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Welcome to the Electric Car Weblog. In addition to links, news, and tips about electric cars and other forms of alternative transportation we are publishing an on-line diary of our current EV project. Started in August 2005 the chronicle follows the conversion of a gas powered Ford Probe into an Electric Car.

You will find articles organized by categories, along with recent comments, along the right hand column of the website. If you are just getting started with the idea of converting a gas car to electric be sure to check out Your First Electric Car .

Welcome and enjoy!

Connections · 15 November 05

Chrysler Cordoba w/Ricardo

A bit of a diversion to try and cover something near and dear to our hearts: plastic panel and wire connectors.

If you take a look around the interior of your car you probably won’t see any screws. It’s part of the magic. Who wants a car that looks screwed together? We want contiguous, smooth entities of car-ness that speak to us in luxurious undertones.

Which reminds me of Ricardo Montalb├ín’s rich corinthian leather Chrysler Cordoba commercial.

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Today's Poll · 3 November 05

Barring any special sidetrips (gas/cookies/dentist) how far is your average round-trip drive during the work week? I ought to figure out a way to qualify the type of area you live in, rural vs. city, but let’s see what we come up with.

I’ll warn you now, that this goes to off-site poll software which might open popups. Have to make my own polling software.

less than 10
over 50


Tokyo Auto Show · 12 October 05

Suzuki Ionis

There’s a collection of alternative fueled vehicle and, perhaps, alternative universe (i.e. goofy) cars being shown at the Tokyo auto show.

Suzuki is showing the Ionis, a high-tech front-wheel drive minivan powered by fuel cell and electric motor. It uses steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire, which permits a flexible seating arrangement: the driver seat can be moved along with the other seats. “Everyone move, Daddy wants to drive from the back today.” The Ionis can also download music directly from the Internet via a public LAN service and pick up satellite TV stations.

Subaru is showing something called a boxer-hybrid: a turbo parallel hybrid powertrain, a new all-wheel-drive hybrid system bolted to a 2.0-liter Miller cycle turbo engine, the B5 is expected to produce more than 300 hp. Mitsubishi is showing an electric car and of course by now you’ve see the Pivo electric from Nissan…a lazy susan on wheels.

[via Edmunds]


Tailpipe Tally · 5 October 05

The Environmental Defense Fund has a tool called tailpipe tally to help evaluate your vehicle’s fuel costs and emissions against other cars, including the latest hybrids. This was made back when gas was almost free at $1.92/gallon, so multiply the gas price by 1.5.

Fuel Tally

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You can't tuna fish... · 2 October 05

Fuel Economy Window Sticker

By now you’ve probably read Consumer Reports article about published vs. real-world fuel efficiencies. Up to 90% of the cars they tested had much worse fuel economy than that shown on the window sticker, some up to 50% less!

What is interesting about the article is that they mention automaker’s have been tuning cars for better performance rather than fuel efficiency, primarily because that’s what they’ve felt the market has wanted over the past few years. Let’s not go into the “what we want” aspect of it, but what about this tuning business?

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Housecleaning... · 18 September 05

The removal of Eve’s engine is awaiting a trip to the store to replace a broken socket, get a 1/2” extension, and to buy a longer 17mm socket to remove the engine mount bolts.

In the meantime I’ve been doing a little housework on the website, cleaning a few things up and making a new section just for Eve.

On the right side you’ll see a new link for Current EV Project. This takes you to a new section of the site dedicated to nothing but Eve’s conversion entries. It has all of the entries organized from the start to present without any of my non-related ramblings and posts (like this one!). You can also click on Eve’s picture in the upper right.

I also added a feature to the pages in how comments are shown on article pages (not this main page). The problem was that the PREV/NEXT links for the articles was way down at the bottom and not all that obvious. So I cleaned them up a bit and in the process hid the comments.


The comments are still there, but are now toggle in and out of visibility using a little bit of web magic found here. Let me know if you have any problems getting to them, I haven’t had the chance to test it on all browsers yet.

Finally, a slightly more pressing matter has been taking time away from the EV: our fridge was dying. It’s only a few years old and some of the parts are still covered under warranty. But who wants to pay someone to come out to tell you that this isn’t the part? I decided to figure out what was wrong first and then call for warranty repair if covered.

The freezer section was working fine but the fridge was sitting at a balmy 64°. Turns out there’s a little vent of sorts that let’s cold air from the freezer into the fridge. The main fridge compartment temperature is regulated by a little electric motor (see, this does apply to an EV web site!) that opened a venetian blind of sorts, letting in or blocking airflow. It was permanently closed.

I cracked it open and have discovered the culprit: a cheesy little piece of plastic had broken. Someone on the Kenmore engineering team should be embarrassed about designing such a weak link.

Maybe I’ll post an article about it over at my other site, The How Zone, when I’m done fixing it.

Choosing a Vehicle · 11 September 05

We had a survey a couple of weeks ago asking what types of cars folks were thinking of converting. I also get two to three emails a day from folks wondering if their vehicle might make a good EV or Hybrid.

Let’s take a look at how to determine what type of EV your vehicle will make and what it will take to get the range you need.

Continue reading »»

Site Features · 4 September 05

By the way, this EV weblog has a number of features and conveniences that my old EV site didn’t have (hey, it was started in 1995). Here’s a quick overview to make it easier to get around.

First off all of the entries are categorized. This makes it easy to quickly read all of the related posts. Choose a category from the Browse popup on the right side. For example all of the links that I publish are filed under the Daily Links category. The new EV conversion, Eve, will be found under My EV. Some entries will have multiple categories and I’ll probably be adding a few more. For example, when I install the controller the post would be under My EV and Controllers (a non-existant category at the moment).

At some point I’ll make a separate section where the new conversion is ordered chronologically from start to end, rather than the way weblogs usually order things, latest entry first. I’ll also try to put together an overall index for Eve’s conversion.

The Search box on the right should do what you expect: search all of the articles on the site. There are two links towards the top: RSS & Atom which makes it easy to subscribe to this site with an RSS reader. The functionality is also built into modern browsers, like Safari and Firefox.

During the first conversion I was borrowing cameras and had relatively low resolution images, plus most of us were on dial-up. Much has changed: I have my own camera, connection speeds have improved, and it’s easier to publish small thumbnail images with larger pop-up images for detail.

Of course, if you have questions or suggestions feel free to click the Contact link on the right to send an email.