inside the MINI E.
The energy storage unit’s basic components are based on the technological principle that has proven itself in practice in power supplies for mobile phones and portable computers. The MINI E’s lithium-ion battery can be plugged into all standard power outlets. Its charge time is strongly dependent on the voltage and amperage of the electricity flowing through the grid. In the USA, users can recharge a battery that has been completely drained within a very short period of time using a wallbox that will ship with every MINI E. The wallbox will be installed in the customer’s garage, enable higher amperage, and thus provide for extremely short charging times. Wallboxes fully recharge batteries after a mere two-and-a-half hours.
Driven by electricity: reliably, affordably and free of emissions.
A full recharge draws a maximum of 28 kilowatt hours of electricity from the grid. Based on the car’s range, a kilowatt hour translates into 5.4 miles. Besides the benefit of zero-emissions driving, the MINI E thus offers significant economic advantages over a vehicle powered by a conventional internal combustion engine as well.
The heavy-duty battery delivers its power to an electric motor, which transforms it into thrilling agility. Mounted transversely under the MINI E’s bonnet, the drive train unleashes its full thrust from a dead standstill. This provides for the car’s fascinating launch capability. The MINI E’s intense driving experience is augmented by its dynamic deceleration potential, which is also directly coupled to the accelerator pedal. As soon as the driver releases the gas pedal, the electric motor acts as a generator. This results in braking force, and the power recovered from the kinetic energy is fed back to the battery. This interaction ensures extremely comfortable drives ?Äì especially at medium speed with constant, but marginal, variation. In city traffic, some 75 percent of all deceleration can be done without the brakes. Making substantial use of this energy recuperation feature extends the car’s range by up to 20 percent.
Signature MINI agility in a new guise.
Weighing in at 1,465 kilograms (3.230 lbs), the MINI E has an even weight distribution. Minor modifications made to the suspension ensure safe handling at all times. The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system has been adapted to this model’s specific wheel loads.
The MINI E’s brake system comes with a newly developed electric underpressure pump. Its Electrical Power Assisted Steering (EPS) is the same as the one used in mass-produced MINIs. Both brake and steering assistance react to driving conditions and are thus extremely efficient. Even the air conditioning’s electrical compressor only operates if desired or necessary.
Design: unmistakably MINI, undoubtedly new.
At first glance, the MINI E is obviously an iteration of the brand. But its design, which is the blueprint for the zero-emissions two-seater, has been complemented by a number of visual cues that point to its revolutionary drive concept. All of the units produced for the pilot project will have the same paintwork and bear a serial number on their front fenders.
The MINI E’s coachwork sports an exclusive combination of metallic Dark Silver on all panels but the roof, which is clad in Pure Silver. What distinguishes the zero-emissions MINI is a specially designed logo in Interchange Yellow, depicting a stylized power plug in the shape of an “E” set against the silver backdrop. It has been applied to the roof, in smaller dimensions to the front and back, to the charger port lid, the dashboard trim, and ?Äì combined with the MINI logo ?Äì to the door jamb, in slightly modified form. The color of the roof edges, mirror housings, interior style cues and seat seams will match the logo’s yellow tone as well.
Moreover, the central gauge and the battery level indicator behind the wheel of the MINI E, which replaces the MINI’s rev counter, feature yellow lettering against a dark grey background. The battery level is displayed in percentage figures. The central gauge includes an LED display indicating power consumption in red and power recuperation in green.
MINI E customers will be part of a pioneering mission.
A 500-unit, limited-production MINI E series will be manufactured through the end of 2008. The project will thus attain an order of magnitude that clearly exceeds the size of currently comparable test series. Putting the MINI E on the road on a daily basis will be a pioneering feat to which both the drivers and engineers of the first zero-emissions MINI will contribute as a team.
MINI E customers will join forces with BMW Group experts to assist in the project’s scientific evaluation. MINI E engineers accord high importance to staying in touch with the drivers on a regular basis, as this will help them analyze driver behavior besides vehicle characteristics in order to gain the most accurate and realistic picture of the demands placed on a vehicle with a purely electrical drive in the select usage areas.
Special charging station and full service for every MINI E.
The cars will change hands based on a one-year lease with an extension option. Monthly lease installments will cover any required technical service including all necessary maintenance and the replacement of wearing parts. At the end of the lease, all of the automobiles belonging to the project will be returned to the BMW Group’s engineering fleet where they will be subjected to comparative tests.
The MINI E’s lithium-ion battery can be charged using a wallbox provided to MINI customers. Only lockable garages or similar buildings will qualify as homebases and power stations for the MINI E.
Maintenance by qualified specialists.
The electric drive’s high-voltage technology requires that maintenance work be done by qualified personnel using special tools that are not included in MINI service partners’ standard toolboxes. In light of this, a service base will be set up on both coasts, staffed by service engineers that are specially trained to perform maintenance and repair work on the MINI E’s electrical components. In the event of drive malfunction, these experts will provide professional support at the customer’s local MINI dealer or the service base’s specially equipped workshop. Technical inspections will take place after 3,000 miles (just under 5,000 kilometers) and at least after six months.
Production in Oxford and Munich.
The MINI E has already gone through the major phases of product development for mass-produced vehicles and passed numerous crash tests on the way. Aspects investigated besides passenger protection were the impact of collision forces on the lithium-ion battery and finding a non-hazardous location for it in the car. The MINI E’s energy storage unit emerged completely unscathed from all of the crash tests mandated by US standards, which are especially high.
Production of the approximately 500 cars will take place at the company’s Oxford and Munich sites and is scheduled for completion before the end of 2008. MINI’s UK plant will be responsible for manufacturing the entire vehicle with the exception of the drive components and the lithium-ion battery, with the brand’s series models rolling off its assembly lines concurrently. The units will then be transferred to a specially equipped manufacturing complex situated on BMW plant premises where the electric motor, battery units, performance electronics and transmission will be integrated.
MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC which has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models, X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sport Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle
retailers, 83 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:
www.bmwgroupna.com
www.bmwusa.com
www.bmwmotorcycles.com
www.miniusa.com
www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com
Journalist note: Information about the BMW Group and its products is available to journalists on-line at the BMW Group PressClub at the following address: www.press.bmwgroup.com. Broadcast quality video footage is available via The NewsMarket at www.thenewsmarket.com.
[Source: BMW Group]
Share/Bookmark

Friday, October 24, 2008

Killacycle: New World Record at Bandimere 7.890 second (also 174 MPH!)

The KillaCycle®, ridden by Scotty Pollacheck, made drag racing history AGAIN at Bandimere Speedway October 23rd, 2008. 7.89 seconds @ 168 MPH is a new official National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA) record and makes KillaCycle® the world’s quickest electric vehicle of any kind in the quarter mile! This was the very last run down the strip for this season at Bandimere. What a great way to finish the year.
Lightning struck twice on the mountain as we set the new mark for top speed in an earlier run that afternoon, 7.955 seconds@ 174.05 MPH. The M&H Racemaster tire really gripped the awesome track prep provided by Larry Crispe and the crew at Bandimere Speedway. We turned up the launch current to 1850 amps per motor, well beyond what we ever had before, and still did not slip the tire! (The all new temperature-controlled track surface provided the very best possible traction.)
Jim Husted at Hi-Torque Electric did his magic to the motors and they were able to withstand more RPM, current, and voltage from the battery pack than we thought was even possible. This is what delivered the “back half” performance that made the new top speed record possible.
The A123 Systems NanoPosphate batteries are changing the entire landscape for electric vehicles, and battery-powered devices in general.
The History Channel recorded it all that day. The footage will air early in 2009, perhaps February or March.
If you don’t want to wait that long for the professional footage, here is a video clip (digital camera) of the run

(You can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVv0NVLFPig if the above link doesn’t load)
Nice write-up with a few more interesting facts added in click here on AutoBlogGreen.
Please visit the National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA) site to learn more about fast, exciting, and “green” drag racing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: GM taps LG for Volt Battery

Lots going on with batteries now, as John O’Dell’s piece below illustrates.
GM has been saying for a while now that they had picked their supplier for the LiIon battery in the Volt, but they weren’t prepared to announce who it was. MIT spinoff A123 was a personal favorite, also Germany’s Continental was in the running, but it was LG Chem subsidiary and Detroit based Compact Power, Inc. that got the nod.
I’m sure the stocks of all three will be volatile for a while. I wouldn’t worry about the two that lost out though. Ron Freund, president of the Electric Auto Assoc., says any OEM worth its salt will want multiple suppliers, since relying on only one would put the company at a strategic disadvantage, should the battery maker decide to bail or raise prices. Chances are, GM will start with CP (hey, those are Chris Paine’s initials!), but then contract with one or more additional battery makers to satisfy the demand.
I really don’t think the industry understands just how popular these cars are going to be. It’s all in how they market them. If they contract with Plug In America to consult, we’d sell a million of them:~)
Also, with every OEM on the planet in development on plug-ins, there’s going to be a dearth of batteries for quite a while. From what I’m reading, there’s a lot of battery production coming on line in the next 12 months in Asia and Europe. Sure wish we’d start making some here.
Since Compact Power is based in Detroit, and GM is their first big customer, maybe that’s enough of a reason to build at least a token factory in the U.S. and complete the circle.

Here is the full text of the entire article (in case the link goes bad). URL:
http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2008/10/gm-reported-ready-to-gi...
GM Reported Ready To Give Volt Battery Nod to Unit of LG Chem

The coveted Chevy Volt battery contract appears to be going to a unit of South Korea’s biggest battery maker.
Reuters news service and the independent Volt fan site, GM-Volt.com, both reported today that GM has decided to select Compact Power Inc., a Detroit-based subsidiary of LG Chem, to be supplier of the advanced lithium-ion batteries for the Volt (right), which is scheduled to begin production in late 2010.
Reuters said two unidentified but knowledgeable sources confirmed the deal and said it will be formally announced next month, providing terms of the supply contract are worked out with Compact Power.
The company was competing for the pact with a joint venture of German’s Continental AG and Boston-based A123 Systems.
The Volt contract is important because the batteries are the most important element of the car and their reliability will make or break GM’s gamble to be the first company to put a plug-in — or grid-rechargeable — hybrid into the market.
The contract also represents one of the first major efforts to adapt lithium-ion technology, widely used in laptop computers and cell phones, for the demands of automotive use.
Electric vehicle batteries will be subject to far more heat, cold, moisture, vibration and rough treatment than are the batteries in consumer electronics.
Failure of the Volt would be disastrous for GM’s image: the company has staked much of its future on an effort to reinvent itself as a leader in clean, green automotive technology.
The automaker has declined to comment on the reports, saying only that it has not make a final decision and that it expects to announce one by the end of the year.
Reuters said its sources told it GM and Compact Power are now discussing the details of a commercial agreement, including how to split warranty costs for the batteries.
Most of the Volt prototypes GM is testing are running with LG Chem batteries, the sources said, adding that the prototypes have continued to perform without any glitches.
Whatever its final deal wth Compact power, GM also could keep the Continental-A123 consortium doing battery development work for future versions. Having two suppliers would help drive costs down.
The Volt, which GM prefers to call an extended-range electric vehicle, doesn’t use its internal combustion engine for propulsion, relying entirely on an electric drive system.
It has been designed to run for up to 40 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion batteries and then to keep running on juice provided by a 1.4iter, four-cylinder gas engine that serves as a power generator.
The batteries initially would be charged from the commercial grid - hence the “plug-in” designation — and on longer trips would be repeatedly recharged by the on-board engine-generator.
Analysts have estimated that lithium-ion battery packs powerful enough to provide Volt-like performance could add as much as $10,000 to the price of a vehicle.
GM, which initially said the Volt could be marketed for about $30,000, now uses $40,000 as the base price and is counting on a just-approved federal tax credit of $7,500 to make the price more palatable when sales begin.
John O’Dell, Senior Editor - October 23, 2008, 12:58 PM

Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Governments and candidates need to embrace peak oil

Renewable energy has emerged as a serious issue among politicians at all levels in the United States. Peak oil is a different story, however. Federal, state and local leaders will continue to misunderstand the energy crisis we face if they ignore the new energy production constraints of the 21st century.
read more

New solar cell material achieves almost 100% efficiency, could solve world-wide energy problems


(The singularity is near!  Looks like Nike might have their BTTF Hyperdunk shoes done in time for the 2015 release date after all!)

This is one of the most important advancements in green tech to ever reach your eyes... and we can thank a computer accident for it!  That's right, it seems researchers at Ohio State University have accidentally discovered a new solar cell material that is capable of absorbing all of the sun's visible light energy, theoretically giving the potential for a near 100% efficiency rating and totally blowing the 61% efficiency managed by previous science experiments, out of the proverbial water.

Don't look for this technology to be mass produced anytime soon, but barring any unforeseen anomalies in Y2K12, you might just see these in time to power up your flying car and auto-lacing sneakers. w00t!

Go to TGDaily to read the whole article.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Evpulse/~3/o9-j2Cj76YU/new-solar-cell-material-achieves-almost_21.html

New solar cell material achieves almost 100% efficiency, could solve world-wide energy problems


(The singularity is near!  Looks like Nike might have their BTTF Hyperdunk shoes done in time for the 2015 release date after all!)

This is one of the most important advancements in green tech to ever reach your eyes... and we can thank a computer accident for it!  That's right, it seems researchers at Ohio State University have accidentally discovered a new solar cell material that is capable of absorbing all of the sun's visible light energy, theoretically giving the potential for a near 100% efficiency rating and totally blowing the 61% efficiency managed by previous science experiments, out of the proverbial water.

Don't look for this technology to be mass produced anytime soon, but barring any unforeseen anomalies in Y2K12, you might just see these in time to power up your flying car and auto-lacing sneakers. w00t!

Go to TGDaily to read the whole article.

Elmoto inches closer to production


(The sexy and sturdy looking Elmoto HR-2 as captured at Eurobike by Ian Collins (c)2008)

There's tons of excitement around developments in the light-electric-motorbike arena.  The highly anticipated Ultramotor A2B is currently available in U.S. shops and the front/rear hub driven Elmoto is hot on its trail making it through another round of prototyping and appearing with updates at the 2008 Intermot in Cologne. 

Rumors say the Elmoto will be making her rounds in the U.S. sometime in the middle of 2009.  I can't wait to give her a test ride.  Twin 250W brushless hub motors?  And if you get the W500plus edition (Lithium-Ion) we're looking at speeds of over 37 mph and a distance of nearly 43 miles all that in a 110 lbs package and an operating cost of 70¢ per charge.

If you want to see the Elmoto booth and lots of great product shots, check out this flickr slideshow.  You can also keep your finger on the pulse of the Elmoto on the Electric Motorcycle Forum here.  They even get responses from Elmoto founder Oliver Wittke!

Expect to see the finished product sometime after April with a price of around $5400 USD.  LOVE THE COLORS!

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Evpulse/~3/OoIsN14sKNE/elmoto-inches-closer-to-production.html

Elmoto inches closer to production

(The sexy and sturdy looking Elmoto HR-2 as captured at Eurobike by Ian Collins (c)2008)There's tons of excitement around developments in the light-electric-motorbike arena.  The highly anticipated Ultramotor A2B is currently available in U.S. shops and the front/rear hub driven Elmoto is hot on its trail making it through another round of prototyping and appearing with updates at the 2008 Intermot in Cologne.  Rumors say the Elmoto will be making her rounds in the U.S. sometime in the middle of 2009.  I can't wait to give her a test ride.  Twin 250W brushless hub motors?  And if you get the W500plus edition (Lithium-Ion) we're looking at speeds of over 37 mph and a distance of nearly 43 miles all that in a 110 lbs package and an operating cost of 70¢ per charge.If you want to see the Elmoto booth and lots of great product shots, check out this flickr slideshow.  You can also keep your finger on the pulse of the Elmoto on the Electric Motorcycle Forum here.  They even get responses from Elmoto founder Oliver Wittke!Expect to see the finished product sometime after April with a price of around $5400 USD.  LOVE THE COLORS!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"green" STILL means good despite downturns

I've been known to espouse the benefits of selling into the Ag business. With our commitment to green business, a good industry, a great product and incredible customers there's no doubt we do have a good thing going here at Barefoot Motors.That's why it's hard for me to be too bowled over by the havoc in the financial sector. This week when everyone is talking gloom and doom, I'm hearing something different from our primary industries, Agriculture Online speaks that so far Ag is so far a safe haven from the crisis that's hit Wall Street. Then add to that a direct quote from my friend in solar. "It's hard to tell whether 2009 will be a modestly good year for US solar, or a stunningly good year." Then there's Ducati which continues to defy the downward trends to break their own sales records.
I'm including a powerpoint slide from our presentation which illustrates my point, what I like to refer to as "Planets in Alignment"
   
Thumbnail  
It is this combination of market trends which bode well for Barefoot and I believe for our nation in general!  We've been through tough times before and we will be again there is some need for adjustments and re-engineering but I hope that at some point soon the good news that is still out there will begin to break through the some of the fear and negativity that we are hearing now.

Peak oil a myth?

The Recurring Myth of Peak Oil is a longish article by ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH which goes at length to claim "Peak Oil" is a hoax. He has some interesting arguments, which I don't buy, and want to analyse a bit. He is a Professor of Economics at Drake Univ., has written books, and from a brief yahoogling seems to have written several articles discussing energy shortages and oil wars and other oil issues.

External Media

read more

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Does the economic crisis mean peak oil is delayed...or already past?

With oil $60 cheaper today than it was in July, you might think economic recovery and increased global oil production are right around the corner. Not so, says peak oil author Richard Heinberg, who argues that cheaper oil is actually part of the problem -- and that it's all downhill from here for oil and the global economy
read more

The low level EV Technician

While processing the update on the Dagne motorcycle a thought resurfaced. One thing that's necessary for the EV Industry to take off is that there be trained low level EV technicians just as today there are a wide range of technicians for servicing oil burning vehicles. While electric vehicles tend to be very reliable they can and do break. Nothing is perfect and as the Buddha said everything in the manifest universe is impermanent. I think he really said the only permanence is impermanence.
External Media

read more

Monday, October 13, 2008

Awesome bike vid!

Saw this, and had to share:

Lady is the Boss – Bicycle fight!
Lately I’ve been using my eZtorq to head up to Fitzroy once every week or two. It’s a nice easy route, and faster than any other means at my disposal. Also cheaper, and just generally awesome. It’s almost a shame I don’t need to travel more often but I’m quite happy knowing my carbon footprint is as low as it possibly could be for my daily travel requirements!
Feel free to Flattr this post at flattr.com, if you like it. flattr this!

Friday, October 10, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: Postcard From Iceland (1 of 2)

Iceland's geothermal landscapeBathers in the foreground, geo-thermal power plant in the distance
The rumors are true. Iceland is beautiful. Sitting on the continental plates between Europe and North America, this volcanic island is home to a mere 300,000 people.
I came as a guest for Driving Sustainability, Iceland’s conference for the future of cars. They lined up an international and terrific schedule. Yet-Ming Chiang from A123 Systems in Cambridge, Bill Dube, from the Killacycle, Sven Thesen and John Proctor from Better Place, the MiEV team from Mitsubishi, and on and on.
After the two day conference, we stayed on to film for “Revenge,” because Iceland’s electricity is 100% renewable — the perfect place for EVs. Thanks to its wise investment in geothermal plants, Iceland’s energy is clean and practically free. The only oil that gets used here goes towards fueling our worldwide addiction (which Iceland shares) to the internal combustion engine.
Thankfully this may all be changing — at least according to its President who met us at Iceland’s White House (the Bessastadir). President Olafur Grimsson has a vision for his country that does not include oil. Facing bankruptcy, the country cannot afford to import oil when electric vehicles could meet the needs of most of its city drivers.
After a failed experiment with hydrogen, the real issue is getting carmakers to sell electric cars and educating the public about their advantages.
We toured the country with a local crew and got some fabulous footage. From the annual meeting of a 4×4 truck club in Iceland’s glacial interior, to the steaming vents of its power plants, we tracked the story. Can Iceland use its clean energy to replace gasoline driving?
Chris Paine and President GrimssonChris Paine and President Grimsson

Share/Save/Bookmark

Introduction

http://1994civic-conversion.blogspot.com/2008/10/finding-donor-car.html

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Killacycle: KillaGear on-line store Now Open!

We’re excited to announce the grand opening of our new online store at
www.killagear.bigcartel.com!
We are currently selling official KillaCycle® team tee shirts. We plan to have more products for sale in the near
future. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Showing leadership on peak oil

Policies are choices. We can choose to set policy as if we're still in a world of cheap oil, or we can choose to set policies more appropriate for the new and very real and world of energy and climate uncertainty. For most people that means electing government leaders who understand peak oil, and letting them figure out what exactly to do about it. As people who work in government know, however, it takes more than winning on Election Day to change policy.
read more

Sunday, October 5, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: GM Detroit Shoot (2 of 2)

Early wakeup calls in Detroit continued as our grand tour picked up speed.
We shoot at the Tech Center campus where engineers ran tests on Volt battery packs. To our surprise, some of the industrial battery testing equipment came from Aerovironment, the company who had built the SunRaycer and Impact EV prototypes back in the early 1990s.
GM Tech Center, Designed by Eero Saairnen 1949GM Tech Center, Designed by Eero Saairnen 1949
GM Vice-chairman, Bob Lutz invited us to their private test track about an hour outside of Detroit. After an off-camera briefing about all their alt energy car efforts, we took a high speed run in the Volt “mule” vehicle. It was as nearly as quick as their EV1 and every bit as smooth. EVs are just incredible. The only cloud that hung over a picture-perfect day was whether GM had the money and time to regain the edge it had ten years ago.
On the morning of the new Volt introduction, about a thousand people gathered in a four story atrium in the Renaissance Center in Detroit. There were many journalists we recognized there from the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal and so on.
GM divisions from around the world checked in live on the jumbo screen to underscore that GM was a global company, not just an American company because the overseas story has been good lately.
The live video feeds crescendoed from the top of China’s largest skyscraper, the Shanghai World Financial Center. Champagne poured at midnight and the company celebrated. As footage of Buicks and Western cars cruised down Chinese streets, it reminded me that only a few years ago Chinese cities were known for their bicycles, not Western cars and skyscrapers.
It all came back to live in Detroit where Bob Lutz drove the new Chevy Volt from under the TV screens onto the stage. As journalists rushed Bob and the car, the Volt looked much better then the pirated photos that had surfaced on the internet. GM was putting the electric car front and center of its 100 year anniversary.
From what I could see in our few days of our official tour, GM is running a very serious engineering to build the Volt and PR program to change the public’s perception of its corporate vision. Whether the company can stay solvent, keep its team on-track, and get Volts actually built and sold in numbers is the rest of the story.
Chevy Volt production prototype #1Chevy Volt production prototype #1

Share/Save/Bookmark

Saturday, October 4, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: GM Detroit Shoot (1 of 2)

Chris Paine Interviews GM Vice Chairman Bob LutzInterviewing GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz at GM's test track in Detroit
General Motors invited me to Detroit to speak on a panel at its 100th anniversary along with a small group of other “outside voices”.  Since GM’s Vice Chairman, Bob Lutz planned to unveil the Chevy Volt production prototype, we decided to take our film crew.  We knew we were being pulled into GM’s PR machine, but we wanted to hear their side of the story and accept their offer - If GM was once again committed to the electric car, we’d be there to cover it.
Only 20 months ago, Chelsea and Bob Sexton and I visited GM to cover the debut of the Chevy Volt electric hybrid concept car at the Detroit Auto Show. The roll out made waves with the international media. Was the Volt an attempt to greenwash GM’s image? Or was GM really committing itself to a future with electric vehicles only 5 years after destroying its last electric cars. The answer was a bit of both.
For me personally, it was an ironic to be here as GM’s guest after sneaking onto these corporate campuses in 2005 to get the untold story of the EV1.  As one journalist cracked, “GM holds its friends close, its enemies closer.” Maybe so - but it gave us a chance to take the official tour, talk to engineers (some of them very experienced veterans of EV programs) and executives - many of whom seemed genuinely interested in hearing our perspective.  ”You represent a lot of consumers that have tuned us out”  Bob Lutz  told me.   A few employees even confided that “Who Killed the Electric Car” had been widely circulated internally.  (Take note, doc filmmakers.)  The questions today were: Why did GM change its mind on electric cars?  Will GM be able to survive until the Volt is ready? How far along is the Volt? And more broadly, can the electric car of the 21st century rescue the internal combustion engine company of the 20th century?

Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Complex issues in a world of soundbites

How can planners and elected officials address incredibly complex issues like peak oil and global warming while juggling multiple stakeholders, competing priorities and limited resources? Some thoughts on talking about complexity in a world of soundbites and short attention spans.
read more

eROCKIT has a new prototype for the October show set


(eROCKIT 4.2 is ready for her closeup at Intermot Cologne)

The serial hybrid, electric bike from eROCKIT has undergone some prototype updates bringing her one step closer to retail.  Serial hybrids are powered by an electric engine with batteries that are normally charged by a low powered gas engine, much like the Chevy Volt.  What makes the eROCKIT interesting is that the batteries are charged with pedal power! 

I love the small size and the fact that she can reach 50 mph!  I think they are really on to something.  Now if they could just get the price down to 1/3rd of the current listing of $34,800 USD.  Yeah, I flintched too.  But, understand that this is the handbuilt, start-up pricing.  Stefan Gulas hopes to produce 10 units for 2009.  About the price, Stefan says this (rough translation):
"You'll note that I am not building these machines for mass production, these aren't like cheap electric scooters or clothing from China, but a quick piece of jewelry that doen't need fuel and can save you time and money at the gym."
 Well, that'll be one piece of bling that I'll have to pass on.  Not that I don't love it!  To read a Google translation of the press release go here.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Evpulse/~3/b3BqQQst2Tw/erockit-has-new-prototype-for-october.html

eROCKIT has a new prototype for the October show set

(eROCKIT 4.2 is ready for her closeup at Intermot Cologne)The serial hybrid, electric bike from eROCKIT has undergone some prototype updates bringing her one step closer to retail.  Serial hybrids are powered by an electric engine with batteries that are normally charged by a low powered gas engine, much like the Chevy Volt.  What makes the eROCKIT interesting is that the batteries are charged with pedal power!  I love the small size and the fact that she can reach 50 mph!  I think they are really on to something.  Now if they could just get the price down to 1/3rd of the current listing of $34,800 USD.  Yeah, I flintched too.  But, understand that this is the handbuilt, start-up pricing.  Stefan Gulas hopes to produce 10 units for 2009.  About the price, Stefan says this (rough translation):"You'll note that I am not building these machines for mass production, these aren't like cheap electric scooters or clothing from China, but a quick piece of jewelry that doen't need fuel and can save you time and money at the gym." Well, that'll be one piece of bling that I'll have to pass on.  Not that I don't love it!  To read a Google translation of the press release go here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seattle Roadshow Storms Pacific Northwest

Nine Tesla employees stormed Seattle last weekend on a four-day sales and marketing blitz. The trip was a great success – not only for 80 customers and media who got to drive the car but for those of us at Tesla scouting the perfect location for a Seattle-area store, which we are planning to open [...]

RevengeOfTheEV: Welcome to Revenge of the Electric Car!

Welcome to our blog and Chris Paine’s new film, “Revenge of the Electric Car.” (slated for Spring, 2011)!
Every week, we’ll be posting production stories, insider information, and late breaking news from the world of plug-in vehicles. We’ll be covering stories from around the world — from the auto giants to the converters to indy startups. Once again there is incredible momentum and talent around the renaissance with electric cars, plugin hybrids, and electric transportation in general. The world is changing!
Media Creator Shout Out — if you’ve shot or heard about something EV-related that might work for the film or our web site, feel free to pass it along.
Thanks for reading and making change happen!
Chris Paine, Director
Peter Morgan, Producer
Jessie Deeter, Co-Producer
Paul Scott, Inside Track Blogger
Stefano Paris, Inside Track Blogger
Stefano Durdic, Executive Producer

Share/Save/Bookmark