Breaking Cover: A Bunch of Random Thoughts

So, I’ve been completely covered up between school, my family, a bout with COVID, trying to get some fitness back, and most recently having lost a co-worker from this world. Saying it’s been a heck of a year for everyone is an understatement. Unfortunately this blog is just a hobby at the end of my list of responsibilities and other hobbies (cycling). It’s also always been a bit of self therapy. I have a bunch of ideas burning up the back of my brain that I could dedicate whole blog posts too. Instead, I’ll list them here and y’all can talk amongst yourselves. I’m on twitter as well, @ttxgpfan. These are mostly car focused as getting our Chevy Bolt last summer has squirreled my two-wheeled focus. Here we in no particular order:

#1. The all Electric F-150 will be more practical than the F-150 Hybrid, as long as I can go rent the gas powered range extender from my local Ford Dealer when I need to tow something

#2. Ford didn’t buy into Rivian to help with their F-150 build. That was too far down the road. They bought into Rivian to help with electrification of the Heavy Duty trucks. Also, is no one noticing that the Transit Electric van is finally only coming to production 2 or 3 years after the purchase of Rivian stock? That maybe unrelated, but hmmmm.

#3. GM can’t ever catch a break. Did you know that the hybrid system on the current F-150 is 3/4 the size of the pack on the ’09-’13 Chevy Silverado Hybrids, and 2/3s the power output? Seriously! WTF? And that was after the mild hybrid system in the ’04 and ’05 Silverado’s. Then they tried again in 2017 and 2018 with and 0.45kWhr system offering only half the efficiency gains. No one cares. But Ford puts outlets on the back pilling a mere 10hp (7.2kW) and the world losses their minds.

#4. When is someone going to make an all electric competitive tractor pull machine? There are ignorants that need putting down.

#5. Tesla fan boys are going to keep Tesla from their potential. I feel this one is a fact. The current crop of fan boys are nothing more than a bunch of bullies, and stupid lemmings at that. In one of those survey’s only YouTuber’s dig up Tesla owner’s have FAR exceeded BMW owner’s in obnoxiousness. You almost can’t turn to any of the original EV YouTube channels and not hear snark, or just plain disappointment in the current crop of Tesla Fanboys. “Like Tesla” changer her channel’s name because she wanted to separate herself from this crowd! The push back will be real.

#6. What is the real story on why EA, Chargepoint, EVgo, and others don’t have Tesla plugs on their chargers? Why would they not try to tap into that market as well (and no comments about a few test units please)? And why, after 12 years, has Tesla not made Superchargers with CCS plugs and a payment system? This makes no business sense.

#7. My wife points out that Tesla only markets towards rich people. At first I baulked against her accusation. But when you look at the location of their stores and Superchargers here in Florida, its hard to argue against.

#8. If Florida is the third largest state in EV ownership why doesn’t Kia sell EVs here? And why do all the car salesmen try to tell me there’s no market for EVs here?

#9. Having CCS and Tesla chargers in different locations is a form of segregation, and creating massive tribalism. See #5.

#10. Dear Elon, no matter how many times you says its not, Tesla IS the car maker version of Apple. All the way from your proprietary charging cables to your fanboys who completely ignore changing technology and who loudly stay in their own echo chambers. And it is completely your responsibility.

#11. I have heard Kyle Conner of Out Of Spec Motoring complain about GM’s car decisions in general. Not just the EV side. Is it possible that a few years ago they put the B team in charge of the gas cars, and set the A team to the task of setting the company up for EV success? I feel like that fits what we have been seeing.

#12. EV adaption is not a thing until ALL the single moms who work a retail job can afford a reliable used one that fits their needs.

#13. THERE ARE NO HYDROGEN STATIONS!!!! Take a look on a map. A handful in Southern California, and a few random research centers around the country.

#14. For consumers who need to tow things long distances range extenders are the best bet until battery tech catches up, and all chargers have pull through bays. However hydrogen is not a solution until you can actually buy it somewhere. Propane is better, but still not convenient. Diesel isn’t even the most convenient. Not every gas station offers it, as well as not every nossel is compatible (that’s right Tesla and CCS didn’t invent this crap). A gasoline/petrol range extender is the most convenient solution as far as I can see.

#15. Ford’s proposed drop in gas range extender is brilliant! What’s the best part of owning an EV? Not changing and worrying about oil changes, and leaks, coolant changes and leaks (these systems are far mor stressed in an ICE system than an EV), belts failing, exhaust systems rusting, exhaust manifold gaskets failing, radiators getting damaged (when’s the last time you heard of an EV owner having to change their radiator?), U-joints, transmission shafts failing, all the damn filters, sparkplugs, all the damn sensors, coils, injectors, fuel pumps, gas tanks developing leaks, emissions equipment failing, and what ever else I forgot. Basically everything in you local auto parts store! You have an all electric truck with way lower fuel costs and plenty of power. No gas motor to worry about. The few times a the year you need to tow something you go to the Ford dealer and rent the range extender. When you come back from your camping trip (etc.) you return it. You are not responsible for the maintenance, they are. No gas motors and systems taking up precious room in the truck the EV system could be using. Just a beautiful, useful, cheap to run, and simple pick-up truck that does everything you need it to do. Including towing long distances the few times a year you need it too.

That’s all I have for now. This should keep everyone busy for a minute or two. 😀

Gone quiet hopefully for just a minute

My unused Music Room. Thanks for nothing COVID-19

I had written so many articles that I had scheduled out that I forget where they were ending. I just checked and boom, 2 weeks and no posts. There are much more important things for me to do than . . . no there are just more important things than electric motorcycles. I am doing double duty creating and doling out lessons for both my online and in person music students. Add to that getting upgraded tech to work and get the kids using it, and all the other stuff has kept me more than busy. But I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t blog faded again, I just have more important things to tend to.

But don’t worry I have saved ideas for at least 9 posts. and I am currently caught up on MotoE. So I will continue to use this space as a place blog and hopefully clear my mind, and have some fun trying to think hard about something other than music teaching, and keep that brain wrinkling.

ADVRider Interviews Zero’s “New” CEO

So, as you’ll hear Mr. Paschel has been the CEO for 3 years now. Not that I noticed as I don’t usually pay attention to such things. But this does give me hope that in the future when I hear or read “Zero Motorcycles” I won’t have an immediate negative reaction. My take away is this, while they will not get into racing I can now believe that they would be sponsors of the Formula Lightning class in AHRMA. There is a strong racing culture internally in Zero, and I feel I have communicated that clearly in the past. I feel he intends to leverage that in a smart subtle way. Apparently Zero can’t make bikes fast enough now. That’s awesome. I also pulled from this interview that from here on out Zero will be putting out bikes to speak to me like Brammo did. Although, I gravitate to proper sport bikes or GT’s like a VFR. So maybe not completely my thing, but still something I can look at and think “oohhh”. Like the SR/F and SR/S do now.

He talks about the (I’ll use the word) clinical image Zero was working with before and how he is shaping that narrative from clinical to more emotional. And I think that is the perfect move at the perfect time. But I want to defend the clinical style. At the time they came out I feel that was the crowd that was buying the bikes, and that was going to buy the bikes. At that time I feel like that was the right move. But as they have grown those guys already have their bikes, and its time for the “normals” to get in on some elmoto action, and Mr. Paschel’s new way of communicating what the bike is, I feel is very much perfect timing. Maybe evil Corporation Boards are helpful . . . nah.

But there was a record scratching moment at the end. He said, and I am going to paraphrase here, so grain of salt time, they were the most technologically advanced bikes on the market. Ahh, yeah, no. First of all you are running air cooled motors and controllers. Now, if you want to talk about how much Zero is getting out of air cooled tech, well OK, that’s a conversation. But air cooled makes you the Harley-Davidson of the electric motorcycle world. And even Harley doesn’t want to be Harley right now. And then Harley came out of the gates with DC Fast charging, a feature Energica has had for years! Like actual years. And liquid cooling, etc. Oh, and their bikes can hold up to MotoGP riders and still put on a show. And if you don’t think riders of that caliber can find limits that other have failed to find, 1) you’re fooling yourself, and 2) ask Marc Fenigstein. Kenyon is fast, but he’s not that fast. But those two bikes have DC fast charging and Zero engineers are still working on it? Yeah, they are obliviously really good at what the do, but most advanced. Look I watched with my eyeballs As Eric Bostrom did 160mph through the tri-oval at Daytona with a Ducati of some sort trying to keep up. The claim to “most advanced” is . . . I ah . . . I mean you came to market with a Sport Tourer that many have compared to a VFR and no DC Fast Charger! The argument I hear was the option charge tank get you pretty much DC Fast charging speeds. THAT ONLY WORKS IN EUROPE, where they have 22kW AC charging stations. Oh, and Energica just leap frogged them in battery capacity. I really dig this guy, but damn, why you got to set me off like that. LOL.

Oh, wait. The Zeros are way lighter than everyone else’s bikes. Son of a . . .

I feel the argument can very much be made that if you are looking for a commuter bike Zero should be the first place you look. They have a dealer network that is experienced, their bikes are simpler, and they go as far as everyone else’s, well unit this year anyway. I have another reason to like Zero. Their website has been updated, and I need to check out if there is anything that sets me off like usual. If not, then I’ll have to stop whining and complaining. That’s so gonna suck. ;D

A few final thoughts. This guy came onboard right after my blogging fell off. Coincidence? Well, no its not safe, Brrahahaha. And please, will someone let Mr. Paschel know that I am not to be taken seriously. Unless you are Energica [snort].

Elmoto specific Tire (Tyre) tech developing under FIM Moto-E

Curse Tom Moloughney for having been perfectly reasonable the last 2 weeks. Instead, I have been working hard to get into the FIM’s Moto-E series. But weird internet, and no one really writing about it, or talking about it. And if they do it is buried in the middle of a bunch of other stuff and I have no way of finding it. Also, the being only one bike means the excitement of development isn’t being talked about, and not really there. I’m not saying developments aren’t being made, it just lacks the excitement I craze due to there being an only manufacturer. So the MotoGP site it is. They seem to have an 18 rider 12 team field again this year. They lost Bradley Smith though. I don’t see Sete on the 2020 roster either. But there is a bunch of other name I recognize, even though I haven’t watched GP racing in years. So its looking up. And it seems to be working for Energica as the is almost a dozen posts on their News page about opening up agreements with one country after another. All the while their stock continues to slowly decline. They are bringing in much more revenue each year, but they are spending significantly more. But their new + bikes are coming with 21kWhr packs and weigh less than the 13kWhr bikes from 2019. There is a lot of progress going on, and exposure through. I feel like it watching the early days of Tesla, but maybe I’m optimistic. I sure as to heck know very little about the stock market. Meh.

Anyway, to the point, check out this video of a Michelin tech/engineer talking about their new recycled tires for the Moto-E bikes.


So Here’s What I’m Thinking

Ok, so here I am writing like more than 3 people read this blog (Hi Sweetie!). And there’s something I have struggled with. I NEED to be writing because I want to, and the number of people who read it should be of no concern. But I am human and fallible, I get sucked into that numbers thing. I have written about this many times when the stress/annoyance factor had reached a height and I realized it was because my goal had become numbers, not content or the stress relief blogging can provide. This time is different. I have a family and am finally at my career goal, teaching music. And really, trying to figure out how to teach music during this Pandemic is my primary goal. This is just a nice way to distract myself and keep myself balanced. I would very much like to post once a week. I’m not sure that is going to happen. It’s a nice goal that I will not sweat.

There is plenty of Elmoto content out there, but its all buried on sites that cover either the EV space or the Motorcycle space. The only site (I’m looking at you Jensen!) that has a “electric” tab still is A lot of them used to. Tell me the market is better than it was 6 years ago. And then there’s YouTube. Sooooo many motorcycle YouTubers. I really like New Zeroland. He has a level of humility, balance, and positivity that I’m not sure I ever reached. And if I did, I didn’t have it for long. I mean the felling of “washed up old has-been” emanating off of me when watching these videos is palpable, I’m sure. I would also like to do the occasional podcast. I have a person or two I’d like to talk to. I also have an idea much like the my short lived YouTube go, on an Elmoto news aggregate. Not sure how or why. Maybe that would make a good audio podcast.

I have TONS of work that can be done on this website. The site needs organizing, and updating. I need to find as many of my ESBK articles to post as I can. I lost them when I couldn’t afford to keep the website any longer. Also, I’ve had hard drive corrupt and lost most of my podcasts. I’d like to try to recover those and post them to YouTube like the Brutus guys told me I should have 7 years ago. I have much more to do than I can handle, so its going to be slow going. I’d also like to show up to Daytona for a round of AHRMA’s electric series. Oh wait; is that series still going . . . ? Oh, yep! It’s in its 7th season and has added 2 exhibition classes for the 2020 season. But oh wait . . . no rounds in Daytona this year. GD oufits!

So . . . ah . . . yeah. Keep the rubber side down.

What’s New and Musings on why I’ve Slipped Away [Tom gets a reprieve . . . this week. ;)] [updated already]

I started writing this blog post almost 2 years ago. Back then it had been well over a year since my last post. And I’d been a bit busy for the last 5+ months! Lil’ Richy, as we call him, and he was born at the end of May. Right as practices were happening for the TT and at the time, my full time job was working at Best Buy. As retail company’s go they are one of the best to work for, but they are a retail company and my hours fluctuated wildly. Before that I was a laid off Oil Industry worker milking them to subsidize me while I made a big push to finish my Music Education degree. But before that was the start of the decline of this blog, I got work in the Oil Industry. The money was good, but being gone for 5 weeks and then home for 5 didn’t work out like I liked. I was trying to expand what I did, but time constraints and vastly slower internet than compared to what I needed on the boat put a crimp in things. Also, I was recovering financially and I had got a quote on trying to level up the site; it was just too much. Then the TTXGP closed its doors, and Shelina Moreda went to gas bikes full time. Coming back towards today in the timeline Brammo handed production of the Empulse over to Polaris who, if opinion of the Brammo Owner’s forum at the time still stands, clearly did not put the effort into building them to the same standards that the guys in Oregon did. One year later and the Empulse is no more, and neither is Vitory for that matter. I desperately tried to get the financing for an EBoz limited edition Empulse, and failed [sigh]. Oh, but Zero continued on with their infuriating marketing. And then I found out about a year after it had happened that Brian Weismann, Director of Product Development for Brammo is now working with the same title, for Zero. Good on him, but I was taken by surprise. There really was no reason to be, just the race fan in me, but also a sign to myself how out of touch I was now. At that point I had moved to KY with my soon to be wife. Back to Zero marketing, if you have seen one of their advertisements from after Brian joined Zero I think Brammo fans will recognize the feel of the video, and the riding gear. I only check out their marketing to see if there are improvements in the marketing BS. Nope, and there is a guy who had just run across Zero and had made more than a few videos dedicated to the same things I’ve hated for years.

That kind of brings me to another topic. I truly believed that racing was the way to a better product. But Zero is still here with their Board members and no official racing, and Brammo is not. Tesla should be in Formula-e showing what they can do, but instead it looks like (if you talk to the right people) they are poised to drive all of the car companies in the world out of business.  When I started writing this, I had heard the deliveries of the Model 3 were out selling every single car in the US. So racing is clearly not necessary. Just an army of engineers apparently. That realization is something I am still coming to terms with. I haven’t been in the blogging scene for a few years now, with only the TT Zero getting me excited enough to write a post and cover things a bit.

But another reason I started to stop writing was that I felt I was becoming the type of person I started blogging and podcasting to counter in the first place. When I first started there was a lot of misinformation. The thing that got me was when I read two, but it might have been three, sources that supposedly transcribed what was said at a press conference and none of them matched. If they were transcribed properly they should match. The other thing was it was early days and the innovating people were not polished and or experienced speakers, or atleast talking to the press. You would read a quote and you could take it a few different ways. I wanted to do podcasts and interview these folks, and let their inflections come through and let people hear how they were saying these things so they could understand what was being communicated more clearly. Well, I had done so many interviews, and read and written so many e-mails, and written so many posts, both factual and editorial, that I found myself swearing someone had said this, or this was that way, or what ever, and when I dug back into my articles and interviews I found I was remembering some things wrong. And to stop the spreading of misinformation was why I started it, and if I was now one of the causes I either needed to mitigate things or stop all together.

And, as I wrote in one post, I was becoming pretty jaded, and that isn’t helpful either. What really put the nail in the coffin for me, atleast keeps my volume down is that jadedness. Anytime I looked back into electric motorcycles all I had was anger and frustration. There is a Windows blogger and now podcaster named Paul Thurrott. I got into a Windows podcast he was part of as a place to start. After only a few years of yelling at the screen I realized his snarkiness, over stating of things one day only to be dismissive of the same thing the next, refusal to see things from the point of view of the designers, insistence that he knew better than engineers and Cooperate officers, and general willingness to use facts as a giant paint roller instead of the detailing brush they were to make his point and dismiss others, was not my time spent well, and not actually helpful. And that I was becoming the elmoto version of him. This is simply not helpful, and damaging to a genre of motorcycling I had devoted a large amount of my time too.

By not being able to keep facts straight (mind you only a few and I’d say well within what most people find acceptable, jut not me), finding my belief’s in brands and philosophy’s proven wrong by the closing of such brands with whom I had a shared philosophy, and becoming destructively jaded and unable to see the positivity of things became too much. But there were a few more things more concrete. I had messed up Google Adsense somehow and could not make any money to support my efforts, and had no human to contact to get me out of it. And finally one of the bigger Motorcycle websites was actively trying to undermine me. Part of getting readers, and hence hits, was that the bigger websites weren’t covering the same things. Well this site (which I can’t remember which one) started posting articles right after I would post something, and usually about similar subjects. It was very effective at dropping traffic to my site. But I realized one of the reasons I was doing what I was doing was because no one else was covering what I was. And if a bigger publication was going too, then I’d step a side with little to no regrets. So I did that. But then said publication stopped posting elmoto content. So I started back up, and again they would match me post for post. It was a game I did not have the energy for. And the last thing was trying to keep interviews going for the podcast. It was becoming very regular, that guests I had booked wouldn’t make it. Or I could get two one week and none the next. And it seemed there was always someone needing the podcast to go out in a timely manner in order for it to be worth their time, which was reasonable. I chalked it up to the industry maturing and my site not growing in importance with them. But these were all speed bumps that kept adding up to something I no longer had the energy or resources to work with.  Maybe I never did.

So here I am, no longer recently homeless, or struggling as a bicycle mechanic, renting a room in Tennessee. I am married, with a 2-year old boy who is a blast, and finally a music teacher living in South West Florida. Oh, and I just bought a Chevy Bolt. I still don’t have my motorcycle working, so that hasn’t changed. But I look at the elmoto scene and it is worse than it was. There are Really expensive elmotos to buy from the same brands accept H-D has replaced Brammo. There is no more elmoto racing at the Ilse of Mann or Pikes Peaks (well no more motorcycle racing period). Nothing has replaced the TTXGP. Local series might as well not exist for all the good they are doing in making actual progress in making elmotos take on as much of a share of the market as electric cars. Now, they exist for fun for those who can commit to such series, and I am by no means saying they should be shut down if you thought that is what I was going for. Lightning’s flaws as a company lead to a near full on “Lightning is a Fraud” campaign on You Tube. Brammo announces a motorcycle that they actually produced but because it wasn’t available right then Hollywood Electrics and Ted Dillard (particularly) lead a loud and long campaign against the company. HE later went on to sell Brammo bikes, so . . .

Yeah a little bitter still, but I feel I’m fair in that. So lets summarize. Zero: still progressively better bikes with marketing that just as crap as the day they got rid of Neal. But they employ two of my favorite elmoto industry people. Lightning: Still a hot mess with hot bikes. CRP, uhh, eCRP, uhh Energica?: Currently building the kind of bikes the German’s beat then with in the first place. And they stayed close enough the FIM to help them possibly get some racing going that will make some kind of difference, maybe? Brammo: Who? Harley Davidson: [in my mind] Killers of Mission Motors and BRD, uhh Alta Motors. But they make a solid elmoto! TTXGP: What was that? Grassroots series: how are those going for you? Electric Motorcycles: Getting SMASHED by electric bicycle sales.

That’s all I have for now. I have to go mow the lawn with my 5 year old electric lawn mower. 😉

[Update part] Meh, the lawn can wait a second. I forgot one bright spot, Brian Wismann and Ely Schless’ Lightfighter. A race specific motorcycle, with race specific geometry, and a club race sized pack. Half the size of of the Moto-E Energica bike. The last bastion of elmoto race based purity?

via Studio for WP app.

What Tom got wrong this week: A new reason to post?

So I’ve been massively quite over the last few years. And that is for reasons I hope to find time to write about soon. But mostly because I was finding myself wrong more than I felt was acceptable, and I was just getting grumpy and negative. I feel being quiet was much less damaging to the industry than being negative.

Now life has been slowly settling down for me, and my want to blog again has been slowly growing. Also I bought an EV two months ago, have a 40 minute commute, and Inside EV’s has a new podcast. I have tried to listen to Electrek’s podcast, I find it painful. This one is much better. But in every episode I have listened to so far Tom Moloughney says something that I think is . . . well, lets just say that I strongly disagree with. I am used to seeing him on the “E for Electric” where he states his opinion, and then Eli Burton is brought on quickly debunks something Tom said with reason and facts. I actually like having both opinions on that show. And funny enough I feel like Kyle Conner fills Eli Burton’s role on the Inside EVs podcast. But this week He said something that I had been thinking seriously about for a while now; AC charging.

In Episode 18 Martyn, the guy who sounds like he’s commentating a round of the British Touring Car Championship every episode, mentions the 19kW onboard AC charger, and how there’s a ton of 22kW AC chargers around Europe. He sounds very positive. Well, then it’s Tom’s turn and now its a tragic mistake mistake that Tesla had to learn, and why is Caddy making these kinds of simple mistakes, and it’s clearly evidence that they don’t know what they are doing. And, more than likely unintentionally, he makes it sound like this dual charger option Tesla originally had on their cars was such a disaster that it almost put the company under. Really Tom? It was that bad? Really? He does point out that Because of how US homes are wired putting in a big enough charger to make full use of the dual chargers could mean a very expensive upgrade to your house wiring. He said $6000. Ok, sure Tom. Point is, I can see that being a pain point. And it was an option. I’d be upset if I paid extra for an option that was going to cost me A LOT more money after the fact. Especially if I needed that extra charge speed to make the car do what I needed to do. But that was 10 years ago and the Model S back then went what, 200 miles? Things have changed. But quickly, another scenario is that you have a tiered electricity rates, and the cheapest rate has a small window.

But was it such a big deal? The Lyriq also offers an optional 19kW charger. And despite even the article on Inside EVs stating it was at home charging, I don’t think that is the point at all! The J1772 is NOT just for at home charging. It is for Level 2 convenience charging, which gives me the impression the Inside EVs guys don’t do much of that. Now Robert Llewellyn at Fully Charged states that convenience charging is the real way to go. Now Robert lives in England and he owns the first Leaf sold in the UK I believe, so that makes sense. Well, to me anyway. My experience is a bit in the middle, but definitely leaning more towards the Inside EVs guys apparent use case. Now originally I thought it was just standard. That all Lyriqs came with this, but making it an option does add credence to what Tom was saying, damn it.

Look, I have a 2020 Chevy Bolt, and honestly my wife and I are happy using the EVSE that came with the car. It’ll pull 120V and 12A. And it turns out if you make an adapter it’ll pull 240V and 12A and charge twice as fast. And that is with putting 2500 miles on the car in 2 months of ownership. Now we did use 160kWhrs of juice from EVgo and Electrify America DC Fast Chargers in the first month of ownership. But last month we only sipped on a free Level 2 charger for 30 minutes, or about 3kWhrs. So my experience tells me a normal 7.2kW home charger (EVSE for the nomenclature police) is plenty. With a 100kWhr pack I can see an 11kWhr home charger giving you more piece of mind, which is still well within reason for home circuit breaker boxes and something that Tesla, Chargepoint, and a few other home charge manufacturers offer (Grizzl-e needs to up their game!). This is fast enough for home where you car is plugged in for hours. But I do not believe that is fast enough for convenience charging with the current sized packs. Having lived with the Bolt for 2 months now there things that you feel when it comes to range and charging that are hard to communicate in a logical manner, but bare with me and compare it to your experiences. Because my pack and range are over double the first gen Nissan Leafs and other EVs of the era when I see convenience chargers my reaction is either not fast enough, not necessary, or not worth the price. I gave this some serious thought, and even asked my wife about why this might be. Here’s my answer so far, its not fast enough for longer range cars. The older cars had smaller packs, which meant you couldn’t travel as far and a 6kW or 7kW charge rate was going to give you a 20% pack increase in an hour, but on my Bolt its only 10%. Considering I probably drove further to get there, and that I wouldn’t want to spend much more than an hour in a mall or shopping 10% isn’t enough to make me feel like it was worth it, or that it was going to be enough to get me home. So I’d be looking for a (now) more common DC Fast charger. But, if I could get a 20% convenience charge that makes things more comfortable. It kind of makes me want to get a Tesla Tap so I can use that 11kW charging, BUT the Bolt can only charge at a max of 7.7kW. Us Bolt owners short changed on charging again. But in a Lyric IF you had access to convenience charger that could put out as much power as the car could take, that would give you 20% in an hour; well 19%.

But that’s the rub, there are no AC chargers that fast in the US. Well no, but if a bunch of GM vehicles start coming with 19kW chargers, and enough are on the road, the chargers will come. And I think it’s something that should happen. I also don’t feel it is a coincidence that Europe has a bunch of chargers that will work, and GM will want to use as many of the same parts as possible across EVs, so I expect to see it in future models. I feel its the right thing to do. However, to Tom’s point, it is an option. And I think that is an actual sticking point. I think all Caddy’s should come with the fastest charging possible standard. There should be no option, it should be a 19kW onboard charger and a DC Fast charger. This would push things a long in the community, and save from customer confusion. Training would be easier, “Yes the car can charge faster than any of the Level 2 chargers can provide, but its futureproof, and its much more capable than what you need at home”. I think that’s the rub, there is NOTHING wrong with having a more powerful on board charger, and suggesting such is ridiculous. But I believe the rub comes from making it an option. But that’s me.

Thanks for stopping by,


H-D, Zero, and Lightning. What now?


So literally only a few months after killing not one but TWO American elmoto start-ups, Harley reveals they are actually going to make their Live Wire elmoto. Where are they getting their drivetrains? And better yet why are they selling their bike for $10k more than and Energica Ego that outperforms it in every way imaginable?  Who the heck knows.

But before that was announced and shortly after Lightning posted some staged photos of their LS218 being built after something like 4 years. Zero announces their new Zero SR/F. I just can’t get excited about this thing after re-reading some articles and remembering how much air cooling limited the Zeros, even though they did make a lot of progress thanks, in part, to racers that the company didn’t officially support. However, two people I very much respect who now work for Zero have posted on their personal Facebook pages how much work has gone into this bike and how much they hope people like it. So this gives me pause. I thought if these two racer types are excited then maybe we’re looking at liquid cooled motors finally. But after reading Asphalt and Rubber’s article, it sounds like some restyling, a 20kWh pack, and bigger motor, plus more money. Could it even touch an Ego though? And I continue to be completely unimpressed by Zero specifically because of their marketing tactics that I do not see any improvements in, so I just can’t get excited.

And then Lightning shows up again, this time with its Strike. They are claiming 150mph top speed. 150 miles range, a 35-minute fast charge time, and a starting price of $13k.  WHOA. Hold the phones!  “Starting price” is the universal way to say you don’t get any of those stats for this price. I fully expect the bike that has those stats to cost $20k, but give the Ego a serious run for its money. But readers of the ESBK site should remember that Lighting has been working on a budget bike for quite some time now. I need to dig for those photos.

Well, good or bad, there is news to be had. Too bad my take is that its just more hype, or misleading marketing than substance. But we will know for sure in the next few months. I really need to get my Interceptor running so I can get my motorcycle endorsement again.

No Toyota isn’t against EVs, and how I feel this effects elmotos

I watch a lot of youtube these days. And if you watch E for Electricity, among others you would think that Toyota is anti-electric cars. Which makes no sense from the company that pwoned the world with the Prius. Well, a video from Cold Fusion pointed out that Toyota has the most invested in solid-state batteries. This not the actions of a company who refuses to acknowledge EVs are the future. This is the actions of a company that knows what it is going to take to profitably and/or sustainably make EVs, and knows that right this second is not the right time for them. Having watched videos on the EV industry the last year, combine it with what I learned writing this blogs years ago, I (re) realize that to make a lot of EV cars you have to have batteries, and there aren’t so many battery manufactures that you GM, Ford, Toyota, Tesla, etc. can just whip out thousands of cars on demand. Basically the whole point of Tesla’s Mega Factory 1. Just like Tesla all of these other manufacturers have to make luxury level EVs to justify enough of a price to make a profit. Of course, Hyundai and Kia’s new EVs fly in the face of that, as well as put out efficiency/mileage numbers that make Teslas look like the EV equivalent of a 60’s muscle car. Well, maybe 90’s. But, I digress. So, it is my opinion that these YouTubers are just being short sided and impatient, probably brought on by the seeming abundance Teslas rolling around. But still, Toyota I don’t believe for a second that Toyota is anti EV. They just seem to have decided that they aren’t going to make an EV until the battery tech reaches a particular point, and I feel at this point they will make a high volume affordable EV, not a luxury level one.

But this small rant, in my little corner of the internet, brings me some hope for electric motorcycles. Having taken a close look at Zero’s current offering and comparing those to the last Empulse made I realize how little progress has been made in the last few years, and how a used Empulse is a far better deal than any Zero new or used. Taking a look at electric motorcycles one could actually go out and buy, you realize that they are still light years from being as practical and affordable as their gas counterparts. This is not the case for EV cars and hasn’t been for a while now. The biggest issue is battery energy density. I figured out years ago that 35kWh would be the pack size tipping point for elmotos. But we are nowhere near that However, solid-state batteries would bring us very close to that tipping point. And if Toyota is in that much, and I hear BMW is very much invested in this technology., as well. This is good news for us. Any elmoto with SSBs would be much more competitive with the gas bikes. The bigger question is can these companies (Zero, Lightning, H-D, Energica) survive unit we finally see some parity in range.