It’s early Monday morning. I got the show up on time this weekend but it is a relatively short show of less than an hour and a half. I’ve already heard from several viewers that it is boring and they were disappointed. Curses and drats. So now I have to do a tour de force every week. Just a show about electric cars won’t scratch the itch? And my breakthrough in finally getting the DMOC645 to flash was apparently not sufficient “hands on” DIY stuff. Oh, Peter. Thou art a rock.

We talked quite a bit about Nissan. The list of bankruptcies continues to grow and this morning, Smith Electric Vehicle is in the news. They had predicted 620 vehicles this year. Revised that downwards to 380. By June, they had sold 79. They cancelled their September IPO. And now they are talking about bankruptcy proceedings.

[jwplayer file=”news121412-iPhone.m4v” hd.file=”” image=”” streamer=”rtmp://” provider=”rtmp” width=”950″ height=”584″ html5_file=””]

Meanwhile, Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn merrily chirps away about their new battery plant that went into operation this week in Smyrna Tennessee. This little marvel was part of $1.2 billion of our tax dollars at work, but still looks like a ballsey bet when building a massive plant facility to manufacture up to 200,000 battery packs per year. I would call, but I’m guessing they won’t want to sell me one. Together with their motor plant, their announcement of 15 new hybrid cars between now and 2017, and plans for an upscale Infinity LE, Nissan seems hell bent on filling a huge demand for electric vehicles, even if the demand isn’t there. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Either this guy has cucamungas the size of Jupiter, an inside line on something nobody knows about the future, or he’s headed for one of the biggest corporate disasters of all time. Any of the three would cause me to admire his gonads. Snappy dresser too.

COULD Nissan pull it off? Actually they can’t. But it will be fun to watch anyway. The irony of course is that the vast majority of Leaf owners just love the cars. There are a handful of misfits who are actually suing Nissan, but their arguments indicate how really far we have to go in acculturation. The people I know with the cars, just marvel at them and insist they are far better than anything we can build at home.

Last night I wired up my gas pump at the garage with a new J1772 cord. I had been using this as a charger for several years, but it used a NEMA5-15 to deliver 240vac to my vehicles. The Escalade has a fill port on the left and the Ford Transit on the right. So I was reversed in the garage. I added a J1772 cord, not really J1772 circuitry. I switch it on with a toggle switch on the side of the pump. Perhaps I’ll actually upgrade it with one of Kerzel’s circuit boards later. And so last night I had two vehicles plugged in to the garage at home, charging merrily away.

After all this time, I still can’t get over it. The convenience of just charging at home in the garage and having it billed monthly by AmerenUE, as opposed to fighting my way through the gas stations, is just too stark a contrast. And so with an emerging fanfare heralding the end of the BEV bubble, I’ll be left still thinking if anyone knew about these cars, they’d want one.

That’s a huge disconnect. How can I be so enchanted with something the American public is rejecting. I built mine. They declined to buy theirs. The value proposition.

And perception. I was struck by the Motor assembly technician who noted how much more difficult it was to build an electric motor than an ICE motor. Then I watched with him while the robot did it. I was picturing him meticulously winding these motors by hand. Instead, a robot wound up a motor in seconds, and pressed the windings in place. He undoubtedly believed what he was saying, but then he couldn’t hear what he was saying. Hard day at the assembly line watching this robot.

But such vertical integration, coupled with large numbers, is how economies of scale are achieved, prices come down, and value is realized. The picture of Carlos in front of the total drive train on display away from a car was mesmerizing. I wanted one. It almost made me go out and by a Leaf. I could RE convert it to ICE, sell that, and use the brand new drive train???? How absurd.

Bottom line is I still don’t want a Leaf. But I would like one of their drivetrains. The motor, the inverter, the gearbox.

Soon I should be able to get one. Somebody somewhere has to wreck a Leaf. It’s the rule of the road. Two masses cannot occupy the same space at the same time and with enough daughters, two of them will eventually attempt it.

Peter McWade is put off that we aren’t installing junk Kostov’s in 1963 rustout Karman Ghias. He’s even offered to shoot some video to show us how its done.

I think we’ll be spending some time and effort getting a GEVCU done and I’m excited about it. I want a Leaf Drivetrain and a Prius Drivetrain and eventually a Tesla drivetrain. I saw a salvaged one for about $45k on eBay at one point. THere will be others. Steve Woodruff with AutoBeYours showed up at EVCCON this past year. I guess I don’t get the company name. But he scours the country for this junk from wrecked Priii and salvages it. If we could learn to use it, it represents a treasure trove of inexpensive OEM grade components that could be used to build your own conversions. What do we need to do that? A little vehicle control unit that talks CAN and a decode of the Priii CAN digest. Or the Leaf’s.

Steve also picked up some stuff from the AZD auction. I wonder if I’ll have to bid against him at the Smith Electric Vehicle and Coda auctions….

Peter, you sound like the BBS operators who were not interested in our information about the Internet. What has the Internet got to do with our BBS world? Everything. What has flashing the DMOC got to do with DIY electric cars? Everything.
What do the OEM’s have to do with us? Everything.

That’s what the tinkerers and innovators stage looks like Peter. Tinkering. And innovating. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Good Indians use ALL the parts of the Buffalo out here on the prairie. Not just the hides.

Jack Rickard

60 thoughts on “ONE MAN’S TRASH”

  1. Jack you have said a number of times that large corporations are good at scaling but not at innovating. That’s a truth I would not have formulated myself but instantly recognised when you came out with it. Brilliant.

    Unfortunately as I see it large corporations have another great strength – an ability to influence public opinion clandestinely without the public even being aware of it. In the UK we are getting a steady drip-drip of anti-EV, pro status quo FUD which might be the ebb and flow of public perception – but just might be orchestrated.

    1. When I say large corporations are not good at innovating that is a kind of code speak. They are not good at INVENTING disruptive technology in revolutionary fashion. They can actually be quite good at incrementally improving in very ordered fashion that would be considered evolutionary. Some would take exception to my words because they think that IS innovation. When I say innovation, I am talking about new disruptive technology and invention. I would rate a modern functional lithium based electric car as a VERY disruptive innovation/introduction to their very way of life. It displaces their current product. And so yes, if that’s a gig, they want to spread as much Fear/Uncertainty/Doubt (FUD factor) as they possibly can and they are quite good at this.

      Version 7.0 of a Chevy Malibu or Impala is typically much better than the 1.0version they first rolled out. If THAT is innovation, then they can indeed innovate.

      I know of people on LinkedIn who are PAID to pooh pooh the entire concept of electric cars, and paid by current automakers to do so. Oil companies are the main source of funding of “research groups” proving electric cars only move the problem to the coal fired power plant.

      There are 160,000 gasoline stations in the United States. All 50 states derive virtually 100% of the money to maintain their roads from gasoline taxes. The Federal Government receives $28 billion per year in gasoline taxes and huge amounts from the oil companies, including campaign contributions to all 535 legistlators.
      The five largest corporations in the world are ALL oil companies. The entire middle east, Mexico and Canada, and a growing portion of Africa produce and sell oil. There ARE a LOT of vested interests and powerful forces opposed to a conversion to electric drive for personal mobility.

      So why do I think we have them outgunned and surrounded?

      Because we do….

      It is inherent in the nature of individuals that they have no idea or perceptual concept of how powerful they indeed are as individuals. It is imperative to many interests that they be kept that way.

      I don’t like being “kept” at all and I’m actually keenly aware of just how powerful you actually are in a world more connected than you can ever visually picture.

      “You see George… you really did have a wonderful life….”

      Jack Rickard

  2. Jack, I found it interesting that until now the car guys, the hot rodders, have not been interested in EV’s, we will warm up to them, any motor that has 100% of its torque at 0 RPM has to be good. We just have to change our paradigm. I would like to think of you some day as say the Vic Edelbrock of EV’s. You have said many times you need 100,000 guys to convert EV’s and I think your timing is such that you will get it. The issue until now as I see it is the availability of OEM quality parts for us in the 100,000 to use. Every successful OEM EV used AC, yet no viable AC motors were available or they had such price that they were unobtainium. Hopefully the relationships being forged with Siemens and Borg Warner you will be able to provide the parts we need.

  3. Jack,
    At the expense of sounding ignorant, won’t an army of 100,000 scouring the junk yard looking for Leaf’s, Priusii and Volts do harm to the small businesses that are actually trying to help the grassrooters? Companies like HPEV, Net Gain and Evnetics? As opposed to the OEMs who would rather we all just disappear?

    1. Or Bill…. How about HPEV, NetGain and Evnetics also scouring the scrap yards of OEM material to further their business interests. After all, they have a lead in production, utilisation and implementation.
      Opportunities are…..

  4. The Leafs are being wrecked as we speak.
    Steve Woodward at has 4 of them right now.
    One was driven less that 1000 miles as I recall.
    I suspect that the drive train and gear is the easy part to get.
    It is the unbent body parts and the labor to fix and fit it all that might be harder and more expensive to come by!

  5. Good work Jack. I agree with what you are saying and have thought the same for a long time. I claim to be one of your 100000. I converted a Volkswagen beatle in 1970 using an electric motor from a mk 44 torpedo and a controller I made using a 375 amp SCR. My current ev is a 1990 Ford Festiva with AC35/Curtis 1238 and GBS lithium battery pack.
    Buy ten bottles of beverage, pour eight of them down the drain and drink the two remaining. That would be dumb. Only a fool would do that. Have we all been such fools for over 100 years now? It is well known that the gasoline ICE uses only about 20% of the fuels energy to move the car. The rest is all wasted and a lot of that waste goes out the exhaust pipe and has been poluting our air. Look at “Fuel economy Where the energy goes” I think most people are not aware of this and they should think about it every time they put fuel in their car. The problem is that there is no alternative for most people. Electric cars available now cost two and a half times as much as the ICE version of the same car ( Ford Focus, Honda Fit and others ). We don’t need fancy expensive electric cars for rich people we need affordable,practicle cars for the millions of commuters.

    1. Actually you will just never see an ICE car capable of 20% efficiency. Picture 12% on a good day in a new car.

      Second, the energy doesn’t really go out the exhaust pipe. It is mostly converted to heat and intentionally blown out the front of the car through the radiator.

      Actually we DO need fancy expensive cars for rich people. Those are the early adopters and that will fund economies of scale bringing electric cars more affordably to the masses eventually. The problem is, we don’t have any. Rich people and even rich early adopters still measure value proposition. A $55k Tesla Model S would probably scratch the itch. BUt they didn’t do that. They built the model S, but it came in at $100K not $55K. Seven planets worth of difference there. See if the NeXT Cube had been $5500, in a world of $3500 PC’s, I would have doubtless bought one even though it makes little sense. The problem was the $10K. A non-starter.

      Will anyone buy the MOdel S?? Of course they will. Will 20,000? Not the first year. 10,000? Perhaps, but unlikely. 8000? Closer to my guess. 5000? Certainly.

      So every dog has his price. But it’s kind of a numbers game and they missed their own numbers. I personally believed they would come in at $77,000 for a full metal jacket Model S in full dress. THAT didn’t happen either.

      So until we get an early adopter car, we tinker. Actually long after we get an early adopter car we tinker. Mid way through early majority, tinkering ceases to make sense in a purposeful way. Some continue tinkering forever for the love of tinkering just as a hobby.

      So we DO need an expensive electric car for rich early adopters. We don’t have one. 2.5x isn’t it. An UPSCALE car appealing to the sort of 50-60 ish high net worth gadget guy at 1.3x or 1.4x is what would work. BMW 5 series. Cadillac perhaps.

      Nissan INfiniti LE???? Depends on price. $47K??? maybe… $55k? Perhaps.

      Jack Rickard

    1. Pete,
      I’m with you on DC systems. They’re simpler and parts can be swapped at will. Jack’s got to sell his pretty Siemens stuff and I get that. It’s a better system, but it comes with a price. For a beginner or someone like me who wants to KISS the Kostovs and their US equals the NetGains still have their function. Now and in the future. I happened upon some other motors I’ll give a go, but otherwise I’d be ordering a new Kostov myself.

      1. Jarko:

        Clearly you DON’T get it. Jack doesn’t have to sell anything. Jack went and at considerable expense GOT you some pretty things. Your reverse mischaracterization and revision of VERY recent history is offensive in the extreme.

        I would expect the Netgain/Soliton1 solution to remain the workhorse for most builders for quite some time to come. But we have heard an incessant chant for an under $10,000 AC solution for years now. Here is one. For $6995 you get the inverter, the motor, and the gearbox. Currently it
        has a little problem. You have to generate CAN commands to interface it to your car.

        Rewording history to reflect very different motivations is a standard technique of slimey lawyers in courtrooms. It doesn’t alter reality. But it is certainly annoying.

        Jack Rickard

        1. Jack,
          Obviously no offense was meant. You’re doing a huge favor to us all by running your show with your own money and taking a big risk by buying a boatload of EV gear, but not wanting to sell it could be considered stupid. Unless you really wanted to keep it all of course. 🙂

          If I had the money to spend freely on a Siemens kit I’d have ordered one already. Unfortunately I haven’t made it big yet so I’ll have to come by with a little less impressive stuff for now. Funnily enough it’s the eGearDrive I find the most interesting piece of hardware… Perhaps it’s the simplicity.

  6. With Nissan bringing out more Hybrids, along with the new battery plant we (the tax payers) bought them, I think they are hedging their bets on the EVs and creating a larger market for their Tennessee batteries. Maybe Carlos read the same books you did Jack. and knows he’s quite early in the game so he’s backtracking to an intermediate position by building half-ass, faux, EVs.

  7. Good show… I still believe that the key to profits in EV builds will be in the hotrods industry cor fhe nearnfuture. I remember a great lunch time discussion at EVCCON about EV tractor pulls. Seeing the EV BigFoot kind of brings that discussion to life.

    Looks like EVTV has a lot of irons in the fire these days. Interesting about the Borg and Warner score. I have loved these transmissions since I saw the first one in a original Ford GT 40. Their racing hearitage is almost unchallenged.

    I have been thinking about how well an old two speed power glide would work in an EV. They are small and kind of a staple in the drag racing world… With very little mods they will handle 700ft-lb of torque… Maybe Matt and EVWest can come up with a kit for them.

    My EVThing is plodding along. I just finished the throttle assembly. It drove me crazy. I also finished fabricating the last battery box. For those interested, I have my EVThing site updated with pics and a few videos…. So all major fab and restoration work is done. Now I am down to paint and final assembly. Unfortunately winter is finally arriving and that limits the days I can successfully paint…

    Details at……

    1. I rather agree. But out of that will come a lot of things, and the “hot rod industry” as applied to EV’s will cover a multitude of sins. Big foot and tractor pulls are crowd pleasers and draw attention.

      A 2-speed powerglide is kind of emerging as the automatic of choice for EV’s. But I do have my eye on a Borg Warner 3 speed longitudinal that was specifically designed for heavy EVs.

      Jack Rickard

    2. I’m currently putting in a powerglide in the Opel. I’m using the 1.82 geared version with a manual valve body and a short tail shaft. We’ll see how well it works. I’ve already ditched the electric vacuum pump for a manual pump and will be ditching the DC/DC converter for an alternator as well.

  8. Jack,
    I’ve got a few things rattling around in my head and they are making my brain hurt.
    1st: I found this CAN bus analyzer (With software!!) :
    Will that do the job for datalogging? I just happen to know someone who owns a gen3 Priii (2010 yr model) who will let me log the hell out of the CAN bus… (It’s mine.. 😉 )
    Aaaaannndd, I forgot the rest. Damn squirrels!
    Let me know what you think. My e-mail is:
    PS. since most common rearend gearsets are in the 2.75 to 1 to 4.11 to 1, maybe having a single planetary style in a 5 to 1 ratio to increase the torque output?
    PPS. Would this be the transmission you are talking about?
    The Heavy version has two 82Kw 3 phase permanent magnet motors while the GM Tahoe/Yukon Hybrid has 2 60Kw motors. each in the size of a “normal” transmission for their vehicle size.

    1. As far as CAN bus analyzing hardware, between myself and another engineer I work with, We use, CAND0, PCAN-USB, and Kvasser hardware. The PCAN stuff can be found at I have not used their PCAN Explorrer 5 software but I hear it’s very powerful. The PCAN hardware comes with a freeware software program that lets you monitor the CAN bus and shows you the raw data, ID’s update time, and raw data bytes. Unfortunately it doesn’t log data. For logging we use the KVasser dual CAN port data logger unit and found it to be a bit pricey but worth every penny when you need it. Having a data log showing you A123 battery pack reporting 70%SOC and then 20ms later showing 0%SOC is quite a bit of info when you have A123 on the phone….

      1. I should also add that Jack is correct in that the canalyzer hardware from Vector is the large player in the CAN analyzer area. However it is also the most difficult to use IMHO, and quite expensive. So difficult, to use that I’ve spent an entire day trying to get it reading data on the phone with tech support and never did get it working. There is lots of software setup just to get it to read data. It allows for a CAN database to be imported that will translate the raw CAN data into scaled engineering variables. KVasser uses the same type of database. Unless you need the Vector hardware because your software only has drivers for that specific hardware, I’d steer clear.

  9. The new widgets in the right hand panel are fun. I note that the UK hasn’t made the top 8 by energy consumption.
    Maybe in a few years someone will build a widget showing number of cars by power source (diesel, petrol, electric, hybrid)

  10. Hi all.

    I’m also interested in the eDrive rear end, but the info I understand at this time is a bit vague, and I wonder if I (we) could get some more info about this drive component. I see that the motor pictured at the etv store shows a straight spline shaft, so I’m assuming that the the eDrive rear end has the same receptacle.

    I have something similar in my vehicle which I’m converting to lithium. The rear drive in my vehicle has a 4:1 ratio and is not suitable for an ac motor at this ratio, and the Siemens motor is way too big for my vehicle (1800lb). I would love to convert to an ac drive in the future.

    My question is, can an HPEV motor be adapted with a drive coupling to those eDrive rear ends ?

    Is the motor end sealed or does it require a motor to rear end seal ?

    Maybe the the forum needs an addition on the Edrive rear end, so those in the know can add such info, especially since Jack mention that he may be able to get some more in the future.

    I also wonder if those units could replace the transaxle on a VW chassis, I’m not that familiar with the VW anymore, been a long time since I’ve worked on a one, so I’m a bit shy on such a topic.


    1. Hi Roy,
      The E-drive is a transaxle type gearbox that has gear reduction and a differential, but doesn’t bolt directly to the wheels like a “liva
      E axle” would. In a rear wheel drive configuration, it would be used in a Toyota MR2. Or it would be easily configured in a front wheel drive car.

    2. Roy, when you buy the e-drive from Jack it comes with the splined coupler that then mates perfectly with the Seimens motor. I believe the two were designed for each other.

  11. Hi Jack.

    I’ve noticed that the A123 20ah pouch cells are continuing to drop in price. I’ve gotten a few quotes for 20.5 USD FOB for 1000+ from Alibaba. For the ‘half tab’ versions 16.5USD. Are these batteries worth another look? I’m still racking my tiny brain on a way to cheaply and quickly put them into modules.

    Thanks – Jared.

    1. Hi Jared, the A123’s are great cells…. However, I have finally ended up with the same conclusion as Jack, they just aren’t as simple/reliable/cost effective as CALB CA’s to put in a car. I built an A123 pack, but tomorrow UPS will be delivering a crate CALB’s to me. I spent enough time on the A123’s to build two more EV’s. Unless you are building a race car and simply require the power output of A123’s they just aren’t worth the effort. Buy some CALB CA’s save yourself 6-12 months and enjoy driving your EV.

    2. Jared
      Go to YouTube and search on “1939 Truck 12V” and you will get my video on how I created an A123 12Volt battery pack. The full title of the YouTube video is below.
      “1939 Truck 12V Battery Build 004 HD720p”

  12. What is it with people calling this episode boring? The news on Nissan, the flashing of the DMOC and the MonsterTruck were quite some news. Or maybe it was the level of sarcasm which was toned down a bit compared to other shows 😉
    Did you realize that in the shadow left to the J1772 connector of your x-mas decoration, there’s a blueish flickering (around 00:01:40 or 01:20:00), like electric sparks? It appears the two of you just really are “verrry dangerous, verrrry high voltage”! 🙂
    Starting my first conversion I’m still torn between ordering a Siemens with a DMOC and take the risk or go with a more “dummy-proof” approach for my Volvo S80. It’s really, really tempting – especially as the Volvo already uses the CAM bus to transfer the pedal signal to the throttle motor (it might just work without VCU – rather naive, am I not). But don’t worry, I have your words of caution still present.
    So, I’m all itchy for a first hands-on review on the poor beauty that was just laying around in the background during the last three shows – the AC-75.
    BTW: Might be a good idea to buy such a CAM Bus logger before starting a conversion to record the behavior of the system with an ICE.

  13. May I be the first to say this.
    Richard and you Jack are co-hosting like a pair of old pro’s now.
    Don’t want to become all Dan Frankenstein on you but those ciggies…. Why have you not migrated to the Lithium powered variety? Does the flavour become more wholesome as you get down to the Camels butt?

    1. Then of course there are those who need them but don’t know it, like children living near busy road junctions, with brains stunted by diesel exhaust, fathers whose sons will turn 18 around the time of the next resource war, and a billion people living on the far side of poverty whose dinners are being turned into biofuels

  14. Jack I think your 100,000 man army will eventually be a lot younger on average than your current recruits.

    I think EVs will have “arrived” in cultural terms, when the cost of entry to hot-rodding them drops to the point where 20-somethings, and then Teens, have a shot at putting together something impressive to other Testosterone-perfused youth. There’s this inverse relationship between Testosterone and Cash as you move along the age scale. You get a high-schooler who cobbles together a street rod that blows away any other kids’ gasoline contraption in the county from a red light, and the whole petrol-head mythos evaporates. When your big-block, turbo, and nitrous oxide still can’t keep up then what is the point of all the noise greasy rags and thrashing of parts? Fail.

    In a couple, three years, there will be some cheap LEAFs with end of life LOM packs, beckoning for a kid who can put together enough scratch to stuff them full of commodity batteries, beef up the brakes and suspension and pry Nissan’s fingers off the CAN bus and make that cooling system work for a living.

  15. Agreed. I’ve always felt that it takes at least a generation for big new things to catch on because the older generation is resistant to moving much out of their comfort zone, not that that’s always a bad thing. Youth, on the other hand, is in the process of finding it’s comfort zone and is much more open to experimentation and new ideas as a result. I suspect that most of us older generation folks interested in EV’s have had some thread we can tie to the positive impact of EV’s up or butts since we were in our teens and 20’s.

  16. Jack, you’re excellent at painting a picture with words that taken as-is would likely resemble a partly colored sketch. You leave out just enough to cause the audience to actually use their imagination in order to see the whole thing. I suspect it is largely due to the difficulty in adequately conveying the largeness and complexity of how you see the world.

    I say that both as a compliment and as a note to everyone else who is continually wondering “Where’s he going with this?”

    I also think back to George’s aneqdote that you cannot predict which blade of grass a baseball will land on, nor is it particularly important. But it is crucial to see the trend line and know which part of the field its going to be able to plan your path to catch the ball. It is here that most people get lost in the details, as you’d say.

    For further contemplation on where this will all go, I regularly revisit a series from an interview with Richard Seymore, a successful designer who works with companies to package their technology in product, marketing, distribution, and manufacture. His insights are remarkable.

    This video in particular hits on the acculturation that you’ve highlighted continually. But he also touches on the need of a manufacturer to itself ease through the change, rather than jumping headlong.

    In the vain of your dismissal of the Kostov, I take from it, that going forward, the inherent strengths of series DC motors (gobs of torque) are not well exemplified in the Kostovs, when compared to the NetGain motors. And that for what they are and do, the AC induction motor is well preferable. At least that’s how I see it- the AC motors will an obvious choice once the inflated price drops and powerful inverters become more competitively priced. As that manifests itself, the DC motor will need to stand in contrast by its inherent strengths and middle of the road options will look more awkward than anything else. For example, weak V8s have long been deprecated from sedans in favor of V6’s as they’ve become more powerful.

    Trends show the future, details explain the past.

    1. Nabil:

      In all things, God is in the details.

      Master them, and the “grand vision” that those who don’t allude to is not nearly as difficult or as valuable as they believe.

      If you study EVERY blade of grass in the stadium. And indeed repeat this in a lot of stadiums. Soon the grand stadium architecture is pretty obvious, as is the relatively trivial task of projecting baseball paths.

      And once you’ve diagramed 10,000 pitch speed/trajectory paths and 10,000 different baseball swings, you can probably coach hitting if that was the question to arise.

      What you will find is that hitting, and baseball, is not sufficiently engaging to give it much attention once you’ve discovered the fascinating world of what is happening at the grass blade level, or in the physics of baseball trajectories. But the impact of the seam position on the path the ball will take is just thoroughly engaging.

      I spent years hearing from grand visionaries who were too much above the grunt work of mastering the details. Another version of don’t know, and don’t know they don’t know.

      God is in the details.

      From there, what is REALLY the question. And what answer will best communicate to the broadest audience.

      As to series DC motors, they are a marvel in many ways. Largely we can use smaller motors, and with good transmissions, we can move large cars. And we can do it in powerful ways because their peak power is so high in relation to their ability to dissipate heat in continuous operation. A 50 HP motor can do 800 HP for a few seconds in theory.

      Because of the improvement in batteries, we can now carry enough batteries to make these motors do something they were never designed to do. If it’s designed to do 50HP for an hour, then if we do 60 hp for an hour and a half, guess what? No surprises here.

      Netgain WarP motors are an incrementally refined version of a strong fork lift motor that has been enhanced for electric vehicle use over the last 10 years.

      I speak little of Kostov because I know little of Kostov. And what I see of Kostov and hear of Kostov does not motivate me to spend any time with them at all to learn them better.

      But yes, going forward, there are some serious advantages to AC induction motors and specifically to liquid cooled AC induction motors. Siemens makes a very high quality AC induction water cooled motor. I think we’ll find the Remy motors to be of advantage as well. At $10,000 per motor, it doesn’t matter how good they are. At $3000 it does.

      An ever changing environment with a lot of different variables.

      Gotta love it.


  17. Hi Jack
    Love your shows, even the ones that put me to sleep because I have no idea what you are talking about, just not smart enough yet. 😉 I think I’ve seen every show, at least once.

    Ever since I reluctantly watched “Who Killed The Electric Car” I’ve been sold on EV’s and Solar, how can you not be.

    Keep doing what you are doing because you are right. I wish I had an EV…


    1. Luc,

      Don’t wish, Do. Go sweep out that space and start. Remember you don’t need to fill that space right away but if you have it ready it can help motivate you to get it filled. Don’t worry, we need users as well as innovators and we need public face time. With out the conversions there is no face time for Joe public. Without that, the movement is dead before it begins.

  18. Jack, you sound like the BBS operators who were not interested in your information about the Internet. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Good Indians use ALL the parts of the Buffalo out here on the prairie. Not just the hides.

    Now that I have your attention, I suggest you heed your own advice here. Peter is right to be put off. You call for 100,000 guys to go into their garage and build a car, then poopoo them when they come out with something other than a kit car and spanking new, high-end components.

    Some of us ran night-time only BBSes because we couldn’t afford to have multiple lines. Likewise some of us here would use Kostov motors because they’re cheaper than Netgains. Or dig through scrap yards looking for forklift parts and soldering together controller plans found on the internet (that you’re so proud of foretelling about).

    This “army” is a militia. Not everyone in the ranks can afford the best rifles.

    1. OK, Dr. Righteus, I’ll bite. I think the EV movement needs 100,000 people building respectable vehicles. I understand both your opinions and Jack’s and think that the middle ground is more reasonable. Yes, most people converting vehicles can’t afford to spend $20,000+ on a roller vehicle. However if they can’t afford at least a Netgain motor and a capable controller then I would ask them to save their money until they can afford the Netgain or a Kostov. Whenever I’ve seen prices on Kostov motors the prices have been nearly identical to the Netgain motors.
      What we DON’T need is 20,000 people building vehicles using underpowered salvaged fork truck motors and 2,000lbs of lead acid SLI batteries, they liberated from cars at the junkyard. These conversions are those that cannot achieve the legal speed limits on highways, and have 10 mile ranges. These vehicles are also those that seem to get ALL of the press and public attention. These conversions are a black eye to the EV movement and used as ammunition by EV haters.
      I suspect that one reason Jack specified Lithium powered vehicles for display at EVCCON was for this very reason. If the person could afford the lithium batteries, then they surely wouldn’t have cheaped out on the propulsion components and thus would have cars that would give the public a positive impression about EV’s.
      Then again, if those folks who had to save money and bought fork truck motors over the Netgain then they surely couldn’t afford to trailer their car to EVCCON, so they wouldn’t have been there anyway.

      My final rant, is that if you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all. Or at least respectable…

      1. Just a thought…
        Demand for oil is growing as surplys inevertably dwindle. Every time an ev owner drives past a gas station, they leave a little bit in the bottom of the tank for the next guy. As more people drive past the gas station in their ev’s, there is more natural resource left in the bottom of the tank for the next guy. To put it simply, you don’t need to be an ev owner to reap the benefits of electric vehicles. And people that really “need” electric vehicles should instead trade their SUV in for a smaller reasonable priced hatch back, as this will be the best solution financially, for at least the next decade. And then hopefully everyone that can afford to build/buy an electric vehicle does, to preserve the natural resource that we ALL rely on for much more important things than private transportation.
        In a way, electric drive may not only replace the internal combustion engine, but may just save it too.
        Anyways that’s just me view of the topic. To those who are building/ buying, it’s an enjoyable ride to watch, hope to join your club soon.


    2. BBS operators operating a single line in the evenings had essentilaly zero impact on anything beyond annoying everyone they came in contact with. But all along the way, we were plagued by a bleating cadre of rag pickers who had no commitment to anything, but made a lot of noise.

      It is so today in EV’s. If you want me to somehow bless EV builders who build junk, endangering everyone on the road, and giving the impression that all those who build their own EV’s are creating junk that shouldn’t be allowed ON the road, I cannot. We continue not because of such, but in spite of it. It is a serious negative to the entire movement. ANd if I could, I would eradicate it from the planet. Your doddering lead slead fork lift motor powered scrap heap is NOT innovation. It is more like junkyard wars. And to me, not even entertaining. It essentially denies the fact that you can
      take an existing automobile and convert it into a fully functional car that operates on electrical power comfortably, safely and in attractive fashion.

      The bottom feeder/ragpickers do NOT represent the other end of the spectrum. They represent good cause why our activities should not be allowed at all. And thus represent a mortal danger to the movement.

      A ragtag rabble of misfits poorly dressed and ill equipped is not an army. It’s a mob. A mob that still has to be fed. I want no part of your vision of electric vehicles.

      Jack RIckard

  19. Jack, stop using that cheesy Windows netbook for your CAN / reprogramming needs. Use virtual PC on your Mac instead. There is Oracle VirtualBox (free), there is VMware (basic version free), there are several others.
    You can have several version of Windows easily that way, with and without service packs. And data exchange between virtual PC and hosting Mac is a snap.
    You can define which USB device goes to which virtual machine instead of host and so on.

      1. Hey, that just reminded me that there IS actually a good application for wireless charging. I’m with jack that wireless charging of EV’s while in your garage just isn’t worth an efficiency penalty and it won’t catch on. For wireless chargers on electric toothbrushes and shavers I think is an awesome idea. They can make the device sealed, waterproof and without contacts that corrode so you can drop it in the water…

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