EV Digest 2471

Topics covered in this issue include:

  1) EVLN(Congestion charge-exempt electric-powered car)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  2) EVLN(Sparrow looks like it's from 'The Jetsons')
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  3) EVLN(Dodge Ram COMBATT hybrid)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  4) EVLN(EVs@eticonference 2002)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  5) EVLN(TNB EV trams for Paya Indah Wetlands)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  6) EVLN(Ford won't build hybrid Escape in Ohio)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  7) EVLN(GM Pathway nEV)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  8) EVLN(Honda not quick to add more hybrids/sacrifice profit)
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
  9) EV charging @ Costco Santa Clara saga ...
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 10) Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV (LONG)
        by "Doug Martin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
 11) EV charging @ Costco Santa Clara saga ...
        by Bruce EVangel Parmenter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
--- Begin Message ---
EVLN(Congestion charge-exempt electric-powered car)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/20021206/in56542.html
On your bike Andrew Oxlade, This Is Money 6 December 2002

Mayor Ken Livingstone says there will be 15% less traffic on
the road after 'C Day' and 11,000 more bus spaces available.
That should combine to make cycling a more appealing option,
he believes.

So from 17 February, drivers will have to pay 5 a day to
enter a central zone bordered by King's Cross, Tower Bridge,
Vauxhall Cross, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner, 7am to
6.30pm, Monday to Friday. But bike sales are yet to go up in
anticipation, according to the industry.

It's a different story for scooters, though some shops have
reported a 15% rise in sales since the summer. But whichever
method you choose, it should be cheaper than before -
bicycles can be bought on the internet or in supermarkets
for 50 and scooters can cost less than 1,500 new. That's
barely more than a zone five, one-year London Underground
Travelcard.

But it's not just about cutting the initial outlay - finding
a competitive insurance deal is important. Although scooters
are slower than motorbikes, they are more popular with
thieves and therefore premiums may be higher than you
expect.

Specialist motorcycle brokers include Bennetts (0800 056
3843), Carole Nash Insurance Consultants (0800 298 5500),
1st Quote Bikeline (www.1stquote.co.uk), Lynbrook Insurance
(01704 822661) or Elephant.co.uk (0870 013 1072).

Motorbike shops also point customers towards Co-operative
Insurance Services (08457 464646). The mutual * society is
not a specialist but keeps costs down by avoiding mass
advertising. For example, a 30-yearold male executive living
in Islington with a new 50cc scooter parked off-road would
pay 373 a year for fully comprehensive insurance, including
a 100 excess, with Bennetts. The same person would pay only
229 with CIS with a 50 excess. But don't just take the
cheapest - look for extras such as roadside assistance.

As for bicycles, theft is not the only worry. More than
3,300 cyclists were injured on London roads last year and 21
were killed. Several motoring clubs will offer insurance in
case you are hit.

Silver annual membership with the British Cycling Federation
costs 32 and includes a full legal service to sue if
someone else is to blame and 5 million personal liability
cover if an accident is your fault. 'Personal liability
insurance is essential,' says Philip Ingham, of the BCF.
'Cycling without it is like driving a car without proper
insurance. Legal cover is equally important - finding a
solicitor is the last thing you want to worry about from
your hospital bed.'

An upgrade to 50 'gold' membership gives personal accident
cover. Such policies compensate you for injuries: 7,500 on
death, 50,000 for loss of an eye or limb and, unusually,
25 a night hospital cover.

The Guildford-based Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) offers a
similar package. Personal accident cover is included in
basic membership for 28.50. The London Cycling Campaign
(LCC), a pressure group, charges 23.50 but that only
includes personal liability (third-party) cover - you need
to take its theft insurance to get free personal accident
cover and, unlike the other two clubs, legal cover is not
included.

As for theft insurance, LCC (020 7928 7220) policies starts
at 20 a year

for a bike worth less than 150. A partner who lives with
you can insure a bike for 16, with a noclaims discount
rising 10% each year for both, up to 30%. Outside London,
CTC charges 15.

Alternatively, it may be cheaper to put bikes on home
contents insurance. Royal & Sun Alliance, for example,
charges an extra 13.50 a year for two bikes at one central
London address. Personal liability (third party) is covered
on most home insurance policies, typically up to 2 million.
You can buy add-on legal protection - 12 a year via Norwich
Union - although some give free initial legal advice.

Mainstream policies are unlikely to be as comprehensive as
those from clubs. Policies with CTC (01483 417217) and BCF
(0161 274 2010), for example, will pay if your bike is
vandalised or damaged in a crash.

The remaining options * are to buy a congestion
charge-exempt gas or electric-powered car, or convert your
existing one. A liquefied petrol gas conversion costs around
1,500 and an overhaul to natural gas, which is even more
economical, costs 2,000. Government grants are available up
to a few hundred pounds for conversions and on new
'alternative fuel' cars, which cost slightly more than
petrol models.

The extra expense is also recouped in running costs: one 
charge on an electric car lasts around 50 miles and costs 
only 40p. Electric cars also benefit from free parking in 
Westminster. The government-backed Powershift website lists 
the range of 'alternative-fuel' cars and advice on securing 
grants.
-





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EVLN(Sparrow looks like it's from 'The Jetsons')
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
http://www.pe.com/localnews/hemet/stories/PE_NEWS_nhsanta08.58439.html
Holiday cheer, music, sights define annual Hemet parade
12/08/2002 By D.S. PEREZ THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE

HEMET - There was tinsel abounding, holiday revelry and
Harleys revving, a horde of flatbed trucks with people
aboard waving, and jeeps by the heaps Saturday in Hemet's
annual Christmas parade.

But leave it to the folks who seem bookish -- the Friends of
the Hemet Public Library -- to have the oddest vehicle: a
three-wheel electric car, a Corbin Motors Sparrow that
resembled an infant Volkswagen Beetle.

"It looks like it's from 'The Jetsons.' That is so cool,"
said Tom Norris, a 20-year resident of Hemet who came to see
"the small-town parade" with his wife and two sons.

More than a hundred entries were in this year's parade, a
celebration that goes back for more than a half-century.
School bands, local businesses and organizations paraded
west along Florida Avenue for several blocks in downtown
Hemet.
[...]
Despite a number of late entries, Hemet City Councilwoman
Marge Tandy said things were more smooth this year because
there were more volunteers than last year, when she had only
six people helping her organize the parade.

Tandy said she hopes a local organization picks up the
parade next year. "Two years is enough for Marge," she said.
"It's a lot of work organizing this."
Reach D.S. Perez at (909) 763-3468 or [EMAIL PROTECTED]
-




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EVLN(Dodge Ram COMBATT hybrid)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_code=specials&loc_code=index&content_code=07186201
(04:55:46 Dec. 10, 2002) Top Gun For Trucks Uncle Sam's
military vehicles have long influenced the civilian truck
market-now the influence works both ways By SUE MEAD (Photos
by Sue Mead)
[...]
The Dodge Ram COMBATT HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) achieves
about a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and
reduced tailpipe emissions over a comparable conventional
Ram. When the vehicle is parked, the hybrid powertrain
converts to an electric generator to provide 12.5 kW
continuous electric power or up to 30 kW peak electric
power, eliminating the need for portable generators at
remote sites. Based on the 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty
Quad Cab 4x4 pickup, this model can be operated in either
diesel-electric hybrid or electric-only (?stealth?) mode,
which also provides a ?Silent Watch? capability.

Chrysler Group is also developing this vehicle, available in
a 1500 or 2500 model with either 2- or 4wd and various
gasoline engines, for commercial applications such as in the
construction and utility industries. It will be sold
commercially beginning in 2004, and is designed to meet the
off-site electrical generating capacity needs of
construction contractors, farmers, campers and even
homeowners. So there you go, trickledown into the civilian
market already.
-





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EVLN(EVs@eticonference 2002)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-ppelectricdec09,0,3021962.story?coll=sfla%2Dnews%2Dbroward
Transport show touts non-gas alternatives
By Neil Santaniello Staff Writer Posted December 9 2002

The industries behind electric vehicles -- battery-only,
hybrid and fuel cell -- will gather in Hollywood this week
for a trade show touting the latest efforts to wean
motorists off their gasoline fixation.

The second annual Electric Transportation Industry
Conference, beginning Tuesday at the Westin Diplomat Resort,
is being billed as the nation's largest, most inclusive
gathering of those pushing the electric drive envelope, from
niche companies building community trolleys to the
automakers for the masses: Honda, Ford and others.

Zero-emissions vehicles powered by batteries have not
advanced much beyond niche uses. Fuel cells, which use
hydrogen to produce electricity to turn an engine, are
promising but costly and complicated. They may not be
serious contenders on the road for another decade, experts
say.

But half-electric, half-gasoline vehicles -- including
passenger cars such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight
that alternate between an internal combustion engine and
battery power -- are weaning more drivers from gas guzzlers.
Automakers are vowing to roll more and more off their
assembly lines to meet growing demand, experts say.

The show, sponsored locally by Florida Power & Light Co.,
will highlight technological, market and political
developments surrounding electric vehicles. The conference
will draw 50 exhibitors, several hundred attendees and
keynote speakers including the assistant secretary of the
U.S. Department of Energy, Toyota executives, a former
General Motors chairman, electric utility company managers
and various electric vehicle and parts developers.

The public can buy a $60 one-day pass ($40 for students) to
visit the exhibition floor Thursday or attend a
"ride-n-drive" Friday at John U. Lloyd State Park from 9
a.m. to 1 p.m. and take a spin in some of the vehicles,
electric bikes and scooters. The price includes lunch. A
two-day pass is $100 ($80 for students).

The electric transportation industry views Florida as an
attractive market for its environmentally friendly cars and
buses, said Kateri Callahan, executive director of the
Electric Vehicles Association of the Americas, the
conference organizer. The state has a proliferation of
low-speed gated communities and school campuses well-suited
for so-called "neighborhood" electric cars, Callahan said.
Those vehicles can accelerate to 25 miles per hour and can
be licensed to run on public roads with posted speeds up to
35 mph.

"They're more than a golf cart but less than a
full-functioning automobile," she said.

The region's flat terrain drains less battery power . Also,
there are plenty of Floridians who can afford to buy an
electric car to add to their regular vehicles, Callahan
said.

Florida also has waves of tourists who are the target of a
newer EV application: rental electric cars to tour scenic
downtowns.

Florida is alluring from a research and development angle
too. On the Space Coast, NASA has long used fuel cells in
space flights and universities are working on fuel cell
improvements. And Florida was a testing ground for the
General Motors' prototype battery car, the EV1.

But there is less environmental and regulatory pressure here
to cut combustion-engine emissions than in cities that are
heavily polluted. Florida, swept by ocean breezes, is not
smoggy.

"We don't have the same severity of air quality problems as
California because of our topography," said Steve Polzin,
director of the Public Transit Research Center at the
University of South Florida. "We don't have the mountain
ranges trapping ozone."

The conference will recognize local electric vehicle
successes, including the Fort Lauderdale water taxi
operation run by Bob Bekoff, a conference speaker. He has
eight hybrid boats in his fleet. The 42-foot boats run on
electricity delivered by batteries charged by small onboard
bio-fuel-fed generators.

Broward is considered a state leader in electric
transportation. Coconut Creek in October put four free
hybrid shuttle buses -- running on electricity generated
from burning propane -- on the road. Broward County
government has a small fleet of electric trucks and cars. .

Palm Beach County is less vested in road-worthy electric
vehicles. It has two battery-powered Ford Rangers and one
Honda Insight hybrid, said Doug Weichman, director of Palm
Beach County Fleet Management.

To learn more about the conference, visit
www.eticonference.com or call 202-508-5995.
Neil Santaniello can be reached at
[EMAIL PROTECTED] or 561-243-6625.
-




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EVLN(TNB EV trams for Paya Indah Wetlands)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
TNB technology for wetlands' EV trams

DENGKIL, Sat. - The electric vehicle (EV) trams made their
debut on a sunny carnival day at Paya Indah Wetlands last
month, but few realised those beauties took just three
months to plan, design and build. Fewer knew that the trams
were not developed by vehicle manufacturers, but were the
"babies" of a company essentially involved in research and
development and a subsidiary of energy company Tenaga
Nasional Berhad (TNB).
-




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EVLN(Ford won't build hybrid Escape in Ohio)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
http://www.autonet.ca/AutonetStories/stories.cfm?storyID=7232
Ford won't build hybrid Escape in Ohio
By Associated Press Dec 9, 2002

CLEVELAND (AP) -- With sales decreasing, Ford has decided
not to build a hybrid version of the Escape sport utility
vehicle at its Ohio Assembly Plant, the automaker said.

Ford had been considering building the hybrid Escape at the
plant in suburban Avon Lake alongside the regular Escape,
which will go into production there in the summer.

The hybrid Escape will use a small gasoline engine
supplemented by an electric motor. Ford officials say it
will offer the power of an SUV but help save gasoline.

Sales of the regular Escape have dropped 14.4 per cent in
the first 11 months of the year, according to J.D. Power and
Associates.

With a plant in Missouri that builds the Escape not working
at full capacity, it didn't make sense to build hybrids in
Avon Lake, said Roman Krygier Jr., Ford's group vice
president for manufacturing and quality.

"Demand has dropped off. That was the reason," he said.

The Escape will be built in Avon Lake by about 800 workers
laid off earlier this year when Ford discontinued the
Mercury Villager and Nissan Quest minivans.

In exchange for $36 million in state tax incentives and
grants, Ford promised in August to keep those workers on the
job for seven years.mes available in a four-door sedan
-





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EVLN(GM Pathway nEV)
[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/5525012p-6504130c.html
Back-seat Driver: Short trips have big automakers thinking
small By Matthew Barrows -- Bee Staff Writer Published 2:15
a.m. PST Monday, December 9, 2002 Going to the neighborhood
market for a loaf of bread? Suddenly, there are several
modes of transportation vying to get you there.

With parking lots cram-med, local roads filling up fast and
air-pollution woes a growing concern, many see a new
transportation market starting to emerge: the short-distance
trip.

The big automakers are exploring this niche with something
called the NEV, or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. Think of
the NEV as the opposite of the space-hogging, gas-guzzling
SUV. They emit no pollution and are one-quarter the size and
cost of their bulkier cousins.

The Back-seat Driver got a chance to ride General Motor's
version, the Pathway, last week at Cosumnes River College.

Beginning last fall, GM loaned the vehicles to area campuses
for a year in the interest of getting feedback from campus
officials and learning more about the NEV market. At the
same time, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have begun selling NEVs
in several states.

Looking at an NEV, you might think it's nothing more than a
glorified golf cart. And you'd be right.

Battery-powered, the GM vehicles zip along quietly at up to
20 mph and are used by Cosumnes River College police to
patrol footpaths, deliver supplies on campus and as a way of
getting the campus nurse to medical emergencies in a timely
fashion.

The difference between NEVs and the carts on the local
fairways is that the NEVs can be driven on the road -- as
long as the speed limit is 35 mph or less.

The Pathway, for example, is equipped with safety features
such as a windshield, wipers, seat belts and mirrors, and
has California license plates on the rear and front.

In addition to short trips to the market or to Blockbuster,
automakers also say NEVs would be ideal for getting people
to and from mass-transit hubs.

But it has competition.

The short-distance niche also is being eyed by the makers of
Segway, the futuristic scooter that was unveiled a year ago
amid a flurry of media hype.

Whereas NEVs are designed for roads, the pollution-free
Segway is meant for the sidewalk, but it, too, is tailored
for the local trip.

The Segway is being sold through Amazon.com for nearly
$5,000. The NEVs cost between $4,000 and $9,000.

The issue facing both modes is safety.

At Cosumnes River College, Sgt. John McPeek says GM's NEV is
great for campus footpaths, but he says he'd be hesitant to
take it on the busier roads in his neighborhood.

And even GM officials -- to the chagrin of Ford and
DaimlerChrysler -- have said the NEVs should be limited to
campuses, office parks and gated communities and shouldn't
be taken in mixed traffic.

"We do not want to see these vehicles next to an Excursion,
a Tahoe or even a Cavalier," said GM spokesman Dave
Barthmuss. "It just won't work."

Opponents of Segway also say it's unsafe -- not for its
riders, necessarily, but to others on the sidewalk.

Though San Francisco postal workers have been testing out
Segways as a way to deliver the mail, that city last month
became the first to ban public use of Segways from
sidewalks.

The Board of Supervisors worried that the vehicles, which
have a maximum speed of 12 mph and weigh 70 pounds, would
mow down any pedestrian who got in their way.

After all, the supervisors concluded, they're called
sidewalks for a reason.

About the Writer
E-mail your transportation questions or concerns to
[EMAIL PROTECTED] or call The Bee's Matthew Barrows at
(916) 321-1008.
-





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EVLN(Honda not quick to add more hybrids/sacrifice profit)
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 informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
 --- {EVangel}
http://www.auto.com/industry/iwirc6_20021206.htm
Honda says it won't rush expansion of hybrid car line
December 6, 2002 BY ALAN OHNSMAN BLOOMBERG NEWS

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Honda Motor Co. won't be "hasty" in
adding more gasoline-electric hybrid autos to its product
line because the company won't sacrifice profit as it
expands use of the fuel-efficient system, the company's
chief executive said.

Honda and Toyota Motor Corp. have both sold hybrid cars in
the U.S. for more than two years. Toyota has said it will
announce new models in early 2003 beyond its Prius small
car. Honda officials have said they have no short-term plans
to expand beyond the two-seat Insight subcompact and the
Civic Hybrid.

"We have some plans for the future, but we're not so hasty
in bringing our technology into the market even though we
can do it anytime," said Hiroyuki Yoshino, Honda's president
and chief executive. "Any vehicle could get" a hybrid
powertrain, Yoshino said, without specifying when a decision
would be made.

Hybrids were developed to meet stricter environmental rules
in the U.S., Japan and Europe with improved fuel efficiency
and low tailpipe pollution. Toyota and Honda, the only
companies that now sell such models, have struggled to
overcome an added per-car expense of at least $3,000 for the
system that combines a gas engine, electric motors,
batteries and regenerative brakes.

Honda's Civic Hybrid, with a U.S. base price of $19,550,
sells for an amount that recovers the added component cost.
It will be years before Honda recoups its investment
developing the technology, Yoshino said.

"It's not surprising Honda may want to take a more
financially conservative approach than Toyota; they're still
a much smaller company," said analyst Thad Malesh, who
studies alternative-power technologies at J.D. Power &
Associates. "Even if they don't add anything next year,
they'll benefit from a tailwind created by Toyota's
announcements."

U.S. hybrid car sales this year should reach almost 35,000
units, Malesh said. That's an increase of almost 73 percent
from the 20,282 Prius and Insight models sold in 2001. Honda
estimates it will sell about 13,000 Insight and Civic
Hybrids in 2002. Toyota sold 18,329 Prius models this year
through November and expects full-year sales of 20,000.
Copyright  2002 Detroit Free Press Inc.
-




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EV charging @ Costco Santa Clara saga ...

I when to literally knock on doors in San Jose job hunting
to no avail. On my return trip I stopped off at the Santa
Clara Costco on Colman to add a little range before heading
back.

I pulled in to the right most of three EV painted and signed
parking spots that on next to the tire store. I use my AVCON
adaptor to pull 30 amps AC out the AVCON head in the front
of the spot. The manzanitamicro.com PFC-50 charger was
working beautifully as usual.

The left most spot was a gen2 small paddle inuctive and the
middle was a 'spare' spot for sharing the chargers. The
inductive spots was empty but the middle spot was ICEd. 
This is not the first, nor the last time this will happend.

A mechanic drove a customer's ICE out of the bay and into
one of the open parking spots next to the EV spots that are
marked 'tire store'.

I asked the young man if he know if one of the tire store
mechanics had parked a gas car in the middel spot (pointing
to it). He blew me off with a shurg, but I read body
language too well to put up with that. I held him with one
more question, "Your people would not park in the ELectric
spots would you?" I said innocently.

"Yea, if it's busy", he said, ad shofled off, like who in
the hell is that guy.

I was pumping 37 amps into my pack, and locked up. I went to
the front entrance door, avoiding the stample of members
come both out and in. I pulled over to the side in an eddy
of the human current to ask another young man checking for
badges.

He was friendly enough and linked me up with a supervisor, a
another young man but he had impressive badges on saying he
was a supervisor.

He listened, as I told the supervisor that we Electric car
drivers are grateful for the ability to charge, but it was
Costco people who don't drive Electrics that put the spots
in front where everyone wants to park. We Electric car
people would be happy to on the side or back where no one
wants to be, we will walk, we don't care. But because the
spts are in front, the tire store mechanics park their gas
cars in the Electric spots, blocking our access.

The supervisor listened, understood, and said he would tell
the tire store manager. I suggested that the tire store
manager tell 'all' his crew (not just the bozos in the
evening).

I grabbed dinner from Costco before heading back to my EV. 
Just to plant more EV seeds, I went back to the young man at
the door and told him the same details of how the spots are
int eh wrong place and how we EV drivers are grateful for
the charging. He was accutaly listened and heard me as I
kept it short. He smiled when I told him I was a Costco
member not because I need a 5 lb tin of tuna, but to pay
back for the charging. He thought that was cool.

Back at my EV, my current was flowing nicely. I was still
drawing 30 amps AC, but my DC amps was now 36 because the
pack voltage had risen.

I killed a little time by going around the corner to see
what parking the EV spots could have been put at. Sure
enough there was plenty around the side toward the back and
in the back. Even on Costco's busiset days, those back spots
would not be filled by lazy people.

As I came back around the corner to my EV, I notice the ICE
that was in the middle had been moved to the 'tire store'
spots. Then I saw a member park his ICE in a tire store
spot. I asked and they were not going to get any tire store
service.

So, clearly, that Costco needs to keep non tire store
customers out to save what few spots they have. there is an
on going battle that was caused by the placement of the EV
spots near the tire store.

The Mt. View Costco has a different parking layout, but has
resolved there parking needs by coning off both the EV and
Tire store spots.

I doubt if Costco wants to spend money moving the EV spots,
but it would be wise to implement the cone idea at other
Costco's so the Tire Stores could keep their parking. Some
of the problem is young mechanics who are in a hurry to make
more money and lazy to walk any distance. But if any ya-hoo
can park in their tire store spots, I can see why the
mechanics have given up and just don't care. The process is
clearly broken at that store.

[Sidebar: Before I unplugged, I had a chat with one of the
men that was corralling the stray shopping carts (still in
job door knocking mode). I found there were openings as
stock boy and it was easy to bag a job. A little further
chat and it turns out this guy is about my age and also has
been waiting a year to get the hi-tech job he used to do but
there is nothing in Silly Valley, too many dead.coms has
made a glut in the employee market. The company he worked
for I used to install million dollar computers in their dog
cages (co-locations), and he was one of those that managed
it (IT staff). Looks like as I thought I am not alone an I
too will have to make a low-pay career change to pay the
rent.]

During the time I was yaking, munching, walking, and yaking,
I had gained ten miles of charge in less than an hour. I
unplugged and danced in the traffic.

Highway 101 was a parking lot in both directions except for
the HOV lanes. Now was the time to use my stickers.  I used
the added range as high speed to keep from being run down in
the HOV lane. My US145's worked fine, I came in smooth,
quiet, and with energy to spare.
-





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

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Well said, David! I'm glad someone represented some of the more important
business, economic, design, and marketing aspects of this topic. I'd think
that as EV enthusiasts, we'd all be a bit enthusiastic about a
design/product/company in the field that has a good shot at commercial
success. And let's face it, there's a good reason race-cars are not
mass-produced, while consumer vehicles are. Conversion cars are fun
projects, whether for the challenge, to race, to get attention, for
environmental concerns, or to raise awareness of EV's in general, however
the "vehicle of the future" will not be a one-off out of someone's garage
unless it can be MASS-PRODUCED and SOLD FOR PROFIT.
     The Sunrise looks pretty nice compared to ANYTHING in the EV/hybrid
offerings from the major automakers, and now that I think of it, it beats
most of their ICE offerings too. The efficiency factor, the aerodynamics,
low weight, safety features, and the regenerative braking all add up to make
it a damn attractive package (but do you think you could include a CD player
with that?!?). If the EV1 was obtainable, it would undoubtedly be better
(after all - GM put a BILLION dollars into the project! I'd hope that GM
engineers could do something worthwhile with that kind of budget...), but
living in the real world, the Sunrise is easily the next best thing - AND
YOU CAN OWN IT - a nice detail.
     As for producing a $40,000 Metro, isn't that hitting below the belt?  I
can see that the NiCads were kinda pricey, and that GM didn't want to part
with what I'm guessing was a NEW and almost fully-equipped body too cheaply.
I'd also guess that the relatively low sales volume also accounted for the
price tag somewhat (gotta pay your employees somehow...). With only some of
these factors, plus the engineering and remanufacture time added to the
drivetrain components, I'm surprised it didn't exceed that.
   Another thing... The $40K Metro part again... I'm guessing that if you
invested enough money in the batteries, and hi-pro drivetrain components,
you could probably make an EV that could crush the Meanie - both for top
speed and acceleration.  ...a nice, light, stable chassis... Strip the car
down enough (like most serious racers do anyway), throw in the pricy
components, and I'd bet you could have something pretty fast (if not
beautiful). Never seen the Meanie, but for God's sake, it's a Datsun -
greatly improved, perhaps, but still! The base ICE roller/"glider" sells for
about what you'd pay for a Metro roller. Maybe I'll understand the whole
thing eventually, but so far, I don't get it. Doesn't make me feel so bad
about using an X-1/9 or 914 roller though. Don't want to offend, but there
it is.

-doug martin


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Roden (Akron OH USA)" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 11:01 PM
Subject: Re: Perfect High-Dollar EV (LONG)


> 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
> different.
>
> 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
> day.
>
> 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
> reworking.
>
> 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
> will
> 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.
>
>
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> Want to unsubscribe, stop the EV list mail while you're on vacation, or
> switch to digest mode?  See http://www.evdl.org/help/
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> 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
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> 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.
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
>
--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
I went to literally knock on doors in San Jose, job hunting
to no avail. On my return trip, I stopped off at the Santa
Clara Costco on Coleman, to add a little range before heading
back.

I pulled in to the right most of three EV painted and signed
parking spots that on next to the tire store. I use my AVCON
adaptor to pull 30 amps AC out the AVCON head in the front
of the spot. The manzanitamicro.com PFC-50 charger was
working beautifully, as usual.

The left most EV spot was a gen2 small paddle inuctive and 
the middle was a 'spare' spot for sharing the chargers. The
inductive spot was empty, but the middle spot was ICEd. 
This is not the first, nor will it be the last time this 
will happened.

A mechanic drove a customer's ICE out of the Tire Store bay
and into one of the open parking spots next to the EV spots,
marked 'tire store'.

I asked the young man if he knew if one of the tire store
mechanics had parked a gas car in the middle spot (pointing
to it). He blew me off with a shrug, but I read body
language too well to put up with that. I held him with one
more question, "Your people would not park in the Electric
spots would you?" I said innocently.

"Yea, if it's busy", he said, and shuffled off (like who in
the hell is that guy).

I was pumping 37 amps into my pack, and locked up. I headed
to the front entrance, avoiding the stampede of members
coming both out and in, I pulled over to the side in an eddy
of the human current, to ask another young man checking for
badges.

He was friendly enough and linked me up with a supervisor, a
another young man but he had impressive badge on saying he
was a supervisor ( wow ).

He listened, as I told the supervisor that we Electric car
drivers are grateful for the ability to charge, but it was
Costco people who don't drive Electrics that put the spots
in front where everyone wants to park. We Electric car
people would be happy to on the side or back where no one
wants to be, we will walk, we don't care. But because the
spots are in front, the tire store mechanics park their gas
cars in the Electric spots, blocking our access.

The supervisor listened, understood, and said he would tell
the tire store manager. I suggested that the tire store
manager tell 'all' his crew (meaning not just the bozos in
the evening).

I grabbed dinner from Costco before heading back to my EV. 
Just to plant more EV seeds, I went back to the young man at
the door and told him the same details of how the spots are
in the wrong place and how we EV drivers are grateful for
the charging. He was actually listened and heard me as I
kept it short. He smiled when I told him I was a Costco
member not because I need a 5 lb tin of tuna, but to pay
back for the charging. He thought that was cool.

Back at my EV, my current was flowing nicely. I was still
drawing 30 amps AC, but my DC amps was now 36 because the
pack voltage had risen.

I killed a little time by going around the corner to see
what parking the EV spots could have been put at. Sure
enough there was plenty around the side toward the back and
in the back. Even on Costco's busiest days, those back spots
would not be filled by lazy people.

As I came back around the corner to my EV, I notice the ICE
that was in the middle had been moved to the 'tire store'
spots. Then I saw a member park his ICE in a tire store
spot. I asked and they were not going to get any tire store
service.

So, clearly, that Costco needs to keep non tire store
customers out to save what few spots they have. There is an
on going battle that was caused by the placement of the EV
spots near the tire store.

The Mt. View Costco has a different parking layout, but has
resolved there parking needs by coning off both the EV and
Tire store spots.

I doubt if Costco wants to spend money moving the EV spots,
but it would be wise to implement the cone idea at other
Costco's so the Tire Stores could keep their parking. Some
of the problem is young mechanics who are in a hurry to make
more money and lazy to walk any distance. But if any ya-hoo
can park in their tire store spots, I can see why the
mechanics have given up and just don't care. The process is
clearly broken at that store.

[Sidebar: Before I unplugged, I had a chat with one of the
men that was corralling the stray shopping carts (still in
'job door knocking' mode). I found there were openings as
stock boy and it was easy to bag a job. A little further
chat and it turns out this guy is about my age and also has
been waiting a year to get the hi-tech job he used to do but
there is nothing in Silly Valley, too many dead.coms has
made a glut in the employee market. The company he worked
for I used to install million dollar computers in their dog
cages (co-locations), and he was one of those that managed
it (IT staff). Looks like as I thought I am not alone and I
too will have to make a low-pay career change to pay the
rent.]

During the time I was yaking, munching, walking, and yaking,
I had gained ten miles of charge in less than an hour. I
unplugged and went to dance in traffic.

Highway 101 was a parking lot in both directions except for
the HOV lanes. Now was the time to use my stickers.  I used
the range I gained at Cosco as high speed to keep from being
run down by SUVs in the HOV lane. My US145's worked fine, I 
came in smooth, quiet, and with energy to spare.
-

=====
' ____
~/__|o\__
'@----- @'---(=
. http://geocities.com/brucedp/
. EV List Editor & RE newswires
. (originator of the above EV ascci art)
=====

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