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aminorjourney

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EVcast 240 [May. 30th, 2009|09:56 pm]
aminorjourney
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Today I was joined in the UK studio by John Honniball, EV-nut, Electronics Engineer and Software Programmer. He explains some of the basic bits and bobs found in an EV, concentrating on controllers and motors.

The video recording is below. It’s worth watching as John shows some electronics he’s brought along. However, the sound isn’t great due to a feedback issue. The mp3 file of the podcast is much more easy to listen to, and can be found at EVcast.com

Enjoy!

Nikki.

Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Ev’ie. Another broken dream? [May. 29th, 2009|01:16 pm]
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If you’re a regular visitor to www.aminorjourney.com you’ll know that I’ve ran stories on the Electric Car Corporation and their line of converted Citroen C1s, which they call the C1 “Ev’ie”. It all started back in April, when the Citroen Ev’ie jumped onto the market. The team behind the advertising campaign had used a sign-written petrol-powered car for photo shoots and had omitted to change the number plate. It lead to me speculating if the vehicle even existed.

Later on, a test-drive from What Car? appeared, in which the team reviewing it had some issues with acceleration and a battery overheating on the drive. You can watch the video at their website.

I’m not the sort of person to give a company a hard time unnecessarily, and felt that perhaps my initial story was a bit hard on ECCPlc, the makers of the Citroen C1 Ev’ie. So, I arranged a trip down to London to test the Ev’ie for myself. I really wanted the car to blow me away. I so badly wanted the Ev’ie to make me feel all kinds of guilt for being nasty about it in the past without even having driven it. I wanted it to make me love it. But as I quickly found, my relationship with the Ev’ie that wasn’t going to be a plain-sailing one.

The Ev'ie we tested was anything but.

The Ev'ie we tested was anything but.

Read on after the jump for a run-down of the vehicle and our eventful test-drive.

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Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Please sir! Can we have more? [May. 28th, 2009|10:48 pm]
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After a day spent in London reviewing the Citroen Ev’ie I was shocked to discover that although there’s nearly 100 charging points spread across the greater London area finding one which wasn’t already in use was very difficult.

As an owner of a plug-in hybrid I didn’t actually need to charge, but I was quite lucky in the end to find a charging point in the Park Lane carpark. It cost a fair bit to use, since the parking charges there are really rather high. It did, however, give me a basic understanding of the frustration that the several thousand EV owners in London face everyday, finding a place to charge their EV.

While many EV owners only make a trip to work within their vehicle’s range some do need that all-important part-charge. As I pulled up to the Berkeley street charging bays today (eager to use my special charging access key) I realized that the charging bays were oversubscribed; a ratio of six waiting plug in vehicles for two charging bays. Throughout the day I noticed this pattern repeated again and again. How frustrating must it be for the London-based EV owner who has to wait to charge their car. Could you imagine waiting to fill up your car?

It’s great that the plug in revolution is really going strong in London, but it’d be nice to see a few charging spaces in EVERY carpark and on every street. The more charging points, the more cars get to be charged and put on the road. Imagine only having a few filling stations for the whole of the area…

Well done, London. You’re the EV capital of Europe and quite possibly the World, but could we have more plug in charging points, please?

Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Trouble at the EV mill. [May. 27th, 2009|10:39 pm]
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Hello, everyone.

If you’re wondering where the usual posts about the world of EVs and PHEVs are then I’m sorry to report that aminorjourney.com has been the victim of a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS). Sadly, my webhost, 1and1 haven’t been all that helpful either.

It’s left my tame web guru (my partner) and I scratching our heads for a good few hours.

Thanks for everyone who has shown concern. We’ll try to get back to normal just as soon as possible. We’ll also be moving hosts very, very soon.

Nikki,

www.aminorjourney.com

Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Making a PHEV Prius battery pack. [May. 24th, 2009|10:17 pm]
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Today we’re taking a step away from the regular www.aminorjourney.com posts and looking at a personal project of mine - Velma, the Plug in Prius.
This weekend the weather has been nice enough to finally take the additional Prius battery packs which have been sitting in Velma’s luggage area and taking up valuable space.

Extra batteries on board!

Obviously the above arrangement isn’t great in anyone’s eyes. We need to figure out a more secure and permanent way of storing the two additional Prius batteries.

Read on after the jump to see the new battery arrangement take place.

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Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Today’s EVcast. An Education special. [May. 23rd, 2009|10:44 pm]
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Talking about education and the world of EVs. Enjoy!

Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Charging discrimination instead of charging for all. [May. 22nd, 2009|10:56 pm]
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London is often viewed as the EV charging capital of the world. Thanks to the Congestion Charging zone and it’s exemptions for electric and other green vehicles, not to mention the success of the small G-Wiz and similar small electric vehicles London appears, at least on the face of it, to be a brilliant place to be if you want to own an EV.

Not only that, but there’s now over 100 public electric vehicle charging points spread throughout the greater London area. In order to use one, you have to satisfy a series of criteria to ensure that you’re a) an electric vehicle owner and b) that you agree to abide by the fair usage policies the charging points have.

But wait. What’s this? London Boroughs (think of them as small council district within the greater London area) may appear to provide charging points to electric and PHEV vehicle drivers but they’re rather picky about who can use their points.

You can charge in London - but only if youre a local.

You can charge in London - but only if you're a local.

photo by Shiner Clay

More after the jump

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Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Range Anxiety? What Range Anxiety? [May. 19th, 2009|10:49 pm]
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For new electric vehicle owners, one of the biggest fears (at least at the moment with few charging stations publicly available) is running out of electricity when making a longer-than usual trip. For those of us who have been driving a plug in vehicle for some time the range anxiety is much less because we know the limits of our vehicles. However, any trip to the ‘maximum’ theoretical of our vehicle’s range always spawns nervousness.

After he saw the theoretical range of the Tesla would reach the Yosemite National Park, one adventurous Tesla owner decided to prove the Tesla sales team correct and take a trip out there for himself.

Yes, that's a Tesla in Yosemite National Park

Yes, that's a Tesla in Yosemite National Park


Photo By William A Arnett.

More after the Jump.

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Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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More on the iMiev [May. 18th, 2009|11:15 pm]
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This isn’t new persay, but those who heard the great news that the iMiev is now officially coming to the UK in November this year will be interested to see that the Mitsubishi micro site for the iMIev in Japan now includes a nice selection of video and information.

I had the good fortune to bump into some folks from Mitsubishi last week and hope they’re arranging a test-drive for me, which I’ll report here. In the meantimg, check out the Mitsubishi micro site for more info!

Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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Looking ten years into the future of plug ins. [May. 17th, 2009|10:21 pm]
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Ten years ago, we were still in the last great EV revolution. The EV1 was still on the road (although GM had by this time decided to no-longer make them), and the general public were getting used to seeing funky charging stations. At least, they were used to that in the select areas of the US where electric vehicles were being used.

Europe too, was undergoing something of a mini-revolution. The french conglomeration of Citroen, Peugeot and Renault were making commercially available electric cars and vans. A few years later, just like the EV1, RAV4EV and Ford Th!nk to name but a few, these vehicles disappeared from the market.

Here we are, in 2009, with lots of exciting developments in the world of plug in vehicles. As someone heavily involved with plug in vehicles it feels to me as if we’re just about to enter a truly golden age of the electric vehicle. But we’ve seen this kind of activity ten years ago. How do we know it’s not going to end in tears again?

Thirty Years ago the Enfield 8000 EV seemed like the future. What does the next 10 years hold for us?

Thirty Years ago the Enfield 8000 EV seemed like the future. What does the next 10 years hold for us?

More after the jump.

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Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.

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