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This week I continue to “wing it” and Brain is off to Palm Springs, while we suffer down to 3 degrees fahrenheit. I won’t trade him however as he has both parents who had fallen in the kitchen and had to be rescued by the fire department. Dealing with all that will not be easy.

But the response to my wall of graphs and numbers was very surprising last week. WE had 62 e-mails directly to the topic that were all unusually laudatory and none that yelled “booger” at all. Indeed it would seem that the topic of sizing motors to vehicles IS a popular one particularly among some of our more recent viewers.

All that is a little difficult to come to grips with conceptually. We get about 400 new viewers each day. The dark end of that is that we lose a few each day as well as some move on to other interests. I was following Eric Kriss’s build of a 1962 Mark II Jaguar with intense interest only to learn he has decided NOT to convert it, has fallen in love with it as a gasoline vehicle and intends to rebuild the gasoline engine. Boo hiss.

But the result is we have a strange mix of viewers, some of whom have watched every episode, and some of whom just showed up at the party.

It is generally easier and more fun to drive around in a yellow VW THING with GOPRO cameras and breezily show how much fun electric cars really are. As we drill down into “how to” some of it is really pretty mundane – how to size a battery pack and how to build the boxes to install the batteries. That’s pretty easy to communicate to a fairly wide audience.

But when we get down into the real technical details, things start to come apart. We have actually a large following of John Hardy’s and Brian Couchene’s and Ed Clausens who know much more than I on any particular software or hardware topic. And of course we have some enthusiastic viewers who understand carburetors pretty well but couldn’t put two batteries in a flashlight and get it right before the third try. And everything and everyone in between.

In trying to describe a process without properly using the conventional nomenclature, which tends to be stilted and NOT very transparent to the unwashed, combined with my natural prediliction to almost use the right word to the degree early onset Alzheimers allows, the best I can do is fail artfully. Not a very satisfying process.

And somewhere along the way we have attracted a small cadre of very STRANGE viewers such as Dan Friedrickson and JRP, poised like snakes coiled to strike at any mispoken word which they then combine with just enough knowledge to actually be dangerous while the have no comprehension of what they are saying. Why these guys just don’t go away is beyond me. But I can tell by their comments they don’t miss a SECOND of my presentation each week. Indeed, Dan accosted me this week while I was uploading wanting to know why it wasn’t up yet. It is truly annoying. I can reason that of course these guys are pathetics who are just dying for any little bit of attention, but they are so artless in it that it is just distasteful for me to deal with it, Christmas Eve epiphanies aside.

But that cuts in all directions. It makes me a little self conscious in offering battery testing tips to John Hardy or fabrication pointers to Jeff Southern. That dog just won’t hunt.

In any event, it IS true that a 245/35/21 tire is NOT 35 mm high of course. It has a sidewall 35% of the 245 mm width.

And yes, Tesla does have a marvelous traction control system. It actually won’t stop you from killing yourself or wrecking your car, but it does help – a LOT. How a couple of guys who have never been IN a Tesla can have the hubris to offer sage advice on how it feels to somebody that owns one is part of my daily life. Everyone is an expert, even when working from zero information.




But I did go in deep this week and attempted to extract from normal automotive power and acceleration formulas a trio that you might find useful in attempting to come up with peak power requirements for your car, depending on its weight, shape, and desired performance.

The problem with formulas is rarely about the operation of the formula. But to avoid “garbage in” and consequently “garbage out” we have to talk a great deal about the inputs and how you calculate or otherwise obtain THOSE. And we must keep in mind Einsteins admonition to “make all things as simple as possible – and no simpler.”

I did attempt to explain WHY each element was included, and how you might calculate it or some cases like Coefficient of Drag, where you might go find it.


I’m rather pleased with how it came off actually but I did promise a spreadsheet in the blog that you could download and simply enter the values. Hereinwith presented. Click the image above and an EXCEL spreadsheet should show up in your downloads area.

Yes, it is true that I do so love to whine. But the past couple of weeks have been kind to me in that regard, providing plenty of material to work with. With Brian off and gone I’m having to learn a lot of EVTV processes I’ve been shielded from, like how to process a credit card, how to print a shipping label, and where all that stuff actually IS. I find since I last did this UPS has actually brought in a computer for our use with their software in it. Of course it had to be updated with the 2015 rates immediately and the software they had provided to do that apparently fails in all cases. But the problem was widely known and the solution was on their web site as it turns out.

Each and every member of my staff has apparently decided we are on flex time, each developing their own individualized holiday schedule and awarding themselves days off, in the case of our payroll clerk including a full week off with pay.

The usual year end flurry of bills has of course been annoying.And I have quite a bit of software and hardware development kind of “hang fire” at the moment. I tried to deliver two chargers and a DC-DC converter to a guy doing a fabulous build of a 1962 Studebaker pickup truck. Haste being the better part of waste, I managed to blow ALL THREE DEVICES up complete with roiling clouds of smoke and fire while demonstrating how very well they worked.

But the real hangup is I have been working on a SEKERT PROJEK that has occupied some time actually. Back to my roots as print publisher. This is entirely crazy as it will be the most expensive print job I’ve ever done because it is currently looking like 325 pages. But I am getting a little excited about it. It is the 2015 EVTV Custom Electric Vehicle Components Catalogue. WEll, hopefully 2015. It might be the 2016. We’re still batting around the title page.

The hardest part is actually moving our product offerings off the web and onto the page. This task has grown into basically a “how to build an EV” book with about a dozen chapters on motors and drivetrains, batteries, chargers, DC-DC converters, switches, lights, cabling and connections, and so forth with anywhere from 3 to 12 pages of description of the process, and then 15 to 20 pages of product offerings in each chapter. My current target date for completion is March 2017, which I guess is fine as that is what Tesla lists as the GEN III car and now Chevrolet with the BOLT as well. So it should be ok for us to publish our 2015 catalogue in 2017 too won’t it?

That’s the hard part. The EXCITING part is up front and it pretty much falls out of the registry we’ve been running for the past year. It is the 200 page LISTING of the 100 Most Significant Custom Electric Vehicles 2015. I finished the introduction for that this morning. If you clickie the cover below, a massive PDF will show up in your downloads next to your spreadsheet.
Note that this is 220MB in size and may well take several minutes to download.

Jack Rickard