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The Electric Car Has Come of Age - Page 5 — Parallax Forums

The Electric Car Has Come of Age



  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    According to the linked Kickstarter this machine fulfills those requirements.

    Of course there might be a secret "turbo" switch in the mobile app interface some place :)
  • Oddly enough, I got my "20 mph" info from a pair of ebikers I encountered Thursday on a local trail. The trail is signed, "No motorized vehicles." So I wonder now whether "motor-assisted" and "motorized" are two different things. Frankly, I don't much care. Ebikes are quiet and don't really disturb us "real" bikers.

  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    Seems that in many jurisdictions "motor-assisted" and "motorized" are indeed two different things in the eyes of the law.

    Of course "motorized" must have it's own special definition otherwise electric wheel chairs and such would require users to be licensed.

  • TorTor Posts: 2,010
    Motorized wheelchairs have speed limits (varies, the highest is, I think, 7km/h), which is why they don't have to be licensed.
  • TorTor Posts: 2,010
    edited 2017-11-08 17:45
    There's wikipedia of course: (argh can't copypaste the link because the forum software doesn't use a textbox)

  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    I'm very glad to hear that wheel chairs have speed limits!

    An old friend of mine used to get us beer at a crowded bar by ramming his electric wheel chair as fast as possible into the scrum. Worked a treat!

    I think what I was getting at is that lawmakers define their terms when writing up laws. So "motorized vehicle", for example, becomes something other than any kind of vehicle with any kind of motor drive.

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    As a longtime bicyclist, I view these electric bikes with mixed emotions. It's good that they are encouraging some people to get out there who wouldn't otherwise. But I also see them as accidents going somewhere to happen. Many of those people zipping along at 20+ MPH are noobs who lack the bike skills and road smarts to ride defensively. When drivers glance a "person of size" in street clothes coming toward them on a bike, they assume they are going slowly and pull out in front of them. I've seen several accidents just like that.

  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    A few years ago I was riding in a taxi in Amsterdam. Whist waiting at a red light I made some comment about all the thousands of bicycles on the roads there. The taxi driver went off on a rant about what a pain they were, how they did not stop at lights, or give way, and generally behaved as if the road was theirs.

    Just at that moment a girl on a bike smashed into our stationary taxi, breaking off one mirror. As if to demonstrate the driver's point.

    Since then, travelling around the world I have noticed that bike riders everywhere have these same kamikaze tendencies. Oblivious of the rules of the road, common courtesy or self preservation.

    I'm not sure electric bikes will make much difference.

    On the other hand, around here kids on mopeds and scooters below some capacity are allowed to ride on the bicycle ways. Which are often sharing space with pedestrians. They are a danger to cyclists and pedestrians alike.

  • TorTor Posts: 2,010
    Yep, 'locals' in cities tend to ignore red lights and just about everything else. I never understood that attitude. I've never had problems following normal traffic regulations when biking. I watch the lights, I follow the rules (incidentally exactly the same as for cars, in Norway), and I walk the bike across pedestrian crossings. I can't see what on earth there is to gain by biking like an imbecile in traffic.
  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    Tor wrote: »
    Motorized wheelchairs have speed limits (varies, the highest is, I think, 7km/h), which is why they don't have to be licensed.

    This poor fellow went 50 MPH in his motorized wheelchair. For 5 miles. Against his will. Pushed by a truck. A miracle his chair didn't fail.

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    This country boy is buying a 2014 Leaf tomorrow after a long search and many test drives. By an odd coincidence, the car I'm buying was first sold in Georgia, a country mile from my home state of South Carolina.

    I was surprised to learn that 99% of the used Leafs in Los Angeles come from auctions. They go straight to auction after coming off lease. Even ones sold at Nissan dealers came from auction. That's weird, wild stuff.

    Of course there are numerous forums for EV drivers and Leaf owners. Everyone warns that new EV owners struggle with "range anxiety", living in fear and wondering if the car has enough power to get to the destination. But I have a secret weapon: my '67 Corvair. That was my first car, with a wonderfully spotty reliability record. From the very start of my driving career, I was conditioned to wonder where & when my car would stop. Blown head gaskets, dropped valve seats, what have you. Every mile of proper operation was appreciated! At least the Leaf has big giant gauges, indicating exactly where & when the car will stop. Hardly even exciting in my book.

    Lots of new EVs coming out, tech is improving and cost & range are improving. For me, this is a cheap local commuter/runabout and a good introduction to the EV world. The battery still has all 12 bars, meaning it hasn't deteriorated very much.

  • Here in NYC, the city government is imposing stronger rules concerning those dratted electric drive assisted bikes. It seems that they ignore all traffic rules. In fact I see them here in Astoria, being used for food delivery. However my favorite place had its website stop accepting orders so I'm more concerned how the new rules will effect them.

    As for the Nissan Leaf you're buying erco, it is a good car. But if I had my drivers license, I'd opt for an EV conversion for a particular model GMC van......
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    People who have "range anxiety" have never had to depend on good old British motorcycles, Triumph, BSA, Norton etc, or the wonders of the Lucas electrical systems in good old British cars.

    I have no sympathy.

  • erco wrote: »
    I was surprised to learn that 99% of the used Leafs in Los Angeles come from auctions. They go straight to auction after coming off lease. Even ones sold at Nissan dealers came from auction. That's weird, wild stuff.

    Many used cars are purchased by dealers at auction. Even if a dealer takes the car as a trade-in, they'll often resell it through an auction dealer. These days only specific models of trade-ins, in top shape, are retained by a dealer for resale. A few years back my father bought a used Honda Fit that was a lease turn-in. The dealer bought it at auction, even though they are a huge Honda dealership, and get plenty of them in trade.

    I'm not sure how big used-car dealers like Carmax work. I think they offer a mix of outright bought cars (we sold that Fit to them), trade-ins, and auction bought.

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    Heater. wrote: »
    People who have "range anxiety" have never had to depend on good old British motorcycles, Triumph, BSA, Norton etc, or the wonders of the Lucas electrical systems in good old British cars.


    600 x 354 - 67K
    600 x 450 - 37K
  • Lol, I had a 1972 MGB with Lucas electrics.PITA!
  • RS_Jim wrote: »
    Lol, I had a 1972 MGB with Lucas electrics.PITA!

    Things were even worse with positive ground systems, which the British used up to about the mid sixties. After the change, it was like Lucas had never heard of positive ground systems, and replacement parts were virtually non-existent, and/or outrageously expensive.

    Today, fortunately, there is a pretty healthy non-Lucas aftermarket, though it can hurt the resale value on these restored classics. A 100% original OEM 1964 E-Type with Lucas electrics can fetch a quarter million dollars if it's in pristine condition. Ours had an 8-Track in it. I wonder if that would hurt or help the resale value...
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    edited 2017-10-23 23:26
    Which is one of those annoying things in life. I could have bought an E-Type in the early 1980's for ten grand. It was there in front of me. I had the money.

    But no, the girl friend at the time convinced me to be "sensible". Soon after that I found there was no girl friend anymore. And no E-Type.

    Ah well.

    Now a days I lust after an original Tesla Roadster. That is a piece of car history already. With real instruments, no flat screen TV garbage.

    Like this one I spotted outside our local pub in Mountain View:


    2560 x 1536 - 1M
  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    Heater. wrote: »
    Like this one I spotted outside our local pub in Mountain View:

    You sure put down roots fast! :)

  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    Well, I say "our" local pub because it was not just me. I was there with my Finnish colleague the whole summer.

    We lived in an apartment only five minutes walk away from Molly Magees. Which is an Irish pub run by real Irish men. So it felt like home.

    I met a lot of great people there.

    I'm going to miss them.

  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,233
    Oh, do not go to Molly's after 8.00pm on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

    Unless you are into that totally gross, loud, disco kind of thing.

  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 18,012
    I'll stick to my 1988 Toyota Supra (targa, but not turbocharged) thanks. Had it since new :)
  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    The electric motorcycle is coming on strong too. These "ZERO" bikes are fast but pricey at 10K (even after tax credit!), more than my used Leaf cost me.

    Speaking of which, I'll be moving a 220V socket for the EVSE later today, so if you never hear from me again, it was trickier than I thought...

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    The "erco" effect is alive and well on another forum:

    Immediately after I ordered and posted about a bargain ESVE (home charger), the price jumped up 50%! Good for me, bad for others. Sometimes it's best to be the first guy in the pool.

    I had to run some 240VAC wiring in the garage to install an outlet near the door. There was an existing 240V dryer outlet (unused for 30+ years) that made it doable. But it was my first time working with 240V, 30A wiring, so I had good reason to double check everything and be cautious when I flipped the breaker back on. No magic smoke and proper charger function made for a very good day.
  • K2K2 Posts: 684
    erco wrote: »
    The "erco" effect is alive and well on another forum:

    The way I view it, you are being rewarded for the free advertising you provide.

    Companies post low prices to get nibbles. Once an influential customer posts a satisfactory product report on a well-read forum, orders increase. At that point the company can raise the price of the product to a level at which they make an acceptable profit.

    Its sort of like spraying ether into the manifold of a recalcitrant engine. You can't afford to power the engine on ether, but the ether is a great bargain if it makes the difference between the engine starting and not.

  • @Erco - as a fellow SoCal resident, I'd sure be interested to hear how much extra on the electric bill this turns out to be every month if you don't mind sharing the data when you have it. :smile:
  • It depends on where in SoCal you are. Some areas, like San Diego, are especially expensive, with some of the highest electricity rates in the nation (average about 30 cents/kWh depending on usage). Charging an electric car can even put you into the new "super user" category, where your average rates at at least doubled. Solar can help, but that's not an easy option unless you own your home.

    Personally I wouldn't invest in an all-electric car without solar in California, even if it's just a small set of panels dedicated to charging the car. Nothing beats 0$ per MPG!
  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    Will advise on any power bill increase but I don't expect much since so far I've barely used the home charger. Before it came, I made it a project to learn where all my local chargers are. Phone app "Plugshare" shows all the public chargers in an area. Many are free, many are private residences, people who will help out if you run low and need an emergency charge. I've met some super nice & helpful people while charging, there's a whole sub-culture of techies, including a few mega geeks. Local free charging haunts for me include McDonald's, several malls, Honda/BMW/Mini/Audi dealers, Park & Ride lots. Felt funny charging my Nissan at Honda for free the first time, but everyone there gave me the thumbs up. Also furniture stores, gyms, Whole foods, and restaurants have chargers. Some commercial locations require that you create and get either an app or an RFID card. Many of those are still free. It's crazy. I almost feel bad getting free "gas", but California just jacked up gas prices again with another tax, so this Thanksgiving I'm extra thankful for the free kilowatts. :)
  • ercoerco Posts: 20,026
    edited 2017-11-15 21:22
    Related, my hometown of Torrance (formerly the US HQ of Toyota before they moved to TX) lays claim to the biggest (4-pumps!) hydrogen station in the US, also the only pipeline-fed hydrogen station in the US. Woo-Hoo!

    Edit: That hydrogen's for refueling fuel cell cars (Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity, etc), not for refilling zeppelins!


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