February 11th, 2011

Opening Party Night for Tesla DC Showroom

Tesla Opening night

Tesla Opening night

I was lucky enough to get to attend the Tesla DC opening night gala tonight.  The show room is amazing with almost every wall being a window, very open and inviting.  Tesla had a huge turn out for the event, if only we could get half the people that showed up to actually buy and drive an electric car in DC I would be an extremely happy EV enthusiast.  There were 6 privately owned Teslas on display including the one on the lift.

Speaking of the lift, the maintenance area was awesome, sparkling clean.  I love the way the maintenance is glass walled as well so that the public can see how clean these cars are.  There wont be any grease spots under this lift.

Tesla work bay

Elon Musk was there and he killed two birds with one stone, half of the event was to support the opening of the Tesla showroom and the other have was used for drumming up support for Elon’s SpaceX project.  The

Dragon X was on display and a very interesting video of the same module taking off and traveling around the earth twice before splashing down in pacific ocean.

DragonX

A gorgeous Red Model S was also on display and boy did it attract a crowd.  I love the lines on this car and the accent LED head lights and the vanishing door handles….. everything is just jaw dropping on this vehicle.  I love the idea they are going to sell this car with three different types of battery packs.

img_4836

Patriot Tesla

More to come from the event tonight, stay tuned !

August 5th, 2010

Rained Out Power of DC still a Blast!

June 1st, 2010

Power of DC is June 5-6 !!

pdc_sec_title

Power of DC is an electric car drag race and autocross hosted by EVADC.  I am a member of EVADC and I love looking forward to the Power of DC each year. It will be held on June 5 and 6th with the autocross being on the 5th and the drag race on the 6th. All the events are located in Hagerstown Maryland and the drag race is at the Mason-Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown. The auto cross will be located at Valley Mall (Macy’s parking lot) Near 1-70 and I-81. We are expecting a great turn out with at least 5 Tesla Roadsters there. An east coast speed record for an electric vehicle was almost broken last year so lets hope for some better luck this year.  Lawless industries will also be there with several of there competition style vehicles.   I will have pictures and videos up from the race so check back often.  I will also try to stream some live video from my Droid as the races happen.  Also check out the pictures from last years drag race!

jr_vs_tesla_250

April 11th, 2010

Howard University EV-1 Project

I was recently invited by Jason Ganley to come by Howard University and help assist him with his EV-1 restoration project.  For those unfamiliar with the EV-1, I will implore you to see the movie “Who killed the electric car?” which details the life and death of this great vehicle.  The EV-1 was made by Saturn and eventually crushed in the desert.  However, about 28 were donated to various universities.  These donated EV-1′s were also disabled by having all the electronic controls removed and batteries removed.  The Howard EV-1 has been setting in storage pretty much since the day it was donated to the university so you might notice the 8 or so years of dirt that has built up on this vehicle.  Since the environment we are working in is so dirty we felt that we would clean up the vehicle when we were finally done with our make over project.

A simplistic summary of Jason’s project is to replace the batteries with Ultracaps from Maxwell and then install a 4 cylinder range extending combustion engine that uses Ammonia as the combustion liquid.

Here are some shots from our work on the project.

From the pictures you can see the battery box with all the Ultra Capacitors in place.  The electric motor is visible because the controller/inverter was removed to replace the controls.

Videos of the build after the jump

Keep reading →

April 1st, 2010

Nissan announces pricing for the Leaf

Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Nissan released pricing information for the their fully electric vehicle called the Nissan Leaf.   The Leaf is a four door vehicle that has a range of 100 miles on a full charge and can recharge using 3 different levels of charging.  The leaf will be the first production electric vehicle that supports Level III charging or better put it can charge from 480 volts AC and reach an 80% charge in only 26 minutes from a Level III charger.  Nissan stated this week that the vehicle would have a MSRP of $32,780 but when you include the federal tax savings of up to $7,500 the Leaf could be as low if not lower than $25,280 when you include additional state tax savings.  They also announced that they would lease the vehicle for $349 a month.

No word yet on whether or not the battery pack only could be leased as this would make owning the car even cheaper and remove worries of warranties on the battery packs because if they lease the pack and something went wrong then they would just replace the battery pack no questions asked.  I hope they consider this as an option.

I have heard a lot of people complaining that this pricing is still to high.  I don’t think these people are realizing the advantages of this vehicle over a traditional gas car.  For the small price of $25,280 you no longer have to pay for gas and can go a 100 miles for a about $2 or about 2 cents a mile!

You no longer have to:

  • Change the oil
  • Change the oil filter
  • Change the the air filter
  • Change the gas filter
  • Change the spark plugs and wires
  • Change the belts
  • Check the coolant (electric motor is water cooled but shouldn’t loose as much)
  • Search aimlessly for a gas station

I love the way one of my friends put it,

“A gasoline engine has a 1,001 plus moving parts, all of which can and do fail at any given time.  However, and electric car has only ONE moving part in its motor and that part hardly ever fails!”.

The electric motor has been perfected for over a 100 years and when it does fail it is usually just the brushes in the motor that need to be replaced.  There are extremely old electric motors still in use today.  Some of the original electric vehicles from the 1900′s still run with the original motors.  Electric motors don’t have this limit of only 200,000 miles that gasoline engines do.  Electric vehicles are only going to be limited by the life span of their batteries.  The batteries in the Leaf are warrantied for 100,000 miles so when you add all these benefits up I can only see this as a vehicle that is actually a steal for only $25,280!

Nissan will start taking reservations for $100 on April 20th, 2010.  Check back here for a link on that day!

So long gasoline… its been nice knowing you! NOT!

January 26th, 2010

Behind the Scenes of the Washington D.C. Auto Show

2010 Washington D.C. Auto Show opens Wednesday January 27th and runs through Sunday the 31st.

6,500 square foot Green Car Pavilion

http://www.washingtonautoshow.com/

Here is a quick sneak peek of whats to come from the Washington D.C. Auto show.  I will be working the show and bringing all my readers pictures and information from every single electric vehicle at the show.   The Electric Vehicle Association of Greater D.C. will be at the show showing off some of their members vehicle conversions.  The GM Volt and Fiat 500 booths have been setup but the cars were not in the building yet.  More to come…..

January 26th, 2010

Nissan Leaf on display at the Neweum in DC

On Saturday January 23rd I went to the Newseum in Washington D.C. to check out the new Nissan Leaf that was on display. If you are not familiar with the Leaf, it is a pure-EV with a 100 mile range being produced by Nissan. The Vehicle will eventually be produced at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Nissan is also building a battery production facility there as well. The Leaf is project to cost around $25k and there maybe options to lease the battery pack which would lower the overall cost and protect any early adopters from possible bad battery packs. The car looks amazing in person, it isn’t as flashy as say a the Model-S from Tesla but it also doesn’t look like the run of the mill Versa either. The head lights are designed to move air away from the side mirrors so that they create less drag, so its easy to tell that a considerable amount of engineering has gone into this vehicle. The instrument cluster looks very sharp and informative and the gear shifter or should I say “joystick” has a nice look to it and functions to shift from drive to reverse. The vehicle has 3 methods of charging and two charging ports. The Leaf can charge from 110 AC, 240 AC, and 480 AC (Level III charging). Level III charging will take the car up to 80% charge in 26 minutes.

Enjoy the pictures below and if you have any questions feel free to comment.

December 15th, 2009

Wind powered car called Nemesis

Dale Vince has been designing a one of a kind fully electric vehicle that can hit 100MPH.  The vehicle looks like its built on the familiar Lotus Exige platform that has been proven to provide excellent performance.  The vehicle has come a long way in a short period of time and it seems the production team had the same stumbling block with battery management as the bigger car manufactures did.  Take a look at some of the other videos on Dales site called Zerocarbonista. What a HOT car!


Video production: Tim Walter Associates

November 11th, 2009

Chrysler is cutting plans for EV

Chrysler automotive announce that the new management of Fiat does not intend to pursue electric vehicles as vigorously as the older management of Chrysler had insisted on doing.  This is a shocking blow to all EV enthusiast that have been drooling over the Dodge Circuit that was posted here a while back.  I can tell yo that I would have bought one.  This is also a blow to the battery company A123 (AONE) who was relying on Chrysler as a main purchaser of their batteries.  I hope Fiat comes around and realizes the great opportunity they have with these vehicles and that they don’t waste all the research that has already been accomplished.   FIAT PLEASE PRODUCE THE DODGE CIRCUIT!  but all my yelling is probably falling on deaf ears and oil lined pockets.

October 28th, 2009

Fisker purchases GM Plant in Wilmington, Delaware

Fisker Automotive the maker of the Karma a series hybrid said this week that it has plans to purchase a dormant GM production facility for $18 million.  The same facility was used to produce the Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn L-Series and Saturn’s trio, Sky/Pontiac Solstice/Opel GT so it should be fully capable of cranking out a state of the art vehicles.  Fisker says it plans to spend $175 million to retool the plant so that it can produce Fisker’s next plug-in hybrid sedan, called Nina.  The company says they plan to produce between 75,000 and a 100,000 vehicles at the plant.  Opening this plant will also create 2,000 much needed jobs for the automobile industry.  The company has said they liked the property because not only does it cover 142 acres providing 3.2 million square feet of space but that it is also closely located to shipping ports and railroads.

On another note, this is however discouraging news for all the DeLorean fans that were hoping DeLorean was going to be able to purchase this plant and convert the existing Pontiac Solstice into the next DMC car.  I guess that idea just hit 88 MPH ……………….!