Monday, December 17, 2012

Interesting Perspective

A few have ideas that auto manufactures can't build autos with electric motors and batteries successfully. Well I think its hogwash. One says its an early adaptor stage but I say it is an early social acceptance stage. The ability to build and produce electric cars already exists. Once acceptance happens we will see a change. The infrastructure already exists to build. It will take the innovators and tinkerers to make this happen as we need to see and experience the electric cars being successful in normal every day use. We have plenty of folks who have the money and funds to go out and build a factory and have on hand enough engineers to build custom motor/transmission assemblies. It is not going to be the back yard innovators that make it happen.

One thing I agree with is that we need to get 100,000 folks behind the wheel of an electric car. I agree that we need to utilize the LiFePO4 cell which is easy to use and pretty easy to buy. We already have what is needed to build. Yes, the car manufactures will be the ones to build cars. This time it will be with electric motors.

What makes one think that an auto manufacturer can't hire a group of electric motor building guru's to build and test them. When working they just ramp up production. Its done every day. There are plenty of businesses that can build batteries too. They decided to not depend upon others and just hired those that can build them. Integrating them into an automobile will be pretty easy.

I think the design is a big key to being successful and yes there does need to be a value proposition. Frankly the Leaf is Ugly but one I can accept. Frankly the Versa SUCKS as a car. I'd buy an old Bug before I purchased a Versa. But the Leaf is quite frankly NOT a VERSA. If you have driven either you'd know. I know.

Quite frankly Ghosn has the vision. Visionary sight is required. Apple is a success story because of visionary. Tesla is a success because of a visionary.

I do not see the move to hybrids as a back step either. I see it as a good move because not everyone is quite ready to accept all electric. It is also a good move because many folks need more than the all electric can provide at this time. I'd like to see only all electric and not the hybrid but I do understand the move. See how successful Toyota was with the Prius? Very visionary and best of all a car company. Hopefully they will venture into an all electric mode. They are cautious. Understandable. We don't want too many trying to push electric.

There are a few suing Nissan but hey, that happens and will happen. My Leaf is still doing quite well and I have 19,500 miles now on my ride. Or there abouts. I still get a good 70 miles even in the cold. I commute 45 miles daily. No issues what so ever. Still don't like the guess o meter but then again no electric car has a very accurate capacity meter. So there is a market for that. The few that sue and are suing are tiny in comparison to what is being used daily. Yes, some vehicles will have troubles. They are after all still cars and we all know cars break down. I sure do.

Building an electric in the garage! Yes, we can convert to electric drive with off the shelf components. It would be nice to have access to all those fancy OEM goodies but frankly most of us who are doing conversions can't compete with the OEM goodies now on the market in very very very limited quantities and with no support. That alone keeps me out of the game. Like the Zilla when it was not being produced, it was a no go because of no support.
My controller is being produced and supported but in limited quantities. It is good and will continue to be so but they will not get rich building and selling them. I think the move is towards AC as the OEM vehicles are pretty much all AC including the new golf carts and forklifts. DC is going by the way side but I do like my little treasures. By no means are these motors no longer viable. But they are going to be limited to shorter range conversions.
It is true that the lithium cells are allowing long drives and some DC motors are not handling that too well. The AC motors are doing just fine.
HPEVS sells some excellent motor/controllers that will be suitable for many smaller vehicles. Fast charging is out unless you want to spend 3K for an untested unit. I'd like to see more from these units.

So will the auto manufactures be able to build our next affordable electric car? Yes. Will there be some new auto manufacturers? Yes. Many new ones? Most likely not.

So in light of the new blast of Siemens motors and controllers we still need to keep our eye the affordable and usable systems we currently have available to get more conversions on the road. Don't let the news of these blind you and keep you from building your dream EV. If you happen to be one that can afford to buy one and are willing to take the plunge by all means do so and report your findings. If they do finally become available as affordable units then, hooray!

Enough for now.

100,000 people need to accept electric and drive them. It is not about technology. That we have. We need acceptance. Lets make it so.

Pete :)

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