May 30

ALTe is leaner, and growing again

 

Whoo-hoo – It’s series hybrid start-up week here at GM-Volt, and to top it off, Tony Posawatz plays a role in this one.

Actually, all he said was he is on board with ALTe because this is one company he believes in, or he’d not be there. Another company Tony’s involved with is Momentum Dynamics, which while not mentioned below, is working with ALTe on wireless charging. Funny how that worked out.

ALTe_Main
 

Last week in Indianapolis we had opportunity to drive a Ford E-350 van converted to a plug-in series hybrid by ALTe while learning also of the company’s plans for the alternative energy fleet market.

Before retrofitting a 2.0-liter Ford Focus four-cylinder engine/generator, two Remy motors, and 21.6-kwh A123 Systems battery pack, the Ford got around 7 mpg in real world driving. It however now gets 26 mpg with engine running, or burns absolutely no gas for 22 miles on battery power.

That makes this humble-looking 10,000 GVW test mule one of the most-efficient trucks of its type anywhere, and unlike a pure battery powered vehicle, this one, not unlike a Chevy Volt, has no “range anxiety.”

You may recall the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based ALTe as one of the rising stars among alternative tech transportation companies that was getting a fair amount of press a couple of years ago.

It was founded by three former Tesla employees in 2008 and in 2011 was named to Forbeslist of most promising companies. Its U.S.-made and developed plug-in tech was backed by investments including a $100 million private loan that same year.

ALTe_MakiIt’s called a REEV – Range Extended Electric Vehicle.
 

Not a lot has been written about the company in the past year or two as it weathered a dry spell following politicized backlash against U.S. tech startups in the wake of the Solyndra and Fisker closures. These, if you may have noticed, put a chilling effect on federal loan programs and the industry in general, and other less fortunate companies have folded.

Forbes in 2011 reported ALTe was waiting for an additional $65 million in low-interest federal loans to float it towards production status, but the company today says that money was delayed, and delayed, and delayed … and never materialized.

Rather than continue waiting and die on the vine like some fellow startups, last year, ALTe formed a joint venture in China which has born some fruit and with potential for more, and currently it’s working with major Korean interests as it also seeks new U.S. clients.

At its peak ALTe grew to around 40 employees, had several promising contracts, but presently it has about half that many employees. However, company leaders say it has come out stronger and wiser with the same potential that gave it such an initial boost.

The company has never taken federal monies, but today as two angel investors and some revenues from various operations keep it going, it is hiring once again, and in the words of Benny Rediers, its director of development and validation, ALTe is going through a “rebirth.”

What it Does

 
As it began doing, ALTe today develops electrified powertrains for class 2-6 fleet uses. It has sharpened its focus for now on shuttle buses, delivery vans for various businesses, and utility service vehicles.

In China it has made mobile police command posts – sort of like SWAT trucks – and other small niche vehicles based on mostly Chinese hardware and vehicles. In Korea, it’s working toward electrifying buses and other vehicles.

ALTe_chassis
Powertrain warranty is 5 years, 60,000 miles.
 

For the U.S, its E-350 and E-450-based plug-in hybrids are thoroughly tested and ready for sale now. Also – and not unlike VIA Motors – it has been developing lighter trucks for fleet duty, although VIA converts Chevrolets, and ALTe does Ford F-150 and F-250s.

VIA’s early designs called for a GM four-cylinder range-extending engine, but it now uses 4.3-liter sixes as they come standard in GM vehicles. ALTe is still focused on more-efficient Ford fours that are half the size.

ALTe’s F-Series trucks retrofitted with a 2.0 or 2.5-liter Ford four-cylinder in place of a V8 net 30 mpg in gas mode – about what VIA says is possible with the six-cylinder – or around an also-identical 40 miles in all-electric operation.

These comparisons to VIA are our own observations, and for its part, ALTe says it does not view VIA as a direct competitor, but rather is supportive of that alternative energy startup.

And, ALTe differs in that it is now no longer only a series hybrid specialist.

A couple years ago that was what it was known for, but now it’s open also to parallel hybrids, full battery electric vehicles, and it could also leave in place the V8, or other stock gas or diesel engine for some plug-in hybrid applications. Further, it can make use of certain ratios from the stock transmission, or replace it with a simplified driveline component, as required.

The company is essentially positioned as a versatile solutions provider. Its expertise centers around CAD designing of electrified trucks that can pay back their clients within perhaps half the life cycle of the particular vehicle.

This may be four years or somewhat longer, but while the vehicles are “green,” thus anticipating federal emissions rules not even yet in force, they can save money today, said the company’s president and CEO Darren Post.

Mule201&320With20Windmills
 

Post is one of several on the company’s executive team with extensive major automaker experience. Another is Tony Posawatz, the former vehicle line director for the Chevrolet Volt, and most recently the CEO of Fisker.

Posawatz – the other “father of the Volt” not unlike Bob Lutz over at VIA – signed on as vice chairman last September.

Post had been president and this May rose to both president and CEO when former CEO and co-founder John Thomas left for other opportunities.

Post is also a former GM line director, and among his 35 years of powertrain experience there and at Delphi, for 10 years he oversaw such vehicles as the Saturn Ion, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Opel Zafira and Chevrolet Impala.

He and Posawatz are credited with focusing the company’s direction toward class 2-6 vehicles, while at the same time opening the company to essentially tailor-make vehicles that must pay back.

Post said ALTe is actively seeking clients, already working with some major fleet accounts toward ultimately meeting their needs, and open to more.

580x623xdiagram.jpg.pagespeed.ic.YOH2SoK_7k
 

The company has already worked in the past with PG&E with test vehicles, and it once had a deal with major vehicle wholesaler Manheim to offer plug-in hybrid retrofits.

Today, Post said essentially fleet customers can consult with ALTe which would evaluate their needs, and propose vehicles that do the job of conventional ones, albeit with a cost savings.

Ultimately, this involves an initial outlay over and above a stock vehicle – the E-350 is about a $30-$35,000 retrofit in addition to the value of the truck – but the fuel savings and reduced maintenance yield a value proposition some fleet managers will understand.

Post conceded some fleet managers do have a hard time with paying double a stock vehicle’s sticker price, and it is streamlining its vehicles to right-size batteries, motors, engines, and other hardware to avoid over-doing it.

The bottom line, he said is the vehicles have to show a return on investment, and assuming sufficient miles driven, this is usually the case. In fact – and as is typical for these cost-benefit equations – the more miles driven, the faster the payback.

E-350 Test Drive

 

The test mule in the pictures is a 2010 model year with 2010 Focus engine. It has been driven very hard by ALTe, including Senior Test Technician Kyle Maki whose job is to break it.

First, his job was to help build it, but Maki said he’s done plenty of abusing 0-60 runs, hard hill climbs, long multi-state drives, local route simulations, everything.

ALTe_RR
 

We took the vehicle for a short drive just to feel the powertrain in all-electric mode, and to discern as well as possible how it handles corners and braking.

Starting out, the vehicle was notably quiet and smooth, and rate of acceleration was in line with a conventional truck of this type.

668x445x20140530_ALTe_Frito20Van202014_JMK_MG_5286b.jpg.pagespeed.ic.mwAhU54uDI
 

The naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Focus engine was shut off, and its almost comically small stock exhaust – for such a large truck – was emitting nothing. All that could be heard was motor whine, and some noise from the straight-cut gears of the prototype’s two-speed pneumatic transmission which was originally developed for a drag racer.

ALTe_under-hood

By the way, ALTe’s commercial vehicles may also see the stock transmission left in place, albeit with only a couple ratios used, or, as Maki said, ALTe has sourced a two-speed hydraulic transmission with quieter helical-cut gears it would deliver in new trucks.

Regenerative braking on this truck is present, but was not set extremely aggressive. Letting off the accelerator would see the vehicle characteristically slow down as energy was sent back to the pack.

Cornering was about what would be expected too, and in short, the drive experience is within realm of a large vehicle like this which could alternately be configured as a delivery van like this one was, or shuttle bus.

Maki said they’d trucked the vehicle there from Michigan, but was preparing to drive it five hours back after the conference.

Possibilities

 

Some alternative-tech companies have come and gone despite taking federal monies, but ALTe has never taken – and thus never lost – taxpayer dollars, and is still afloat, leaner, and refocused.

We may see battery electric school buses, and all sorts of fuel-saving vehicles with varying degrees of electrification from this company in coming years.

Typically, an engineered solution may take 4-6 months between up front consulting and simulation analysis for several weeks with the client (no cost), electronically developing a powertrain, engineering/constructing the parts and software integration prior to building and testing actual vehicles. ALTe can retrofit used vehicles, or build new.

Ultimately, the company would like to secure a deal where it’s an original equipment upgrade on a truck builder’s assembly line.

We hear also in Korea there are thousands of buses they would like to electrify, and the Chinese are also eager to do more.


 

The U.S. company however is working for more in its home market, and its motto is “customer driven, purpose built.”

It has paid some dues due to no fault of its own, and says now it is poised to continue with the same value proposition that led to its existence and made it one of the early standouts in alternative energy transportation.

ALTe

See also: ALTe readies light and medium duty extended-range truck conversion

This entry was posted on Friday, May 30th, 2014 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 85


  1. 1
    Dave G

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    May 30th, 2014 (6:18 am)

    Anther excellent article.

    For larger vehicles, a series powertrain seems ideal. Most trains have used a series setup for decades.

    Now all we need is more series passenger vehicles. Right now its just the Volt and i3-Rex, and the i3 gas tank is inadequate.


  2. 2
    Gsned57

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    May 30th, 2014 (6:55 am)

    26 mpg motor home would be pretty sweet.


  3. 3
    Xiaowei1

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    May 30th, 2014 (7:11 am)

    great article Jeff. these guys need to be commended and your write up does just that! this is exactly where series hybrid technology needs to be, in true gas guzzling trucks and large vehicles. the amount of petrol/diesel used in these vehicles is monstrous, and by hybridising them, the amount of imported fuel will be reduced dramatically. the spill on effect will directly assist in helping keep the price of products down, such as food stocks.

    I wish them all the luck in the world!!!


  4. 4
    Shock Me

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    May 30th, 2014 (8:18 am)

    Rather depressing in the context of basically free money via QE that they could not find enough investors from this country.

    But good on them for not standing there expecting a handout from the national government.


  5. 5
    kdawg

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    May 30th, 2014 (8:31 am)

    “ALTe says it does not view VIA as a direct competitor, but rather is supportive of that alternative energy startup.”
    ——
    I wish they would embrace the competition. It would be nice it have some good ol’ fashion EV truck wars.

    “the E-350 is about a $30,000 retrofit”
    ——
    Intersting, that puts it at $20K less than a VIA truck. Ford F150 = $25k. Add $30K and final price is $55K. A GM Silverado is also $25k, but VIA is asking $75K for its V-Trux.

    Being a series design, it would be nice to know the MPG in CS mode. That way we could compare to VIA’s claim of 30mpg.


  6. 6
    Raymondjram

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    May 30th, 2014 (8:52 am)

    Great article, Jeff! The more, the “merrier”.

    REEV , EREV, or EVER, the three means the same, and GM has been wasting time not applying this technology in their trucks and truck-like vehicles, such as SUVs and CUVs. I wish GM did a EREV CUV Equinox, being its third largest selling vehicle after the Silverado and the Cruze. Every manufacturer sells CUVs, but GM had the first with electric power (as the 2008 FC Equinox). Adding a larger battery and the range extender would had been easier than starting from scratch.

    If ALTe needs funding, this is where GM should put its support behind to electrify all future trucks!

    Raymond


  7. 7
    Mark Z

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    May 30th, 2014 (10:15 am)

    The video is a must view (there is even a NASA reference!)

    Exciting to see the progress made since Jeff reported on this in August of 2011. As battery prices drop, the demand for these conversions will increase. Reliable public charge stations need to be planned for now to keep the E-REV fleets running as clean as possible.


  8. 8
    taser54

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    May 30th, 2014 (10:28 am)

    kdawg,

    E350 van MSRP starts at $33k.


  9. 9
    kdawg

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    May 30th, 2014 (10:46 am)

    taser54: E350 van MSRP starts at $33k.

    So if we add $30k for Alt-e’s conversion, that would be $63K. I don’t know what VIA plans to sell their converted vans for. They only say this about their V-Trux “Anticipated selling price is $79,000 in volume.”


  10. 10
    'georgeBower

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    May 30th, 2014 (10:51 am)

    kdawg:

    Being a series design, it would be nice to know the MPG in CS mode.That way we could compare to VIA’s claim of 30mpg.

    article quote:
    ALTe’s trucks retrofitted with a 2.0 or 2.5-liter Ford four-cylinder in place of a V8 net 30 mpg in gas mode

    Once again, I don’t believe it.


  11. 11
    'georgeBower

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    May 30th, 2014 (10:55 am)

    This thing would be good for a driving cycle in town of say 60 miles.

    These series designs won’t cut it for long haul trucking.

    For long haul trucking you need a parallel system that eliminates the conversion losses and puts the power straight to the wheels.

    The train analogy does not hold for these trucks..


  12. 12
    Jeff Cobb

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    May 30th, 2014 (10:56 am)

    kdawg: So if we add $30k for Alt-e’s conversion, that would be $63K.I don’t know what VIA plans to sell their converted vans for.They only say this about their V-Trux “Anticipated selling price is $79,000 in volume.”

    A figure around $30k is a baseline. The conversion can naturally vary in price. It can go up if the customer wants electric A/C, heat, other amenities. I’ll edit this to a range $30-35k. This particular example does have A/C and heat.

    ALTe likes the cost calculator VIA has on its site, but as of yet does not have its own. It intends to update its Web site in the course of other plans.

    It would likely be tougher to build a cost calculator because so many variables could come into play which VIA is not contemplating. VIA is basically making two models with varyong body styles, 2WD, 4WD, with the same series hybrid powertrain.

    Another notable difference if it’s not clearly stated is ALTe is very customer centric and not going with the if-we-build-it-they-will-buy-it direction. Yes the value proposition has to work, or they won’t sell, and they are willing to make any sort of solution.

    For example at EDTA someone from New England approached them about a BEV school bus. A series hybrid may be in some people’s eyes a more elegant solution, or more practical, etc., but this was a specific requirement driven by individual customer wants/needs.

    So, ALTe is working with them to see if they can meet this need.


  13. 13
    kdawg

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    May 30th, 2014 (10:58 am)

    ‘georgeBower: article quote:
    ALTe’s trucks retrofitted with a 2.0 or 2.5-liter Ford four-cylinder in place of a V8 net 30 mpg in gas mode
    Once again, I don’t believe it.

    How did I miss that? (or did you sneak it in later Jeff 🙂 )

    Yeah, I think i’m going to be from Missouri on this one. Maybe they mean in an ideal situation they get 30mpg, but the EPA sticker won’t say 30mpg IMO.


  14. 14
    kdawg

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    May 30th, 2014 (11:01 am)

    Jeff Cobb: Another notable difference if it’s not clearly stated is ALTe is very customer centric and not going with the if-we-build-it-they-will-buy-it direction.

    With Tony P. there, I would be more confident going w/a company like this vs. some of the other companies that do onesy-twosy conversions.

    Did they say what kind of warranty/service options they have? VIA is working with select GM dealerships. I’m wondering if Alt-e will do the same thing with Ford dealerships.


  15. 15
    Jeff Cobb

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    May 30th, 2014 (11:02 am)

    kdawg,

    Nope, did not sneak this one in, 🙂

    That was what was written from the start.

    The 30 MPG is for F-150, not E-350. That is what they tell me. Smaller genset. A123 Systems logic.


  16. 16
    electricAnt

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    May 30th, 2014 (11:24 am)

    Did anyone notice the clever usage of “not unlike” when comparing this vehicle to the Volt and Via Motor products? Now this really means “like” but most people when reading fast equate this with “not like”. Thus belittling similar products. Something we learned in a media writing course I took. Why mention competition at all? Many reporters want to appear to be unbiased.


  17. 17
    Jeff Cobb

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    May 30th, 2014 (11:35 am)

    electricAnt: Many reporters want to appear to be unbiased.

    And some reporters really are unbiased.

    Who are you and what are you insinuating without knowledge?

    I wrote this at 2 a.m. this morning. I was tired, and much of this was flow of consciousness.

    This manner of writing is a conventional manner of speaking in English.

    It was not done as some surreptitious verbal sleight of hand. It is just how I phrased it, nothing more.

    Go somewhere else to find a conspiracy.

    The comparisons were in the clear between this company and VIA.

    ALTe avoided any direct comparisons, and had only positive things to say, thus I clarified the compare/contrasts were from me.

    Clearly stated in article: “These comparisons to VIA are our own observations, and for its part, ALTe says it does not view VIA as a direct competitor, but rather is supportive of that alternative energy startup.”


  18. 18
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    May 30th, 2014 (11:47 am)

    ‘georgeBower,

    Don’t know about the 2.5 L, but the 2.0 looks pretty potent.

    Ecoboost 2.0L 4-cyl engines (240-hp, 270 ft-lb)

    http://www.carrentingreviews.com/2014/04/21/2014-ford-fusion-se-2-0l/


  19. 19
    Jeff Cobb

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    May 30th, 2014 (11:49 am)

    Eco_Turbo,

    The 2.0 in this vehicle is naturally aspirated from 2010.

    Fusion and Focus engines are being considered and perhaps others. I do not know if an EcoBoost would also be, that sounds very possible, but this truck had a plain non-turbo.


  20. 20
    Jackson

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    May 30th, 2014 (11:51 am)

    With apologies in advance, kdawg posted this late in yesterday’s thread; and I think it bears repeating near the top of the weekend discussion (with added comments from yours truly):

    kdawg:
    OT: have you guys seen this?

    Best. Promotional. Internet. Video. EVER:

    http://youtu.be/qlTA3rnpgzU

    The more boring version:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNMFKKyFU60

    Website:

    http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml

    2mgwpw5.jpg

    Simplified summation: Hexagonal modules made of recycled glass contain solar cells; they replace paving on roadways by being tiled like pavers.

    Now add solar powered wireless charging to the system, in which clean power follows an EV segment to segment as it drives … The system could also provide guidance data for vehicles. Despite the inventors’ optimism, these standards need to be at least evaluated before the first module goes down on a public road, IMO.


  21. 21
    Powered7

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    May 30th, 2014 (12:08 pm)

    Nice article! It’s good to see another entry into the truck/SUV area. Does anyone know if it will have a liquid li-ion battery thermal management system like the Volt does?


  22. 22
    Noel Park

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    May 30th, 2014 (12:24 pm)

    kdawg: Yeah, I think i’m going to be from Missouri on this one.

    #13

    Alas, me too. +1

    Too much weight and the aerodynamics of a brick. Seem a bit optimistic for sure. I hope that they prove us wrong.


  23. 23
    'georgeBower

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    May 30th, 2014 (12:25 pm)

    Jeff Cobb:

    Who are you

    Exactly.
    Personally I am sick and tired of posters on ANY site that come in under a “stage name”.

    Stage names should not be allowed.

    WSJ is a good example of a new policy.

    You must use your own name. You must register and you must have a verifiable identity.

    You’d be surprised how it improves the quality of the comments.


  24. 24
    Noel Park

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    May 30th, 2014 (12:27 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: I wrote this at 2 a.m. this morning. I was tired, and much of this was flow of consciousness.

    #17

    Extremely impressive nonetheless. Not that we expect anything less by now. Well done. +1


  25. 25
    Noel Park

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    May 30th, 2014 (12:29 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: You must use your own name. You must register and you must have a verifiable identity.

    #23

    Works for me! +1

    Anonymity encourages nastiness for sure.


  26. 26
    Jackson

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    May 30th, 2014 (12:30 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Stage names should not be allowed.
    WSJ is a good example of a new policy.
    You must use your own name. You must register and you must have a verifiable identity.

    For the record, I’m using 1/3 of my actual name. 😛

    Noel Park: Anonymity encourages nastiness for sure.

    It also bolsters confidence / courage for anonymous posters with valuable contributions. It reduces the possibility of retaliation IRL, even if the low probability of this makes it mostly a perception. Require a login, and many good questions / contributions will be lost.

    Consider the stage-name personae on this site who are well known for positive, constructive comments. Would you require a login of kdawg or nasaman?

    Real logins were suggested back in the Dr. Dennis days, he felt it was against his egalitarian / open web philosophy (except for the forums).


  27. 27
    'georgeBower

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    May 30th, 2014 (12:46 pm)

    Jackson: For the record, I’m using 1/3 of my actual name.

    It also bolsters confidence / courage for anonymous posters with valuable contributions.It reduces the possibility of retaliation IRL, even if the low probability is mostly a perception.

    Consider the stage-name personae on this site who are well known for positive, constructive comments.Would you require a login of kdawg or nasaman?

    Real logins were suggested back in the Dr. Dennis days, he felt it was against his egalitarian / open web philosophy (except for the forums).

    Yes Jackson. Of course I know those here with stage names that provide positive comments like yourself, kdawg,nasaman,Eco and on and on.

    However, it is true on WSJ now you have to use your own name. I think it is a good policy. As I said it has improved the quality of the comments.


  28. 28
    Jackson

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    May 30th, 2014 (1:03 pm)

    ‘georgeBower,

    With respect, I’d suggest that the Wall Street Journal site is more read than ours. They could’ve justified logins just to winnow down thousands of posts per hour to only the ones willing to register (and to get a list of prospects for promotional purposes). This might be looking at the change from the other end, but I think it suggests that we’re not really in their league, don’t share all their concerns, and so possibly shouldn’t consider all their practices.


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    May 30th, 2014 (1:55 pm)

    Jackson: ‘georgeBower,

    but I think it suggests that we’re not really in their league,

    You guys are in a much higher league. The quality of the posts on the WSJ are really bad. I try not to read them. Anyway, just a suggesstion. It’s something Jeff would have to deal with…..and I doubt he has the time.


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    Loboc

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    May 30th, 2014 (2:14 pm)

    One good thing about trucks is that you don’t have to do much (if any) suspension work and little space planning to stick in some pretty big batteries. There is plenty of room.

    30mpg in some situations is not really that good. Some pickups are claiming 24+mpg hwy now using cylinder de-activation and other tricks.

    As far as being a ‘brick’ aerodynamically, the Dodge RAM pickup was claiming some pretty good numbers in this area. (cD = 0.363)

    What will be VERY interesting is Tesla’s upcoming concept of what a family pickup should really look like. Some of Elon’s statements about suspension systems alone are eye-opening.


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    Jackson

     

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    May 30th, 2014 (2:22 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: You guys are in a much higher league. The quality of the posts on the WSJ are really bad. I try not to read them. Anyway, just a suggesstion. It’s something Jeff would have to deal with…..and I doubt he has the time.

    I guess you can mark be down as “against,” Eponymous Moxie and High Priust Voldemort not withstanding. Due to the increased administration load, I probably have nothing to worry about.

    Just to clarify, “same league” needn’t imply “higher league,” just “bigger league” (in this case).


  32. 32
    Jackson

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    May 30th, 2014 (2:25 pm)

    I wonder if ALTe has the kind of agreement with Ford for model continuation that VIA apparently lacks (not that F-anything is going away anytime soon, LOL. I just wonder what the quality of the ALTe / Ford relationship might be. Maybe we should be looking here for a future consumer e-truck).


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    May 30th, 2014 (2:29 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: The quality of the posts on the WSJ are really bad.

    #29

    Most political blogs get very ugly. I gave up on them long ago. And people hide behind anonymity to do it.


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    May 30th, 2014 (2:56 pm)

    I have been very busy at work lately, so not much time for posting….

    Something similar, but off topic from our local news in Youngstown, OH:

    From http://www.WFMJ.com

    Electric sports car company considers Valley for manufacturing plant

    Posted: May 30, 2014 10:12 AM EST Updated: May 30, 2014 10:57 AM EST

    WARREN, Ohio –

    A company that makes a performance sports car that would range in price between $120,000 and $170,000 is looking at the Valley to possibly locate a manufacturing plant.

    CEO and President of Velfera Design, Antonio Pierce met with potential investors in Cleveland on Thursday, and also visited the Valley to discuss expanding his Texas based company.

    Pierce says that his electric car relies on advanced technology, including a battery that would allow it to travel 300 miles before recharging, and accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in less than four seconds.

    “We are offering something that up to this point has never been achievable with an electric vehicle. The vehicles offer superior performance to a gas powered car.” said Pierce. “It has amazing efficiency. You have a car that can out accelerate some of the best sports cars on the market yet still offer the equivalent to 100 miles to gallon fuel economy.”

    Pierce says that the Velfera design utilizes the same 3-D printing and aircraft technology used in formula one racing cars. “We are bringing new innovative technologies to the area that haven’t been applied on a large scale to the automotive sector. Our chassis designs are really drawn from aircraft technology. The batteries and other technologies we are working with allow us to break the bottlenecks that have been holding back the electric vehicle sales.” said Pierce.

    “By reducing the weight of our vehicle we are able to get the maximum efficiency.” said Pierce.

    Pierce says his largest market is in Europe, but is looking for growth in the U.S. and emerging markets.

    Velfera is also looking in other parts of the country for possible locations. They’re seeking tax breaks and other incentives to lure the company and an initial 75 full time jobs.

    The Executive Director of the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation, Mike Conway, said “This project has job creation, cutting edge technology, a manufacturing entity that is exporting products, and supplies the automotive purchasing public. We will be working with the Youngstown/Warren Chamber of Commerce, the Western Reserve Port Authority, other economic development agencies and the state.”

    The Chairman of the Western Reserve Port Authority, Ron Klingle, said “Mr. Pierce has what seems like a perfect combination of three or four state-of-the-art concepts and technologies, that put together in the form of an automobile is incredible, and probably not seen anywhere else in the world. We can provide incentives such as land, the ability to acquire land, we can offer tax abatements, financing, just about anything a company needs to locate here and create jobs. This is a fantastic product and we will do everything we can to entice Mr. Pierce to chose our area to locate.” said Klingle.

    I never heard of this company. Their web site is more of a design site.

    http://www.velferadesign.com/

    It is WAAAYYYY out of my price range….

    🙂

    C-5277


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    May 30th, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    Jim I: “By reducing the weight of our vehicle we are able to get the maximum efficiency.”

    #34

    What a concept! +1


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    May 30th, 2014 (3:57 pm)

    Noel Park: #34

    What a concept!+1

    Sounded more like EESTOR’s cousin to me……

    🙂

    C5277


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    May 30th, 2014 (4:00 pm)

    Noel Park: #34

    What a concept!+1

    Engineering trivia:

    When I started in engineering at ASU in ’67 we used slide rules.
    Then the HP 35 came out and I got one (and still have it)
    Then I got an HP55 which I also still have.
    Then I got an HP11C which I still use except portions of the screen have gone black and it is hard to read.

    What to get now??

    I don’t like change. I just wanted to have my old calculator work again.

    I went to Ebay and found a used HP11C quoted as “excellent condition”

    I just got it and I’m thrilled to death. It is like brand new.
    Now I won’t ever have to buy a calculator again as this one will last the rest of my life.


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    May 30th, 2014 (4:29 pm)

    Loboc: As far as being a ‘brick’ aerodynamically, the Dodge RAM pickup was claiming some pretty good numbers in this area. (cD = 0.363)

    But the drag area is still huge compared to a car. Not really anything they can do about that.


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    May 30th, 2014 (6:44 pm)

    Jackson: For the record, I’m using 1/3 of my actual name.

    I use an amalgam with 2/3 of my name: Raymond J. Ramirez


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    May 30th, 2014 (6:46 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: When I started in engineering at ASU in ’67 we used slide rules.

    #37

    I remember when I saved up enough money to stop using my Dads’ old Leitz and buy my own brand new Post Versalog. I was the happiest guy at USC that day. Well maybe except for the Doheny kid who was driving a new Cobra, LOL.

    I can still remember the day I fist saw an HP35 in a Caltrans survey truck. I almost fell over. I still have my old HP45 around here somewhere.

    I smile every time I leapfrog another “latest and the greatest” technology which goes obsolete before I buy it. somebody said the other day that soon people will be saying “remember Facebook?” I believe it.

    Except for the Volt of course.


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    May 30th, 2014 (6:49 pm)

    Jackson: ‘georgeBower,

    With respect, I’d suggest that the Wall Street Journal site is more read than ours.They could’ve justified logins just to winnow down thousands of posts per hour to only the ones willing to register (and to get a list of prospects for promotional purposes).This might be looking at the change from the other end, but I think it suggests that we’re not really in their league, don’t share all their concerns, and so possibly shouldn’t consider all their practices.

    Popular Science Magazine has removed comment posting from their web articles. I wonder if because of negative and obscene comments that had appeared before.

    Raymond


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    May 30th, 2014 (6:57 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Engineering trivia:

    When I started in engineering at ASU in ’67 we used slide rules.
    Then the HP 35 came out and I got one (and still have it)
    Then I got an HP55 which I also still have.
    Then I got an HP11C which I still use except portions of the screen have gone black and it is hard to read.

    What to get now??

    I don’t like change. I just wanted to have my old calculator work again.

    I went to Ebay and found a used HP11C quoted as “excellent condition”

    I just got it and I’m thrilled to death. It is like brand new.
    Now I won’t ever have to buy a calculator again as this one will last the rest of my life.

    When the HP 35 came out in 1968, it was too expensive for me to buy one, and my Dad was paying college education for three of us, so he couldn’t buy it, either. I stayed with my slide rule for many years and honed my math skills. Now I have a simple TI scientific calculator that has a small photovoltaic cell for power and no replaceable batteries. It will last me a long time, too. I can still do many calculations in my head, including square roots and summations!

    Raymond


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    May 30th, 2014 (7:00 pm)

    kdawg,

    Doesn’t the drag coefficient take in to account weight, which means a brick might actually have a nice CD? At least if you consider one end the front.


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    May 30th, 2014 (7:07 pm)

    Raymondjram: I went to Ebay and found a used HP11C quoted as “excellent condition”

    I just got it and I’m thrilled to death. It is like brand new.

    You should put the new works in the old case George, and make it like a survivor.


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    May 30th, 2014 (7:47 pm)

    Raymondjram: I can still do many calculations in my head, including square roots and summations!

    Cool! Not in the same class, but at my first job as a cashier at a grocery store, I used to add up the prices and calculate the tax in my head as the cash register was doing it. It was one of the old NCR mechanical cash registers. Something to do to make time pass faster.


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    May 30th, 2014 (8:21 pm)

    Noel Park: #37

    Well maybe except for the Doheny kid who was driving a new Cobra, LOL.

    I can still remember the day I fist saw an HP35 in a Caltrans survey truck.I almost fell over.I still have my old HP45 around here somewhere.

    I smile every time I leapfrog another “latest and the greatest” technology which goes obsolete before I buy it.somebody said the other day that soon people will be saying “remember Facebook?”I believe it.

    Except for the Volt of course.

    Sage words Noel.
    There’s nothing I can say after that.
    Believe it or not a friend of mine knew the kids from U Haul. One of the older ones (Miike?) had a real 427 Cobra with the side pipes that would burn your calves upon entry and exit..

    He took me out and we ran thru Papago Park outside of Tempe. Then we did some full throttle accels to 120 on McDowell.

    God Bless America.


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    May 30th, 2014 (8:28 pm)

    Noel Park: #37

    I remember when I saved up enough money to stop using my Dads’ old Leitz and buy my own brand new Post Versalog.

    You made me get mine out .
    It’s a K&E Deci Lon
    I still have it.

    It is plastic.
    The plastic ones were better than the aluminum ones because the slide would move faster because of a lower sliding coefficient of friction.


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    May 30th, 2014 (8:42 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: You should put the new works in the old case George, and make it like a survivor.

    I can’t find the case. 🙂


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    May 30th, 2014 (9:38 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: Cool! Not in the same class, but at my first job as a cashier at a grocery store, I used to add up the prices and calculate the tax in my head as the cash register was doing it. It was one of the old NCR mechanical cash registers. Something to do to make time pass faster.

    I was a cashier between 1968 and 1969, and I remember those NCR machines! Our manager had to put a black plastic button guard on the row from $10 to $90 so no one will hit those keys accidentally. The later machines has just a numeric keypad.

    This is off-topic but fun to share similar experiences here! I am showing off my age.

    Raymond


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    May 30th, 2014 (9:39 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: You made me get mine out .
    It’s a K&E Deci Lon
    I still have it.

    It is plastic.
    The plastic ones were better than the aluminum ones because the slide would move faster because of a lower sliding coefficient of friction.

    In high school I had a wood slide rule. In college I had an aluminum model.

    Raymond


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    May 30th, 2014 (11:14 pm)

    We actually used to get many more and much worse comments than anything nowadays. Most were divided between “Government Motors” haters who seized upon the Volt as poster child for “government sponsored bankruptcy”, and misguided pure-BEV zealots who found engines in EVs to be an apostasy against their religious views.

    A few were just vulgar clods trying to stir any anthill they encountered. There was one particular troll whose moniker still can’t be entered without flagging the whole comment for moderation. I think this was written directly into the page coding by a disgusted Dr. Dennis (Edit: I just tried, still can’t do it).

    There were months, after the car-show Volt concept appeared and before production-intent prototypes, that more trolls than serious posters appeared here on any given day.

    The current voting system, which puts an offending comment out of view, was about the only troll-control measure instituted; it effectively spread the role of “moderator” across the majority. And yes, there were times when the trolls banded together to turn it against us.

    There were also a couple of cooler heads who were good at toning down conflicts (Where are you, Tagamet? And thank you).

    We were forced to conduct our own defense of the Volt by the tenor of our comments, and somehow survived to the present state of discourse without requiring logins: I think we are the stronger for it.


  52. 52
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    May 31st, 2014 (12:16 am)

    OT: It appears that a LEAF was crushed by a tree here in the North Atlanta EV hotspot. This is the best pic I was able to find:

    fk1yf8.jpg

    http://duluth.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/fallen-tree-crushes-car-pins-man-inside-he-survived-and-was-taken-to-hospital

    The article doesn’t actually say, and you’d think the headline would be irresistible: “Tree Crushes Leaf.” What do you guys think? It sure looks like a LEAF to me.

    It had to happen. I’m still looking for the first LEAF on LEAF collision; I don’t think I’ll have to wait for long. I’m sorry the poor gentleman was injured, but this shows how dominant Nissan EVs are here. This is getting embarrassing for a Volt fan.


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    May 31st, 2014 (2:19 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Doesn’t the drag coefficient take in to account weight, which means a brick might actually have a nice CD? At least if you consider one end the front.

    Weight is not part of the equation. The Coefficient of drag is basically how slippery it is moving through a fluid. To calculate the actual force of the drag, you need to multiply the coefficient by the area. The type of fluid also affects the force, and it is also proportional to the velocity squared. So the faster you go, the force goes up exponentially.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_coefficient

    0f542f3cdfdd0f8db25ef34e188375e9.png

    where:

    F is the drag force, which is by definition the force component in the direction of the flow velocity
    p is the mass density of the fluid
    v is the speed of the object relative to the fluid and
    A is the reference area.


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    May 31st, 2014 (2:25 am)

    Jackson,

    Wow that was a big tree. What terrible luck. I hope he doesn’t have any permanent injuries.


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    May 31st, 2014 (2:27 am)

    Jackson,

    Don’t forget all the “vaporware” people. Funny how they disappeared (like vapor).


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    May 31st, 2014 (2:30 am)

    Raymondjram: In high school I had a wood slide rule. In college I had an aluminum model.

    Abacus FTW!


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    May 31st, 2014 (9:03 am)

    Raymondjram: The plastic ones were better than the aluminum ones because the slide would move faster because of a lower sliding coefficient of friction.

    In high school I had a wood slide rule. In college I had an aluminum model.

    My K&E sliderule was made of bamboo with plastic cladding — very strong, durable & precise:images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQT_KOoXyKuJ7Kyb-eZTmk7QJtY0OcxIilHY0SkI909iH7rjev5

    …and my K&E was replaced by my programmable HP65 (which our astronauts used in orbit to do the orbital calculations needed to dock Apollo with Soyuz):

    9k=

    ==================================================================
    Regarding ALTe, I believe it’s very significant that ALTe “was founded by three former Tesla employees in 2008 and in 2011 was named to Forbes’ list of most promising companies”. Elon,
    is it possible that your decision to NOT offer EREV, at least as an option like BMW’s i3 REx, could have been one reason three of your key people left Tesla to start ALTe? I think so!


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    May 31st, 2014 (10:53 am)

    kdawg: Abacus FTW!

    No, it wasn’t an abacus, but I wish I could learn how to use one. In many Asian countries, you can see the abacus in use in many shops. It will never disappear, as the horse and ox carts will never disappear, either (getting back to topic).

    Raymond


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    May 31st, 2014 (10:54 am)

    nasaman: My K&E sliderule was made of bamboo with plastic cladding — very strong, durable &

    That’s my slide rule nasaman. Are you sure it is bamboo with plastic cladding?? I thought they were solid plastic. I just looked at mine and it sure looks like pure plastic.


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    May 31st, 2014 (10:55 am)

    Jackson,

    if the car was a Tesla Model S, the driver would have been able to get out easily. After the tree was removed, the Model S would be driveable!

    Raymond


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    May 31st, 2014 (10:56 am)

    ‘georgeBower: That’s my slide rule nasaman. Are you sure it is bamboo with plastic cladding?? I thought they were solid plastic. I just looked at mine and it sure looks like pure plastic.

    Cut off a small back corner and verify if it is 100% plastic or a cladding.

    Raymond


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    May 31st, 2014 (11:12 am)

    OT:

    Looks like a big announcement about reigning in CO2 emissions from power plants coming this monday.

    Tentative speculation is that the states will be given overall CO2 emissions target in tons CO2/kwh. The states are then free to choose the makeup of power plants to make the target. Also, states may form their own cap and trade markets or join existing cap and trade systems set up as in the NE and in Ca.

    Ironically, all cap and trade systems set up so far were set up by Republicans: Romney for the NE cap and trade and Arnie for Ca. Also the original cap and trade sys was set up by republicans to get rid of SO2 emissions that were causing acid rain back east in the (80’s?).

    Good article in the NYT on it today:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/29/us/politics/obama-to-offer-rules-to-sharply-curb-power-plants-carbon-emissions.html?ref=energy-environment


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    May 31st, 2014 (11:34 am)

    Ahhh, the ’60’s…

    My slide rule is an aluminum Pickett, not nearly as nice as the K&E bamboo ones (my Dad had one of those). I know where it is but it hasn’t been out of that drawer in 10 years or more.

    During the mid-to-late 60’s, we had an enormous mechanical calculator. My Dad had obtained it somewhere to do some sort of statistical work but I was allowed to use it. It was a “Marchant,” I think. 10 by 10 key keypad and a carriage, which would move back and forth during calculations, for operands and results. It was fun to watch it work. Basic arithmetic only. I have no doubt that it was insanely expensive and would be hard to repair.

    The gadget I always wanted but never got was a Curta Calculator, I’d always linger over the ads for those in Scientific American.

    At my first computer job, as an aid to analyzing core dumps and doing other work, we had a TI (I think, might have been HP) 12-digit Octal/Decimal/Hex calculator, which was handy and fun. Amusingly, it was lighting-fast in octal and hex modes but took significant think time to do operations in decimal. We also had a selection of basic decimal calcuators with Nixie tubes.

    How far we have come. Any contemporary pocket device has more raw computing power and storage than perhaps any space vehicle launched last century.

    My “word processor” was a Smith-Corona portable electric typewriter and then I got a manual one when I went overseas. And I usually had a small supply of carbon paper on hand.


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    May 31st, 2014 (12:14 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: nasaman: My K&E sliderule was made of bamboo with plastic cladding — very strong, durable & precise

    That’s my slide rule nasaman. Are you sure it is bamboo with plastic cladding?? I thought they were solid plastic. I just looked at mine and it sure looks like pure plastic.

    Charlie H: My slide rule is an aluminum Pickett, not nearly as nice as the K&E bamboo ones (my Dad had one of those). I know where it is but it hasn’t been out of that drawer in 10 years or more.

    K&E sold many different versions — I believe the plastic-clad bamboo K&E was the strongest, most warp resistant and, most important, the easiest to slide without binding, even for small movements.


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    May 31st, 2014 (12:25 pm)

    Charlie H:
    Ahhh, the ’60′s…

    My slide rule is an aluminum Pickett,-

    We also had a selection of basic decimal calcuators with Nixie tubes.

    My “word processor” was a Smith-Corona portable electric typewriter and then I got a manual one when I went overseas. And I usually had a small supply of carbon paper on hand.

    Thx for the memory jog.
    My first job at AiResearch we had a “Friden” Calculator that was on a roll around cart so anyone in the group could use it.

    We also had a Wang calculator that had those funny (Nixie?) tubes in it to display the numbers.

    Also in those days we had a “typing pool” which was a group of women that just typed all day. We used the typing pool when we had big proposals to write.

    At first, the typing pool just had plain electric typewriters with no memory so we used a lot of liquid “white out”. We also used a lot of sticky back and exacto knives……..then we got typewriters with a tape memory. This was thought to be a big breakthru.


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    May 31st, 2014 (12:26 pm)

    Raymondjram: Cut off a small back corner and verify if it is 100% plastic or a cladding.

    Raymond

    No I don’t want to do that. I might ruin my K&E.


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    May 31st, 2014 (2:43 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Ironically, all cap and trade systems set up so far were set up by Republicans: Romney for the NE cap and trade and Arnie for Ca.

    #62

    So soon they forget, LOL. +1


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    May 31st, 2014 (2:54 pm)

    Charlie H: During the mid-to-late 60′s, we had an enormous mechanical calculator. My Dad had obtained it somewhere to do some sort of statistical work but I was allowed to use it. It was a “Marchant,” I think. 10 by 10 key keypad and a carriage, which would move back and forth during calculations, for operands and results.

    #63

    When I graduated college we use similar Friedens on my first job. I used to take one home once in while to do my grad school homework. My toddler, soon to turn 48, loved to watch it whir and clunk. Finally he pushed too many buttons at once and hopelessly jammed it. I was worried for a while that I might get fired, but I survived it somehow. As you say, we’ve come a long way.


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    May 31st, 2014 (2:55 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: No I don’t want to do that. I might ruin my K&E.

    #65

    Good thinking. +1

    You never know when you might need it!


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    May 31st, 2014 (4:39 pm)

    And now we have quantum computers (almost).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/30/science/scientists-report-finding-reliable-way-to-teleport-data.html

    “In addition to the possibility of an impregnable quantum Internet, the research holds out the possibility of networks of quantum computers.

    To date, practical quantum computers, which could solve certain classes of problems far more quickly than even the most powerful computers now in use, remain a distant goal. A functional quantum computer would need to entangle a large number of qubits and maintain that entangled state for relatively long periods, something that has so far not been achieved.”

    quantum-superJumbo.jpg


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    May 31st, 2014 (4:53 pm)

    kdawg: A functional quantum computer would need to entangle a large number of qubits and maintain that entangled state for relatively long periods, something that has so far not been achieved.”

    #70

    Terrifying! The real 2001 edges ever closer.

    “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”


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    May 31st, 2014 (4:53 pm)

    Noel Park: My toddler, soon to turn 48

    Oh, that made me smile.


  73. 73
    Name Withheald By Request- Anonymously Withheald By Request ~ Still Selling Volts At Sundance! lol

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (1:56 am)

    kdawg: How did I miss that? (or did you sneak it in later Jeff )

    Yeah, I think i’m going to be from Missouri on this one.Maybe they mean in an ideal situation they get 30mpg, but the EPA sticker won’t say 30mpg IMO.

    The Quote:

    “~i’m going to be from Missouri~”

    Now is a matter of pride when it comes to:

    1) Solar As EV Fuel!
    2) 21% Of Generated Power from Solar!
    3) 14 Billion in economic activity from solar!
    4) Over 150,000 jobs from solar!

    “[…]Show Me Solar: Missouri’s Opportunity for Solar Power[…]”

    “What can solar power do for a single state? How about 21% of its energy, $14 billion in economic activity, and over 150,000 jobs. At a discount to existing electricity costs. Without subsidies.”

    Link Goes To Article On Clean Technica-

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/28/show-solar-missouris-opportunity-solar-power/

    Twitter Hash Tags-

    #SolarAsEVFuel
    #DrivingOnSunshine
    #SmokeStackFreeSolarEVFuelRefineryOnMyRoof
    #FuelFreeFuelForever

    Name Withheld By Request! lol

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    Sundance Chevrolet Inc.

    http://www.sundancechevyranch.com/VehicleSearchResults?search=new%2Cused&make=Chevrolet&model=Volt&bodyType=&trim=&minYear=&maxYear=&minPrice=&maxPrice=

    517-749-0532

    Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt


  74. 74
    Dave G

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (8:09 am)

    nasaman: I believe it’s very significant that ALTe “was founded by three former Tesla employees in 2008 and in 2011 was named to Forbes’ list of most promising companies”. Elon, is it possible that your decision to NOT offer EREV, at least as an option like BMW’s i3 REx, could have been one reason three of your key people left Tesla to start ALTe?

    It seems many others on this forum feel the Volt is a short-term solution to a future of pure BEVs and extreme fasting charging.

    I feel just the opposite.

    I believe future transportation will be:
    75% electric
    20% advanced biofuels
    5% other

    Advanced biofuels will be used mostly for long distance heavy duty travel (panes, ships, etc.), but will also be used as a secondary fuel for passenger vehicles. So I see range extenders as a long-term solution.

    Note that Tesla originally sang praises about range extenders:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/de_CH/node/3936
    “Tesla will likely provide both pure electric and range extended electric drive options in the future… The REEV battery in our scenario would fully cover the range needs for reasonable daily usage, but there would be an onboard generator for the occasional long trip.”

    However, after looking at durability issues with currently available consumer Li/Ion cells, Tesla decided to abandon the REEV concept. By contrast, GM worked with LG to develop a new chemistry that’s durable enough to work with a range extender. As battery technology improves, they will become more durable, allowing smaller margins on the battery, making range extenders more attractive.

    And as range extender technology improves, cost and size will decrease. The BMW i3-Rex demonstrates that a much smaller range extender is still quite capable. The i3-Rex gas tank is inadequate, but the range extender itself seems to work quite well, if used intelligently. If they had Mountain Mode, it would be totally capable.

    And this is just a motorcycle engine. As car makers begin to use purpose-designed range extenders, the advantages will become quite obvious. The number of moving parts will decrease. Eventually, advanced biofuel range extenders will have no moving parts at all. Direct Ethanol Fuel Cells (DEFCs) are twice as efficient as an internal combustion engine and essentially produce no heat, which greatly simplifies car design.

    Just by using stuff we currently throw away, 20% of our gasoline use can be replaced with advanced biofuels. This includes crop residuals (stalks and leaves), forest/mill waste, sewage, municipal waste, etc. Energy crops can replace another 15% of our gasoline use, and have deep roots, so they can grow on land that’s unsuitable for farming. For example, genetically modified Poplar trees grow very fast and produce tons of cellulose.

    And then there’s algae. 95% of the oil we pump out of the ground today came from ancient algae. Algae is up to 50% vegetable oil. Saltwater algae does not affect our water supply.

    When we compare different visions of the future, don’t assume new technology will be used just for batteries. Future technology will solve issues for many potential solutions.


  75. 75
    nasaman

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (11:53 am)

    Dave G: “It seems many others on this forum feel the Volt is a short-term solution to a future of pure BEVs and extreme fasting charging. I feel just the opposite…”

    You’re absolutely right, Dave! I agree completely with everything you say in your comment — to say it differently, “the phrase ‘pure BEV’ is just a marketing ploy used by Nissan & others to imply their BEVs are superior to the Volt & other EREVs, when they’re actually INFERIOR to EREVs!”


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    Jon

     

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (7:59 pm)

    nasaman: You’re absolutely right, Dave! I agree completely with everything you say in your comment — to say it differently, “the phrase ‘pure BEV’ is just a marketing ploy used by Nissan & others to imply their BEVs are superior to the Volt & other EREVs, when they’re actually INFERIOR to EREVs!”

    To each his own. EREVs are not categorically superior to BEVs and BEVs are not categorically superior to EREVs. They are different solutions that will meet the needs of different customers for a long time to come.

    I prefer the BEV route because I prefer not to lug around two powertrains when one will do. I think as EVs proliferate, battery costs come down, charging times reduce, and charging stations proliferate, the benefit of EREV vs the cost/weight/space penalty of loading two powertrains in the vehicle will become less appealing.

    On the other hand, if the challenges of DEFC’s are met and that tech matures for use in vehicles that would be a game changer that may make EREV much more appealing. On the other other hand if lithium air batteries become a reality… Lots of variables and possibilities


  77. 77
    nasaman

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (8:40 pm)

    Jon: I prefer the BEV route because I prefer not to lug around two powertrains when one will do… …On the other hand, if the challenges of DEFC’s are met and that tech matures for use in vehicles that would be a game changer that may make EREV much more appealing…

    Regarding “lugging around two powertrains”…tell it to VIA or ALTe or other EREV makers. Or tell
    it to NASA (who’ve used power train redundancy to avoid having astronauts ‘lost in space’ very successfully)! Or better yet, tell it to the thousands of Chevy Volt owners who, unlike numerous Leaf, Tesla & other BEV owners, have never been stranded on the shoulder or on the median of an interstate highway, but instead have racked up 500 & more miles both gas free & risk free!

    However, I agree that DEFCs would be a great advancement —and I assure you they’re coming!


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    Jon

     

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (10:28 pm)

    nasaman: Regarding “lugging around two powertrains”…tell it to VIA or ALTe or other EREV makers. Or tell
    it to NASA (who’ve used power train redundancy to avoid having astronauts ‘lost in space’ very successfully)! Or better yet, tell it to the thousands of Chevy Volt owners who, unlike numerous Leaf, Tesla & other BEV owners, have never been stranded on the shoulder or on the median of an interstate highway, but instead have racked up 500 & more miles both gas free & risk free!

    However, I agree that DEFCs would be a great advancement —and I assure you they’re coming!

    VIA and ALTe vehicles are great for their intended purpose. What is the point of mentioning NASA? The requirements of space travel are quite different from that of passenger vehicles. Complete false equivalency there. Thats great that no EREVs have been stranded. Plenty of BEV drivers get by without being stranded too. Look past today. In the coming years when chargers are more common and our batteries charge faster you will have to really be trying to get stranded in a BEV. Like I said, both technologies have room. To each his own. I see the appeal of both depending on the driver’s needs but I prefer to omit the reciprocating power plant.


  79. 79
    kdawg

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (10:59 pm)

    nasaman,

    Jon,

    I’m with Jon. EREVs will be with us for a long time still, but eventually they’ll disappear. Nasaman, I know you are a fan of a backup system, but then why not add a 3rd backup system, and then a fourth? Where do you draw your line, and for what reasons?

    People get stranded in BEVs, PHEVs, ICEs, even bicycles. This is the fault of the person, not the vehicle. The total range of a Tesla Model S is bigger than that of the BMW i3 REx, so you are more likely to run out of fuel in the i3. Yes, you can call someone to bring some gas and keep going, but you still did strand yourself.

    Hypothetical, if you could refuel a BEV in the same # of places as gas cars now (even though that’s not needed), and in the same amount of time, how does a EREV have any advantage? Especially if the cost of the BEV becomes less, and the fuel already costs less?


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    Jackson

     

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (11:55 pm)

    “By the way, ALTe’s commercial vehicles may also see the stock transmission left in place, albeit with only a couple ratios used, or, as Maki said, ALTe has sourced a two-speed hydraulic transmission with quieter helical-cut gears it would deliver in new trucks.”

    This reminded me of my speculations in Friday’s thread for a VIA truck transmission. I wonder if this is for use in “charge sustaining mode,” or all the time?


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    Jackson

     

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    Jun 1st, 2014 (11:58 pm)

    kdawg,

    I deliberately left out the Prius fanbois group, since they’re the only ones who still show up with any consistency. At least one of them, anyway. Talk about persistence …


  82. 82
    nasaman

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    Jun 2nd, 2014 (12:04 am)

    kdawg: “…why not add a 3rd backup system, and then a fourth? Where do you draw your line, and for what reasons? …Especially if the cost of the BEV becomes less, and the fuel already costs less?”

    Aren’t you an engineer, Kdawg? If not, I understand why you don’t understand. If so, you must have either 1) not taken a course on probability or statistics, or else 2) you slept through them. An EREV employs dissimilar redundancy, which extensive experience has clearly shown greatly reduces the probability of an overall system failure, even when humans are involved. Regarding cost, the many automakers in the US, Europe, etc that are developing future EREV drive trains will be working hard (& smart), you can be sure, to keep EREVs cheaper than competitive BEVs.


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    Jun 2nd, 2014 (8:46 am)

    nasaman: An EREV employs dissimilar redundancy, which extensive experience has clearly shown greatly reduces the probability of an overall system failure,

    Where is the redundancy in the ICEs we’ve used for 100 years? Did you know if the electrical system in the Volt craps out, you can’t keep driving it gas. AKA, “total system failure”.

    nasaman: Regarding cost, the many automakers in the US, Europe, etc that are developing future EREV drive trains will be working hard (& smart), you can be sure, to keep EREVs cheaper than competitive BEVs.

    As battery prices keep coming down, there will be a line in graph where the price of the cells is cheaper than the price of the range extender (even new engineered range extenders). At that point, the EREV can never be cheaper than the BEV.

    ——
    Neg me if you want, but those are AF’s words regarding the redundancy.


  84. 84
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2014 (11:57 am)

    Charlie H: Oh, that made me smile.

    #72

    Yeah, me too. Thanks. +1

    From the perspective of 45 years later of course. It wasn’t so funny at the time, LOL.


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    Jeff DeFrank

     

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    Jun 4th, 2014 (4:34 pm)

    That is exactly right and the reason we developed a parallel system here at ALTe. We recognize that different customers have different needs and apply the technology that will give them the most benefit. But even our series E350 Van showed how a large delivery van can go from 7 or 8 mpg to 18.3 mpg on the trip back from Indianapolis. That is why we say “CUSTOMER DRIVEN • PURPOSE BUILT”.
    Make the Shift
    ‘georgeBower,