New Green Jack New Green Jack

22 responses to “The Wind Car (5 of 6)”

    • Chris

      Dale if a man from exxon comes to norfolk and asks to buy your car or any of the technology involved, you want enough cash to supply the WHOLE of the UK with pure renewable energy (and to fast track every legislative barrier on the way)?! Nothing short of hundreds of millions!!

      Keep up the good work! Can’t wait to see the final product.

    • Alexandra Deegan

      I think it very generous of you Dale… to (wind) power your future competitor’s plants ma dear… Lotus at Hethel…. and Ford at Dagenham (sniggers)…

      But those damn Japanese are ahead of the game as always!

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jan/20/greentech-travelandtransport
      And I do think the UK should be signing up to Better Place with that nice Mr. Shai Agassi
      http://www.betterplace.com/

      soonest in fact…but I guess McBruin is more currently tied up with averting the current banking/sterling disaster… but rumour has it that dear Boris might be on the case for London…

      Not that either are I suspect Peak Oil aware…

      http://peakoiltaskforce.net/

      I sincerely do hope Dale…that when your EV baby finally makes it onto the delivery floor… that there are still some high-net worth individuals left in the UK to enjoy the fruits of your labours…lol…

      Though come 2013 I fear most Brits will simply be more challenged with keeping the lights, broadband and plasma’s on…

      Hey…ho!

    • Chris

      Alex,

      I was really excited about the MiEV when I first heard about it. It’s a great vehicle isn’t it? But in that article it says it might not be sold but leased for £750/month!

      YAWN!

      You see this has happened before with the EV1! What happens is they make this fantastic electric vehicle, then lease it out at a ridiculous price, then claim nobody wants it. Then they get the cars back, crush them, and put the technology in a big safe for a few decades.

    • David

      I have to agree with other people about creating a realistic family car, creating a sports car is great but can I see lots of people driving it, No.

      I think once this is complete you should take all you have learned and seeing what you can do with something that people might see themselves driving.

      For example the new fiesta ECOnetic claims 76mpg, if you could beat that with an electric car that can also carry 4 adults and has a decent range then it is something people can buy.

      It would also prove that electric cars are not just toys!

      On the plus side I do think you are doing is great but its only a first step, can’t wait to see the stig behind the wheal.

    • Jeffrey Lam

      @ Alex and Chris
      at the British Motor Show last year I saw Fiat doing the same thing with their 500. The electric 500 was leasable for something like £600 / month.

      I thought the idea of leasing was that no-one knows how much it costs to (or maybe how often you need to) replace the batteries.

    • Jeffrey Lam

      I think we’ve been there with the sports car v family car. The big cost is in the batteries (I think). I don’t know how much Dale’s car will cost, but if you’re not going to pay £80,000 (or thereabouts) for a sports car, then you’re not going to pay £80,000 for a “realistic” family car.

    • derek thomas

      Jeffrey Lam

      Looks like the Joules electric car will be a “realistic” family car maybe?

      Derek

    • David

      Yes the Joule looks much more like it and if they can pull it off then this is exactly what we need in to UK. The model they are going for is selling the car and then leasing just the battery, which is a much better model. It more like you do at the moment you own the car then buy fuel to put in it. This reduces the up front cost.
      more details http://www.optimalenergy.co.za/

    • Alexandra Deegan

      [for Chris & Jeffrey]

      I read somewhere a while back that auto battery packs could be made good for 80-100k klms or so…then would need 100% replacement/recycling… at a cost to you of £2-3k….

      Bearing in mind the substantial cost per mile savings over petrol or diesel electrickery brings… a price factor one would imagine for many that they could probably live with… albeit based on our living arrangements to date… as in 20th century style.

      But the world is changing… and the current 21st century auto business is dying… as credit is fast becoming a dim and distant aspect of our past… though McBruin believes that by spending a £1trillion of UK taxpayers money…. that we will somehow come through this credit-crunch…and resume our old bad habits of a credit-based ‘consumerist utopia’ in just a year or so…

      (Dontmakemelarf!!)

      That way of life is toast… and we’re swiftly moving toward a stringent and austere economy in which credit will be sparse at best, denied to many/most and if allocated at all it will be only on super-high cost/interest basis…

      We now face enormous challenges and will require changes to our behaviour and in our living arrangements, to borrow from the wise James Howard Kunstler…

      http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/01/interview-with-james-howard-ku.html

      Families are no longer going to be spending £30k on a brand new beemer for the McBarratted home driveway… (as oil disappears into faded memory)… road surfaces too will also decline… there will simply be no money (or tarmac) to maintain them…

      So me, myself, I…personally would be tempted to retro-fit an old Landie with Zilla like EV parts… (if Otmar’s health doesn’t give up first)….

      http://www.cafeelectric.com/index.php

      And make sure it has ‘madmax’ style knobbly wheels, winches and all one requires in case one strays into the urban dark lands that suburbia will have inevitably become in just a decade or so’s time…

      I think the ‘world made by hand’ will be a lot closer to the mark than the EV’d future envisaged by Spielberg for Mr. Cruise (how apt)… in Minority Report…

      But it was a kool car design that Lexus…

      And for my money what an EV sports car should look like for ‘right now’… not a retro vehicle like the Lightning is… the Japanese would then by shedloads of em… as they lurve all that is fast-forward-focused…

      http://www.futureenergies.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=575

      http://www.netcarshow.com/lexus/2054-minority_report_sports_car/

    • Jeffrey Lam

      Hmmm, the Joule sounds too good to be true, with maximum 400km (250miles) range, a top speed of 135 km/h (84.4mph) and “sports-like” acceleration (0 to 50km/h or 31mph in 4.8s, and 0 to 100km/h or 62mph in 15s), and UN-ECE safety standards, and six-seats! Very impressive.
      Battery leasing is 1,500 Rand (£109) per month per module. Note if you want the 400km range you need two modules.
      The Joule will not be available till the end of 2010 and will be in the R200,000 (£14,600) price segment. It seems the car will initially be marketed in South Africa, before being exported. So we might not see one for a while.
      (I’ve used 13.7 Rand to the Pound)
      Yes it does seem quite comparable with a family car, plus the £200 per month for the battery lease.
      There will probably be some cost associated with exporting the car here, and I imagine they will need a network of dealerships and battery maintenance workshops over here before they can start selling it here.
      So the only criticism I have is that it won’t even be available in South Africa until the end of 2010, but otherwise the kind of car we want to see.

    • David

      So if its been done in S.A. why can’t we repeat it over here with a car designed and built in the UK. I don’t doubt that we have the talented people to pull it off we just need the will and more importantly the money!!

    • Chris

      Jeffrey, maybe you are right and I’m reading too much into it. I just don’t see why these cars are even released if they’re going to charge £750/month or £9,000 per year for ownership!? Infact not even ownership – it’s not like you can sell them later, they belong to the dealership. (Over 3 years, it would probably work out cheaper to own a spacious volvo or something.) Not many people have £9,000 disposable income per year to spend on a car, let alone a small MiEV with a limited range, that they don’t own. They must already know this car is going to fail horribly don’t you think? Maybe I am wrong, I sincerely hope I am. I like the car, and want this ball to start rolling.

    • Jeffrey Lam

      Anyway, back to this car. I really want to know how the car would perform on a track. It sounds like you’ve got some good people working on the dynamics. Quite funny how none of the major electrical gubbins have been developed for weight yet, or the component manufacturers working on that yet, or will we have to wait for a mass-manufacturer before those components get lighter.
      I really want to see how it would compare with a Tesla on the Top Gear track. Actually, I just want to see this car driving…

      Another point, you could always make one version for straight-ahead speed, and another for windy race-tracks. One would appeal to people who only ever drive up and down motorways or other straight roads, and the other for those who like race tracks and country lanes. Just a thought.

    • James

      Hey Dale,

      Just a note on the “Z” logo, whenever I see it, it makes me think of the “Nissan 350 Z”. Just a some food for thought.

      Thanks,
      James
      =-)

    • Jeffrey Lam

      Chris,
      the first models of any new product to appear on the market starts expensive. Think of DVD players for example, expensive initially but now they cost about the same as a weekly shopping trip, if not less.
      The manufacturers who get in first will pay a lot to develop the technology, and the first products will be the reserve of the rich, but prices should come down. (I was going to say “will come down”, but you never know for certain)

      David
      it hasn’t “been” done in SA, it is “being” done. The car is not due in SA until the end of 2010, and is not due in the UK until some time after that. Perhaps it can be done in the UK. However, all the costs associated with making a car (salaries, land, energy) are likely to be higher than in SA, making it more challenging to do.

      Derek,
      the Paninfarina looks good, and they say it will be available end of 2009. I can’t find any pricing info though. Can you?

    • Chris

      I take your point Jeffrey. I saw another site which speculated that it would be sold outright for £25,000. Better, if still a little uncompetitive. I’d like to know from anyone involved in Dales project whether they think it is currently possible to make reliable EV for mass consumption, similar to the MiEV at a competitive price?

      http://cars.uk.msn.com/greenmotoring/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13153989

    • Jeffrey Lam

      Chris,
      I was just about to post the same link, but you beat me to it. I can’t work out how they came to £25,000.
      I think someone on Dale’s project might have an idea, but I reckon we won’t know until a mass-producer tries to do it. But even then, Mitsubishi is a mass-producer. Perhaps we have to wait for an even bigger mass-producer, the likes of Ford/GM/Toyota/Honda. There’s always the Joule, but you’ll have to wait until 2011.

      By the way, another point to note is that mass-production car programmes go for at least about 3 years before any units go on sale (but the Japanese car manufacturers are faster). So if a programme with planned capacity of, say a Ford Focus, started now, we would still need to wait 3 years or so.

    • Chris

      Crikey Jeffrey, 3 years?! I really don’t have the patience for this game! I’m surprised the average factory can afford to run for 3 years without making any (or much) money. I prosume then, smaller firms (the ones who are trying!) may take much longer to mass produce then?

      Have you seen the Aptera? I admire what they’ve done with it. They’ve really concentrated on ‘packaging’ it as something very futuristic. It makes petrol cars look very old! I think they’re priced at about $40,000 but the specs are reasonably impressive, as are some of the extras (personal computer with some kindof mobile internet facility, camera rear view, solar panel). It’s like an Apple Mac on wheels!! Only available in the US though 🙁

      http://www.aptera.com/

      Videos on You Tube.

    • Jeffrey Lam

      I’m speaking from my experience on working at Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover. Ford are trying to speed up their process by trying to become like the Japanese, Mazda (which Ford own a stake in) are a lot faster at getting products to market than Ford. I believe Mazda are about 18 months faster.
      From my experience, the factory is making the current model (or a different segment vehicle) while the design centre is designing the new one. Later on, the factory is involved in the practicalities of how to make the vehicle, but they don’t stop making the current vehicle until they are ready to switch over tools. In one exception (from my experience), the factory was a new one, being built at the same time as the vehicle was being designed.
      Smaller volumes can be quicker, but what smaller companies are doing isn’t really mass-production.
      When I went into Ford in November 06, they were about 1 year in on the new Fiesta. It went on sale about September/October last year.
      However, other companies may be working on electric cars, and they may already be a year or two in, and we just don’t know about it yet. But I don’t know of any myself, other than the ones we’ve discussed.