Saturday, August 27, 2011

Solar Panels

Well we did it. Solar panels are ours. 6kw system of 200w Kyocera Panels and inverter. Woooo Hooo. Cost was excellent. We just purchased power for the Leaf and VW Bus for the next 20 plus years. Cheap power at that. It will also keep our energy usage in the black. Considering a full 6kw off grid setup. Slowly we will ditch the grid. Might even be able to ditch the generator.

Pete :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I have my plates ordered from the DMV. What I really wanted is taken but this one will do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well there are now more than 5000 sold in the US. That is pretty impressive and I suspect that will move up higher as the year closes. So far every one loves their Leaf. I sure do. This is to me a very nice looking vehicle. Sure its not the old style Porsche or what ever but it is pretty slick none the less. It handles very well, much better than first expected. Its plenty quick and does well on the Freeway. The change starts here. One electric car at a time. OEM or Home converted. Either way it begins. It has begun.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Early Adopter?

Early Adopter Phase of Prius

I see Prius everywhere. Everywhere I look you can find new and old and still running strong. I remember when the Prius first came out and there were few. But now they are everywhere. I think the normal Early Adopter phase was sort of bypassed with the Prius. I don't really see it being a whole lot different with the new electric vehicles. I understand that the early adopter phase is a great generator of money and that if the early adopter phase was sort of bypassed then it would leave money makers out of the loop and they would balk. Like saying that this early phase of electric is at that point. I don't think so. I think there are many others willing but don't yet know. I keep asking everyone how many miles they drove the day before. The overall answer is that they may have driven 35 miles. I say, OK so then an electric car would work for you. They then say what about driving long distances? I say I take my gas car for those few times. My gas car has become my second car. The electric my main car. There is the environmental issues too. I think that even those that would not normally spend $32K on a car would do so for environmental reasons. It happened with the Prius and it has become an american Icon. Really. I tell folks that the Prius is really only a good aerodynamic vehicle with a good electric assist motor and for short runs can run on electric alone. It is nothing like what I have. Granted not the unlimited distances that gas allows but it will come and it will be just as easy and way cleaner.

I think the OEM electric car will work and will take off much faster than the normal early adopter phase of years gone by. Times have changed and are still changing  and changing very very fast compared to years gone by.

Pete :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I think I am going to get the pan out and get the Kostov mounted to the chassis. Mostly to see how it looks. Gotta give the poor thing a bath.

Pete :)


I am hearing that the Value proposition is garbage for the Leaf. However I am not walking in that camp. I know the need for early adopters for the Electric Car but maybe it is some that are saying that it is needed. Others once again telling us what is and what will happen. I think the Leaf is a decent value even at the cost of $32,000 bucks. I have seen far too many conversions go well beyond that and they have fewer creature comforts than the Leaf. Even if the Leaf battery were to cost you $18000 you would have a fairly priced vehicle. We know the cost of a good pack of CALB's that will take you at freeway speeds for up to 100 and maybe 120 miles. Many of the cars that they are stuffed into are cramped cool looking fiberglass replicas. I'd not want to drive them more than 100 miles per day and I bet most never even see close to that. For us who can afford to buy over time the Value presents its self as a car I can get now. It will do what I need for my commuting which happens to be most of my driving anyway. It can be charged off our solar and it can haul a few folks around town if we need and have done. There is a place for the Focus Electric car and that happens to be in the realm of the common working man. Really. If you need a car and you have a second gasser for those occasional long trips then an all electric OEM may be the ticket. Many of us that want an electric can't build one and many frankly just don't have the time even if they can. One other drawback to DIY is no warranty to speak of. That is a tough one to swallow. I could go out and spend $35,000 easy on a DIY conversion and the next day have an accident and loose it all. No warranty and all you have is a pile of plastic. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the DIY but I don't think it is all the DIY folks that will be controlling the electric car business. Not by a long shot. Many of us don't have the skills to become the next OEM. And after all that is what it will become. Tesla has become another OEM with the help of an OEM. So it is no longer the DIY. It started that way but they guys had millions already to screw around with and they tested and built a Tesla. Well frankly if I had millions also to toss around I'd be doing just that. A few folks like the average JOE on the DIY or us that like or want a real viable electric car  can only dream of converting a nice porsche. Fiberglass VWs are not Porsches. Sorry but they are just VW's in plastic Porsche skins. Don't get me wrong there either. I am a die hard VW fanatic so I am all for the VW platform being a nice place to start for many wanting in to the electric car conversion scene. A basic Beetle in decent condition can be purchased for $3000 and then you can get your new suspension parts and electric car goodies and batteries (lithiums only here please) and then build one for a whopping $10k and maybe more. Mind you it is still an old vehicle so you must spend money on parts to bring it up to new or near new again. The cost will easy jump into the $20K or better. No air or safety features and many will loose the rear seating too. Fun, Yes. Value not really except that you get to build one and thumb your nose at OPEC.

So the Leaf actually does have value. More than likely the Leaf battery will last the life of the car or longer. Most of what is being talked about is nothing but hearsay and speculation on the part of those who know nothing at all about the inner workings of the OEM and what they chose for the battery system. I highly suspect it is far better than what is being talked about. Yes, parts replacement is high and so is parts replacements in an ICE vehicle. No different. It aint a free ride folks.

I actually like the Leaf and how it looks. Not a terrible car. Sure its not a Aston Martin but the price tag is not one either.

Take a ride in a Leaf and you may just change your mind. I agree that you can't portray the excellent qualities of an electric car in a picture or with words. You gotta get in one. You gotta get behind the wheel. You gotta get some some heavy foot on that throttle to see what it can do. You gotta hit that corner hard to feel what it can do in that tight turn. It is a pretty impressive vehicle. Not a tiny little fiberglass replica either. Plenty of value there.

Pete :)

My Rant.

VW Bus

Got home this evening with a new half rack for the Bus. It is an aftermarket but real nice. I also picked up a set of Safari windows for the Bus. Just a few more goodies for the Bus. Slowly it is moving forward.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Well the MG has been sold but it was not as a turn key as I had hoped. The Kelly Controller crapped out and so I gave the buyer an option to buy without the batteries and controller. I did however leave the Zeva, RPM sensor and gauges, motor, adaptor contact switch and main cut off and fuse and shunt and much of the original cables to connect the pack from the rear to the front. They got a good deal and it is off to it's new home this evening. It has moved out of state. I hope to see it on the road again soon. The buyer wants to put in a good controller like my Synkromotive or Soliton1 JR. I still recommend the Synkromotive. But that is his option. He is also going to put in 120 volts of 160 AH cells that are better than the Hi-Power I had in the MG. So I still have my controller and charger and I still have my old DC DC too. I hope to have the Kelly Back with a reason for the blown cap. I can't imagine it was my fault as it was the easiest controller I have ever seen to connect besides my old GolfTech 72 volt 550 amp controller. Which as far as I know is still being used today with it's huge heat sink and fan. Anyway I never intended to keep the MG anyway but I had hoped for a better sale. I did not loose any money and I got some excellent time on lithium batteries. It has been quite educational and I still have the Bus and Buggy to work on. Bus is coming along slowly. I purchased Safari Windows and a half length roof rack for the Bus. Going to pick those up in the next day or so.

I hope to have at least the Buggy going soon so I can still play with my lithium cells but I will be able to do so with my fat Kostov 11" monster. Can't wait for that.

Pete :)