Nailed. So BYTE ME…

I know I need to do the blog part more frequently. But we have a lot going on at EVTV and I’m struggling with time management issues. If you have three dozen pressing things to do, the tendency is to go shell shocked and avoid them all. That’s where I am these days. I’ve spent three days this week going to work with three or four very pressing things right in front of me. I chat with the guys in the shop. Eat a little chicken. And fume. But I’m not getting much done.

This week we announce the death of the Electric Vehicle PLUS Collin Kidder cracks the UQM code. It’s all kind of wrapped up in the same cosmic thing.

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I am discouraged by a couple of things these days. One is the simple inability for people to do business in an environment where half the participants are either stealing or incompetent or both. The other is the “intellectual property” issue in technology in general and cars specifically.

Ryan Bohm/Netgain and the Pulsar. Gave these guys $20,000 two years ago for delivery of 10 units in 90 days. Note I was NOT investing in this company. I was purchasing chargers from them. They’ve basically kept the money and the chargers. George Hamstra squalls that it isn’t him, those are the OTHER Netgain guys he just invested in. Ryan Bohm insists I’m just too demanding a guy and he’s going to quit working on the project altogether. How does that work two years after the fact? How could I tell he was still ON it with no communication for three months? I understand he’s sold his EV Source website and has a day job now.

I ordered 50 GEVCU boards from a Chinese PCB manufacturer. Put $5000 down with the rest on delivery. Good move. They were unable to locate one of the parts so they just never delivered them and no longer respond to e-mails.

And I paid a local guy $3000 to paint the DOKA. He is getting a divorce and his air compressor blew up. So he informs us he can’t finish it and doesn’t have the money. So here’s your half painted (badly as it turns out) VW Pickup Truck. No real apology. Just “shit happens man”.

On the wider front, I hear daily from viewers that are certain there is not much point in doing a conversion because the OEMs now offer electric cars everywhere. As best I can tell, they don’t offer them anywhere but California. THere is of course the ubiquitous LEAF with a 60 mile range on it. The THING has a 70 mile range with a single string of 60Ah cells. It isn’t even designed to go anywhere – just be a test bed for the Siemens and DMOC645.

I was bemused and a little nauseated by the ever enthusiastic Ms. Nikki Gordon Broomfield. After years of sucking up to Nissan, they have apparently done some deal and they sponsored her apparently in covering the WAVE gathering in Stuttgart – nearly 500 EV’s in the largest gathering ever. Nissan touted her participation in a Nissan Press Release anyway. She wound up on tour of France and Belgium from the cab of a flatbed towtruck with her trusty Nissan Leaf bouncing about behind her. Finally was able to get it charged sufficiently to make it back through the tunnel to the UK and home. A power demonstration of what NOT to do with a Leaf.

This brings so much into play as to the state of OEM EVdumb I don’t even know where to start. First, a drive from England to Stuttgart is not precisely what I picture as the role of an electric car. It is pretty clear that about 98% of the miles driven in the United States at least occur within 25 miles of home. This isn’t an opinion or a point of view. We can measure this.

But in any event it failed rather ignomiously. I can posit all sorts of “why it failed” but it was a more general failure than a Leaf on a truck bed.

First is Nissan. They have announced that ALL NISSAN LEAF DEALERS will have the fast charge capability by next quarter for about a dozen quarters now. All Nissan Leaf dealers do not even have J1772 Level II charging yet. It is simply a lie. A public misrepresentation of fact. You can’t go to a Nissan dealer and charge. You can go to some and charge. And some that even HAVE charging will only let you charge during business hours. And of course if you are not in a Leaf they generally won’t let you charge at all. It is a systemic failure of the Nissan organization that has had years to rectify it and have not bothered.

But Ms. Gordon-Broomstick also had a fistful of online maps, RFID cards etc to charge at numerous plug-in charge points shown on those maps. In general, many if not the majority are simply non-operational. They don’t work. They work but can’t take the cards yet. Work and can take the cards but you have the WRONG card. Etc. Many of these maps have been created by very enthusiastic organizations and individuals who desperately want to promote electric vehicles in general. And they delight in showing how very many charge stations there are. But there aren’t. No one is out checking to see if you can actually CHARGE at those locations. And so if you plan a trip thinking they will be available, you too will wind up on a flatbed truck – out of altitude, airspeed, and ideas all at a very unfortunate moment.

Meanwhile, we have four J1772 charge stations at the Federal Court House here in Cape Girardeau that have never had the zip tie cut that secures the plug to the pedestal. No one has ever TRIED using them. If all they need to be operational is turning on a circuit breaker in the building, no one has likely turned it on, or ever will. That’s the state of EVdumb circa June 2014.

A broad scale disconnect, with a raging debate involving thousands of people who have never been in an electric car, and a few who purport to be experts but haven’t a clue how to get from A to B in one. And totally unaware that from A to B isn’t even what they are for.

So I’m feeling a little bit of disconnect here. In this episode I read off the LIST of all the OEM’s and startups in batteries and EVs that are BANKRUPT and their assets sold off in liquidation and it is a pretty large list. SEVCONN by the way has informed us they do NOT want to sell us inverters because they don’t feel that our position is compatible with their mission to sell their inverters to OEMs. This is priceless. I didn’t bother pointing them to UQM, who has received $42 million in Federal (read our) money (a redundant theme in the list of failures) to build a plant capable of producing 56,000 inverter/motor sets a year. Of course, as of this writing and after at least five years I know of of valient effort, UQM does NOT HAVE A SINGLE OEM OR OEM CANDIDATE in their business model. Not a one. They DID have ONE – CODA. Coda is now bankrupt, and instead of selling them 15,000 units which they had AGREED contractually to purchase, UQM is stuck with an inventory of $7.9 million in CODA specific hardware, according to their latest sworn SEC filing, which they indicate NO HOPE of recovery. Something to aspire to SEVCCON.

And yes, why am I complaining about a measely $20,000 charger order that turns out to be just simple and direct theft and fraud? Glad I wasn’t selling to CODA.

We really DON’T sell to OEMS. Oh, we had one call and want a dozen Borg Warner eGearDrives. I informed them we had seven left in stock and they wanted them. Had to have them NOW. They are the Vantage Green Van guys (we have one). 39 e-mail messages later, after “their acccounting office” wanted three business references in order to BUY something from us (????????) I finally gave up. I told the guy we just couldnt’ deal with them. We were little and ugly and our mother dressed us funny and we just couldnt’ possibly meet their needs as a huge automotive original equipment manufacturer and member of the Fortune 500. We couldn’t sell them ANYTHING. The next day they sent money and I received hourly requests for progress and tracking numbers from that moment. We did send them the 7 we had on hand and reordered from Borg Warner. The DAY after they arrived, the company informed me they would not work for their application and DEMANDED not only a full refund, but that WE PAY TO SHIP THEM BACK, “WHILE” mind you noting that they were all in perfect shape in their original packaging. ??????

What am I supposed to do with that??

The problem with UQM’s stock of “OEM” Powerphase 100’s is that they are specifically modified for CODA and can’t really be used for much else. The CAN commands are somewhat different and after reverse engineering almost everything about them, we got it down to a single CRC byte that was intentionally coded to keep others from running the inverter. That is its only purpose. To make it proprietary. Why? So you can’t get an inverter from UQM or someone else and use it in a CODA car. You have to pay CODA their parts premium to buy a new inverter.

That’s a little hard to do these days. CODA went bankrupt. It’s gone. Well not entirely gone. After shedding all liability, to UQM and to each of the 81 poor hapless yucks that actually bought a CODA, along with any obligation to any of the investors who put money into the company hoping for a return, a number of the CODA principals continue life in the fast lane as CODA ENERGY. This is a battery backup company.

John Hissong was one of the chief engineers at CODA and is now the same at CODA Engineering. I contacted him and asked if he could provide any assistance in decoding this one goofy security byte. Throw a bro a bone. Actually a bonelette. His reply was breathtaking.

1. First, we should go to UQM and buy them from them as they had done.
2. He couldn’t possibly help because of the liability issues.
3. If neither of the first two were true, that security algorithm might still be used in some of their current products, and releasing it would open up their current offerings to attack.

After politely and carefully vomitting into a trash can, I thanked him for his generous asssistance.

1. Buy them from UQM? You mean steal some from them and then use the bankruptcy courts to avoid paying for them?
2. Liability issues? From the bankruptcy? For the cars? You don’t have any liability. You made certain of that.
3. ??? The motor controller on their battery backup systems???

This is how very FAR the intellectual property paranoia has gone. Mindlessly too far. The problem is, if you buy a modern car you don’t own the sonofabitch. You barely own part of it. ANd if it breaks down or you want to modify it, you can’t and you can’t by the deliberate design of the manufacturer. You are deprived of the use of your own equipment, which you have bought and paid for, in a very deliberate fashion and without apology.

This inevitably has a vast chilling effect on the introduction of electric vehicles. If they break, you are totally dependant on the good will of a company that has expressly demonstrated a thorough lack of good will, if you want it fixed. But in any event, in reviewing our list of failed companies, it won’t matter anyway because they will be bankrupt and gone, shedding any responsibility for the outcome and “so long sucker and thanks for all the fish.”

So Nissan publicly trumpets the availability of fast charging that doesn’t exist. CODA is bankrupt. UQM and Sevconn and Siemens and, well everybody, ONLY want to sell to OEMs even if they are bankrupt. And if you DO buy an electric car, they still own it and you aren’t to touch it. Does this smack of inmates having taken over the asylum? Are we banging our tin dinner plates on the bars here?

Tesla is the lone success story. But even they rather fail the sniff test. At $107,000 for my Tesla Model S, I’m guessing this is not the solution to the future. We still have the “value proposition” here. There were pefectly running electric cars widely available in 1914. Quite mature and with the bugs ironed out. But yes, they were $3000 and the Model T was $750. The value proposition has to be addressed or this will not work.

It is very interesting to see Mr. Musk, who is a very bright guy and does get it, as the problem finally crosses HIS brow. Tesla is a very closed very secretive bunch. They are striving for excellence in product service and largely achieving it. But the conundrum of totally closed Intellectual Property and vehicle ownership has occurred to him. MOre specifically at the moment the closed nature of Tesla’s fast charging network that DOES seem to be maintained and operational. In his words, “we don’t want to carve a path through the jungle and then plant land mines on it.” And so he’s noodling how he can provide access to it which obviously involves sharing the technology of charging at least with his competitors. They have to be able to charge at 135kw and climbing like a Tesla. And he does insist they help fund the network pro rata to their use. And philisophically, the use of the network has to be free or Elon doesn’t want to play.

Interesting problem. BUt it assumes the other OEM’s want to sell electric cars at all. And that is NOT a given. As Musk himself noted in their annual stockholders meeting, by far the majority of OEM plug in cars are simply California Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate compliance cars. And that if those ZEV mandates go away, so do the cars.

This may all sound doom and gloom. But it isn’t necessarily. Who in the entire world holds the key to the future of electric cars? It is really quite simple. Collin Kidder does. If you ask nice, he’ll give you one.

You see if my 1974 VW Thing breaks down, I don’t need anyone’s permission to fix it. AFTER we decoded the DMOC645 CAN bus command structure. Collin was key in that. If my Escalade breaks down I don’t need GM’s permission to fix it. They wouldn’t know how. ANd if I can just get out of my current overwhelmed activity mode, getting the UQM running is pretty trivial now that we have the 15 lines of code necessary to produce the byte.

And so we have Damien Maguire and Collin Kidder and Mark Weisheimer and Michael Neuweiller and really an unending resource of talented individuals out there that eventually can indeed get most all the components of an electric car to work one way or another.

Now let me ask you this. If you COULD by an electric car. And were considering two models who each had like 4 wheels, an airconditioner, and a bluetooth module for your phone, which would you pick? A proprietary vehicle you were warned not to even look at. Or an open source car. A car that EVERYTHING IN IT was open source hardware and software.

Now if you buy a Leaf and it doesn’t go far enough, you just add some more batteries in the trunk. If it doesn’t go fast enough, you swap out the motor – and maybe the inverter while you’re in there. If it doesn’t charge fast enough, change the charger. If its your car, you should be EMPOWERED by the manufacturer to do that. He should be assisting you in that.

Curiously, you already are. If you build your own that is. Which is one reason why I see this custom EV thing growing phenomenally in the future. Control of your own transportation destiny.

But I can see an actual seam in the zone for someone to sell an open source car. We sell GEVCUs. They are entirely open source in both hardware and software. But it is just easier to buy the damn thing from us and get the manual and the cable and the nice enclosure etc. By doing a lot of them we get the parts cheaper. But you can certainly build your own if you like.

What if that were the case with the whole freaking car? If you could buy a brand new car, get financing and insurance for it, but it is entirely open source with all the software and hardware diagrammed and described in the shop manual. Kind of like cars WERE in the 1950’s. Would it have a “competitive edge”. And ironically, isn’t a competitive edge what all the proprietary IP is about in the first place?

I think it would be MORE of a competitive edge to have a 100% open source car. ALL of it.

In the meanwhile, we will keep plugging away on the GEVCU and the UQM drive train. You might find it amusing to learn that Ed Clausen and I are working on an open source BMS. No shit. I’m not kidding.

And it might be that we will just have to set up an Indigogo account to do a crowd funding project to buy Collin Kidder a Leaf so he can develop a GEVCU module to basically OUT the CAN bus stuff to run a Leaf = inverter, charger, BMS, all of it. They claim to have sold 110,000 units worldwide. The parts for all of them should be available on eBay within five years.

But buyer beware. The business ethics thing is still a problem. WE talked with a guy in Las Vegas who is selling brand NEW Leaf cells – obtained from salvaged Leafs. New meaning new to the market after they are taken out of the wrecked Leaf, which had however many miles on it. New to you. It never ends.

In any event, thank you Collin Kidder for literally pulling off the Alan Turing Enigma thing on this annoying little one byte problem.


What he calls obsessing on a little puzzle problem I call changing the world.

For the John Hissong poseur wannabees – BYTE ME! Your stock options STILL ain’t worth shit…

Jack Rickard

112 thoughts on “Nailed. So BYTE ME…”

  1. There are leafs floating around here in California with 25k miles for under $15K. Dinged and dented for under 10K. If you do go through with an indiegogo campaign and there is a car out here, I’ll volunteer to drive it to EVCCON on a flat bed. 🙂

    A valiant effort by Collin, Bill, and others who were helping verify the code. Thanks!

    1. Leafs are appearing on eBay over here (in the UK)for $14k. These are the pre lease battery ones. Surely someone’s going to come up with an atractive lotus like kit car using the Leaf as a donor car?
      Assuming the GEVCU can be made to work with the Nissan parts, buying and breaking a Leaf is going to be a cheap source of parts for DIY conversions.

  2. Stanley A. Cloyd

    Insanity has been described as applying the same solution and failing over and over again. The OEM puzzle fits the description quite well. I use to argue for solar panels here at ASU and got the party line about pay-back time. The model for justification could only apply knowns and was not allowed to consider unknowns in any way. That was five years ago. After getting their feet wet with a 2 megawatt installation they had real data to crunch numbers on and what-if with. With 25 mega-watts installed now every parking lot is sprouting a sunshade. The tail-gaters at the games love it. I hear ASU has the largest photo-voltaic array of any university. When I was in college the best EEs said voice recognition software would never work and that TV on PCs would always just require too much bandwidth.

  3. I cannot imagine what could produce a code like this.

    I guess it is a good example of a random number generator gone corrupt because the programmer did not have a clue and relied on garbage collected from the NSA.

    Collin you are a hero and I am sure your code is much cleaner than their original. You should CopyLeft it so we can force them to release their source in case they steal it. LOL

    Peter and Karin

  4. Jack,

    I am sorry to hear of all your troubles… All I can offer is to paint your DOKA for free for you…. I am not a Pro, but you have seen my EVThing and that is about as good as I can paint…

    I am always amazed at how people try to treat their customers. If we did that we would be out of business in a couple of weeks…

  5. I am 90% sure the “NEW” (2012) salvaged nissan cells come out of the 1000+ that got flooded over a year ago in NJ. The same flooding that took out a bunch of fiskers. You still see those cars for sale on copart with lots and lots of them lined up next to one another. It takes about $3500-4000 to get one of those flooded leafs.

  6. Jack
    Return of Borg Warner eGearDrives.
    You need to tell them that you have a $200.00 restocking fee!!!!!!!!
    Or whatever it takes to cover return shipping

    Al Gajda

  7. Jack, thanks for exposing the liars and cheats. What is happening with your Solar Panel install at the shop? Hoping to see a segment of that on EVTV.

    BTW I have stopped watching Nikki’s show, got tired of her alienating comments and her reluctance to have straight males like you as a guest.

  8. Hmm, that “OEM” that wanted the Borg Warner’s… I’d bet they wouldn’t work for their application because the “E-Machine interface” (as Borg Warner calls it) would only fit the Siemens motor, and they were using some other motor? For others not familiar with the Borg Warner gearboxes, they come with several different “adapter plates” that borg Warner calls an E-Machine interface. It’s the adapter that bolts to the e-gear drive on one end and the motor on the other end. They sell several different types, One for the Siemens motor, one for the Remy motors, and one for the UQM motors, and undoubtedly others for other motors. Jack has mostly the Siemens compatible ones (meant for use by AZD), and a couple of the UQM ones which came out of the Coda’s. On different data and dimension sheets and web sites you see them with different e-machine interface’s so you have to be sure what you’re buying because the picture on the web page might not match what the description says. Even the data on Jack’s documentation shows the Remy e-machine interface, The picture of the gearbox sitting on the shelf or next to jack clearly shows that the one for sale is the siemens one… A pic of a guy holding the actual part for sale is always more assuring than a stock photo. Oh, and there are different gear ratios available too. I can see how they might be confused. Still though, I’d charge them a restocking fee and make them pay for return shipping as they really should have made sure they were ordering the correct part before placing the order. Oh, another difference is that the ones for Coda have the CAN controlled E-Park and the ones for AZD have a manual park pawl lever.

    1. The CAN controlled E-Park was noted as the issue. But in 39 e-mails it was never discussed. Yes, I told them they could return it at their shipping expense and we would credit all that were recieved intact less 15% restocking. But we have already ordered an additional 12 from Borg Warner (minimum order) and so now we will have 19 in stock at huge expense really. We don’t actually use them but they sell – not rapidly but they do sell. We have several Ford dealers that buy them. Apparently they go bad in ice and snow.

      Jack Rickard

  9. I find the Nikki Leaf Tour failure really strange…
    I have a friend here where I live that drove from around Östersund In Sweden to London and back in his Leaf, just three weeks ago.
    It took a couple of days but I would guess the whole trip was more than 4000km. I don’t see travelling with the leaf a big problem unless your are in a big hurry. And for vacation it must be a really nice way to see new places and travel pretty cheap. You’ll have to eat anyway so why not do it while you fast charge.

  10. Sorry to hear your analysis of US corporate woes. I’m sure it is as bad over here in UK. Corporate culture just seems to trump every human virtue that many of these individuals (but not all) display in their private lives. My suggestion would be retraining of 75% of the nations lawyers as butlers for engineers, medics and those with useful skills.

  11. Well, if people seriously did want to be able to use all the Leaf hardware I think something could be worked out to make that happen. There are actually two interesting ideas here: 1. To hack everything in a Leaf so that people can do with it as they please and/or use the hardware in other vehicles and 2. to create all open source hardware and software for an entire electric vehicle. Either idea could be feasible but would require quite the crowdsourcing effort (especially idea 2). Are there enough interested people in this world to make an open source car a reality? Hacking the leaf seems easy by comparison. Either would be a blast though.

    1. At the time, I meant it as two separate ideas. On the other hand, why reinvent the wheel. We can take advantage of the investment by large corporations in developing motors and inverters and chargers etc. Once those components are reversed engineered sufficiently that we can control them well enough to accomplish their basic functions, those components obviously would be available for builds.

      I was alluding to the fact that IF an entry after the fashion of a Tesla (albeit somewhat less expensive) was approached with the avowed goal of producing a ready made vehicle that was ENTIRELY open source, with all software and so forth PUBLISHED and well documented, I would be much more attracted to PURCHASING that car simply because it was open source and I could eventually learn how all of it worked and CHANGE teh way it worked.

      Were that to catch on, the car would kind of become the Apple backplane or the IBM PC model that gets done to death with a rich ecosphere of addons and hacks. And kind of the goto framework for other car builds.

      Back to the Leaf, some work on their CAN bus has been done. But what if it were attacked not from the point of being able to tell how much range you had left or what your battery voltage was, but actually to document the components in the car and allow their use more generally.

      Nissan is very protective of their batteries for example. But we sold about 6000 of their cells and they are already springing up through salvage outfits. The motors and inverters you can actually just order from teh dealers but they already appear on eBay. If we took an operating Leaf and wired it up specifically to just log CAN data while we manipulated the air conditioning and monitored the batteries and drove it around, and tuned the radio and whatever, and just chiseled away at it, we could document the entire control system. Are they going to make it easy? Well no. Undoubtedly there are going to be numerous little BYTES in there deliberately planted to confound us. But we publish those, maybe post a BOUNTY. WANTED – DEAD OR ALIVE – $500 REWARD.

      I think this might over time attract a cadre of puzzle fans who just sat around recreationally noodling teh various posted problems and couponing the REWARD bounties.

      I’ve heard it said that some have actually developed further information on teh Leaf inverter, for example, and WITHHOLD this information “for the good of the car” because they don’t want anyone to be able to “hack” their car. We would be rather devoted to hacking their car. OUTING all the secrets to make the Leaf a defacto open source software car. And I mean down to the parking pawl and the vacuum pumps. The EPAS steering. All of it.

      ANd perhaps the Leaf isn’t it. The Tesla Model S would be more of a challenge. But also more of a reward. They have better components. And so of course Tesla wrecks go for more money. But inevitably, they will become available.

      It’s just that the Leaf is already happening. There are a LOT of them. And they are cheap.


      1. It seems the hardest part of these sorts of things is determining what to actually “do”. That is, should it be a Leaf, a Tesla, something else? Should the focus first be on the motor controller? The charger? The variations are endless. A bounty system can work for this. Let’s say 10 people want to be able to use Leaf motor controllers and they’re all willing to pay $50 for this. That’s $500. Someone can come through and decide whether they’d like to work on that or not. The incentive becomes greater as more people decide that they want such a thing to happen and put their money down on it. So, I think you might be on to something. The bounty system is self organizing. Things that are important get more bounty. Things nobody cares about don’t.

        The flip side of that is that not every person who could work on hardware hacking has the hardware to hack on. It’s not very practical to have to buy one or two of everything. That leads to one of four things: bounties so large that it becomes possible to actually buy the hardware, crowdsourcing to buy the hardware with specific guidelines for how that hardware will be used, loaning of the equipment to people who can hack on it, or large captures from a vehicle that remote people work on without hardware. That last option isn’t a very good one since hardware hacking requires a lot of access to the hardware. The best option might be salvaged vehicles that people don’t want quite so much anymore. It’s OK if the car looks like garbage and has ruined interior if you’re going to take it apart anyway. It’s probably even OK if the battery is missing but that likely precludes analysis of the battery management system.

        I believe that people have done some investigation on both the Leaf and Tesla cars. I know that the Leaf info published is very rough. There are ways to get much better information but they involve disassembling the car which I’ll bet most people are somewhat reluctant to do.

        1. I like the idea of simply transplanting all the Leaf hardware, motor, wiring loom etc etc straight into a more attractive body/chassis. There are lots of options, for older cars, the Lotus Elan M100 seams ideal, if the batteries can be made to fit! Its front wheel drive, lightweight design is pretty nice. They are on Ebay in the uk for £3K or less as running cars and the engine/gearbox etc can be resold for around £1K.
          Issues would probably be around all the little things, locks, airbags, ABS.But as an “off the shelf” solution once its done all the lessons have been learned for the next one. Just depends who has time/money to do it!

          1. PS New donors daily! 3 x Models S and 31 x Leafs on Copart today. Shame so many of the Leafs are water damaged but brand new!

        2. I have mixed emotions about the bounty system at all. It was kind of an example. My fear is that in the case of the annoying byte, we actually had a lot of input. Some of it was good, some bad, some comical But as you noted, some of it got you thinking in different directions, and ultimately you cracked it. Even then, the hack missed a couple of things and contributors almost instantly came up with the ones it didn’t catch. You then incorporated catches for them and so far, it looks good. In the ever changing world of the foot throttle, a few missed actually won’t matter. The stumble and recovery are all most likely millisecond events that would not be detectable without software watchdogs to snag em.

          The bounty system might have a chilling effect where everyone is working furiously on the problem but reluctant to share any findings for fear of tipping the opponent in the race for $50. Not such a positive thing.

          I do not see hardware as terribly important. We did a LOT from Brian Hall’s captures. The concept of crowdfunding was to purchase a Leaf and a copy of the kind of pricey CANalyzer tools and you would then wire the car up kind of variously (I know the Mini Cooper actually has FOUR busses). to make it a superlogger. And then kind of programmatically develop a series of test scenarios – perhaps with video showing a time mark.

          So here is the video and time mark showing you turn the key to start things up, setting the air conditioner to on, turning it to max, wait, turn it to min, wait, turn it off, wait, turn it back on, set to midrange, wait, turn it off, ignition off.

          The air conditioning video and data log become a packet. In the case of the missing byte, I found it very instructive to import Bryan’s raw logs and then slice and dice in Excell to isolate certain message addresses, etc. compare the timing of certain events to try to figure out which came first, the chicken or the egg, etc. I was even able to not only isolate all the 204 messages, but eliminate duplicates cutting it down to just 4000 “unique” torque events from 36,000 log entries.

          And we don’t have an operating car.

          Yes, they have published some CAN data on the Leaf. It’s actually not very good. And it is way short of exhaustive.

          So in my AC example we would pretty quickly which messages are commanding the AC and we pretty much know that the compressor has to be turned on and off. But it can be quite a noodle to find that the compressor actually reports back pressure or something like that and determining the scalars and offsets and format of all that is actually a bit of work.

          So you have one guy with the car and basic logging functions. And the published work packet could be worked on for weeks or months on just the AC thing. It might lead to requests back to the guy with the hardware to do something more specific like varying the thermostat setting by 10 degrees each minute for 10 minutes or something goofy like that to get more insight.

          So in the end, I picture a LEAF HACK team complete with T shirts. You have to solve something to get the shirt. But dozens of people some obsessive and some mildly dabbling. End objective is a book LEAF HACK with chapters on each car “function” with sample logs showing formats, scalars and offsets, command structures, responses, and perhaps even example C++ code to generate commands and sort out responses into variables. Air conditioner would be a chapter. BMS woudl be a chapter. Inverter would be a chapter. Charging one chapter and Fast Charging another.And then of course an Arduino code base on Git Hub – eventually sort of a LEAF library.

          1. Yes, it is a valid concern that the bounty system could cause people to withhold information. I don’t know if there is an alternative method that would work better. I do think that the open dialog we had for the Coda security byte was extremely helpful and caused the code to get cracked more quickly and thoroughly.

            The reason I think that having a test car available (at least to someone) is that it is handy to be able to remove devices from the network to see what happens. Or, it can be handy to isolate one device and talk directly to it to see what happens. It can otherwise be problematic to figure out which messages mean what. If you can isolate devices you can find out which messages they output and potentially which they respond to. It could be a tedious process. These things require someone to have physical access to a car so that experiments can be attempted. Of course, the problem here is that I’m advocating potentially destructive things. How many people want to disable their car, take it apart, etc? So, it might be good, at least eventually, if somebody found a junked car that still works well enough to test various systems. But, as you said, really only one person needs the actual car. Everyone else can just offer suggestions for what to do and try to investigate the data captures.

      2. As well as the Leaf and the Model S it might be worth considering the Volt/Ampera as a donor to “out” (although it might be that 5 minutes with a gutted one would lead you to conclude that it wouldn’t work). It is cheaper than the Model S and far better looking than the Leaf. Customer satisfaction stats are way high and sales numbers good. As a pure EV it is fast enough and in many ways one of the best cars that I have ever owned. I’d keep it for 20 years, except that it will be way obsolete by then. If it were outed the sort of thing I’d consider on mine once the warranty has expired would be:

        Take the ICE bits out and throw them in the skip
        Short term, liberate the 35% of range that is in the battery which the software blocks
        Longer term replace the battery pack with the best of whatever is available in 2020 (or whenever). An Ampera with a 200 mile pure EV range would be my ideal car.
        Rationalise the diabolical climate controls
        Upgrade the charger (e.g. add fast charge in the port vacated by the fuel filler)

        Except that the corrupt EU under pressure from the manufacturers would probably find some way to make it difficult such as an equivalent of type certification

        1. Yes, that’s the concept. We buy someone (ie you) a car and maybe some advanced tools. CANalyzer is the 800 lb gorilla in the space and it is over $5000. But that’s what the big boys use. I’m sure it incurs its own learning curve. But that’s the EAGLE of the CAN community..

          Then the car isn’t to drive to the grocery store. It’s the test bed. So no harm in removing/installing disassembling disconnecting. We don’t care about the warranty. We don’t care about the resale. We don’t care what color it is or if the windshield is broken. It’s just a test bed.

          For individual components we’ll just get those off eBay. I have two Leaf motors sitting here now.

          But to use them, you kind of have to capture live data on a live car.

          I would say nothing to denigrate the heroic efforts of the Leaf owners who have done some CAN documentation. But their whole ethos is different and so is the result. They want to maintain operating cars and maybe add some hacks. We view them as organ donars and pray for head injuries, and we need a rather different level of deconstruction of the CAN message traffic.

          I would go at it almost as a publishing exercise. We start by OUTING the CAN – ALL the CAN. Publish an actual document, electronic and printed. Then act as a centralized headquarters and dissemination point for what people do with that. Code. Hardware. Whatever.

          LEAF HACK. Annnual convention. Free coke for the kids. The whole thing.

          It also occurs to me that a MODEL S HACK would be even better. Particularly now that the concept of lawsuits is off the table. And I’m just more of a Model S fanboyz. For that matter, I guess I have one and we could start tomorrow.

          Jack Rickard

          1. My take on AYPBTY is that Tesla is open sourcing the patents (not providing any new info). No way they are open sourcing the car. They need their trade secrets as a bare minimum for safety and liability. I don’t like it, but for now I think that’s the world we live in and we are stuck in the hacker/security race with manufacturers CAN codes. Doing this publicly gives us more processing power, but also notifies the manufacturer of the progress causing them to close loopholes faster.

            So my feeling is that the CANalyzer is expensive and not ideal for reverse engineering (I’m talking out of my ass, having only used the free CAN-View or some such).

            I agree with Jack that live video linked to CAN data is required if we are to crowd source the analysis. Of course I’ve done some limited sniffing on some of the four main Model S CANs. I immediately wanted to have CAN id’s and responses matched to actual boxes without making a “man in the middle” setup or having to cut wires.

            It’s a much bigger project, but my thought is that the world will need an open source CAN Hacking tool combo, both hardware and software.
            Software combines video streams with all the usual database and display tools.
            What interests me is better hardware. Hardware with tight CAN controller integration could sniff at least 4 CAN busses and have several inductive clip on current coils that clip on nodes, quickly tagging messages originating from that node. Now that’s published, no one can patent that. 🙂 I think a system like this may speed discovery up quite a bit.

          2. I probably and reluctantly agree with your take on Tesla’s reference to “open source”. Elon tends to spew very attractive notions for dramatic effect. It is a huge leap from “we won’t litigate patents” to “we’re going to open source our car.” I would of course be all bubbly over the latter. And I think it would be a bold move. You see I don’t share your view of safety and liability. Indeed, by open sourcing the code, to some degree you gain some level of plausible deniability. It’s kind of like the Prodigy debate online. If you heavily edit users online statements, you become a publisher and are responsible for the content that is published. If you are simply a carrier and anyone can make any absurd statement they like online with no editorial control, you are to some degree absolved from responsibility for what’s said
            I believe truly opening the safe and letting the secrets out, at least codewise, simply opens your hardware to greater utility. And in the alternative, how would we know?

            He has talked about a SDK for the big screen. Until it is available, the effects of the “killer app” for the Tesla that never got written are a bit hard to detect. ANd of course, if I knew what the killer app would be, I’d be trying to write it right now. This is the kernel at the heart of the open source concept. Yes, you lose some control. But you gain utility you might never have imagined.

            Lets invert this into a tight circle. GEVCU is designed to drive a single inverter (DMOC645) and motor (Siemens 1PV5135). My allusion to CANalyzer – almost entirely a software product BTW, is very simple. It IS the 800lb gorilla in that space. They charge $5000 for the starter kit because they can get it. It is THAT dominant among CAN designers and engineers. No one in the automotive world actually designing CAN leaves home without it. It just IS the tool. And I’m not above writing the check if that gets us to the party.

            But it is NOT necessary. As to hardware, the GEVCU is entirely open and can simultaneously monitor and interact on two CAN channels simultaneously – even at two different CAN bus speeds. Writing monitoring software for it is essentially trivial. The software we have in it now is 10x the complexity of a simple monitor/analysis utility. We can actually log up to 32 kb of CAN data values to the EEPROM. Of course with a laptop, we can stream data out the USB port for logging without limit.

            There is no way to “quickly tag messages originating” from a node. On the CAN bus, there is no indication of where messages originate and who or what is the sender or the receiver. It doesn’t matter where you tap it. All messages appear everywhere. You have to kind of work out who is a sender and who is a receiver by context.

            But what you can do is have the device off the car, hook it up to CAN and power, and see what it transmits and from what message ID. Gradually, you work out what each device sends. What it LOOKS for as a receiver can be harder.

            So CAN offers some challenges in reverse engineering. And if all else fails, they can simply put in security bytes after teh fashion of the CRC Collin decoded on the UQM bus. This was a somewhat simple one, and it took a bit of luck then to decode it. That could be easily carried into 128bit RSA encryption if the OEM wanted to. And that would require more effort yet to crack.

            Ford Motor Company has actually made noise, and press releases, about an SDK for their CAN bus on their vehicles. I don’t know if they’ve followed through on that. But this is the “middle ground”. You can open access to some features, while retaining control of other perhaps more dangerous ones.

            Unfortunately, we’re dangerous. We want the inverter primarily, and everything else as we can. Point being, a more open Tesla would be more valuable to us. If anyone then did a third party killer app, that accrues to the value of the car for everyone, including ultimately Tesla.

            Where Herr Musk is on all that is interesting to devine. We can report what he SAID. And try to devine what he will ultimately DO. But a truly open source Tesla would be a remarkable statement. And my position is there would not be a single negative to actually doing that.

            Future competitiveness in Electric cars, like the GEVCU, resides in the actual implementation and productization. An example is BMW’s research into the use of CFRP, lighter wheels, different views of glass and really a revisit of all material choices in light of a completely different drive train. Not so much secret sauce software.

            Jack RIckard

          3. “Indeed, by open sourcing the code, to some degree you gain some level of plausible deniability.”
            I sure hope so! I have not studied this topic much, thank you for the simple introduction. I get your point and really hope it’s true.

            “On the CAN bus, there is no indication of where messages originate and who or what is the sender or the receiver. It doesn’t matter where you tap it. All messages appear everywhere.”

            Yours is the normal high level view of CAN, I’m thinking a bit deeper in the physical layer. I’m a bit new to CAN, and I have not tested this concept, but I believe it should be possible to isolate location of transmission, but probably not the reception, of packets. The CAN bus has 120 ohm termination resistors on each end. Intermediate nodes are generally wired on short branches that can be accessed with a small clip on AC current measuring coil. Alternatively they have two wires to one pin that act like a short branch and could also be measured as one wire.

            All intermediate unterminated nodes pull against the two termination resistors on the ends of the bus when they go dominant (transmit), therefore there is current flowing in the branch to that node that can be measured. This current will pull against termination resistors on both ends and I’ll call that branch value full current. When that node is only listening, the currents in the branch are tiny and only due to parasitics.

            The terminated ends are a bit different to measure since they each employ half the termination resistors internally but I think it’s still not that hard. Dominant bits on the bus that do not originate at that terminated node will send half current to each of the terminated ends. Dominant bits originating at the terminated nodes will carry half current but it will be in the opposite direction since it is externally only driving the termination resistor on the other end of the bus. I expect that each current probe needs to provide two parameters for each bit: Current Direction (none, in or out) and Current Level (none, full or half).

            So, I think it’s possible to isolate packet sources with a simple clip on current coil. I think the uncertainty of implementing this lies in finding a simple way of synchronizing the small current signals and directions with the CAN controller that is sniffing the bus. Fast access to the controller may be needed. I’m curious to learn more about the ACK bit to see if it may give us more information as well.

            ps: I hope this comment goes in the right thread. Apologies if the order is screwed up.

          4. I don’t know why I can’t reply to Otmar’s last post directly but I do think that what he’s proposing might work. Technically canbus being a bus means that every node has the same signal on it at all times (sort of…). But, nodes which are driving the bus to a dominant state will be pushing current through CANH and sinking current through CANL to change the voltage level of the bus. So, it should be possible to detect this change in current and use it to determine when a particular node is sending. Unfortunately it won’t be that terribly easy to find out when it is receiving except that he is also right that it might be possible to read the ACK bit. A receiving node will try to assert dominant state in order to acknowledge reception of the message. Somewhat luckily, it is not necessary to actually be able to decode the canbus traffic through the current sensors. A normal canbus adapter can read the actual messages on the network. The current sensors just need to be precise enough to figure out which device did the sending and receiving.

            This is all quite exciting because I do believe it’ll work. Someone is going to have to try this out.

        1. It’s an interesting car but unfortunately a bit far off the mark for what most people around here are going to want. It’s a gas engine car with no doors and no roof. That might seem cool in Los Angeles where it nearly never rains and its reasonably warm year round. It won’t fly in Michigan where I’m from – it gets hot and humid in the summer but its a frozen hell in winter and it rains whenever it feels like.

          Still, the beauty of open source is that anyone could add a roof and working doors to their design if that person had experience in CAD. Also, their obsession with MPG directly turns into efficiency with an electric motor too. If someone were to try to create an open source electric car the wikispeed designs would likely be a good starting point.

          1. Since the car is modular, it is set up to change out the drive train.
            I’m working on an Electric version of the motor module and if the stars align it will be at EVCCON 2014.
            The next version of the WIKISPEED car, called the Comfy Commuter Car or C3, is planned to have a roof, doors, and other creature comforts. That will be after a couple of years and a few prototypes (I expect).
            If there was an open source car designed around electric, I would like to be involved. So far, WIKISPEED is the closest that I have found (with 4 wheels) – it’s light, it’s open source for the parts that were designed by WIKISPEED, and the for the parts that have not been redesigned so far, it uses Honda Civic parts (2006 – 2011) or Summit Racing parts – available to lots of folks

    1. When Tesla first started selling the Roadster I liked Tesla. When Tesla started selling the Model S I really liked Tesla. Now that Tesla has gone Open Source, I love them. Next I hope Tesla starts selling Crate drive trains and components.

      Elon must be a fan of EVTV, and read Jack’s BYTE ME post. 😉

    2. It is an interesting development but I’m not entirely sure what it means just yet. Calling it “open source” is sort of disingenuous. Do you expect Tesla to open source their motor controller firmware? I seriously doubt that. It seems to indicate that companies can use technology from their patents without being sued. That’s nice but there is a large jump from seeing something in a patent to actually developing hardware and/or software according to the patent. As such, this development is helpful but it isn’t as if they’re suddenly giving out the full schematics and specifications for motors, inverters, etc. At best this will allow a company with several million in start up capital to jump start their path into EV production. So, I’ll tell you what, if people want to kickstarter or indiegogo like $6-7 million I’ll start up the project and we’ll build some cars. Somehow I don’t see that happening. Though, the government is known for giving out millions of dollars to high tech companies of dubious credentials. If only I were an Obama supporter (and fan of the government dole) I could start up my own Tesla competitor with Tesla’s patents and gov’t (your) money. Wouldn’t that be kind of neat?

      Oh well, maybe there is a company out there lingering in the bushes who can pop out and make use of this. I would actually like to see that happen.

      1. It means Elon will be part of Jack’s show – and forget about public charging. Next phase has begun. Super Chargers Everywhere and we all will be charging there.

        Next phase, forget about energy dealers. Take your Tesla to the next Super Charger and power your house from your Tesla.

        “Strom Outlet” a new german word to come. “Industrie Outlet” the backdoor of a factory where they sell stuff cheaper then the shops can. Next they’ll sell electricity cheaper than you can get it via the cables. In germany electricity is more expensive than gas in the USA.

        Peter and Karin

      2. I’m not either. But I sported a kind of out there thing on an “open source car” and talking about forming a “hack team” for either the Leaf or Model S on WEDNESDAY in the blog. On THURSDAY Brain brings me a printout of ALL OUR PATENT ARE BELONG TO YOU. I just about had a heart attack. I’ve read it a dozen times and it kind of says what it says. As you note, I’m not exactly sure what it MEANS, but I do know what it SAYS. And I’m still in shock.

        I think it may be one of the most brilliant and courageous moves ever witnessed in the history of American business and technology. And as far as I’m concerned, if he follows through on it, it has just DOUBLED the value of my Model S in my eyes. I’ve always been kind of edgy and uncomfortable with the fact that I have to rely on Tesla rather totally to service this car. If something goes wrong and they want $40,000 to fix it, I kind of don’t have much by way of choices. Worse, what if Tesla imploded. I can’t fix it. And nobody else can either. ANd I might as well own a Fisker. They were over $100K too and there are actual people out there with those cars and literally just no support for them at all. Even the eTransit Connects – few though they may be, just don’t have any way to get things fixed. And there is just not enough of them around for me to be at all attracted to doing anything about it. I could log the BMS advisories pretty easily and rig up a replacement pack that would work the contactors and pretend like it was an eTransit connect pack. But they only sold 286 of them total.

        As the numbers of the Model S grow, and if they do really open it up, I have some sense of ease that there will be people jump at it if Tesla goes tits up. And meanwhile, there might likely be a whole series of add-ons and options come out FOR the Model S from third parties. Ideally, just like the Apple II and IBM PC, the open backplane and ability to write software for it leads to a huge and rich ecosphere of products for it. And that increases the value of the original device.

        In the case of Apple, there was a pretty hard core disagreement at the very beginning between Jobs and Wozniak. Jobs wanted a closed system where all products came from them. Wozniak just for once went stone cold intractible. The backplane of the Apple would be open. They would define the pins and anybody that wanted to make something for it could. The result was a hundred different plug in cards for it. But the real thing was that anyone could publish software for it.

        Then came Visicalc. There would BE no Apple computer today had it not been for the publication of Visicalc. It single handedly sold more Apple computers than all other Apple computer sales sources combined for several years. People were buying Apple II computers who had ZERO interest in personal computers per se. They bought it to run precisely ONE program – Visicalc. They didn’t care if it even had the option to run other programs. They just wanted that magic screen with 64 squares in it they could plug numbers and simple formulas into. They didn’t care if it was green – or chartreuse.

        It’s kind of hard to communicate this because well DUH how else would you do it. Actually there were several computers that you couldn’t really publish software for. Texas Instruments and Atari had some pretty impressive initial sales numbers and software came on CARTRIDGES provided by the company. These efforts are largely forgotten today because they didn’t make the cut of course. But that was not so very clear in 1982. Steve Jobs actually worked for Atari I think.

        As you note, there are layers of “open” and I have no idea what is actually intended by Musk here. But on Wednesday and Thursday of THIS week I’m thinking that great minds think alike. And I find his announcement unbelievably BOLD and actually DISMISSIVE of the entire automobile industry extant. If I don’t miss my numbers here, he just flipped the bird to GM, Ford, BMW, Audi, Mercedes et al. FOAD bitch.

        That he is not going to pursue patent litigation is one thing. But he didn’t allude to it, he didn’t imply it, he pretty much said he was going to OPEN SOURCE the Tesla Model S. Whatever they ultimately do. I like that he SAID that.

        Jack Rickard

        1. I guess first trial will be the Superchargers. We have a mess here in germany and france with golden Mennekes and platinium Marechel connectors competing with local Schuko and some fifteen other local connectors and whether the car has got a male or female end.

          Some lobbyists in the EU want to phase out CHAdeMO and complain about Tesla ignoring the Frankenplug. Well those lobbyists dont own any charge points and they dont represent people willing to run any charge points but I am sure Elon might put an end to their miserable existence none the less.

          If everybody could install aftermarket Tesla connectors it might bring revolution. There would be only Tesla Superchargers and gas stations would die faster than they already do. In the meantime we can watch Otmar charging his Strechla and trace what how he is doing.

          Peter and Karin

          1. My own view on limited knowledge is that strategically the design patent on the plug is amongst the most significant.

            Apart from the Chinese national standard, it is the only existing plug design that gets close to what you need for realistic cross country driving at average speeds approaching an ICE car. To add 150 miles to a full size EV in 20 minutes you need to add (say) 50 kw in 1/3rd hour i.e. charge at 150 kW. Chademo is 60 odd kW. The SAE combo is obsolete on introduction at 90. Mennenkes is 40 odd. Last I heard JD Straubel discussing it, Tesla were around 100 and planning to go to 135 imminently

            In other words if you are Ford, GM, Mercedes, BMW or whomever and want go-anywhere fast charging that takes a few minutes your choice of connector comes down to the Chinese standard or the Tesla plug – or roll your own and be prepared to build all the kit and infrastructure yourself

  12. Jack
    I’m finding it so sad to read you are dealing with scum. These people are out and out losers. What they want is to take and steal now, without considering their trade tomorrow. Idiots!
    We know you want to make a go of this as a paying concern you enjoy but at this rate? Is it worth it..
    Some will say building electric cars is done to death and you need a format to make them go further on less energy. The i3 changed the rules in the right direction. I think the 818’s structure is too strong in the oddest of places and heavily built generally due to being open top. This is why I’m not working on a car with standard heavy weight items using standard construction techniques.
    Leaf CANBUS
    Maybe I’m directing grandma how to suck eggs? Here’s an extensive list of CANBUS messages for the Leaf.
    I’ve driven an EU Tesla “S”
    and going to upset a lot of people but the Leaf is easily the better car of the two! :-/
    Tesla sales guy would not give me a straight answer about the “Superchargers” speed and charging in the EU. These have been hobbled with the vanilla Mennekes socket.
    22KW is your lot. Only if you spent the extra £1,250 “option”. If not, 11KW is all you can get from “supercharging” in the EU. A far cry from what the cheaper competition are offering.
    I won’t get into details…. I was dead set keen on one of these; until the test drive. 🙁
    Of Nikki
    using 3rd party maps was on a loser with the facts on charging. Openchargemap etc. Do not, will not remove dead sites nor show the activity or veracity of the charger. The EU is rife with corruption so grants do not mean results. Near me, a supermarket has ev posts fitted as part of planning permission requirements over 3~4 years ago. They have never been turned on. Besides, 10A units with a two hour parking limit is seriously stealing the urine. The only answer is to threaten the with the bulldozers. A contract is a contract, is a contract.
    I’ve just come back from camping
    not too far from JohnHardyland (North, t’other side of Brum – near enough). The camp site had blue commando’s, about 74 of them. All good for overnight/destination charging. No issues. “We’re quiet at the moment. If you want you can use one free of charge for your car”. Hmm, 10 miles to one side is Nissans rapid charger and three miles East, another. (Ecotricity – Electric Highway) which are still free atm. It’s all down to what you know and where you’re going.
    There’s still love in this world 🙂

    1. .
      I’ve driven an EU Tesla “S”
      and going to upset a lot of people but the Leaf is easily the better car of the two! :-/
      Tesla sales guy would not give me a straight answer about the “Superchargers” speed and charging in the EU. These have been hobbled with the vanilla Mennekes socket.
      22KW is your lot. Only if you spent the extra £1,250 “option”. If not, 11KW is all you can get from “supercharging” in the EU. A far cry from what the cheaper competition are offering.

      Please do some reading up…….

      The EU Tesla S uses a Mennekes-like plug, yes you go that right.
      But The Superchargers can and will charge at up to 135kw in EU.

      The 11kw and 22kw figures are only the onboard charger.

      Sorry you had a bad experience of the Tesla Sales rep, i guess they have a fast growth problem……


      1. 135KW? Pray tell me how. Did Elonx say 135KW? I did not hear it.
        The best that the specs can manage is “three phase” or “DC mid” (22~44KW). Remember real life numbers are always much less due to ingress of reality.
        Nobody has ever seen 44KW through a type-2.
        You take a max rated power of the connector and divide by three. 400KW it is not.
        They had no option but to add two big pin sockets underneath the type-2 to allow 80KW. So 135KW on those four needles is not going to cut it. Who could g’tee this power?
        Will be watching (trolling) this with interest. 😉
        Sadly John, time constraints and short notice denied me. But not too strong and half a sugar 😉

        1. They only get the 100+KW through their own Tesla charge plug from a Tesla Supercharger. Like you mention, no other plug is designed to carry the power. Tesla achieves it by taking Grid power and running 10+ of their chargers in parallel to create a High voltage DC bus direct to their pack (unless they have upgraded their supercharger design since last year). Even though three phase power is not as commonly available to the general public here in the States, 480V 3 phase 60hz is everywhere commercial buildings are and that is what they probably wire up to directly.

          Obviously that sales person was horrible.

        2. Man you must have some real problems with Tesla.

          here is a guy in Belgium supercharging

          He gets about 76kw power in the video.

          Here is Bjorn In Norway who has a lot of videos from his trips.

          His first supercharge…. gets 100kw of chargepower.

          Björn also has this time lapse of a full supercharge

          But I guess you have made up your mind about the Tesla……


          1. Ahh! now you have cleared one thing for me. Still have no idea how you can overload a type-2 safely.
            It still does not clear Teslas cable grab at the motorway stations and the low rent interior.

          2. Andy,

            Tesla’s superchargers are not Type 2. They have two types of chargers… Type 2 EVSE’s and Superchargers. They are not synonymous. The “Tesla Branded Type 2” wall EVSE and the super charger use the same connector that is all they have in common.

          3. Per Eklund…
            You will not find a 135 KW charge through a type-2. Period. The best you’ve found is 385 V, 200 A. This is half of 135 KW.
            Caolivieri. Repeat after me. The connector in the EU is a type-2. is a type-2 is a….
            Same pins, same sockets same standards.

          4. Andy,
            Did you even look at the second video, where Björn Nyland Supercharges his Tesla Model S ?
            If you open your eyes and look at the tiny center console touch screen in that rattling-piece-of-plastic-interior-no-german-car-killer Telsa you would see some numbers dancing aournd, stating charge Voltage and charge Current, 362V and 278A. In my world that gives a total supplied power to the car at, 362 X 278 = 100636 W = 100,6kW.

            And Andy or if it is Dan :
            FOAD !!!


    2. Well I’ve driven the EU version of the Model S whilst visiting Munich, and I’ve also driven the Leaf at a local dealer. The Leaf is a competent EV, I liked it, but it is in no way comparable to the Model S, which was like nothing I’ve ever driven and far superior to the Leaf in every way! May I ask what you preferred about the Leaf?

      1. Paul, sure I will. You should of driven them back to back. For sure you did not have a proper road test.
        The killer is the low rent interior. They should get Merc or Toyota to fix it for them.
        Noisier, all modes of speed/roads. Nailing the throttle down makes the most horrible of noises from the rear.
        Very noisy for the rear passenger.
        Drumming, (body).
        Rattles, (Glovebox area).
        Fit/finish &
        Accoutrements (poor and lacking).
        Comfort, Could feel smth like a support bar across my back! Seats are soggy. Rear head restraints are a liability to safety – useless for adults.
        Entry ways, Poor.
        Rear view is useless. Annoyed me each time the sales rep turned off the rear view screen.
        Accessories. Tried tapping the front of the tinny dash? Changing the black plastic strip is a £550/£700 cost option for margarine tub plastic.
        Vibration from road passing through was jangling loose teeth in the glove box.
        This is no German car killer apart from the drive itself which impressed me. I couldn’t justify it. If I had any shares before this deflating test, they would be offloaded by now. 🙁
        Jack had problems with bad businesses stiffing him up. Well, Tesla has just stitched up every other EV owner in the UK over at least one, (supposedly three) highway service stations. They back stabbed Ecotricity’s plans by pre-fitting “superchargers” where triple headed units were going to be fitted After they handed required information to run their network for them. So now thousands of normal ev owners will be literally giving these services the hop and taking our business elsewhere while we charge.
        Can’t be trading with people lacking morals like this. The next person to be muscled over, could be me or you.

        1. .
          This is no German car killer apart from the drive itself which impressed me. I couldn’t justify it. If I had any shares before this deflating test, they would be offloaded by now. 🙁

          This is interesting.
          I linked to a video a while ago with the owner and CEO of a the Swedish hyper car company Koenigsegg, telling how his Telsa Model S
          would buttkick all his other executive german cars he had ever owned. Comparing it with a BMW M5, the Tesla was better in all respects.

          Now I just found another nice 4k video of Christian in english also.
          So take a look at this Andy.

          Other people seem to view it as a “German car killer”, even those who work with hypercars most of their days….


          1. Per, if this is a reflection on German cars. That’s fine by me because I cannot speak for them.
            On the UK Leaf forum, a few have moved over to the i3 after having driven the Tesla and having also spoken of the inferior interior quality plus same niggles. Plenty on the ‘net about it too.

  13. When I first got my Leaf I set about to find all the currently active charge stations in the Sacramento area. I found a crap load of them and thought I was in heaven. I then remembered that many charge stations were actually installed in the mid 90’s and were not retrofitted to the most modern J1772 plugs. I was going to go to the mall and utilize them but thought, you know, I should actually go see first hand before I venture out that far. Well, They were all OLD but functioning. None were turned off but they were the old paddle induction type. Lucky me that I did not go there without checking first. Yes, they are all listed on the charger list of available chargers. They have since changed the list to include J1772 plugs vs the old style. That pretty much reduced my choices buy a great deal. My dealer still has not gotten their fast charger that they have be promising for like the last 3 years. Still stuck with the slow level II chargers. Do your homework before venturing out. If you build your own then you might consider putting in even the old paddle induction type charge evse devices. But we know that is just unreasonable. A J1772 and a good Nema plug for most RV parks should do fine but be sure to carry a portable that can plug into a variety of outlets. I do. I never leave without at least my super slow 110 evse. It will get you out of a pinch but I have never had the need to use it except when my level II evse crapped out. All the old EVSE stations are still active even today and have not yet be upgraded. What a waste.

    1. First, you are in California. That is not Cape Girardeau or Normandy. She had no difficulties in the UK. But even IN California you have these anomalies where you need to do your homework and be wary of electronic “maps” of charge points. That’s the salient point everywhere methinks and it is a sorry state.


  14. Boy, This has been a day; with Jack publishing Collin Kidder’s reverse engineered code and talking open source and the Tesla Open Patents announcement from one of my other favorites, Elon Musk. And additionally, the comments from members of the EVTV community about keeping open source going have boosted my heart rate. I’m starting to believe the people who have controlled our energy markets for so long and have been taking us to the clippers for a hundred plus years finally have a reason for concern. and we have a reason to believe we can clean up our dirty World.

    1. Tesla has stiffed Ecotricity on supply and stolen prime charging locations in the UK. This generator/supplier hold your opinion about clean energy. So de-facto, Tesla are not clean at all.

        1. They are SC`s already installed where Ecotricity already had an agreement. They literally took preexisting supply and fitted Teslas private chargers before the new triple heads were available.

          Ladson. You obviously are not cognizant to whats around in the uk. There was no reason for Tesla to do what they have done except over interpersonal issues.

  15. A great looking boat has entered the shop, very suitable for an open source Tesla drive don’t ya think?

    Looking forward to an interesting show this week.

  16. What year Nissan Leaf to go after? 2011-12 or 2013+ The most is known on the 11-12’s as more people are willing to play with them as warranty is about up for time and or miles. You can add brusa chargers on on 11-12’s. The 2013 seems to be the “Cost Down” version. Many tweaks and changes to charger, Cell packaging, Cell Heating, A/C system, and system component location. I have two wrecked 2013 Leafs Ive been playing with subtracting systems that are unneeded seeing what I can get away with before tripping major faults and watching power use. the Nissan dc-dc is a pig.

    1. Maybe the i-MiEV dc-dc is the same. I happened to find adding a 10Ah lead acid at the lighter socket might do wonders. It is the cooling pump that keeps inverter, dc-dc and charger happy at the same time. More capacity runs the dc-dc cooler. Still experimenting. I want to get rid of lead acid in the first place. I tried 2.3Ah NiMH as well. Not enough kilometers to tell the difference and the weather keeps unsorting my results as well.

      The lighter is connected only when the car is running so you might try any chemistry you have for testing.

      Peter and Karin

      Elon made my day.

    1. Caolivieri – that’s a very helpful link on Tesla’s European charger; many thanks. I just assumed that they would be using the US one over here. Looks like they have repurposed Mennenkes pins in some way to handle the higher power. Non trivial. I wish they had stuck with the US style plug rather than pander to European xenophobia. At least we know that the left-of-pond folk have shaken the bugs out of the original design

      1. Ya, I was looking at that chart, Section “DC-mid” as the Mennekes format installed in the Model S rated at 140A. Tesla must have “upgraded” from the Mennekes spec in their own Superchargers handles and Model 2 charge port to handle 500V(+?) and 200A(+?). Doing so would make their Mennekes Port on the Model S backwards compatible with any “DC-Mid 140A” charging station.

        1. Interesting and good point about backward compatibility, but this still doesn’t seem quite enough. I think (may be wrong) that the pack is around 96S so the peak voltage needed must be well under 500 and even if it were 500 then 500 volts * 200 amps is still only 100 kW and Straubel was promising 135 to a European audience. If the voltage needed for charging was (say) 425 then to get 135 kW they would need about 240 Amps compared with the spec 140.

          I detest Mennenkes, or rather I detest the move to make it the EU standard. I have to carry around a special cable to let me charge my Ampera (irritating) and as these discussion illustrate it is already obsolete for fast charge (stultifying)

          1. Great show as usual! Anne’s Channel crossing should be a great event! Thinking about home changing limits/limitations, part of the problem may be that in many European countries the incoming supply for domestic properties is often 20 amps, thats the rating of the “company” fuse. Certainly the case in Estonia for our farm, although the incoming supply to the house fuse box is actually 3 phase!! But still only 20 amps. Most UK houses have 100 amp main supplier fuses.

  17. On the semi-flex solar…Some users of panels that seem to be from the same mfg as the one you are getting them from. same sunpower cell claims and same long junction box. The psi applied by the laminate is not that great causing the cells to start to cup. This retains water and dirt leaving hard to clean spots. Seems best that you do not mount on flat surfaces.

    1. I saw that too! But I guess they are running ICE and EVs down the same line.Its quite common to run totally different models down a common assembly line. I did wonder about the amount of “plumbing” on the EV’s, lots of cooling I guess.

          1. Actually I can attest to those blowers putting out enough CFM. The thing they do not do it for is an extended period of time that would be sufficient enough to cool the motor for a prolonged amount on time. These where designed for 5-10 seconds of usage before resting.

          2. I’m curious to know how many CFM is enough to augment cooling of the Warp motors. When Jack had those blowers mounted in the Escalade, he mentioned a number but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. In my Boxster project, I still have an auxiliary air pump mounted on the side of the engine compartment, and I’d like to look up the CFM for that and see if it can provide any cooling help with a brushed DC motor.

    1. As a car maker that doesn`t half feel like an oxymoronic statement. My take on the whole thing is the lie of climate fear to hide the fact the worlds power supplies are dwindling and much faster than the majority have an inkling about.

  18. Do two crowd sourced leafs
    One for Collin
    One for Jack
    Then At EVCCON we can all play and contribute to cracking and hacking adding to what they’ve already accomplished and to the person who makes the greatest contribution while there, as determined by Jack after many long days of imbibing, is awarded the special edition EVCCON CRACK KING or QUEEN Tshirt award to proudly wear at work or their next family gathering.

    1. Actually I was thinking the LEAF HACK TEAM T-shirt would be the key to the whole thing. If we pulled it off, and you had one of the original shirts from the start, it would be quite a tag.

      All that said, I just have to tell you, my heart isn’t in the Nissan Leaf. I’m sorry. I just don’t ever quite warm up to this car. I don’t think I could dedicate much effort to it. I’m just not passionate about it.

      Jack Rickard

      1. Well if your heart isn’t in it then it’s sort of a dead end. Hacking a car won’t work unless everybody is really fired up about it. So, the question is, what would fire everyone up and get some excitement going? I’m sure everyone would love hacking a Tesla of one sort or another but I’ll bet they’re a bit spendy even at the junk yard. The other consideration is the prevalence of the vehicle. You can’t go 5 miles in the US and not trip over a Leaf. I’ve yet to see any Tesla cars in person. They just don’t exist in western Michigan. I’ll bet some doctor or lawyer has one but I haven’t seen it. Still, it is a much nicer car from everything I’ve heard.

        1. Hi Collin,

          it is just the opposite here in germany, in my area at least. Teslas are becoming more and more of a plague. Few i-MiEVs and cousins from france. Yes there are Leafs but not so many although they seem to sell more than i-MiEVs.

          I hear from people who compared both cars that it is more fun to drive a Leaf because Teslas take so long at the power socket.

          I cannot count the Renault Twizys, they are too many.

          Peter and Karin

        2. Depending on the reality and sales of the VW eGolf, watching the assembly made me think it would be a good candidate. But I am a little biased being a Golf owner…

      2. I guess you could think of a Leaf as a good source of bits for a Speedster? My son wouldn’t let me buy anything as weird looking as a Leaf but I could warm to it as a source of donor bits. It is said to be surprisingly quick, and the Chademo semi-fast charge is a useful touch.

        Then there is the Renault Zoe but there aren’t many in the wild yet

      3. Hi,

        I’m a long time viewer, writing here for first time.
        I remember Jack mentioned about changing motors and controllers for better performance on actual cars.
        Thinking about that, some of the drivetrains already have it. When you use a single speed reduction, you need high torque motor(to be able to start from high incline), and in the same time it has to be capable of high rpm.

        Automakers use the same motors for racing, only slightly modified(better cooling, optimized software I guess).

        My experience is with the toyota prius II transmission. It has high torque traction motor that is 6500rpm, and there is second one(smaller) in.

        I’m not spoofing the interface, CAN or what it is, didn’t even try.
        I made new brain for the inverter.
        Actually, it is not dedicated to the particular type of motor or inverter anyway.
        I’m not a big fan of prius cars but they are everywhere and have some nice hardware, with better known parameters.

    1. Here is the complete resume’ of “climate change”.
      CO2 at these concentrations has not, cannot effect the weather. CO2 at night releases more heat at altitude than any other gas.
      The driver is the Earth’s gas pressure and insolation. Nothing that effects the weather has an ability to act as a “climate diode”.
      Below is empirical proof CO2 does not drive the climate but instead is a natural reaction to the climate under Henrys Law.
      CO2 variance reacts to climate changes and no warming has occurred for half the world populations lifetime.
      Game set and match.
      Greedy eyes Gore will forever carry on scamming the people via taxation. He will still live in his air-conned beach front properties that are not getting flooded. He still gets whisked around in huge limo’s and flies the world in his private jet to preach about carbon usury being bad so you must pay his “Carbon futures”. Made him $800M back pocket money so far!

        1. There are two opinions on climate change and on Gore. One of the good things about EVs and grid storage is that they benefit several agendas. I don’t care a fig about carbon dioxide and Gore probably doesn’t think much about diesel particulates stunting brain development in children; but in this area we are on the same side even though I don’t trust him further than I can throw him

      1. Mr. Beemer:

        I’ll defend to the death your right to express yourself freely on the topic of climate change. I would invite you to do so elsewhere. While related, it is not the center of conversation at EVTV and will not be made so.

        Jack Rickard

  19. Is anyone else having trouble viewing the new video for this week?
    I’m getting a “video not found or access denied message” followed by a URL ending with /news062014-iPhone.mp4.

    1. The smaller version is much more compressed and takes quite a bit of time to do that compression. We normally post the HTML update and the HD version immediately. The lower res version is always later in the day.

      It actually takes about two hours additional to do the low res version – using hte NEW Mac Pro with full memory and flash drives.

      Video takes a lot of CPU smoke to make em.

      Jack Rickard

  20. Reason why the big car companies are building hydrogen cars:
    “Car makers get credits for hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and fuel cell cars. However, the way the regulations are structured, automakers get up to seven times more ZEV credits/fuel cell car than an electric (four credits/Tesla Model S vs 26 for Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel cell).

    In fact, Hyundai’s Fuel cell Tucson, which just became available for very limited lease is worth $130,000/car in ZEV credits. This explains why the company is willing to lease out the 1,000 cars at a loss — $3,000 down and $500/month for 36 months. It also explains why Honda was the first automaker to lease a fuel cell car in California (and only California) with the FCX minivan in 2005; only 24 units were ever leased. Between 2008 and 2010 Honda leased the $600/month FCX Clarity — but only 200 units split between California and Japan. ”


    1. FCV drivelines use a electric motor, controller and buffer traction battery; the FC is used to charging the battery and for direct cruising using the motor; acceleration and high speed duties are handled mostly by the EV parts. FC makers are hedge their bets by building an EV and adding a FC. As pointed out, they earn more ZEV credits building less cars. And, if FCs don’t work out, they can dump the FC components and go pure EV.

      My main objection to FCs is the hydrogen fuel market will be controlled by the oil companies just like the gasoline market. Hydrogen is mostly manufactured by reforming natural gas and oil and is distributed by tanker trucks and maybe in the near term by pipelines. Electrolysis has so far proven to be unfeasible for the hydrogen mass market. However, If I can refuel my FC car at home directly from solar panels, quick charge when driving a long distance and not depend on the oil companies to set the price of my fuel, just like I can right now with EVs, I might consider FCVs.

      “Mining hydrocarbons is a nasty business that requires politicians and lawyers to protect a company’s right to pollute and damage.”
      “Your rights are belong to Big Oil.”.

      1. Steam reforming of natural gas is CH4+2xH2O –> 3xH2 + CO2. Sounds great doesn’t it.
        H2 to the car has a “carbon footprint” that makes heating your house with a bonfire in your garden seem like a good idea.
        ATM making H2 without a big “carbon footprint” is simply not on the cards. It’s all done with oil and gas. No one is building a big nuke plant for “low carbon” H2. The oil companies won’t be making provisions to use these because it is not in their business case. Wonder why!
        Can you imagine the humidity issues with hot exhausts of steam by the thousand in cities? Oh yes, and the localised oxygen sequestration. Into water. Means nothing to breathe within a lifetime.
        Anyway. How can anyone live with the idea of sequestering Oxygen into water without a conscience? Once it is water, it stays water. The Oxygen is gone from the atmosphere, lost forever…
        How long before the air is thin and lacking in this life giving gas? The result will be a dead Earth that is also an ice ball with vicious weather.
        Beware for what you wish for, it may come true.

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