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Old 03-23-2011, 09:08 AM   #21
Jeff Cobb
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Originally Posted by Buzglyd View Post
Sorry, I just blew the dough on an upgrade to a BMW auto (335i convertible).

I'm all for options as well, but unless these things can run on unicorn tears, they are going to have some impact on the environment beyond tailpipe emissions. Batteries are nasty things.
Like I said, not pitching for them, but I'll tell you what they said:

They said, automotive batteries have been 99% recycled. They expect the same would be true for pricey li-ion EV batteries.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:59 AM   #22
Noel Park
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That's really interesting! How do you like it so far, is it what you expected? I test-drove one at a GM marketing event and think the technology is really cool.
It is pretty much what I expected. I drove it on a 350 mile trip this past weekend. It did 47 miles on the battery and then got just a tick under 40 mpg on the "range extender" including a fair amount of freeway driving at 70 mph +, some city driving and a bit of mountain driving. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled on a very twisty mountain road. Very little body roll and nicely damped. The low rolling resistance tires aren't exactly the most grippy, but not bad at all on balance.

All of the gee whiz electronics are taking a bit of getting used to. I'm sort of a round analog gauge guy, LOL. I guess it's a generational thing. The XM radio is brilliant. My son has told me to get it for years, but I fought it off. 2 weeks later and I'm a convert. Anyway, I'm getting more used to it day by day. I've studied the owners manual more than I have with any other car I've owned, all in sort of self defense!
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:01 PM   #23
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Would you still buy it if in order to get that 100 mile range you had to keep speeds at 20mph and under?
I would like to see some sort of range standard so you could compare apples to apples.
No if Brammo where at 100 miles at 100 mph or 70 miles at 70 mph I would probably be in for one.
As of now all the Evehicle peeps quote max range on ideal conditions including ambient temp and surface conditions with unrealistic speeds of 10 and 20 mph.... Even in any city 20mph will get your butt run over.
From the article:

"The EPA came up with the dyno-simulated standard for electrical vehicles near the end of last year, and the Motorcycle Industry Council endorses it. The test simulates varying speeds and loads, and lasts 22 minutes, 49 seconds, and covers 7.45 miles at an average of 19.59 mph."
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:50 AM   #24
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The juice even from the dirtiest coal-fired plants is not as dirty as the petrol burned.

Personally, I am not looking to buy an electric bike either, but if I had extra cash, and a short commute, I might. I talked to some experienced motojournos and asked their candid opinion. If the conditions were right, some agreed they would buy a Zero.
I respectfully disagree on this point. Nobody is getting cancer from my Ford. Unfortunately, we just happen to have a cancer cluster here in DE, coincidentally sitauted around our local power plant. The EPA has been out and tested. Emissions are "within acceptable standards".

What many Americans don't know is that electric producing plants often do NOT meet emission standard. If they don't, they can just pay extra $$ to push that crap into the environment. True. They make scrubbers for coal fired plants that can significantly clean up the emissions (? huge catalytic convertor) but I understand many plants don't install them due to their massive cost. Lastly, don't forget the hidden cost of digging up, collecting and training in coal from our mountains to our plant here in DE.

From a functional perspective, I commute roughtly 13 miles each way. I would not buy these bikes... yet. I often take my motorcycle up to medical appointments and to visit friends in Wilmington, roughly 100 miles away. These bikes wouldn't be practical for all my motorcycling needs.

FWIW, I think the manufacturers are trying and I think they are moving in the right direction.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:52 AM   #25
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I respectfully disagree on this point. Nobody is getting cancer from my Ford. Unfortunately, we just happen to have a cancer cluster here in DE, coincidentally sitauted around our local power plant. The EPA has been out and tested. Emissions are "within acceptable standards".

What many Americans don't know is that electric producing plants often do NOT meet emission standard. If they don't, they can just pay extra $$ to push that crap into the environment. True. They make scrubbers for coal fired plants that can significantly clean up the emissions (? huge catalytic convertor) but I understand many plants don't install them due to their massive cost. Lastly, don't forget the hidden cost of digging up, collecting and training in coal from our mountains to our plant here in DE.

From a functional perspective, I commute roughtly 13 miles each way. I would not buy these bikes... yet. I often take my motorcycle up to medical appointments and to visit friends in Wilmington, roughly 100 miles away. These bikes wouldn't be practical for all my motorcycling needs.

FWIW, I think the manufacturers are trying and I think they are moving in the right direction.


Good points. I don't know whether these allegations have an answer from the industry promoting EVs, but I will look into them.

I am always open to the truth. What you say sounds like it could be so, or at least have a measure of truth to it

I think even alternative energy proponents say there is no perfect energy that does not have some negative aspect attached to it. Look at what can happen to nuke plants (regardless of whether Japan disregarded U.S. engineers' warnings, or not). Coal, as you mention, can be nasty stuff. Even windmills can kill birds, but the Sierra Club signed off on them saying the good outweighed the bad.

Recently, a company in New England came up with a better underwater turbine in ocean tidal currents that generates power for the grid, and it does not kill fish, they say. I think they said they will be duplicating this and rolling out more. That looks interesting.

The world is looking for answers. Complex topic here.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:07 AM   #26
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There's a weath of information on the interwebs about gas cars versus electric cars, both from a fuel efficiency standpoint and from a pollution standpoint. I have yet to read one that doesn't find electric cars are better than gas for these factors. Range and performance, gas wins, hands-down. For now.

Because motorcycles are inherently more fuel-efficient than cars, they appear to be leading cars in their ability to exploit electric motors. Brammo has just doubled the range on their Entertia model. That's a pretty dramatic performance improvement in a fairly short period of time. I see no reason to think that there won't be similar improvements in cars.

IMO: if you are a 2-car family and one of you commutes 40 miles to and from work, an electric car makes sense. If you can only have 1 car, or drive over 40 miles a day, or need a truck, they don't.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:13 AM   #27
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Sorry, I just blew the dough on an upgrade to a BMW auto (335i convertible).
I hope you didn't do the same upgrade my pal Adrian did on his. He put in a new ECU chip and exhaust, and unleashed the horsepower and torque hidden in his BMW!

Except the 100 extra foot-pounds of torque wrecked his differential and BMW said: "sorry, no warranty." He's driving a mini-van with a roof rack to work.

Maybe he can trade the Bimmer in on a Volt!
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Thomas Jefferson wrote that the 1st Amendment erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state (James Madison said it "drew a line," but it is Jefferson's term that sticks with us today). The phrase is commonly thought to mean that the government should not establish, support, or otherwise involve itself in any religion.

Its.......A FACT!
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Morbo the Destroyer View Post
I hope you didn't do the same upgrade my pal Adrian did on his. He put in a new ECU chip and exhaust, and unleashed the horsepower and torque hidden in his BMW!

Except the 100 extra foot-pounds of torque wrecked his differential and BMW said: "sorry, no warranty." He's driving a mini-van with a roof rack to work.

Maybe he can trade the Bimmer in on a Volt!
It's 300 hp and 300 lb-ft now. The inline six sounds bada$$. I mostly troll around in it anyway and look for old ladies to pick up and fleece.

Heading to FL next week. I'll be in Orlando so no sandwich for you!
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:52 PM   #29
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It's 300 hp and 300 lb-ft now. The inline six sounds bada$$. I mostly troll around in it anyway and look for old ladies to pick up and fleece.

Heading to FL next week. I'll be in Orlando so no sandwich for you!
Just as well. All you Californians are going to be radioactive by next week from the Japanese nukes. I'd prefer to cook my food in a microwave rather than inside your jacket.
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Thomas Jefferson wrote that the 1st Amendment erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state (James Madison said it "drew a line," but it is Jefferson's term that sticks with us today). The phrase is commonly thought to mean that the government should not establish, support, or otherwise involve itself in any religion.

Its.......A FACT!
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:17 PM   #30
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I really want to like these things. I really do.

But, alas, I don't. At least not yet.

Sorry, but the manufacturers have been overstating range and performance data since the beginning. If we can believe at least some of what they claim, they are getting better, but they're not close yet. Let's see what the future holds.

Right now, they're just an expression of wishful thinking and expensive fashion statements for the environmentally conscious. Wake me when they actually become practical.

Oh, and, like your laptop, the batteries wear out and have to be replaced, which is pretty expensive. No one really talks about that, though, certainly not the manufacturers. I can see why.

So, you've got a very limited use vehicle. The cost of entry is fairly steep. And there are some significant cost of ownership issues that are lurking in the shadows. And most people will still have to own an ICE vehicle.

Um, doesn't sound like a very strong case for a consumer product at this point. The manufacturers are just engaging in a VC hunt and PR exercise right now, which is fine, but there really isn't a convincing argument that these things are ready for prime time.

One other thing to think about: There are markets where many people truly use motorcycles for everyday transport and a practical, frugal EV would probably be a hit. They don't include the U.S.A. That's where the biggest opportunities are and electric motorcycles in their current guise won't work for these people.

The inline hybrid idea in the Volt is much more practical, but doesn't work for motorcycles. Still, I'm curious to see how that works out for owners.
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