REFUEL WELCOMES ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
Speed Ventures presents the 5th Annual REFUEL Clean Power Motorsports Event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sunday June 30, 2013.
Still need the Acuvim meter on the line. But the speedy charging is fun.
One learns so very much about marketing complex technical products in the three month sales cycle of a Volt … What got answered in the research/sales process and what didn’t and what got met with silence. There’s a few Bob Lutz quotes rattling around the trade and enthusiast press which are super-duper instructive here, but they’ll only make sense once one has taken delivery.
I’ve had the following conversation like about five or six times so far in the journey:
There’s this rule of thumb in marketing somehow that one must recite simple messages over and over and over. Everyone knows this but then you learn it again and again in the trade. And then once again because you get so steeped in the process that you can’t begin to see the concerns of the prospects who aren’t really listening to you anyway.
I got endorsed by the focus group: “Dad, this car is way cool. I want it.” age 14.5
[I now have a problem when that focus group element hits 15.5. Kids these days love their computers and this machine is way full 'o computers. Maybe the ELR will get built and I can trade up.]
The “range anxiety” concept is accurate, precise and honest. But it’s a fancy enough term that it reminds me that it’s a problem I didn’t have before, so entering into a situation that buys that problem, owns it and solves that problem is a wash. And bathing is … um, um, cough, a good idea. But it must offer some other benefit. Faster, cheaper, bigger, rougher are a thing, and in that, you can’t beat coolness.
The charging cord is not really a demonstrable symbol of freedom. The leash aspect has to be argued away somehow. As in “if you don’t want it, don’t use it.” They have some of this simplicity in the brand campaigns, but it’s totally overdriven by blaring angry self-righteous EV culture.
The success recipe here has to be:
To wit: AC AEV AEV-100 AEV-300 ANL BEV BSC CAFCP CAISO CARB CDFA CEC CHAdeMO CMAQ CPUC CVRP DC DGS DMV DOE DRIVE EERE EPIC EREV ETP EV EVSE FCEV GEELA GOBIZ HCD HEV HOV HVIP ICE I-HIB L1 L2 L3 LCFS LG LMC LMP MAP-21 NAIS NEMA NEV NGO NREL NRG OPR PACE PEV PEVC PHEV PV SAE SAE-J1772 SAE-J2929 SGC SOC TCO V2G VA VMVSS WGB WOT ZEV. I read all this stuff just to figure out if I could own this vehicle, they’re all real places, orgs, standards, programs or concepts. Most of ‘em are irrelevant. A few matter. The ones that matter aren’t colocated & separated from the irrelevant ones. Everyone is a policy wonk and an expert in their own affairs so all this stuff gets interwoven in arbitrary ways. Such is the magic of social proof.
I still have worries & questions. But most aren’t directly related to owning & operating the voltec technology in a “daily driver” vehicle, not really. The car “just works” It’s the stuff around it that’s pesky: the smartphone apps don’t work, for-pay nav is expensive & confusing, for-pay radio is expensive, confusing and wow is it expensive on any cost basis you choose to measure, and getting into the fine world of residential L2 charging is a longer process than one might imagine, etc.
$ file EKM\ Dash EKM Dash: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.0, stripped $ find . -print | sort . ./EKM Dash ./EKM Dash Libs ./EKM Dash Libs/EHDateControl4201.so ./EKM Dash Libs/EHWindowSplitter7521.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libMBSRegistrationPlugin17160.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libRBAppearancePak.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libRBInternetEncodings.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libRBMD5.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libRBRegEx.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libRBShell.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libRBXML.so ./EKM Dash Libs/libREALSQLDatabase.so ./EKM Dash Libs/SSLSocket.so ./EKM Dash Libs/TimeControl4221.so ./EKM Dash Libs/ToringoCrypto.so ./__MACOSX ./__MACOSX/._EKM Dash ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._EHDateControl4201.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._EHWindowSplitter7521.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libMBSRegistrationPlugin17160.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libRBAppearancePak.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libRBInternetEncodings.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libRBMD5.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libRBRegEx.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libRBShell.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libRBXML.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._libREALSQLDatabase.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._SSLSocket.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._TimeControl4221.so ./__MACOSX/EKM Dash Libs/._ToringoCrypto.so
Would You Buy A Tesla Model S?; In ReadWrite (no longer Web); 2013-02-19.;
Vivek Wadhwa; Confessions of a Tesla ‘fanboy; In The Washington Post; circa 2013-02-20 & 21.
A lot of the sneering reviews pretty much boil down to “writer is not rich enough to own one, not really.” But the writer is connected enough to sample the product literature and borrow one for a bit of sample authenticity. And that’s wealth along two dimensions: can’t front the cash to buy it ’cause early adopter gear is expensive gear, very expensive gear, so they have to sit on the sidelines throwing eggs and “what ifs” which is their trade anyway; and also because they’re really not well off enough to be in the elite early adopter class of really anything but free web services of Web 2.0 despite the white collar job in the literate trades. That’s not wrong. It’s just not informed by much or trenchant on any axis.
Vivek Wadhwa is:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA)
(fair weather commuting)
Per AeroVironment communications with Martin Young, Regional Contractor Manager.
For the EVSE RS and EVSE RS+.
The word “yet” may apply.
Special Report on “The Department of Energy’s Management of the Award of a $150 Million Recovery Act Grant to LG Chem Michigan Inc.”; Department of Energy; 2013-02-08; 26 pages.
The salient response from EERE seems to be on page 23 – “DOE does not concur that the grant terms for this grant can be used to forc LG Chem Michigan Inc. to transition production of battery cells from South Korea to the Michigan plant. DOE does not have authority to dictate the production decisions of LG Chem Michigan Inc., which are based on the market.”
From the Special Report
The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program was established to develop and deploy efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies to reduce the Nation’s dependence on foreign oil and provide greater energy security. The Vehicle Technologies Program received $2.4 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for these purposes. The program is managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and is being implemented and monitored primarily by the Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
In February 2010, LG Chem Michigan Inc. (LG Chem Michigan), formerly Compact Power Inc., was awarded more than $150 million in Recovery Act funding to help construct a $304 million battery cell manufacturing plant in Holland, Michigan. As part of this process, LG Chem Michigan was also eligible to receive more than $175 million in tax relief from the State and local governments through 2025. The objective of the project was to design, construct, start up and test a production facility for lithium-ion polymer batteries, create more than 440 jobs, and produce enough battery cells annually to equip 60,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2013, with assembly beginning in 2012.
On October 24, 2012, the Office of Inspector General received a complaint that LG Chem Michigan misused Recovery Act funds. The complainant asserted that employees at the Michigan facility had little work to do and were spending time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies at the expense of the Federal government and taxpayers. In a separate action, the Department’s Chief of Staff and its General Counsel brought similar concerns to our attention. We initiated this review to examine the allegations and to evaluate the Department’s management of the Recover y Act grant awarded to LG Chem Michigan.
We confirmed the allegations. We found that work performed under the grant to LG Chem Michigan had not been managed effectively. Based on progress to date and despite the expenditures of $142 million in Recovery Act funds, LG Chem Michigan had not yet achieved the objectives outlined in its Department-approved project plan.
LG Chem at Jimi Wales’ Wiki
CPI announced in a press release dated June 5, 2007 that it had been chosen by General Motors Corp. to develop a lithium-ion polymer battery system for the GM E-Flex platform propulsion system. The E-Flex electric vehicle architecture underpins the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car that GM began producing in 2010. GM had also tested batteries from a partnership of Continental AG and A123 Systems. In October 2008, GM announced it had chosen CPI to provide the battery systems for the first production version of the Volt, which was rolled out in December 2010.
As of 2011, the Volt’s battery cells are produced by LG Chem in South Korea and subsequently shipped to the US, where the battery packs are assembled at a purpose-built facility in Brownstown Township, Michigan owned and operated by GM.
David Howell (DoE); Update on U.S. DOE Electric Drive Vehicle R&D and Deployment Activities; 2012-08-12; 15 slides.
Previously noted: EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint
Hybrid & Electric Systems Vehicle Technologies Program
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue
Washington DC 20585
2013 ZEV Action Plan; State of California, Governor’s Interagency Working Group on Zero-emission Vehicles; 2013-02; Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.; 32 pages (35 pages of content).
Theme: A roadmap toward 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025
Governor Brown, of 2012-03-23
Generalized boosterism & “findings”
The “interagency” here is defined as
EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint; U.S Department of Energy; 2013-01-31.
Output from the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Framing Workshop.
From page 4 & 5
To summarize the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge vision, realizing PEVs that meet or exceed the performance of ICE vehicles on the basis of cost, convenience, and consumer satisfaction will require the combined efforts of technological push (R&D), operational enablers (charging infrastructure), and market pull (consumer adoption and incentives). PEVs have already established a foothold in a world long dominated by gasoline vehicles. As technology improves and production scales, batteries and electric drive systems will become less expensive and better performing. DOE’s goal is to work with leaders in the private sector, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academia to accelerate these trends.
The report is referred to as a “Blueprint” (which may be the same as a “Roadmap”). It has the flavor of the grand semiconductor industry roadmaps and keynote addresses: we gonna need; we need more this, we need more that, we need more R&D
This [Blueprint] document serves as a “living strategic framework” that will guide DOE’s investments in the Challenge going forward.
Stated twice, once in the Vision and once in the Technical (should you read that far).
The technical targets for the DOE PEV program fall into four areas: battery R&D; electric drive system R&D; vehicle lightweighting; and advanced climate control technologies. <snip/> The technical targets presented in this section represent “stretch goals” established in consultation with stakeholders across the industry who acknowledge that innovations in PEV technology will only occur as a result of collaborative efforts in scientific investigations and technology development.
Selected & summarized, even for the report (there may have been more that they didn’t disclose).
When these goals are met, the levelized cost of an all-electric vehicle with a 280-mile range will be comparable to that of an ICE vehicle of similar size. Even before these ambitious goals are met, the levelized cost [purchase cost + operating cost] of most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—and of all-electric vehicles with shorter ranges (such as 100 miles)—will be comparable to the levelized cost of ICE vehicles of similar size. Although there is little evidence that levelized cost plays an important role in vehicle purchase decisions for most consumers, there is substantial evidence that initial purchase price plays an important role—and meeting these targets will help to reduce the purchase price for plug-in electric vehicles. In light of uncertainty concerning consumer preferences and manufacturer plans for PEVs, DOE is selecting ambitious technical goals for this program.
Images from the report
Their words: Electric vehicle Total Cost of Ownership and Monitoring for fleets.
This applies to the 2012 year filings. The dramas around the 2013 year-end filings will commence in 2014.
From the Chevy Volt Owners Facebook Group
From the New York Times Wheels Blog and other promotional outlets
From the articles referenced
Jay Cole; 2013 Chevrolet Volt Specs Revealed. More Range, Hold Mode, And Slower Charging?; In InsideEVs; 2012-08-02 (or so)
Previously Noted: Some Questions about Owning & Operating a Chevrolet Volt; 2013-01-01.