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  • rickardI should probably mention how deeply we appreciate the many electronic mail comments received the past few weeks in support of our efforts. But I must confess a bit of guilt from them. All seem to express some concern about our health, our commitment, and the possibilities of EVTV as an ongoing concern. So it is probably timely to describe a bit of life at EVTV and share the ongoing events transpiring. I’m fine. We’re fine. Indeed, it is probably the most exciting time we’ve ever had here. But we have to reinvent ourselves every day. And that is part of what you are noting.

    First, let’s talk about health. I was miserable this week with a two day stomach virus of such horror I will not describe it further. So Friday’s show just didn’t happen.

    Beyond that, it is true that I hack and cough and huff and puff and snort and blow and carry on something terrible. I am 300 pounds now and I simply do not have the energy to do 16 hour days any longer like Elon Musk. I often nap in the afternoon now and some days it does seem like with a little dab of oatmeal on the chin and maybe a pair of fuzzy slippers, I might really be in the old boys club at last.All that said, I have to report my ongoing EMBARASSMENT at how deeply and tragically good my health is.

    I recently underwent a $22,000 series of heart tests, not because there was anything wrong, but to prove to my wife that I wasn’t going to keel off on her with a heart attack after the fashion of an earlier husband. It started with a sonic examination of my heart activity. When it concluded they recommended a stress test. I thanked them for their recommendation, but kind of insisted they fill me in the results of the first test before we went on. Well, it didn’t really show any anomalies. The efficiency was a little low. What is good? Oh, we like to see 50-55%. What was mine? 49%. Having sat in a chair in front of a computer for the last 35 years smoking a camel, my response was “I’ll take it. We’re good.”

    But they insisted a stress test was in order. I asked them why? Because of other “risk factors”. What are the risk factors? Well, you’re 60 years old, 300 pounds, smoke two packs of camels a day and you’re diabetic. Diabetic? I’m not diabetic. Oh yes, you have to be diabetic. Why? Because you’re 300 lbs. I’m 300 lbs because I’m a gourmet cook and my wife is even better. Well anyway, you should have the stress test.

    After learning a bit of the stress test, I confess I was intrigued. Basically, they inject you with radioactive dye. Then they put you on a tread mill and try to kill you. Failing that, they mount you on a bed that does a 360 degree scan of your chest. The die emits radiation that is picked up by the camera, and all the veins and arteries in your chest light up like a Christmas tree. Ever the gadget geek, I just really wanted one of those pictures. Of course, dark areas are important because they indicate an arterial blockage which does not allow the radioactive dye to pass. And so they can basically photograph areas of blockage. Kind of cool. Not really new. But cool.

    So I had it. After receiving the results, they strongly recommended I have an angiogram. Uh-oh. What did we find. Well, often these don’t really show well on “large” individuals so the results are not really conclusive. I asked to see the picture. I was lit up like a Macy’s Day parade and indeed, was literally glowing with health all over. What’s going on here? Well, Mr. Rickard, there are other risk factors. Like what? Well, you’re 60 years old and 300 lbs and you smoke cigarettes and you are diabetic. Hold it, I am 60, I am 300 lbs, I DO smoke cigarettes, but I am decidedly NOT diabetic. Never have been. None in the family. It’s impossible. Well you have to be. You’re 300 lbs. No, I just like to eat…

    Anyway, an Angiogram is nearly enough an operation. You’re kind of drugged out of it. They feed a camera up through the wrist and into your chest and look around. They warned me they would probably have to run a roto-router through there to clean out all the crap caused by my smoking and diabetes and might even have to install a stent or two, if that was alright with me. Oh yeah. Give it your A game big guy.

    At the end of the day, I did finally get to talk to the doctor presiding over all this, instead of the general body of underlings. He was clearly pissed. What did you find Doctor. “Ah….hmmmm…I suppose a few “anomalies” but nothing of concern…really no blockages at all..” I waited. “Ok it was remarkably clear….Ummmmm… actually it was unnaturally clear. Can I ask what you eat?” “Various combinations of pork lard, flour, sugar and salt – the usual four basic food groups making up a Twinkie” was my reply. But I do also eat a lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken….

    Hmmm…hmmmm….And you don’t exercise?

    I just looked at him. Riiiiight….. I watch a little football on TV doc. But not like every game.

    And you’re diabetic…..

    NO I am NOT diabetic.

    Oh you HAVE to be diabetic.

    Well you’ve got my blood sugar listed in there somewhere from this morning don’t you?

    Hmmmmm…94…Well that can’t be right.

    Why can’t it be right? They measured it this morning. It’s either “right” or it’s “not right”. It’s a numeric measurement. What are you showing on the combined choleresterol?

    Hmmmm… well that can’t be right either…it shows 148. We’ll have to retest that.

    You already DID retest that. They retest that every time. I’ve never had a single blood test in my life. They ALWAYS do it twice.

    Well forgive me, but in my professional judgement, 148 just doesn’t make sense for a 300 lbs 60 year old smoker.

    Well, ok. In your “professional judgement” how does it jive with the angiogram you just completed yourself?

    Quite well of course…. but this is just highly unusual…

    I have a brother who weighs 170 lbs and runs three miles per day.

    And I suppose you’ll tell me his cholesterol is 375?

    No. I already told you. He’s my brother. 148.

    Well your arterial walls are completely clear…I cannot account for it…. but you needn’t worry about heart disease. I would still urge you to give up smoking and lose some weight.

    What for?

    That’s all I have Mr. Rickard…

    The session ended badly. The Doctor was clearly ANGRY at me for being in good health. And I was a bit nonplussed at his lack of professional curiosity or dedication to science. He suffered a bad case of already knowing everything, and any facts that inconveniently didn’t fit, could be dismissed as a personal insult. Sounds like battery guys all over again.

    My grandfather, Mason Emerson, was wheezing and blowing about like I do now, and at the same age. Overweight. Three packs a day. So starting at age 4, I sat around and listened to all the women folk and friends talk about what was to be done when Mason “passed.” I don’t recall a single week where this conversation wasn’t held.

    And one by one, I usually went with him as he buried them over the years. Until they were all gone. At 81, he WAS on oxygen, when he passed peacefully – with a camel in his mouth. I was left being very good at attending funerals and generally I enjoy them. I see more friends and family there than at any other single gathering.

    We live in a world of behavioral medicine. And I’m kind of an embarassing reminder that it is mostly based on myth and superstition. I have a sister who has been a vitriolic anti smoker and avid runner most of her annoying life. Today, she suffers from fibrosis, a terminal lung disease. Our mother died of it at 75. It is the only lung disease acknowledged by the medical community to have nothing whatsoever to do with cigarette smoking.

    The truth is, I am very very rarely sick. To the point that Im a big baby about a common cold, a boil, or a skin rash. The few bouts of influenza in my life were only terminal in my description and going on and on about it.

    So yes, with an absolute abhorrence of any kind of physical activity that could be described as exercise, two packs of camels a day, and an immense appetite for good food, good wine, good whiskey (and handsome women), I suffer pangs of guilt as dear friends and acquaintances fall from all manner of truly horrifying health problems. As best I can tell, I’ll be the last male left in Cape Girardeau with a prostate which should make me very popular among the soon to be seventy-something chics. And I don’t care if I do die in my sleep I am NOT going wear one of those ridiculous CPAP machines at night. No we can’t do the sleep study. It’s just not happening.

    It is not to crowe about. My father, two of his brothers, and one of his sisters each suffered seven or eight years of Alzheimers before passing. After observing this, I have to tell you, if I COULD purchase a heart attack for cash, I do have the ability to write one final check. But as fate would have it, my HEART will probably beat for four days after I’m dead before it finally gets the word gives me up as a goner.

    Not to be gloomy. You do get to meet a lot of new people every day. But I can kind of tell it hurts that lovely woman that brings me coffee every morning when I’m a little vague on what to call her.

    Bottom line is that my respect for the medical profession is not high. Like most of what I have looked at in life, it is hide bound in passed on misinformation with very little original work or even basic observation taking place or having any impact on Pharmaceutical Corporate literature and handouts.

    Bottom line…my health is embarassingly good. I know many of you think you know better…. it is just not so. I’m now officially an old guy. But one of the younger healthier ones.

    On staffing and restructuring of EvTV itself. With but a handful of us, it is not robust. Any changes in personnel can be devastating to such a tiny group and we’ve stumbled a bit in 2015. But Bill Bayer has done a marvelous job in two short months. He and Daphne appear to have the shipping and receiving going the right way and I’m pleased to report that if you order something now, you have at least a 50% chance of getting the right device within the first couple of attempted shipments.

    A young man named Preston Briggs, totally lacking in any form of education, theoretically home schooled but appears to have raised himself as a feral child, has proven remarkably adroit at learning electronic assembly and to manufacture connectors and cables – my least favorite thing in the world. He learns like a sponge and is unfailingly willing to take instruction and pursue things to completion. Attitude being 90% of everything, this guy is going to go far.

    And for a few months, we’ve added Sun Jialu, recent graduate of Southeast Missouri State University who’s headed for a graduate MBA program at Berkley in the fall. He theoretically will make it easier for me to communicate with the Chinese. So far, he seems to be learning from me how to talk to them. But hopefully that will invert soon. The Chinese can be hard traders as he is learning quickly. It is engaging to watch a Chinese in America learn to trade with the Chinese in China, viewing it from the American perspective. It strikes my sense of whimsey and more so that he is entirely conscious of the ironies at play.

    Patrick Somerhalder is an intern still attending SEMO. He stops by a few hours each week to chat and tell me all he knows, and I pay him minimum wage to do so. It reminds me what it was like to be young and know everything already. I often yearn for those days fondly myself. We mostly discuss the future opportunities in local food production, using the techniques developed to grow indoor plants during the infamous cannabis bubble of the 2016-2022 period. I predict that in a few years there will be thousands of empty warehouses available all equipped with grow lights and hydroponics after the price of cannabis collapses and big Pharma has taken it over. Perfect time for vine ripened tomatoes grown indoors. Fresh lettuce in February that DOESN’T have to travel 2500 miles to the grocers shelves.

    Collin and I mostly do software and documentation and that partnership has turned out remarkably symbiotic. As he also continues with the family business at K&K Manufacturing, indeed his father Tim Kidder has developed further interest in the electric side of automobiles and I’m hoping for a very exciting announcement there as a result of a JUST PASSED Federal Highway Bill. This past June Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) and Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) introduced the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, legislation that SEMA points out it had pursued since 2011. replicavehiclebill
    The act received strong bipartisan support and was inserted into the highway bill. When the bill passed last week, it became law, meaning low-volume car manufacturers can produce turnkey replica vehicles for customers nationwide, SEMA said. This bill allows manufacturers of turnkey cars some of the same freedoms of kit cars – exemption from crash tests and many other regulations. As long as total volume is 325 vehicles or less per year.

    It is interesting the cars DO have to pass emissions test. But they can use “approved” OEM engines to do it. Electric versions just don’t have the problem. This is kind of like the Billy Carter bill that allowed the home brewing of beer and wine and spawned hundreds of microbreweries across the land. By opening this little hole in the space/time fabric of federal vehicle regulations, there could potentially be hundreds of little electric car companies doing replica vehicles in electric drive. A small lean outfit can do pretty well on 325 vehicles per year. This would be like our electric Porsche Speedster. Or Hauber is doing an electric Beetle out in San Diego. But an electric ’57 Mercedes Benz 190SL would be very cool….with a Tesla drive train, cooler yet.
    190SLkkmfg

    Details to come but I THINK you have to register with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and I THINK you can then issue Vehicle Identification Numbers – allowing the cars to be registered.

    The implications to this for small electric vehicle startups could be enormous. Instead of trying to be General Motors – try making and selling 100 cars a year. It won’t terrify Elon Musk. But it could be a living. Electric Samba replica? Or a 67 Mustang? Picture Microbrewery vs. Annheiser Busch. If you gain a small following…..

    And then there is the transition in role of EVTV itself. We published weekly for six years for a single reason. Brian wanted me to. We were in theory a publication. He was actually an ad salesman. And that is what we knew and did best and had some history of success in the past. But the EV industry, compared to the development of the Internet, has actually been slower and well..kind of retarded in a way. Brian never sold an ad. The outcomes for startups have been a bloodbath. All players aimed for the moon and generally got slaughtered. Everyone wants to be the next GM or Tesla. There is no middle ground. And the noise of the Internet kind of drowns out all sanity.

    So we kind of transitioned from publication, to publication/product sales. We began selling components about five years ago largely due to just some egregious thefts and frauds that left builders simply paralyzed to make a purchase for fear of being swindled out of ten or twenty thousand dollars.

    And now we evolve further from product sales to product development – designing and producing tools and devices to adapt OEM components for use in conversions and startup prototyping activity. Along with just finding odd bits that do useful things.

    Here’s an example.EVTVDue5-2

  • This is a very simple thing. It’s an Arduino Due we redesigned and had manufactured with just a couple of minor changes. We eliminated one redundant USB port and replaced it with an excellent Texas Instruments CAN transceiver and a set of screw terminals. We also added an EEPROM. The Arduino Due didn’t have an internal EEPROM, so there was no way to really store persistent variables between power cycles. The SAM3X multicontroller already had two CAN channel controllers onboard. But you have to have a transceiver to actually connect that to a CAN network. So with the transceiver and screw terminals, it is trivial to connect this with a CAN network and do anything you want.

    Collin has done a CAN library titled due_can that makes talking to CAN networks in C++ VERY easy. He’s also done a CAN analysis program that just keeps getting better termed SavvyCAN. He has versions for Linux, MAC OSX, and Windoze. It lets you capture, record, playback, and analyze CAN traffic in ways you don’t even know you need until you use it to learn more about CAN.

    If you add a simple enclosure and a wire harness with the right connector, some more software, you get SavvyCAN for Tesla.TeslaCANN2-1-2 Indeed we’ve written a very short open source program to display 96 cell voltages and 32 module temperature sensors in your Model S.

    But if I put some different software with THAT and a slightly different connector, I can offer it with the charger out of a Chevy Volt.Lear-On-Board-Battery-Charger_medium

    Or a Delphi DC-DC converter out of a CODA. neweagledcdccon_medium

    We recently found a new device from Germany. The ISAscale IVT Module lets you measure 1000 amps of current, really up to 2000 amps for 10 seconds, with remarkable accuracy even at low charging levels. It also measures up to three pack voltages and your shunt temperature – all over CAN. We carry it in the 1000 amp version and the 300 amp version which covers more of our electric motors and controllers. But we needed 1000A for the Tesla Drive train. Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 3.09.22 PM-2

    We are also now in full stock and shipping the PowerkeyPro 2400. This is a CAN switch panel that is very rugged, very weatherproof, and let’s you read the condition of eight switches. You can also light them in amber, green, or red, or get them to blink between those colors in various combinations, all over a CAN network. We ship it with 8 blank black lens covers for the switches. You can take these to almost any print shop now and have them laser etched with whatever you want on the keys for about $2 per lens. So a custom CAN keyboard can be part of your system on whim.
    PowerKey_Pro_2400-2

      All of this is simply sharing the tools and toys we are using on a grander mission. That is the reverse engineering to make available ALL of the excellent components coming to pass as large volume OEMs struggle with the electric car equation. These are EXCELLENT components. With the exception of the batteries, generally MUCH better than the specialty item mom and pop shop we’ve had to make do with in the past. Much greater reliability, better design, and gradually more ubiquitous availability. They are actually MUCH less expensive and run the risk of becoming EVEN LESS EXPENSIVE IN THE FUTURE. This IS the path to enabling innovators and entrepreneurs to really play effectively in developing solutions for the future.

      In Great Britain, a long standing culture of very small car manufacturers do a few hundred, or in some cases a few dozen cars per year. All of the SUPERCARS coming out of Italy are generally measured in the HUNDREDs never the thousands. The only thing the U.S. has had is a kind of nasty little ghetto of kit cars. In truth, our favorite, Special Editions Beck Speedster, has for years done 125 cars a year and 111 of them are turnkey cars. Hardly anyone takes it as a kit. And no one has actually made it as a “kit car manufacturer” per se but you have to hide there to play at all. And it is difficult to get them licensed under the “kit car” thing. 640_DSC00848

      IF implemented correctly. The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act COULD make a huge difference in the world. It COULD for example support VINS and make licensing in all 50 states as simple as any car. And this is literally microbreweries all over again. A huge boom in tiny car companies. It has ONE itty bitty tiny flaw in it as written. You have to use an “approved” engine in it.

      Hah. We don’t need no stinkin engine AT ALL. As it turns out, I don’t think electric drive is going to have that problem. The EPA should be delighted with electrics. And there could literally be hundreds of tiny car companies five years from now. Who wouldn’t want a 1968 Camaro with a Tesla Model S drive train? Or a 1967 Ford Mustang? They actually make BRAND NEW steel stamped bodies for them now. I cannot adequately convey nor persuade how big a thing this could be in the future. How many jobs we are talking about. And what a great diversity of vehicles to choose from in the future. This could unleash a golden age of electric car innovation over the next decade. I mentioned last summer and fall that there is always this really “dark period” in the emergence of any really significant new technological trend. And that while awful, you almost seem to have to have one to get to the next level. I see us breaking out of that now into a future of devil take the hindmost.

      The amazing treasure chest of OEM parts has ONE wee tiny bit of a problem. They are TOTALLY USELESS until we learn to make them work in a car. Absolute boat anchors. And technology being what it is, non-trivial to perform.

      I hope this explains my apparent absence from the wheel of blog and video. We have a LOT going on. I haven’t been GONE. I’ve been BUSY. I’ve virtually ignored sales and shipping and video and blog.

      I’m pleased to announce we have an early indication of a working Tesla 10kW charger under CAN control.

      And the large sled of full Tesla Model S subclip I’ve been glaring at you over for the past six months does now turn. Indeed, no anomalies noted. Turns just as good as the one on the bench. It’s all going to come out GREAT and there will be some fabulous cars built because of it. But converting all that from “works” to something I can give somebody and ensure THEY can make it work is non-trivial. The Tesla Model S drive unit is so tightly integrated into the car, you basically have to build a Model S around it to get it to work.

      First is the interface. The key to controlling is it is the controls. You have to select Park or Neutral or Reverse or Drive. But also turn CREEP off and on. And set the parking brake. And change the regenerative braking. You need to be able to see what your RPM and MPH are, current and voltage would be nice, power output, state of charge, charge remaining. It goes on and on. We don’t have a 17 inch screen. We have 7. So we add an external switch panel to augment all of this and make sure you can actually put it in gear sunlight or no and moving or no.

      The wiring becomes extensive. Something like THIS.
      AlsetKitWiringDiagram3

      And so we drew it up and sent it to China to have some harnesses made. We’ll correct and adapt those and eventually produce them so they come as part of the kit. You’ll have six or seven wires on one connector to interface to the car.

      ADAPTING THE TESLA DRIVE UNIT

      Tesla has actually made their drive unit available to other OEMs including Mercedes Benz with their B-class electric and Toyota, with a very limited number of California compliance models of the RAV4-EV.

      Indeed Tesla has left a very unique legal door open in proclaiming their technologies “open source” and publicly announcing that they will not pursue legal remedies against anyone making use of their patents to develop electric vehicles. You could literally manufacture the Tesla Drive Unit without fear of legal issues with Tesla.

      And you can use the Tesla Drive Unit in your prototype designs without fear of legal action by Tesla. That means under the Love Volume Vehicle Manufacturers Law you could use salvaged Tesla components and Tesla can’t say much about it. IF you can get them to work.

      But they have been much less receptive to requests from individuals and small entities. And for a pretty ordinary reason. The drive unit is very tightly integrated into the car in every way. It takes a significant amount of engineering to get it to work at all outside of its native environment IN a Tesla Model S. And so Tesla is very hesitant to work with anyone that might be doing just a handful of vehicles. The engineering support effort is too vast to invest in any entity not resourced to reach a successful outcome and potentially many thousand vehicles.

      An example of the problem. The Tesla Model S features a computer controlled Anti-Lock Braking System(ABS) and Traction Control System. Speed sensors in each wheel allow this computer to modulate brake pressure to prevent skidding in the case of braking and to maintain torque to both wheels in the case of traction control. As a result, the drive unit itself features a simple open differential in the single speed gearbox. I had misspoke this earlier as using the parking brake system. It’s the main braking system of course.

      To put the drive unit in another vehicle or just any vehicle, without traction control, you have up to 310 kW of power and 600 Newton-meters of torque going to an open differential that would normally lead to a potential tire smoking acceleration on ONE wheel. This is a recipe for disaster – indeed a ticket to a wreck in many situations. Basically, it’s unsafe at any speed.

      I have been talking about the high number of wrecked Model S’s (leading to the rainfall of parts) even WITH traction control. And I have kind of mentioned that not everyone is suited to putting 310kW to the rear wheels and doing zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Actually, what is MORE dangerous is “punching it” when you’re already going down the road at 45. That’s how Elon wrecked his McLaren. The response from our viewership has been if anything condescending. Clearly I’m just not in your NASCAR league when it comes to driving.

      Actual I’ve got more dual than anyone at United Airlines and I fly jets guys. And helicopters. I drove the USS Midway one beautiful evening on the Indian Ocean. So you can smirk all the way to the emergency room. Check out this little compilation. About half are perfectly in control vehicles on clear highway that just had the ass end break away from raw power and wrecked the car.

      SFR is right. For myself, power and balance and weight etc. are all about elegance of design and more power isn’t just the deal. It should all blend into a delightful balanced whole. But I’m IN the minority. Everybody wants mo power. And I have no doubt putting Tesla Model S drive units in smaller lighter cars is going to be huge. But with the open differential and no traction control, I don’t see a good outcome.

      EVTV, working with Doug Yip of Oregon, has actually contracted with RT Quaife Engineering of Otford Kent U.K. to custom design a version of their Automatic Torque Biasing Limited Slip Differential, as a drop in replacement for the Eaton open differential in the Tesla Drive Unit. The ATB is a proven performer in vehicles such as the Porsche Cayman S and essentially ALL BMW models and is actually one of the most popular upgrades available for a BMW.

      Indeed this differential would dramatically improve handling of the Model S WITH the electronic traction control. Fully compatible with manufacturer electronic traction control and anti-lock braking systems, the Quaife ATB differential offers a number of key advantages in both functionality and service life compared to conventional plate-style LSD units.

      Silent in operation (even during low-speed parking manoeuvres) the Quaife ATB limited slip unit never ‘locks,’ making it progressive, safe and user friendly. Unlike plate-style LSD designs there are no clutches, ramps, springs or other wear prone components to replace at regular intervals, because the Quaife ATB’s well-proven system of helical gears is extremely durable, plus it’s designed to use standard transmission oils.
      quiafe copy
      This makes the Quaife ATB limited slip differential a genuine ‘fit and forget’ upgrade that offers compromise-free performance and unbeatable reliability on the street, strip, stage or circuit, backed by limited lifetime warranty.

      Precision manufactured from certified steel billets and inspected to ISO9001-2008 standards, the key performance features of the Quaife ATB helical gear limited slip differential include:

      Safe, progressive and seamless in action, the Quaife ATB differential never ‘locks’

      Controlled power is transmitted to all driven wheels, to maximise traction and minimise wheelspin, particularly in slippery conditions

      Fitment greatly reduces unwanted torque steer, understeer or oversteer

      Designed to work in harmony with road car electronic stability and traction control programs

      Improves braking performance on front wheel drive cars by reducing lock up and minimising ABS intrusion due to torque transfer action

      Reduces tire wear, especially on front wheel drive cars

      Gear operated with no service components to replace – ever

      Direct replacement for factory standard ‘open’ differential unit

      Retains normal axle lubrication systems and maintenance schedule

      In this way, we can achieve a safer and more capable drive system with excellent handling characteristics for cars WITH traction control or without. Since 1988 Quaife has shipped over 100,000 ATB units and has become the darling of the race circuit and performance crowd.

      And so EVTV has found that simply lifting a Tesla Drive Unit from the salvage yard and providing the correct CAN messages to turn it on was simply not viable for any practical application. A means of selecting drive modes, monitoring various aspects of operation, and wiring the unit into another vehicle have all posed challenges beyond the basic safety issues of the open differential. But one by one, we’ve worked each of them off – leading to the ALSET drive system package. It’s not TESLA, but it’s close.

      Finally, Version 1.00 of anything just never does quite work. Design is unfortunately a reiterative process and the only ones who think otherwise have not suffered many successful designs. I mean, that’s just the way it is. But we think the Tesla Model S drive train is the crown jewel of all EV components. I would love to offer it to our viewers and lay awake nights dreaming of the cars THEY are going to build with it. But we’re trying our best to envision all the gotchas we can up front, work off the obvious problems, so we at least have a “good” 1.00 to launch from. That’s taking more time and effort than I would like. I’ve annoyed and frustrated everyone I’ve worked with on it. I’m sure Tesla didn’t take this long to do it from scratch. But at this point, I can smell the finish line. And it’s going to lead to some breathtaking electric cars – beyond anything I knew to envision starting out. Along with a few wrecks probably.

      Not all has been serious here at EVTV. Recall I have been fascinated with a device original proposed on a crowd funding service termed the SCROOSER. Well I finally after three years received notice from them that they are ready to build my $5000 electric scooter.

      Apparently it took them that long to get the Yingyan scooter factory in China to manufacture them for them. And thanks to Sun Jialu, we received 13 of them this week from China at much reduced cost. Both the German and the Chinese envision this as the next great thing for young, affluent urban metrosexuals. And of course they are probably right. I’m picturing it with a milk crate to carry your groceries or small hardware purchases for guys in their 60’s – old koots as it were. So we’re calling it the “Kooter” and offering it WITH crate mounted at $1799. Probably a version with street legal lights at $1999. We don’t need those in the state of Missouri but would you believe my home town of Cape Girardeau passed an idiotic city ordinance requiring them anyway? Gak. Sea of tiny minds.
      <

      So we have a dozen in stock now and you can play and enjoy crazily the Kooter. The Scooter for Old Koots. Or of course young urban metrosexuals who like milk crates.

      We also received our first shipment of FIREBANE Fire Extinguishers. If it warms up enough around here for outdoor sports we plan a special Lithium Battery Cookout and Barbecue which will terminate with a Firebane extinguisher to find out if it really puts out any fires. We’ll have those in the store at a breathtaking $895 each this week. I know. Good lithium battery fire extinguishers are hard to find at a good price. If you don’t buy them, I’ll have plenty. And for reasons previously discussed, that’s ok. I’m a believer now. And I sincerely hope you never have to become one. So its all good. I plan on selling them to those who HAVE had a fire and dont’ want to face another one unarmed. Less quibbling that way. Don’t ask me how I know.

      I promise we WILL continue the videos and blogs. A little bit overwhelmed and underwater at the moment. But its all coming together.

      Jack Rickard