Friday, August 15, 2008

For Every Action, there is an equal amount of Inaction to Ensure a Zero Rate of Progress

"People should just stop driving" - quote from a CNN reader

Well, I now understand why "Rome is burning"..or at least one reason. Because we squabble ourselves into inaction. We The People have no right to be angry at Congress for not accomplishing anything meaningful in the last couple of years. I don't think we could do any better for ourselves.

Read this article: , then scroll down to the comments.

For every person who said a DIY EV conversion was a "great idea", there were 2 who said "it'll never work", "it's not practical", "it's dangerous", "it pollutes as much as a gasoline car" etc, etc.

Let me school any of you who are reading my blog as to why these people are full of crap and I'll offer web links to back me up, unlike all the uneducated naysayers who commented on the article.

1. "It'll never work" Tell that to these 2,000 people: (These are just the folks who felt like sharing, not all of them do) I drive mine every single day, 20-40 miles.

2. "It's not practical" Hey asshole, don't presume to speak for me. I can't help it that you bought a McMansion that was a 90 mile round-trip from your job. Don't penalize me because I lived within my means. My EV hauls me, my groceries, my buddies and family to 90% of places that I need to go. You're right, it's not practical for everyone, just the 80% of us who typically drive 27 miles per day. Since it doesn't work for everyone, let's make it illegal so no one can do it.

3. "It's dangerous" No shit. So was sailing to America. So was landing on the moon. So is stepping outside and taking a deep breath. Gasoline is dangerous. So is your hydrogen fuel cell car. It might sound grandiose to compare an EV to the space shuttle, but the risk vs. gain is just as vital in our current situation. The reward totally justifies the risk, and the risk is minimal. The risk of sticking your head in the sand and wishing we could go back to the '50's is much more dangerous.

4. "It pollutes as much as a gasoline car" Another myth. Study after study shows that an EV powered by coal-fired electricity is still 2/3 cleaner than a gasoline powered car. Why? Because it's more efficient. EV's use less energy to do the same thing. They use less because they don't waste energy as heat, noise and friction. Because currently there is still enough spare capacity available that the power plant isn't burning any extra coal to charge my car. See:
And if you're still feeling guilty about your carbon footprint, feel free to install enough solar panels on your home to offset the amount of kilowatt hours that your car is using. Typically, 300kwh/month. You don't HAVE to make electricity from coal and you don't HAVE to get it all from your local utility. Stop being such a bunch of pussies. Spend some money on something meaningful instead of Madden '09 for your Xbox 360.

5. "All those batteries will cause worse pollution than gasoline cars" Another bullshit myth. Has anyone been tracking scrap metal prices lately? Lead, nickel, copper, steel and iron (the main components in most batteries) are going at record prices. We'll do the same thing with EV batteries that we've been doing for years: Recycling them. Every time you turn in your old, dead car battery at the auto parts store for a new battery, the old one is recycled. You don't really think that the auto parts store is just tossing it in the dumpster do you? It's worth money to them! Hell, people STEAL batteries for money. 97% of a lead battery is reused. Read here:

In conclusion, don't be stupid all your life. Too many people have "let perfection become the enemy of good". What that means is, people refuse to adopt a new way of doing things because it's not absolutely positively perfect. Since no one can agree on a single, new way to do everything, everyone wants to sit around, bitch and do nothing.

The single best reason to go EV is just "because I want to, and you can't stop me". If you don't like it, feel free to pass me in the left lane.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Too Good To Last (Again)

Still nothing clever to quote. My acquaintences have been quite bland lately.

I haven't had an EV failure, but the oil bubble has finally popped and fuel prices are deflating fast. This will drag out my return on investment on my battery pack considerably.

Based on the last two oil spikes, in '70 and again in the '80's, I'm sure that we as a nation haven't learned a thing and that America will soon return to it's "regularly scheduled program" of SUV's, excess and American Idol.

What a drag. I'm sorry for all the pain that recent energy prices have caused (especially low income folks) but there was real motion on energy development, and an increase in consciousness. I thought I was finally going to witness my country stepping into the 21st century.

Now, I'll be re-labeled as a non-conformist crackpot instead of a forward-thinking individual and resume my normal place in society.

Ah well.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

No Ill Effects...

No quotes today, I'm in a hurry.

I've installed a blower motor to send cooler air over the motor controller in the hot summer months. I'd like to make a "Y" splitter to send some cooler air over the motor brushes as well. The car continues to run without problems. I add water to the batteries every couple of months and scrub the green fuzz off of the battery terminals. I've driven some long commutes to my Navy reserve center.

I bought a quality battery hydrometer to check the condition of the individual cells. All batteries check out fine. The electrolyte is clear and clean indicating that the plates are not shedding any active material. So far I have 2300 miles on the new pack. I'm aiming for 10k-14k miles on this pack.

With gas around $4.00/gallon, I'm saving about $80.00/month, recuperating the cost of one new battery per month. Fuel prices are falling, so my advantage is slipping. I have no intention of abandoning the project if fuel prices fall however.