Who Killed the Electric Car?

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I just saw the movie Who Killed the Electric Car?:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489037 /

Fantastic!
Everyone should watch this one.
The IMDB user comment is spot on - " This film WILL frustrate you greatly"
In fact, it's enough to make you want to cry.

Can't believe I had never heard of the movie before the other day.

Dave.



Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
Yeh i saw this on foxtel only about 1 month ago. I was amazed at GM's blind
approach to taking back the EV1 and crushing it despite having customers
willing to pay for them with no wish for support ! utterly amazing.



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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
On Fri, 16 May 2008 22:54:47 +1000, "David L. Jones"

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In spite of leftist weenie conspiracy theories the real facts are that
the economics weren't there... and leaving the cars on-the-road has
some legal and cost aspects you haven't considered.

                                        ...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E.                           |    mens     |
| Analog Innovations, Inc.                         |     et      |
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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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For GM?  Enlighten us.

Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
On Fri, 16 May 2008 12:01:49 -0700, David Gravereaux

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(1) Any product you have in the public's hands exposes you to
liability suits.

(2) In the automotive industry you have to provide parts for 7 years
after introduction.

My guess is that the battery technology wasn't ready for prime time
and they had some accidental "events" they didn't publish.

                                        ...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E.                           |    mens     |
| Analog Innovations, Inc.                         |     et      |
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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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Good old capitalist's rule: He who takes no risks will not win.

I have taken quite some risks in my career and I am sure you did. I
expect the same from our corporate leadership, else there won't be progress.


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A good company ups that to 15 or 20 years, at least. Else the reputation
is toast and in automotive a loos of reputation is nearly a permanent thing.


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Maybe they should send their engineers to a Japanese university then?

Sorry for being so sarcastic but sometimes the excuses the big three
come up with are almost sickening. And they should stop calling 32mpg
for a mid-size passenger car an achievement when my wife's 1995 Toyota
regularly nets >35mpg.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
David L. Jones a écrit :
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Hello,
I wondered about its disappearance too!
But I knew some thirty years ago about the existence of electric cars :
I read Truman Capotes "other voices other rooms" or was it "The Grassharp?.
At least I hope my memory is reliable (anyway it was T. C.) He tells
about his aunts driving around with it and causing a near accident, or
so they imagined...
Peter

Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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The concept of electric cars is a whole lot older than 30 years:

http://www.thoroughbred-cars.com/electric.htm

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
On Fri, 16 May 2008 09:45:34 -0700, Joerg

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I have a repair manual for an electric delivery vehicle made prior to
WWI.  It was used for delivering milk to homes (no refridgeration) in
the pre-dawn hours.  Since noise was then considered a serious
problem, electric delivery vehicles were the only option.

Note that there are several Li-Ion conversions for Prius hybrids
effectively making them electric cars.  
<http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/34422/113/
The new battery and plug-in charger extends the battery only range of
the Prius from about 7 miles to about 20 miles.

However, gas, electric, and such will soon be out of fashion.  What we
need is a nuclear powered automobile.:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Nucleon


--
Jeff Liebermann     snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?

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p-B11 fusion had better work, and be scalable down to that level.  
Aneutronic fusion might indeed be about to happen, but the scalability
seems to be in the other direction.

Maybe a home reactor.  Not likely either, at least in my lifetime.

--Damon


Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?

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If Charles Cagle is right, there's a good chance:

http://www.singtech.com /

I think Big Oil had a lot to do with influencing GM to abandon and sabotage
their own EV program, just as they have tried to reverse any trend toward
greater fuel economy by encouraging the glorification of horsepower, size,
weight, speed, and competitive driving.

There are a lot of options for efficient vehicles:

http://electricandhybridcars.com/index.php/pages/electriccarnews.html

Paul



Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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When I was young they didn't have noise qualms. Clippy-clop, clippy-clop
... a horse-drawn wagon brought the milk.


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But those extra miles can cost you. This month's IEEE spectrum has a
story of a guy who spent another $32k (!) on top of the Prius price tag
to get his Li-Ion conversion. That's a bit steep.


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:-)

Right now Priuses are being bought in California as if it was the best
thing since sliced bread. The big three are in for another round of
hardship. Don't know if they can afford another round ...

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
On Fri, 16 May 2008 11:26:49 -0700, Joerg

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Quite a few people think it's worthwhile.  One of the conversion
sites:
<http://www.calcars.org/howtoget.html
lists the costs of converting a Prius to various plug-in power options
at:
-  $6,000-10,000 for lead acid batteries
-  $8,000 for NiMH
- $10,000 and up for Li-Ion

One of the do it thyself sites:
<http://www.eaa-phev.org
suggests about $6,000 plus 2 weeks labor.

$32,000 seems a bit extreme.

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Well, maybe a nuclear powered home water heater (and sterilizer).

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I wouldn't be so quick to blame the manufacturers.  Every time the
economy, ecology, or government tries to push Americans into smaller
cars, the domestic manufacturers find that only the big behemoth
vehicles sell.  The dealers discount the "unsellable" big cars in
order to get rid of them.  The buyers look at the price tags and
notice they can buy a big car for sometime less than an economy car.
Also, the buyers have a perception that they get more "value" per
dollar in a bigger car.  The net result is that the big cars continue
to sell, while the poorly thrown-together economy cars, tend to sit on
the lots.

Let's play with the numbers.  A gas hog SUV will get about 14mpg.  An
economy mini-SUV will do about 28mpg.  If I drive 15,000 miles per
year, at $4/gallon for regular, the gas costs are:
  $4,300 /year for the 14mpg gas hog SUV
  $2,100 /year for the 28mpg econo SUV
That's $2,200/year difference.  If the economy SUV costs MORE than the
gas hog (due to dealer discounts and difference in demand), a customer
might be willing to pay the extra $2,100/year just to drive the bigger
SUV.  I've been looking for a new vehicle and found that I can buy a
2003 gas hog SUV for about $5,000 and an economy mini-SUV for about
$12,000.  If I plan to keep it for about 3 years, I'll break even.  A
bit more than 3 years if I throw in time value of money.

So, at this time, economy cars are in demand, yet I'm sure if I quiz
the local used car dealers, the discounted gas hogs are still selling
equally as well.

--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558             snipped-for-privacy@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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I wonder whether they all did a sober calculation including the rather
finite number of charge cycles. I've seen lots of enviro-fans get
carried away.


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Well, here's the story I mentioned. He had to plunk down $32k but that
was with labor and not DYI:

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/may08/6174


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That would be nice. We (have to) use propane for water heating. Used to
be $35/mo. Now it's about $80/mo. I'd call that hyper-inflationary.


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Ok, my calcs are way different. I tend to keep cars for much longer than
a decade. Heck, my trusty Mitsubishi econo SUV is 11 years old now and
looks like new. I could imagine driving it another 10 years easily. Same
for my wife's 1995 Toyota, looks like new, runs like new.

If I had my druthers I'd import one of those 16-horse Citroen 2CV I use
to drive back at the university. This one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Citroen2cvtff.jpg

It always netted me around 50mpg on regular, didn't mind the transition
to unleaded and the engine was designed 70 (!) years ago. All they
really did later was up the horsepower once in a while.


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Not out here. There is a reason why Toyota does so well and we can see
that reason in driveways every day when we take our dogs for a long
walk. Remember when the guys at Buick and other places scoffed and
laughed once they saw an ad for the VW Beetle? Pretty soon after they
were heard syaing things like "Oh s..t!". Anyhow, at the end of the day
the bottomline at the individual automaker speaks the truth. And that
truth is painfully clear.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
On Fri, 16 May 2008 17:59:06 -0700, Joerg

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Probably just ballpark guesses.  Since such conversions are not in
quantity production, estimating costs is tricky.

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Nice article.  (I use a few Freewave data radios).  Did you notice the
update at the end of the article?
<http://blogs.spectrum.ieee.org/tech_talk/2008/05/hymotion_launches_more_afforda.html>
<http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion/products/N5_range_extender
Hymotion plug in conversion for $10,000.  Add a 2nd battery pack (as
was done in original article), and it will be perhaps $15,000.  The
plug-in installation doesn't seem to be a major project and shouldn't
add much to the cost.  The site says it only takes "a few hours" to
install.  Anyway, it's much less than the original $32,000.  I guess
it costs $$$$ to be a pioneer.

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A friends son and former juvenile delinquent is building a hot water
boiling solar generator.  Central boiler on a 50ft Rohn 25 tower (so
the intensified sunlight doesn't cook the neighbors) with some
tracking mirrors.  So far, he hasn't produced much steam, but has
produced enough hot water to warrant serious consideration.  So,
visualize your hot water heater sitting on top of a pole or tower with
squeaky reflectors all over the roof.  It's not nuclear, but it's sure
better than $80/month.  Otherwise, look into tankless flash water
heaters.  They have a rather high initial cost, but pay for themselves
in about 2-3 years (depending on consumption) in reduced energy costs.

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Same here.  My previous 1983 Dodge D50 diesel went for 285,000 miles
and 23 years.  I still have it an plan to rebuild it some day.
However, my numbers and bad guesses are an effort to explain why the
US manufactories continue to produce gas hogs.  The discounted gas
hogs continue to sell, while the overpriced economy cars just sit.  It
would be nice to be proven wrong and therefore restore my faith in the
GUM (great unwashed masses).

My current 15mpg gas hog 1993 Isuzu Trooper SUV was purchased for
about $2,000 with 150,000 miles.  Before that was a 14mpg 1970 Land
Rover Series IIa which I drove for about 135,000 miles.  That was
preceeded by a 9mpg 1972 International 1210 3/4t 4x4 monster service
truck, which I bought new and drove for 140,000 miles.  The plan was
to run the current Isuzu for "a few years" until I could afford
something better.  Well, I'm now looking.

"New Car every 10 years or Used Car every 5 years"?
<http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/new-car-every-10-years-or-used-car-every-5.htm

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You don't drive a 2CV.  You wear it.

The modern versions of shrink to fit automobiles is the Smart Car:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Fortwo
<http://www.smartusa.com
About 50mpg for gas.  80mpg for the diesel hybrid version.  There's a
rather large waiting list for one.  I did a test drive in San Jose
about 2 weeks ago, but decided it wasn't for me.  It's like riding an
enclosed motorcycle.

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That was before smog was an issue.  For example, when it was new, my
1983 Dodge D50 diesel got 35 mpg.  In the 1984 model, the same engine
was smogged to reduce soot emissions.  The gas mileage dropped to
about 28 mpg.  Kinda like dragging an anchor.  

If you need some entertainment value, try calculating the REDUCTION in
CO2 emissions that would be produced by removing all the smog junk
from infernal combustion engines.  The official rate is 8.8kg (19.4
lbs) of CO2 produced for each gallon of gasoline.  If we suddenly used
perhaps 25% less gasoline, that would correspond to a reduction of
about a 1/4th of the 5 metric tons of CO2 produced by each car
annually.
<http://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/420f05004.htm

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In the 1970's I used to drive by the GM plant in Fremont CA and noted
the rather large number of imported cars in the employees parking lot.
In my recent search for a new vehicle, I ran a spreadsheet and graph
of the resale value history for various prospective vehicles. American
cars loose value much faster than imported cars.  My guess is that if
American manufacturers will ever learn to make a reliable automobile,
that actually has some backing and support by the factory, then
perhaps they have a chance.  Otherwise, I'm afraid that you're
generally correct.

--
Jeff Liebermann     snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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True. But Li-Ion charge cycles are pretty well researched out by now. I
doubt one can ever get to 200k miles with one set. But one can on the
first engine, and then some.


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<http://blogs.spectrum.ieee.org/tech_talk/2008/05/hymotion_launches_more_afforda.html>
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I am not a fan of those. My sister has instant heaters and often you
either get pelted with an arctic shower or boiling water. Ok, that's an
exaggeration but it ain't comfy.


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<http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/new-car-every-10-years-or-used-car-every-5.htm
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The rationale in that article is a bit on the naive side IMHO. One has
to factor in the pitfalls of used cars. What if the previous owner drove
it sans oil to reach a gas station but never told you? What if he never
slowed down at speed bumps?


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I saw lots of the in Germany. They call them "elephant shoes".


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It's like oxygenation. I get 25mpg on California gas and 28mpg on Nevada
gas.


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We all need to drive less. It's possible. I reduced from 10k+ miles per
year to under 3k miles per year and more than half of that is for
business. That's it. I often do oil changes based on age, not miles driven.


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The NUMMI plant? They also produce Toyotas there, such as my wife's 1995
Corolla. I don't think it's onwed by GM but could be wrong.


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It takes many, many years to build a reputation for reliability but less
than a year to destroy it.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
On Sat, 17 May 2008 11:43:25 -0700, Joerg

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Not really.  The A123 Systems batteries are HD Nanophosphate
technology which is allegedly better than conventional Li-Ion and LiPO
batteries.  Although commonly used in overpriced battery operated
power tools, there's really not enough field experience to predict
reliability and lifetime.
<http://www.a123systems.com/#/technology/power/pchart1/

"Thousands and thousands" of charge cycles lifetime:
<http://www.a123systems.com/#/technology/life/
Sounds a bit vague to me.

Fast Charging:
<http://www.a123systems.com/#/technology/power/pchart5/

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That's high luxury compared to taking a shower with a rooftop solar
water heater.  I got introduced to those in the 1970's in Israel.
Israel has lots of sun, lots of rooftops, and isn't insterested in
wasting power heating what water it pulls out of the Jordan River.
Haifa was literally covered with apartment buildings.  The ground
floor was reserved for businesses.  The rest were apartments which
were sold, not rented.  Every apartment had its solar water heater on
the roof (along with multiple TV antennas at the time) which made
things rather crowded.

Anyway, when you first turn on the water, you get the somewhat warm
water that was sitting in the pipes.  About 15 seconds later, you get
scalded by maximumly hot, near boiling, water directly from the solar
water heater.  That slowly tapers off in temperature as the rooftop
heater slowly empties.  I learned to take a shower with one hand on
the valves.

I've done the same with flash water heaters.  They do a somewhat
better job of temperature regulation, but without a ballast tank,
constant adjustment is required.  Still, it's more energy efficient
than a tank type water heater.  Sacrifices must be made.

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<http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/new-car-every-10-years-or-used-car-every-5.htm
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Well, the assumption was made that the used car came from a "reputable
used car dealer" (a classic oxymoron) who checked out the vehicle,
prerformed any required maintenance, and offered some semblance of a
warranty.  For used car buyers that buy their vehicles without running
the VIN number through CarFax, checking the DMV history, or having it
checked out by a mechanic, I suspect there will be problems.  Todays
OBD-II diagnostics will often uncover signs of drive train abuse,
damage, and neglect.  Many other things are obvious after driving a
few miles.

Slow down for speed bumps?  My paved dirt road is nothing but speed
bumps.

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Good name.  I suspect the next step will be a true wearable
automobile.  LIPO electric powered.  You sit down on the drive train
and wheel platform, wrap the fenders, cowling, and roof around you,
and drive away merilly.  Maybe an inflatable body for light weight and
crash resistance.  When done driving, pack it back in it's case,
attach a handle to one ond of the wheel platform, and carry it away
like a hand truck.

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They also oxygenated diesel in the early 1990's using 15% ethanol.
That raise the head temperature on my Dodge/Mitsubishi diesel
sufficiently to crack the head.  What was interesting was that I was
driving it for about 6 months with a cracked head.  There was no
obvious deterioration in performance other than a slight drop in
diesel mileage, and the mysterious disappearance of radiator water to
no obvious destination.  I eventually figured I had a problem when I
ran the engine with the radiator cap removed, which simulated a
volcanic eruption of exhaust gasses belching from the radiator.

Welding the aluminium head was problematic so I opted for a factory
new replacement head.  Those arrive a few thousands thicker than stock
which lowered the compression ratio slightly.  The result was the
diesel milage dropped from about 30mpg to 28mpg, but the engine stayed
quite cool using the new diesel formulation.

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Yep.  I must admit that I haven't tried to economize very much.  The
best I've done is bum rides from friends and customers.  I'm still
somewhat in the service and repair biz doing service calls to
customers.  That works out to about 12,000 miles per year for business
(i.e. deductable) and 5,000 miles per year for personal use.  I can
probably cut both in half, but then I would have to juggle
appointments and errands by location.  It's easier for me to just buy
a smaller economy car and not carry a warehouse full of parts with me.

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Yep.  That's the one.  However, this was in the 1970's, before 1984
when Toyota saved GM's ass by literally taking over the plant on GM's
behalf.
<http://www.nummi.com
<http://www.nummi.com/timeline.php
Sorry, it's not in Milpitas but Fremont.  Anyway, across the street
from the parking lot was an excellent Chinese restaurant that we
frequented as often as practical.  The only problem was that the drive
went by a cattle stock yard.  The smell would ruin any lunch.  The
yard was also very close to Altos Computers, which may explain their
premature demise.

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The common observation is that American buyers are nearly clueless.  I
guess the same applies to Australian buyers.  See:

"Large car sales on the increase"
<http://www.themotorreport.com.au/752/large-car-sales-on-the-increase/
This is from June 2007, but still interesting.

   It’s encouraging to see a consolidation in the Large and Upper
   Large segments which reflects both the introduction of exciting
   new product and the response of brands to the competitive
   challenges of the market. The resurgence in sales of SUVs and
   Large cars demonstrates that family-sized vehicles continue to
   meet the preferences of a significant number of Australian
   consumers because they suit their lifestyles and transport
   requirements,” said FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar.

Yep.  Lifestyle and image is everything.

--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558             snipped-for-privacy@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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Most of the stuff sold for residential use is so incredibly crude. I
mean, what would it take to design an automatic mixer between hot and
cold? It ain't rocket science and has been done before.

[...]

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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There is no design needed.  You can buy just such a valve already.

http://www.plumbersurplus.com/Prod/Watts-Series-1170-US-M2-Hot-Water-Temperature-Control-Valve-3-4 -(0206013)/26805/Cat/254

There's a used one.

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Re: Who Killed the Electric Car?
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http://www.plumbersurplus.com/Prod/Watts-Series-1170-US-M2-Hot-Water-Temperature-Control-Valve-3-4 -(0206013)/26805/Cat/254
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I know those, they also come within single-lever shower/bathtub control
valves where you just set a temperture instead of a percentage. I think
Grohe makes them. But most aren't fast and when you have the situation
that Jeff saw in Israel the water coming through the pipes can turn from
barely warm to scalding in milliseconds. Unless you have a point-of-use
recirc but most houses are not that modern.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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