Monday, October 1, 2012

EV Tradeshow Roadtrip!
In the hopes of reinvigorating my EV juices (having taken some time off to mourn the loss of a very close and important person in my life) I thought a road trip was in order!
Enjoyed carpooling with my new friends from our newly hatched Ventura EV club... Roy Prince and Russell Sydney (and his beautiful Cheve Volt). 
A lot of big-money representation from the major EV players, utilities and charger makers but I was happy to talk with city pedestrian and bike administrators, junior college engineering students designing alt-pedal and alt-electric contraptions, e-bike people and many others who are also interested in shaping a better future for our cities and towns (and the world for that matter).  Maybe next year I'll help them organize a bigger DIY presence.
Was also happy to witness the very first unveil of Mark Brems yellow 914 e-Porsche!

On the way to Santa Monica driving through Malibu using electrons... does it get better than this?
 
Coming to a very sudden stop on the Pacific Coast Highway my 98 Honda Accord (the last gas-car I have pledged to ever buy) cashing in ALL of my forward momentum to produce yet MORE heat for our environment... Russell, in his Volt, miraculously converted his hard-earned momentum back in to stored energy!! Wow, I guess things CAN get better!
This nice gal from the city of Santa Monica which is working hard to become more pedestrian-bike-alt transportation was very helpful to Roy and me. We both share additional interests in helping our cities (Oxnard and Ventura, CA) become more human-friendly and enjoyable.
I enjoyed meeting Richard Goodman and his handmade bamboo skateboards.  I TOLD my kids they should have come. IMO a better future involves more human power and less locomotion by incinerating oil. Most awesome boards I have ever seen: www.lagunabamboo.com
 
The Eflow bikes were pretty trick too: http://www.eflowebike.com/  The battery was designed in to the seat post. This one features a HUB motor.
This awesome recumbent prototype was produced by the smart people at East Los Angeles College. It has a long chain to a single drive-wheel in the back. Brian Vazquez tells me that they are raising funds to compete in the SHELL sponsored competition next year. Roy spent quite a bit of time with these folks... he's a bike man! See his site: www.RPEV.org
Am loving this contraption. I think Mexican prisoners are generating electricity for 'the grid' this way now. (Really, I'm not making a bad joke).Think I'm going to install one in my Triumph so my kids can get a fuller understanding that human locomotion has a price... so start peddlin'
Then it was outside... here at the "Firefly" booth. Ug, probably good engineering but Steve Jobs would have passed a cow. I'm sorry but what an ugly abomination. http://fireflyesv.com/features/  Bad aesthetics spells doom for anything folks. Spend a few dollar$ with a smart kid from Pasadena Art Center.
Spent some time with this poor gal at the "Clean Vehicle Rebate Project"... a taxpayer entitlement project to help "stimulate" the sale of e-vehicles... BUT WHY NOT WE HOMEBUILTS??  Incentives DID exist in Ca until '10 I believe but IMO if Detroit is going to get a kickback to replace a gas-burner with a sun-pusher why not we DIYers???  WE are the ones writing blogs, participating at shows and stimulating the future as much as them.  Tell you the truth I probably wouldn't take advantage of it.  Just seems weird to do the right thing utilizing taxes... especially during this BIZARRE election cycle.
I was polite because the "Center for Sustainable Energy" just contracts for the disbursement of rebate checks for e-cars.  The gal said "well, we only get to keep 3% of our funding for administration. With that budget how could we visit every one of you homebuilders to ensure they are, in fact, electric?" Good point.  If the Ventura EV club gets active maybe we'll pursue this topic.

THEN THERE WERE THE BIG PLAYERS...


But the most fun for we "scratch built" peeps was seeing in flesh-blood-lithium and copper was Mark Brems and his newly re-minted Porsche e914.  AWESOME MARK.  What can I say... the new standard in DIY e-building! 














 

 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

THIS WEEKEND!  Looking forward to attending the "Alternative Car Expo" in my original home town of Santa Monica, California on Saturday.  Let me know if you want to car pool.  Looking forward to your Porsche 914 Mark.     www.altcarexpo.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I love taking things apart...

Let's Go!


I have had a complicated relationship with my little sports car since 1978 (I was 17 and she was 10 yrs old when I bought her for $1,000).  The ultimate cute but HIGH MAINTENANCE relationship... my little trophy-car but all-in-all SHE RAN LESS THAN 5% OF THE TIME!     So, to keep more than her feelings from being being CRUSHED and to get her on the road where she belongs the time has come for her to get all-new-workings... electric ones!


... so it's time to first take her ALL THE WAY APART and throw out the oily, stinky and un-needed!
What a great reason to organize the workshop... and to buy tools!

I mounted a hydraulic jack to my workbench (on a steel plate) for all the heavy stuff to come and bought other cool-tool things on wheels!
All kinds of toxic liquids must be removed from my old gas-guzzler. Never again.


So many quarts of dark and nasty fossil-oils that will no longer be required.
Her old ways just seem to rub off on you no matter what.  I won't miss this.


Here we go... time for the "bonnet" and radiator... Triumphs are VERY accessible, this is good!


NOW WHAT ??    :o)
Looking at this image brings a lot of emotions to the surface. I shared so many adventures with this fun car BUT also so much anxiety, disappointment and bloody knuckles to keep her barely running.  So much drama to find parts, pay for them, install them and pray it works as needed. Look how complicated fuel engines are!  It amazes me when they EVER work right.  Personally I believe it is the beginning of the end for internal combustion engines though and I am proud to be playing an active part in the future of automobiles -- a cleaner future with FAR less moving parts (and cleaner hands).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lots of POOP... and a cute little innovation from the company -- RINSPEED

The  Rinspeed  "Smart Fortwo Electric Drive".


Citycar:  approximate "63 mile range"


All-electric


Addaptable (like a Swiss Army knife apparently)


Cuter than Cowpoop   (they have a LOT of cows where it's from)


rinspeed1.jpg








... and not only is this Swiss Miss cute... 


SHE'S  GOT  BACK!


http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/03/08/this-baby-electric-cars-got-backpacks/

What CRAZY COOL electric innovation, right? 


You may not be able to see this little gem in YOUR lifestyle (and who yet knows how many someone could sell for just how-much)... but don't you think that SOMEONE on Earth is going to freak out for this little electric dimple?  The numbers just have to play out.  What would YOU invent for the tag-along in back?  I'm thinking about eventually building a motorcycle spoked wheel (of course) two wheel battery trailer for my Spitfire.... maybe with a little gas-powered charger too.  I wonder how much farther I'd get with, say four or six more batteries?  Maybe my range would get me to BOTH of my parent's houses for a visit.


I can TOTALLY see a little electric "ForTwo" road train delivering McConnell's Ice Cream or factory parts or tourists from SOMEWHERE TO SOMEWHERE with giant poop-eating grins on their faces.  (A lot of electric poop references apparently. It seems to have started with Swiss cowpoop and went from there... sorry, it just seems to fit).  


DANGER -- DIVERSION:  I happen to absolutely love Switzerland and haven't met many unpleasant Swiss people. I have been lucky enough to have traveled and played there over the years -- hiking, eating, action sports and making friends among the most beautiful countryside and cute cows WHOSE POOP I HAVE PERSONALLY STEPPED IN on this planet.  (I can actually and honestly report that I have even FLOWN, like Frisbee tossed, Swiss and other nationality "cow pies" very long distances. But I continue to divert).


As with many people all over the world the Swiss have an incredible TECHNOLOGICAL "je ne sais quoi" .     Def:  je ne sais quoi    "an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one: She has certain je ne sais quoi that charms everybody"    


In addition to their brave and adventurous nature they have a really awesome design and manufacturing-spirit.  They have such incredible engineering projects nationwide with all their mountain range-boring awesome trains (electric and not), watches, army-knives, paragliding, skiing, Swiss-Raclette cheese, chocolate,  jet-powered flying men... and stunning ladies... the list goes on.


I will be sharing yet another AWESOME electric Swiss story soon.


OK, one more thing about Switzerland and Swiss stuff before I move on... visiting Switzerland should be on EVERY BODIES bucket list before you check out.  If anybody wants to be guided from awesome to awesome over there let me know.  My brother and I may organize treks there and to other European destinations. Comfortable hiking boots required.


BACK TO ELECTRIC: I find that I really love discovering electric innovation -- from absolutely everywhere it comes from. Learning about all the cool electric innovation everywhere has been helping keep me jazzed for my personal little project.


I'll leave with my opinion that the only thing better than really groovy electric innovation is really groovy electric innovation that comes from your own country (and there is plenty of that thank-poop).


Jimmy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NEWT GINGRICH: Obama's push for energy efficient cars in response to high fuel prices is "Un-American" because "You can't put a gun rack in a Volt". WTF?
Whatever Newt... my (future) electric car is doing just fine in the gun department sir.