Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cycle9: New Retail Store

After a long wait, it looks like our new retail store will be open the weekend of Dec 6-7 or at latest early the following week. It will be a bit of a work in progress for the next couple weeks, but we hope to at least have the doors open on the 6th, so come on down and check us out! We're located at 601 W. Main Street in Carrboro. For those of you who know Carrboro, this building has been known for a long time as the "Basnight" building, for the hardware store that operated here for > 50 years. We hope that soon it will be known as the "Cycle9" building. We'll have a selection of hub motors, cargo bikes, Breezer and Marin bikes, Xtracycle kits and accessories for you to browse and try out. New store hours are as follows:Monday closedTuesday 11-6Wednesday 11-6Thursday 11-7Friday 11-6Saturday 10-5Sunday 12-5Phone number/email will remain the same.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Scooters make great Holiday Gifts!

Hello all!Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog. With the holidays coming on it seems like we are all scrambling to find the "perfect" gift for that special someone. Imagine the look on your childs face when they see a scooter or ride-on toy under the tree! Green Wheelin Scooters now has Ride-on toys, Scooters and Pocket Bikes that are reasonably priced, starting at $249, so you don't have to take out second mortgage to cover your holiday shopping. (About the same price as an i-pod, but with the added benefit of promoting playing outdoors!)For the older kids in your life (even the adults) we have electric bicycles and motor scooters as well as Segway PT's that will definitely put a smile on their face. Tell us you read the blog and we will give you half price assembly through December 31st, 2008.Thanks again and I hope you have a great holiday season, remember to enjoy it!Eric

Thursday, November 27, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: First week with a Tesla

Even I was surprised. In my rear view mirror I watched a Los Angeles Sheriff’s car pull out of the Chevron and turn on both its blue and red flashing lights to pursue me down Ventura Boulevard. It had only been hours since I eased out of the Tesla dealership in West Los Angeles and already I had a date with the police.
This was not the Burbank police who arrested Alexandra and Colette in 2005 for trying to stop EVs from being crushed.  Nevertheless, I was a bit nervous as three officers approached.  I had conducted a couple of acceleration ‘experiments’ during my drive from Santa Monica to Hollywood via Malibu, but it just seemed too soon to get pulled over.
“Your car is missing plates,” the officer said.  I started to point out the registration taped to the window, but he interrupted. “This is the electric car?”
photo by Monica Garfieldmetro photos: M.Garfield
“Yes” I said.  And with that he burst into a rave about the car to his fellow officers. “This is the Tesla that I told you about. It does zero to 60 in under 4 seconds, and it’s totally electric.”
Obviously this was not a bust. “How far has it been going on a charge?”  (I didn’t know yet.)

“Does it really work competely without gasoline?” (Yes.) “Have you heard what Arnold or Clooney think of their cars?” (I’m guessing they are very happy.) “How much noise does it make.” (Just a whirrrr.) And finally, “Do you like it?” (Ahh…that would be yes.)
The car is lightning fast — an instant throwback to the purr of the EV1 electric car — only this time there is almost universal agreement that the car is damn sexy.  Case in point? It’s the first time valets at the Roosevelt Hotel or any other hotel (demigods of the LA car scene) have ever asked me to leave an electric car parked up front.  ”No need for a valet ticket — just leave it parked up here by the front entrance.”
 D. FolchVin #23 photo: D. Folch
“And sir, no need to stand in line to get into the pool area — just go right in.”  How long have I lived in Hollywood?!  When I returned to the car an hour later, a crowd of people had gathered around. So much to talk about.
My first electric car, twelve years ago, turned me from a car-hater into a car-lover, and the Tesla only heats this up more.  The Roadster is faster then anything on the road, including the young guy in a fuel cell SUV who improbably challenged me to a Saturday night race on Hollywood Blvd. Yes he was joking.
The Roadster is definitely a sports car — low to the ground, tight handling, and quick. You’ve got to pay attention to avoid SUVs, spine crunching pot holes, and drivers who let their cars drift into you as they stare.
One thing easy to avoid is the gas station. The flashing charger port on the car (insert phallic symbol here) makes the Star Wars light sabre look dull.  And early results suggest a range of 175 to 200 miles, although I’ve never gotten close to running out of power. Specs are 4 hours for a “complete charge” but  I’ve been getting what I need in about 45 minutes. Night time grid charging is cheapest (”$1 a gallon”) and the whole process will be even greener come the end of January when our roof (finally) gets solar panels.
The last two weeks have flown by in a second. Highlights have included giving the visionary LA Councilman Eric Garcetti a ride. Eric cameoed in Who Killed the Electric Car and has driven EVs for years so I let him drive it himself. His verdict: Awesome.
I’ve also had a bunch of great interviews including Croatian TV (yes, Nicola Tesla would be proud), and French journalists doing a story about “Revenge of the Electric Car.” Midlife crisis be damned, I’d rather have this Tesla than any Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus or Porsche. Those cars are just as expensive and far far more polluting. Complaints? None. I just wish everyone could have this experience for themselves and more plug-in cars start filling the roads everywhere.
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Message to Washington: Don’t turn a good government program into a bailout

When Congress passed the landmark Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in December 2007, the media and Capitol Hill focused heavily on the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standard. Congress increased the standard from 27.5 mpg to 35 mpg by 2020, marking the first time the CAFE average had been raised since the 1970s.
Almost entirely [...]

Installing the Adapter Plate and Clutch

http://1994civic-conversion.blogspot.com/2008/11/installing-adapter-plate-and-clutch.html

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: Voltageville, USA

Sacramento’s News 10 reports on the electric cars of Vacaville, CA.  In 2003 Vacaville, also known as Voltageville, was miles ahead of other cities with over 100 electric cars on the road in both GM EV1s and Toyota RAV4-EVs.  The California Air Resources Board’s 1990 Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate would have required 10% of all vehicles sold in California to be zero emissions.  But the CARB ZEV mandate was rescinded in 2003 due to pressure from the automakers.  It resulted in the confiscation of the majority of EVs which had only been available under lease.
In the News 10 segment Ed Huestis, Vacaville’s Transportation Manager, comments:  ”Once you’ve driven an electric vehicle, you never want to go back to gasoline…you just don’t.”  Former GM EV1 owner Jerry Hobrecht and Toyota RAV4-EV owner Darell Dickey are also interviewed expressing their immense enthusiasm for electric drive.
Now, every major automaker is scrambling to produce an electric vehicle.  Watch the News 10 report after the jump to learn why “No city is more ready for the return of the electric car than Vacaville, CA.”
Also read:  Welcome to Voltageville &   Vacaville: America’s EV Hometown

[Source:  News 10]
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Cycle9: The Firefly: the Nuvinci/eZee Surly Big Dummy build

This project took months - mostly because I've been so busy. But finally, she is here, the "Firefly" Big Dummy:Firefly big dummy build from front-sideHere are the details:Surly Big Dummy 20" frameset. Front eZee hub motor. Rear Nuvinci continuous variable gearhub. Single speed Surly Mr Whirly crankset. Dimension cruiser bars (a bit more angled out than the Nitto bars, which I like). Xtracycle longtail kit. Blue down low glow. Monkeylight front wheel spoke light. Powergrips toe straps on bear cage pedals. Rear stoker bar (using a standard stem). Planet bike fenders. WTB speed-she seat. Hayes mechanical discs 7". SweetSkinz NightWing tires. (note, you can buy all of this stuff from us, just give a call - or watch for our new web store, coming very soon).Here are the impressions:I might seem biased, because we sell this stuff. On the other hand, we also sell Xtracycles, and the Yuba Mundo, along with various other bikes. So I really have no motivation to be biased towards one option over the other.That said, the Big Dummy is a smoooth machine. It rocks. I must admit, when I first heard people raving about it, my natural contrarian tendencies had me thinking it was just a bunch of hype. Well, it is not all hype. It is real.I rode an Xtracycle/Stumpjumper combo for years, and for several months now, have been riding a Yuba Mundo. Both were great bikes. They did the job, and they did it admirably. But it is like comparing a Toyota tercel to a Lexus. Or maybe I should think of a better analogy than cars (since we're trying to encourage people to bike more!). In any case, the handling is better than either the Xtracycle or the Yuba. The loaded stability is similar to the Yuba, but better than the Xtracycle. But more than anything, it just feels like it glides over stuff.Part of that may be due to the Nuvinci hub. Shifting is a smooth, continuous motion. There are no specific "gears". This is particularly fun when combined with the eZee electric hub. On other bikes, I found that when accelerating from a stop, I'd have to shift through a rapid succession of gears to keep up with the motor. With the Nuvinci, as I accelerate, I can just slowly twist the adjuster knob to keep my cadence matched to bike speed. It is a really incredible experience.I was riding along a local street the other day, with my daughter on the back. I saw a woman hitchiking, it looked like she was in a big hurry to get somewhere. I stopped and asked whether she needed a ride. At first, she was incredulous, but, she quickly realized that it would be faster than walking/running, so she hopped on. She was totally wowed by the whole experience. Maybe a future longtail convert? I hope so! Or at least, maybe she'll tell some friends about it. And the cool thing is, with her, my daughter, all our stuff, and me, the bike still handled well.Anyway, I no longer think it is hype when I see people write that the Big Dummy is the pinnacle of bikes. Certainly, there are other bikes that are better at some things - racing bikes that are much faster, cross bikes that are more nimble, and etc. But if I were to own only one bike, this would be it. The gear range on the Nuvinci is better than I expected. I used a 32T front/ 16T rear, the maximal ratio "allowed" by Nuvinci guidelines (though I've heard it can probably be exceeded, with a loss of efficiency in the hub). This 2:1 ratio is enough to get the bike up a pretty steep hill with a moderate load, though if I kick in power from the hub motor, then it is no problem at all. But, to my surprise, at the other end, I can pedal it up to about 25 mph in "overdrive". This was a pleasant surprise, as I had expected only ~20mph from the ratios.As I've written elsewhere, the eZee hub motor is a great pairing for a cargo bike (as is the BMC). They are relatively lightweight, but produce good torque for hill climbing, without requiring a humongous battery pack. The operation on the front of the Firefly is pretty seamless. I thought I'd notice the weight, but on this setup, it is barely noticeable.The bike moves through corners gracefully for a longtail. The SweetSkinz cruiser-width tires (2.1") seem to roll pretty well, I'd say at least as well as the Conti Town & Country, and close to the Scwhalbe Marathon.Ok, enough raving about it. Some more pictures, then a few notes about the Nuvinci install at the bottom.Front view, showing light, drink holder, go-pro camera mount for my more paranoid moments. Front view of Firefly Big Dummy buildRear view, showing the handlebar set up.Firefly rear viewShot of the cool NuVinci shifter pod, and my crane bell (not a hint of plastic on this bell, the sound is puuure):IMG_0135Ok, some notes about the build. The biggest issue is that the Big Dummy has vertical dropouts, but the NuVinci is mostly designed for horizontal dropouts. However, they've now included a little torque arm and a no-turn washer that work with vertical dropouts. But it still requires a chain tensioner to work (and besides, I want to run a dual front chainring at some point). I'd read various rumors of incompatibility between chain tensioners and the "shifter pod" for the Nuvinci, pictured here:Nuvinci shifter podThis pod converts the cable tension into a rotational force, to rotate a shaft that changes gear ratio. It was clearly not designed with the thought that one might need to run it with a chain tensioner. I contacted Fallbrook (makers of Nuvinci) about this, and despite rumors that they are coming out with a compatible chain tensioner, the rep I spoke to did not know of that, and pretty much told me to Google search. Well, I gave up on that after finding little clear information, and just decided to order a Paul Melvin chain tensioner, and to "make" it work.After getting the hub installed, and running the two cables (yes, it requires running two cable housings and cables for the gear changer to work), I quickly discovered the problem. That little plastic pod has to lock down onto a little disc underneath it, or it will just fall off. But the chain tensioner is in the way of it doing so. One solution I saw to this is just zip tying the thing on. Not my favorite solution. So I approached it a different way :) I got out the diagonal cutters, and started snipping away plastic on the pod, until there was clearance for the tensioner. Here is a picture of the cutaway:Nuvinci Shifter pod, cut away to accomodate chain tensionerIt was a fair bit of cutting that had to be done, but fortunately, I was able to do it without obviously ruining the structural integrity of the pod. I hope that in a future version of the hub, they redesign the pod to avoid this. But all in all, it would be a quick and easy procedure to repeat.However, not long after I did this, I ran across the Kore Chain Reactor, which uses a chainstay mount. That might actually work without any hacking at the shifter pod.The wheel build on the Nuvinci was very much like building up an electric hub motor. It has to be done in a 2-cross or 1-cross spoke pattern, since a higher cross pattern results in too much spoke flex at the nipples. We used 2 cross, on a Sun Mammoth rim, and DH13 spokes, to produce an incredibly beefy wheel. (We can build these on request, just contact us).I was able to locate the motor controller in a mostly out-of-sight location, underneath the chainstay tube (is there a better name for this on the Big Dummy?). I like that it hides most of the wiring, but it is also somewhat vulnerable there if I decide to do some curb hopping. The jury is out on this.Chainstay controller locationNot much else to say.... it built up well, and rides well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: Recharging the Dream

Electric car and renewable energy enthusiast Gerry Gaydos shares his thoughts during a recent trip to California in the nicely narrated video short below.  Gerry’s pursuit of renewable energy and electric drive began in the summer of 1997 when he spent time with some engineering students preparing a solar electric race car for the World Solar Challenge.  His positive experiences led him on a search for an electric drive system that was both powerful and efficient for use in an electric sports car.  In January of 2001 he visited the legendary AC Propulsion of San Dimas, CA to meet Alan Cocconi and test drive ACP’s phenomenal tzero electric sports car.  You’ll see AC Propulsion’s electric drive technology powering eBoxes, the Wrightspeed X1, Tesla Roadsters, and mention of BMW’s electric MINI E.  Watch the video to learn more about Gerry’s positive outlook for a renewable and electric future.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Gocycle - Proof that humans have aquired alien technology?



Ok, I wouldn't go THAT far, but KKL's Gocycle (not to be confused with the GoBike) is definitely pushing the envelope of electric bikes... just go to the home page to get an idea of what I mean.  Very slick!  I actually enjoyed exploring the bike bit-by-bit except for the uncomfortable feeling I got when they demonstrate how to replace the battery pack.  I dunno, it just seems a bit obscene.

As you dig deeper into the bikes design you'll find it's built on a mountain of new patents, another example of pushing the envelope.  Founder, Richard Thorpe, has spent over half a decade designing his electric hybrid dream bike and it looks like its time has finally come. 

One thing Richard said that cracked me up was when he admitted to applying "some tactical useage of the power button" to pass up other full-pedal powered cyclists.  Now, that sounds like something I would do.  Bonus points for Gocycle.

From what I read on the website, it looks like they've been selling Ideal Bike manufactured prototypes since September of 2008 (a couple of months ago) and there are even a handful here in the USA even though the offical US distributorship hasn't gone into play yet.  The first 200 prototypes are already done and avaiable for purchase.  No word on when mass production will kick off, but I would imagine soon.

With an MSRP expected to be less than $2000, what do you get?  You get the 2008 Taipei International Cycle Show award winner, garnering first place for excellence in design in the Best Complete Bicycle and Best Innovation categories.  Not bad, eh?  So, how about "the goods"... the actual bike?  Let's look.

The Gocycle is an electric bike composed of injection moulded magnesium and fiberglass.  Injection moulded magnesium?  I had no idea you could even do that, but the result is a bike the weighs just 36 lbs.  What's more is the fact that you can break the bike down and store it in a hard case the size of an overhead piece of luggage.  Where does this technology come from?

The Gocycle will haul up to 220 lbs and is powered by both a pedal powered 3-speed sequential gearbox (completely enclosed for ease of maintenance) and a 250 Watt micromotor.  Give her a full 3.5 hour charge and you are ready to hit speeds of up to 18 mph (30 if you have a racing battery) and cover distances of between 6-20 miles depending on how much pedaling you do.  That should be plenty for most urban dwellers who work in the city. 

The Gocycle stops with an integrated floating mechanical disk brake.  The seat and handlebars are adjustable.  She has a rear shock absorber and the front suspension can be upgraded.  There are some cool luggage accessories available as well.  I'd say that KKL has most definitely done their homework with this little project.

I have high hopes for this baby and wouldn't mind having one in my garage now.  Sure I'd love to see it go 35 miles at 35 mph, but it's just a matter of time before they gain the tech to make that happen.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Evpulse/~3/Glg2qK0eKjg/gocycle-proof-that-humans-have-aquired.html

Gocycle - Proof that humans have aquired alien technology?

Ok, I wouldn't go THAT far, but KKL's Gocycle (not to be confused with the GoBike) is definitely pushing the envelope of electric bikes... just go to the home page to get an idea of what I mean.  Very slick!  I actually enjoyed exploring the bike bit-by-bit except for the uncomfortable feeling I got when they demonstrate how to replace the battery pack.  I dunno, it just seems a bit obscene.As you dig deeper into the bikes design you'll find it's built on a mountain of new patents, another example of pushing the envelope.  Founder, Richard Thorpe, has spent over half a decade designing his electric hybrid dream bike and it looks like its time has finally come.  One thing Richard said that cracked me up was when he admitted to applying "some tactical useage of the power button" to pass up other full-pedal powered cyclists.  Now, that sounds like something I would do.  Bonus points for Gocycle.From what I read on the website, it looks like they've been selling Ideal Bike manufactured prototypes since September of 2008 (a couple of months ago) and there are even a handful here in the USA even though the offical US distributorship hasn't gone into play yet.  The first 200 prototypes are already done and avaiable for purchase.  No word on when mass production will kick off, but I would imagine soon.With an MSRP expected to be less than $2000, what do you get?  You get the 2008 Taipei International Cycle Show award winner, garnering first place for excellence in design in the Best Complete Bicycle and Best Innovation categories.  Not bad, eh?  So, how about "the goods"... the actual bike?  Let's look.The Gocycle is an electric bike composed of injection moulded magnesium and fiberglass.  Injection moulded magnesium?  I had no idea you could even do that, but the result is a bike the weighs just 36 lbs.  What's more is the fact that you can break the bike down and store it in a hard case the size of an overhead piece of luggage.  Where does this technology come from?The Gocycle will haul up to 220 lbs and is powered by both a pedal powered 3-speed sequential gearbox (completely enclosed for ease of maintenance) and a 250 Watt micromotor.  Give her a full 3.5 hour charge and you are ready to hit speeds of up to 18 mph (30 if you have a racing battery) and cover distances of between 6-20 miles depending on how much pedaling you do.  That should be plenty for most urban dwellers who work in the city.  The Gocycle stops with an integrated floating mechanical disk brake.  The seat and handlebars are adjustable.  She has a rear shock absorber and the front suspension can be upgraded.  There are some cool luggage accessories available as well.  I'd say that KKL has most definitely done their homework with this little project.I have high hopes for this baby and wouldn't mind having one in my garage now.  Sure I'd love to see it go 35 miles at 35 mph, but it's just a matter of time before they gain the tech to make that happen.

Cycle9: Store update

The new store at 601 W Main St, Carrboro, is coming along well. A lot of the rough work is finished, but there are many details left to complete. We may have been a bit too ambitious for a Dec 1st opening, since that is less than a week away. But we're aiming hard to be open the following weekend, by Dec 6th. In the meantime, keep an eye on our blog or contact page for updates. Sometime in December we'll have a grand (re)opening sale.

RevengeOfTheEV: Chris Paine on the Ron Reagan Show

Air America’s “The Ron Reagan Show” aired an episode on November 24th, 2008 about what to do about “The Big Three” automakers.  Chris Paine joined Ron live with his views on the bailout for “The Big Three”, along with thoughts on future innovations in the industry. You can listen to the entire half hour show below.  Chris’s interview begins at minute 10.  Be sure to listen to Ron’s idea for a great EV commercial at minute 25 …

[Source:  The Ron Reagan Show (2008.11.24)]
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Update On Battery Pack

http://emotorcycle.blogspot.com/2008/11/update-on-battery-pack.html

Update On Battery Pack

After a long break I am looking at getting back into the bike conversion (been very busy with work and family). I am itching for a ride everytime I see the dust covered Across. I have re-evaluated the battery pack and after seeing some other conversions and considering the cost of the lithium batteries. I am now looking at a 336VDC @ 7AH battery pack. This will be either gel or SLA for cost purposes to begin with and then upgraded to a lighter and higher powered lithium pack if all goes well.Running the battery pack at this voltage will allow for a simpler 3-phase motor controller since I won't have to increase the voltage. I can simply use PWM to lower the voltage and frequency to the required levels. The motor will be run in delta configuration which requires 230V AC and then re-connect each of the windings so that I run them in parallel not series so this will end up requiring ~120VAC which is about 340Vp-p and within the battery pack voltage.

RevengeOfTheEV: CNN namechecks ‘Revenge of the Electric Car’

Check out this CNN segment from Nov 20th 2008.  What next for GM, the Volt, and the director of ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’ …

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Friday, November 21, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: We interrupt this blog for a musical number…

Dr. Electric Car’s Sing-a-long Musical Blog
We received this link and our first singalong musical blog posting from Bo Brown and the gang at Hogmolly

Hi folks,
Heard  you were gearing up for another documentary on the electric car. I saw the first one, it had enough impact on me that I wrote a song on the subject.
The song came to me almost complete in a dream, (got up at 4 am to record it) my band Hogmolly recorded it in a live studio performance the day after we learned it. Don’t know if it would be appropriate, but would love to see it used in your film, or any other use you may have for it.
Keep up the great work, and good luck with the new project.
Thanks,
Bo Brown
www.hogmolly.com
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

RevengeOfTheEV: Here comes the Electric White Zombie!


Oregon Public Broadcasting recently aired a segment on John “Plasma Boy” Wayland’s White Zombie – an electric conversion of a 1972 Datsun 1200.  Watch the embedded video below to see how quick this DC electric home conversion runs against the gasoline muscle car competition.  Enthusiasts like John are showing the performance potential of electric vehicles and proving once again that “filling up” on electrons is cool.

Plasma Boy Racing
[Source:  Oregon Public Broadcasting]
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RevengeOfTheEV: Solartaxi visits AeroVironment

Stefano readies for a Solartaxi test drive.Stefano readies for a Solartaxi test drive.
This summer Swiss visionary Louis Palmer and his friendly team made several stops in Southern California on their global whirlwind tour with their spectacular Solartaxi Electric Vehicle.  One of the stops was at AeroVironment in Simi Valley.
Solartaxi parked at AeroVironment - Simi Valley, CA.Solartaxi parked at AeroVironment - Simi Valley, CA.
The Solartaxi is a realization of one of Louis’ childhood dreams : to drive a zero emissions solar powered electric car around the world. He wants to show people that solutions already exist to resolve the Global Warming crisis.  Click here to read Solartaxi’s mission statement.
Solartaxi's Louis Palmer with PIA's Paul Scott on a test drive.Solartaxi's Louis Palmer with Paul Scott on a test drive.
Towards this end, the Solartaxi is a promotional vehicle and not one that is suggested we all be driving. The Q-Cell solar panels mounted on the trailer towed behind the Solartaxi provide 50% of the electricity required for the journey. They’re mainly along for the ride to demonstrate that photovoltaic solar technology is real and available today. They also help to ensure the vehicle can keep traveling even in remote sections of the world should they fail to find a plug for recharging.  The other 50% of the electricity required for the journey is obtained by plugging into the electrical grid en route.  In Switzerland, the Solartaxi team has created a stationary solar array to feed green power into the (global) electrical grid. Solartaxi just extracts that greenly produced electrical energy from the grid while touring the world. We should all support the installation of rooftop mounted PV solar to power our homes and our near-future plug-in electric vehicles.
Solar trailer mounted 14kWhr Zebra battery pack.Solar trailer mounted 14kWhr Zebra battery pack.
Louis Palmer's childhood 1986 rendering of his Solartaxi dream.Louis Palmer's childhood 1986 rendering of his Solartaxi dream.
Trailer mounted Photovoltaic Solar modules provided by Q-Cells.Photovoltaic Solar modules provided by Q-Cells.
Solartaxi has two Swiss made 14kwhr Zebra batteries which are a molten-salt type battery that has an operating temperature window of 270-350degC (518-662degF). The battery is insulated in a thermos-style package to minimize heat loss and has a life of about 1000 charging cycles. Zebra batteries have an energy density of around 90Whr/kg. Solartaxi has one of these Zebra batteries in the car portion and a second is located along the axle of the photovoltaic solar panel trailer.  That gives a cummulative energy storage capacity of 28kWhrs. The Solartaxi electric drive motor powering the single rear wheel is rated at a peak of 13kW.  The Q-Cells PV solar modules produce upwards of 600 watts. To recharge the batteries solely from the rear trailer would take about 4 days.
After admiring and discussing the Solartaxi for almost an hour, Solartaxi Tour Director Louis Palmer gave a fantastic 40 minute PowerPoint presentation on his mission and adventures.   As of this summer’s SoCal visit, Louis had traveled two thirds of his journey around the world. The presentation was followed by an enthusiastic EV technology discussion along with real test drives of the Solartaxi – viewable in the video below.

2008.07.23 Solartaxi Simi Valley visit and Test Drive Video
Visit the Solartaxi website to learn more about this pioneering solar powered Electric Vehicle world tour.
[Click here for more photos of the Solartaxi Simi Valley visit.]
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Larger-scale heating efficiencies

'Combined heat and power' (CHP) plants and 'district heating' systems have been around for well over a hundred years. And yet, only a handful of modern cities and towns have made use of these highly efficient technologies until very recently. Now that we've rediscovered CHP and district heating, what role will they play in retrofitting our economies to rely on local energy?
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Providing alternatives to cold houses and streets

Certainly people will want to stay in their own cozily-heated homes for the winter. But if energy prices make that economically infeasible for individuals, it's bound to also be a stretch for local governments. Towns that want to be effective in helping need to look beyond financial heating assistance for homeowners and instead harness the resources they have.
read more

A123 Lithium Battery Testing (DC9280)

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Twike434InPortlandOregon/~3/-7MyFKprAOY/a123-lithium-battery-testing-ds9280.html

RevengeOfTheEV: Bring Back the EV1 Press Conference


Friday November 14th, 2008 – GM Training Center – Burbank, CA
The Honorable Nate Holden, former California State Senator and L.A. City Council Member, held a press conference demanding General Motors apologize to the American people for destroying the automaker’s EV1 plug-in electric vehicle.  Mr. Holden demanded the EV1’s immediate re-introduction before, or in exchange for, any Government bailout of GM.
“General Motors compounded their financial woes by destroying the EV1 and continued to work with the oil companies to gouge the public. It’s a dishonest act on the part of General Motors.” said Holden.
Former EV1 driver Chris Reeve's 1997 GM Chevy S10 EV.Former EV1 driver Chris Reeves's 1997 GM Chevy S10 EV.
Former EV1 driver Doug Korthof's 2002 Toyota RAV4-EV.Former EV1 driver Doug Korthof's 2002 Toyota RAV4-EV.
This press conference was held at the very same GM facility where the EV1 Vigil took place during February and March 2005. Loyal GM EV1 customers tried valiantly to save 78 remaining EV1s from being crushed. Activists kept a 24/7 watch over the vehicles and offered to buy the EV1s from GM for their residual value. Alexandra Paul and Colette Divine were arrested while peacefully protesting and making a stand against an EV1 filled GM transport semi attempting to exit the facility.   Chris Paine’s film “Who Killed the Electric Car ?“ documented the EV1 Vigil. Former EV1 drivers Doug Korthof and Chris Reeves attended and spoke at Holden’s press conference, having each arrived in their respective plug-in EVs (2002 Toyota RAV4-EV and 1997 GM Chevy S10 EV).
Alex Datig (Business & Public Affairs Consultant, HighRoad Consulting Group LLC) let us know that Mr. Holden had a fruitful day getting the EV1 word out.  After the press conference at the GM Training Center Mr Holden went to City Hall to conduct more interviews and to speak to elected officials. He sent the story to KFWB News 980 and to President-elect Barack Obama.  Mr Holden had the following words for the loyal supporters of the EV1 :
“I want to thank the EV1 family for their support and encouragement for me to continue the fight to hold General Motors and other auto manufacturers’ feet to the fire. As you know, today I strongly urge Congress to withhold any bailout funds from the auto industry, unless and until the industry agrees to mass-produce fuel efficiency automobiles; electric cars.
Congress should not, under any circumstances, release the bailout money to automobile manufacturers without making these demands. Without these demands, the automobile manufacturers will just continue with “business as usual,” manufacturing gas-guzzlers, which would increase our dependency on the middle-east oil producing countries. This dependency must end now!
We are the advocates of the electric car family and must continue our fight to save the electric car. We must not allow Congress to backslide, or “bait and switch.” At the very least, members of the electric car family demand that the conditions that were incorporated in the funding legislation of the $25 Billion loan package of September 2008 be adhered to.
I respectfully urge each member of the electric car family to contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the United States Senate, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each of your local members of Congress, to let them know that any deviation on their part from the conditions of the loan approved in September will not be tolerated.
Lets keep the pressure on!”
Nate Holden
California State Senate, ret.
Los Angeles City Council, ret.
Hon. Nate Holden’s next press conference on the EV1 will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 10:00 AM at the LA Auto Show (LA Convention Center – Pavilion adjacent to West Entrance).
[Click here to see more coverage from the Bring Back the GM EV1 Press Conference.]
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Twike BMS emulation in Software

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Twike434InPortlandOregon/~3/nMotNLuwl3Y/twike-bms-emulation-in-software.html

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A look at Oil Change International

"Oil Change International campaigns to expose the true costs of oil and facilitate the coming transition towards clean energy. We are dedicated to identifying and overcoming political barriers to that transition." That's what they're saying about themselves. This is a worthy goal as I think most people just fill up their tanks and don't think a thing about what they're doing.

External Media

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From the Factory to Our Garage

In October, Stephen Casner and his wife Karen toured the Lotus factory in England as their Roadster rolled off the assembly line. They took delivery at the Menlo Park store three weeks later. Stephen, who has written several other blogs about Tesla, describes the tour and his first impressions with the car.
Stephen Casner spent 25 [...]

New Blog Site

Hello all!  This is Eric from Green Wheelin' Scooters in Walnut Creek Ca.  We are a new store that sells electric scooters, e-bikes, e-ATV's and Segway personal transporters.  This Blog is designed to be a space for our current and future customers to share information about the vehicles and good places to ride and ???  Please remember that this site is read by people of all ages, so post appropriately, and HAVE FUN!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ElectricDiablo: First test A-O-K

Last night, I soldered up the first section of the BMS board.  On the top side of the PCB there’s a processor, an FTDI USB bridge chip, a bunch of fuses and a handful of passive components:

On the bottom of the board, I soldered on four (out of the 50) shunt resistors:

I am mounting the shunt resistors away from the board to allow for better air flow.  They get pretty warm with 2.5amps flowing through them.
So far, the initial tests look good.  I am able to program the processor, flash LEDs and send data over USB.  Next, I need to test communications to the LTC6802.  In order to do this, I need to wire it up to some batteries.  I’ve got some nice connectors on order to make this job easier and more fool-proof.  They should be here in a few days.
I also spent a little time welding up some brackets to hold the roll cage in place.  I’ll snap some pics of these next time I am down in the shop.

ElectricDiablo: First test A-O-K

Last night, I soldered up the first section of the BMS board.  On the top side of the PCB there’s a processor, an FTDI USB bridge chip, a bunch of fuses and a handful of passive components:

On the bottom of the board, I soldered on four (out of the 50) shunt resistors:

I am mounting the shunt resistors away from the board to allow for better air flow.  They get pretty warm with 2.5amps flowing through them.
So far, the initial tests look good.  I am able to program the processor, flash LEDs and send data over USB.  Next, I need to test communications to the LTC6802.  In order to do this, I need to wire it up to some batteries.  I’ve got some nice connectors on order to make this job easier and more fool-proof.  They should be here in a few days.
I also spent a little time welding up some brackets to hold the roll cage in place.  I’ll snap some pics of these next time I am down in the shop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gordon Brown meets the Roadster

While U.S. Republicans and Democrats were fighting it out across the pond in late October, VP19 was busy creating its own political agenda in the United Kingdom.

Everyone agrees electric vehicles are the future — but Tesla is simultaneously proving they are also the right car right now. To show other people what we at Tesla [...]

Olbermann On Bicycling?

Kieth Olbermann made a comment regarding the Prop 8 voting results(see video below). He lays out a well thought argument regarding on why something like that proposition is wrong. It occurred to me that someone as articulare as him could do the same for the transportation bicycling community. It seems that there are parallels to these issues. Riding a bicycle for transportation, driving a car, or

RevengeOfTheEV: My Tesla arrives in Los Angeles!

It’s alive! It’s alive! It’s alive!
My brand new silver all-electric Tesla Roadster sportscar (#23) arrived by truck in Los Angeles yesterday. Shrouded in plastic and tucked into the back of a semi with three other Tesla’s, it waited to be rolled onto the streets of Los Angeles.
My nervousness turned to pure joy as it eased down and I got to drive it into the showroom for its final set of checks. Wow! What a beauty.
It’s been five years since my last silver all electric sports car, a GM EV1, was infamously destroyed. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of driving a Toyota Rav-4 EV conversion. But this week takes me right back to car heaven. America’s first ground-up design pure electric sportscar since the EV1 arrives again. Hurrah!!
It was a long two years ago that Dean Devlin, our executive producer on “Who Killed the Electric Car”, challenged me to “put your money where your mouth is” and order Tesla’s $100,000 Roadster. All I had seen was the first Tesla prototype that we previewed for the world in our film for three seconds… but that was enough.
We knew who was involved, we knew the legions of people who had fought so hard for electric cars, we knew the technology was possible (hell, we had both driven GM’s EV1 for five years of flawless performance), and now we could see the future. “It’s cheaper then a fully loaded Mercedes” I remember someone with Chanel shades saying. Having never paid more then $20,000 for a car, this was not convincing. What sold me was knowing this was speed and a new era of clean domestically powered American automobiles .
The first 100 orders paid upfront – and thankfully so because the few stocks I sold to buy the car are worth far less today – and then we waited and waited as Tesla sped, lurched, detoured, veered and hurtled through the incredible complex labyrinth of building cars.
And now… the day has come! A day when Detroit’s gas car companies are improbably fighting for their lives. A day when Tesla too has challenges, but a car in-hand.
Final delivery happens at Noon tomorrow in Tesla’s Los Angeles showroom. The keys will likely be handed to me (and EV1 co-veteran Linda Nicholes) by Bob Sexton, the very mechanic who rotated the tires of our EV1s at Saturn Marina del Rey back in 1998.
I am very very lucky!
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