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vehicle electrification

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  • Lee Dekker
    Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to the electrification of the factory. It wasn t all that long ago that all factories
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 26, 2006
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      Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.

      A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of belts and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not only extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and attention. Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been horrible.

      Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch of belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering, electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the job done.

      Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.

      The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing more than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing more than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven factories is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider going back to that system. But when we talk to people about things like electric power steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people tried to move electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were met with similar skepticism and curiosity.

      The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.

      ---------------------------------
      Do you Yahoo!?
      Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dave Cline
      Similar to the ongoing fly-by-wire conversion of the airlines; cables and hydraulics to electric actuators, solenoids and linear motors. What do you mean
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 26, 2006
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        Similar to the ongoing fly-by-wire conversion of the airlines; cables and
        hydraulics to electric actuators, solenoids and linear motors. "What do you
        mean there's no cable between the foot pedals and the rudder?"

        The more self-contained a particular functional component can become the
        easier it is to outsource and genericize that component's manufacture.

        Take the software industry for instance. Today most of the money made in
        software is customized solutions built by consultants using off the shelf
        components bolted together to form a completed application. More and more
        these glued together components can be easily swapped out for others in
        their field simply due to a standard API or interface the all provide.

        Perhaps what might assist the electrification of the automobile is a
        standard API for the configuration or assembly of these components into a
        vehicular solution. Now I know there already exists certain standards such
        as a 12 volt DC base for auto lights and electronic subsystems (stereo, pwr
        accessories) but what of their physical attributes? They do after all have
        to be physically added to the car, just as a software database has to run in
        Windows or Linux or Mac. This gets back to the blackbox concept. Rather than
        have a car company design and build from the ground up every aspect of an
        auto, turn them into consultant type assemblers where they add their styling
        and details to an assembly of off the shelf components. Tesla may be doing
        this. Others, I'm sure, as well.

        Two of the problems are that one these APIs don't fully exist is a way that
        makes bolting together solutions braindead easy. And two there is no easy
        way to find where to purchase the components themselves. You need a database
        or a email server or a web services orchestration hub or a BPEL server - a
        simple google search will show you every possibility. Not so for 208V AC
        controllers or 48v AirCond compressors or a 12V powersteering controller.

        Now I suppose the DoT would have a problem with 1000 or 5000 custom car
        assemblers. But if certain critical pieces were certified, the frame, the
        brakes, seat belts and air bags and other safety equipment then bah, what am
        I saying. The legal ramifications would kill off every little car company
        around. As a matter of fact, the first time some ID 10 T runs a Tesla
        roadster into a wall or a school bus Tesla will be toast. Lawyer fodder.
        Never mind.

        dc

        On 7/26/06, Lee Dekker <heprv@...> wrote:
        >
        > Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to
        > the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all
        > factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I
        > believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was
        > then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.
        >
        > A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of belts
        > and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not only
        > extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and attention.
        > Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been horrible.
        >
        > Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch of
        > belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering,
        > electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and
        > U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control
        > and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the
        > job done.
        >
        > Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and
        > power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in
        > place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric
        > and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows
        > and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric
        > motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical
        > cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.
        >
        > The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing more
        > than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing more
        > than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven factories
        > is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider going back to
        > that system. But when we talk to people about things like electric power
        > steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people tried to move
        > electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were met with
        > similar skepticism and curiosity.
        >
        > The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >



        --
        Dave Cline
        www.davecline.com/
        davecline@...


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • murdoch
        A great post, I thought. I ve been thinking not so much along these lines, but perhaps related. I ve been thinking a lot about how the film and film-camera
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 28, 2006
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          A great post, I thought.

          I've been thinking not so much along these lines, but perhaps related.
          I've been thinking a lot about how the film and film-camera industries
          have given way, whether anyone liked it or not, to the age of the
          digital camera. Our family business was in cameras and photofinishing
          and wholesale supplies in that area, so I guess over the years I kept
          an eye on it.

          If we go back a few decades, Kodak was an American business
          powerhouse, and wasn't there, mid-20th-century, a push to have them
          reliniquish part of what was sort of a de-facto monopoly? Isn't this
          how there was a shift from having to send film to Kodak for developing
          to plants being set up around the country under independent operators?

          Well, I don't know the details, but going back 10 or 20 years, the
          writing was on the wall. At some point, just turning out "little
          yellow boxes" of film was not going to continue to be a high-margin
          operation. At some point, going digital (electronic) and away from
          analog was going to be a possibility.

          You heard contemptuous snears from some who had been doing film
          photography. From others they were open to discussion.... they didn't
          know for sure.

          As it turns out, the pecking order has changed, digital was won out,
          almost completely, and that's that. Some companies rolled with the
          punches better than others. I think Kodak just still being in
          business and doing some imaging and digital and printing... an
          achievement. Canon and Nikon seem to be fairing ok. Konica Minolta
          seems to have decided to go away from still photography. Pentax
          vascilated but is still hanging in there. Fuji is still a major
          player it seems in cameras. Sony and HP and some others seem to be
          new names on the block when it comes to digital cameras. Polaroid
          seems to be hanging in there.

          I suppose also the business analysis could be extended to audio and
          home theater where we have gone through some technologies to get to
          better ones, and there has been upheaval in business.

          But what about the car and fuel industries? Where has been the
          upheaval and the serving of global customer needs and the changes in
          technology and the competition? They have (in my view) been
          suppressed by Oil companies and Auto companies working to ensure that
          alternatives to petroleum-industry-fueled transportation were never
          made available to consumers. Never. The motives may have been mixed.
          Maybe an auto giant wasn't just taking calls on a red phone from an
          Oil Industry giant, or a banker intermediary, but maybe they simply
          wanted to stick with whatever had worked with them in the past. In
          any case, the symptoms were that both the Auto companies and the Oil
          companies have been on the same page for 100 years: do not make it
          possible for consumers to use something other than
          petroleum-industry-fueled cars.

          But those days have always been numbered. It seems to have been
          possible to forestall change for a few decades... can it be done
          forever? Nothing is forever. Eventually, even if just driven by
          resource scarcity, the pecking order of companies will change and the
          technologies and businesses will change. This is not merely "likely".
          It is absolutely guaranteed. The question is how long it will take.

          There seems to have been a blockage in the global transportation
          business and it's not clear to me how many more years (or decades, or
          centuries) it will be before the business has this anti-competitive
          rule removed from it. The rule is:

          Never (ever) make it possible for consumers to travel in vehicles
          without paying the Oil business, in some way.


          On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 09:44:13 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:

          >Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.
          >
          >A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of belts and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not only extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and attention. Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been horrible.
          >
          >Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch of belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering, electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the job done.
          >
          >Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.
          >
          >The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing more than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing more than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven factories is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider going back to that system. But when we talk to people about things like electric power steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people tried to move electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were met with similar skepticism and curiosity.
          >
          >The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.
          >
          >---------------------------------
          >Do you Yahoo!?
          > Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Dave Cline
          I stopped mid-thought due the notion of culpability, responsibility, the legal ramifications and the big ol beasts that are the DoT and the FAA. The fact is
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 28, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            I stopped mid-thought due the notion of culpability, responsibility, the
            legal ramifications and the big ol' beasts that are the DoT and the FAA.

            The fact is that your camera or stereo won't kill you if it breaks. There
            are no public protection agencies dedicated to making sure your camcorder is
            safe to use. Ignore the UL, yeah they make sure there's no 110 AC bolted to
            the aluminum case but that's about it.

            The safety hurdles for entering the auto or aircraft industry must be
            monumental. For a couple of mil one could enter the personal electronics
            industry. It would take $50 mil just to feed the lawyers for any new car
            company.

            How to circumvent or address that issue as a small car assembler, well, I
            have no idea.

            dc

            On 7/28/06, murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > A great post, I thought.
            >
            > I've been thinking not so much along these lines, but perhaps related.
            > I've been thinking a lot about how the film and film-camera industries
            > have given way, whether anyone liked it or not, to the age of the
            > digital camera. Our family business was in cameras and photofinishing
            > and wholesale supplies in that area, so I guess over the years I kept
            > an eye on it.
            >
            > If we go back a few decades, Kodak was an American business
            > powerhouse, and wasn't there, mid-20th-century, a push to have them
            > reliniquish part of what was sort of a de-facto monopoly? Isn't this
            > how there was a shift from having to send film to Kodak for developing
            > to plants being set up around the country under independent operators?
            >
            > Well, I don't know the details, but going back 10 or 20 years, the
            > writing was on the wall. At some point, just turning out "little
            > yellow boxes" of film was not going to continue to be a high-margin
            > operation. At some point, going digital (electronic) and away from
            > analog was going to be a possibility.
            >
            > You heard contemptuous snears from some who had been doing film
            > photography. From others they were open to discussion.... they didn't
            > know for sure.
            >
            > As it turns out, the pecking order has changed, digital was won out,
            > almost completely, and that's that. Some companies rolled with the
            > punches better than others. I think Kodak just still being in
            > business and doing some imaging and digital and printing... an
            > achievement. Canon and Nikon seem to be fairing ok. Konica Minolta
            > seems to have decided to go away from still photography. Pentax
            > vascilated but is still hanging in there. Fuji is still a major
            > player it seems in cameras. Sony and HP and some others seem to be
            > new names on the block when it comes to digital cameras. Polaroid
            > seems to be hanging in there.
            >
            > I suppose also the business analysis could be extended to audio and
            > home theater where we have gone through some technologies to get to
            > better ones, and there has been upheaval in business.
            >
            > But what about the car and fuel industries? Where has been the
            > upheaval and the serving of global customer needs and the changes in
            > technology and the competition? They have (in my view) been
            > suppressed by Oil companies and Auto companies working to ensure that
            > alternatives to petroleum-industry-fueled transportation were never
            > made available to consumers. Never. The motives may have been mixed.
            > Maybe an auto giant wasn't just taking calls on a red phone from an
            > Oil Industry giant, or a banker intermediary, but maybe they simply
            > wanted to stick with whatever had worked with them in the past. In
            > any case, the symptoms were that both the Auto companies and the Oil
            > companies have been on the same page for 100 years: do not make it
            > possible for consumers to use something other than
            > petroleum-industry-fueled cars.
            >
            > But those days have always been numbered. It seems to have been
            > possible to forestall change for a few decades... can it be done
            > forever? Nothing is forever. Eventually, even if just driven by
            > resource scarcity, the pecking order of companies will change and the
            > technologies and businesses will change. This is not merely "likely".
            > It is absolutely guaranteed. The question is how long it will take.
            >
            > There seems to have been a blockage in the global transportation
            > business and it's not clear to me how many more years (or decades, or
            > centuries) it will be before the business has this anti-competitive
            > rule removed from it. The rule is:
            >
            > Never (ever) make it possible for consumers to travel in vehicles
            > without paying the Oil business, in some way.
            >
            >
            > On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 09:44:13 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:
            >
            > >Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to
            > the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all
            > factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I
            > believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was
            > then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.
            > >
            > >A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of
            > belts and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not
            > only extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and
            > attention. Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been
            > horrible.
            > >
            > >Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch
            > of belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering,
            > electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and
            > U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control
            > and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the
            > job done.
            > >
            > >Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and
            > power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in
            > place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric
            > and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows
            > and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric
            > motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical
            > cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.
            > >
            > >The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing
            > more than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing
            > more than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven
            > factories is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider
            > going back to that system. But when we talk to people about things like
            > electric power steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people
            > tried to move electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were
            > met with similar skepticism and curiosity.
            > >
            > >The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.
            > >
            > >---------------------------------
            > >Do you Yahoo!?
            > > Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
            > >
            > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • murdoch
            I think Lee s insights were strong enough so that they inspired, but to some extent I missed his point, in trying to take it a bit elsewhere (some points I ve
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 29, 2006
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              I think Lee's insights were strong enough so that they inspired, but
              to some extent I missed his point, in trying to take it a bit
              elsewhere (some points I've been meaning to make for a long time as to
              a call for a global competitive free-for-all battle, in competition
              for cosnumer dollars that go to vehicles and fuels and
              transportation).

              Anyway, one of the many points that comes up, in considering Lee's
              post, is the much-vaunted switch from 12 volt to 42 volt onboard
              vehicles. A few quick google sampling (a "gampling"?) of links:


              http://www.tierone.com/42voltrr.html
              http://www.caraudiomag.com/specialfeatures/0307cae_42volt/
              http://www.advanceautoparts.com/english/youcan/html/dsm/dsm2001070142.html

              I heard about this a few years ago and haven't checked back to see how
              that switch is going. I know that when you peruse the Cobasys/ECD
              sites, and see their discussion of 36 volt batteries, they are really
              also trying to play into that 42 volt thing, and not just talking
              abuot traction for some vehicles.

              Come to think of it, I think the NiMHax product was said to have some
              of this modularity aspect, fitting somewhat into your exploration of
              black box modularity issues. On a couple of products they mention
              them being "plug and play". Little guys cannot lay their hands on
              these products readily. I don't know whether the big guys get a
              runaround or not.

              A couple of links:

              http://www.cobasys.com/solutions/transportation.htm

              > Our NiMHax HEV systems provide the most cost effective solution for hybrid applications. NiMHax solutions have excellent power, energy, weight, and volume characteristics. NiMHax systems are designed to be "plug & play" solutions and can be scaled to meet light duty through heavy duty requirements.
              >
              >Our Series 1000 battery module is the building block for the NiMHax HEV. The module and system is liquid cooled to provide consistent performance while maximizing battery life.
              >
              >The NiMHax solutions are available in a wide range of voltages, power and energy and can be tailored to your specific needs.

              Looks like they've specifically got a battery to cater to the 42 volt
              situation:

              http://www.cobasys.com/pdf/transportation/NiMhax42V/NiMhax_42V_Brochure.html

              An example of a college team using them:

              http://www.cobasys.com/news/PressReleases/20060614.htm

              > The Cobasys NiMHax 336 volt, 70 kW NiMH battery system was chosen by Virginia Tech to support their hybrid vehicle because of the ease of integration, compact packaging and superior performance. Eight of the seventeen teams in this years competition chose a Cobasys NiMHax battery solution.





              On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 17:01:19 -0700, you wrote:

              >I stopped mid-thought due the notion of culpability, responsibility, the
              >legal ramifications and the big ol' beasts that are the DoT and the FAA.
              >
              >The fact is that your camera or stereo won't kill you if it breaks. There
              >are no public protection agencies dedicated to making sure your camcorder is
              >safe to use. Ignore the UL, yeah they make sure there's no 110 AC bolted to
              >the aluminum case but that's about it.
              >
              >The safety hurdles for entering the auto or aircraft industry must be
              >monumental. For a couple of mil one could enter the personal electronics
              >industry. It would take $50 mil just to feed the lawyers for any new car
              >company.
              >
              >How to circumvent or address that issue as a small car assembler, well, I
              >have no idea.
              >
              >dc
              >
              >On 7/28/06, murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >> A great post, I thought.
              >>
              >> I've been thinking not so much along these lines, but perhaps related.
              >> I've been thinking a lot about how the film and film-camera industries
              >> have given way, whether anyone liked it or not, to the age of the
              >> digital camera. Our family business was in cameras and photofinishing
              >> and wholesale supplies in that area, so I guess over the years I kept
              >> an eye on it.
              >>
              >> If we go back a few decades, Kodak was an American business
              >> powerhouse, and wasn't there, mid-20th-century, a push to have them
              >> reliniquish part of what was sort of a de-facto monopoly? Isn't this
              >> how there was a shift from having to send film to Kodak for developing
              >> to plants being set up around the country under independent operators?
              >>
              >> Well, I don't know the details, but going back 10 or 20 years, the
              >> writing was on the wall. At some point, just turning out "little
              >> yellow boxes" of film was not going to continue to be a high-margin
              >> operation. At some point, going digital (electronic) and away from
              >> analog was going to be a possibility.
              >>
              >> You heard contemptuous snears from some who had been doing film
              >> photography. From others they were open to discussion.... they didn't
              >> know for sure.
              >>
              >> As it turns out, the pecking order has changed, digital was won out,
              >> almost completely, and that's that. Some companies rolled with the
              >> punches better than others. I think Kodak just still being in
              >> business and doing some imaging and digital and printing... an
              >> achievement. Canon and Nikon seem to be fairing ok. Konica Minolta
              >> seems to have decided to go away from still photography. Pentax
              >> vascilated but is still hanging in there. Fuji is still a major
              >> player it seems in cameras. Sony and HP and some others seem to be
              >> new names on the block when it comes to digital cameras. Polaroid
              >> seems to be hanging in there.
              >>
              >> I suppose also the business analysis could be extended to audio and
              >> home theater where we have gone through some technologies to get to
              >> better ones, and there has been upheaval in business.
              >>
              >> But what about the car and fuel industries? Where has been the
              >> upheaval and the serving of global customer needs and the changes in
              >> technology and the competition? They have (in my view) been
              >> suppressed by Oil companies and Auto companies working to ensure that
              >> alternatives to petroleum-industry-fueled transportation were never
              >> made available to consumers. Never. The motives may have been mixed.
              >> Maybe an auto giant wasn't just taking calls on a red phone from an
              >> Oil Industry giant, or a banker intermediary, but maybe they simply
              >> wanted to stick with whatever had worked with them in the past. In
              >> any case, the symptoms were that both the Auto companies and the Oil
              >> companies have been on the same page for 100 years: do not make it
              >> possible for consumers to use something other than
              >> petroleum-industry-fueled cars.
              >>
              >> But those days have always been numbered. It seems to have been
              >> possible to forestall change for a few decades... can it be done
              >> forever? Nothing is forever. Eventually, even if just driven by
              >> resource scarcity, the pecking order of companies will change and the
              >> technologies and businesses will change. This is not merely "likely".
              >> It is absolutely guaranteed. The question is how long it will take.
              >>
              >> There seems to have been a blockage in the global transportation
              >> business and it's not clear to me how many more years (or decades, or
              >> centuries) it will be before the business has this anti-competitive
              >> rule removed from it. The rule is:
              >>
              >> Never (ever) make it possible for consumers to travel in vehicles
              >> without paying the Oil business, in some way.
              >>
              >>
              >> On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 09:44:13 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:
              >>
              >> >Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to
              >> the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all
              >> factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I
              >> believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was
              >> then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.
              >> >
              >> >A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of
              >> belts and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not
              >> only extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and
              >> attention. Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been
              >> horrible.
              >> >
              >> >Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch
              >> of belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering,
              >> electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and
              >> U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control
              >> and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the
              >> job done.
              >> >
              >> >Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and
              >> power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in
              >> place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric
              >> and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows
              >> and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric
              >> motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical
              >> cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.
              >> >
              >> >The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing
              >> more than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing
              >> more than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven
              >> factories is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider
              >> going back to that system. But when we talk to people about things like
              >> electric power steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people
              >> tried to move electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were
              >> met with similar skepticism and curiosity.
              >> >
              >> >The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.
              >> >
              >> >---------------------------------
              >> >Do you Yahoo!?
              >> > Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
              >> >
              >> >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >> >
              >> >
              >>
              >
              >
              >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Lee Dekker
              Kodak could have learned from history a bit better. Toyota has created so much public recognition of their hybrid push that they can get an excellent, on
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 29, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Kodak could have learned from history a bit better.

                Toyota has created so much public recognition of their hybrid push that they can get an excellent, on message, compelling ad out to the public in less than a minute.

                One can imagine that if GM had continued and expanded its EV 1 program, Toyota would now be the one playing catch-up.

                murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
                A great post, I thought.

                I've been thinking not so much along these lines, but perhaps related.
                I've been thinking a lot about how the film and film-camera industries
                have given way, whether anyone liked it or not, to the age of the
                digital camera. Our family business was in cameras and photofinishing
                and wholesale supplies in that area, so I guess over the years I kept
                an eye on it.

                If we go back a few decades, Kodak was an American business
                powerhouse, and wasn't there, mid-20th-century, a push to have them
                reliniquish part of what was sort of a de-facto monopoly? Isn't this
                how there was a shift from having to send film to Kodak for developing
                to plants being set up around the country under independent operators?

                Well, I don't know the details, but going back 10 or 20 years, the
                writing was on the wall. At some point, just turning out "little
                yellow boxes" of film was not going to continue to be a high-margin
                operation. At some point, going digital (electronic) and away from
                analog was going to be a possibility.

                You heard contemptuous snears from some who had been doing film
                photography. From others they were open to discussion.... they didn't
                know for sure.

                As it turns out, the pecking order has changed, digital was won out,
                almost completely, and that's that. Some companies rolled with the
                punches better than others. I think Kodak just still being in
                business and doing some imaging and digital and printing... an
                achievement. Canon and Nikon seem to be fairing ok. Konica Minolta
                seems to have decided to go away from still photography. Pentax
                vascilated but is still hanging in there. Fuji is still a major
                player it seems in cameras. Sony and HP and some others seem to be
                new names on the block when it comes to digital cameras. Polaroid
                seems to be hanging in there.

                I suppose also the business analysis could be extended to audio and
                home theater where we have gone through some technologies to get to
                better ones, and there has been upheaval in business.

                But what about the car and fuel industries? Where has been the
                upheaval and the serving of global customer needs and the changes in
                technology and the competition? They have (in my view) been
                suppressed by Oil companies and Auto companies working to ensure that
                alternatives to petroleum-industry-fueled transportation were never
                made available to consumers. Never. The motives may have been mixed.
                Maybe an auto giant wasn't just taking calls on a red phone from an
                Oil Industry giant, or a banker intermediary, but maybe they simply
                wanted to stick with whatever had worked with them in the past. In
                any case, the symptoms were that both the Auto companies and the Oil
                companies have been on the same page for 100 years: do not make it
                possible for consumers to use something other than
                petroleum-industry-fueled cars.

                But those days have always been numbered. It seems to have been
                possible to forestall change for a few decades... can it be done
                forever? Nothing is forever. Eventually, even if just driven by
                resource scarcity, the pecking order of companies will change and the
                technologies and businesses will change. This is not merely "likely".
                It is absolutely guaranteed. The question is how long it will take.

                There seems to have been a blockage in the global transportation
                business and it's not clear to me how many more years (or decades, or
                centuries) it will be before the business has this anti-competitive
                rule removed from it. The rule is:

                Never (ever) make it possible for consumers to travel in vehicles
                without paying the Oil business, in some way.

                On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 09:44:13 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:

                >Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.
                >
                >A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of belts and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not only extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and attention. Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been horrible.
                >
                >Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch of belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering, electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the job done.
                >
                >Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.
                >
                >The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing more than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing more than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven factories is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider going back to that system. But when we talk to people about things like electric power steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people tried to move electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were met with similar skepticism and curiosity.
                >
                >The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.
                >
                >---------------------------------
                >Do you Yahoo!?
                > Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >





                ---------------------------------
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                Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Eddie
                There were some within GM in the 1990s who had the vision to see that the EV1 (called IMPACT at the time) would allow them to beat the competition. The
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 29, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  There were some within GM in the 1990s who had the vision to see that the EV1 (called IMPACT at the time) would allow them to beat the competition. The Chairman in 1994, John Smale, borrowed an IMPACT in advance of the June 1994 GM board meeting. He and his wife logged 250 miles and said they really liked the car. On one outing they logged 95 miles with the charger showing 5% left. Smale is reported to have provided suggestions for improvement. He felt that the car would fufill a niche market that would develop into a full market. He thought EVs would be profitable after a few cars (i.e. models) and GM could be in a leadership position.

                  Source: Taken for a Ride by Jack Doyle; pages 320-322.

                  Lee Dekker <heprv@...> wrote:
                  One can imagine that if GM had continued and expanded its EV 1 program, Toyota would now be the one playing catch-up.




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                • murdoch
                  I saw how Bill Moore wrote this week of whether or not we are reaching a tipping point, and we see many EVs coming out. So, as I was thinking about your post,
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 30, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I saw how Bill Moore wrote this week of whether or not we are reaching
                    a tipping point, and we see many EVs coming out. So, as I was
                    thinking about your post, musing about the issues faced by small
                    companies.... consider how many there seem to be these days...

                    Dynasty, Reva, Tesla, Wrightspeed (faster than Tesla? what is the
                    relationship here?), Commuter Cars Corporation, Zenn (Feel Good Cars),
                    Th!nk Nordic, Kewet (Still in Business?), Phoenix, Zytek Smart Car
                    modifications, ... perhaps quite a few others, and then still others
                    as parts of larger companies.

                    Also, in batteries, we see a few contenders hanging on.

                    No doubt some of these are not as viable or ready-with-vehicles as we
                    might want to say, and many will be out of business, but perhaps we
                    are indeed at a point where these sorts of little bitty names... maybe
                    one or two will germinate into good companies.


                    On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 17:01:19 -0700, you wrote:

                    >I stopped mid-thought due the notion of culpability, responsibility, the
                    >legal ramifications and the big ol' beasts that are the DoT and the FAA.
                    >
                    >The fact is that your camera or stereo won't kill you if it breaks. There
                    >are no public protection agencies dedicated to making sure your camcorder is
                    >safe to use. Ignore the UL, yeah they make sure there's no 110 AC bolted to
                    >the aluminum case but that's about it.
                    >
                    >The safety hurdles for entering the auto or aircraft industry must be
                    >monumental. For a couple of mil one could enter the personal electronics
                    >industry. It would take $50 mil just to feed the lawyers for any new car
                    >company.
                    >
                    >How to circumvent or address that issue as a small car assembler, well, I
                    >have no idea.
                    >
                    >dc
                    >
                    >On 7/28/06, murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> A great post, I thought.
                    >>
                    >> I've been thinking not so much along these lines, but perhaps related.
                    >> I've been thinking a lot about how the film and film-camera industries
                    >> have given way, whether anyone liked it or not, to the age of the
                    >> digital camera. Our family business was in cameras and photofinishing
                    >> and wholesale supplies in that area, so I guess over the years I kept
                    >> an eye on it.
                    >>
                    >> If we go back a few decades, Kodak was an American business
                    >> powerhouse, and wasn't there, mid-20th-century, a push to have them
                    >> reliniquish part of what was sort of a de-facto monopoly? Isn't this
                    >> how there was a shift from having to send film to Kodak for developing
                    >> to plants being set up around the country under independent operators?
                    >>
                    >> Well, I don't know the details, but going back 10 or 20 years, the
                    >> writing was on the wall. At some point, just turning out "little
                    >> yellow boxes" of film was not going to continue to be a high-margin
                    >> operation. At some point, going digital (electronic) and away from
                    >> analog was going to be a possibility.
                    >>
                    >> You heard contemptuous snears from some who had been doing film
                    >> photography. From others they were open to discussion.... they didn't
                    >> know for sure.
                    >>
                    >> As it turns out, the pecking order has changed, digital was won out,
                    >> almost completely, and that's that. Some companies rolled with the
                    >> punches better than others. I think Kodak just still being in
                    >> business and doing some imaging and digital and printing... an
                    >> achievement. Canon and Nikon seem to be fairing ok. Konica Minolta
                    >> seems to have decided to go away from still photography. Pentax
                    >> vascilated but is still hanging in there. Fuji is still a major
                    >> player it seems in cameras. Sony and HP and some others seem to be
                    >> new names on the block when it comes to digital cameras. Polaroid
                    >> seems to be hanging in there.
                    >>
                    >> I suppose also the business analysis could be extended to audio and
                    >> home theater where we have gone through some technologies to get to
                    >> better ones, and there has been upheaval in business.
                    >>
                    >> But what about the car and fuel industries? Where has been the
                    >> upheaval and the serving of global customer needs and the changes in
                    >> technology and the competition? They have (in my view) been
                    >> suppressed by Oil companies and Auto companies working to ensure that
                    >> alternatives to petroleum-industry-fueled transportation were never
                    >> made available to consumers. Never. The motives may have been mixed.
                    >> Maybe an auto giant wasn't just taking calls on a red phone from an
                    >> Oil Industry giant, or a banker intermediary, but maybe they simply
                    >> wanted to stick with whatever had worked with them in the past. In
                    >> any case, the symptoms were that both the Auto companies and the Oil
                    >> companies have been on the same page for 100 years: do not make it
                    >> possible for consumers to use something other than
                    >> petroleum-industry-fueled cars.
                    >>
                    >> But those days have always been numbered. It seems to have been
                    >> possible to forestall change for a few decades... can it be done
                    >> forever? Nothing is forever. Eventually, even if just driven by
                    >> resource scarcity, the pecking order of companies will change and the
                    >> technologies and businesses will change. This is not merely "likely".
                    >> It is absolutely guaranteed. The question is how long it will take.
                    >>
                    >> There seems to have been a blockage in the global transportation
                    >> business and it's not clear to me how many more years (or decades, or
                    >> centuries) it will be before the business has this anti-competitive
                    >> rule removed from it. The rule is:
                    >>
                    >> Never (ever) make it possible for consumers to travel in vehicles
                    >> without paying the Oil business, in some way.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 09:44:13 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:
                    >>
                    >> >Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to
                    >> the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all
                    >> factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I
                    >> believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was
                    >> then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.
                    >> >
                    >> >A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of
                    >> belts and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not
                    >> only extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and
                    >> attention. Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been
                    >> horrible.
                    >> >
                    >> >Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch
                    >> of belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering,
                    >> electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and
                    >> U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control
                    >> and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the
                    >> job done.
                    >> >
                    >> >Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and
                    >> power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in
                    >> place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric
                    >> and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows
                    >> and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric
                    >> motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical
                    >> cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.
                    >> >
                    >> >The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing
                    >> more than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing
                    >> more than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven
                    >> factories is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider
                    >> going back to that system. But when we talk to people about things like
                    >> electric power steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people
                    >> tried to move electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were
                    >> met with similar skepticism and curiosity.
                    >> >
                    >> >The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.
                    >> >
                    >> >---------------------------------
                    >> >Do you Yahoo!?
                    >> > Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
                    >> >
                    >> >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Lee Dekker
                    Sorry if I got off track. Not that big a point anyway. Just an interesting comparison with old factories and modern automobiles. If there was a bigger point,
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jul 31, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Sorry if I got off track. Not that big a point anyway. Just an interesting comparison with old factories and modern automobiles. If there was a bigger point, it was that history like nature seems to repeat itself.

                      The killing of the streetcar and later the killing of the EV-1 is a repetition by the same company with the same agenda. Separated only by time. Usually history has to get pretty darned old before the truth comes out. Seems like the streetcar crushing, has been mostly forgotten about. But if you look it up on the Web, you'll find ridicule for anyone who believes that GM would have ever done such a thing. I guess it's not old enough history for the truth to come out yet.

                      It all depends on whose ox is being gored. If they, their company, or their industry are long since dead, there's little reason to suppress the truth. But if a company like GM is still hanging on by the skin of their teeth, you can expect them to lie through those teeth to maintain whatever vestiges of dwindling power they think they have.

                      Major aspects of the civil war and what led up to it are still misrepresented in schools and misunderstood by the general public. Apparently the truth about that part of our American history would still offend too many people. The civil war was a long time ago, but will continue to plague America as long as the truth about that war is less important than protecting the people who would be offended by that truth.

                      I like your idea of reviving the streetcar killing debate. Who cares if it is old history. It's relevant today because of gas prices, global warming and absurd traffic congestion. It's relevant today, because the companies that perpetrated that scandal are still happy, respected corporations.

                      Don't hold breath. General Motors, Ford and many other major US corporations, not only backed Hitler in World War Two, but their factories we're rebuilt after the war using US taxpayer dollars. Another hardly known bit of history because there are too many oxen still out there.

                      murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
                      I think Lee's insights were strong enough so that they inspired, but
                      to some extent I missed his point, in trying to take it a bit
                      elsewhere (some points I've been meaning to make for a long time as to
                      a call for a global competitive free-for-all battle, in competition
                      for cosnumer dollars that go to vehicles and fuels and
                      transportation).

                      Anyway, one of the many points that comes up, in considering Lee's
                      post, is the much-vaunted switch from 12 volt to 42 volt onboard
                      vehicles. A few quick google sampling (a "gampling"?) of links:

                      http://www.tierone.com/42voltrr.html
                      http://www.caraudiomag.com/specialfeatures/0307cae_42volt/
                      http://www.advanceautoparts.com/english/youcan/html/dsm/dsm2001070142.html

                      I heard about this a few years ago and haven't checked back to see how
                      that switch is going. I know that when you peruse the Cobasys/ECD
                      sites, and see their discussion of 36 volt batteries, they are really
                      also trying to play into that 42 volt thing, and not just talking
                      abuot traction for some vehicles.

                      Come to think of it, I think the NiMHax product was said to have some
                      of this modularity aspect, fitting somewhat into your exploration of
                      black box modularity issues. On a couple of products they mention
                      them being "plug and play". Little guys cannot lay their hands on
                      these products readily. I don't know whether the big guys get a
                      runaround or not.

                      A couple of links:

                      http://www.cobasys.com/solutions/transportation.htm

                      > Our NiMHax HEV systems provide the most cost effective solution for hybrid applications. NiMHax solutions have excellent power, energy, weight, and volume characteristics. NiMHax systems are designed to be "plug & play" solutions and can be scaled to meet light duty through heavy duty requirements.
                      >
                      >Our Series 1000 battery module is the building block for the NiMHax HEV. The module and system is liquid cooled to provide consistent performance while maximizing battery life.
                      >
                      >The NiMHax solutions are available in a wide range of voltages, power and energy and can be tailored to your specific needs.

                      Looks like they've specifically got a battery to cater to the 42 volt
                      situation:

                      http://www.cobasys.com/pdf/transportation/NiMhax42V/NiMhax_42V_Brochure.html

                      An example of a college team using them:

                      http://www.cobasys.com/news/PressReleases/20060614.htm

                      > The Cobasys NiMHax 336 volt, 70 kW NiMH battery system was chosen by Virginia Tech to support their hybrid vehicle because of the ease of integration, compact packaging and superior performance. Eight of the seventeen teams in this years competition chose a Cobasys NiMHax battery solution.

                      On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 17:01:19 -0700, you wrote:

                      >I stopped mid-thought due the notion of culpability, responsibility, the
                      >legal ramifications and the big ol' beasts that are the DoT and the FAA.
                      >
                      >The fact is that your camera or stereo won't kill you if it breaks. There
                      >are no public protection agencies dedicated to making sure your camcorder is
                      >safe to use. Ignore the UL, yeah they make sure there's no 110 AC bolted to
                      >the aluminum case but that's about it.
                      >
                      >The safety hurdles for entering the auto or aircraft industry must be
                      >monumental. For a couple of mil one could enter the personal electronics
                      >industry. It would take $50 mil just to feed the lawyers for any new car
                      >company.
                      >
                      >How to circumvent or address that issue as a small car assembler, well, I
                      >have no idea.
                      >
                      >dc
                      >
                      >On 7/28/06, murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> A great post, I thought.
                      >>
                      >> I've been thinking not so much along these lines, but perhaps related.
                      >> I've been thinking a lot about how the film and film-camera industries
                      >> have given way, whether anyone liked it or not, to the age of the
                      >> digital camera. Our family business was in cameras and photofinishing
                      >> and wholesale supplies in that area, so I guess over the years I kept
                      >> an eye on it.
                      >>
                      >> If we go back a few decades, Kodak was an American business
                      >> powerhouse, and wasn't there, mid-20th-century, a push to have them
                      >> reliniquish part of what was sort of a de-facto monopoly? Isn't this
                      >> how there was a shift from having to send film to Kodak for developing
                      >> to plants being set up around the country under independent operators?
                      >>
                      >> Well, I don't know the details, but going back 10 or 20 years, the
                      >> writing was on the wall. At some point, just turning out "little
                      >> yellow boxes" of film was not going to continue to be a high-margin
                      >> operation. At some point, going digital (electronic) and away from
                      >> analog was going to be a possibility.
                      >>
                      >> You heard contemptuous snears from some who had been doing film
                      >> photography. From others they were open to discussion.... they didn't
                      >> know for sure.
                      >>
                      >> As it turns out, the pecking order has changed, digital was won out,
                      >> almost completely, and that's that. Some companies rolled with the
                      >> punches better than others. I think Kodak just still being in
                      >> business and doing some imaging and digital and printing... an
                      >> achievement. Canon and Nikon seem to be fairing ok. Konica Minolta
                      >> seems to have decided to go away from still photography. Pentax
                      >> vascilated but is still hanging in there. Fuji is still a major
                      >> player it seems in cameras. Sony and HP and some others seem to be
                      >> new names on the block when it comes to digital cameras. Polaroid
                      >> seems to be hanging in there.
                      >>
                      >> I suppose also the business analysis could be extended to audio and
                      >> home theater where we have gone through some technologies to get to
                      >> better ones, and there has been upheaval in business.
                      >>
                      >> But what about the car and fuel industries? Where has been the
                      >> upheaval and the serving of global customer needs and the changes in
                      >> technology and the competition? They have (in my view) been
                      >> suppressed by Oil companies and Auto companies working to ensure that
                      >> alternatives to petroleum-industry-fueled transportation were never
                      >> made available to consumers. Never. The motives may have been mixed.
                      >> Maybe an auto giant wasn't just taking calls on a red phone from an
                      >> Oil Industry giant, or a banker intermediary, but maybe they simply
                      >> wanted to stick with whatever had worked with them in the past. In
                      >> any case, the symptoms were that both the Auto companies and the Oil
                      >> companies have been on the same page for 100 years: do not make it
                      >> possible for consumers to use something other than
                      >> petroleum-industry-fueled cars.
                      >>
                      >> But those days have always been numbered. It seems to have been
                      >> possible to forestall change for a few decades... can it be done
                      >> forever? Nothing is forever. Eventually, even if just driven by
                      >> resource scarcity, the pecking order of companies will change and the
                      >> technologies and businesses will change. This is not merely "likely".
                      >> It is absolutely guaranteed. The question is how long it will take.
                      >>
                      >> There seems to have been a blockage in the global transportation
                      >> business and it's not clear to me how many more years (or decades, or
                      >> centuries) it will be before the business has this anti-competitive
                      >> rule removed from it. The rule is:
                      >>
                      >> Never (ever) make it possible for consumers to travel in vehicles
                      >> without paying the Oil business, in some way.
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 09:44:13 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:
                      >>
                      >> >Comparing the electrification of the automobile and how similar it is to
                      >> the electrification of the factory. It wasn't all that long ago that all
                      >> factories were powered by an elaborate system of belts. Leather belts, I
                      >> believe. A central engine or water wheel supplied the power. That power was
                      >> then transmitted by belts to individual machinery throughout the factory.
                      >> >
                      >> >A photograph of one of these old factories looks like a nightmare of
                      >> belts and pulleys and gears and shafts. Belt operated factories were not
                      >> only extremely inefficient but also required constant maintenance and
                      >> attention. Worker safety, to the degree I was considered, must've been
                      >> horrible.
                      >> >
                      >> >Fast-forward to the internal combustion engine, vehicle. We run a bunch
                      >> of belts and pulleys around to power air conditioning, power steering,
                      >> electrical generation and smog pumping operations. We use drive shafts and
                      >> U-joints to send power to the wheels and elaborate transmissions to control
                      >> and direct that power. And like the old factories, these methods do get the
                      >> job done.
                      >> >
                      >> >Only in the last few years, we've seen things like air conditioning and
                      >> power steering being operated entirely by individual electric motors in
                      >> place of belts and pulleys. Power brakes and throttle are becoming electric
                      >> and there's even talk about electric cam shafts. Fans and seats and windows
                      >> and doors and who knows what else are already powered by individual electric
                      >> motors. We have also begun to see four-wheel-drive vehicles with electrical
                      >> cables instead of drive shafts sending power to the rear wheels.
                      >> >
                      >> >The internal combustion engine is quickly taking its place as nothing
                      >> more than an electrical generator. The elaborate fuel-cell is also nothing
                      >> more than an electrical generator. The comparison with old belt driven
                      >> factories is interesting. No one in their right mind would ever consider
                      >> going back to that system. But when we talk to people about things like
                      >> electric power steering, we often get puzzled looks. I suppose when people
                      >> tried to move electric motors into factories to replace the belts, they were
                      >> met with similar skepticism and curiosity.
                      >> >
                      >> >The bottom line is, vehicles are going electric, like it or not.
                      >> >
                      >> >---------------------------------
                      >> >Do you Yahoo!?
                      >> > Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
                      >> >
                      >> >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >> >
                      >> >
                      >>
                      >
                      >
                      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >





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                    • murdoch
                      ... I wonder where the Ivory Tower Historians are? Why aren t they helping us? Why aren t they doing good work to identify important historical questions and
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jul 31, 2006
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                        > Lee wrote:

                        >The killing of the streetcar and later the killing of the EV-1
                        > is a repetition by the same company with the same agenda.
                        >Separated only by time. Usually history has to get pretty darned
                        >old before the truth comes out. Seems like the streetcar crushing,
                        >has been mostly forgotten about. But if you look it up on the Web,
                        > you'll find ridicule for anyone who believes that GM would have
                        >ever done such a thing. I guess it's not old enough history for the truth to come out yet.
                        >

                        I wonder where the Ivory Tower Historians are? Why aren't they
                        helping us? Why aren't they doing good work to identify important
                        historical questions and replace non-robust web-dismissal with solid
                        robust research?

                        >I like your idea of reviving the streetcar killing debate.
                        >Who cares if it is old history. It's relevant today because
                        >of gas prices, global warming and absurd traffic congestion.
                        >It's relevant today, because the companies that perpetrated
                        >that scandal are still happy, respected corporations.

                        ...and I like your idea (or was it Doug's or someone else's) of trying
                        to keep in mind that if taxpayer dollars were used in the making of
                        the EV1 (I don't know if they were) then perhaps GM could be held
                        accountable in a legal way, for needlessly destroying that which did
                        not entirely belong to them. Just as the Justice Department had to go
                        after GM on anti-trust because they did not specifically have laws
                        against destroying viable mass-transit businesses nationwide, so too
                        they could perhaps go after GM, when it comes to the EV1, not for the
                        hideous act that it is, (during a time of "war" when our enemies are
                        helped by our needless dependence on oil! "Heartbeat of America"
                        Indeed!), but at least because GM did not have the legal right to take
                        Corporate Welfare for research vehicles and then destroy the fruits of
                        that research.

                        Still, it's a longshot... probably they could say taxpayer dollars did
                        not go to the EV1, or some other weasel-way-out. I don't know if
                        taxpayer dollars went into the EV1, or broad programs which may have
                        been in turn connected to the EV1 project, or not.

                        >
                        >Don't hold breath.

                        As I contemplate how much better our country would be if we had a
                        collection of urban centers served so well by streetcars and an ideal
                        mixture of other transportation forms (walking, biking, etc.), I
                        cannot help but think that even if we cannot get back to that ideal
                        readily (in large part because of the $25 Million estimated per mile
                        cost of changing rights-of-way, back to the way they were?) we
                        absolutely must discuss a bit why it is worth shooting for.

                        I also think, in response to the conversation about the many small
                        companies springing up, and the question of whether we are at a
                        tipping point in bringing EVS to market, that I keep in mind that we
                        must not confuse the state of the transportation battle here in the US
                        with that battle worldwide.

                        I place some of the hope I may allow myself, that we might reach some
                        portion of our resource-using ideals during my lifetime, in the idea
                        that the world is going to show the US a thing or two, whether US
                        corporations like it or not.

                        Sure, this is naive. And we need to spell out somewhere that we have
                        in so many ways already lost so much of the battle, permanently (for a
                        few generations) but in being objective we can find strength, and I
                        think outside of US shores we see some limited number of great
                        examples, not only of cars and batteries, but of terrific mass transit
                        systems.

                        After seeing Taken For A Ride, I understand better why I am not able
                        to "Love LA". The reaction of a friend to seeing this film was that
                        Phoenix could certainly use such Streetcars... she referred to some
                        sort of known "Brown Cloud" or something that Phoenix residents have
                        to deal with.

                        I am finding the thought of increased streetcars, and accompany
                        complementary urban transit forms (walking, biking, etc.) and the
                        benefits they could bring, just basically an inspiring thought, in and
                        of itself.
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