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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Electric vehicles

This article gives the full media treatment to Ian Wright and his electric car, the X1. During my day job I work on the design of vehicles of the hybrid-electric variety, and so get a kick out of seeing some of the weirded-out contraptions. Frankly, I don't find a lot truly special in the high-performance car; if you think of it as a lightening bolt in a can, it makes intuitive sense on how it could beat a Ferrari or a Porsche. Perhaps a better comparison would involve a rocket engine -- the coupling of energy to tractive efficiency becomes stronger as you reduce the number of parts, with a brushless DC motor, high-current battery, and advanced feedback control acting the equivalent of a controlled rocket.

And perhaps they should give more credit to the motor manufacturer AC Propulsion who have had quite a track record before Mr. Wright conceived of his X1.

Broadcast yesterday, Ed Begley recalls his early exploits driving around Los Angeles in an electric car, essentially a golf cart, on the Marc Maron show here. He also describes how he lives on $600 on green energy per year (interspersed with lots of interesting Hollywood trivia).

Begley admitted to Maron that he still prefers travelling around by bike whenever possible -- something that Maron's cohost Jim Earl and I fundamentally agree with.


Professor Anonymous jay said...

Electric vehicles may another solution yet I don't think it is the real answer, just like hybrids like Escape and Mariner.

6:41 PM  
Professor Blogger used car parts said...

£7,000 price Tag sounds much better

Watched a very interesting review on the G Wiz electric car last night. Tim Lovejoy from Channel 5’s Fifth Gear took to the streets of London to see if the £7,000 G Wiz was a practical enough vehicle. He found it wasn’t much use for taking the kids to school as it was a little on the small side for the children in the back but was adequate enough to get him self and his golf clubs in, so not too bad I suppose.

It is reckoned that the £7,000 price tag for the car will pay for its self within 1 year due to the car being exempt from the congestion charge, road tax, and can be parked for free in central London. The top speed of the car is just 40 mph and can travel for 40 miles on a single charge. In my eyes this is perfected for anyone living in the central of London.
From James at

12:13 AM  
Professor Blogger Rich Marks said...

I too am trying to start an EV company, and if you have working knowledge of the auto industry, do you really think Ian can pull this off?
Take Elon Musk, now CEO of Tesla, which he bought for only $30M: Adds Musk, "The time is right for a new American car company, and the time is right for electric vehicles, because of advances in batteries and electronics. Where's the skill set for that? In the Valley, not Detroit."
Boy what he does not know! Detroit has problems no doubt, but not understanding electronics? and reliability? and durability and how customers use cars, and EV's? As I have always said it is the things you don't know, you don't know that kill you. It is like walking across a mine field, you just don't know where they are.
Hobbyists should not be trying to start car companies. That includes AC Propulsions. Does anyone in California really understand the car industry? Some of it, yes but launch a new car company....? Time will tell. For more info or EV's visit my blog at hppt://ecovelectric.blogspot.com

3:21 PM  

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