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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone going to be at AltWheels in Boston Friday/Saturday 9/28-29?

http://www.altwheels.org/

I'll probably run over during lunch tomorrow, either alone or with
people from work I can drag with me.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi Greg,
I went for a short time last evening. The hybrid tahoe was a bit
annoying eh?
Excellent display for some plug-in Priuses though.
--
Martin K

Greg Owen wrote:
> Is anyone going to be at AltWheels in Boston Friday/Saturday 9/28-29?
>
> http://www.altwheels.org/
>
> I'll probably run over during lunch tomorrow, either alone or with
> people from work I can drag with me.
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
>

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[Personal (subjective) review of AltWheels follows. Not 100% limited to
EVs, may contain fodder for non-EV discussion, please take it off-list
with me so we don't spam the list if replying to those statements]

Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> I went for a short time last evening. The hybrid tahoe was a bit
> annoying eh?
> Excellent display for some plug-in Priuses though.

Personally I was kind of depressed by the various "big car company"
offerings. Maybe it is just me, but it seemed that they fell into two
categories - putting a little electric in for the green credentials, or
going overboard (e.g., ford's fuel cell + battery system) in a way that
I suspect will never be commercial (e.g., always vaporcar).

Of the homegrown stuff, there were two EVehicles; a little 1/2 golf cart
sized "science experiment" from some local university, and a lie-down
squirt-boat-shaped racing unit.

The former was extruded aluminum, permanent magnet DC motor, MillipaK
Sevcon controller, and (IIRC) 6-8 Trojan deep cycle (lead acid?)
batteries. I didn't get any performance specs, like I said, more like a
golf cart. Chain drive, didn't see any transmission or shifting capability.

The latter I didn't get details of, but I gather the races involve
everyone starting with the same amount of battery charge and seeing who
can go the longest. Nice fiberglass body, and an enclosed fiberglass
trailer for hauling it to race sites.

There were a handful of diesel cars (VW, MB) for either Biodiesel or
WVO, as well as Burke Fuels, one of the oldest Biodiesel suppliers in
the area.

The most impressive tent I saw was for a company - and of course I
forget the name - which installs solar for you, for free, and sets you
up to sell back to the grid. They own the system, they manage the grid
coordination, and you get some of the money from selling electricity
back to the grid. It's a pretty sharp idea, IMHO - it deals with the
biggest roadblocks to selling solar electricity into the grid:

1) No up-front investment in solar cells for the homeowner.

2) One customer (them) with big impact (many homes) deals with (usually
recalcitrant) electric company, rather than homeowner (small fry)
getting run around in circles by the (Electric Company) Man.

3) Homeowner goes green, gets (some) bill relief out of the deal with
less trouble and risk.

4) Assuming the looks don't get worse, improves the value of the house.

The most depressing (tent) I saw was some giant car-carrier with an
enormous ear of corn on it for some ethanol car. Ethanol annoys me. If
we wanted to go biofuels, wouldn't the right thing to do be to determine
the highest-payback crop we could switch to? Instead, decades of
looking out for the corn surplus farmers leaves us locked into a sub-par
ethanol source.

Overall, the event just wasn't what I'd hoped in some way. I brought a
(normal person) from work along with me, and she also felt vaguely
unsatisfied. I was happier going than not going, though 8).

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am going to the altcar expo in long beach ca in a
couple of weeks and I sure hope it is better..I don't
know if there is any connection between the two. This
report downright depresses me...one home built
(golfcar thing) and one electrathon...Boston must be
the backwoods of electric vehicles

kEVs


--- [email protected] wrote:

>
> [Personal (subjective) review of AltWheels follows.
> Not 100% limited to
> EVs, may contain fodder for non-EV discussion,
> please take it off-list
> with me so we don't spam the list if replying to
> those statements]
>
> Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> > I went for a short time last evening. The hybrid
> tahoe was a bit
> > annoying eh?
> > Excellent display for some plug-in Priuses though.
>
> Personally I was kind of depressed by the various
> "big car company"
> offerings. Maybe it is just me, but it seemed that
> they fell into two
> categories - putting a little electric in for the
> green credentials, or
> going overboard (e.g., ford's fuel cell + battery
> system) in a way that
> I suspect will never be commercial (e.g., always
> vaporcar).
>
> Of the homegrown stuff, there were two EVehicles; a
> little 1/2 golf cart
> sized "science experiment" from some local
> university, and a lie-down
> squirt-boat-shaped racing unit.
>
> The former was extruded aluminum, permanent magnet
> DC motor, MillipaK
> Sevcon controller, and (IIRC) 6-8 Trojan deep cycle
> (lead acid?)
> batteries. I didn't get any performance specs, like
> I said, more like a
> golf cart. Chain drive, didn't see any transmission
> or shifting capability.
>
> The latter I didn't get details of, but I gather the
> races involve
> everyone starting with the same amount of battery
> charge and seeing who
> can go the longest. Nice fiberglass body, and an
> enclosed fiberglass
> trailer for hauling it to race sites.
>
> There were a handful of diesel cars (VW, MB) for
> either Biodiesel or
> WVO, as well as Burke Fuels, one of the oldest
> Biodiesel suppliers in
> the area.
>
> The most impressive tent I saw was for a company -
> and of course I
> forget the name - which installs solar for you, for
> free, and sets you
> up to sell back to the grid. They own the system,
> they manage the grid
> coordination, and you get some of the money from
> selling electricity
> back to the grid. It's a pretty sharp idea, IMHO -
> it deals with the
> biggest roadblocks to selling solar electricity into
> the grid:
>
> 1) No up-front investment in solar cells for the
> homeowner.
>
> 2) One customer (them) with big impact (many homes)
> deals with (usually
> recalcitrant) electric company, rather than
> homeowner (small fry)
> getting run around in circles by the (Electric
> Company) Man.
>
> 3) Homeowner goes green, gets (some) bill relief out
> of the deal with
> less trouble and risk.
>
> 4) Assuming the looks don't get worse, improves the
> value of the house.
>
> The most depressing (tent) I saw was some giant
> car-carrier with an
> enormous ear of corn on it for some ethanol car.
> Ethanol annoys me. If
> we wanted to go biofuels, wouldn't the right thing
> to do be to determine
> the highest-payback crop we could switch to?
> Instead, decades of
> looking out for the corn surplus farmers leaves us
> locked into a sub-par
> ethanol source.
>
> Overall, the event just wasn't what I'd hoped in
> some way. I brought a
> (normal person) from work along with me, and she
> also felt vaguely
> unsatisfied. I was happier going than not going,
> though 8).
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>




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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
----- Original Message -----
From: "keith vansickle" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Boston AltWheels?


>I am going to the altcar expo in long beach ca in a
> couple of weeks and I sure hope it is better..I don't
> know if there is any connection between the two. This
> report downright depresses me...one home built
> (golfcar thing) and one electrathon...Boston must be
> the backwoods of electric vehicles
>
> kEVs
> Hi Keith an' EVerybody;

I'm afraid yur right that we sure AREN"T on the cutting edge of EV's on
the Least Coast. EVen if I had dragged the Jetta up there? I guess I woulda
been the ONLY EV Daily Driver type exampple.Feh! I consider the Jetta a
horrible example, not model, of EV. Trying to show, if I can build a
drivable EV, WHY can't people who are automotive engineers, or have a car
factory in their back yard?Conversions aren't the way to go. Oh! We ALL know
this, but not ALL of us are inclined, have the skill, PATIENCE ant time to
just haul off and build a car. We just don't have enough Jerry Dycus'es and
Lee Harts to do it as quickly as Fraud or General Murders. Just to build a
good, stout, working DOOR!? Think about this one.I feel this is one of Lee's
and maybe Jerry's biggest challange in getting a car up and running?Then,
maybe crash testing? After seeing the Chinese cars crash tested on Ya Tube?
Scary, the Chinese SUV just discindegrated on impact! Guyz laughed in the
backround! Gees! I sure hope we do better. Probably would be just as bad if
ya drive our conversions into a stone wall at 30 mph, too? Poor old Jetta
would probably collapse like a car hit by a train? You can view great Train,
truck/ Vs. Train clips on Ya Tube, too!You will like the pickup getting
"Tapped" by the freight lokie at speed. Try explaing THAT one to the
insurance co<g>!So ya drive your EV a hellova lot more carefully, don't you?
I don't care about half the batteries flying out the front, it's the ones in
the TRUNK, right behind that structural cross member, hoping it's stuck in
there well enough, to hold back 700 lbs? That's why I drop them down BELOW
the frame rails in a "well" type battery box. In a inpact situation they MAY
stay in there, I won't be wearing them?? So far so good? No loose plywood
battery boxes held down with a few quarter -twenty bolts? Right!?

Hoping YOUR Alt Wheels Thing does better? At least you have a lovely
selection of RUNNING EV's
to select from. Whatthehell ? You CA,OR WA, guyz are Light Years ahead of
us, anyhow.

Seeya

Bob

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
keith vansickle wrote:
> I am going to the altcar expo in long beach ca in a
> couple of weeks and I sure hope it is better..I don't
> know if there is any connection between the two. This
> report downright depresses me...one home built
> (golfcar thing) and one electrathon...Boston must be
> the backwoods of electric vehicles

Well, bear in mind, this isn't sunny California. The weather here
probably (historically) has a higher impact; driving to work and parking
your lead-acid batteries in a below-zero parking lot all day might not
bode well for you leaving at 5 to head home.

I've asked a few MA-oriented questions on this and another EV list and
gotten few responses, so I don't know that there is much of an
enthusiast/club presence here.

That said, A123 is based in Watertown (next town out from Boston) and
Azure Dynamics bought out the Woburn MA Solectria and still has that as
a site. So there are businesses around it.

Insights from any other New Englanders on the state of EVs in Mass, as
well as comments on my cold weather hypothesis from residents of warm
states such as Michigan and North Dakota, are welcome.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Exactly, unless we can afford NiCad or Lithium we're not going to get
very far on lead in February unless you have a garage (are you rich?)
I live in an apartment in Somerville and park in the parking garage
across the street. Not a chance I'd be able to charge an electric car.
If I had a driveway with my own parking spot, it's more likely that I'd
be building an electric car right now. I bought a hybrid instead.. hey,
better than nothing.

p.s. I have a picture of a Vectrix scooter from Altwheels (with the guy
trying to hide the cord before I can take the picture). If anyone would
like to see it I'll put some pictures up.
--
Martin K

[email protected] wrote:
> Well, bear in mind, this isn't sunny California. The weather here
> probably (historically) has a higher impact; driving to work and parking
> your lead-acid batteries in a below-zero parking lot all day might not
> bode well for you leaving at 5 to head home.
>
> I've asked a few MA-oriented questions on this and another EV list and
> gotten few responses, so I don't know that there is much of an
> enthusiast/club presence here.
>
> That said, A123 is based in Watertown (next town out from Boston) and
> Azure Dynamics bought out the Woburn MA Solectria and still has that as
> a site. So there are businesses around it.
>
> Insights from any other New Englanders on the state of EVs in Mass, as
> well as comments on my cold weather hypothesis from residents of warm
> states such as Michigan and North Dakota, are welcome.
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
>

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live in the Boston area (in Watertown about a mail from A123).
Unfortunately I was out of town so didn't make it to the altwheels
event. I hadn't even heard anything about it until a few days ago.

It is true that home built EVs are a little less practical here in
the winter. When my EV is on the road I don't tend to use it as much
in the winter. The range definitely suffers in the winter and the
car does tend to plow a little in the snow with the added weight and
the lack of snow tires.

Anyway, it would be great if there was more of an EV presence in the
Massachusetts.
I keep thinking that maybe I should try to get a job at A123 (doing I
don't know what) so that maybe I could get a deal on a pack...

-Jeremy

[email protected] wrote:

> keith vansickle wrote:
>> I am going to the altcar expo in long beach ca in a
>> couple of weeks and I sure hope it is better..I don't
>> know if there is any connection between the two. This
>> report downright depresses me...one home built
>> (golfcar thing) and one electrathon...Boston must be
>> the backwoods of electric vehicles
>
> Well, bear in mind, this isn't sunny California. The weather here
> probably (historically) has a higher impact; driving to work and
> parking
> your lead-acid batteries in a below-zero parking lot all day might not
> bode well for you leaving at 5 to head home.
>
> I've asked a few MA-oriented questions on this and another EV list and
> gotten few responses, so I don't know that there is much of an
> enthusiast/club presence here.
>
> That said, A123 is based in Watertown (next town out from Boston) and
> Azure Dynamics bought out the Woburn MA Solectria and still has
> that as
> a site. So there are businesses around it.
>
> Insights from any other New Englanders on the state of EVs in Mass, as
> well as comments on my cold weather hypothesis from residents of warm
> states such as Michigan and North Dakota, are welcome.
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> Exactly, unless we can afford NiCad or Lithium we're not going to get
> very far on lead in February unless you have a garage (are you rich?)

I have a garage (I am not, unfortunately, rich). It is wonderful to hop
into the car in the morning and have it be above freezing temps; you can
go in a long sleeves and the heater will warm up before the chill gets you.

Parking in a glacier-like lot all day, on the other hand... Not good
for batteries. The car I'm planning is going to use insulation and
probably some form of heating to keep the batteries warm through the day.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In past years I've had my Force at AltWheels. But this year they
charged $150 for private exhibitors, and I didn't feel like paying it.
That's one reason that it is dominated by big companies. The current
location at Boston City Hall Plaza prohibits charging for admission,
so all the money has to come from exhibitor fees or donations.
Nevertheless, I feel that my car would be enriching the show, and
showing the car certainly isn't enriching me.

On the subject of cold weather, the Force (built here in
Massachusetts) really is the solution to it. It uses gel batteries in
insulated and heated compartments. The range is 20% or 30% less in
midwinter than midsummer, but it's not a big problem.

Ken

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Ken an' All;

No WONDER nobody showed up at Alt Wheels! HAD I gone and found that out
that they were ripping you off 150 bux to put yur car in it I woulda parked
right outside the show and done show an' tell! THEY should offer you a bit
of cash for hauling your car in. Gas isn't free!

I felt the same way about Tour de Sol, several years ago.Wasn't gunna pay
450 bux to "Enter" I just WENT, tagged along, helped them set and knock down
threir displays, parked up front, did show an' tell. After all they were on
PUBLIC sites and streets.I felt welcome and was put up several nights with
the entourage motel spaces on a space available basis. HAD my support/tow
van, as Amtrak wouldn't let me put the Rabbit in the baggage car of one of
our southbound trains. I coulda easily drove it aboard at New Haven, but IF
I could drive OUT at DC IF the train platformed at the baggage car end?
They, Amtrak, woulda breen pissed if they had to spot the train(RRspeak for
park) especially for downloading.I don't think they liked the idea of my
driving down the platform, even after EVerybody else had detrained. At first
I tried to convince them that the car had NO gas aboard, like a forklift it
was electric.Perhaps , had I gone through alota channels long BEFORE?? After
all a 3000lb Rabbit isn't gunna effect a 500 ton train, much?

Makes me think alota these "Things" and how MUCH does it cost to enter?
Feh! WE are the show. WE should be GIVEN 150 bux to show up! Feh!

Seeya

Bob
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Olum" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2007 8:56 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Boston AltWheels?


> In past years I've had my Force at AltWheels. But this year they
> charged $150 for private exhibitors, and I didn't feel like paying it.
> That's one reason that it is dominated by big companies. The current
> location at Boston City Hall Plaza prohibits charging for admission,
> so all the money has to come from exhibitor fees or donations.
> Nevertheless, I feel that my car would be enriching the show, and
> showing the car certainly isn't enriching me.
>
> On the subject of cold weather, the Force (built here in
> Massachusetts) really is the solution to it. It uses gel batteries in
> insulated and heated compartments. The range is 20% or 30% less in
> midwinter than midsummer, but it's not a big problem.
>
> Ken
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ken Olum wrote:
> In past years I've had my Force at AltWheels. But this year they
> charged $150 for private exhibitors, and I didn't feel like paying
> it. That's one reason that it is dominated by big companies. The
> current location at Boston City Hall Plaza prohibits charging for
> admission, so all the money has to come from exhibitor fees or
> donations. Nevertheless, I feel that my car would be enriching the
> show, and showing the car certainly isn't enriching me.

Ah, now I understand. That sucks.

> On the subject of cold weather, the Force (built here in
> Massachusetts) really is the solution to it. It uses gel batteries
> in insulated and heated compartments. The range is 20% or 30% less
> in midwinter than midsummer, but it's not a big problem.

Any online info, pictures, etc? Is it based on an existing car frame or
a custom chassis? If the latter, can I interrogate you about how you
got it titled and registered in Massachusetts?

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Force is the Solectria factory-converted Geo Metro.
There are many on the EV Album,
simply go to the Solectria page:
http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/type/SOLE
There are at least a dozen in there.

Cor van de Water
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-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of [email protected]
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:46 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Boston AltWheels?

Ken Olum wrote:
> In past years I've had my Force at AltWheels. But this year they
> charged $150 for private exhibitors, and I didn't feel like paying it.
> That's one reason that it is dominated by big companies. The current
> location at Boston City Hall Plaza prohibits charging for admission,
> so all the money has to come from exhibitor fees or donations.
> Nevertheless, I feel that my car would be enriching the show, and
> showing the car certainly isn't enriching me.

Ah, now I understand. That sucks.

> On the subject of cold weather, the Force (built here in
> Massachusetts) really is the solution to it. It uses gel batteries in
> insulated and heated compartments. The range is 20% or 30% less in
> midwinter than midsummer, but it's not a big problem.

Any online info, pictures, etc? Is it based on an existing car frame or a custom chassis? If the latter, can I interrogate you about how you got it titled and registered in Massachusetts?

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