EV Digest 2470

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) Toyota "mild" hybrid
        by Andrew <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  2) RE: Less green for more green OT
        by "George Tylinski" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  3) hydrogen economy details (from Science news)
        by Andrew <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  4) RE: Less green for more green
        by Joseph Vaughn-Perling <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  5) Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV
        by "Thomas Shay" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  6) Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV
        by Rod Hower <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  7) Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV
        by Seth <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  8) Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV
        by jerry dycus <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  9) EVLN(ZAP jumps into the saturated nEV market) 
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 10) EVLN(OES flywheels for U.S. Army)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 11) EVLN(Nissan Super Power Capacitor in hybrid truck)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 12) Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV (LONG)
        by "David Roden (Akron OH USA)" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 13) EVLN(The emperor's new car)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 14) EVLN(GEM for Toys for Tots telethon)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 15) EVLN(EV tax deduction may go as high as $23,080)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 16) EVLN(City CarShare added electric vehicles)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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For those of you who aren't totally cynical about large companies
commitment to "hybrid" cars, check this out.
Basically it's a gasoline car with a little regen. The motor-generator
allows you to keep the AC going when the engine is stopped.
Don't get me wrong, it's good design and nicely packaged, I just don't
think it should be called a hybrid...
On he plus side some of the parts might be amusing....
Andrew King
Ann Arbor Michigan
technology is the answer, what was the question?
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My father once told me, "I remember when a bottle of Coke was 5 cents...
And it had REAL cocaine in it!"

- GT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: damon henry [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] 
> Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 2:12 PM
> Subject: RE: Less green for more green
> Warning... only OT content below this line ...
> There are lots of things in our society this way and it takes 
> a huge effort 
> to overcome them.  For instance, I don't drink coffee and 
> always chuckle 
> when I meet someone at work in the morning who just can't get 
> going yet 
> because they haven't had their coffee.  Could you imagine if 
> I came into the 
> office and couldn't perform because I hadn't had my cocaine yet?  One 
> stimulant is engrained in out society the other is out their 
> on the fringes 
> still.  BTW - I don't use cocaine either :-)
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Here is a good article on the nuts and bolts of the new hydrogen
Maybe battery equalizing doesn't look so complicated after all.
Andrew King
Ann Arbor Michigan
technology is the answer, what was the question?
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My counter argument to the "and you never have to plug it in" is the
quip, "but wouldn't it be nice to be able to if you wanted to?"

The plug-in hybrid is the car for the everyman.  "you never have to plug
it in, but you can if you wan't to".

That's ultimate freedom, just my humble opinion of course.

My prediction?  The fellow who makes the aftermarket portable charger for
the Prius that can handle 110 or 220 will make the next fortune in the EV
marketplace.  The one after that will be the lady who figures out how to
hack the chip to change the metrics of when and how the ICE kicks in.

With 100K of em on the road already, there's a built in market.

> Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 22:11:44 +0000
> From: damon henry <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: RE: Less green for more green
> >But I don't understand why they highlight 'that you
> >never need to plug in' as a feature...

> They market this way because it is what their marketing research showed
> would work, and being an owner of one of these 'never have to plug it
> in' cars, I'm not sure that from a purely marketing strategy it isn't a good
> one.  I have been asked the "do you have to plug it in" question many
> times and people generally see not having to plug it in as a pleasant
> surprise.  I then have to try to convince them how much nicer it would
> be to have a plug-in hybrid.  This is usually when their eyes start to
> gloss over and they start to have a hard time comprehending.  Perhaps it
> is all the gas fumes they have inhaled over the years.  I tend to think
> it is just the fact that for all their lives they have been going to the
> gas station and can't comprehend something else.

      ' ____
 =)---'@----- @'
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The Tango has some promise.  It's very fast, it's only 39 inches
wide, it's different enough to turn heads.  But these and
other attributes of the Tango aren't enough to make it a
"better" EV.

Better is a subjective judgement.  Is it better than Wayland's
Blue Meanie?  Better than Sheer Pullen's Honda?  Better
than Otmar's Porsche?  Better than Bruce Parmenter's Blazer?
Better than John Brian's Karmann Ghia?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon "Sheer" Pullen" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Thomas Shay" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 1:35 PM
> Subject: Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV
> > I enjoyed reading John Wayland's rebuttal of the idea that a good
> > EV has to be designed from the ground up as an EV and that the
> > Solectrica Sunrise was a shining example of such a car.
> > John and others have amply proved that ICE powered cars can
> > be made into very good EVs.  Whatever the Sunrise was, it most
> > certainly was not what the subject title says--"perfect high-dollar EV"
> >
> > An individual or a small company simply cannot make an automobile
> > from the ground up that will be better than a good converted ICE.
> > It might be theoretically possible but I don't think it's ever been
> One word for you: Tango.
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I'd start, by making sure each and every engineer's concepts, design, and construction, be
closely monitored by a non engineer type, someone with, god forbid, common sense...someone

I'll have to take offense to this statement. I've worked with many technicians that thought they
were much smarter than engineers, and as such should be paid the same money.
In some cases they were correct and sometimes they just held a grudge. Some of the technicians
that didn't openly express their mean attitude advanced to Senior Engineers (without
a degree I might add, my neighbor, friend and co-worker achieved this status and has
most of the forklift and NEV market designs under his design expertise at GE). The engineers
at Solectria may not have made the optimum decisions, but they had many more constraints
to consider than a single EV conversion (like your car). You have made a wonderfull conversion,
but how practical is this in the real world? The bottom line is not how innovative the engineers are,
but the constraints they have to work around. This is called politics and some of the best engineers
can look mediocre because of the political business environment. When engineers have to work
under the directive 'how much money can this make for the shareholders and management in this quarter', innovasion and ideas are often tossed aside. Unfortunately the corporate environment operates
on a quarterly basis and is not concerned about what will happen 1 year or 5 years from now.
You have made significant contributions to EV's, but let's not belittle the engineers working in the
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Before you think that all the progam was about was building an EV, you
might be interested to note that a substantial part of the engineering
went to crash protection and innovation in manufacturing, not just
making an EV. So there may have been trade-offs that aren't immediately obvious.

A quick "google" yields these:






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      Hi John and All,
          First, I will be building it, not Selectria.

          I will make sure the finish inside and out
is first rate. The Sunrise is a design. Quality will
be put in by the builder, me.
          The first 100 will be very nicely finished,
appointed and improvements like a bigger drive are a
no-brainer for the up-scale market I'm shooting for.
          I love it's low drag aero.
          If you compare it to a conversion using a
new glider and runs of 1,000/30,000 yr the Sunrise
design will much cost less to build.
          The way you want to build EV's from metal
will require very expensive tooling, labor or robots
needing 50,000/yr runs just to pay for the tooling.
Many, many times more than composites.
          With your dislike of composites, I'll have
to make a rollbar section of it and send it to you to
see how really strong it is. An EV that never rusts or
conducts is a good idea.  
         Composites are not that labor intensive. A
mono-coupe body+ only takes about 20 hrs to do. On par
with a steel body.
          From the Pics I have and Bob Rice said he
saw a well finished 1 leads me to believe the finish
problems are fixed.
          The weight savings from ground-up
construction is really important if you are building a
lot of them.
         Cost of drive, batts, ect is directly related
to weight. So if it's 25% lighter it costs 35% less
because the drive, batts are lb for lb the major cost
driver. Also most conversions need almost twice the
power, batt to go 75mph,less range because of bad
aero, .32/.45 CD compared to .20 CD and higher rolling
drag from higher weight.
         A 4 seat conversion uses 200 to 500whrs/ mile
where the Sunrise should use about 100/150 whrs/ mile
from the batts.
         That means a conversion needs twice as many
batts, drive for the same performance. No thanks.
         We have never been that far apart on our take
on EV's, I just want more eff rather than 1/4 mile
times because few of them will be used for drag
        Most will be used to get food, kids, work, ect
without having to worry if there is enough juice. This
leads to longer batt life and satified customers, who
are the ones who count.
        I've never changed my example, it's you who
assumed that the quality that you saw is the same I
would build. The difference is it was a proto-type you
saw which are rarely as well finished as a production
unit would be. I should have been more clear on that.
        No full size EV I will build will be slow
unless ordered that way for teens, economy, fleet. 
        I'm glad you finally admitted that a ground up
EV, all else being equal, will perform better because
it's weight savings. That was Lee's and my point. For
a cost effective EV eff must be exploited. Dead weight
costs big bucks in bigger drives, batts, ect.
       Plus it will cost less for the same
       While your EV's perform very well in some ways,
for most people a 100+ mile range is nessasary in the
marketplace. For many your's won't even make it to
work, much less back home and a couple of side trips.
You need to be good in all areas, not just speed.
       I do plan to sub out the composite work so the
100EV/year could be done in a 3 bay garage. I'll just
assemble it from sub-asemblies done by other companies
when possible.
       I hope your rant, based on an early prototype,
against the Sunrise design I will build doesn't keep
it from happening. People listen to you.
       I did like the part where you said I should do
only what you agreed with!!!
                Lovingly yours,
                    Jerry Dycus  


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EVLN(ZAP jumps into the saturated nEV market) 
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
Press Release Source: ZAP
ZAP Signs Electric Car Agreement
Tuesday December 10, 1:48 pm ET

SEBASTOPOL, Calif., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ZAP ,
the Northern California pioneer in electric bicycles and
scooters, announced today its subsidiary Voltage Vehicles
has signed an agreement for a new ZAP brand of electric

ZAP expects to unveil the new electric cars on January 9,
2003 at the International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, the
world's largest consumer technologies event with more than
100,000 annual attendees.

Voltage Vehicles, a subsidiary of ZAP, has signed an
exclusive agreement with a European-based group of companies
involved in the design and manufacturing of electric
automobiles. The group has started production on several
different types of light electric utility vehicles for urban
transportation and commercial use, including a 25 MPH
neighborhood electric car that is now available. A
representative from the European group, Riccardo Coles, says
they are working with ZAP to launch their initial sales in
North America.

"We feel the timing for electric cars is now," said Coles.
"There has never been more of a need throughout the world
for clean transportation technologies. According to air
quality studies, pure electrics are much more efficient and
produce much less pollution than other technologies,
including the new hybrids. We looked throughout the world
for the best way to launch our new cars and decided that the
USA is the right place and ZAP is the right company. We
believe that ZAP has a recognizable brand in this industry
and the right distribution strategy."

Coles added that the group of companies he represents is
forming a new car company that will focus on electric
propulsion technologies. All of the companies, says Coles,
have experience in making traditional automobiles. One of
them, Studio Linia 2 of Torino, Italy, has designed some of
the most famous brands of Italian automobiles.

Through its subsidiary Voltage Vehicles, ZAP is working to
establish a distribution network for its electric vehicles
in the independent auto dealer market. ZAP merged with
Voltage Vehicles earlier this year in order to target the
automotive market with advanced transportation technologies.
Voltage Vehicles has licensed for the distribution of
vehicles from a number of different vehicle manufacturers.
Voltage Vehicle founder Steve Schneider was recently named
Chief Executive Officer for ZAP.

"The vision of ZAP has always been to offer a complete line
of affordable, quality electric vehicles to give consumers
around the world choices about what they drive," said
Schneider. "Our announcement today takes us to a whole new
level of commitment towards electric transportation. I
believe that we have found the right partner with the same

The first of the vehicles, a 25 MPH neighborhood electric
car, is on display at a new ZAP Store in downtown Santa
Rosa. The venture also includes an electric van, pickup, and
commercial vehicle. ZAP's new neighborhood car on display at
the ZAP Store has an enclosed canopy and includes climate
controls as well as all the equipment and features of
conventional automobiles. The car utilizes several
innovations in electronic propulsion design and engineering.
All the instrumentation for the car can be accessed via a
control pad on the steering wheel.

ZAP's announcement today includes plans for a new commercial
vehicle that can be built in different configurations for
use in construction, agriculture and excavation. One of the
designs includes a backhoe and loader and Company officials
say the new electric excavator offers a new experience
compared to internal-combustion.

"Eight hours on a quiet pollution-free backhoe with no
engine vibration is like relaxing or playing an arcade game,
not like work," said Schneider. "Electric drive technology
is almost silent so it can eliminate noise restrictions and
extend working hours to around-the-clock production. Whether
in suburban areas or high density city locations,
contractors can meet time sensitive deadlines without noise

The new ZAP car can be seen and test-driven by appointment
at the ZAP Store, located in downtown Santa Rosa across the
street from the Santa Rosa Plaza. The address is 300 B
Street on the corner of B Street and 4th Street. Contact
them by phone at 707-545-5756.
Forward-looking statements in this release  Source: ZAP

' ____
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. EV List Editor & RE newswires
. (originator of the above EV ascci art)

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EVLN(OES flywheels for U.S. Army)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
Press Release Source: Optimal Energy Systems Inc.  Optimal
Energy Systems Receives Contract Award Increase From SAIC
Tuesday December 10, 11:39 am ET

TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 10, 2002--Optimal
Energy Systems Inc. has been awarded a contract award
increase from Science Applications International Corporation
(SAIC) to provide flywheel technology on the U.S. Army's
Tank and Automotive Armaments Command (TACOM) FCS Test-Bed
Demonstration program. Optimal is contracted to deliver a
developmental Flywheel Power Module (FPOM) for a military
vehicle system. Delivery is scheduled for February 2003.

"This contract award recognizes Optimal's successful
progress towards deploying a field-worthy FPoM for military
systems, and continues the work on Optimal's first contract
awarded by SAIC earlier this year," said Dr. Dwight Swett,
Optimal president. "This prototype contract is significant
to our business strategy as it has the potential to leverage
the FPoM onto various future combat platforms."

SAIC is engaged in a four-year program for TACOM to develop
FCS component technologies and to integrate them into a
test-bed demonstration on an Army vehicle. Optimal is
supporting SAIC by delivering an FPoM for use in the test
bed as a secondary energy storage device.

Optimal FPoM technology has become an important potential
candidate for meeting the power conditioning requirements of
several future electric vehicle concepts that will mature
over the next three to five years.

Optimal is currently completing work on a second SAIC
contract to provide a different design flywheel prototype
for the Army Research Laboratory's Aberdeen, Md., test

Optimal's facilities are located in Torrance, Calif.
Certain matters discussed in this news release are
forward-looking statements Contact: Optimal Energy Systems
Inc.  Henry Beathard PR, 281/360-3495 or 713/443-9869
[EMAIL PROTECTED] or Dwight Swett,
310/257-0301 [EMAIL PROTECTED]

' ____
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. http://geocities.com/brucedp/
. EV List Editor & RE newswires
. (originator of the above EV ascci art)

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EVLN(Nissan Super Power Capacitor in hybrid truck)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
Press Release Source: W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.  Gore
Electrodes Enable New Capacitor Technologies to Power
Innovative Nissan Diesel Hybrid Truck Friday December 6,
11:57 am ET

NEWARK, Del., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Electrode technology
from W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. is helping to power
Nissan Diesel's Hybrid Truck, Gore disclosed today. Low
polluting and highly energy-efficient, the hybrid truck
pairs a diesel combustion engine with an electric motor that
utilizes the Nissan Super Power Capacitor(TM) with Gore
Excellerator® Electrode Assemblies for energy storage and

"This new capacitor, containing Gore Excellerator® Electrode
Assemblies with increased energy density and power delivery,
is one-third the weight of lead-acid batteries, allowing for
even greater fuel efficiency," said Robert L. Sassa, product
specialist, Gore Battery and Capacitor Technologies Group.
"Plus, it eliminates the need for a secondary storage

According to Nissan Diesel, trucks equipped with this unique
capacitor are fifty percent more fuel-efficient than
conventional diesel-powered trucks. And, unlike the
batteries typically found in hybrid or electric vehicles
which need to be replaced several times over the life of the
vehicle, the Nissan Super Power Capacitor(TM) is expected to
provide service for 600,000 km over a ten-year period
without replacement.

Previous attempts to power electrical vehicles using
capacitors were unsuccessful because of the low energy
density produced by the devices. The development of this new
capacitor technology is the result of collaborative efforts
by scientists at Nissan Diesel, Okamura Laboratory Inc. and
Japan Gore-Tex Inc. The Nissan capacitor features an Energy
Capacitor Storage System(TM) (ECaSS) developed by Okamura
Labs using innovative Gore electrode technology. This
doubles the previous device performance, making a capacitor-
equipped electric vehicle a commercial reality.

Aside from reduced emissions to the atmosphere, a
capacitor-powered hybrid vehicle offers additional
environmental benefits over vehicles with secondary storage
batteries. The charging and recharging of a conventional
battery involves chemical reactions that wear down the
battery, eventually causing failure and replacement several
times over the life of the vehicle. These spent batteries,
which often contain caustic materials, must be disposed of
properly, adding to the life cycle cost of the vehicle. On
the other hand, an EDLC operates through the physical
movement of ions in an electrolyte, is regenerated by the
vehicle's braking system and offers unlimited charge and
discharge cycles without the need for replacement.

Sassa noted that a hybrid vehicle equipped with an
electro-chemical double layer capacitor (EDLC) like the
Nissan Super Power Capacitor(TM) is particularly suited for
typical city driving conditions, where constant acceleration
and deceleration are the norm. The EDLC stores energy
generated by the vehicle's braking system, then uses that
energy to power an electric motor for acceleration, as well
as for operation of the vehicle's electrical systems.

About Gore
W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., is a leading provider of
innovative technology solutions for high-volume,
cost-sensitive markets, such as automotive, energy,
electronics and industrial filtration. The company has been
working with capacitor technology for more than 17 years and
is a leading manufacturer of capacitor components. With
world-renowned expertise in the application and use of
fluoropolymers, especially PTFE and ePTFE, GORE has produced
thousands of life-changing products over the course of its
40 history. 
contact:  Gore Battery & Capacitor Technologies W. L. 
Gore & Associates, Inc.  Tel: 410-506-8800 401 Airport Road
Fax: 410-506-8749 Elkton, MD 21922 USA E-mail:
[EMAIL PROTECTED] Contact: Melissa Noebes of W. L.
Gore & Associates, +1-410-506-7628 or [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Source: W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

' ____
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. http://geocities.com/brucedp/
. EV List Editor & RE newswires
. (originator of the above EV ascci art)

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On 10 Dec 2002 at 13:35, Thomas Shay wrote:

> An individual or a small company simply cannot make an automobile
> from the ground up that will be better than a good converted ICE.  
> It might be theoretically possible but I don't think it's ever been done.

I will only suggest: be careful about making flat statements such as this.

The advantages of a purpose-built EV should be obvious.  When the first 
horseless carriages were built, they were essentially conversions of the 
existing vehicles -- horse drawn carriages.  Is there any question that 
designing around the new powertrain improved the vehicles?  

Similarly, an electric powertrain has very different strengths and 
weaknesses from those of an ICE powertrain.  To take best advantage of the 
the strengths and minimize the weaknesses, the packaging ^has^ to be 

Conversions are a crude but effective way to get EVs on the road in the face 
of massive organized resistance from automakers.  But their chassis are not 
optimized for the powertrains.  Nobody would argue that EVs like the Citicar 
are well-designed -- and remember, it was a conversion of a golf car -- but 
a well-designed purpose built EV will win hands down over a conversion any 

The Sunrise is designed to be a mass-produceable, practical, reliable family 
car and commuter, not a racer.  To criticize such a car because its 
designers didn't see any need to attract attention with tire-spinning, 
energy-wasting, violent acceleration is just plain silly.

As for John's comments (as usual, delivered at the top of his voice <g>), 
he's entitled to his opinions.  And he has a solid awareness of one 
segment of the auto buying public, so what he says is worth hearing.  We all 
should listen up!

But this EV doesn't have to satisfy everyone.  Certainly not John, maybe not 
Thomas or Lee or even me.   And I suspect that research will show that, 
despite John's encouraging chance encounters with muscle-heads, they're 
^not^ a group that's likely to embrace EVs in any significant percentage -- 
no matter what.  

If Jerry and the Sunrise's marketers have idenfied a target market, have 
done the research to know what that market needs and wants, are able to 
build the satisfaction of those needs and wants into the vehicle, and can 
market it creatively to the target consumers, the Sunrise will succeed.  
Simple as that.  

Make no mistake, EVs themselves are a niche market, so we're talking a niche 
of a niche.  But "success" here means selling 100 cars -- a fraction of what 
GM, Ford, Honda, and Toyota have placed with EV drivers despite impossibly 
restrictive leasing and sales policies, and almost zero marketing. One 
hundred cars is a sensible, attainable goal, and for that they could be 
marketing to a niche of a niche of a niche of a niche and still succeed.  

It would be a serious mistake to dismiss Solectria.  Good engineering, yes, 
but if they didn't know how to market their goods and services, they'd have 
long since gone the way of dozens (make that hundreds) of other EV builders. 
 The Force may not have been an ideal EV, but it was nothing to be ashamed 
of.  John hates them because they were slow -- but that doesn't mean they're 
bad, just that he doesn't like them.  Others do.  

The Force was one of the most reliable conversions ever developed (though 
like any vehicle it had its weak points), because Solectria paid as much 
attention to reliability and robustness as they paid to range -- and more 
than they paid to acceleration.   

They did this because they knew their target consumer needed a reliable 
vehicle.  Solectria are a for-profit company.  They're in business to sell 
things (and I don't mean just EVs and drive systems) to people and 
institutions who have the money to buy them, and they have an uncanny 
ability to identify and satisfy those people and institutions. Not only are 
they good engineers, they're good marketers.  The fact that they haven't 
tried to sell to the same markets as the big seven automakers is proof of 
that business acumen.  

When they developed the Sunrise, I believe that they created the car they 
^really^ had wanted to make in 1991, when they introduced the Force.  They 
made it purpose-built to take best advantage of its powertrain.  They made 
it mass-produceable.  Better yet, they made it both practical and visually 
distinctive.  No one can mistake that car for any existing car on the road!

In making it look that way, intentionally or not, they tapped into one of 
the most significant marketing factors in the EV1.  When someone bought 
(oops, leased) an EV1, everyone else who saw him driving it knew it was an 
electric car, and knew it was different, technologically advanced, and 
environmentally distinctive.  

This kind of public attention is a source of prestige for the person in the 
EV1's driver's seat.  It's his (quieter) equivalent of John's smoking tires. 
 You might call it conspicuous conservation.  This kind of prestige is very 
difficult to duplicate in any conversion without a ^lot^ of disguising and 

And yet Solectria didn't design a vehicle that's so far out that a potential 
owner thinks twice.  It's not an unusually narrow car with tandem seating 
(apologies to Rick; I think the Tango is a great car and I wish it well, but 
unfortunately some other people will think it's just weird).  It's not a 
tiny three-wheeler like the Sparrow, or flimsy-looking and uncomfortable and 
frighteningly small like a Citicar. You don't have to pedal it like a Twike.

It's a CAR -- but it's different in every way, it's new and exciting, and 
it's GREEN.  And it was designed by engineers, not stylists.  Brains!  
Again, right on target for the consumer they wanted to reach.  This is a 
tiny market -- intelligent, environmentally aware, highly educated citizens 
are a definite minority in the US -- and it's well under GM's radar.  But 
for a small company it's ripe for the picking.

John, on the other hand, isn't the type of consumer Solectria has ^ever^ 
tried to reach.  John puts neck-snapping, tire-smoking acceleration at the 
head of his wish list.  There are plenty of automakers marketing to him and 
other members of the "high pro" crowd -- though those automakers have no 
interest in selling them EVs, and (for reasons already explained) probably 
never will.

Don't get me wrong.  I greatly respect John.  He's built EV conversions that 
achieve what he wants, in spades!  He's learned the hard way just how much 
one can stress grunty series-wound forklift motors, what batteries and 
controllers give just a few more foot-pounds of torque off the line, which 
drivelines can deal with the punishment, what "meats" best transfer all that 
brute force to the asphalt.  What's more, he's made his EVs look stunningly 
good, in spite of the challenges of adapting electric drivetrain components 
to a platform meant for an ICE.  

My hat's off to John, and to the others that have been inspired by his 
conversions to make their own.  But -- again -- not everyone has muscle as 
his first priority.  And while appearance surely does count, there's a 
certain consumer to whom it's much easier to market a distinctive look that 
says "21st century" than a vehicle that looks like an ordinary car or truck 
(even if it's over 30 years old), but has a show-car quality fit and finish.

I'll admit that a little more power probably wouldn't hurt mass-market 
acceptance for the Sunrise; its specs say 0-60 in 17 seconds.  That's plenty 
fast enough for me and many others; but as Lee pointed out, the likely 
consumers for these cars are EV1 drivers about to watch their beloved cars  
crushed.  They're used to something quicker, so that number probably needs 
to get a little closer to 10- 12 seconds, maybe less.  But that's not 
difficult, even using Solectria's own components.  They now build more 
powerful inverters and motors than they did in the mid-90s when the Sunrise 
prototypes were first created.  They put them in buses and trucks.

As I say, John's entitled to his opinion, but I don't think that Jerry need 
be too defensive about John's negative remarks.  The Sunrise is a fine 
engineering job.  Its beauty is in its brain, not its brawn.  There are 
plenty of people who appreciate that, though many of them aren't on this 
list.  Some of these folks have bought Priuses (which, I might point out, 
are neither particularly sleek nor particularly fast).  Others have leased 
EV1s.  Others are still waiting for a real EV they can ^own^.

The Sunrise is a stylish, purpose-built EV that fits the bill, one that the 
manufacturer won't take away and crush.  It's an EV they can show to their 
friends and say, "You can have one too," an EV which they ^can^ plug in, one 
which they can drive farther on a charge than they did the EV1, one which 
attract at least as much positive attention.  

Jerry, you probably won't sell a Sunrise to John or Thomas.  But that's OK . 
 Because if you can't sell at least 100 Sunrises just to current EV1 and 
Honda EV+ drivers, even at $55k a pop, you're just not trying.  

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David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
1991 Solectria Force 144vac
1991 Ford Escort Green/EV 128vdc
1970 GE Elec-trak E15 36vdc
1974 Avco New Idea rider 36vdc
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Thou shalt not send me any thing which says unto thee, "send this to all
thou knowest."  Neither shalt thou send me any spam, lest I smite thee.
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EVLN(The emperor's new car)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
The emperor's new car 
Peter Foster National Post Thursday,
December 05, 2002

Many, many, years ago, when I was a mere cub on Fleet
Street, I used to be the Financial Times' deputy motoring
correspondent. Part of my job was testing cars in which the
motoring correspondent wouldn't be seen dead. That was how I
found myself one day manoeuvering a lead tortoise named the
Enfield 8000.

"If the Ford Motor Company," I wrote, "suddenly revealed
that it was to launch a revolutionary small car which could
carry just two passengers at a top speed of 40 mph over a
maximum range of 55 miles and require eight hours to refuel
... the public might with some justification feel that the
strain of coping with the dismal car market had finally been
too much for the management's sanity."

I thought I was being cynical, but a quarter-century later,
that is exactly what Ford did. It bought a Norwegian company
that manufactured a plastic-bodied two-seater with
performance comparable to that of the Enfield 8000, invested
US$100-million in it, leased it to adventurous but
soon-disillusioned guinea pigs, then abandoned the whole
idea. Ford was, nevertheless, able to say that it had made
the effort. For its part, General Motors flushed
US$1.25-billion down the toilet to prove that electric cars
won't sell.

Why would the automobile giants invest in dead-end
technology? Primarily because of California legislation
threatening that 10% of vehicles sold in the state between
2003 and 2008 would have to be "zero-emission." It wasn't
that the car companies wouldn't, they just couldn't. In
response, California merely tinkered with the legislation.
GM and DaimlerChrysler have now sued to have the law

This week saw the latest episode in the great California
zero-emission fandango, as the phenomenon of automobile
"sticker shock" entered a whole new dimension. Toyota
"leased" a handful of its fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHVs)
to the University of California and to the Japanese
government for a knock-down price of just under US$10,000 a
month. Honda leased a single FCX fuel-cell passenger car to
the Japanese government for a bargain US$6,600.

But why would Toyota and Honda be charging governments or
universities anything at all? Even at these prices, the cost
recovery from these leases are mere drops in the bucket of
research costs. Moreover, Toyota is effectively subsidizing
the University of California to pay for these leases through
research grants. Why not just pay lower grants and give them
the cars? Could it be sending a subtle message: "Remember
that somebody has to pay for these things."

The message is intended primarily for the government of
California. More generally, it may be aimed at those whose
grasp of economics -- that is, of costs and benefits -- is
perennially clouded, if not completely eclipsed, by their
moralistic approach to environmental problems.

Urban pollution is a real problem; global warming is a much
more debatable one, but "solutions" must be based on
science, costs and benefits. To mandate the makeup of
state-wide vehicle sales to solve a Los Angeles
environmental problem makes no sense. Meanwhile, statements
from pundits and auto chieftains that viable fuel cell
technology and fuel-celled cars are 10 or 20 or 30 years
away are based on both an excessive faith and a complete
misunderstanding of the nature of sustainable technological
progress -- that is, of the evolution of technologies that
pay for themselves. Pouring such enormous amounts of money
into fuel cells is analogous to the drunk who is looking for
his car keys under the street lamp. All technologies are
improved over time, but the fuel cell, like the battery,
requires a quantum leap that is by no means guaranteed, or
even probable.

The fuel cell is feted because it helped take man to the
moon, but that's exactly its problem. Its an incredibly
expensive -- and aged -- technology that was used in a
project where expense was no object. Automobiles are
different. In most cases, individuals have to pay for them.

When it comes to those Toyota lease rates, large-scale
production would bring costs down, but to where? Even at
one-tenth of the price, the cars would still be left on the
lot. One great hurdle is the lack of hydrogen fuelling
infrastructure. But the biggest problem is that we already
have an amazing transportation technology called the
internal combustion engine, whose efficiency has increased
enormously as its emissions have been slashed in recent

Many commentators assume that because governments everywhere
are pouring money into fuel cell technology, often at the
behest of corporations, that indicates their potential
viability. No way. Reflect on the kind of apocalyptic
thinking and bureaucratic empire-building behind the global
warming debate. Remember California's energy crisis. Think
Canadian gun registry.

As I concluded in that review of the Enfield 8000 all those
years ago, if you want to appreciate the gasoline-powered
automobile, just look at the alternatives.
© Copyright  2002 National Post

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EVLN(GEM for Toys for Tots telethon)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
Christmas telethon returns Dealer donates electric car for
auction KELLY DONOVAN/Staff Writer

BARSTOW ? As the 23rd annual Toys for Tots telethon draws
near, organizer Mal Wessel said he thinks local residents
will remain as enthusiastic about the event as ever.
Staff Photo by Kelly Donovan

Soutar?s Dodge has donated an electric car like the one
shown here to be auctioned off for the 23rd annual Toys for
Tots telethon.

Barstow is probably the most unselfish town I?ve ever been
in,? he said. ?There?s no such thing as being selfish in
Barstow. This is a working man?s town; the working man will
always give. He knows what it?s like to hurt, but he always

Typically, the major item to be auctioned in the fundraiser
is a car. This year, Soutar?s Dodge is donating a different
type of vehicle than what has traditionally been offered: an
electric car resembling a golf cart.

The door-less car, called a Gem, is manufactured by Global
Electric Motors LLC, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler Corp.
When it?s fully charged, it can go for 35 miles at a maximum
speed of 25 mph.

Gems usually have a retail price of about $7,000, and Toys
for Tots will probably start the bidding somewhere between
$2,300 and $2,500, Wessel said.

Clint Soutar, an owner of Soutar?s Dodge, said the Gem is
street legal and can be used for driving around town as well
as traversing the golf course. He said people can use the
car on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, because it
is OK to go 10 mph under the speed limit.

If you take side streets ... you?re fine,? Soutar said. ?You
just need to plan your trip.?

The two-seater vehicle will come with the buyer?s choice of
two interchangeable attachments: one for golf bags or one
that can be used for storing groceries or other items. The
buyer has the option of purchasing the other attachment for
extra money.

Additionally, the buyer can opt to purchase doors for the

Soutar?s Dodge has sold about five Gems a month since it
started offering them about a year ago, Soutar said. He said
people who?ve bought the cars typically use them for driving
around their neighborhoods and around golf courses.

Likewise, Wessel said, ?You?re not going to get out on the
freeway with it, but for a second car, or for a person
that?s limited in their travel anyway ... it?s what is
called a neighborhood electric vehicle ? great for going to
the store, running errands.?

Entertainment for the telethon will include 7-year-old Elvis
impersonator Jason Adams, solo country music performer Bobby
Fogle, a youth choir from First Baptist Church, the Skyline
North Elementary School choir, and the Merels, a local band
that performs a variety of music ? rock, country and
Christmas tunes.

Last year?s telethon generated toys for about 3,000 local
children, and Wessel said Toys for Tots is trying to help
the same number of children at Saturday?s telethon.

Anyone who gives a toy or money for a toy will wake up on
Christmas morning and they?ll know there?s a kid somewhere
in Barstow that will receive a toy because of them.?

If you want to bid ...  What: Toys for Tots telethon When:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday Where: Time Warner Cable Channel
6 Telethon number: 256-TOYS For more information: Mal
Wessel, 252- 3093 Kelly Donovan can be reached at
[EMAIL PROTECTED] or 256-4122.

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. (originator of the above EV ascci art)

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EVLN(EV tax deduction may go as high as $23,080)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
Tax Bill Some shrewd moves now can ease your load in April. 
[By Ellen Hoffman]

Midnight, Dec. 31, signals the end to most of your
opportunities to lower your 2002 tax bill. In addition to
the tried-and-true strategy of postponing income until the
next year and the obvious deductions you can take before the
midnight bell tolls, here are other steps that might help
you this year:

-- Spring for a new car. If you use it at least 50% for
   business, you can deduct up to $7,660 under a new
   first-year depreciation deduction. For an electric car,
   the deduction may go as high as $23,080.

By Ellen Hoffman

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. (originator of the above EV ascci art)

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EVLN(City CarShare added electric vehicles)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
Guest Opinion
Bugs of Steel: Plucky nonprofit saves urban commuters Jim

It's not often that a new idea comes along in
transportation. Maybe that's why there has been so much buzz
about car-sharing in the last year.

Car-sharing is a concept that European cities pioneered.
Organizations were formed to provide members with access to
a car, without actually owning their personal vehicles.

The benefits to the members are obvious: They save money,
they get a place to park the car when they're done, and
someone else deals with the repairs, the insurance, and the
hassle. But the benefits to the cities that sponsor
car-sharing organizations are even greater: Car-sharing is
the best solution we've seen for acknowledging the
incredible usefulness of cars without letting car storage
take up too much space in a city.

Because 20 or 30 people share each car, the total number of
vehicles that have to be parked is cut dramatically.
Car-sharing means people have access to a car without paving
the city in parking lots. This means we can bring down the
cost of land development and devote urban land to higher and
better uses than storing idle vehicles.

Providing a jump start
For these reasons, SPUR decided to help bring car-sharing to
San Francisco. We first proposed this project in a November
1998 report from SPUR's Housing Committee, developed by SPUR
board member Oz Erickson of the Emerald Fund. I helped raise
money, and we put SPUR's deputy director, Gabriel Metcalf,
on the board of a new organization, City CarShare.

Many other people and organizations invested similar time
and energy, and in March 2001, City CarShare launched to
great fanfare. Since then, the project has seen explosive

City CarShare now has well over 2,000 members. It added
electric vehicles. It added business members for employees
to get to off-site meetings. It added locations at BART
stations. And the latest data show that for every City
CarShare vehicle that goes into service, six private
vehicles are sold.

Given this kind of success, it is to be expected that there
will be lots of entrepreneurs trying to cash in on this
idea. I expect to hear more and more stories of groups
hoping to muscle in and latch onto San Francisco's
car-sharing success.

Beware of road hogs
As a businessperson, let me issue a word to the wise: Don't
be fooled by the hype. As a nonprofit, community-based
transportation provider, City CarShare is going to remain
the car-sharing organization of choice. Like BART, Muni and
any other public transportation utility, there is simply no
way that any for-profit company can earn decent returns on
this idea. We all know that good salespeople can convince
the uninformed to invest in a company that doesn't have a
prayer of making money. I've been through the numbers, and
given the cost structure and the economics of this service,
the only stable way to make it work is to organize as a
nonprofit organization. After the for-profit car-sharing
companies have come and gone, we will be left with the fact
that the idea of car-sharing makes a lot of sense.

If you can use a car whenever you want, if you can drive a
truck one day and a little electric car the next, if you can
reserve vehicles any time you want on the Internet ? if you
can get all the benefits of a car without the cost, why
wouldn't you?

Jim Chappell is president of SPUR, the San Francisco
Planning and Urban Research Association. For more
information: www.citycarshare.org.
© 2002 American City Business Journals Inc.

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