'Electric Car Guy' Has Been On The En...

'Electric Car Guy' Has Been On The Energy-Efficiency Case For 4...

There are 23 comments on the Hartford Courant story from May 28, 2009, titled 'Electric Car Guy' Has Been On The Energy-Efficiency Case For 4.... In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Bob Rice is the president of the New England Electric Auto Association and drives an electric-powered 1989 Volkswagon Jetta.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Reality Check

Newington, CT

#1 May 28, 2009
Great Article! A man ahead of his time, kind of like Tucker!
Waldo 312

Marietta, GA

#2 May 28, 2009
How about also no heat. BRRRRR!!!!!!!!
ct yankee

Wallingford, CT

#3 May 28, 2009
What we need is a few more guys like this and a few more articles to promote them!
kerry bradshaw

Lutz, FL

#4 May 28, 2009
I suppose when you're 67 and retired, waiting around for 8 hours to recharge your car so you can drive for 1 hour makes some
kind of twisted sense. The rest of us need to get where we're going before we retire. Today one recharging station can basically handle a very few cars per day. These are more like parking spaces than refueling stations. Until batteries can be recharged quickly, simple battery-only electrics like the ones this fellow can cobble together are total nonsense. But it loks like MIT has developed a rechargeable technology. If the costs can be brought down (they need to go WAY down) that will 1) make battery-only electrics practical and 2) make these recharging stations obsolete - gas stations are the obvious
and only practical spots for refueling, regardless of whether its gasoline or electricity. These utilities that are jumping the gun better pay attention to battery developments over the next two years, or they will spend a lot of money on white elephants. There has already been way too much waste in givt money chasing pipe dreams (the US as the "Battery maker to the world" - what a joke.We can't even produce microchips anymore, and those we invented).
Boris

Rochester, MI

#5 May 28, 2009
These guys are still nuts.

Where do you think the power that charges the batteries comes from?

If everyone charged their cars at home, demand for electric would surge, and prices per Kw would skyrocket. Considering that we are scardeycats about nuclear power, that means more coal and oil burned to make the power.

Green power sources will not be able to offset the additional demand created by mass-adoption of electric cars. Even a fully developed nation-wide green power system will not offset the future demand of these cars.

Electric cars may work fine for eccentric engineers and hip city-dwellers, but as a comprehensive solution, it is bound to cause more problems than it solves. Just because you don't see the power being made (in a central plant rather than in an IC motor under the hood), does not mean that it is better. This is the same as feeling good about eating meat because you did not see the cow get slaughtered.

I do agree that the technology should be pushed as it will assist in making many technologies and industries more efficient, but millions of cars full of piles of batteries, running off an overburdened electric grid, is not an answer, but rather ignoring the problem.
Boris

Rochester, MI

#6 May 28, 2009
Reality Check wrote:
Great Article! A man ahead of his time, kind of like Tucker!
Oh please. Tucker was a loon too.

Makes good drama, but thats about it. His engineering ideas were already in production either in racing or already avaliable, but not in widespread use because of cost.

Substantial change in automotive technology was unescisary until two things happened. 1. Comprehensive nationwide highway system. 2. Increased demand from WWII ending / baby boom. Until then, anything revolutionary was unsustainable in widespread production.
Boris

Rochester, MI

#7 May 28, 2009
ct yankee wrote:
What we need is a few more guys like this and a few more articles to promote them!
Good idea! So some less talented, but "motivated" home-spun engineers try this and burn their car, house, or both down trying to rig this up.

That will be 50,000 carbon credits for burning your house down sir!
Reality Check

Newington, CT

#8 May 28, 2009
Boris wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh please. Tucker was a loon too.
Makes good drama, but thats about it. His engineering ideas were already in production either in racing or already avaliable, but not in widespread use because of cost.
Substantial change in automotive technology was unescisary until two things happened. 1. Comprehensive nationwide highway system. 2. Increased demand from WWII ending / baby boom. Until then, anything revolutionary was unsustainable in widespread production.
Yeah OK...apparently when Tucker went belly up, the Big 3 took alot of his innovative ideas, like intermittent wipers, and tempered glass for the windshield and started using them in production cars.

Very interesting indeed!
Reality Check

Newington, CT

#9 May 28, 2009
kerry bradshaw wrote:
I suppose when you're 67 and retired, waiting around for 8 hours to recharge your car so you can drive for 1 hour makes some
kind of twisted sense. The rest of us need to get where we're going before we retire. Today one recharging station can basically handle a very few cars per day. These are more like parking spaces than refueling stations. Until batteries can be recharged quickly, simple battery-only electrics like the ones this fellow can cobble together are total nonsense. But it loks like MIT has developed a rechargeable technology. If the costs can be brought down (they need to go WAY down) that will 1) make battery-only electrics practical and 2) make these recharging stations obsolete - gas stations are the obvious
and only practical spots for refueling, regardless of whether its gasoline or electricity. These utilities that are jumping the gun better pay attention to battery developments over the next two years, or they will spend a lot of money on white elephants. There has already been way too much waste in givt money chasing pipe dreams (the US as the "Battery maker to the world" - what a joke.We can't even produce microchips anymore, and those we invented).
You obviously did not read the article.
Boris

Rochester, MI

#10 May 28, 2009
Reality Check wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah OK...apparently when Tucker went belly up, the Big 3 took alot of his innovative ideas, like intermittent wipers, and tempered glass for the windshield and started using them in production cars.
Very interesting indeed!
Tempered glass and intermittent wipers were already in use in the aviation industry. Same thing with ABS, disc brakes, belted tires, halogen headlamps, power steering. The big three had no reason to innovate until demand increased. Tucker was not competition, and his innovations would be in use with foriegn manufactuers before they would be in use with the big 3 and a half.
DR_DUKE

New Britain, CT

#11 May 28, 2009
Why can't this guy get a government grant or loan?
Matt

Manchester, NH

#12 May 28, 2009
Electric cars will be a new liability. Unless you add sound effects to them, the level of alertness it will take people used to hearing a car coming will have interesting results for pedestrians.
Reality Check

Newington, CT

#13 May 28, 2009
Boris wrote:
<quoted text>
Tempered glass and intermittent wipers were already in use in the aviation industry. Same thing with ABS, disc brakes, belted tires, halogen headlamps, power steering. The big three had no reason to innovate until demand increased. Tucker was not competition, and his innovations would be in use with foriegn manufactuers before they would be in use with the big 3 and a half.
I disagree with the assumption he was not competition. Oh and you forgot seat belts too! Please reread your posting. I know all the things you mentioned were in the aviation industry, but not in the car industry, that my friend is part of the innovation process. No one used it in autos until Tucker. Original? May be not so much, but innovative, absolutely!
Paul G

New Haven, CT

#14 May 28, 2009
A co-worker friend and I are working on a Chev S-10 conversion at Bob's house. I am very impressed with what can be done. My commute is too long. But, I really see the value added for folks with a less than 50 mile commute, and if their works provides a plug life is good.
Ray

Springfield, MA

#15 May 28, 2009
Check out the shoddy electrical box on the tree with exposed wires & connections, I wonder who the inspector was that OKed that mess??? If his work with a simple electrical box looks like that one can only wonder what the inside workings of the car must look like.

Since: Mar 09

Salem, CT

#16 May 28, 2009
Reality Check wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah OK...apparently when Tucker went belly up, the Big 3 took alot of his innovative ideas, like intermittent wipers, and tempered glass for the windshield and started using them in production cars.
Very interesting indeed!
Preston Tucker's innovations were more along the lines of the powertrain and the ridiculous directional headlight (taken from train engines). Intermittent wipers were not used in cars (by the Ford Motor Co.) until 1969. Robert Kearns did patent the application in 1964 (Tucker's car was 1948 model released in 1949 and order to get a patent the technology or idea has to be a new and novel solution to a problem) Automobile manufacturers stopped using tempered glass windshields in 1919. See tempered glass in high speed collisions still allowed large shards of glass to fly around. Henry Ford used a french technology using a laminating process-- a precursor to today's laminated windshield.
Storm

Harwinton, CT

#17 May 28, 2009
Boris ought to spend some time learning some facts rather than displaying his ignorance for the world to view. He could start with the consumption pattern of the electrical grid, the actual distances driven per day, the charging patterns of batteries. How can one with so little knowledge have so many strong opinions?
Yeah Right

Newington, CT

#18 May 29, 2009
I agree with you, Storm. Why does electric car technology make some people so hostile? Boris' grandfather probably had the same reaction to those new-fangled motorcars of his day.
Bob Rice

Southbury, CT

#19 May 29, 2009
Hi EVerybody;

I'll try to answer the many comments and questions that were posted on the forum. Yeah! That electrical box IS a mess! Guilty! The COVER was off!Duh! Shoulda covered it back up?Didn't think it would show up in it's ugly glory that well?I mean an outdoor outlet? Not rocket science. The simple wood cover does keep the rain out, as one on a porch would enjoy. Use a RV recepticle, as you would find in a Campground? Big Deal?I will mention that the CAR is done a bunch neater!Has to, to run onthe street in good and bad weather.

As to the passing the issue upstream to the Power companies? Yes, but during the late night and early morning hours they have to idle the grid down, they are more efficient running a balanced load, all the time. IF you look into the Power thing you will find that there is "Reserve" power late at night, or "Off Peak Load" capacity? IF C.L. and P were to offer a break, for power consumed between 11pm and 5AM, We could charge our EV's while WE recharged? Chjarging an EV is sorta like watching water boil or grass grow? Go away and come back later and it's done. The remark about waiting 8 hours to charge for a one hour run? Never an issue? Remember I commuted 50 miles a day, when I WAS working!I had enough juice to make that RT. The Good Folks at Amtrak let me plug in, in a trainyard FULL of electric trains sitting around I used a very SMALL amount of power!

Remember I'm NOT trying to re-invent the Automobile! Better heads have done that. Think EV-1 by General Motors? They KILLED the EV idea because they are in bed with the Oil Co's. IF you haven't seen " Who Killed the Electric Car" docu-movie, go see it and report back to us!Don't watch it on a full stomach! It points out the way industry and Govt. work, but with the "Best Govt,. Oil Money can Buy" which we JUST got rid off!I'm MAD as hell, at the gas going up EVery 15 minutes! I'm building an IDEA, not an automobile. That EV's can do MOST of our transportation needs. IF I can cobble up a working one WHY can't the, big, bad auto Industry? GM HAD the lockup on the Electric Car TEN years ago! They pissed it away. See how well they are doing now? I'll bet IF they had a line of electrics last year when gas was anout 4-5 bux a gal. they would have LINES in front of the dealers?American Sheeple sleep on; We have been warned over a 30 or more year period. Gas is finate, we go to war for it now. "Don't confuse fighting for Oil with Fighting for Freedom"One of my bumper stickers!

Every day I don't have to fire up a gas car is air spared, and less money to support terrorism.I'm NOT alone. Check out EValbum.com . see over a thousand OTHER EV's of all sizes and shapes!

Oh? Thought ya would never ask? I use a ceramic heater, to warm things. it works quite well, will build it into the existing VW heating plenum. My last ev, a Rabbit I replaced the heater core with 2 ceramic heating elements, ran it off the traction battery. draws between 10-15 amps @ 120 volts. Yes it does take a bit away from range as well as cold weather. My range is cut in half in subfreezing weather! The down side of the 100 year old battery technology!
Us EV folks are pinning our hopes on Lithium batteries, Nickle Metal Hydride or a plethura of new technologies, mostly from China. Maybe we'll wake up the sleeping US-ian Auto Industry? Happened before with swarms of VW's, Toyotas and Hondas hit our shores 30 years ago! A message here? I think so.

Times are a changing. Stay Tuned.

Bob
DaveP in Ohio

Brook Park, OH

#20 May 29, 2009
kerry bradshaw wrote:
gas stations are the obvious
and only practical spots for refueling, regardless of whether its gasoline or electricity.
Sorry, Kerry, but a gas station is not a place I'd want to plug in for a recharge... they don't even want you turning on your pager or cell phone, do you think that they want potential sparks from make/break connections on a high voltage charging system?

I get by just fine plugging in at my home for 4-5 hours for a full recharge, and if I wanted to stretch it out, I could drive to work for almost a week on a single charge in my electic car... by the way, it's a 29 year old US produced plug in electric decendent of the cars Bob worked on in the 70's.

THANK YOU, BOB! KEEP PUSHING THE ENVELOPE FOR THE FUTURE!

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