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1320freek
10 July 2012, 0843
I just discovered last night that "Revenge of the Electric Car" is on Netflix instant. I know it doesn't cover EV motorcycles but I thought it was pretty cool.

EVcycle
10 July 2012, 1053
Now watch "Who killed the Electric car" and get the "rest of the story". :O

1320freek
10 July 2012, 1852
Now watch "Who killed the Electric car" and get the "rest of the story". :O

Unfortunately, that one is not on netflix instant but I put it in the Que today. Although I think it was Bob Lutz (who killed the electric car) and that's why I think this movie was pretty good. It's cool that he changed his views and ideas about EV's and pretty much went all in for the Volt. Just my opinion.

EVGator
10 July 2012, 2353
I spent an entire night researching the EV1 and watching "Who killed the electric car". I ended up getting a few mixed emotions, (kinda sad and angry) and it made me want to build an ev even more so than before.

The EV1 had like three times the range of the volt if I am not mistaken, (Volt advertises 40 miles per charge and still uses gas, EV1 had supposedly 120 miles per charge) with NiMH batteries. I can't believe that. Come on, you can't tell me that GM really cares anything about electric vehicles. It would hurt their sales anyway. It's common sense. Not to mention their oil buddies pockets. Now I am not sure how well the Leaf has done for Nissan sales wise, I haven't researched it. But in my opinion, it is going to take a start-up electric car company to really have successful electric vehicle large scale sales. With any other gas car company, it'd just be losing them money. Unless they sold so many vehicles that it made up for all of their gas car sales, and all of the dealership costs across the country including services such as oil changes, filters, tune ups, etc.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant. I am just very passionate when it comes to this subject =p, as we all are.

Allen_okc
11 July 2012, 0553
This is what Wikipedia has in its article about the EV1 - now if this doesnt sound like some big oil company got involved to kill the car, i dont know what does...

and if you dont think that the government and big oil are sexing each to keep the profit going, then move to oklahoma and goto work for anyone of the oil monsters here, then come back and talk to me about what you think then...


While customer reaction to the EV1 was positive, GM believed that electric cars occupied an unprofitable niche of the automobile market, and ending up crushing all their electric cars, regardless of protesting customers.[5] Furthermore, an alliance of the major automakers litigated the CARB regulation in court, resulting in a slackening of the ZEV stipulation, permitting the companies to produce super-low-emissions vehicles, natural gas vehicles, and hybrid cars in place of pure electrics. The EV1 program was subsequently discontinued in 2002, and all cars on the road were repossessed. Lessees were not given the option to purchase their cars from GM, which cited parts, service, and liability regulations.[1] The majority of the repossessed EV1s were crushed, and the rest delivered to museums and educational institutes with their electric powertrains deactivated, under the agreement that the cars were not to be reactivated and driven on the road.

GM has never crushed or destroyed any auto they made simply because they were unprofitable, give me a break...

Allen_okc
11 July 2012, 0720
This photo makes me very sick and very mad - crushed EV1's, crushed by the GM arse wipes...

protomech
11 July 2012, 0802
EV1 was a very technically advanced car. Much like the original Insight, an extreme emphasis on light weight and good aerodynamics gave it a very reasonable range. Almost half the car's weight was taken up by a massive battery pack, an advanced lead acid which supposedly could be charged in 3 hours at first .. and later a nimh pack which doubled the useful range.

Given the cost of NiMH batteries at the time, the EV1 likely would have to be sold for $60k+ (in 2000 dollars) for GM to break even. And a two seat body style, as Honda found out, is technically ideal but makes for very poor sales.

I believe GM has already sold more Volts in 2012 alone than they could have ever sold units of the EV1. Sucks for the original leasees, and I think the wiser PR move would have been for GM to sell the cars at end-of-lease to the leasees with a no-support stipulation.

GM isn't a charity though; they're in business to make money. The EV1 as a product would never have done that for them.

In let's say 1999 GM could have produced a two seater 120 mile vehicle for $60k.

In 2012-2013 you can buy a seven-seater Tesla Model S 40 kWh that will do 160 miles (maybe 140 EPA) for $60k (before tax credits) .. or a Twizy, MiEV, Leaf, Coda, etc for substantially less money.

That's the real revenge of the electric car .. that they've evolved from lab prototypes and edge cases to cars that everyday people can own.

Allen_okc
11 July 2012, 0824
you can clearly see how much money they made by crushing the EV1, especially when the lessee's wanted to purchase them...

EVGator
11 July 2012, 0906
Yeah. Apparently a group of EV1 owners pulled their money together and offered a check of One Million Dollars to GM in order to keep their cars. GM denied it, and actually spent around $600 per EV1 that they crushed. So there were people that definitely wanted it and protested the crushing. But I guess not enough to actually stop GM from doing it.

As far as Chevron and GM goes,

"In 1950, Chevron then “Standard Oil” along with General Motors and Firestone were charged and convicted of criminal conspiracy for their part in the Great American streetcar scandal. The scandal included purchasing streetcar systems throughout the United States then dismantling and replacing them with buses, in order to increase their sales of petroleum, automobiles and tires." -EVA


On a side note, has anyone been able to find NiMH batteries with a decent C-rate and being cost effective? Don't think I have ever seen a bike with a Panasonic or other brand NiMH system on it. I guess low C-rate being the cause of it.



http://www.ev.com/ev-components-parts/ev-battery-ev-components-parts/ev-batteries-held-hostage.html
http://www.ev.com/ev-news/green-global-news/chevron-infamous-in-ev-world.html


Look familiar?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pacific-Electric-Red-Cars-Awaiting-Destruction.gif

protomech
11 July 2012, 0954
The Honda Insight (and other Honda hybrids) were capable of a 15C discharge and 7.5C charge (6.5Ah cells, 100A discharge / 50A charge). Numbers may be different for later batteries, I recall they flipped back and forth between 6 Ah and 6.5 Ah cells for a while.

Toyota Prius NiMH cells are capable of 20C discharge. Don't know the charge rate but it's likely high.

Problem is these cells are difficult / impossible to obtain new and are quite heavy (40-60 Wh/kg for the entire assembly).

Allen_okc
11 July 2012, 1029
awesome find EVGator - those articles kinda paint a picture of a silent war that is going on...

CliC
11 July 2012, 1348
I watched "Who Killed the Electric Car" also. Interesting piece. As protomech said, the EV1 was quite an advanced vehicle for the time, more so than I thought.

While there were conspiracy theories galore bandied about in the film, I think in the end GM just decided they couldn't make money on the EV1 on a large scale. I mean, if some of those theories were true, we wouldn't have electric cars today. The roundup and crushing of the leased cars was bizarre, and sad, but I can see management-think doing that to support GM's arguments against California's law, to keep too many questions and counterarguments from occurring as a result of the operating vehicles, to avoid supporting them long-term, and to generally close the book on them and make all those pesky e-greenies go away :). It's too bad, though; again as proto stated, there seemed to be less drastic ways to exit the e-car business.

EVcycle
13 July 2012, 0350
I have a original of the EV1 cut away in my office. It is a good conversation
starter. One of our companies Vice presidents liked it so much he now has one.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRZj5Cq0rgsi13bcHYNEVIuhpUuMTgpw t_FPPMJF_3l-Cw4bTQSUQ&t=1

Allen_okc
13 July 2012, 0604
I watched "Who Killed the Electric Car" also. Interesting piece. As protomech said, the EV1 was quite an advanced vehicle for the time, more so than I thought.

While there were conspiracy theories galore bandied about in the film, I think in the end GM just decided they couldn't make money on the EV1 on a large scale. I mean, if some of those theories were true, we wouldn't have electric cars today. The roundup and crushing of the leased cars was bizarre, and sad, but I can see management-think doing that to support GM's arguments against California's law, to keep too many questions and counterarguments from occurring as a result of the operating vehicles, to avoid supporting them long-term, and to generally close the book on them and make all those pesky e-greenies go away :). It's too bad, though; again as proto stated, there seemed to be less drastic ways to exit the e-car business.

Okay - i watched who killed the electric car too - im still mad about the whole thing - conspiracy?, let me tell you a story about the GM plant here in oklahoma city...

first of all prior to the EV1 was the Beretta, a little car with a powerful punch on the floor board, i know because i owned a Beretta GT. it was developed in the same room as the Corvette and the Camaro - when it was first built only the employees where allowed to drive them. people here in oklahoma city saw the little car and was asking to purchase them, so much so that GM started to produce them. every year the car didnt change much, but was discontinued in 1996, mine was a 1985 - they announce that there was no profit in the car is why they discontinued the production of the Beretta. Funny they didnt recall those cars and have them crushed, so why did they crush all of those EV1's - i'll tell you why, because GM screwed up by perfecting the electric car, as perfect as a electric car could be of that time... and certain organizations consider it a cancer that should be stopped before it spread...

right now in these times, folks like us here at elmoto are now the cancer of big oil, and all i can say "die big oil die" - there is no reason why big oil and the electric car couldnt get along in this world, except the for fact that big oil is just plain greedy...

Warren
13 July 2012, 0653
Guys,

What makes conspiracy theories believable is that they contain lots of factual information. The missing detail in this one is that battery-electric vehicles are more expensive, and less convenient than ICE vehicles. People will not buy them, if the price does not include the cost of wars, pollution, etc.

The most popular vehicles in America are, and have been for decades, pickup trucks. There is no conspiracy forcing people to buy them. Big steel boxes, full of air, are cheap to produce. The operating expenses are spread out over ten years.

We are fighting all over the Middle East, and just had the hottest, weirdest, 12 month period ever recorded. Pickups are selling like mad, and Leaf sales are half what they were a year ago. This is not a Machiavellian plot by big business.

Renault-Nissan looked at data for the last twenty years and saw that small, aero, two-seaters don't sell to the middle class in numbers sufficient to mass produce an battery-electric car. So they took the safe, smart route of producing a five passenger, hatchback, totally conventional looking car, right down to a fake valve cover under the hood. One that wouldn't scare away soccer moms, and was just affordable by the middle class. Then the world economy imploded and the market for that car vanished overnight.

GM looked at the same data, and went with a plug-in hybrid instead. Despite the lousy economy, and the right-wing attacking it as socialist tree hugging, they have been selling in reasonable numbers.

Renault-Nissan's bet was a bit more daring, and lost. GM's bet may still pay off. Neither of these companies cares about saving the world. They just want to keep selling transportation to people. They know better than their customers that their days of selling ICE vehicles are numbered.

Allen_okc
13 July 2012, 0726
completely right Warren - i can sit here and say that big oil is responsible for all our troubles, but the truth is as the documentary describes, but a emphasis should be highlighted that the consumer is the most guilty of this whole situation, the very same folks who scream about paying for gas, but will be willing to go out and buy a gas guzzling pickup. i call those folks sheep...

even though we here may own a pick up, we also own a EV and do not have to scream as loud...

in a way i feel like im doing my part, which i keep telling myself. the real reason i built a EV, is not because of high gas prices, or because of the smog problem, but simply because i find it more of a challenge to simply build something very interesting.

although i have to say i feel like im becoming a activist... its just a shame the the transportation circle is the way it is, especially when i can see that the light at the end of the tunnel is very bright and that the transportation needs can be a lot better than it is...

EVcycle
13 July 2012, 0754
"Renault-Nissan's bet was a bit more daring, and lost."

Lost?

Warren
13 July 2012, 0757
Allen,

"i can see that the light at the end of the tunnel is very bright"

Is this the one you see as your brain shuts down and you die, or a train coming? :-)

Warren at 64, wishing I had a dollar for every light people saw at the end of a tunnel.

Warren
13 July 2012, 0820
"Lost?"

As in 36 Leafs sitting at one dealer in Virginia. Five of those are 2011's, now discounted $3,356, with no takers. It would have been 37, but my neighbor leased a 2012. He is in a VERY exclusive club. The only electric car owner near one of America's richest college towns.

Allen_okc
13 July 2012, 0914
yup i do see a light at the end of the tunnel, its the lights of EV's - the lithium battery is starting to change things, and when the price goes down then there will be a larger crowd of EVs - i just feel that we are at the slow but sure begining of the EV's, even though its taken since the early 1900's to get here, things are changing - but if your right and the lights of the end of the tunnel are train lights, then we are most certainly doomed...

but im pretty sure life will go on no matter what. but me i will be riding my EV motorcycle with that silly EV grin on...

EVcycle
13 July 2012, 1521
One dealer does not constitute a company loss...... :p

CliC
13 July 2012, 2007
I own an elmoto because it is efficient, it's fun (not in a S1000RR kind of way, but fun nonetheless), and like many on here I believe electric is the drivetrain of the future. It also happens to suit my living arrangements right now better than any ICE bike.

I also own a gas-guzzling pickup, because if you want to carry 1500 lbs in the bed and tow 8800 lbs, usually over longish distances, a gas or diesel V8 engine is by far the most practical (and yes, I do that often enough to own a pickup).

While the tech has come a long way, the fact remains that electric storage is nowhere near the energy density of gasoline, and that gap overshadows electric's efficiency advantages. Electric storage also cannot be replenished as quickly as refilling a gasoline tank, though that seems more an infrastructure than a technical limitation. Because of these limitations, e-vehicles are just not a complete substitute for ICE ones yet, and when they cost more, they aren't attractive to the average person. This of course leads to a chicken-and-egg problem, that of major auto (and bike) manufacturers not building a lot of EVs, because the market is not there for them. Fortunately for EVs there are passionate folks who will pay extra for an "inferior" EV because they believe in them, and there are brave, innovative souls who build, and even race, them as well. Those people -- you, us -- are the reason EVs will eventually achieve mass-market acceptance. It will just require patience.

None of this is anything most people on here don't already know. But as Warren pointed out, it's worth keeping in mind too when thinking conspiracies are keeping EVs off the market. As for this pickup owner, my gas consumption in the pickup is down to about 1/4 what it was before I got the elmoto. I don't need 1500 lbs of payload and 8800 lbs of towing for most trips around town :)

1320freek
13 July 2012, 2053
Well said Clic!

Richard230
14 July 2012, 0734
Well, you know what they said 100 years ago about gas-powered motorcars. Get a horse! ;)

While I very occasionally see a road apple on the street (there being a stable nearby), I see a lot more oil stains and coolant slime (along with a few hubcaps) on the roads.

Warren
14 July 2012, 0954
"While I very occasionally see a road apple on the street (there being a stable nearby), I see a lot more oil stains and coolant slime (along with a few hubcaps) on the roads."

That reminds me: The week of the 4th, I was in Charlottesville, in the middle of one of those seas-of-asphalt we call a shopping mall. It was 104 degrees, a new record, and there, in the middle of all that asphalt, was a huge tractor trailer rig, from one of our many horse farms. It had a flatbed, filled with a hay wagon's worth of square bails, followed by a huge, Chinese ATV with its own pickup bed, followed by the fifth wheel, pulling the biggest horse trailer I have ever seen. This whole rig was glossy black, and chrome. And you could see yourself in every inch of it. No one was around, but the big diesel generator was running a whole-house-sized AC unit. The horses in there were much cooler than the homeless people wandering around the shopping center.