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#1 of 16 Malcom Bricklin and Visionary Vehicle's latest offering
Feb 17, 2008 (10:04 pm)
I wondered where Malcom Bricklin was at and what he was doing after the Chery of China deal fell through last year. Turns out his Visionary Vehicles is hard at it developing a new plug-in hybrid vehicle. This car, that Malcom claims will be the luxurious equal of Mercedes and Lexus, will cost an estimated $35,000.
The first 40-50 miles of travel will be electrically-propelled and then an on-board internally-combusted motor will kick on and power a generator that will in turn send electrical energy to power the wheels. A "range" will be achieved this way of 800+ miles. Batteries used will be lithium-ion and as technology advances with producing these batteries the affordability of and producibility of using these batteries is now feasible. This is powering a new look towards electrically-powered vehicles and now some real progress towards producibility can finally happen. Bricklin claims 100 mpg for this new yet-to-be-named vehicle. A vehicle will first be built sometime in 2008 and the plan is to have them available for sale in the U.S. in 2010. Bricklin has yet to find a manufacturer for the cars and really he would love to find an American manufacturer to strike a deal with. Possibly in a factory that has been shut down. Oh, yes, always looking for an edge and a good deal. Here's his website:
Hey, people, he's right, we need to get out of ICE cars. And for that to happen someone has to start working on vehicles like this. They seem so foreign at first but the more you study up on them the more they seem feasible and actually the better choice. Unless you love futures-traders dreaming up refinery fires, Bush speeches igniting fringe elements that will immediately wedge pressures on oil supplies, etc, etc, ad nauseum. I for one am growing weary of the shenanigans that these hooligans are playing on us and I welcome ideas like Bricklin's. I'm not saying his is the answer, but, and it's a big but, his idea deserves some mention at least against this crazytrain of future energy dependance on foreign oil and future trader hooliganism up-in-our-collective automotive faces.
Feb 17, 2008 (10:43 pm)
"Advanced lithium-ion batteries are the key" -Malcolm Bricklin.
The following is taken from Malcolm's website concerning battery technology and his company's vision for using the latest technology in batteries with the latetst materials and what that means to the us, the potential consumer of this product.
"We believe that recent technological advances make it possible to manufacture larger quantities of batteries with sufficient power and range at an acceptable cost. Based on discussions with a number of battery manufacturers, we believe that lithium-ion batteries that incorporate advanced cathode materials (versus cobalt-oxide cathode materials in general use today) effectively address safety concerns while retaining the advantages of traditional lithium-ion, including energy density, long cycle life, long service life, long shelf life, low maintenance and the absence of "memory effect" or "ghosting" (associated with earlier nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride alternatives). Advanced cathode materials are stable in overcharge or short circuit conditions and are able to withstand high temperatures while not being prone to "thermal runaway", burning, or becoming an environmental hazard when disposed. Of particular interest to Visionary Vehicles are advanced cathode batteries incorporating nanotechnology. Utilization of this technology for our vehicles will allow us to address the challenges of long recharge time, short cycle life, poor operational safety and limited tolerance of extreme temperatures facing others. Any of the batteries under consideration can be recharged by plugging into any conventional 110-volt or 220-volt outlet. If the vehicle is recharged by plugging in following trips shorter than the range of the batteries (expected to be 40 to 50 miles), then the vehicle could be used indefinitely, without using any gasoline at all."
"We continually monitor battery Industry developments to assure that our products incorporate the most innovative, effective technology available."
This is where we need to head. Over the past two or three months I have become increasingly aware of the need to go towards this technology. Oh, I don't know why that might be. Over 100 companies are now working on EV's now and with futures-traders making bigger !#$$ of themselves all the time, foreign providers of oil acting like horses #%$'s, in other words, themselves, fossil fuels evaporating as quickly as Chinese kids can beg their parents for their own cars to drive. And, for that matter, Chinese parents looking to each other and saying "We need our own car and now we can afford it!"
The demand for oil refined to gasoline for China, Russia and other areas where automotive needs are growing will only push up the demand for more oil and that will continue to push up gasoline prices for all of us in the U.S. I have spent extensive hours researching China's car industry and they have caught the automotive bug big-time. The Chinese car market trails only the U.S. and Europe now and is growing exponentially year-over-year.
Yeah, we can put our heads in the sand and pretend these problems for our automotive industry will just go away like Dennis Rodman did from the NBA, or, even more thankfully, Barbara Walters did from 20/20. But that won't make them go away. No, we need to change how we view the kinds of energy we burn in our automobiles. The sooner the better. Maybe these ideas haven't struck y'all as being real or necessary quite yet.
But they are necessary. I want on the particular train that looks ahead to the future and doesn't get left behind. What do you all think about this? Are we just blowing smoke up your...ummmm....nostrils? Or can this fly? Should it fly? Do we want to be subject to the forever changing reasons to screw us over at the gas pumps? Or do we see the wisdom of wanting to take the reins ourselves a little bit more and have some control over how our automotive futures will go? I'll take the latter.
#3 of 16 Re: Battery talk... [iluvmysephia1]
Feb 18, 2008 (7:27 am)
Or do we see the wisdom of wanting to take the reins ourselves a little bit more and have some control over how our automotive futures will go? I'll take the latter.
How do you as an individual believe you can make an impact with regard to Electric Vehicles? People with $millions to throw away are trying to come up with a solution to the storage problem. They say that progress is being made. How would we really know? At least until we see a vehicle in a showroom we can buy for a reasonable amount of money. If Toyota had tried to sell the first Prius for $35k plus that it cost to build, do you think they would have ever gotten off the ground? They sold them for $20 grand and they were a tough sale at that price. I test drove the Xebra EV at about $12k. It is really not practical for more than $3k to $4k. I would rather have a Tata Nano at $2,500. The EV has become the holy grail of the environmental movement. Every automaker is trying to cash in and have come up short. I do not see how you and I can do anything to make this happen. IF and when it evolves we will have to decide if the cost of going all electric is practical. Even at $5 per gallon fossil fuel is still the best way to get around. Or I should say biodiesel is the best if available.
#4 of 16 Bricklin and Visionary Vehicles
Feb 18, 2008 (11:12 am)
Bricklin is a great snake oil salesman. And, like all really good ones, he knows how to talk the subject well-enough to use all of the key buzzwords.
I agree that some sort of non-fossil-fuel is necessary and I would love to have an affordable electric car that is practical for my needs. I'm tired of paying $3.10 a gallon to fuel my daily commute. I'd settle for a Standard-Vanguard Citicar if I could find one in good shape and at a really good price.
But Bricklin is really good at raising money...other people's money...and having little or nothing to show for it at the end. He did it with his home centers and Subaru of America (which bloomed AFTER he left) and the Bricklin SV1 and IAI (aka Yugo America) and now Visionary Vehicles.
Does any neutral party want to give me a reason to belive ol' Mal this time?
Feb 18, 2008 (11:45 am)
no, it's not that I have an answer as to what we can do. But this is where I don't quite align with the GW crowd, but....I see the fossil fuel crazy train as being an energy-sapping drudge of wasted energy and overly-high ghastly prices that just has to stop.
Ya know, I wouldn't ever just throw money towards Bricklin or any other EV manufacturer without studying their effort a lot more. Yeah, and a test drive would obviously have to be necessary. What can we do. Well, one thing I am going to do right now is study the automotive industry's move towards all-EV's as much as possible and learn all I can. Learn just which manufacturer makes the best all-EV vehicle for my money.
And Malcolm's is already just about off of my list because he uses an ICE engine in his new process. I am not totally crossing it off because this ICE only starts up to send power to an electrical generator and that generator sends power to the individual wheels to move the car along. It deserves more study, IMO, but I want an all-EV for my usage. Also, Bricklin's initial price is about $10,000 too high.
There are now over a hundred manufacturer's working on all-EV's right now, so this will be available for our scrutiny for a long time before anyone even starts to think of buying one of them. And that includes me, believe me.
I will want a long Warranty and a much lower price than Bricklin's. I would pay up to, oh, $22,000 for an all-EV that I can plug-in in my carport at night to re-charge. I would want a capability of 85mph and 100mpg would be very nice. A range of 500 miles and 4-doors are also on my list. Right now Bricklin's car would work but the price is too high and he doesn't even have a manufacturer as of this date. That will change.
So this is a real work in progress that is wide open for takers and makers and snake-oil salesmen, too, I agree. I don't think the all-EV idea has the necessary wide range of support yet, either, certainly not of the domestic makers and not really the Koreans at this point. Dunno about the Europeans cause I don't like their cars at all, but, as for the Japanese carmakers, I know that the maker of my current ride, Mitsubishi, is working on a feasible all-EV rig as I type this. So that might be something for me to look at right there. But will Mitsubishi even export their all-EV to the U.S.? It's not a given right now. This thing is right in the pediatric stage right now. The infant part has been passed and is getting along without supplemental oxygen right now from the Respiratory Therapist, and is progressing towards pediatric. As I seem to type in here every 3 or 4 months or so, the next 12 months in the automotive industry are going to be really interesting.
Oh, there's a guy who has invented a rotary-air engine, too! He's in Australia, I can provide ya'll a link to his website if you would like. He is powering grocery market transport vehicles with the air-powered single piston engines right now.
#6 of 16 Re: gagrice... [iluvmysephia1]
Feb 19, 2008 (2:34 pm)
there was (is?) a compressed air powered car being produced in france a year or so ago too. Don't have a link, but you may want to look it up too (if you haven't already) just to see what it is all about.
Feb 19, 2008 (9:57 pm)
and I should probably look that up. Anything other than ICE qualifies to me as a real engine from now onwards, gentlemen. This goofy gasoline circus we're all a part of is doomed and it must go. I'm open to new ideas.
#9 of 16 Re: Thanks... [steve_]
Feb 20, 2008 (7:16 am)
I pictured an air car more like a balloon that you let the air out and you fly around the room till it is deflated
Seriously, I think our over regulated society will miss out on many innovative means of transportation that do not use fossil fuel directly. Canada is just as bad as we are. They have blocked the EV being built in their country from being sold. To get all the required safety crappola you need a 3000 lb car. That eliminates many forms of propulsion. I have to wonder if the automakers are not behind many of these regulations.
#10 of 16 Re: Thanks... [gagrice]
Feb 20, 2008 (7:51 am)
I am not sure that Canada isn't worse than the US in some ways for regulations, we are a much smaller market and still have different regulations from the US. Mind you we do seem to get some different cars that you, I think mainly because we seem to buy mare smaller cars that the states. I have to agree that the weight of cars is becoming a problem, my current car (a Mazda 3 sport) weighs as much as my older cars used too (older volvo 140's and 240's) and the same as a slightly larger Volvo V40 (the origial) wagon, and the Mazda is supposed to be a small car, to me it shouldn't weigh more that 2400 lbs, but all the safety gadgets and "luxury" equipmnent push the weight up. I certainly don't mind the safety equipment but the old Volvos weren't exactly unsafe either (though admittedly not necessarily as safe as new cars). Of course there is another problem with electric cars in Canada, the fact that in the winter the batteries will not last as long as in the summer due to the clod weather we have here, severly limiting their range, hopefully someone will figure out a fix for this. for now I will look for my next car to be a diesel though.