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Weather being what it is… I got to do another show solo this week. Actually early in the day Saturday with a new camera which it turns out needed some special stroking to get the video out to Final Cut Pro X.
We had a foot of snow and ice on Friday and none of us quite made it to the shop to play EVTV.

If you follow along, we have tornados one week and snow the next and the weather is always interesting here. I had EVCCON in the driest month of the year this year and still had my barbecue rained out. But I actually like variety and yes, a bit of drama in our weather.

I was a bit concerned over the lengthy schematic discussion but on reviewing it a few days later, I’m pretty pleased with it. Paulo Almeida did some inspired work on this re-engineering of the GEVCU and it should be known. I don’t know what future iterations bring, but it is shaping up as a very useful device, for me personally, in a lot of ways that have little to do with electric vehicles. With the very limited four analog inputs and eight digital/PWM outputs, plus four digital inputs, there is still a lot I can do with that for a lot of little projects. I’ve found TWO now current sensors, for example that work via CANbus. I might be able to drive a largish MOSFET or small IGBT using a PWM output. I have some ideas for an electric powered distillation apparatus that could offer very fine temperature control indeed. So just having it in a case and with protected inputs and outputs, that AMPSEAL connector starts to look pretty good for a lot of hookups. And the 84MHz 32 bit processor is truly a useful level of processing power. It would be better at $40 like an Arduino board, but as in all things, you kind of get what you pay for.

The little Admiral continues to thrill and amaze with his little red boat. The guy that’s with him is shopping to sell electric boats to China. I would be personally gratified to see these batteries go from CHina, to the U.S>, to the Netherlands, and back to China in one grand tour. What few realize is that you can buy Australian wine in Los Angeles at a markedly lower price than you can in Sydney for the same bottle. Similarly, the Chinese government actually subsidizes battery sales and you buy cells here at a lower price than they sell them in China. I’m watching JB Straubel locate adequate battery supplies in the future. The little bit I know about Chinese battery manufacture overcapacity, I guess I just don’t understand these big global trade matters as well as those really smart people in Freemont.

Speaking of which, recall my description of the Supercharge centers. We are one giant step closer to the New York Big Gulp as the Solar City/Tesla alliance becomes clear on the Supercharger front. You see the ONLY source of that much power in that short a time HAS to be batteries. The grid can’t do it and the grid knows it, that’s why they actually have it written into the rate structure an ability to FINE you for “peak” use if you use too much electricity in too short a time compared to your overall use. So massive battery banks fed by both grid and Solar will be the model for fast charge stations. The convenience store to pickup a few HOHO’s and a Big Gulp is the next step. For you Californicators, that would be a Pita Pocket and Vitamin Berry Water but same idea. A small work out area would go big in Oregon and the worlds largest ball of twine to see for the rest of us would probably work. Maybe an Elonbucks coffee bar?

Seriously I’m pleased to see the pace picking up on the national rollout of the supercharge centers. I doubt I’ll ever use one. But they do kind of completely wipe out the one remaining objection to electric cars. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. What is BMW and VW and GM to do in response? They cannot NOT respond. They do not want to kiss the ring. And no other response makes any sense at all.

Fast forward three years. How can you sell an electric car into the market, when it CAN’T fast charge and drive across country? Even if all other things were decidedly NOT equal, why would I buy one if there are cars available that can charge for free in 30 minutes anywhere in the country??? The differential looms hugely.

It is certainly within their reach and their grasp for General Motors to spend $100 million on their own national charging network. But it is NOT within their vision. It might be within BMW or VW’s vision, but it is not really within their grasp. They live in a geographic context that simply does not acknowledge the existence of Texas. It is unfathomable to them to start early in the day and drive all day long at top speed and still be within the same governmental entity when you get done in the evening. That we have a single state that would span from Italy to the UK just doesn’t make any geographic sense to them. They have just always assumed that all Texans were liars and worse. I wouldn’t attempt to make a case either way. It reminds me of the Connecticut and Vermont Senators that wanted to build a wall across the U.S. Mexican border. It only makes sense to someone from Vermont. That we would have to hire ALL the Mexicans in Mexico in order to build it, and they would all wind up on THIS side of the wall when we got it done, doesn’t enter into it.

But if electric cars are to become the thing, and if Tesla has a national free quick charge network, how do you compete with that? Free coke for the kids? Balloon animals? No down payment until January?

The only thing remaining is to pass a law against it. I’d wait until they got it built, and then legislate that they have to charge ALL cars if they are going to charge any. That’s the California way. Why it REALLY belongs to all of us already. After all….some yadda yadda, some yadda yadda….Wall Street…yadda, yadda, …middle class….yadda yadda…rich bastards…yadda yadda…..end of life as we know it on the planet….yadda CO2 yadda, warming …yadda, yadda.

That they never get the joke or the story of the Little Red Hen never enters into it. It’s always an original idea. Over, and over, and over again. The nattering of child minds.

It could work. The final option is to bolt on yet another motorcycle engine and hope Jehu doesn’t notice that his electric car takes gasoline to run.

Of course, with the gasoline, your FOAD sounds more like poohey on youey, which is kind of a girlish and gentrified version of the same sentiment. But hey, whatever gets you down the road. We shouldn’t discriminate based on who you choose to love.

Real men drink lightning, crap thunder, and drive electric.

Cinch up your Depends gentlemen. We’re going in…..

Jack Rickard