Blog Update

Just a quick update to let you know I have not forgotten this blog, but, I admit, neglected it. I do tweet (mostly re-tweet) on cars (and other subjects of personal interest), mainly EVs, and you can see these on my twitter feed at the bottom of this blog, no twitter account needed. Or just go here: https://twitter.com/benji888578. I do plan on posting my own explanation of EV terms, without the marketing B.S. I see all too often…recent news has caught my attention that they are still at it, so, I will be writing soon on the subject of electric cars and what all-electric is, and how some call their not-all-electric cars all-electric. It has created some confusion for consumers, I hope to clear this up soon, along with explaining EV acronyms and terminology.

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On The Road App Update

Alright, so, with this update I also bring an update to a blog post from a year ago (posted Feb 2, 2013), where I shared a few of my favorite on-the-road apps. I found that “Rest Area Finder” was not being kept up to date and searched and tried out a couple different apps, I found “Road Ahead” to be a good one for when you are on an Interstate Highway, as it will show you what’s at the exits ahead of you. It has some other ways you can use it also. (This one is free, I’ve heard good things about “Road Ninja” also, but, not a free app). “Trucker Path” is a good one if you’re just looking for a bathroom or gas station, it brings up a map and pins the nearby truck stops, gas stations and rest areas, click on it and it shows how far it is.
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For those with EVs, or considering one, I have a few apps below, plugincars.com has a news app available “PlugIn Cars” (via Recargo, Inc). Three apps for finding alternative fuel, “Alt Fuel” is the new one from the gov. that will help you find not only charging stations for electric cars, but also biodiesel or other alternate fuels. I’ve included two electric charger finding apps that I think are kept up to date, “Plug Share” and “EVSE Locator”.
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Correct tire pressure helps maintain your fuel economy or range and is good for your car, check it once a month, or, at the very least, at season changes…sometimes, when the weather changes or severe weather, can cause your tires to lose pressure. I found an app that helps you adjust for seasonal conditions, you put in the expected low and high temps for the next few weeks along with the proper psi for your car, and it tells you what psi you should have depending on what temperature your tires are. Tire Pressure Correction or “TP Setter”.
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Lastly, a newish app you may find useful for finding local eateries, “ScoutMob“, has a limited number of cities they cover, but, if you live in or will be visiting one of those cities, it appears to be a good way of finding something local and unique over finding your favorite chain:
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As far as I can recall, all of these iOS apps are free. (Sorry, I don’t know if any are available on other platforms.)
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Please, if you don’t have bluetooth for your phone in your vehicle, remember your hands-free device before you go on the road. If you have an iPhone, it came with a headset (that’s not just headphones, it has a mic too), at least use this. Also, if using any of these apps on the go, please hand your device to someone else, pull over or at least use a windshield or other mount so you are not holding your phone while driving. 🙂
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Road Ahead
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Trucker Path
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Plugin Cars (EV news)
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EVSE Locator
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PlugShare
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Alt Fuel (other fuel types, not just electric)
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ScoutMob

EV Events September 2013

Here are some links to more information on EV events across the US. In future, I may consider doing a monthly calendar, if I can get it to work automatically, at least partially automatic anyway. (taking suggestions on that, haven’t tried, not sure how this will work w/WP).

This week I’ll be paying close attention to Apple announcements, but, the Frankfurt Motor Show is this week also, so be checking out my twitter feed for tweets & retweets on EVs at the show. My twitter feed has been moved to the bottom of the blog, just scroll down until you see it in the middle. (got a few pre-show tweets there now) Follow me if you haven’t yet. 🙂

New blog posts coming soon, including my no-b.s. EV glossary of terms. So, without further ado, check out these links for EV events in your area (I meant to do this last week, I’ll try to be earlier starting next month).

National Plug In Day Sept 28

http://www.pluginday.org/events.php

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo Sept 17-19 Detroit

http://ev.com/electric-hybrid-vehicle-technology-expo-sept-17-19-2013-detroit/

The Battery Show 2013 (Sep 17-19) Novi Michigan

http://ev.com/the-battery-show-2013-sep-17-19-novi-michigan/

Plug In 2013 Conference & Exposition Sep 30-Oct 3 San Deigo

http://www.plugin2013.com

Tesla Model S Test Drive events:

http://www.teslamotors.com/events

Zelectric Motors (VW Beetle EV conversion) this month:

http://www.facebook.com/notes/zelectricbug/we-have-a-lot-going-on-this-month/494167447342257

More EVents via The Electric Generation (listings start at Sept 10th-Oct-Nov)

http://theelectricgeneration.org/events-resources/events/

 

2013 Green Truck Summit

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Source: http://www.motorweek.org/features/auto_world/green_truck_summit

More: http://www.showtimesdaily.com/green-truck-summit-2013-news-coverage

A couple months ago was a Green Truck Summit, some interesting stuff here. One thing that seems to be immediately doable is adding batteries (like those used in hybrid or BEV cars) for accessories, then the diesel engine can be off while idle. I don’t agree that all of these options are “clean” or “green”, but, at least they are taking steps to move away from oil. One thing I’ve wanted to know for some time is actual fuel usage figures comparing  commercial Trucks against all other vehicles. I think the trucks on the road cause more pollution/Co2 emissions than cars, but, most people says cars do. Anyway, I hope to post a type of glossary or guide for EV terms very soon…check out this vid in the meantime.

Did you know there were Electric cars on the road over 10 years ago?

Did you know that in the early 1900s there were more electric cars on the road than gas? There were three types of cars on the road at the turn of that century: steam-powered, electric-powered, and gas-combustion powered. While steam cars were the fastest, steam cars ran out of steam because it had a very long warm-up time. While electric cars were favored among women, gas combustion won because, at the time, they were able to make gas cars faster than electrics, began making gasoline available and the cars were easier to mass produce. Ford had innovated mass car production with the first conveyor-belt assembly line for the Model T. And you know the rest. …Or do you?

Innovation…

Anyone remember the Japanese car that changed auto-making history?

1982 Honda Accord Sedan

The 1982 Honda Accord looked very similar to BMWs of the day.

1982 BMW 3 Series Sedan

This was no coincidence. This car (Sedan & Hatchback) was a game-changer for the auto-industry. Although it had a similar look to the BMW, the front grille had sleeker styling w/rectangular headlights instead of the old round ones. (However, Honda changed the grille every year until the next redesign–perhaps it was too similar?). But, it was not only the sleek looks, this pre-Acura/Lexus/Infinity Japanese car had upped the ante not only on looks and the overall quality of the mainstream car, but also on interior quality/refinement and fit & finish. No, honda didn’t have a six-cylinder option yet, but, it combined the quality of an expensive european luxury car and the astuteness of a compact japanese car in such a way as to shake up the auto-industry. They raised a new standard for mainstream automobiles.  The result was, Honda became the best selling Japanese nameplate in the US, holding that position for 15 years. We would not have the cars today from the US that we do, if it was not for this one innovation that stirred up the competition, because, it outsold them.

Today, there is a new car innovation, beyond previous innovations because it does away with the one factor they are all afraid to let go of, that has stirred up the auto-making industry once again (and most of them are pissed, like a hornet’s nest that’s been stepped on). One word. Tesla.

But, before we get to Telsa, you need to know that GM had the chance to become what Tesla has. They were given the first opportunity to re-invent the car and make the first viable electric car, over ten years ago, and could not get past Big Oil’s stranglehold on the automotive industry, politics and their own old vision/profit path. GM was given a bit of a head-start on California’s 1996 laws governing that a certain percentage of automobiles be emission-free. But, Detroit, Big Oil and lobbyists fought it….

Did you know…

Did you know that from 1996-2004 there were all-electric cars made by GM, Honda, Ford, & Toyota in use in the state of California? Until a few years ago, I did not. Not many of us outside of CA did. They were not for sale, only on lease contracts, and only in the state of California. GM was given a bit of a head-start and made an all-electric car called the EV-1, and, to the people that drove them, they were a perfectly usable car, that drove as well as any car, without gas, for their daily driving. Now, you will find GM talking about the marketing hyped Chevy Volt as if the electric car lives on. Deception. The Chevy Volt is not an all-electric car, but, an electric/gas hybrid. This would be considered a plug-in hybrid or PHEV vehicle, while the former car, the EV-1 was a true EV (Electric Vehicle) or ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle). The Volt still has all of the things that gas-combustion cars have, because it still has a gas-combustion engine. Yes, you can drive it on the electric motor alone, for up to 40 miles max., then the gas engine kicks in. (Go to wikipedia, in the first sentence you will see what GM does not want you to see, it is a plug-in hybrid vehicle.) Hybrids (all types) are a compromise car for an ignorant american society. And they want to keep you ignorant. However, on the other side of that coin, the success of hybrids (especially the Toyota Prius) has helped pave the way for EVs.

Who Killed The Electric Car?

Without further ado, for those who haven’t seen it yet, I would like to present to you the documentary made in 2006 about this subject, called “Who Killed The Electric Car?”. If you scroll down you will find a trailer for this video, followed by the movie, presented to you for free on youtube. (It is also available on DVD and on-demand.) If you watch the DVD, be sure to check out the special features. If you think that electric cars are not green enough because you have to use electricity to charge them and that means using a coal-power plant, that is a well over-exaggerated argument those against EVs use. To charge your car has much, much less damaging effects to our environment than some would lead you to think. For one thing, not all power-plants are based on coal. There are natural gas, hydro, and (ugh) nuclear powered plants. Some power companies are starting to also source their electricity from renewable sources as well. Plus, the nay-sayers never take into account how much electricity is used to process oil into gas, which far outweighs any charging argument.

Alright, if you haven’t seen this, watch this must-see documentary, it is enlightening, not only for what happened in California not too long ago, but it will reveal to you why there is still so much debate about electric cars today.

Who Killed The Electric Car? Trailer:

Who Killed The Electric Car? Full movie:

Other ways to watch:

• iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/who-killed-the-electric-car/id277048813

• Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-the-Electric-Car/dp/B000MRICYW/ref=pd_cp_mov_0

• I first borrowed the DVD from my local library.

• Or purchase the DVD from various sites or your local video store.

Charging Station for EVs spotted…

If you are visiting or planning on visiting Charleston SC and have a plug-in vehicle, I discovered a garage that has two charging stations. This garage is located at 375 Meeting House RD in downtown Charleston, it is across the street from the Visitor’s Center. I’m not positive, but, it looks to be free, the sign states “Plug In Carolina Is Proud To Purchase Green Energy For This Charging Station”, and I didn’t notice any place to pay. This garage is convenient if you are wanting to find a place for lunch or go for a walk down King Street shopping or going out to enjoy some nightlife. This garage also has an inexpensive flat rate if you park after 5pm and leave before 8am ($4 as of this writing). You can charge your plug-in vehicle while you enjoy the downtown area.

After checking things out, it seems there are a couple other places for charging in the downtown area as well. I checked out the website for Plug In Carolina, and they have installed almost 100 charging stations across the state of South Carolina.

So if you have a plug-in vehicle and are planning to visit SC or live in SC and are considering a plug-in vehicle, but not sure where you can charge it, check out Plug In Carolina’s website: http://www.plugincarolina.org/ .

IMG_1066e IMG_1068 - Version 2

Don’t Panic…There are different types of Lithium Ion batteries!

 

Boeing 787 Batteries Same As Those In Electric Cars? Umm, NO

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1081753_boeing-787-batteries-same-as-those-in-electric-cars-umm-no

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Uses the Most Flammable Battery on the Market

http://mashable.com/2013/01/19/boeing-787-dreamliner-battery/

Don’t buy into the negativity that will/has been fed to the media about electric transportation technology because of Boeing’s problems with the 787, read the articles above to see that there are most definitely differences between Boeing’s 787 batteries and those used in electric and hybrid vehicles.

For more on what’s going on with the 787 Dreamliner: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-01/why-boeings-787-dreamliner-such-piece-crap

 

Driver Benji (this blog) update:

I have decided to focus this blog on electric cars, hybrids & other alternative energy transportation and also solar technology. I will be posting soon on how all-electric car technology has been available for some time. Some years ago GM was given a head-start opportunity and dropped the ball and Tesla (& others) has picked it up, but there are those that make big $ the way things are now that act like bullies to anything that threatens their stranglehold on consumers (mostly behind the scenes). I will start by posting a must-see documentary. Also I will give tidbits of the history of the electric car w/links to articles on this subject.

I will also blog on the other things already stated in “About This Blog”, just bringing more focus on ZEV or EV news and information. (Zero Emissions Vehicle).

Next blog post coming soon!

Electric/Hybrid/Hydrogen Fuel Cell news:

2013 Scion iQ EV: Is This the First Crack in the Zero Emission Mandate’s Future? (via motortrend.com)

http://blogs.motortrend.com/2013-scion-iq-ev-is-this-the-first-crack-in-the-zero-emission-mandates-future-26541.html/0/#ixzz2Akh1RtOg/

 

Scandinavian Countries Plan For Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080050_scandinavian-countries-plan-for-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars/

 

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid: Is It The Ideal Modern Family Car? (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080103_2013-ford-c-max-hybrid-is-it-the-ideal-modern-family-car/

 

BMW i4 Concept Electric Coupe To Appear At LA Show: Report (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080104_bmw-i4-concept-electric-coupe-to-appear-at-la-show-report/

 

Hybrid Or Just High MPG? Which Car Is Right For You? (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080102_hybrid-or-just-high-mpg-which-car-is-right-for-you/

 

Chinese Electric Car Revolution Running On Half A Battery (via earthtechling.com)

http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/10/chinese-electric-car-revolution-running-on-half-a-battery/

 

See Nissan’s Wireless Charging With Automatic Parking Location (Video) (via greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080113_see-nissans-wireless-charging-with-automatic-parking-location-video/