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Discussion Starter #1
I've been contemplating another self-startup in the EV business.
What type of businesses have been successful?
Where will growth and demand be in the future?

It seems many have tried a business converting cars to electric,
doesn't seem to have worked with a few exceptions.

Selling parts to DIY conversions?
Certainly some have been successful.

Design and manufacturing components?
Seems a tough road, chinese competition.

Design and sell Kit Car or plans??
Seems a high-risk, low-reward limited market?

Plug-in conversions for Prius?
Now have "big boys" in this business with A123.
I'm thinking this is the best opportunity right now,
with the Prius coming off warranty and the old batteries wearing out, it there will be good demand for plug-in conversion?

What does EVLD say?

Jack Murray
Nimble Motorsports


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Discussion Starter #2
Jack: I think you and I were separated at birth. I have just been
thinking about this (though I'm no business man ;-)

I've been looking at the Volt, seeing the price for a compact 'Chevy'
and thinking the following:

* I can get a fairly low mileage Gen III ('04-09) Prius for $15k
or less (I have an '07 for 14k)
* I can get an Enginer 4kwh pack for $4k, 20 mile range at 35mph
or less speed.
* 50% of Americans drive 25 miles or less a day (80% drive 50)
(this means most folks do city driving, ie, 35mph or
less)

So for less-than $20k (prior to any applicable rebates on the Prius
conversion, and well-below the Volt after rebates/incentives are
applied) I can get a comparable vehicle* to the Volt in terms of
range-extended EV that has long-term real-road worthy experience, has
known long life span.

Plus the Prius is a full-sized car, not a compact. Of course the 2012
Plug-In Prius with a 4kwh pack is due out next year... so not sure how
long the business opportunity will last.

I think that with ample opportunity charging the cost reduction due to
the smaller pack in the '12 Prius combined with it being a full sized
vehicle will give it a significant economic/market advantage over the
Volt IF Toyota keeps the initial price point within the Brand specs
(nobody pays $41k for a Chevy car, let alone a compact).

Now if somebody could find a way to work WITH Toyota to release a
cost-effective retro-upgrade for existing Prii that integrated with a
better user experience (only read about the Hymotion/Enginer, not
experienced) I think that could be a very viable short-term (5-10 years)
EV business.

* Yes, I know a Volt isn't limited to EV-mode at under 35mph, I'm saying
it's just for my personal road use/style and for about 50% of American's
who drive it is an equivalent vehicle.

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Jack Murray
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 12:55 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [EVDL] EV Business?


I've been contemplating another self-startup in the EV business.
What type of businesses have been successful?
Where will growth and demand be in the future?

It seems many have tried a business converting cars to electric,
doesn't seem to have worked with a few exceptions.

Selling parts to DIY conversions?
Certainly some have been successful.

Design and manufacturing components?
Seems a tough road, chinese competition.

Design and sell Kit Car or plans??
Seems a high-risk, low-reward limited market?

Plug-in conversions for Prius?
Now have "big boys" in this business with A123.
I'm thinking this is the best opportunity right now,
with the Prius coming off warranty and the old batteries wearing out, it
there will be good demand for plug-in conversion?

What does EVLD say?

Jack Murray
Nimble Motorsports


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Discussion Starter #3
>
>
>Remember that for the average Jill, that $32k Leaf or $41k Volt comes
>with an additional $2k per charging station... one at work, one at home,
>one at the in-laws... with the Leaf it'll be mandatory, with the PHEV
>you can "get by" with 3-prong 120 overnight.

You can charge the Leaf via 120 volts if needed. Takes awhile to fill
a 100% DOD battery of course.

With typical tax breaks, the Leaf is $25k. In Colorado, it may be
even cheaper because of state tax incentives, but I don't know the details.

My point was that a PHEV conversion business will likely have a tough
time once the OEMs come on line. Even if you can beat the OEM price,
it is really tough for a small company to compete against the
marketing muscle.

Right now, the PHEV converters are operating in a competition vacuum.
They are the only available option for the pool of customers. That
vital advantage will vanish in a matter of a year, maybe less.

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Discussion Starter #4
Childress, Matthew wrote:

> So for less-than $20k (prior to any applicable rebates on the
> Prius conversion, and well-below the Volt after rebates/incentives are
> applied) I can get a comparable vehicle* to the Volt in terms
> of range-extended EV that has long-term real-road worthy
> experience, has known long life span.
>
> Plus the Prius is a full-sized car, not a compact. Of course
> the 2012 Plug-In Prius with a 4kwh pack is due out next
> year... so not sure how long the business opportunity will last.
>
> I think that with ample opportunity charging the cost
> reduction due to the smaller pack in the '12 Prius combined
> with it being a full sized vehicle will give it a significant
> economic/market advantage over the Volt IF Toyota keeps the
> initial price point within the Brand specs (nobody pays $41k
> for a Chevy car, let alone a compact).

Since when is the Volt a compact car and the Prius full-sized?

The Prius is simply not a comparable vehicle, range extended or not.

The Volt is a rocket compared to any Prius I've been in, has greater all-electric range than most aftermarket range-extended Priuii, and as you note, electric operation is not limited to any particular range of speeds.

Some people are willing to pay more for these capabilities, but if Toyota offers the plug-in Prius for significantly less money it is definitely going to lure buyers aways from the Volt.

Cheers,

Roger.




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Discussion Starter #5
Some clever EV-1ers took the charger off the wall, used a 240 plug and long
cord, and threw the whole affair into the trunk for opportunity charging. Any
reason one couldn't do that with a Leaf?

Business idea: Low cost controller for a sepex motor. Control the field and
armature startup with a < 100 Amp controller. Switch on the armature with a
contactor once it is spun up. Integrate with automatic tranny electronics.
Disadvantage: It would idle the motor. Advantage: Way cheaper, high Amps, and
regen.




________________________________
From: "Childress, Matthew" <[email protected]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[email protected]>
Sent: Thu, October 14, 2010 2:00:41 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] EV Business?

... $32k Leaf or $41k Volt comes with an additional $2k per charging station...
one at work, one at home, one at the in-laws... with the Leaf it'll be mandatory
...

... the Leaf requires special infrastructure to opportunity charge
*effectively*. ...



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Discussion Starter #6
Childress, Matthew wrote:

> Remember that for the average Jill, that $32k Leaf or $41k
> Volt comes with an additional $2k per charging station... one
> at work, one at home, one at the in-laws... with the Leaf
> it'll be mandatory, with the PHEV you can "get by" with
> 3-prong 120 overnight.

Your comments make some sense for the full-electric Leaf, but the Volt *is* a PHEV and does not need a charging station. An ordinary 120V outlet is all that many people will ever use for it (same as for a BEV such as the Leaf, but I take your point that the average person may think differently before using a BEV).

Cheers,

Roger.

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Discussion Starter #7
Matthew wrote:

> Remember that for the average Jill, that $32k Leaf or $41k Volt comes
> with an additional $2k per charging station... one at work, one at home,
> one at the in-laws... with the Leaf it'll be mandatory, with the PHEV
> you can "get by" with 3-prong 120 overnight.

No, it is not necessary to buy the exorbitantly priced charging
station. I ordered mine without and intend to 110v charge until a more
reasonable charging station product is offered. There are already
several announced at prices of less than $1,000. I wouldn't be
surprised to see $200 charging stations available in the near future.

For discussion of Leaf issues, see:
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/index.php

BTW, I mostly charge my EV (which has a longer range than a Leaf) with
a 1.5KW charger; that should be about the power of the Leaf 110v
charger.

--
Willie, ONWARD! Through the fog!
http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
Debian3.1/GNU/Linux system uptime 32 days 13 hours 18 minutes

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Discussion Starter #8
On 14 Oct 2010 at 14:14, Bill Dube wrote:

> My point was that a PHEV conversion business will likely have a tough time
> once the OEMs come on line.

As will EV conversions of all types.

The Solectria Force was never a hot seller; a few hundred were sold, most to
electric utilities and institutions. Once the mainstream automakers as much
as hinted at production EVs to come, its already slow sales tanked. In
effect, the GM EV1 and Toyota RAV4-EV killed the Force. (No, I don't think
this was deliberate. Solectria and the other EV converters were most likely
entirely off their radar screens.)

It's really tough to compete with the big corporations. I'm not a marketing
and advertising guy, but it seems to me that for a small business model to
succeed with EVs, about your only hope is to identify an unserved or
underserved niche market, and superserve it.

Your product will have to be unique, and have such a limited market that big
companies won't be interested in that market. In my view, and I welcome
further discussion, this almost mandates either a crushingly expensive
handmade luxury/performance rich-boy's-toy EV; or a small, funky, very low
cost EV. (I'd like to think that kit EVs like the Sunrise II would have a
market, but I get less optimistic when I remember what happened to Heathkit,
Knightkit, and Dynakit.)

I'll never be able to afford a Tesla, but when I look at what Asian nations
are doing, I can understand Tesla's strategy.

David Roden
EVDL Administrator
http://www.evdl.org/


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Discussion Starter #9
Jack Murray wrote:

>
> I've been contemplating another self-startup in the EV business.
> What type of businesses have been successful?
> Where will growth and demand be in the future?
>
> It seems many have tried a business converting cars to electric,
> doesn't seem to have worked with a few exceptions.
>
> Selling parts to DIY conversions?
> Certainly some have been successful.
>
> Design and manufacturing components?
> Seems a tough road, chinese competition.
>
> Design and sell Kit Car or plans??
> Seems a high-risk, low-reward limited market?
>
> Plug-in conversions for Prius?
> Now have "big boys" in this business with A123.
> I'm thinking this is the best opportunity right now,
> with the Prius coming off warranty and the old batteries wearing
> out, it there will be good demand for plug-in conversion?
>
> What does EVLD say?
>
> Jack Murray
> Nimble Motorsports

Jack, I'm also an entrepreneur that has considered many of the above.
The conclusion I came up with is that you have to be in it for love,
not money. It takes a lot to make a buck in this industry. Just ask
any of the guys that are in the business now. So, if your passionate
about this, go for it. Try to do something original, stand behind
your product and make sure you have plenty of start-up capital.


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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Jack and Everybody,

This is Audrey. I thought about just this opportunity about a year
and a half ago. First I went online, did some research, discovered it
took very little time, tools, and know how to do. Something an OLD
Lady could do to help out a meager EV Conversion business. Then I
called the company, and discovered that I would have to take a 6 week
training course in California. Fine, I am willing to do that.
Unfortunately, even with all of that, that I was willing to do, it
would be of no advantage, because a local business here in Florida has
the whole of Florida tied up. No one else can get or install their
package (batteries) here in the state of Florida.
But perhaps no one in the last year or so has done that in your state
Jack.. and it might be a worthwhile and profitable opportunity for you
or maybe you could make your OWN kit and package.

Audrey Martin


Plug-in conversions for Prius?
Now have "big boys" in this business with A123.
I'm thinking this is the best opportunity right now,
with the Prius coming off warranty and the old batteries wearing out,
it there will be good demand for plug-in conversion?

What does EVLD say?

Jack Murray

--
Tomorrows Ride TODAY !
Visit our shop web page at: www.Greenshedconversions.com

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Discussion Starter #11
Jack Murray wrote:
> I've been contemplating another self-startup in the EV business.
> What type of businesses have been successful?
> Where will growth and demand be in the future?
> It seems many have tried a business converting cars to electric,
> but doesn't seem to have worked with a few exceptions.

Truly, the way to make a small fortune in the EV business is to start
with a large fortune. :-( No one yet has been particularly successful
building on-road EVs.

In a field dotted with spectacular failures, it might be promising to
look for companies that have been at least modestly successful. I would
count Bob Beaumont of Sebring Vanguard / Commuter Vehicles for their
CitiCar/ComutaCar/ComutaVan series, which sold several thousand EVs.
Another is James Worden of Solectria, which survived for many years
making EV parts, conversions, and small numbers of scratch-built EVs.

> Selling parts to DIY conversions?
> Certainly some have been successful.

Well, they have survived for a number of years. But I don't think any of
them make much money. I think it's often an act of sheer willpower, and
a love of the concept and technology that keeps them going.

> Design and manufacturing components?
> Seems a tough road, chinese competition.

The route to success here seems to be to find a related market, like
golf carts, fork lifts, or other off-road EVs. Companies like Curtis and
Advanced DC have made a reasonable living in these markets.

Yes, you can sell cheap imported junk. But I doubt you'll be in business
long.

> Design and sell Kit Car or plans??
> Seems a high-risk, low-reward limited market?

I hope not, as that's what I'm trying for with the Sunrise EV2! There
are over a hundred kit car makers in the US. Again, they are often an
act of love rather than good business sense.

> Plug-in conversions for Prius?

Maybe. So far, the economics have been bad. The cost of a plug-in hybrid
conversion is *far* more than any potential savings.

It's a funny world. For a new technology to take hold, it seems like
there needs to be a breakdown of sanity. "Irrational exuberance" is a
more polite name for it. People need to go a little bit nuts, and buy
things that are totally impractical for completely ridiculous prices.

For example, the 1974 Arab oil embargo made people nutty enough to buy
thousands of CitiCars. Overnight, this irrational exuberance created the
first successful new car company since before WW2. But the fad died
before Sebring Vanguard could establish itself in the market.

The microcomputer industry had this same characteristic. The early
micros were pitiful little things; very expensive and barely able to do
anything useful for the average person. Yet they sold millions of them.
In this case, the fad lasted long enough to pump serious money into the
market, creating companies like Microsoft, Compaq, and Apple that *did*
have the staying power to become viable long-term companies.

I wish I knew what will cause the "tipping point", where consumers want
EVs regardless of their cost and practicality. Maybe gas will shoot up
to $4/gallon; but it would have to stay there long enough for EVs to get
established. Maybe NEVs will become "gotta have it" speed toys, like
jet-skis or snowmobiles.
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #12
Marion Hakanson wrote:
> I make a decent salary, but haven't felt able to buy a new car since
> about 1990... Now that I've studied up on conversions a bit, I find
> that what I want is still out of my price range. I think I'll be
> hard pressed to accomplish a decent-performing conversion of my
> aforementioned G20, given that I want regen and light(ish) batteries
> (we have real hills here!).
>
> I don't have a shop, or the tools, nor can I take a year (or even a
> month) off from my job in order to do the conversion myself.

"It can't be done" often really means "I don't know how." We see high
performance EVs like the Tesla, and ones from major manufacturers like
the Nissan Leaf, and the many great EV conversions we hear about setting
records, and assume that high prices and extreme levels of skill are needed.

But you're looking at the top of the field; where perfection is
expensive. Most of us *want* perfection, but few of us actually need it,
or can afford it. If you want only the best, or nothing; then you will
have nothing. It's better to look for something "good enough".

*Huge* numbers of EVs have been built that are not perfect, but good
enough. They still get you back forth to work and to the store every
day. They still give you that "EV grin". You still get the sense of
accomplishment that comes from actually doing something rather than sit
around and complain.

My first EV cost under $1000. I converted a Datsun pickup with a dozen
golf cart batteries, an aircraft surplus generator, and a home-made
contactor controller and charger. Lots of things were far from perfect,
but it worked! I drove it for two years. I didn't have a garage; I was
renting an apartment and converted it in the parking lot. Yes it had
regen, and yes it could burn rubber and climb hills.

KNOWLEDGE is the key to a low-budget EV conversion. If you don't know
how yourself, find someone who does know how to help. That's what the
EVDL is all about! You may start off not knowing how, but with the
hundreds of experts here, you'll soon have *many* options on how to do it.
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #13
Indeed, I'm aware you don't have to buy the charger and can charge on
120. But I'm specifically talking the average Jack or Jill. In that
case

Do you think that the average car salesperson will:

a) be as aware of it as we are?
b) if they are aware, wish to lessen their commission by
informing the customer?

The pitch will sound something like this: "Here is the LEAF, here is
the special charging station you need to have us install in your garage
that will charge it full overnight or while you're sitting at your desk
at work (8 hours). You can charge it on 120, but it will take all day
(20 hours)..."

I understand that this 20-hour figure is from an "empty" battery pack.
But Jack/Jill won't.

While you and I (and most on this list) are willing to put up with some
inconvenience until a better/cheaper option is available, I wonder what
Jill will do? I wonder what using a non-Nissan charger will do to your
warranty. Hmm...

The charge times are from NissanUSA's website after a googling of "leaf
home charging station"

[email protected]

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Willie McKemie
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 5:25 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] EV Business?

Matthew wrote:

> Remember that for the average Jill, that $32k Leaf or $41k Volt comes
> with an additional $2k per charging station... one at work, one at
home,
> one at the in-laws... with the Leaf it'll be mandatory, with the PHEV
> you can "get by" with 3-prong 120 overnight.

No, it is not necessary to buy the exorbitantly priced charging
station. I ordered mine without and intend to 110v charge until a more
reasonable charging station product is offered. There are already
several announced at prices of less than $1,000. I wouldn't be
surprised to see $200 charging stations available in the near future.

For discussion of Leaf issues, see:
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/index.php

BTW, I mostly charge my EV (which has a longer range than a Leaf) with
a 1.5KW charger; that should be about the power of the Leaf 110v
charger.

--
Willie, ONWARD! Through the fog!
http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
Debian3.1/GNU/Linux system uptime 32 days 13 hours 18 minutes

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Discussion Starter #14
> Since when is the Volt a compact car and the Prius full-sized?

Volt is 4-passenger, Prius seats the standard 5. Further, the compact
label comes not from me, but from
http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2010-10/never-mind-naysayers-chevy-vo
lt-excellent:

"By now, the car has become a political football, a proxy for anger
over the
bailout of GM and Chrysler and a symbol of the future of the
American auto
industry. That's a lot of baggage for a compact car to carry"

"The Prius is roomier than the Volt"

> The Prius is simply not a comparable vehicle, range extended or not.

As I outlined, the vehicles are comparable based on the real-world NEEDS
I spec'd: both meet the daily use needs of 50% of drivers in the US, and
in that sense a *plug-in* Prius is not only comparable but economically
favorable to the Volt. Responding to the specific criteria that was
brought up:

Unless you live on the moon, you do not need a "rocket" to get around
town and back and forth to work, pickup the groceries, etc.

Further, with effective opportunity charging you do not need a greater
all electric range: again, 50% drive 25 miles or less, which means for
many it could easily be sub-35mph trips and a 15 mile all electric range
and a "a standard work day" charge time (6-8 hours) on 120V/20A.
Staying under 35mph also helps avoid accidents and speeding tickets in
town.

Less-than 20% of us need 40 all-electric miles *per charge* at 60+ mph
on a day-in-day-out basis.

BetaMax and VHS were not comparable technologies: BetaMax was far
superior in quality. But VHS met the NEEDS better and was more
economical. Looking to solve real world problems hindering adoption by
the masses, special charging infrastructure and expensive battery packs
that price vehicles out of the mainstream's market during an economic
down-turn "forecast to last" are two major problems -- it's irritating
when you become educated on the data of how fast and how far people
DON'T drive on a daily basis to hear people in the industry spout "we
need charging stations" "we need longer range." The infrastructure is
there, and 100 miles per charge is unnecessary.

I think that if you approach it from a marketing standpoint "Chevy Volt
give you a price jolt? Scared of Nissan LEAFing you stranded without
juice? Buy a late-model converted PHEV Prius for half the cost!"
Combine that with superior customer service and I you'd have a
successful campaign, leveraging Chevy and Nissan's weaknesses to your
advantage. Car dealers know the real margins are on used vehicles.

Note that I'm not against either the Volt or the Leaf, just laying out
possible ways to market/pitch from a small EV conversion business based
on my own experiences and recent thoughts: I've got a 1998 Twike Active
(BEV) and a 2007 Prius (non-plug-in) my wife drives around town. For
under $4000 and a little help from my friends in the EV Club I could
drop in an Enginer 4kwh pack into the Prius and make it a PHEV that runs
on grid electricity most of the time she drives it around town. Or I
could buy a $41k Chevy (LEAF not an option, need long range family
vehicle). In the end, you're right -- there is no comparison between
the two. In our family, and I suspect many Prius families, we are much
more likely to upgrade to a Plug-In Toyota (either 3rd party or 2012)
than a GM. There's a lot of brand loyalty to Toyota.

Heck, as a small EV Business you might actually want to get a LEAF and a
Volt and use them to sell your own products (and strike a deal for
commission on referrals). Let your customers rent each for a week. If
they buy your product within a month or so, deduct the rental from the
cost. You'll probably know more about the vehicles than the local
dealers.

[email protected]

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Discussion Starter #15
The best idea I've seen for a low-cost intro EV conversion project is an
eBike. That's an electrified bicycle. Not so good in the elements
(rain, snow, hail), but easy to port upstairs and definitely low cost as
license, title, insurance are not required (many states). Speeds are
low (20mph, by most state laws) but for in-town driving, perfect as you
can take advantage of bicycle lanes.

Both the conversion and your vehicle charging can be done in your living
room. Conversions can be done in a weekend or two. Plenty of punch to
go up hills, and the EV grin definitely applies.

[email protected]

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Lee Hart
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 8:39 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] EV Business?

Marion Hakanson wrote:
> I make a decent salary, but haven't felt able to buy a new car since
> about 1990... Now that I've studied up on conversions a bit, I find
> that what I want is still out of my price range. I think I'll be
> hard pressed to accomplish a decent-performing conversion of my
> aforementioned G20, given that I want regen and light(ish) batteries
> (we have real hills here!).
>
> I don't have a shop, or the tools, nor can I take a year (or even a
> month) off from my job in order to do the conversion myself.

"It can't be done" often really means "I don't know how." We see high
performance EVs like the Tesla, and ones from major manufacturers like
the Nissan Leaf, and the many great EV conversions we hear about setting

records, and assume that high prices and extreme levels of skill are
needed.

But you're looking at the top of the field; where perfection is
expensive. Most of us *want* perfection, but few of us actually need it,

or can afford it. If you want only the best, or nothing; then you will
have nothing. It's better to look for something "good enough".

*Huge* numbers of EVs have been built that are not perfect, but good
enough. They still get you back forth to work and to the store every
day. They still give you that "EV grin". You still get the sense of
accomplishment that comes from actually doing something rather than sit
around and complain.

My first EV cost under $1000. I converted a Datsun pickup with a dozen
golf cart batteries, an aircraft surplus generator, and a home-made
contactor controller and charger. Lots of things were far from perfect,
but it worked! I drove it for two years. I didn't have a garage; I was
renting an apartment and converted it in the parking lot. Yes it had
regen, and yes it could burn rubber and climb hills.

KNOWLEDGE is the key to a low-budget EV conversion. If you don't know
how yourself, find someone who does know how to help. That's what the
EVDL is all about! You may start off not knowing how, but with the
hundreds of experts here, you'll soon have *many* options on how to do
it.
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #16
Lee

Well put as usual. What you're describing is best summed up as "don't let perfect be the enemy of the good". That's what made my wife and I decide to just go ahead and get the conversion we could afford. As Jon Glauser recently said "it has the acceleration of a garbage truck" and has few creature comforts but it does the job.

We've had our hassles but I commute with my EV every day and am just coming up on 5000 EV miles. The grin appears quite regularly.

Peter Flipsen Jr

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Discussion Starter #17
Peter Flipsen Jr. wrote:
> Well put as usual. What you're describing is best summed up as
> "don't let perfect be the enemy of the good".

Yep! :)

> That's what made my
> wife and I decide to just go ahead and get the conversion we could
> afford. As Jon Glauser recently said "it has the acceleration of a
> garbage truck" and has few creature comforts but it does the job.
>
> We've had our hassles but I commute with my EV every day and am just
> coming up on 5000 EV miles. The grin appears quite regularly.

That's great! Thanks for the confirmation, Peter.

It's funny, isn't it? If you think back to your first car, it was often
cheap, old, ugly... a piece of junk. Yet you loved it dearly. Would it
have been better to wait until you could afford what you really wanted?

No! Our wants are so much higher than our needs that it would have taken
*years*! We might never have driven, because we could never afford that
Porsche we dreamed about.

Plus, think of how much fun you had, and how much you learned with that
first car. Think of it as an economical education. :)
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #18
If you really want to make a killing in the EV business... come up
with a "promise the world" type concept, then get a government grant
and sell stock, and then deliver nothing but paper and news releases.
Many crooks have made their fortunes this way, and are still walking
free today. Meanwhile those legitimate businesses that try to do
right struggle to keep their heads above water. Thus is the world we
live in..

Sorry if this is sounding political, its not intended to be.

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Discussion Starter #19
WOW, this topic has a lot of interest!
G-mail formats them all out to about a dozen pages.

Many of you know I am ready to open a Technical Institute for EV
Technicians. I had had a lot of interested inquiries from possible students
from all over the USA and many other countries. I am seeking a partner with
$30k or several small investors with $10K each, a large return may the
result, perhaps as much as 10 times the investment in three years,if you
have any interest in that please contact me by phone or e-mail off the list.
"Lets talk!"

To the many who speak of buying a $15,000 vehice and adding a $4,000
extrnded range battery pack, then compare it to a Leaf at $21,000 after
rebates, I must ask, WHERE IS THE PROFIT? (excuse the shouting.) Are you
just building one for yourself? because a business suggests a desired profit
after overhead so typical markup from actual cost is 2 or 3 times the cost,
can you sell it for $58,000 or even $38,000 if not you are contemplating a
"Not-for-profit" hobby, that is not a business.

I am planning to buy a 3 to 5 year old compact, convert to full
electric and sell for $23,500 and that will also be elegible for the $7,500
Federal credit so it is a lot like $16,000 retail and I include a healthy
profit and overhead in my calculations. (Part of my "Trick" is using the
students to do the labor)and while teaching them how, why, and business
skills to!
Regards,
*Dennis Lee Miles* (Director) *E.V.T.I. inc*.
*www.E-V-T-I-Inc.COM <http://www.e-v-t-i-inc.com/> *(Adviser)*
EVTI-EVAEducation Chapter
*
Phone (863) 944 - 9913
Initial demand (computed by extrapolating the reservations for GM Volt and
Nissan Leaf,) shall exceed 200,000 vehicles in 2010 and 2011. However only
50,000 vehicles will be marketed, so a LARGE demand for Nice Newer
Conversions is predicted!
=================================================================
Jack Murray <[email protected]>wrote:

>
> I've been contemplating another self-startup in the EV business.
> What type of businesses have been successful?
> Where will growth and demand be in the future?
>
> It seems many have tried a business converting cars to electric,
> doesn't seem to have worked with a few exceptions.
>
> Selling parts to DIY conversions?
> Certainly some have been successful.
>
> Design and manufacturing components?
> Seems a tough road, chinese competition.
>
> Design and sell Kit Car or plans??
> Seems a high-risk, low-reward limited market?
>
> Plug-in conversions for Prius?
> Now have "big boys" in this business with A123.
> I'm thinking this is the best opportunity right now,
> with the Prius coming off warranty and the old batteries wearing out, it
> there will be good demand for plug-in conversion?
>
> What does EVLD say?
>
> Jack Murray
> Nimble Motorsports
>
>
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Discussion Starter #20
>
>OK, Bill, what do you think is a good approach?
>I asked originally, what part of the business has been successful?
>It can't be NOTHING. Getting government grants and raising investor
>capital is the most profitable EV business ?? :)

You have to think like the used tow truck dealer. The most
obvious business path is not where the money is. The key is to find
an aspect of the EV realm that can make money that is off-center from
what everyone else is trying to do.

I would not suggest this particular business, because there
is enough competition right now to make it difficult to enter at this
time, but the smart move many years ago was the EV parts supply
business. Like the used tow truck dealer, you can make money by
selling something to businesses that typically don't themselves make money.


>Frankly, just opening up a car repair shop that specializes in
>Prius/EV/Hybrids might be a reasonable approach.
>Can't outsource that to China.
>But its a low-risk, low-reward proposition.

The shop itself might not be the right business, but selling
training (or training supplies) for such a business or profession is
likely to be very profitable. Selling specialty tools for such shops
could be profitable.

Don't go for the obvious EV business, but keep it in mind as
a market _for_ a business. Don't sell cars. Sell things to people
that sell cars, or to the people that bought cars, or to people that
want to sell cars, or to people that want to buy cars, or to people
that fix cars. Perhaps go a step deeper in the food chain and sell
things to people that sell things to people that sell cars.

I am not a businessman by any stretch of the imagination. I
have little or no interest in running a business because I find
dealing with the important details tedious and boring. However, I
have seen which businesses work, and which ones fail.

Jeppesen did not make his fortune working as a pilot. He
made his fortune selling his navigational charts to other pilots. He
made his fortune selling what he _knew_ rather than what he _did._

Bill D.

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