Charging ahead with energy independence

Charging ahead with energy independence

There are 38 comments on the The Santa Fe New Mexican story from Feb 15, 2009, titled Charging ahead with energy independence. In it, The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that:

Photo: Dan Baker, right, recently explains to Santa Fe Preparatory School chemistry teacher Amy Jordan and Doran Londo, 13, how he built Zappy, an all-electric vehicle, in his garage off Old Santa Fe Trail.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Santa Fe New Mexican.

First Prev
of 2
Next Last
annie whitney

Albuquerque, NM

#1 Feb 16, 2009
Good job dan!! we live off grid and pretty much use up all our elec for home needs; but soon i'll replace my beloved 1988 Volvo with a diesel Volvo that will run on the bio diesel my hubby is making in his shop!! HURRAH ALTERNATIVES!!!!!
Doinky

Rio Rancho, NM

#2 Feb 16, 2009
There would be plenty of economic stimulus to go around if we'd reform health care (get rid of for-profit insurance companies) and offer significant kickbacks for energy efficient upgrades to homes and conversion kits for cars.

DIY, baby! It's the way to go!

Dan! The MAN!
Go Electric

Santa Fe, NM

#3 Feb 16, 2009
I recently spent some time in Northern Cali. There are electric vehicle stores there, and electric vehicle charging stations outdoors. And you see plenty of people driving electric vehicles. I'm sorry to say that, despite Santa Fe's assumption that it is a place for alternative energy, it is about 20 years behind California.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe, NM

#4 Feb 16, 2009
One mistake that ought to be in 'corrections' is that the solar loan bill is HB 572 - SOLAR ENERGY IMPROVEMENT SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS, not HB 219 - FREE MARKET ENERGY RESTORATION ACT. Both are sponsored by Brian Egolf.

HB 572 will create the mechanism to add a special assessment to a Property to repay a no-down low-interest long-term loan for Solar Installations; bringing monthly payments down to the point where the REC payments from the power generated will almost pay for itself right from the start.

You can follow progress on this and other Bills at:

http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_locatorcom.aspx...

...Be sure to contact YOUR Legislators and support Bills you care about!
cactus jim

United States

#5 Feb 16, 2009
does that extended range golf cart have a heater or a defroster or is that done by all the hot air generated by enviromentalists?
Rigz in TuscaloosaAlabam a

Santa Fe, NM

#6 Feb 16, 2009
Go Electric wrote:
I recently spent some time in Northern Cali. There are electric vehicle stores there, and electric vehicle charging stations outdoors. And you see plenty of people driving electric vehicles. I'm sorry to say that, despite Santa Fe's assumption that it is a place for alternative energy, it is about 20 years behind California.
True to the game, you know it! Word
The Rev Pamela Gilchrist

Santa Fe, NM

#7 Feb 16, 2009
Congratulations, Dan! HB 572 will provide a sure way for EVERYONE to go solar and run their electric cars.
Gil Morales

Farmington, NM

#8 Feb 16, 2009
Fossil fuel die-hards will continue to endorse archaic forms of energy consumption and dependence, as the world retrofits from fossil fuels to solar and wind energy. New Mexico has the scientific laboratories already in place. We have the sun and talented people to make this work. Dan, keep up the great work.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe

#9 Feb 16, 2009
We can already build cars that run off of water. Oxygen is the waste product.

Watch! Soon energy will be free!
Viva La Renaissance!

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe

#10 Feb 16, 2009
Tim R

San Rafael, CA

#11 Feb 16, 2009
$2.75 a gallon break even is impressive especially when you consider that cost only goes down as the pv's will be generating the majority of the energy to charge the batteries. With the big three auto makers on the verge of collapse we all may need to pay close attention to Dan Baker's example. We may all need to build our own modes of sustainable transportation. It is a little sad that even with $5 billion in monthly losses American car manufactures cannot produce something that Dan Baker has built in his garage in about 100 hours.
Dan Baker for Secretary of Transportation.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe, NM

#12 Feb 16, 2009
cactus jim wrote:
does that extended range golf cart have a heater or a defroster or is that done by all the hot air generated by enviromentalists?
This golf cart will go highway speed, and yes has a heater.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe, NM

#13 Feb 16, 2009
Tim R wrote:
$2.75 a gallon break even is impressive
It may be a little lower than that actually because I did not account for the maintenance of a gas motor... all the oil changes and at least one tune-up in 3 years. Also the price of batteries is coming down.

If you have PV on your roof, and are getting paid the REC rate from PNM to produce your own power, it drops it even further. In my case, probably to less than $2.00/gallon since I produce my own electricity.

Once Lithium battery tech is really worked out I would guess the break even point will be closer to $2.00/gallon because of the longer life cycles of Li and better range from reduced weight.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe, NM

#14 Feb 16, 2009
Ambro wrote:
We can already build cars that run off of water. Oxygen is the waste product.
Watch! Soon energy will be free!
Viva La Renaissance!
not exactly.....

It takes energy to pull apart the water to get the hydrogen to burn. The 'Brown's Gas' solution is useful for getting more miles from a combustion engine by using some normally wasted power from the alternator.... but is not a long term 'free energy' solution.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe

#15 Feb 16, 2009
These dayz require forward thinks. Fuel will be free! The day draws Niy.

Jezz man! I`m trying to be positive and I`m still drawing flack. I must be over my target. Time to open Bombay doors!!
http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com/

http://www.google.com/search...

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe

#16 Feb 16, 2009
Thinkers. My fiery fingers sometimes run wild away from me.
Leigh Kelly-Monroe

South Gardiner, ME

#17 Feb 16, 2009
You go guy! make me proud, and save the world while you're at it.
We'd go totally solar here in Maine today if it were economically possible.
Let's hope your bill passes; and sets a standard throughout the country, and the world.
auntie leigh
Peter Wilson

Albuquerque, NM

#18 Feb 16, 2009
Nice work Dan! What's it like driving up to the Ski Area?
Money where your mouth is

Santa Fe, NM

#19 Feb 16, 2009
This story is very badly written.

According to Mr. Baker's website, he spent at least $8,782.20 on this conversion, which would have been much more expensive had he paid someone else to do the work. This is completely independent of the cost of his PV system. The '$150' he made reselling the engine is both insignificant and misleading. This also discounts maintenance/battery replacement costs.

The KBB price on a 1997 Suzuki Swift (in 'good' condition) is ~$1,500. I will skip the math and just say that it would take decades for this project to pay for itself. Granted, the car was donated in this case. Not all of us are lucky enough to have friends/family who would be willing to give us a car for free.

I fail to see how this type of conversion is economically viable. I'm sure Mr. Baker has rationalized this by assuming that he now has no carbon footprint.(Which is blatantly untrue).

I will agree that the US needs to move away from fossil fuels, however, this project is nothing more than a novelty. One industrious individual doesn't translate into a plan for energy independence. Nor does offering rebates to the upper-middle class/upper-class for supplementing their electric systems with PV. Those at the bottom are still stuck driving inefficient cars and subsidizing the coal-driven electric industry.

Lets leave the issues of the supply chain to make this project possible out of the equations. No one wants to think about how developing nations are affected by the baby-boomer generations sudden need to find ways to mitigate their guilt.(Yeah, you screwed the generations that have come after you. Hope your 'solar' car lets you sleep at night.)

It's nice to know that this type of conversion is possible, however, the comments in response to the story, and indeed the details of the story itself, lead me to believe that this is nothing but a fluff piece.

Good for Mr. Baker for putting his money where his mouth is; but bear in mind, in the grander scheme of things this is meaningless, and misleading to those reading this story.
Khal Spencer

Santa Fe, NM

#20 Feb 16, 2009
Not sure what the cost of a Chevy Volt will be, but that would be a comparison. The Volt, however, has a small gasoline engine (why not diesel?) used to recharge the batteries so the vehicle can run indefinitely between charges. Well, at least till it runs out of gas.

If Dan wants to invest his time to build a DYI EV, more power to him. As with most prototypes, the initial ones cost a lot. BFD. Counter to the statement that this is meaningless, getting these sorts of vehicles on the roads as proof of concept is a good idea. Chevy has waited so long to respond to EVs that it may die before it can give birth.

My only quibble with the article is the "no oil" statement. I would be really surprised if Dan, as creative as he is, found a way around lubrication for the moving parts.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Suzuki Swift Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Maruti Suzuki Swift Facelift to be launched i... (Jul '14) Jul '14 Anant 1
Suzuki Swift Service Repair Manual 2004-2010 (Mar '13) Mar '13 TPP Services 1
does my swift have a cd/radio player code? (Dec '12) Dec '12 hameed 1
News Honda Brio debuts in India - set to take fight ... (Oct '11) Oct '11 ashish bandhu 1
News Test Drive Report: New Nissan Livina X-Gear 1.6... (Sep '11) Sep '11 new cars 1
'98 swift 1.3l 16v clearances? (Aug '11) Aug '11 dp98swift 1
1999 Suzuku Swift (Aug '09) Aug '11 dp98swift 2
More from around the web