Tesla TV – You Own One or You Aren’t One.

This week has been a LOT of fun.  New announcements and activity.  Lots of news.  Stuff.

So most of the electric car entries, as well as battery companies, have encountered ignomious failure, Tesla has on the other hand, ermerged in a very programmed fashion ot ignomious success.  We had predicted a short squeeze on the stock in Tesla for nearly two years.  Monday the stock hit $97, valuing a company with apparently less than 50 cents per share in earnings this year at a preposterous $10 billion.  Who knew?

Well actually we did.  And we’ve been telling you about it for two years so no embarrassment in I told you so.  A month ago you could have bought June $47 calls at $0.50 per share.  $50 for a 100 share contract.  Had you bought 100 for $5000, that particular option hit $35 this week.  That would be $3500.  And 100 of them would have been a slick $350,000 – for a one month investment of $5000.

Bottom line, EVTV viewers could have bought THREE  Tesla Model S vehicles for a total investment of $5000.

 

That is, if you knew what was going on with some precision.  That’s the difficulty.  Where are we at and where are we going in the future.   It’s not an easy game.  I truly do do it better than most.  But it’s an imperfect game.

 

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Moving 20 million to 37 million shares per day, it doesn’t take long for the shorts to clear their accounts and so the panic did not reach the levels I had hoped.  But $97 is pretty good.  And we could see more with the coming SuperCharger announcement.

The reason for all the failures and the reason for the success of Tesla, is all about what you are aiming at, and why.  And that requires some basic understanding of these things.

Not in last weeks show, but rather in last week’s blog post, I introduced you to two definitive works on how technological innovations are deployed or adopted by a culture in kind of an anthropological sense.  Everett M. Rogers in his 1962 paper on the Diffusion of Innovations rather defined the concept and we were delighted to discover that he has kept after this over the years now in a fifth edition book. Geoffrey Moore brings it down to some specific marketing problems high technology faces  in his 1991 book Crossing the Chasm – Marketing and Selling High-tech Products to Mainstream Customers.

What these gentlemen describe is an adoption curve that inevitably will apply to electric vehicles if they are to become mainstream.  That rather assumes a lot.  We’ve had electric vehicles for over 100 years.  So what changed?

I keep chanting “batteries.”  I actually care little for cars, although I’m warming up to this electreic Cadillac Escalade EXT pretty well.  We got the air conditioning working this week so well and with so little effort there is nothing to video. It’s the batteries.

The Lithium ion battery dates back to the early 1990’s.  But it really did not become available to mere humanoids in a size suitable for an electric vehicle until about 2008 the way I see it.  A couple of EV component sales outfits started to make them available – at huge expense and after horrendous delay.

These batteries, in my unqualified but nonetheless strongly held OPINION, made electric vehicles viable for the first time.  The analogy I use is the 300 baud and 1200 bps modems.  At 300 baud, computer communications was a curiosity, a science experiment, an oddity.  At 1200 bps it started to look useful – viable as a tool to do things.  2400 bps came so swiftly afterwards that 1200 almost didn’t exist.  But I do distinctly recall 2400 bps modems pricing at about $3500 if you can believe it.

Similarly people dabbled in electric cars off an on since we’ve had cars.  They didn’t work.  More properly, they worked about as well as a 300 baud modem.  You could get them to roll.  You could drive them down the street.  But they weighed TONS and the 25 mile range rapidly decreased to 6 miles over the course of a year or so.  They rolled like a car, but they couldn’t be USED as a car.

The Lithium ion prismatic cells that became available in 2008, allow you to make a car with an 80 mile range.  You can argue that in both directions, but properly designed, of appropriate weight and power, and driven prudently, you can get 80 miles out of one of these cars.  I can DRIVE one 120 miles.  But it is with special care.

The average American driver slides about 39.4 miles per day on average.  But that IS an average.  Some days more.  Some days less.   And so 2X average, at 80 miles, the car becomes USEFUL AS A CAR.  Not as an interesting object d’art.  But as a car.  You can plug it in.  You can drive it places.  You can replace huge amounts of miles you would normally drive in your gas guzzler. It becomes VIABLE.

It is 2013.  This has been so for a scant five years.

Part of the information cloud is hybrids.  All of the press focusing on electric cars WANTS a wider audience, so they tend to lump hybrids in with electric cars.  Hybrids are NOT electric cars.  They are ICE engine cars.  By using an electric motor, and some batteries, it is true that you can signficantly improve the fuel efficiency of an ICE vehicle.  But you haven’t changed the nature of the beast really at all.  It is just more fuel efficient.  It still burns gasoline.  Still has an exhaust system.  Still carries gasoline around as fuel.  If you want to feel good about it, it does offer a lot of advantages.  It’s just not an electric car.

Some say it’s a step toward an electric car.  I don’t really think so.  It’s more like kissing your sister.  She expects it.  You’re going to do it.  But you both know it isn’t going to lead to anything further.

I am going to make a command level decision that makes little sense.  I’m going to include the Chevy Volt with electric cars.  I know, it’s a hybrid.  But it has a 35 mile all electrric range.  And that is perilously close to the 39.4 mile average vehicle usage.  And I’m persuaded by the large number of Volt owners playing the electric car game.  They are actually playing a game of how can I use this car and not put ANY gasoline in it.  It’s a game that can be played.  So I’m going to INCLUDE it with electric cars.

If you will peruse the two books presented earlier, you will find that the diffusion of innovations starts with a tinker and innovator stage.  This is not precisely the INVENTOR of the technology, although it does get kind of interactive.  This is the SParkFun crowd.  People that buy a technology to take it apart and put it back together.  Who bitch at the guy who DID invent it about how he SHOULD have or suggest changes that would improve it.  This is a bubbling cauldron of activity but at a low level numerically.

It is followed by the early adopter stage.  These are people who actually BUY the technology to use it.  They don’t really take it apart.  Don’t really make their own.  Don’t really improve it much or contribute much toward that.  They kind of fund the early numbers of production.  THEIR drivers are that they want to be seen as knowledgeable about new technology and gadget and kind of a seer who locates and identifies and procures cool new things.  They acquire technology, more like the Star Trek PACKLEDS, as a status enhancer.

Adoption curves vary a bit in speed and numbers.  But if you don’t know anything else about it, you kind of move from tinkerer/innovator to early adopter at about 2.5% of market share.  And this fact has clouded EVERYTHING about electric cars.

 

You see the automotive market is ENORMOUS.  For most people, the car is the second most expensive thing they will ever buy after their house.  ANd it is an intimate thing.  It is NOT transportation actually.  It is an EXTENSION of their house.  A way to extend their control bubble from the living room out into the public space, while still maintaining control of their safety, temperature, music, smells, and even people they are with.  So it is a huge purchase and a very viscerally important one.  You don’t want to screw up on a car purchase.

But the resulting market is just huge.  On average, we sell 15 million NEW cars each year, into a fleet of over 200 million.  The average price is now nearly $30,000.  This is just in the United States.   World wide, it is huger yet.

So 2.5% of such a market works out to about 375,000 units annually in the United States at a rate of about 31,250 per month.  Yes, to get to 2.5% market share, we would have to sell about the same number of cars in a month that we do now in a year.

The Leaf and Volt, for example, were introduced about 2.5 years ago – the end of 2010.  Here’s what their sales have looked like.

bevvoltcompare copy

These two cars DO appeal to tinkers and innovators, which explains why so many of our viewers own them. They are not only relatively inexpensive, but actually represent huge bargains. The cars cost the companies that produce them easily, and by any measure, at least TWICE what they are charging for them. Yet sales have been very disappointing to these companies. They somehow thought they would appeal to a mass market. They didn’t, and for very good reason. There IS no mass market yet for electric cars because we never have gotten past the tinkerer and innovator stage, much less the early adopters. Throwing a couple of billion at the curve doesn’t make the pitch a curve. It’s just a couple of billion down the toilet in most cases.

If we combine the Volt and Leaf, here’s what THAT looks like through April 2013:

bevvoltcombined copy

Cool eh? Prior to the entry of the Model S, that 5000 units per month PEAK pretty much DEFINES tinker/innovator market for these vehicles – maybe a LITTLE bleed from some very hungry early adopters. The graph looks pretty good and it is scaled to look pretty good. We are growing strongly.

Let’s put it on a scale with a big green line across the top with our 2.5% mark – defining the BEGINING of the EARLY ADOPTER market.

bevvolt25 copy

Whoops. We got flattened like a cat dancing with an Armadillo on the center stripe of Interstate 55. But that is where we are guys. Even the advent of the Tesla, and if they do sell 20,000 vehicles this year, we are not really very far along on the adoption curve.

But over the course of the next 20 years, which is what it is going to take to get us into the Prosumers and Superconsumers and more pragmatic main consumer body, I think the TEsla event will mark a watershed.

BMW is currently the luxury car sales 800 lb gorilla in the U.S> with some 347,000 sales in 2012. Mercedes is number two at about 305,000. But if we look at cars in the same PRICE class as the Tesla Model S, we are pretty much limited to BMW series 6 and Series 7 models. There really arent’ any Tesla Model S vehicles in the $50K range, or the $60k range or even the $70k range. If you are not over $80K, you probably don’t HAVE a model S and they are available up to $110k. Note that TOTAL BMW sales of Series 6 and Series 7 for 2012 was right at 20,000 units. And Tesla is proposing to sell THAT number of vehicles in its FIRST year, with a new plant and a new technology. That’s right, they want to take their first step out of the batters box AT the level of the TOP OF THE HEAP in sales of cars in that price range – BMW.

And it appears they will. On the morning after they announced a 12 cent profit and sale of 4900 Tesla MOdel S’s for their first quarter, CONSUMER REPORTS came out with a jaw-dropping review of the Model S. IT didn’t even SOUND like the staid Consumer Reports we all know and trust. They just took a knee on this one, claiming the Tesla Model S was the BEST car they had EVER TESTED – not best elecric, but best CAR of ANY KIND.
I’ve never seen Consumer Reports just genuflect in front of any product anywhere at any time. It was actually shocking, no pun intended.

NExt week, Tesla promises to unveil a Supercharger network. Which is a little odd since they DID several months ago. If you want another stock play, Solar City has gone from $23 to $35 in the past couple of weeks before falling back to $32. I may or may not get my 500 convenience stores with Ho’Ho’s and Ding Dong’s. But there IS a pretty good possibility that you will hear something about batteries.

We noted a year ago a little known patent Tesla had taken out on a battery pack connector. it was not particularly special, it just had a very odd geometry and they were very specific in describing their invention as being focused on this specific geometric shape. This patent is intended to ensure that you cannot market third party battery packs to TEsla owners. But it also prevents other carmakers from having a similar battery pack in their car – at least at the plug interconnect level. Why would they want to do such an unlikely thing.

We went on about this Supercharger network when it first came up. And one of the things we predicted then was that there is kind of an ace in the hole on this deal. The batteries Tesla uses have a limited life. They are kind of REQUIRED in California to warranty them for a long time and a lot of miles. And they are somewhat expensive. In their last SEC report before the most recent, they noted a liability out there because Tesla drivers could see ranges drop to 55-60% of new within as little as 5 to 6 years. If the Tesla can take on BMW in its first year with a luxury sedan, having cars dropping to half range in five or six years sounds like a not long enough fuse on a blow up.

Now how would you solve that problem?

Better PLace’s battery swap concept was doomed to failure because it would require very different cars to have exactly the same battery pack. Actually in the case of Tesla, this is not so much of a problem. All of their cars are going to be based on the same basic vehicle platform. And it is engineered to where the battery pack can be swapped out in minutes.

So lets’ assume that at a reasonable additional cost, you could join a TEsla battery club, and instead of RECHARGING at the RECHARGING station in 30 minutes, you could swap out your entire pack in 15 minutes or 10.
And at that point, your battery pack really isn’t part of your car so much as it is a service – perhaps with a monthly subscription fee. And Tesla just keeps recycling those battery packs, inserting the little silver bullet commodity 18650 cells as necessary to meet certain minimum standards, and putting them right back out in the supercharger stations. If your battery is a little weak, go swap it out at the nearest recharge facility – not YOUR problem. Battery concern basically goes AWAY. The low cycle life of the commodity cells becomes a private matter between Tesla and Panasonic. And if Tesla sells 20,000 cars this year, it’s not like Panasonic won’t notice with 8000 cells in each car.

And because of the connector geometry, a Tesla exclusive inherently.

Sunshine. Clean energy. Unlimited range on the car. You can drive coast-to-coast as easily as an ICE car. And batteries INCLUDED. Batteries not YOUR problem. And I still think there’s a vitamin water and pita pocket in this pile somewhere.

Is $97 the peak. Not precisely….

IN other news, Ed Clausen stopped by Sunday with a prototype of the GEVCU done physically my way. More on that next week.

GEVCU

But the basics represent kind of a new way of doing open source. Yes, we will of course publish the code and the eagle files etc. But what you will quickly learn is that all hardware is not created equal and that automotive hardware has some interesting problems. The Arduino board is great for prototyping, but it isn’t very hardy. You really need an IP67 enclosure that is metallic and shields from EMI RFI and EMP as well as MOUSE. The power supply is a bit small and prone to noise and so a fairly expensive ($29) DC-DC converter is necessary to provide isolation and power from the vehicle 12 volt system. There are some interesint, but also pricey new opto-isolators on the ADC inputs. The prototype shield Ed did uses SMD components so small you have to solder them on with a Microscope, and he is fighting for real estate on the board then. Outputs require MOSFETS to be useful. WiFi to communicate. An AMPSEAL connector identical to the one on the DMOC 645. It goes on and on.

The result is a $500-$600 device, with free software. This is kind of a weird inversion. The New Eagle style proprietary concept is to take off the shelf hardware and make it proprietary with your intellectual property – the software. This is taking open source software and adding what works out to proprietary hardware that is required to run it.

So what’s the difference? Well, the proprietary hardware isn’t really precisely proprietary. You CAN build it. It’s just terribly inconvenient and increasingly difficult to do so. But the other difference is the more critical. What you buy from New Eagle is what you get. If you want it to do more, you get to pay again.

With open source software, you can add changes and improvements yourself. You can get a local software queen to do it for you. And the community both supports the product and adds features to it. With each software update, it becomes MORE valuable. In fact, with open software, the thing can be REPURPOSED for applications we cannot begin to envision. Boats. lawn mowers. We may find one operating a microbrewery before it is all over.

High Performance Electric Vehicles has offered one of our favorite AC induction motor solutions for some time. THey FINALLY announced last THursday that they had received the long awaited Curtis 1239-8501 three-phase controller. Nominally 144volts, they have tested it safely up to 170volts. Although limited to 500 amps, this changes the torque curve rather dramatically. THey’ve wound three motors just for it, the AC-51, AC-75, and AC-76, each featuring varying torque/HP values. It extends the application of these very affordable AC solutions – under $6000, to vehicles as high as 4500-5000 lbs potentially. That’s a game changer actually.

They’ve also alluded to a very interesting build that they are working furiously on for EVCCON 2013. That’s a Corvette actually. A Corvette with DUAL SIAMESE AC-35’s, each with their own controller. It may well be the most interesting car at the event even if I DO cash in my TSLA and buy a Model S.

Meanwhile, I predict the Model S has flashed over from a new car entry, to THE cultural icon of 2013. If you are a technocrat and do NOT currently feature this fashion accessory, you are badly out of position and undressed in public. Essentially, no early adopter can be caught out of position without one if they want to maintain their status as technology maven and early adopter. It’s that simple. You own one, or you aren’t one. Period.

No show this weekend. I’m required to play father to a lovely young graduate of Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado this Saturday. Congratulations Jacquelyn. Six years as a Senior – you’re my hero.

Jack Rickard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 thoughts on “Tesla TV – You Own One or You Aren’t One.”

  1. I think http://www.openvehicles.com may interest you! It’s also an opensource project!
    Reads and writes can-bus-messages and sends it to a mobile app via a mobilephone signal
    It’s used now by tesla roadster owners to controle their vehicle from their mobile phone

    With a parrot-asteroid stereo they will be able to do it via that system

  2. Jack, insightful as always, but I need to give shout out on the viewer videos:

    Anne, beautiful build on that water craft. It’s too pretty to call it a boat. And it warms my British Car heart to see it sport an MGA steering wheel.

    Jeff, the evThing is looking great. Can’t wait to see it at EVCCON.

    Congratulations to the proud papa! Enjoy your family time.

    1. Thanks…..

      I love Anna’s creations as well… He is setting the EV boating bar quite high…

      I am almost embarrassed to do one now…..well almost…

      I can’t wait to see you are the rest of the misfits at at EVCONN….

  3. Yes, I think most of us are aware of open vehicles. It’s interesting but personally I’d rather it didn’t come with GSM by default. That’s cool but it requires some sort of GSM data plan for your car. For a lot of people wifi would have been just fine and maybe cheaper. Still, I don’t see any reason that there could not be integration between GEVCU and OVMS in the future. Since it is open source this will not be too difficult a task. Once the command/control details of GEVCU are finalized and things are working well I’ll start to investigate adding support to OVMS.

    One thing I noticed after browsing their source code is that at least the PIC programmers like to tie all of the code right to the hardware and there is horrible duplication of common code structures everywhere. It’s kind of silly and not coded that well. Maybe I’m biased. I hope the Android and iOS apps are coded better.

  4. I still think you underestimate the LEAF, Jack. As you note, Tesla is aiming to beat BMW at their own game, their first time out of the box. How can that possibly happen? Well I think it only happens because a lot of people are stretching to obtain one. They’re stretching hard not because they want a luxury car with an Obeche-wood dash, but because they want an ELECTRIC car! Now what happens to the unrequited love of the folks who start yearning for Teslas but really can’t stretch that far? They will have come to perceive electric drive as somewhat of a luxury feature in and of itself. And then they realize that they can have one without paying Tesla prices. They can have an EV, give up some range and baubles, and keep $50,000 in spending money. And that gets them a car that is reliable, decently-appointed, can carry 5 real people, and their stuff, etc.. The awareness and the “EV Lust” generated by Tesla is going to benefit the LEAF and other less expensive EVs in a big way. The cachet is going to transfer. I think your underlying principle is sound but I’d put the “not enough car” line somewhere between the LEAF and i-MiEV rather than between LEAF and Model S.

    Yes the cost of the pack is a big nugget compared to the overall MSRP, but if you’re really after an EV, you want that pack and you don’t necessarily want to pay for the pack and ANOTHER $50K for the privilege.

    Regards and thanks for the show.

  5. I wholly agree on the hybrids. The Prius for example is an ordinary ICE car with a load-smoothing transmission. The Volt/Ampera (European Volt) is more like an EV with a range extending trailer. I’ve used just over 10 gallons of petrol “range extending” in just over 2000 miles of driving (80 miles today, all but about 3 on battery with a bit of opportunity charging). Mind you it is an evolutionary gum-tree (two of everything with all the weight, space and cost implications) but a brilliantly executed one.

    My favourite theory is that Western auto manufacturers prefer the hybrid concept because it enables them to hang onto the advantages accruing from their intellectual assets related to piston engine design. Long term a hybrid car makes about as much sense as a hybrid wristwatch with both a spring and a battery (which I expect the Swiss watch industry must surely have considered before they were hammered into the dust by digital watches)

      1. Jeff -for me it is brilliant. I do maybe 130 miles once or twice a week which is out of Leaf territory and the rest of the time 40 or 50. In warm dry weather I’m seeing 45 miles on battery driven gently. This side of the pond with petrol @ £6 an imperial gallon the economic case is good. Plus you have the instant seamless low down grunt of an electric motor all the time. It would blow off a Ferrari at the lights if the other guy’s engine was at idle. Plus my son thinks it looks cool.

      2. HI Jeff,
        We purcashed a 2013 volt back in Feb. My wife loves the car, she is averaging over 90 miles per gallon. Her commute is around 25 miles, in the Michigan winter she would get to work and a few miles back depending on the outside temp before the battery ran out. Now that it has warmed up her all electric range has extend to just over 40 miles. Why did we buy, well in the spirit of EV1 I didn’t want to lease and then have GM stop making them and be out a car. Secondly, you cannot take the tax credit on a lease, the leasing company takes it. Becasue of our tax situation it made more sense. Finally they had 0% financing for 72 months so its free money and we have GM card cash to through in. I have solar and a wind turbine so I make our electric. I have some issue getting in and out, I am 6′ and weigh 260 and have to duck my head around the a-pilar but after getting in its fine. She had a flat which turned out to be a big pain, Onstar called a flat bed for her but when thay got there they couldn’t load the car becasue of it being too low, ground clearance. They then had to call for another truck to bring ramps. The volt doesn’t have a spare, just a portable compressor and a can of fix a flat.

    1. Hi Jack and Brian, thanks for all your work on the show every week.

      I’m not a hybrid fan either, but I think the upcoming BMW i3 may be one I can live with. They have a 650cc range extender as an OPTION on a built-from-the-ground-up electric vehicle. It only charges the pack.

      The BMW i3 is the only one I know of besides the Tesla that is made electric from the start. Carbon Fiber passenger cell bolted and glued onto an aluminum “skateboard” that houses the battery pack and drivetrain.

      See the details:

      http://www.sae.org/mags/aei/12056

      http://www.bmwblog.com/2013/04/18/bmw-i3-batteries-and-charging-solutions/

      Around 2760 pounds with a 170 HP Siemens motor, so it should be spritely. But most importantly, REAR WHEEL DRIVE (also known as correct wheel drive, or as-god-intended drive).

      Brian, how about a i3 segment the next show?

      Hans

  6. Hi, I received 60 100ah CA cells (lowest cell at 117ah!) plus some extra EVTV parts from Anne to get my build started and join the ranks of the EVTV army. It has been a pleasure dealing with Anne and all the best to him and the guys at New Electric.

      1. Thanks John, I’m enjoying reading your book. When the parts arrived my wife said, “Now are you sure you know what you’re doing?”. I mumbled a few things which didn’t impress then I showed her the book and Jack’s manuals and she walked off happy then. The power of the printed word.

  7. I also have ordered 50 CA180FI cells and some of that unobtanium orange cable from Anne. Should receive next week. Very pleased with the service so far. On another note , anyone need a kidney? only 36 on the clock , one owner from new ……

    1. Bathroom scales

      Some 300 kg on each wheel? Why not use 2 scales with a wooden bar across the scales and putting the wheel on top in the middle. Some 150 kg should work.

      I remember one of my earlier cars running over my foot. They both survived – my car and my foot. Nothing broken. What would you do with your car standing on top of your foot? Keep it rolling of coarse. My dad was sorry for not having his camera ready – just for the expression on my face. No it did not hurt. But with a car sitting on your foot you wont be able to run away.

  8. Hi Jack…
    I’ve missed your shoow last week, but I’ll survive just
    I look so much forward to the conversion of the smart car, I’m sure it will be a winner.

    I have thought about why you do not recommended people to put the batteries in the car when they are balanced out (That’s what I did) should accidentally happen and there is a short circuit, the amount of energy is being reduced a lot (so perhaps survive).
    That does not mean you have to be careless. When the cash and connections are completed, it is time to recharge.
    Well…. it was just a thought….

    Best Regards Allan

    1. Many ways can get you to Rome. Mitsubishi recommends to handle mostly empty batteries only for the i-MiEV. But I would not like to leave empty cells lying around for any length of time. It takes time to install them and having them in a box where they dont run away while balancing makes things easier.

      1. I would not be alarmed by using 2 weeks or a little more to build cells in a box. But several måndere I would not like.
        The cells dos not discharge you will see that the voltage increases slightly to settle down after a week and you are over the minimum voltage which is provided from producentet if you want to lay something in their voltage values​​.

        The cells are not as sensitive to the edge as otherwise told by many people. I have 42 160Ah cells and they have reached a voltage of 79.5 volts. I have not lost any Ah. The cells are stable.

        Regards Allan

      1. Good advert. Haha. Some words..
        “The Fiat 500e is powered by an electric motor, which is good for 111 horsepower (83 kW) and 147 lb-ft of torque that gets its “juice” from a 24 kWh hour liquid-cooled/heated lithium-ion battery. Fiat says that on a full charge of the battery, the 500e has a maximum range of 100 miles when driving in the city. Fiat’s 500e is equipped with regenerative braking, a push-button e-shift transmission…”..
        .
        Look at the numbers, it’s a baby Leaf!

        1. I absolutely love the new Fiat 500e… I definitely plan on purchasing one or leasing one as soon as they come out. It is getting rave reviews by the press. Definitely a step in the right direction.

          By the way Jack, when is the next show coming out, I am going through some serious withdrawals. I have been pressing the “refresh” button on my browser every 30 minutes for the last 3 days. Please help me… I need my EVTV fix.

          Jerry

  9. An addition to Anne’s thoughtful exhortations on having good electrical connections in your battery pack: I just had an intermittent problem with my battery test rig with a resistance in the charger circuit fooling the charger into terminating early.

    BTW I now have over 400 cycles on a set of CALB SE 40s. I am undercharging and under discharging slightly on all cycles apart from every 50th where I am doing a maximum effort charge and discharge to measure capacity. At cycle 400 there was about a 4.5% capacity loss compared with cycle 50. Just like the Headways there is no discernible voltage drift: minimum variance between all eight cells at some point in the charge/discharge cycle has remained consistently around 11 – 14 millivolts with no balancing since a bottom balance on assembly.

  10. Jack, concerning the new three phase Brusa charger.
    I think it’s designed to slot in with the EU standard where all the mainstream recharging posts are made to IEC_62196 and carry no cable of their own.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_62196

    .
    The J1772-2 fitted cars like the Leaf need a specially made cable connecting one phase to charge at 15A. Maybe some day an enterprising fella will modify 1st gen Leafs to three phase using such an item as a Brusa; a quality item.
    .
    Thankfully, Both these plug types talk the same language – have the same control pins.

    1. I think the J1772 design has really shot itself in the foot is by not having the outside ring or surface being conductive and providing the grounding contact. That would leave the current grounding pin to be used for the 3rd leg of three phase. 70 amps of three phase power is pretty serious.

      1. It’s all pretty serious stuff this earthing business. Here in the UK I’m having a FREE ESVE fitted to my house wall (All being well). However, they insist installing a separate earth bond to ground in case the car gets a thumping from a lightening bolt.
        Who wants to be Karma’ed?

        1. Yes I got the free wall box too Andy. Mine works well. I paid extra to have it upgraded to 32 Amp (standard spec is 16). The Ampera only uses 16 but I hope I’ll have the box a while. I also need to shell out a supplement to get my electrical installation up to snuff but it was still a bargain. It calls home via a 3G network with your usage

          1. Yes that’s right – Good points! I read off one site the 32A “upgrade” is like £100.
            The EVSE will be chunnering away to the spooks like my Leafs built in mobile phone does. That’s why, like mobile phones its the “gilded cage” principle. What they offer you for the weather updates, reading out RSS, guiding you around road works and allowing remote control/notifications of the car is a bargain in return for your information.

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