Parking lot of the future?

Plug In America's Inaugural Parade West - with 70 electric cars

Plug In America's Inaugural Parade West - with 70 electric cars

Another great movie by Stefano Paris. In this one he puts together a 38 minute movie of the recent Inaugural Parade West, sponsored by Plug In America. This movie gig is starting to produce some dividends for Stefano. Nice eye candy.

Consumer Reports only gets 67 mpg with Hymotion

728 miles at 99.9+ MPG

728 miles at 99.9+ MPG

I disagree with their conclusion…

The guys on AutoBlogGreen spotted this upcomping note from Consumer Reports.

The issue also contains a report on the conversion of a hybrid Toyota Prius to a plug-in hybrid. Consumer Reports chose a Hymotion L5 conversion kit sold by A123 Systems, which the company claims can yield more than 100 mpg. Fuel economy in CR’s converted Prius jumped from 42 to 67 mpg overall for the first 35 miles of driving. At almost $11,000, the plug-in conversion clearly won’t save consumers money overall. However, the technology itself proved viable.

I have a couple of issues with this review by Consumer Reports…

A newbie driving a Plug-In Prius is going to get lousy results. The first week of driving I achieved about 80 mpg.

Now after 4,000 miles of experience, I regularly average over 99.9 mpg. When the weather is warm, I am easily over 120 mpg. When the weather is cold, I am at approximately 100 mpg.

Experience counts for a lot with a Hymotion battery installed. There is a new way of driving to take advantage of this extra battery and how the car responds to it.

So it is fraudulent for Consumer Reports journalist to just go out there and drive the car like a fool, then publish their results.

Just my opinion. As always, you are welcome to it.

Hymotion update: 99.9 mpg for 728 miles

99.9+ mpg for 728 miles

99.9+ mpg for 728 miles

A few weeks ago there was an article in Popular Mechanics where they questioned whether 100+ mpg is really possible with a Hymotion battery in a Toyota Prius.

At the time, I posted one of my pictures and videos where I showed it was easy.

I received some emails suggesting that my demo was not a real world test. Some would claim that in real world everyday driving, the acceleration of dealing with traffic, highway driving, etc, would drag down the average into the 80 mpg range.

So I started tracking over the past few weeks. I no longer reset my Prius consumption screen. This is not just short range driving. This is my everyday use of the Hymotion Prius. Some days are 50+ miles per day, some days are 20 miles. I recharge at every opportunity during the day so that my Hymotion battery has power beyond the typical 30-40 mile range.

The other criticism that I hear is about the cost of electricity. When Hymotion makes a claim like “100+ MPG” that doesn’t account for the cost of electricity. Because electricity rates are different everywhere, that makes it tough for the company to include the number.

I pay around 8 cents per kwh in Seattle. I have heard of some people paying 4 cents per kwh at the cheapest rates. There are also some areas of California where it is 30+ cents per kwh. So with a range like that in different regions, how can a national company make a broad statement for everyone?

The battery is 5 kwh and the average cost per kwh in the USA is about 10 cents per kwh. So a full charge costs the average person about 50 cents. You get between 30-40 miles out of a full battery, depending on terrain and driving style. So your electricity cost is between 1.2 cents to 1.6 cents per mile.

So I think it is fair to describe the Hymotion battery as “100+ MPG plus 2 pennies per mile in electricity.”

Chevy Volt – Plug In Hybrid Electric Drive Animation

A quick video of how the electric drive system works in the Chevy Volt.

To read the words during the video, it might be easier in FULL SCREEN mode. The button is directly under the YouTube logo in the bottom right side of the screen.

New electric toy: The Aerorider

Gallery of pictures

I have ordered a new electric bike. But this is not just any bicycle, this is an Aerorider. It is an ultralight, hybrid electric tricycle. The hybrid part is human pedal power. They are made by those crazy Dutch people in the Netherlands. This looks amazing and I have read a few good reviews.

It can do about 30 mph in electric mode. With a pedal assist it can handle hills without much sweat. This is either a moped or an electric bike depending on your state laws. There are also a few variables with battery types and software that can limit speed to 20 mph or 30 mph so that it is classified as an electric bike or moped, depending on your goals. There are also options on range and size for your body type. One size does NOT fit all. I am a big guy at 6’3″ (1.90 meters).

It takes about 10 weeks for manufacture and delivery, so I might have it around February or March of 2009. Until then, here are two YouTube videos that I found.

The Plug-In Paradox

This is a great article about Plug-In hybrids and the way people drive them.

The Plug-In Paradox

I can say that I agree 100%. The Hymotion Plug-In kit for the Prius is amazing. I can average over 99.9 MPG (around 120 to 140 mpg) easily if I try. But if I get lazy, it is very easy to average 85 mpg. It all depends on how much you care to maximize the extra battery energy. You also have to be aware of your 30-40 mile range and use every opportunity to recharge during the day.

I can also say that experience counts. Many of the fleet cars using Plug-Ins are driven by new drivers with little Plug-In experience. That is going to lead to lousy numbers from fleet Plug-Ins. I averaged 85 mpg my first couple of days. Then once I had about 1 week of experience, I was able to achieve 100+ mpg consistently.

Hybrid Maker AFS Trinity Pulls Out of L.A. Show

AFS Trinity SUV 150 MPG

AFS Trinity SUV 150 MPG

I drove this vehicle in Seattle back in September. This is an amazing SUV and it works as advertised.
I saw this news clip about the LA Auto show muzzling their claims of 150 MPG. This is exactly why the Detroit automakers are going into a death spiral. Detroit should be rushing to embrace this technology. Instead they try to make it go away.

LOS ANGELES — — AFS Trinity Power Corporation today announced it pulled its 150 MPG plug-in hybrid SUV prototypes out of the LA Auto Show but will independently exhibit and demonstrate the super fuel- efficient vehicles on their own elsewhere in downtown LA during the show.

The company’s decision followed actions by the LA Auto Show to muzzle AFS Trinity from highlighting the 150 miles per gallon fuel economy of its XH150 prototype vehicles. “The suppression by the automakers of information about technologies such as this raises serious questions about the judgment, vision, intentions and capabilities of the leadership of these companies,” said Edward W. Furia, Chairman and CEO of AFS Trinity. “Such conduct by the automakers, who are currently seeking tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, ostensibly to develop fuel efficient vehicle technologies, is evidence they are reluctant to embrace solutions they didn’t invent.”