Category Archives: disruptive technology

EVs-Medicine that Tastes Good

 

Sometimes even when you arrive late to the party, it’s still hopping, there’s plenty of booze left and no one makes you feel guilty.

I had a chance to test drive the Tesla Roadster, courtesy of Clipper Creek, Inc’s CEO Jason France at their headquarters in Auburn, California.  My  opportunity was an unexpected pleasure and came at a moment when the Tesla S Sedan has been released and is making waves among auto critics, like WSJ’s Dan Neil, as the most amazing car they’ve driven. Period. Tesla is about experiencing road as a joyful blend of clean technology and butt pinching acceleration.  I have to say this car was the most amazing machine I have ever driven…but of course you knew I was going to say that.  More importantly, I believe it has the capacity to alter society’s perception of the electric drive.  I’ve never been in a car before that has a G-force meter.

If Tesla’s experiment accomplishes anything before history marches past this moment, it is its nudging of Americans toward the realization that electricity is fun to drive.  And it comes none too soon as much of the country is wrapped in a stifling hot blanket of heat and humidity, marking the sixth month of record breaking temperatures.  (The Pacific Northwest being the only part of the country seemingly immune for the moment).

I was down to meet the folks at Clipper Creek, a US based charging manufacturer, as I started my role as their Business Operations Manager for the Pacific Northwest, and to learn more about their Level One and Two charging series as well as their plans to make purposeful variations to meet utility smart grid interoperability requirements and higher level charging needs of fleet trucks such as Smith, Via Motors, and eStar electric vehicles. Call me or email me if you would like to learn more about how we can find the right charging station for your application.  I also provide a discount code for folks who call me directly. I find myself incredibly energized and, like Tesla, ready to push the limits of electric vehicle technology! More later…

Conscious Commuters- What All of Us Should Be

One of the truly interesting elements of the move toward transportation electrification, electric vehicles, alternative fuels, is the iconoclastic challenge they pose to the status quo.  A car seems antiquated when you consider that it was designed to burn fossil fuel, translate most of its energy into heat, and dedicate a fraction of that energy to forward momentum.  You have as a result, a Hummer which weighs in at five thousand pounds transporting a woman of 100 lbs to the gym to work out and burn additional calories.  Am I (are we) missing something?

Yes. In profoundly important ways.

Look at this product and tell me what you see.

This is one of my favorite new designs, manufactured by Bob Vander Woude of Conscious Commuter based in Portland, Oregon. No sweat, no grease. It is a folding electric bicycle with a lithium battery inserted into the tube, shaft driven, and lightweight.  You can get it up hills at 20 mph, ride to the train, fold it and carry it on.  It can be charged at home or the office for the next commute.  It is an electric vehicle.

So, when you think about EVs, don’t think about cars.  Instead, think about what type of transportation needs you must fill and how cost, safety and range  need to be blended to fill those needs.  With EV’s and the miniaturization of hardware and software, the human imagination can better able adapt the design to fit the need.  Of course, we will need to have a transportation policy that makes the road available and safe for increasingly diverse modes of transportation but that is the direction we are moving in.  A Hummer may make sense in Afghanistan loaded with troops and supplies.  Does it make sense to go to Albertson’s for a gallon of milk using a $4 gallon of gas?  Stated alternatively, even if someone can afford it, can the rest of us?

 

 

 

 

Out of the Boxx- A new electrified urban scooter legend?

Today I saw firsthand why the definition of an electric vehicle should be kept broad. I had seen a picture previously, but it debuted in its many colors at the Portland Auto Show‘s Eco- Center.  Designed by motorsports engineers, meant to be simple but distinctive, and likened to what Apple did for the design of the  PC- meet the BOXX.

 

Weighing in at 120lbs, with two electric drives for each tire, it has an 80 mile range per charge and a top speed of 45 mph (and probably faster).  It is an urban transport vehicle you can drive to the office and take on the elevator with you or leave outside and remove the battery and ignition compartment (seen on the floor next to the silver version). It costs approximately $4000. It is an Oregonian native designed to appeal to men and women with the need for convenience and style.  It has a laser that visually constructs a safety lane around it as it moves at night (which I have not seen but is really cool sounding).  You can buy them on line- and several have already been sold that way. The throttle and brakes are together on the handles, along with an emergency brake on the foot peg.  Portland is a homebase for electrified motorcycles and bicycles and unicycles– no one can accuse us of not thinking out of the Boxx.  What do you think?

Here’s a different color: