FOAD Again – Part Duh.

I can barely watch Paula Deen.  And I can never BE Paula Deen.  And there is a reason.

In last week’s blog, I went off on a bit of a rant on my original, and ongoing, motivation regarding electric vehicles in general, and our work in converting existing vehicles to magnetic drive.  My purpose was to delineate my own personal interest in the movement from the very valid, but very different motivations of many of the players in the EV space.  I understand the desire to save money on gasoline, although my own experience is that you can buy a LOT of gasoline for what I’ve spent on components and builds.

Similarly I think it is entirely legitimate to be concerned for the environment.  I guess I still look askance at the evidence regarding CO2 and anthropologic climate change.  I may know a bit too much about climate change in general and the known fossil record regarding climate change. I’m actually of two minds on this.  Recent human history has enjoyed a relatively quiet and benign period in an otherwise violent history of changing climates that occurs on such a vast scale anyway that our puny efforts at affecting it if we deliberately tried to are laughable.  On the other hand, if we DID trigger an event, it could be much more dramatic than also perceived or portrayed.   There have been in the past very sudden (less than 50 year) changes that were really quite drastic.  The planet neither knows nor cares for the comfort of its surface creatures.  And while the planet will continue just fine thank you, we might be very uncomfortable.  The more likely  outcome if that happened would be cooling, not heating, and we could be hunting hard for ANY fuel to stay warm if it did.

From my point of view, it matters not.  We know that what comes out of an automobile is not good for you.  We know this empirically given the number of suicides using a single car in an enclosed garage. It is remarkably effective.  So it is unlikely that a half billion of them in the outdoors pumping gasses is really beneficial.  I guess I’m struck by the blissful lack of awareness of just HOW MUCH atmosphere an internal combustion engine pumps through it’s viscera in order to rotate.  Picture a V8 powered vacuum cleaner.  It takes an immense amount of air to burn a gallon of gasoline.

the combustion reaction yields, 2C8H18 + 25O2 -> 16CO2 + 18H2O. 16 carbon atoms, 36 hydrogen atoms, and 50 oxygen atoms combine to create 16 carbon atoms, 36 hydrogen atoms, and 50 oxygen atoms.  This means that for every 2 hydrocarbon molecules burned,  it requires 25 oxygen molecules. Dry air is nominally and roughly 21% oxygen.  And so when you scrub all that out, and accounting for various additives and nasties in gasoline, you arrive at a fuel air ratio of 1:14.7 by weight.  A gallon of gasoline is roughly 6.16 lbs and so for a gallon of gasoline, we need roughly 91 lbs of air.

So how much air IS 91 lbs.  Well, the volume of air is a function of temperature and pressure.  Would you believe that “standard” air pressure of our atmosphere at sea level is 14.7 lbs per square inch, same number as our air/fuel mixture.  At 70F, a POUND of air would be 2894 GALLONS.  And so 91 lbs of air would be 263,354 gallons.  So while our ratio is 14.7:1 BY WEIGHT, it is 263,354:1 by volume.  IF that helps you at all to visualize it.

It’s kind of hard to visualize these things.  If it helps further, a gallon is a unit of VOLUME and is equivalent to 0.133681 cubic feet.  So our 263,354 gallons of air is about 35,205 cubic feet.  A space 10 foot long, 10 feet wide, and 10 feet high would contain 1000 cubic feet of air.  So ALL the air in 35 rooms each 10x10x10.  Or a single room 59 feet on a side by 10 feet high.  That’s a pretty large HOUSE actually of atmosphere to burn a gallon of gasoline.

All that math to TRY to come to terms with the volume of our atmosphere that is chewed IN to burn a gallon of gasoline.  Nothing comes from nothing. It ALL comes back OUT as water vapor, CO2, but also an unknowable quantity of other gasses. MOST of our atmosphere is nitrogen and IT all gets chewed through the wringer in the combustion chamber to come out as various nitrous oxides.  The internal combustion engine is an absolute manufactory of and endless number of side reactions producing an almost infinite variety of pollutants in various quantities.

We currently enjoy a cornucopia of diseases that just were not commonly reported a century ago.  This is often dismissed in that so many people died from OTHER diseases that killed people in those days, tuberculosis and other things that are curable today.  This doesn’t make a lot of sense actually.  A THOUSAND years ago it was quite common for people to live into their eighties and nineties.  Perhaps the AVERAGE life span was shorter, but we had plenty of old people in 1013, much less 1913.

Yes, our food could be part of it.  We certainly seem to have more of it.  But our diet is actually MUCH more varied than it was a century ago, and that ought to be a plus.

The two things in our lives that have changed the most in the past century, is the ubiquity of electricity and automobiles.  Which would be the most likely to impact diseases, and particularly neurological diseases – electricity or automobiles?  And we’ve already mapped, in one study, Autism to the distance from the Interstate Highway system – which is largely unlit.  Autism, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Cancer – virtually unknown in undeveloped areas.

This would appear to be a pretty easy thing to study.  But very few appear to be studying it.  Why?

Can you IMAGINE the litigation imbroglio that would ensue if these diseases were tied to the production of oil and gasoline?  Let’s go apply for some funding to do that study and see what happens….

So try to picture this from my point of view.  Anthropological climate change and all the iceburgs ensuing, may be real or may not be real.  To me they are the rantings of childminds on fantasy.  Mostly silly debates by the totally unknowledgeable about remote possibilities when in reality we could enter a new ice age any minute ANYWAY whether or not it is true. Climate change was ALREADY true and rather violently clear in the fossil record.  Whether we do anything about it, cause any of it, or not, the march continues.  It WILL change anyway.

My “environmental” concerns have a much harder edge, that is more immediate, and more personal to every one of us.  With the almost nonsensical focus worldwide of persecuting  cigarette smokers as if they were Jews in Nazi Germany, the world appears oblivious to the mass production of clearly noxious emissions from vehicles on such a comically grander scale. I do have concerns for the planet.  My concern is that it will explode from a massive chain reaction to a new man-made artificially created element – lets call this element STUPID. Yet another incurable disease, perhaps caused by automobile emissions.  I’ve even heard that you CAN’T FIX STUPID – according to one of the leading authorities on the matter, Ron White.

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In any event, I knew, and They Knew, and I built my own electric car and now eight or nine others.  And I did go on about it.  For me, it is not really about the environment, the cost of gas, or anything else.  It’s about being victimized in one of the most COERCIVE cultures ever invented by humanoids. And my refusal to be coerced in this manner for money.  I’m not SAVING money.  I’m SPENDING it.  In a declaration of independence and personal freedom.

I received two main reactions to this by e-mail, mostly privately, and somewhat overwhelming in number.  And while both reactions were mostly flattering, I found them totally bizarre.

The first was that they wanted to hear me SAY it instead of reading it.  I’m a writer.  I don’t say things.  I write them.  Surely you can read.  And how would it be different?  It might even diminish it.  But we shot a bit of me reading it.  And Richard, not blessed with a Catholic education, did indeed like it very well.  So I tacked it onto the end of the video, for those staying up late, and sharing his aversion to the written word. It contains no hard information content.  Entirely editorial and sharing my personal motivations more than anything else.

The second was even more bizarre.  I received literally a hundred e-mails urging me to “remove the expletives” with various  strategies for then going viral and having a much wider audience.  There were so many, and so emphatic, I’m completely at a loss for a cogent reply. I MUST have missed something.  Apparently something important.

Two points.

1. The entire editorial was about telling the cumulative vested interests in the existing fossil fuel infrastructure, including our own state and federal governments, along with the governments of at least 17 other countries, and the top five most profitable corporate entities in the world, to FUCK OFF AND DIE. It was designed as a very personal, one to many directive. From me to them.  And I don’t want them confused as to my meaning.  Clarity is important here.

Precisely WHY would I put that in more genteel terms?  And then precisely HOW would I put that in more genteel terms?  Something like DON’T WORRY – BE HAPPY???? Or perhaps HAVE A NICE DAY???  Either you don’t really understand just what FUCK OFF AND DIE means, or you perhaps don’t agree with the sentiment. It doesn’t HAVE a replacement term that would not be offensive.  It is a term DESIGNED to be offensive.  And while I can’t claim to have been the first to coin the term, I really really LIKE it in this application. No effective replacement, expletive or NOT expletive, suggests itself.

2. Going viral.  Wider audience.  These are just not in our mission statement.  My concept of targeted publishing involves a self select process.  We publish a very narrow point of view on a very specific topic, to the very best of our ability, all day every day and to the exclusion of all and everybody else.  It attracts who it attracts. The bet is there are others who share the vision and are looking for us. I try to make it where they  can find us.  You self select to be an EVtv viewer.

And the results speak for themselves.  I don’t have to have EVERYBODY.  I have to have the RIGHT bodies.  And I am extraordinarily pleased and gratified with the ones we’ve got and pace and quality of the new ones we are getting.  In the end, it promises to be one of the most elite fighting forces on the planet, with only the best and the brightest.  The ones we SHOULD have elected to Congress. But they were busy washing their hair that day no doubt.  Generally, they have better things to do. I want to enable them to do it to the degree I can aid and abet.

If you understand the concept, you kind of have to accept that it inherently EXCLUDES the mass of bovine non-sentients making up the vast herd. I don’t need the cattle.  I need the cowboys.    We specifically don’t want a stampede scattering our camp fire.

For one thing, I can’t afford it.  We’re up to about 50 cents a video download now.  A million sudden viewers and you’ve broke me.

There is another interesting element at play here.  ALL our viewers are experts.  They view EVtv and hopefully learn a great deal.  In THEIR communities, THEY serve as the authoritive source on all things electric with wheels.  Dale Friedhoff builds a Ranger that goes 100 miles on a charge.  In St. Louis he’s become something of a celebrity, speaking at schools and in front of groups.  Hopefully doing the odd car show and explaining to people what he has done and what they too can do.  It is NOT in his personal interests to reveal his sources. Most of our viewers do not carry the word about EVtv.  They present the information as authoritive sources themselves.

I’m not actually given to self-aggrandizement anyway and in any way and have no quest for celebrity. I’m physically nauseated in the presence of those that do. So this is not only alright, but it is indeed wholly legitimate. DALE built the truck, not Jack.  HE drives the truck, not me.  HE can speak from DIRECT EXPERIENCE, very very much UNLIKE the poseurs and posturers in the infamous online forums such as DIYelectricjunk or EndlessFear, or EVerDuLL. He has good and useful and technically correct information to offer, and a driving truck to bring the point home. That he gets part of that or a lot of that from EVtv, is entirely moot.

Trust me Dale, your secret is safe with me.  We give it away.  And it comes back to us in so many ways, in full measure, pressed down and overflowing.  Dale stops by the shop often and generally brings a jar of Missouri Gold – home made maple syrup beyond price.

And that brings us back to FUCK OFF AND DIE.  In order to make it stick, you have to have the ability to say it in the first place.  There’s a reason we are not on Disovery Channel or Velocity.  And the reason is not precisely because we have not been “selected”.   We don’t do that.  I’m a control freak and in control.  We publish my way and only my way.  There is no vote.  There is no one to appeal to.  I say it and it drops to the floor.  And there it lies.  And I like it that way.  To enjoy the freedom of the press, you have to own the press.  Better to own a small press than be paid well by a large one.

Paula Dean comes to mind.  She has a cooking show on Discovery Channel and sells her cookware on QVC.  While I don’t really like her down home aw shucks southern crap myself, she represents the new world of video and how to do it.  Except she is on these networks controlled by someone else.

In a court deposition from an employee lawsuit involving a restaurant she part owns, she admitted to using the word “nigger” about 30 years ago.  This was made public and those making a living as “professionally black” jumped on it, the media picked it up, and it has been the story dujour for reasons unfathomable.  I’m entirely certain that the ENTIRE body of Paula Deen fanboyz  is 100% in support of her, N word or no, and not the slightest bothered by what she may have said three decades in arrears.  But the Discovery Channel has taken this opportunity to appear politically correct and announced they will not renew her contract.  Which works out as there are literally hundreds now trying to get on the air with cooking shows at much less expense to Discovery.  We actually saw a reality cooking show competition whose WINNER would then get their own cooking show on Discovery.  All young, hip, pretty.  Two guys and a gal, and of course the titty girl won. So this apparent act of corporate cowardice actually has a monetary blink to it.  Younger cooks, less money, more hip, younger audience.  Better ad sale. Paula is securely in her sixties. You get the picture.  The professional “victims” are in orgasm at having “won” something or other, I can’t really tell what.

The point is, Paula Deen, and Imus, and those like them have to edit their output based on the reality that the larger network on which they appear can cancel them at any time.  They are NOT in control.  They can’t tell ANYBODY to fuck off and die because they can’t make it stick. Imus talked tough until the nappy headed ho’s got him.  And Paula is in tears on TV this morning begging for her show back. They will pander to what they have to to stay on the air. And so their message is no longer real.  It is manufactured for publication.

We don’t do that. Amazon doesn’t pay ME.  I pay THEM.  Our viewers DO matter, but there is no place for special interests or monied vested interests to apply control.  That was kind of important in the early days of the Internet and it is now.  We are not entertainment.  We are advocates for disruptive technological change that involves trillions of dollars in future commerce.  I know very well the length, extent, and motivation of those professionally employed to manage the message in that world and it is non-trivial.  Actually mostly they will NOT pay to have me killed.  But almost everything else is fair game in their world.

And so you have to kind of be bullet proof to bring such a message.  I don’t have a publisher.  A corporation.  A network. Or even a handful of advertisers that have to be pandered to.  In fact, our viewers have kind of pulled us out of even that pressure toward direct sales of components. That puts our viewers in control.  But not others.  At Boardwatch, I actually became somewhat famous for firing advertisers. Hard thing to face.  At EVtv I don’t think I’ll ever have to.  Thanks.  And if I can say fuck off and die, and make it stick, that’s kind of a Good Housekeeping Seal that you can trust the rest of the message as well.  The rest of the message actually being much more important all the way around.

And the message is unvarying and unblinking – total transformation of personal transportation of all forms worldwide to magnetic drive. No hybrids.  No half measures. Totally disinterested in partial success.  They cannot surrender. There are no terms.  No negotiated peace.  No prisoners.  Total scorched earth policy.  Burn their barns and their fields. Leave nothing behind to eat.  They can starve amidst the ashes of their fallen empire.  It is Roman.  It is Rubicon. Let the die be cast.  And those with an ear to hear, hear. An eye to see, see.  And a mind to embrace, welcome. We’ve been expecting you.

I cannot but support the many efforts at manufacturing electric drive vehicles in scale. Most of the individuals involved are indeed us, and among our viewers.  But we are hearing from our own viewers concern that EVtv may be a bit dated, and our mission finished, because the prices of manufactured vehicles are dropping and they are becoming more available.  And some concern in confessing betrayal by buying a store bought EV.

Balderdash.  In the first place, you guys would buy an electric puppy if someone could make it bark and shit properly. It is in many ways a mark of success for us and you and the movement.  I myself has finalized an order for a Model S for the wife. at a much higher price for the same car than if I had kept the original order.  But using the money I WOULD have paid in February, I participated in the tripling of the stock, and leveraged THAT through June 47 call options, and so Tesla is buying her a Model S in reality.

Yesterday, we helped sponsor Cape Girardeau’s role as host city to Hemming Motor News and Coker Tires GREAT RACE from Minneapolis to Mobile this year.  Thousands turned out and all the locals brought their restored vehicles to the event.  Must have been 300 cars including the 89 race entries.  We displayed three electric cars and were mobbed.  There have been manufactured cars for 100 years, but I spent a good bit of time fending off a guy with the race wanting me to bring ours down for the Drive to the Coast, a 10,000 car event in October.  Hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country restore and drive gasoline vehicles, a century after they were manufactured.  And what they have to go through to do that would for me personally be a horror.

Electric cars are MUCH simpler in so very many ways.  Five basic components: battery, charger, dc-dc converter, motor, and control unit.  I can explain the total operation to anyone in 10 minutes.  And anyone can do it.  We removed a gasoline tank from a brand new Mini Cooper that had 17 connections to it.  If pressed, I probably knew what four of them DID.

But there is a much larger picture going on here.  In the past 20 years, led mainly by the Europeans, the internal workings of the cars have become increasingly proprietary.  BMW dealers are forbotten to even LOOK inside a transmission.  The “engine control modules” are essentially full scale operating systems whose software are state secrets.  And this has progressed among the Japanese, American, and Korean manufacturers to the point that dealers servicing the vehicles has become problematical and it is no coincidence that this could be perceived as an attack on independent mechanical repair shops.  Dealers love the fact that you can’t get parts and can’t really get repairs EXCEPT through the dealers.  The longer warrantees are NOT just competitive beneficience.  You drive amd maintain that car THEIR way and have it serviced at THEIR locations or your warranty is no good.  INCREASINGLY, you can buy your car, or you can lease it, but it is in no wise YOUR car at all.  It is THEIR car.  And if you do EXACTLY what they tell you to with it, they’ll let you continue to drive it.

I don’t even know where all this ends.  It just keeps getting worse. And if anything, it applies MORE to the new electric models.  The Chevy Volt has 104 multicontrollers in it and over 10 million lines of code – all of it so proprietary, they may have actually built and sold cars that Chevrolet Dealers simply cannot repair in the event of malfunction.  Reports are increasing of Ford Focus and Nissan Leaf dealership visits with problems that do NOT lead to solutions.  If I had years to do it, I don’t think I could do anything useful in reverse engineering a Tesla Model S and ever repairing it or modifying it.

How will this affect the urge to tune, modify, and repair your own car in the DIY space or automotive hobbyists?  As the components get better, and they are truly getting better, it will be trivial to take a beloved vintage car of any make, model or size, rip out the oily parts, and convert it to electric drive and to do so with components you can understand and easily replace at any time.  And YOU wind up in total control of the car.  No warranty issues other than if you break it, you are guaranteed to own both halves.  Dated components that can’t be replaced?  Get real.  Motors have been around a hundred years.  You can pull that Raptor and stick a Soliton1 in in its place in a matter of MINUTES.  It translates pedal movement into motor turns.  You know what it does.  You still need it to do it. And the replacement unit is just a LOT better than the one you’ve worn out.  The physical MOUNTING of it will take you longer than the electronics.

How much battery does it have?  How much of it are you allowed to actually USE?  If it’s your car, you have total control.  If you drive a Leaf, you do it their way.

But historically, we know you will chose BOTH.  Most enthusiasts have a project car, or two, and drive a store bought BMW as well.  This will be the same, only more so.

So stop agonizing and apologizing.  Buy any electric car you want.  We happen to know you’ll be back.  Probably real soon.  And we can’t wait to hear what your next build will be.  We’re no more jealous of your BMW i3 than we are of your Samsung flat screen TV.  And that the Samsung lets you watch shows OTHER than EVtv is not really an issue either.  The DIY electric car movement is going to grow phenomenally into the future.  And the manufactured cars are ADDITIVE to that, not a threat to it.  They are VALIDATING what you do.  But it isn’t really the same thing.  YOU control yours.

Ultimately, we even think we can swing the pendulum the other way.  As awareness of the repair problem becomes an issue in the future, we think the manufacturers are going to start adopting more of what you do and less proprietary solutions.  Batteries anyone can change.  Standardized sizes.  Interchangeable motors.  And the reason is buyers are going to vote in favor of cars that are more open.  Individual empowerment and freedom.  We think its important.

If they don’t, we’ll campaign Velocity  Channel to tell it our way anyway or we’ll boycott their advertisers.

I did have a guy named Karl from Chicago lead a full scale boycott of our Internet Service Providers Convention in Baltimore one year.  Sure enough Karl didn’t come.  But he doubled the size of our attendance in the attempt.  If only I could get someone to boycott EVCCON. Hmmm…..

Jack Rickard

113 thoughts on “FOAD Again – Part Duh.”

  1. As for Humans activity being the cause of the recent warming of the planet, I just do not know… Is it possible, sure… Is it just as likely that our activity has actually stopped another ice age, sure…. I have seen NO data that could justify a conclusion like these either way…

    However, I do KNOW for a fact that much of the bad things that have happened to our country lately are the direct result of our dependancy on foreign oil. That is my main motivation for EV’s. I honestly believe that moving to electric drive will make our country stronger and more secure…

    As for pollution here is one way I like to look at it:

    We know that 1 kWh contains 3,412 Btu. We also know that 1 gallon of gasoline contains 115,000 Btu.
    The rest is just basic division: 115,000 ÷ 3,412 = 33.7 kWh.

    The avarage car can go 20-30 miles on one gallon of gas. An electric can go over 100 miles on the same amount of energy. Which seems more likely to produce less pollution???

    I truly love driving the EVThing. It is my kind of car. I have owned fast cars, classic cars, expensive cars, and NONE have generated the attention that this car gets. I cannot go anywhere without people swarming around the car. To my suprize (and admitedly to my ego’s delite) this cars attracts women of all ages. (I think it reminds them of a barby car) On a recent trip to the super market the wife when in to get a few things and I stayed in the car. Two rather attractive women walked up a complimented the car. One asked how many MPG it got. I explained it was electric. They then insisted that I take them for a ride. Beign the southern gentelman I am, I did. I still have not put in the back seats so I took them one at a time for a ride around the block. When I got back with the second cutie, there were two more women talking to the one who took the first ride. So, I took the other two around the block. I was having great time…… and then….

    Lets just say that driving pretty women around in the EVThing is NOT on the WIFE APPROVED ACTIVITY LIST!!!!

    I have already put about 600 miles on it. I have also spilt one milkshake, one glass of tea and one glass of lemonade in it. (I think cup holders are in order) I also know that it is unlikely that I will ever recover the cost, in terms of fuel savings, that I spent on the components alone. That was NOT the point nor do it care….

    Last 4th of July, I was laying on my back under a car sandblasting away 40 years or rust, grease and grime. Of all the parts of restoring a car, it is my lease favorite. It was my way of delaring my first step toward independence from the oil companies. This 4th of July I am going to a car show in my EVThing…

    The wife is so impressed with the EVThing that she now wants an electric car. I am sure she was waiting to see if ti actually worked. She wanted me to build her one that was:

    A) An Automatic…
    B) Faster than mine…
    C) Had airconditioning…

    I was all set to order a AC-35×2 and 48 CALB 180’s and buy a classic fully restored 1965 6Cyl automatic Mustang. Then she went with me to test drive a Tesla Model S… (Service center is 13 miles from the house in Marrietta GA) Now she wants a Tesla Model S….(I do too for that matter) She pointed out that our 25th wedding anniversary is in September and it takes about 2-3 months to get a Model S. In fact she repeated those fact at least three time on the way home.

    We will see….

    1. Dennis Carter

      Jeff,
      Sounds like Not having a back seat may have saved you some legal expenses. Wh
      at car show are you taking the thing to over the 4th? I am hoping to not only see it but get my wife interested and enlightened.

      1. Dennis,

        I am thinking about doing the Shriners Stars & Stripes Show in Cartersville on the 4th. (Dillenger park) I also plan on doing a cruse night in down town Acworth on Saturday 29th (4-10pm)

        Weather premiting of course…

        1. Dennis Carter

          Jeff it was great getting to see the EVThing in person and take a ride. Good looking paint especially for a DIY in the garage and nicely laid out. I hope to as well when I get to building. What I most clearly remember after seeing it drive away is hearing the squeaks you would never hear in an ICE powered version of that car. Made me think of a story about a racing series that mandated a maximum noise level and several driver’s coming back to the pits thinking something was wrong with the car because of all the “strange noises ” they suddenly started hearing.
          Hope next time you can get there early enough to get on main street instead of side street. I think it was still a good first show and a great example for recruiting to the EV army and moving the adoption curve along. Will be in touch. Thanks again for bringing it out and the ride. Getting to meet some of your relatives was a nice bonus.
          Now about that solar charged, magnetic drive pontoon boat… when are getting that started? 😉

          1. I enjoyed meeting you too. I have been working a great deal since the show to clean up several details. I am doing a video tomorrow and Wednesday that I will send to jack and put on my site… Should be a lot of new stuff to show….

            The squeeky torsion spring will probably be the last thing I repair…..

  2. Great show (again).
    Great blog (again).
    These fuck off and die editorials in combination with all your 100,000 man army recruitment videos and blogs keep me giddy with excitement waiting for the day when I’m no longer in the obscenely hot (and obscenely cold) interior of Alaska.
    Just yesterday I bought a 1994 Ranger that will magnetically propel me around New Jersey in a years time.
    I can’t wait!!

    Keep up the great work…

  3. Jack,

    I hate to be a yes man but the, I Knew… and They Knew and the F off and Die thing. Best ever, anywhere! Of course I do tend to be extreme, possibly a bit radicle when it comes to not using oil these days.

    I will want to post it places once I see a good spot for it.

    As far as the atmosphere I tend to side with Elon Musk, “we only have one atmosphere, it seems unintelligent to play russianrullet with it.”

  4. I loved your blog. I e-mailed it to my whole family. I had exactly the same reason for converting my vehicle to battery electric. I shot the bird at a gas station as I passed by just last night. It was an Exxon.

  5. Jack – mostly with you on the anthropogenic climate change thing, although I do get crosser about it than you. If we were really interested in protecting the wretched of the earth from climate change we would be putting billions into clean water supplies and flood defences rather than junkets for climate change groupies.

  6. Interesting points on blog bring me to say this which covers some salient points
    A troop of university students have proved conclusively that full full remote control -including remote steering of a car is now possible entirely through the CAN BUS attached to a transceiver on the OBD port.
    This revelation came straight after the unusual road death of an Obama detracting journalist who was making a clean break from the political heat.
    Before that, a right wing Swiss leader.
    Before that, I never believed the theory about “Princess Di” being killed but I do recall quick clearly the Mercedes had its one major electronic component “stolen” when it was impounded being forensically examined. Considering the nature of the accident.
    Not forgetting the very odd circumstances of the jets at 9-11; makes ya think!
    .
    With my Nissan Leaf reporting back every thing I do plus being able to remotely control various functions from my side like a/c and charging times. Location data is sent to Nissan too. I only wonder when the day will come I’ll get an expensive letter of transgression from the police or my insurance bill set automatically. Worse still, being remotely taken over, hacked or remotely stolen.
    The debate on slowly boiling frogs still goes on.
    .
    On the fun side ATM I’m in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas. Electric trolley buses abound.

    1. Good show again. I’d like to sign, Elon, but I guess my vote does not count.

      Andyj, I did not know it was so easy to “own” an electric car. Steal it via the CANBUS. Is that where the word “stealth” comes from?

      Enough is enuf and I am glad Karins’ i-MiEV does not have cellular nor navigation and our ol’ radio neither has bluetooth nor CANBUS. Still dont trust them. There is a law in europe that new cars must send an alarm to the authorities when an accident happens – AUTOMATICALLY.

      All cars I have been renting for a year a two now, wanted to connect to my cellfone but I dont “own” one. What if somebody else does while I am sitting in the car? All of them did have beautiful navigation displays with traffic jam display but what if somebody tells the radio to shutdown the car

      1. Hi Mark,
        Here’s the original paper. http://www.autosec.org/pubs/cars-oakland2010.pdf
        One excerpt that bothers me:-
        “These
        trends are further accelerated by electric-driven vehicles that require precise software control over power management and regenerative braking to achieve high efficiency…”
        .
        Princess Di, Mark Hastings, Jorg Haider, John Noveske, Ashley Turton, Mama Lois Anderson and her 52 year old daughter Zelda White, SARAH BERKLEY, Soo many, gets boring so will leave it up to you.

        I’ve always said to make a computer safe, the r/w pin to any writeable memory needs to be snipped.

  7. In a previous blog post, you mentioned disruptive technologies. Tesla is also attempting disruptive supply chain logistics, ie: selling direct without dealers. This has upset some States, who are attempting (Texas has done so) to halt direct sales. ,States should not be allowed to prevent Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to customers, so a petition has been in place for a month, but the petition is only half way to the required signatures. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allow-tesla-motors-sell-directly-consumers-all-50-states/bFN7NHQR

  8. Richard Fluentge,

    I didn’t think the camera work at the event was as shaky as Jack said, but still as I was watching I was thinking that you should make a steadycam. They are not that difficult to make. Here is a Youtube video giving you a primer on them:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NDsEFy5Iww

    Here is a load of instructions on how to make one.

    http://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/?sort=none&q=steadycam

    They are basically a stick / pipe, a weight at the bottom, a camera mount and then a handle (possibly attached by a universal joint). I hope you find this suggestion helpful. 🙂

    Nick.

  9. Chuck Milliken

    Now if someone can explain to me how a heavier-than-air gas is making it high enough into the atmosphere to cause this so-called greenhouse effect, without first being in high enough concentrations to kill all animal life on Earth… I might listen long enough to refrain from totally laugh them out of the room. (Dry Air = 28.97 g/mol vs CO2 =44.01 g/mol)

    1. Just curious… what does the height of the gas have to do with warming the planet? The greenhouse effect means that it holds heat no matter where it is in the atmosphere. The issue with co2 is that it remains in the atmosphere for 100 years so the concentration is rising.

    2. Hi Chuck, yes I’ve read about this and presume our atmosphere lies in layers, sort of… Even after years paragliding and learning of the weather
      The air at very high latitudes is generally very dry. The aurora’s light up from oxygen and hydrogen gas. Clouds hit various ceilings. One of the biggest impact the the Earths climate was the formation of the formation of the high lands North of India.
      The “unmixing” of C02 is not something that happens readily but yes, it seems from empirical measurement it does.

  10. Unrelated to anything here except that EVTV seems to be TeslaTV some weeks. I ran across this article with a video showing a Tesla Model S in Germany passing a BMW I8 that is still in its camo paint. Must have been an interesting sight for the other cars to see two cars that are not yet available for purchase in Germany. Tesla should be in the next few weeks or months (not quite sure).

    http://insideevs.com/what-are-the-odds-tesla-model-s-runs-down-a-bmw-i8-testing-in-the-wild-wvideo/

      1. The only thing coming out of a car with a working catalytic converter is CO2 and water. I used to test them for a living. CO2 won’t hurt you. The car might burn up all your oxygen if you run it in a confined space like your garage.

        1. “The only thing coming out of a car with a working catalytic converter is CO2 and water.”

          Sorry, no matter how good the quality, there are still elements of the smog gasses that get through the catalytic converter, especially as the engine wears. Additionally, cold converters do not work until they rise to operating temperature and once they are at operating temperature, they only work correctly within a narrow range around a fuel to air ratio of 14.7 to 1. Also, some elements of the fuel being used are not converted completely and are expelled in the exhaust. Among these are the sulfur compounds.

          At the risk of typing myself smarter than I am, let me say; the only way to clean up smog is not to create it.

        2. pdove:
          My apology, I sometimes forget there are stakeholders who still depend on ICEs for a living. In answer to your question: I don’t test Cats for a living; but, if I did, I would start looking for another position, perhaps testing EV components because that’s the future, a future without dirty engines..

  11. Hello,

    At the risk of sounding like Satire. I have to tell you this is not a feeling I have felt until today, even though I have been driving electric vehicles for 1 1/2 years now.

    As I reflected on todays holiday of Independence Day I thought how free I really am! Not just for living in this great free country, not just both my parents time in the Marines, not the right to vote, not the liberties we all make use of daily but rarely recognize. No I am free from having to support other nations that dislike us, pollute the environment, etc. So as I drove around today in the Electric Honda Del Sol I felt like a free man all over again!

    Thank you to Jack and Brian for continuing to shed light on this mode of transport. Pioneers truly, innovators maybe, a lot of fun certainly.

    All the best,
    Aaron Lephart

    http://www.smartcar451.com

    1. Carbon Monoxide is created but the catalytic converter converts it to CO2. I forgot nitrogen in my first post and yes the car pollutes for about 5 minutes before the converter is up to 950 C. Some cars have a preheater to heat them up quicker so they can call them selves low emission vehicles.

  12. I was waiting for a blog post on the most current video since this link is directly related to Jack’s commentary on why we need to get some percentage of our population off oil for transportation as soon as possible. I ran across this lecture about a year ago, and it was very nice to see somebody put the issue in such simple mathematical terms. The lecture is about 90 minutes, but it is well worth the time spent. If you don’t want to listen to all of it, the third video has the “meat” of the material, but I highly recommend listening to the build up instead of skipping since it will make much more sense if you do.

    http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=6A1FD147A45EF50D&p=6A1FD147A45EF50D&desktop_uri=%2Fview_play_list%3Fp%3D6A1FD147A45EF50D

    I listened to it again this week after watching the show, and it was even good the second go round. The video is a bit dated from around 2000, but his math holds true no matter how old the video.

    Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

    Michael

    1. I have seen that before. I with Jack on this one. I don’t think we will use all the oil it will just get more expensive. I am from Oklahoma and a friend of mine who has 12 oil wells said there is Hugh deposits of oil 1 mile down. It visits a million dollars to drill that deep and they collapse frequently. Someday they will solve these issues.

    2. Yes, I can highly recommend Professor Bartlett’s presentation. It is an exercise in clear thinking more than anything else. As I’ve said many times, a thing can be true or false, but without a sense of scale, it is always nonsense. And we seem curiously bereft of scale in our estimation of problems.

      Much like my missive on the scale of geologic climate change and time to the current concerns regarding climate change, so too there is almost no alarm over population growths we can view in bacterial growth and define pretty much mathematically. But is anyone concerned about that? Not at all. Total blissful unawareness caused by math anxiety. We speak of “billions” and “trillions” and I’ve even coined the term “brazillians” but I can’t find 3 people out of a thousand that know what a hundred really is.

      If you have to do a hundred of them, how long does it take to do a six minute task.

      10 hours of focused concentrated effort without peeing or smoking or drinking or talking. A real person in a real workday can or woudl do 30 maybe.

      So whether it is TRUE that battery cells drift or don’t drift is meaningless without a sense of scale. If they drift 3/100ths of a volt per day that is huge. If they drift a 1/10th of a volt in four years, it is totally irrelevant. You can ignore it entirely. Without a statement of scale, the true or false is meaningless. It becomes a Yogi Berraism. Would you have tea, or would you prefer coffee? Answer: Yes, and BLUE please.

      Professor Barrett’s exercise is eye opening and alarming. Everyone should hear this.

      1. I’ve seen this video linked in several places, and it amazes me how true is Dr. Bartlett’s opening statement. People do not understand the exponential function. Even after people watch they make some math statements that are completely wrong. Example “So 7% of folks are conserving, so we’ll have twice as much of what we are saving.” Wrong on many accounts. First, its not 7% growth, its just 7%, and second, you don’t create things by using less of them. The amazing thing is that it seems a lot of folks think this way.

  13. Hey guys, great show as always! Watching your clip on the Karmann Ghia, and Jack talking about mounting the heat exchanger on the trunk lid. I think its a great idea to take advantage of the louvers on the trunk lid. Might be good to build some permanent framework for the heat exchanger UNDER the lid, positioning it to the louver. Then you could use some standard weather strip to seal the heat exchanger frame to the lid when it is closed.

    1. I was having the exact same thoughts! Very OEM, very clean, and no need to drill or weld on the trunk lid. Easy access for positioning once the engine is removed and the car is up on the lift. Amazing and entertaining video submission on the VW bus this week – loved it.

  14. Wow, I really like the Jeff Southern, Thing ! I can see why that turns heads around Atlanta, nice work ! Look forward to seeing it in person at EVCCON. I like the use of the MicroLogix 1100, the PanelView, and the CRMagnetics on there too. Very Nice !! I work with industrial control equipment on a daily basis. Which got me thinking about using that same equipment to ‘automatically’ bottom balance a new battery pack. I can picture a setup that would allow you to bottom balance batteries in ‘automation’. But then the average person probably would not want the expense of such equipment. So, maybe Jack could offer to do the bottom balancing before sending out the pack by having this equipment in place, and charge a little fee, per battery. Or maybe that could be a sub feature written into the GEVCU code, to be able to bottom-balance 6-8 batteries at one time ? Cause, bottom-balancing is really a process just like charging, why shouldn’t that be automated for a number of cells ?

    1. Thanks…

      I did use a Micro810 PLC (about $100.00) to build a bottom balancer. It only has 8 inputs and 6 outputs, but it does have two 0-10V Analog inputs. I just programed it to pull in a contactor to put a 0.5 Ohm 300 watt ceramic resistor across the battery leads and drain down to 2.75 volts. When it cuts off, it waits for the cell to bounce back and wait a few seconds before pulling the relay back in to keep it from switch the realy on and off too fast as it nears the bottom of the charge.

      I could easly make one with more resistors, contactors and analog inputs to drain several batteries at a time (say 10 at a time) to speed up the process….

      However, I doubt that Jack wants to offere this VERY Time consuming service…..

      However, it might be a good “Pay It Forward” type project… Basically build one with an alumin enclosure and a few fans to cool off the resistors and ship it to people who purchase batteries from the EVTV Store so they can bottom balance thier pack and ship it to the next person.

      If anyone is onterested in this, let me know and I can probably put something together….. I Know there is a MicroLogix 1100 at EVTV with a 7″ color touch screen collecting dust…….

      Doing ten at a time really would speed up the process… Basically take a two – three day process down to a few hours…

      1. Raphael Nadeau

        I have been wondering something for some time now… Could you bottom balance many cells in parallel?

        I mean, if you were to put that resistor and contactor on, lets say 10 cells in parallel, of course it would take 10 times the time to drain that small pack than it would for a single cell (unless you had a bigger resistor and cables), but wouldn’t that save you the “manipulation time” of the setup you have to do on every cell?

        Unless there is something I do now know and/or understand (which is highly possible), when the cell are all at around 3.3 Volts, there wouldn’t be much current between them in the beginning. Also, you could let them “rest” for some time before beginning the process if you wanted.

        There must be a reason why people are not doing this… I would like to have some your thoughts about this, before I try it on my thundersky.

        Cheers

      2. Hey Jeff, thanks for that bounce back ! Yes, I was talking about ‘automatically’ bottom balancing up to 10 batteries at once. could be a real time saver for Jack or whomever. I too have a MicroLogix 1100 and a Panelview 600 lying around, other brand plc’s, as well as a number of DC braking resistors from de-commissioned industrial AC drive setups. While I have 25yrs experience with the industrial controls, I have none with the Arduino. Jack says the Arduino is open code, so I was thinking it might be more cost effective to use the Arduino for an automated bottom balance control unit. And the guys are working hard on a GEVCU, so I thought it may be possible to put some code in it that could be initiated by the ‘end user’ to make it perform the ‘automated’ bottom balancing function on say 10 batteries. That way the ‘end user’ could have something to work with on a new build, and if a new pack is needed in the future, well, the GEVCU could be used again for that purpose any number of times. Then the ‘pay it forward’ would just be a heavy duty resistor bank with sensors.
        … Doing ten at a time really would speed up the process… Basically take a two – three day process down to a few hours…
        But maybe everyone else has more time than I do for stuff like that.

        1. I do have experiance with these little micro processors. We mainly used them for communication gateways before people like Prosoft, HMS, or SST came along. I did desing a few that were for motion control with steppers and servos. I mainly used the old Motorola, Intel, and PIC processors and wrote the code in Assembly or C.

          The Arduino’s are inexpensive, but require a lot of extra circuits (Shields) to protect and filter the I/O Channnels and power input channels. They also need better mechanical interlocking to esure that the connection do not vibrate apart. This is really what seperates the hobby class processor from a comercial unit. It is just a hand full of parts, but the placement and attachments are critical to a stable and reliable product…

          When I designed prototype processors like this, we considered the project to be about 10-20% done when we had a working prototype. The extra time was spent mostly to make it reliable and repeatable….

          I think that Jack is on the right track with the GEVCU, but it is a long way from being ready for prime time in my opinion…

      3. The micrologix is a bit of overkill. The PowerLab 8 has been popular for this task on individual cells. I myself use one of our little four digit control voltmeters, a 0.1 ohm 250 watt Vishay, a contactor, and an itty bitty 12v power supply ($9). You hook up two sense wires and two heavier current clips to the cell. The contactor closes draining the cell to 2.60 v, and then opens. When the cell rises to 2.80v it closes again. It continues this until it cannot reach 2.80v. That leaves it usually between 2.75 and 2.80.

        Lo tech, but effective.

  15. I see you are complaining about the cost of the crimp tool for the Ampseal connector. I would use a tool from Molex part number 063811-1000. It is low cost and universal in that it will properly crimp just about any stamped pin with the 2 wings that fold over the wire. Digi-Key is selling it for $45.50 under the catalog number WM9999-ND. It’s not a 1 step device but it looks a lot better than $500 for a single purpose tool.

    1. Both Allan and I took smoking room last year expecting the worst but neither of us had any complaints. May be just luck of the draw. There are other hotels nearby to Drury Lodge so should be plenty of other choices available.

  16. Jack, I for one loved your “rant” and while I do my best not to use such language I FULLY understand where you are coming from and in this case I fell totally appropiate. You moved to make yet ANOTHER donation to EVTV and hope enough others do so so you are at least cash flow postive.

      1. Problems as the weather gets hot? the fire seemed to be rear of the pressure dome so is unheated and unpressurised. On the other hand is hellishly hot when the Sun shines and air pressure is high.
        No extra cell… No room because of the box size is made to fit the eight cells and all the top part is BMS! Is a pity, Boeing are far too clever to listen to everyone on EVTV/Tesla? Heck, It’s only a bigger version of a laptop supply and uses the same type of cells.
        The big problem with that Boeing pack is when the cells are fully charged and the input voltage peaks are too high. Where can they sink to when the batteries are full? The BMS has no DC sink I could see.
        If anyone knows anything, privately mail jack 😉

          1. Foxnews reports

            Reports: Honeywell Part Eyed in 787 Fire Probe Jul 15, 2013 2:15 PM EDT

            Investigators are looking at an emergency locator transmitter built by Honeywell International Inc (NYSE:HON) as the possible cause of a fire on board a Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) Dreamliner in London last week, according to a source familiar with the probe.

            The transmitter uses a lithium manganese battery, said the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

            Honeywell confirmed earlier that it was participating in the UK-led investigation into a fire on a 787 operated by Ethiopian Airlines at Heathrow airport outside London on Friday.

            Experts have said lithium-ion batteries likely did not cause Friday’s fire, allaying fears about a return of the problem that grounded the Dreamliner for more than three months earlier this year, when one battery caught fire and another overheated.

            (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

  17. @Bruce and Jeff:

    I used an automated rig run by an Arduino to bottom balance my test cells: essentially used a hefty MOSFET to disconnect a load at 2.65 Volts then reconnect it again at 2.7 volts and hold it in this band for three hours. I logged voltage so that I had a trace of the process. I have purchased a board with 8 relays on it so that I can hook up 8 cells and let the rig bottom balance each one in turn. I’ll let you know if it works…

    1. Sounds like a nice system John…

      I bottom balanced my cells again over the last two days. i have to admit that I rushed through it the first time and did not let the cells rest long enough after the irst pull down. Two or three were off at the bottom by more than I thought safe….

      So I balanced them (in the car) to within .004 volts ( of my sanity) out of 36 cells all were between 2.751 – 2.755… Most we’re 2.753. This time I let them rest over night after the first hand trimming session. I had to adjust about 5 out of the pack today and they did not move more than 0.001 after resting an hour or so after the second hand trimming session to be in my target of 2.750 – 2.755…..

      I feel like they are much better balanced than before…… It is probably over kill, but I was not really sure what variation was safe?

      1. Mindful of your dictum that one is “…about 10-20% done when we had a working prototype…,” it would be quite interesting to see whether the new Due/Apmseal could be pressed into service to make something a bit more robust…

        1. These hardware/software guys Jack is working with seem pretty sharp. I think they will come up with a good system….. (Usually about rev 10.0 with surface mount chip sets.)

          The problem with the surface mount chips is that they are so small and the connection pads are so small that there is a natural tendency to pack them too close together and you get electrical noise problems. I always found that the more space I left between the IC’s and the more ground plane I left in tact from the etching the better the board worked. I have not designed boards for over ten years so my knowledge is more or less useless these days…. That is why I went with a PLC in my car. Most of these issues were already worked out…. I guess I am getting lazy…..

          Maybe I can talk Jack into giving away the PLC and 7″ color display I sent home as a door prize for someone who might want to tinker with it….

      2. John, that sounds like a good idea too ! Setting up to do 8 cells in a sequence. Doing such probably would give the ‘first’ cell time to rest and be ready for another balance cycle when the ‘last’ cell is done. You could then set it to repeat that whole sequence until the cells were in your spec. I like that thought ! Using a programmable industrial controller seemed a likely choice for me because that is what I work with daily. There are several brands with free software out there costing much less than the Micrologix which I would be willing to use for this application. I’ve decided this might be a worthy effort on my part, so I will keep you guys posted as well.

  18. Pingback: I Knew…and They Knew… | My Renault Zoe electric car

    1. You don’t need a transmission with this thing. You don’t have to balance having high start off torque against going fast. Since this vehicle is not intended to go fast you can skip the higher gears and concentrate on starting torque and hill climbing/towing power.

      It’s a mystery to me why does an EV have to go 90-95MPH? No place within 30 minutes of here can you legally go 90. I’ll trade some top end speed for better hill climbing with a single speed gear box. There lots of hill out here in the Pacific Northwest.

      1. High top speed is more a by-product of direct drive. I did this test mainly to see how the torque will work. The acceleration from 0 was my main question and it is quite good with a WarP9. From 10 to what ever it is a rocket and it is impossible to get rid of this grin.)

      2. Randy, then the question becomes, how much starting torque do you want and still have it perform well on the freeway? If you did not ever feel you wanted to go faster then the legal speed limit then with a transmission you could use a smaller motor and or a bigger battery pack. It all comes down to the metric of the weight of the vehicle divided by the multiplied torque at a particular speed on how well you want any vehicle to perform. The lower the number the faster it will accelerate.

  19. I really enjoy evtv, I have never rode in a Ev personally, but I’ve scraped up the money and made a reservation for EVCCON. I read a lot of the comments, they seem to argue the same thing that’s been argued to death since the 90’s. How soon we forget about how the oil market controls our economic status, remember 2008? It put my business down like a lame horse, and if gas went to 5-10 dollars a gallon in the future, would that make any difference? You bet it would, businesses would fail, homes would be foreclosed on, and people would starve. Crime would rise like never before, because if they can’t afford it, many would just take it. Many of you say well I would defend my stuff myself, but could you defend yourself from mobs? It’s time to grow up and move on to something more stable for our future and the future of our children. I believe Jack’s nail it on the head, our future is high voltage!!

    1. Jarkko Santala

      Tony,
      Hate to break it to you, but we have over eight dollar gas a gallon here in Finland and none of that is happening. Then again our rated average mileage for new cars sold is currently about 40 mpg. This is the direction the whole world will move into as oil gets more expensive. It will naturally make electric vehicle much more attractive, but it hasn’t made them top sellers here so far.

      1. This is what really surprises me about Europe. You have the high gas prices and with EV’s priced at a level that makes them attainable, I figured the entire continent would be lining up for them. They almost make sense, purely for economic reasons, completely ignoring the geopolitical reasons, with gas priced at $3.50 – $4 a gallon, like it is here in the states. I’m genuinely curious why most aren’t.

        1. Jeremy,
          It goes like this: Stop and talk to the average citizen, they go “blaaahhh” then run back to cuddle up with the herd.
          The blue stain you find on the wool is where the owners ink pad fitted to his belt rubbed against her as she tried to get her rear legs out of his Wellington boots.
          It takes just a few of them to jump the fence before they all do.
          .
          There’s more! Where I live now within the single drive of my Leaf There maybe 7 working Chademo’s and (lost count) far over 30 charge points. I’m not in London, I’m between Manchester, Preston and Liverpool in Englandland. We have approx 3,000 Leafs for nigh on 70 million people. That’s one in +23,000 running on fuel that costs 1/6th as much per mile/km.

        2. Jarkko Santala

          Jeremy,
          It’s still the value proposition. First of all the electric versions are still twice as expensive as the same same vehicle with ICE. Secondly, new European cars probably have about twice the mileage of new cars in the United States. So you’ll still have the cash left to burn (pun intended) and it ends up costing about as much per mile as across the pond (even if it’s twice as expensive per gallon).

          1. @ Jarkko. Good point about European fuel mileage. There are a lot of diesel cars over here which are very economical (unless you factor in the extra health costs). On the other hand the economics are getting there for some users. I do over 20k miles a year mostly in 30 – 50 mile days and wear out a cheap £10k car in 5 years, putting £250 a month in fuel into it. That is £15k in fuel over the life of the car. My Volt cost about £30k so if the residual value after 5 years/110k miles is £5k or better I’m ahead if I do most of my miles electric. I’d be ahead with a Leaf

    2. Doug Ingraham

      Tony,

      For me it isn’t about eliminating pollution. Or about saving money. Or reducing our dependency on Oil (not just foreign oil). All of those are good things and the fact that you get all of that too is icing on the cake. For me it is about the fact that these cars are just better! I think you will have a really good time at EVCCon.

      I will be at EVCCon as one of the “Co Hostages”. Look me up and I will probably even let you drive my car, at least a little. This offer isn’t just for Tony. I will certainly be glad to give rides and I will try to not scare anyone too badly, unless that is what you want. Hopefully we wont break the car.

      Doug (#85 I think)

      1. I’m with Doug. The dirty little secret the greenies and tree huggers won’t admit is that EVs are FUN TO DRIVE! Last year I put an almost finished car on the trailer and wasn’t at all sure it would survive the week. (Didn’t – the parking brake literally came off in my hands and a bunch of nuts were simply missing after the trip). Bringing the same car this year (sorry, Anne) but better sorted out with a few miles on it. So I’ll make the same ride or drive offer as Doug. Maybe we Co-Hostages can stage a “lose your EVirginity” event and make sure everyone who hasn’t experienced an EV grin gets one. “Hopefully we won’t break the car.”

        Fred (#63 I think)

  20. The issue isn’t now, and has never been the price of a gallon of gas. It could be $2/gal, $8/gal, $20/gal. It doesn’t matter, the numbers/prices are relative. The issue is how fast the price changes. If it goes from $2/gal to $4/gal over the course of a couple years it’s just annoying. If it makes that leap in a month or two, well, now we have a problem.
    Make no mistake, the US will have $8/gal gasoline one of these days but as long as it’s spread out over time we will adjust.

    1. Aaaaa yes, the Jew Pin. Our hospital tried to make every one who did not get a Flu shot wear a sticker on the name badge indicating they did get a Flu Shot and would be required to wear a mask while at work to if you did not get a shot. I make a very quiet but yet strong statement of that sticker and called it the Jew Sticker. The person in the place giving shots had no clue what I meant. I explained that Jews were required to wear the yellow tag to indicate they were Jewish. She was taken back by that information. Our JEW sticker never was implemented and no one is required to wear a mask. It is not lawful. Don’t wear one.

        1. Obama came to power hiding under the Democrat banner like Hitler did with the National Socialist banner. Fascism and the Napoleonic code are what they want and are doing. Habeas corpus has been suspended. Little by little your rights, personal data, opinions,value of your sweat equity (money) & Constitution is being nibbled away and the police have been given powers over your life by people who deserve no right to be called human.
          Expect more of this as time goes by…. Boiling the frog fashion 😉

  21. I called Geico, who insures my cars, today to complain about their Hawaii insurance policy and was told by the agent I talked to that they do not insure low speed electric vehicles. Cars such as the Nissan Leaf for example are not a problem for new or existing customers.

  22. Robert Turner

    JACK you are so right and right to use expletives if you want to. The object of your anger is way more disgusting than the words you use to display your indignant rage.

    Sadly I see greed/profit as the enemy and good legislation/government as the saviour . So we diverge there a little (I am a British beekeeper after all). but I still gotta love ya! and I have always said to any that will listen, that climate change is irrelevant. We humans should to behave better because we know better, not because we fear getting caught by the consequences of behaving badly.

    When Vivian Stanshall and “The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” were reportedly stopped by a local U.S. sheriff and asked if they were carrying any firearms the officer asked how they were going to defend themselves without a gun, Vivian piped up from the back of the minibus, “With good manners!”.

    So for good manners’ sake let’s stop shitting in each others back yard!

    Mucho Cudos

    Rob Turner

    1. Greed and profit are not the enemy Robert. The enemy is the enemy. Greed and profit are EXCELLENT motivators and are the fuel for the greatest engine of wealth and innovation in the history of the world – the US of A. Looking to the government to put a damper on all of that is a good strategy. The problem we have is ANYTHING they set out to do here with a government agency, no matter how good the intention, just winds up being a comical HORROR of screwups and malfeasance.

      Monopolies and LAWS and inside deals and collusion to manage markets are a whole nuther kettle of fish. As Pogo so elequently put it, “We have met the enemy, and he is us….” In a strange way we have empowered governments and oil companies to do this by making use of an archaic mode of transportation, not because it was too expensive, but because it was so CHEAP.

      At this point, our entire land has been redesigned based on this very inexpensive fuel, gasoline, such that we have very separate places to live, to work, to go shopping, and go to school. We have actually codified this into law with ZONING regulations that require us to drive huge distances so there is no “mixed use” to bespoil the scenery. Today a 50 mile roundtrip commute to a job in a major metropolitan area such as Atlanta or Denver is very ordinary.

      The climate change is an argument I cannot win, and really cannot have. I’m from another planet. In reviewing the geologic history of the earth, with sea level variances of over 400 feet and 25 or 30 epochs of extreme climate change over 100 million years, the 3000 years of recorded human history is a “blip” of relatively stable and benign climate you could hardly find with test instruments.

      Against that backdrop, we have half the country discussing anthropogenic climate change from CO2 emissions with real alarm and concern. Now how can I take ANY of that seriously??? Or comment on it. These people are grossly and blissfully unaware of the natural characteristics of the planet on which they reside.

      It is TRUE. If we don’t do something soon, we are going to incur a dramatic change in our climate.

      It is ALSO true that if we DO do something soon, we are going to incur a dramatic change in our climate.

      It’s a bigger planet than you think. And it is curiously cavalier about what we do or don’t do. I frankly laugh at even the prospect of the nuclear holocaust and the zombie apocalypse – same genre. We could detonate ALL the nuclear weapons in the world at one point in one instant, or spread them around the planet. It would be a HUGE deal to us. But 1000 years later (a microsecond in earth time) you would be unable to find it without excavation. For its own purposes, it is remarkably durable. Assuming you can tolerate raging extremes of temperature and seal level. For OUR purposes, all of recorded history is a snapshot microsecond in time and it is the climate we are accustomed and adapted to. It is not only not guaranteed, but it is absolutely guaranteed to CHANGE.

      And so I put those chanting and worrying about anthropogenic climate change in exactly the same category as pygmy natives who worship trees or believe in leprechauns.

      And that is innocent enough. The problem we have in modern society is we can’t just live and let live. TOO MUCH AT STAKE. THey want ME to worship the tree and acknowledge the leprechaun. And if I don’t, there are penalties. Of course, I can buy CREDITS. And ultimately that is always the heart of the concern – yet another ploy to extract coinage.

      My climate policy: We don’t sacrifice pigs to the moon, nor read messages from God in cloud formations. You’re welcome to do so, as long as you leave me to fuck alone.

      But what if our health issues have gradually become a function of Mr. Dove’s very clean catalytic emissions? Talk about boiling the frog. Just the number of vehicles has increased over the last 100 years and please do NOT try his experiment with the carbon monoxide in the garage with a catalytic converter.

      The world is a bit more complciated on my planet. Yes, there is nicotine and tar in cigarettes. Unfortunately, we can readily detect about 3000 OTHER substances as well, some beneficial, some benign, some quite harmful. And similarly vehicle emissions, we don’t even know what all is actually IN the gasoline, much less the endless variety of byproducts of its combustion. Yes, some of them might actually be GOOD FOR YOU. But on balance, we are starting to see corollary studies suggesting proximity to vehicular traffic and some diseases, most recently autism. A frightening prospect given the ubiquitous nature of our cars.

      And by the way, if we poison ourselves completely out of existence, the planet still won’t care, and the climate still WILL change. It’s a 100% bet.

      Jack Rickard

      1. Robert Turner

        Jack

        I would like to express, (but fall short of available syntax with which to adequately do so), my appreciation and gratitude at your kind willingness to correspond with us all (I assume the vain and audacious presumption to speak for all your other readers and viewers irrespective of their various proclivities).

        I agree with you so whole heartedly on so many levels. I hope one day we may be able to lubricate a debate on the, frankly insignificant, differences in our opinions with a bottle of your choosing (I know nothing about wines, other than how rare it is that I actually like one) but they are all very good lubricants!

        My previous favourite “T”shirt (my own invention) was :

        “Slightly Cleverer monkey”

        My new favourite “T”shirt (to paraphrase you) is :

        TO BURN
        1 GALLON
        OF PETROL:
        YOU BURN
        263,354
        GALLONS OF
        FRESH AIR

        I am a gimp to logical physical philosophy, if such a thing, is a thing. I have trained myself in skepticism . I relish the dispelling of hogwash and the abandonment of humbug where ever I find it.

        We (slightly cleverer monkeys) fall so easily for the plausible! And (I suspect) like you I always insist on learning things the hard (and often expensive) way, and so I hate myself intensely if I ever realise I have stepped into the trap of believing the rhetoric of others without any explanation of the WHY and the HOW.

        You wont be surprised that I am frequently in arguments and often have to duck the punches of the ignorant and deeply deluded.

        You have entered my list of “explainy men”! (my son’s, when very young, nomenclature coined for a TV physicist he used to want to stay up late to watch; Adam Hart-Davis I think). Because I find myself understanding what you mean, even though I am mathematically and memory challenged ( I find smoking helps). And despite being sometimes sociopolitically opposed.

        It is for this that I want to thank you. Our world is full of ignorance and most of my cohabitants seem satisfied to eat-fuck-shit and sleep and never ever think!

        We all need you. But not just you! We all need people who help us think, crucially who help us understand and who provoke argument and change. I know you dont have to do what you are doing, I guess you could rake in the Ducats (we say duh-ketts you say doo-cats) without all this extra effort. I feel you are driven.

        I Feel driven too, in what seem similar sentiments against some pretty powerful forces which the little man feels helpless against.

        Over here we have witnessed (since Britain nearly starved in WW2) a 95% decline in wildflower/insect/wildlife. Recent Government studies of pesticides failed because all the “control” areas were already so badly contaminated to levels which killed the “clean” insect samples !

        It seems the blame must be shared between pesticide use and habitat loss. Both the result of yield and therefore profit (we are no longer sieged by war!) We have undoubtedly seen an increase in agricultural production since the 1940’s, but we still live on an island 70% dependent on imported food.

        Not because we need more land, but because our landowners cannot compete with cheap foreign imports from countries with slave labour and no imposable standards. So nearly all the farming families we know just let their land sit idle.

        Small-holders like my family cannot force our fellow citizens to pay more for local produce than the Walmart’s and Tesco’s of the world can charge. And every farm that goes bust is bought by one of these massive multinationals or other. And you are right It is us what’s done it. We can no longer buy an unusual rivet or get a peculiar sized gizmo, because “Screwfix” has aggressively seduced us with loss leaders to abandon our small specialised shops (you say stores) which used to stock all sorts of obscure, low demand items. We have more uncultivated land since the war than we did before it.

        I have just sighed with relief that Europe has banned neonicotinoids, and I want them to ban all insecticides and then ban imported food produced under lesser standards. Every country needs to be self sufficient for their food. And we need our Farmers back!

        Our government, firmly strapped into the harness of massive industry refused to impose a ban, They were overruled by Europe. Now they want to extract us from the EU and all its protections enjoyed by the common man.

        But you see, when I need protection from the ridiculously powerful industrial megalomaniacs there is no pen, sword, gun, no periodical, no TV station, no newspaper, no demonstration, nothing, nada zilch, zero . “not a god damn thing I can say about it”.

        Over here we live shoulder to shoulder. If you fly from, say, Cyprus to Ireland, at night, virtually every inch below is strewn with lights. We have no wilderness in which to Frac’ or Mine or Spray without effecting our neighbour. If a French nuclear plant goes up, our teeth and hair fall out on the south of England. When the Russian submarines rust through, our “fish and chips” will glow in the dark. But when Brussels banned neonic’s my 360,000 honeybees can all remember their way back home.

        And while it is true that we are cramped for space, I still have less than 60 million people to sell a thing or an idea to, and half of them have NO MONEY! So I could have a product that could change the world forever, but in the “Free” market, dominated as it is by companies with quarterly balance sheets which make the UK GDP look like a lemonade stall at the garden gate, There is no way I can protect it, promote it, and proliferate it before the bastards grind me down, rip me off or discredit me, my product or my idea.

        And describe to me this curious thing say you have, called a “free market economy”, where who-so-ever has the most money has the most influence: Not allowed to sell a car direct to the public so you must use a dealer, what is that all about?

        I think you and I agree. Though to you I must seem like a commy! But actually I am a huge fan of your constitution and your founders who wrote and fought for it. I think they were basically Commies too! All men equal before the law, separation of church and state and complete rejection of the monarchy et al !

        But maybe it’s because we seem to get a lot better service for our taxes over here. Bearing in mind we pay similar taxation to most of your states. In fact I guess that the differences in taxation around the globe are probably negligible if you really looked carefully, you’re either taxed or charged, we all gotta eat. My Mother, my daughter, and many many many people I know, owe their lives to our very excellent and very free National Health Service. Our education system is also free, and it is also a big export so it must be of a reasonable quality. I wont go on, but I could.

        It is not personal wealth I have any problem with or innovation or invention, it is the iniquitous inequality caused by the glorious multinational. The CALB batteries you love so much are not the product of free market forces. CALB has not emerged to serve a fantastic and sudden global demand for prismatic cells. Without massive state support they wouldn’t even exist. The reluctance of A123 to sell you any of their cells in either a perverse and misguided loyalty to the god OEM or a paranoid imagined threat of competition from Rickard Cars Inc. that was a direct effect of the dogma of market.

        The so called free market, which, as I see it, is not at all free! is basically an uber aggressive form of neo imperialism but not by nation states, by private individuals. It seems that success is measured by the stench of the pile of the severed heads of one’s competitors and is jealously protected by the ruthless stifling of innovation and invention, unless of course, that invention can be bought or stolen.

        I heard somewhere that there is a class of civil engineering project, exemplified by hydroelectric electricity generation , that are NEVER, executed by profit motivated enterprise. I can see a logic in the comment. If it costs a lot and you will not see a massive return within a human lifespan, why would you take a risk, expend the money or the effort. Our government cannot find a company willing to build the power stations we need to replace our ageing ones! There simply isn’t any money in it. While the Norwegian Government already has enough hydro to power half of Europe. Incidentally; I also heard there are more Americans that have learnt Norwegian out of idle curiosity than there are Norwegians, but again, I only heard!

        Your confessed criticism of “legislation” revolves around sentiments about who makes it, who controls it, its quality, its fallibility and its failure. And you are completely correct.

        We have outstanding Malfeasance, (a criminal offence my local police force initially denied existed) corruption, nepotism and fraud, I recently made repeated demands to my local police force; to arrest the entire cabinet of our County Council!

        It wasn’t until I asked for the forms to file a complaint about our chief constable with the independent police complaints authority, that they took any action at all. And then the action they decided to take was a quiet word with the leader of the council who then pulled a proposal to sell off our municipally owned harbour which has a law that protects it, since Queen Victoria gave it to the People of the Isle of Wight in 1852 !

        You must understand that I start with a sort of utopian assumption, a possibly unachievable caveat summed up in the simple word “Good”. I realise that it is a fallible system and it often doesn’t run very smoothly, rather than demolish all the jails, but I propose to maintain, overhaul and tune the legal/political system until it runs like a swiss clock.

        When I was working in the marine engineering, I led a small team on the QE2 in LLoyd Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany. There is no mystery to Germany’s success. Strict and clever rules and very effective management. And their Dock-yard workers were justifiably proud; of themselves, their company and there country, and they happily paid 36% income tax, plus all the normal taxes on purchases etc plus luxury taxes on cars and white goods, and “VAT” to Europe. Averagely they ended up with about half what they earned. My English chaps needed constant bribery, cajoling, frequent jollies into town and constant forgiveness, tolerance and understanding!

        Most of my blokes paid little if any tax because we usually worked abroad for more than 6 months of any particular tax-year and a lot of them constantly moaned about immigration back home in Britain WHILE they were working in whichever of the dozen or so countries we had clients in! I am well out of it!

        Perhaps it would be clearer to look at it conversely: How would you feel without law, without copyright, without patent. Without a rule against slavery. Without punishment for theft, rape or murder.

        I have no doubt your ancestor was a fine chap but your John Wayne world does not really exist and it never really did. When it comes down to it, from the dawn of time, the strongest arm wins all. Then the sharpest flint, then the copper axe, soon after the sharpest sword then the biggest gun. Now it’s the cunning-ist lawyer and the doitiest wotten-ist, dithspiccablist, most ruthless most unscrupulous etc etc , but it still all goes to the strongest brute. Unless we gang up on the brute.

        We all love to be safe inside the circle of wagons, in the village, the valley, the country. We are only monkeys after all. And we evolved this code of ethics of social interaction over thousands of years, largely to our mutual benefit and satisfaction.

        We no longer have to watch our beautiful betrothed raped by the lord of the manor on our wedding night! I think I can chalk that one up on the argument for laws.

        We both have daughters, and I would kill the fucker even if I got killed in the process to protect my 19yr old girl from some slobbering Baron bearing down on her. It’s not so long ago in my country! But neither you nor I should ever have to suffer that indignation. Why?

        Really Jack Why?

        Legislation.

        Morrally discussed, mutually agreed, imposed by force of arms, Legislation.

        I love it…but only when it is GOOD.

        How we decide what is good is up to us. But we ALL have to think, to take part, to discuss to disseminate, to decide. And that is why all humans need you and need me and all the other rare examples like us, who think and who talk, who are prepared to argue, to get right up to their somnambulant faces and show them just how stupid that thing they just said/thought/did was.

        People who, who want it a bit better tomorrow than it was yesterday. Not for personal gain, or even for the gain of prodigy, not for self aggrandisement or vanity, but because we know we can, out of respect, for our community, for our environment, but ultimately for ourselves.

        Wow. my eyes are bleeding! it’s 03.37 GMT

        smiley emoticon

        Rob

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