peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
You know you had a good idea when someone beats you to it.

Years ago, I saw in empathetic agony a guy trying to get his wheelchair up a curb cut-out that was just a bit too steep for his arms to handle. I saw the problem; he didn't have enough leverage. I started doodling.

Keep in mind that I was at the time very interested in electric-assisted bicycles, going so far as to help sell them in town. When you are a hammer, all manner of problems look nail-y. I figured that a regular wheelchair suffered from two things in hilly environs;

Too many LJ cuts, for one. . . . )
peristaltor: (Default)
Co-worker VeloBusDriver turned me on to yet another boner popped by our nation's nemesis General Motors: GM ads that mock bicyclists and pedestrians.


Embiggenate the shame of cycling.


It gets worse. As if this ad (which ran in UCLA's student paper) weren't enough, GM tried to apologize in a very, very ham-fisted and obviously untruthful way. Mark Degnan, Director of Local Advertising and Marketing, actually wrote, "It was not our intent to make light of a healthy lifestyle and cycling." I ask you, people, if that ad doesn't "make light of a healthy lifestyle and cycling," what exactly does it do?

A little digging in the comments revealed that, at least a day after Mark published his official "apology," GM was still running banner ads which I think are even worse. This little number to the left was, according to a commenter, an intro to a feature that allowed people to toggle between different GM pedestrian-splashers currently on the market . . . at the GM College Discount web site. Showing cyclists to be shamefully un-date-able is one tactic; showing pedestrians to be worthy targets of driver derision borders on goading hate speech.

I got the title for this entry after I described it to The Wife. She has admittedly far more experience dealing with corporate culture. She notes that this kind of "taking the lead" in "making a difference" talk is pretty common in meetings everywhere. I countered that all of us differ on what steps can be considered forward leading and which just carry the walker backward. Why? Each of us has in our heads different definitions of utopia and hell. Your utopia might very well be my idea of hell.

People who gather together every day and interact with each other every day form a society of their own. They can reinforce each other in ways that might very well seem alien to those outside the culture, even contrary to devices designed to catch errors and correct them. General Motors, formed of people, is no exception. Are we in agreeance?

When someone in a board meeting suggests an ad campaign mocking cyclists because focus groups show that cycle riders (especially in LA, where the paper ad ran) would rather drive, someone else in that group (probably in Detroit, one of the least pedestrian and cyclist-friendly cities in our nation) thought that was a fine idea and green-lighted the campaign. After all, whatever sells more cars the better, no matter how despicable the idea might seem to non-auto industry people.

Why, I bet these ads were run by some of the same people who thought those kooks over at the electric car division were tilting at windmills with their wacky wiz-bang battery cars. Those EV-1s, some of the most advanced modern electric cars every produced commercially, got exactly what GM corporate culture thought should come to them.



Crushed, just like the naive hope of every pedestrian and cyclist that General Motors will ever, ever change.
peristaltor: (Default)
Just read a very revealing opinion piece about the BBC show Top Gear faking electric car breakdowns. They're being sued by electric car maker Tesla for trying to pretend a car that can usually drive hundreds of miles on a charge only managed 55. It looks like they repeated the prank with a new Leaf.

The author of the article is dead-on in noting that the Beeb is not in the hands of corporate hacks, in that they are not supported by commercial advertising. What that same author fails to appreciate is that Top Gear definitely is.

Really, think about it. How many electric vehicle makers are there? How many are selling their cars right now? Not many, folks, not many.

By contrast, how many gas and diesel powered car makers are out there? How many are selling their cars? And how is it that an albeit top-rated show gets access to all those flashy gas and diesel cars? Do they pay for the privilege of driving the latest Rolls or Ferrarri? I highly doubt it.

No, Top Gear must tout the party line on electrics as long as that party line is dictated by the sellers of competing petroleum-fueled cars. If they actually dare to like the Tesla or appreciate the Leaf, they can kiss goodbye their next test of the latest Corvette, Bentley, Fiat, Rennault, Ford, Peugot, Volvo, Aston Martin, GMC, Land Rover . . . need I continue?
peristaltor: (Default)
This is freakin' sweet news:

In a stunning deal, Tesla Motors announced late Thursday that it is teaming up with Toyota to build its all-electric Model S sedan at the recently shuttered NUMMI plant in Fremont, creating more than 1,000 new jobs.

The pact, put together in utter secrecy, immediately injects new life into an auto plant once left for dead, is a jolt of positive news for beleaguered Toyota and elevates Silicon Valley's role at the heart of the emerging electric car industry.

Under the agreement, Toyota, the world's largest automaker, will invest $50 million in Tesla, which will buy the NUMMI plant for an undisclosed sum. The joint venture was unveiled by Akio Toyoda, Toyota's CEO, who flew in from Japan for the announcement. . . .
peristaltor: (Default)
Remember just a few weeks ago Warren Buffett bought BNSF outright? The press blather was predictable: "Our country's future prosperity depends on its having an efficient and well-maintained rail system."

Last night, though, while discussing an oil-poor future, my economist friend mentioned an alternative situation for buying the rail: electrification.

From The Journal of Commerce:

Earlier this year, BNSF Railway’s chairman, president and CEO, Matthew K. Rose, said he was in talks with transmission line companies that want to install new power lines in the railroad’s right of way. And he said BNSF was exploring whether that could help the railroad convert large parts of its sprawling western network to electricity.

Industry sources indicated other large carriers were looking at the same options, as Congress and the Obama administration push to upgrade the capacity of the U.S. electricity grid and tie in more alternative power sources including wind energy farms.


My friend also sent me a post from a rail site (sadly, one locked down to members only) which said:

If the wind- and solar-power crowd are really able to create some critical mass in their plans for mass conversion to such energy generation, transmission corridors for new high voltage lines are going to become necessary in the West. The battles for these rights-of-way are already starting to brew in several places in the West. . . .

Single steel pole towers, which are more easily situated on a railroad right-of-way than the old wider-footprint lattice-work towers, are now capable of handling up to the 765,000 volt lines being discussed for transmission from potential wind and solar fields in the West. . . .


Combine this observation with Buffett's planned wind farm facilities and one sees a definite business plan shaping up.

Buffett started as an oil man. He knows what's coming: Fuel shortages leading to ever higher fuel prices. Electric rail lines -- fed by the power lines sharing the corridor -- give him an incredible advantage, if he can get the major routes powered in time. And because he bought the rail outright, he won't have to dither about with quarterly stockholder reports. This means he can take his sweet time electrifying without worrying about "enhancing shareholder value" every few months.
peristaltor: (Default)
Ten years ago, I unpacked a crate from California, did some modest assembly, and rolled the contents to the corner of the old Electric Vehicles NW parking lot to take this picture.


Fresh out of the crate.


That is a 1999 EMB Lectra, one of the first production electric motorcycles with features that I considered essential for both safety and personal reasons -- an alternating current propulsion system with regenerative braking, an onboard charging system, a clean and attractive appearance, and (most importantly) batteries that didn't spew acid on the rider in an accident. It also had to keep up with traffic, even on steep slopes.

I rode that bike for a couple thousand miles until poor design quirks and a lack of support (brought on by the manufacturer's assimilation into a heartless, evil company) finally killed my hope of getting it running again.

Though my lack of Mad Skillz with a soldering iron might have prevented me from fixing my bike, there are others with such skills. One such electrical engineer won the lottery, in that he knew my sister from work and heard about an available electric bike. He got my address from my sister and emailed me, asking how much I wanted. I replied:

I'm asking nothing ($0.00) for the bike, only that it go to a home where the goal is to get it running again (something I don't have the tech chops or inclination to try). I've poked around with soldering irons before, but never on something this unfamiliar to me. Also, sadly, my eyes just ain't what they used to be in cramped quarters.


Which led to this picture, taken yesterday after all the paperwork had been finished.


Goodbye, Old Pal


And now, Ranty R. McRanterson must rant. )
peristaltor: (Default)
General Motors will soon be bankrupt. I'm not saying this out of spite, out of schadenfreude, out of a need to lash out at the auto behemoth. Rather, my judgment stems from a realization that the monster has become not only too big to turn its business practices around, but is further infected with a corporate culture that lacks the initiative to even attempt such a reversal of practices and fortunes. Anyone can see this to be the case. All you need to understand are the concepts of corporate culture and how they differ from business to business, from culture to culture. Right now, the biggest three auto making countries are the US, Japan and Germany. (Other car making countries like Korea, China and India are growing in importance, but their products and histories are not really available for me to judge, so I'll stick with the big three as I tick off the elements of each that give my argument some weight.)

Let's start briefly with Germany. Years ago, I worked with a deckhand/diesel mechanic named Jack. )
peristaltor: (Default)
Just heard something from the NPR Technology Podcast, a story produced here in Seattle, dealing with a disappointment:

The U.S. Department of Energy is testing plug-in hybrid cars across the country. Some results are in, and they're not nearly as good as expected. While federal lab tests showed the cars can get more than 150 miles per gallon, in road tests, they only averaged 51 mpg.


Well, that's a bummer. On what nefarious factor do they attribute such a stunning failure?

Proponents say the real power behind plug-in hybrids is the mind of the driver.

Just ask electric car enthusiast Susan Fahenstock. She owns the Green Car Co. Her shop converted 14 Priuses into plug-in hybrids for the federal test in the Seattle area. She is unfazed by the 51 mpg results.

"There's nothing wrong with the technology," she says. "It's the driver that has to care enough. They have to be trained, and it's very simple training on what they have."

(Emphasis mine.)


To which I say,

Bullshit!!!


Now, on the whole I'd say the plug-in concept is a great one. What Susan's particular brand of plug-ins lack is simple: they don't have a large enough electric component, a large enough motor and battery to power it. If they did, they wouldn't require one to take a freeway on-ramp at 45mph:

Chris Wiley, who works for the city of Seattle, took me for a ride in one of the plug-in cars.

He merged onto the freeway at 45 mph — and stayed at that speed several seconds longer than most people probably would. It was one of those merges where you enter onto the fast lane.

"There's a lot of pressure out here on the highways to keep up," Wiley says.

And it's not always safe to resist that pressure.


(Please note that that last sentence came not from the jerk driving 45 on the freeway, but from the reporting passenger no doubt suffering a butt hole pucker factor approaching 9. Clench all you want, buddy, but it won't even slow a forced entry from a cruising semi. Or transit bus.)

"Pressure" might not be just some "asshole" who refuses to slow down. In fact, when merging onto a freeway, the "asshole" is the one who forces others to slow when he or she doesn't yield to traffic during a freeway on-ramp merge for whatever reason, perhaps simply because he or she wants some underpowered vehicle to perform a miracle mileage goal imposed by some arbitrary figure from on high.

I love electrics in all shapes and sizes. I do not love apologists who insist others have to make room for under-performing electrics simply because the electric drivers refuse to invest in a seamless vehicle, one that keeps up with traffic and only calls attention to itself at the end of the month . . . when the driver pays the fuel bills.
peristaltor: (Default)
PBS's Frontline recently tackled global warming and the corporate forces against change in its most recent episode, Heat. (You can watch the full two hour episode at the site.) Among the interviews, they examined GM's new concept plug-in hybrid, the Chevy Volt. If you happen to follow the link to the Volt's official site, you'll notice a dearth of actual information on the damned thing, let alone any tech-specs that make such sites in any way interesting. There's a reason. The Frontline crew was invited to shoot some road footage of the Volt as a part of "Heat." The prototype slowed to under 10mph on a gentle grade, finally stalling at the top of the hill. It had to be pushed into the truck that brought it to the shoot.

Martin Smith also interviewed a GM PR hack, asking the one question that everyone in the entire world needs to be constantly asking anyone associated with the Evil Behemoth: Why build the Volt when you had a perfectly good electric in the EV1, a car you recalled and crushed. . . ten years ago? The hack tried to correct the record, noting the cars were near the end of their life cycles had been "recycled," and that several had been donated to museums and universities.

The first part about the cars being "too old to drive" was bogus through and through. Most of the lessees protested the end-of-lease recalls. Many of them offered to buy the cars outright for far more than the market would warrent. Really, see Who Killed the Electric Car. The PR hack's last bit about the museum and university donation program proves only partially true; the donated vehicles came disabled and enjoined with strict warnings for the receivers to never, never, never try to restore the cars to working condition and (gasp!) actually drive the cars. Most of the cars were delivered with key components of the drive system removed. In fact, only the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History (NMAH) got a complete car:

Only 40 EV1s were preserved, according to Jill Banaszynski, manager of the EV1 donation program, to be given to museums and institutions or kept for research by GM. Of these, the only fully intact EV1, complete with its (now inert) lead acid battery, is today part of the NMAH collection. “Our requirement is that all the vehicles in the museum have to be complete models,” says Withuhn. “We may remove parts, but we have to know that if we wanted to drive a car, or a steam engine, we could -— not that we would. It’s a question of authenticity.”

This stipulation initially posed a problem for GM, which had decided to take the cars off the road because only a relative handful of technicians knew how to work safely on the powerful batteries. But a series of negotiations proved fruitful, and the museum, in March of 2005, received its own complete example of an exemplary machine. (Emphasis mine.)


That line suggesting that "only a relative handful of technicians" proves reason enough to disable the cars? Bull. Complete and utter bull. Sure, the EV1s do have a pretty high voltage pack, over 400 volts, IIRC, but there are lots of folks out there who work on similar voltages daily. . . and many of them can be found at universities. Duh. No, the EV1 was disabled to prevent anyone from seeing those cars on the road ever again.

You see, it turns out that folks sitting high in GM's corporate office towers, the people who make the core decisions regarding what products it will produce and why, have funny feelings compared to the majority of, say, the majority of scientists in this world. Stephen Colbert reinforced that lesson when he had GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz on his show. Take a peek:



Here Lutz is promoting the car that has at least a chance of pulling GM out of the toxic sea of red ink in which it currently gasps and bobs, and Lutz openly shares the fact that he doesn't believe carbon dioxide build-up causes global warming. "32,000 scientist" believe GW is caused by sunspots? Really, Bob? Really?!? Way to sell the whole Volt concept. I'm sure your target market would agree.

The Bottom Line? General Motors is run by a bunch of old fogies that are not only running their company into the ground, taking all of their employees with them, they furthermore haven't the slightest idea what they are doing wrong, and are therefore highly unlikely to change their corporate course in any positive way anytime soon.

I'm sorry, but when any group runs pell mell through a crowd with a revving chain saw, it's time to act. The sooner GM closes its doors and cedes its market share to companies that don't suck so very, very much, the better everyone both in front of and behind the tailpipes will be.

It's just sad.


*The "Die, Die, Die," of course, refers to a corporate death, not literal death. I may not share, er, any opinions with GM corporate, but that certainly doesn't mean I wish them ill.
peristaltor: (Default)
Some time ago, I posted about how Chevron* killed the car-sized Nickle Metal Hydride battery simply by buying the company that made them. Well, things have gotten stinky again.

One day after announcing a contract to supply batteries for a GM hybrid in development, Chevron put Cobasys up for sale. Cobasys was a joint venture between Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices/Ovonics. According to the date on the press release, it looks like this happened over a year ago. I also seems that Ovonics exercised some of its stock options and bought a large chunk of Cobasys back from Chevron. (Thanks to proprietary news sites, though, it's hard to get the complete story. Grrrr. . . )

Now it looks like Stanley's company is in deep financial doo-doo. Chevron stopped funding Cobasys after the stock buy-back, leading to an arbitration battle and resulting in over $80 million in debt:

. . . Cobasys' corporate parents on Feb. 15 suspended their months-long arbitration battle and entered into an interim settlement agreement to negotiate a sale with an unnamed bidder. The two parties have since extended seven times a deadline for completing the sale.

ECD's Ovonic Battery Corp. subsidiary and Chevron "have not been able to agree on a solution to Cobasys' business issues or whether Cobasys should continue as a going concern if it cannot be sold in the near future," ECD said in its third-quarter earnings filling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Emphasis mine.)


Well, gee, since I think Chevron* bought ECD to stop electric automobiles as much as it could, and since ECD inventors developed the NiMH battery to power electric vehicles (see my last post), I'd say the chances of them coming to just about any productive agreement is essentially nil.

But that's just cynical ol' me.


*Addendum July 22, 2008: Texaco, not Chevron, actually bought the controlling Cobasys shares from General Motors in 2000; Texaco then merged with Chevron a year later, forming Chevron Technology Ventures, the current subsidiary involved in this financial stalemate.
peristaltor: (Default)


Very few news or opinion pieces concerning the future of our electrical grid seem nowadays to lack a nice picture or two like those above and below these words.



What makes these two technologies possible, however, often eludes the corresponding press pieces, perhaps because even the reporters writing the stories fail to appreciate the beauty and promise of distributed generation. )


X-Posted to [livejournal.com profile] home_effinomic.
peristaltor: (Default)
For some reason, I really, really like electric motorcycles. It's an odd combination, the electric and the motorcycle, for several very good reasons that, had I been aware of these reasons at the time, might have convinced me to abandon the fascination and led me toward more profitable pursuits. Alas, it was not to be. I got hooked. In retrospect, though, my years tilting at this particular windmill has given me unique insights into what does and does not make for good electric motorcycle design.

I put those insights to the test last Thursday, and drove what I truly feel to be the very first practical, commercially available electric motorcycle ever to his the market: The Vectrix.



I'm going to go into as much information as I can offer. I plan to ramble and reminisce. The following is long and not for the squeamish. )
peristaltor: (Default)
In the electric vehicle community, there is probably no topic discussed more than the comparative advantages between different types of electric drive and control systems. Off the top of my head I can think of about 5 or 6 different types. Some motors can use different types of motor controllers, others are custom-fitted to only one drive system, still others are a hodge-podge of leftover scraps jerry-rigged just enough to get the rig rolling a bit at a time. Still, all of these systems can be very generally categorized as either direct current or alternating current, DC or ac.

I'll now do my best to introduce you to the main differences between the two types, and vote for my favorite. )
peristaltor: (Default)
First of all, let me remind all that I used to work full-time on boats. I drove them as captain, crewed them as deck crew. Passenger, cargo, cargo-passenger -- did it all.

But I didn't get to see an awful lot of real sea. There is plenty of work right here in good ol' Puget Sound. I seldom worked more than a few miles from shore.

I have long dreamed of the tramp's life, a self-contained existance on a boat, mostly, putting about infinitely. Too much Melville, London, and Conrad. Way too much Hayden. The problem, of course, is that to enjoy life, one must pay for the boat. Boats are expensive, little more than Large Holes in the Water Into Which You Throw Money. One definition for "boat:" acronym for "bring out another thousand." And that's the situation for yesterday's boater. Factor in one of the biggest cost of boating (outside of moorage and repair), fuel, and today's prices make just bumping around a game for the wealthy.

Oh, and if you think fuel is expensive, price sails. Damn. . . .

No worries. I have a bit of experience with electric vehicles. It's not brain surgery to swap out a smokin' engine and fit a diminuative motor. Most boats use gensets for power very poorly, running almost full out to keep the television glowing. Very wasteful. It's far more efficient to run the genset only occassionally to charge batteries (the larger the bank the better -- think ballast) and to convert that direct current source to alternating as needed with an inverter. Boaters often suppliment the genset power with solar panels and small wind turbines. Depending upon useage, the gensets can go days without running. Connect the battery pack to a motor through a controller, and away you go!


The last type of boat I drove professionally


In fact, one can get quite a bit of mileage out of low-speed electrics. At the University of Washington, the Department of Intercollegic Athletics hired me for a few years to shuttle folks visiting Husky and Seahawks games from the anchorage in Union Bay (yes, that's where the jeans maker got it's name) to Husky Stadium. Most recently they have used Duffy electric boats for the shuttling. In a bay with a strictly enforced 7 knot speed limit (8 mph, for you lubbers), speed is not a priority. We operated those shuttles for 10 hours straight sometimes.

Hey, it beat working.

Bugdet cutbacks have ended that particular boating gig for me, sadly. There are others on the horizon.

Ah, but let's get back to the tramp's dream. I lately read two articles in rapid succession.

In the first, scientists develop portable generator that turns trash into electricity. It's a nifty gadget that converts old food, wrappers and (of special interest here) plastic waste into electricity, providing". . . approximately 90 percent more energy than it consumed" to perform the task. Essentially, it eats the stuff you can't, making power.

Such a gizmo has limited use (given the purchase cost) in a Seattle home with weekly trash and plastic recycling pick-up, and really cheap electric power. It might, however, serve well on a largish boat with electric drive. . . provided one could find a good source of plastic floating trash. It is in abundance here in the Sound, sadly. But with shores and rocks and winds and other boats, one would have a less than peaceful drift collecting it. I've done this, but that's a story for another post.

No, what you would need would be a large, open ocean with relatively moderate weather about a gazillion miles from freakin' anybody, all stockpiled with lots o' flotsam.



Folks, let me introduce you to the North Pacific subtropical gyre, a whirling cesspool of plastic inorganics clogging the middle of the Pacific. Winds and currents circling the Ring of Fire carry our bobbing waste to a vast dead zone filled with trash:

I did a quick calculation, estimating the debris at half a pound for every hundred square meters of sea surface. Multiplied by the circular area defined by our roughly thousand-mile course through the gyre, the weight of the debris was about 3 million tons, comparable to a year’s deposition at Puente Hills, Los Angeles’s largest landfill.


3 million tons of trash. Or, with the converter device, millions of tons of power.


The ocean could use less of this plastic trash;
and I could use the power.


Phase One: Buy a large, beat-up but seaworthy boat, maybe even a power barge for deck space and stability. Equip with electric drives, a couple of good gensets, lots of bulletproof batteries.

Phase Two: Get one of those plastic-to-power converter devices. Make up some story about testing the thing in a marine environment, or working tirelessly to rid the oceans of trash. There must be some grant money out there for either cock-and-bull story.

Phase Three: Take time off work. Stock up on lots of food. Drift in the gyre, dipping nets, hooks and pikepoles to power your seclusion. Do lots of fishing, grilling it on an electric outdoor grill.

Forget what people look like, if only for a while.
peristaltor: (Default)
People sometimes ask why I don't see a shiny future for EVs. It's simple. There are lots of people out there who will go to enormous lengths to keep EVs a hobbyist phenomenon . . . and away from regular drivers who want them.

Don't believe me?


Stanley and his late wife Iris


Consider the NiMH, the Nickle Metal Hydride battery. It was developed by Stanley Ovshinski in 1994. It held real promise:

Ovshinsky's nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) model, when compared with its nickel-cadmium and lead-acid competitors, is twice as powerful, with none of their fatigue and discharge problems.


The battery powered GM's Gen 2 EV-1, Toyota's Rav-EV, Honda's EV Plus and others. The batteries worked well.

Too well.

Go to their website. Ovonics (Stanley's Company) touts its batteries are ". . . now used in . . . electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. . . ."

Technically, it is true. What they fail to mention in that press blurb is that the larger batteries built for EVs were discontinued after Chevron bought a controlling interest in Stanley's company in 2000.

It gets better.

Chevron also decided to end license agreements Ovonics had made that allowed the NiMH batteries to be built elsewhere, going so far as to sue Toyota and others to prevent them from manufacturing the batteries:

Under the terms of the settlement, ECD, Ovonic Battery, Cobasys and MEI, PEVE, Toyota have entered into an agreement pursuant to which the parties have cross-licensed current and future patents related to NiMH batteries filed through December 31, 2014, effective upon the date of settlement. The licenses granted by ECD, Ovonic Battery and Cobasys do not grant rights to MEI, PEVE or Toyota to use the licensed patents to (i) offer for sale certain NiMH batteries for certain transportation applications in North America until after June 30, 2007 or (ii) sell commercial quantities of certain transportation and certain stationary power NiMH batteries in North America until after June 30, 2010. (Emphasis mine)


Meaning the batteries that currently power the few remaining RAV-EVs are not available, and may never again be available.

While everyone is rightly touting the energy density of the various lithium batteries emerging from the lab, we may never know how many EVs could have been powered with Stanley's battery. While NiMH has less energy density than Li, it was simpler to build, had fewer toxic main ingredients, and could have therefore been a contender in the EV market.

Thanks, Chevron.

Thanks for making me just a little less optimistic about the future.
peristaltor: (Default)
. . . the mechanic about to troubleshoot your vehicle says "Wow, I've never seen one of those before!"

The fingers are thoroughly crossed.
peristaltor: (Default)
I want nothing to do with slow electric vehicles.

I prefer EVs like this one. Once again, meet the Killacycle.

Here is a warm-up.



Final time: 8.28 seconds to complete the 1/4 mile.

Next, more serious:



Final time: 8.168 seconds, the quickest 1/4 mile time ever posted by an electric. Trap speed: 155.87 mph.

Suck on that, NEVs.
peristaltor: (Default)
This just in from Bill Dube, builder of some pretty cool electric vehicles. He now has a new 1/4 mile drag speed record on his KillaCycle.

Here's the video.



By the way, the KillaCycle is all-electric, and the only non-Harley to ever participate in the All Harley Drag Races . . . which explains the very non-electric motor noises in the background.

Since the camera person didn't get the focus on the scoreboard, here's the end of his post:

Just as Scotty crossed the finish
line, the rear motor splashed plasma onto the track, creating an
awesome fireworks display. (You MUST see the video.)

The scoreboard lit up showing: 8.760 @ 145.44 mph
peristaltor: (Default)
Those that know me also probably have seen my EMB Lectra, one of the few production electric motorcycles in the world. That's it to the right, just after I unpacked the crate at the old headquarters of Electric Vehicles Northwest, where I actively participated in promoting the ownership and use of electrics. The battery pack died a few years ago, right around the time I got married, bought a fixer house, and started three new jobs. Needless to say, I didn't get around to replacing the pack.

Until recently. I promised [livejournal.com profile] beepbeep an update, so to the Boiling Frog I post. Update away! )

X-Posted to [livejournal.com profile] boiling_frog.

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