Category Archives: Energy

Slow Chargers Save Time

Interesting thoughts by someone realizing their whole life improved when they quit orienting their life around gasoline.

Every side of the EV industry is focused on fast charging, and making it faster. It should be—on a road trip or otherwise needing to minimize downtime, it’s crucial to plug in somewhere that can charge as rapidly as the Ioniq 5 allows. But the odd thing about fast chargers is that they can inflict wasted time. A roughly half-hour session adding 200-plus miles of range is impressive, but that’s a period I need to stay in or near the Ioniq 5, lest I incur idle fees or the ire of another EV driver. But it’s also not necessarily enough time to get anything meaningful done.

In certain situations, so-called “slow” Level 2 chargers provide more flexibility, as I’ve found with the Flo network’s 7-kW charger, located two blocks from my apartment. I must retract my earlier cruel descriptors of it: “too slow to be worthwhile” and a “worst case scenario.” It’s proven to be neither.

Driving home late one evening, I found myself on the brink: With the Ioniq 5’s battery at just 4 percent, I’d left barely enough to reach a fast charger the next day—if it would be enough at all. But that neighborhood plug sat unoccupied, so I decided to see what it could do for me overnight. Turns out, a lot. Getting to 80 percent took nearly 10 hours, but it was all time I spent asleep and getting work done at home the next morning. That is, exactly what I’d do regardless.

Another useful instance occurred on a Saturday afternoon, when there was nothing on my schedule but chores and a bike ride. With the Ioniq 5’s battery at 45 percent I didn’t strictly need to charge, but with the Flo charger free, I figured I might as well. My activities took slightly more than 5 hours, enough time for the battery to reach 90 percent.

Of course they were driving an electric car brand other than a Tesla, otherwise the story would simply be about them being burned to death.

Porsche Quietly Announces eBikes

I don’t understand the appeal of a Porsche at all, which probably is why their eBike announcement lands flat.

They have two models available until August 2023. Why? No explanation given.

The price seems double other brands, with no explanation why either.

Someone in their marketing department either doesn’t ride bikes or doesn’t care about them. Maybe they were mad they got assigned the eBike copy. In any case, here’s the kind of thing they wrote:

…hydraulic disc brakes from Magura bring you to a standstill quickly and safely.

Who on a bike gets excited about the imagery of a standstill? Is that what they want us to focus on? Not riding?

Oh the thrill of a bike… not moving at all, feet on the ground.

…robust wheels from Crankbrothers guarantee maximum directional stability…

Robust stability? Robust directional stability? Wat. How about stiffness or weight?

There’s not much more to the announcement, to be honest.

…the very latest powerful Shimano drive unit consisting of motor, battery and mechanical gears ensures effortless acceleration…

Drive unit?

Ok, who in their right mind would describe pedaling as effortless acceleration?

That’s not pedaling.

Just give it a throttle and stop pretending it isn’t a motorcycle, if acceleration was intended to have no effort.

And who describes a bike as a powerful drive unit of motor, battery and gears? That’s what they think is powerful, not a fine machined crank pushed by muscle?


Go buy yourself a set of overpriced brakes and useless pedals to stand idly or sit still and hope to be noticed for doing nothing:


Come to think of it, that describes their car owners pretty well.

Another Day, Another Tesla Owner “Thankful” to Not Be Burned Alive

A man who owned a Tesla that “spontaneously combusted” while driving allegedly said “it’s all gone” after he walked away with his life.

That feeling of loss is very on brand for a car company that can’t explain why it has so many fires.

Source: KCRA

You buy Tesla, you lose it all.

The owner mentioned that his two very young kids fortunately weren’t strapped in their carseats, which reminds me of another Tesla father’s unexplained “spontaneous combustion” nightmare watching his kid’s carseat melting.

Tesla is unique in the car industry for these stories, what can only be described as willful neglect regarding fire investigation and resolution. I’ll never forget the NHTSA Complaint (#11466262) by a father wailing publicly about his son being burned-to-death.

Can Tesla be forced to care or will the market just move on without them? as of January 2023 was nearing a 200 mark, already reporting over 50 deaths.

Over 50 deaths!

Other manufacturers intensively research issues and make very specific recalls as a proactive measure. If you read NHTSA data you see a marked difference.

Tesla has repeatedly said it doesn’t understand why its fires happen so often, it points fingers at others, and it clearly hopes people can just act “thankful” for nearly dying in fires instead of being realistic about prevention.

Last January, for example, we heard a similar story.

A Tesla car battery “spontaneously” burst into flames on a California freeway Saturday, and firefighters needed 6,000 gallons of water to put it out. The Metro Fire Department said in a series of tweets that “nothing unusual” had occurred before the Tesla Model S became “engulfed in flames”…

A giant fire would be treated as unusual for any other car maker. And they would be reported as such. Hyundai, Kia and Ford electrical fires, for example, have posted multiple specific resolutions over a decade including NHTSA “engineering analysis” of non-crash spontaneous electrical fires.

For Tesla?

Fires get called “nothing unusual” as owners try to run from a flaming death trap. The car that was promised to them as safer quickly is proven less safe. How can that predictive disconnect go on much longer? It will get better? That’s not how any of this works. It will get worse unless there is proof of improvement (e.g. Shewhart/Deming PDCA/PDSA quality measurement models known and proven since the 1920s).

Tesla quality failures get worse over time. Later models show pattern of safety decline.

Now for some analysis related to Tesla’s ill-conceived and rushed “dominance”, flooding an electric vehicle market with intentional very low quality.

Tesla specifically is to blame for a shockingly high death toll related directly to its known design failures (e.g. multiple cases of occupants unable to escape during intense fire, burning them alive).

Other car companies run far lesser fire risks because, when they do have a flaw, they get investigated and recalled far more proactively.

Let’s talk about Tesla’s fire-to-root-cause ratio, for example. Who keeps that tally public? How many incidents sit open with empty answers?

We see hundreds and hundreds of Tesla complaints, including tragic mention of death by fire, while competing brands have zero complaints.

Consider also how combustion engine fires very often are rooted in electrical systems (e.g. loose wiring harness). Getting to root cause means true “electric fire” recalls are far higher than Tesla ever admits when they try to confuse analysts by calling them combustion.

Examples in 2020, just for sake of illustration?

  • Electrical short fire recall: over 400,000 Hyundai Elantra
  • Electrical short fire recall: over 300,000 Kia Cadenza & Sportage
  • Electrical short fire recall: over 200,000 Honda Odyssey
  • Touch-screen fire recall: over 200,000 Tesla Model X & S (and 2021 because they missed some)

Electrical fires.

All of them, electrical. Tesla knows this yet cruely twists reporting to falsely make it seem like electrical fires will somehow magically become a low risk after decades of data proving the opposite.

Or, let me put it another way.

Gasoline cars have batteries and wires. The batteries and wires cause fires at a very high rate, second only to fuel leaks.

So if you remove only gasoline, you’re still going to be looking into a LOT OF FIRES from… electricity.

Combustion engine fire recalls for electrical systems should be reported as such, so electrical fires now would make sense in context of always being a problem.

Yeah, electrical systems have caused a lot of fires and millions of recalled vehicles. Soooo, Tesla should have read those tea leaves and figured their cars would have a problem, a big problem with fires.

How many gasoline fires are at a station during refuel, or how many are just driving on an on-ramp? Here again, Tesla seems particularly unique in regard to risk because drivers with no warning, a false sense of safety from marketed overconfidence, are in sudden grave danger.

If a combustion engine tank is ruptured in a crash, and there are high rates of crashes, then that isn’t really comparable to Tesla electric cars repeatedly bursting into flames without any “known” reason other than… electrical risks everyone else is actually talking about and fixing.

…41 crashes vs 20,315 crashes vs 543 crashes make it statistically irresponsible to compare these numbers. For example, if there was a 42nd crash with an EV and it caught on fire then it would be 4.76% of EVs or double the [worst] rate…

Here’s a great hypothesis to examine: removing petroleum fuels will eliminate the current highest area of fire risk, yet the total fire risk may increase as a result from unsafe electrical systems rushed to market by Tesla.

For those still curious about fuel leak cases, the manufacturers talk about simple sensor indicators that can give drivers advance warning about risks of fire.

Advance warning of Tesla fire? That would require Tesla admitting their problems, admitting regulators save lives by forcing ground truth.

Proof of Tesla worsening the market ahead comes further from the fact that after their many fires for “unexplained reasons”, multiple more fires start over many days, allegedly with no ability to predict either.

Should we count each of these Tesla fires individually and adequately?

It seems so. I may ask to add a column so we can have a proper muliplier.

There have been nearly 200 fires, yet since Tesla fires are known to restart again and again without proper explanation it should be counted more like 500 or higher.

As a best guess, new short-circuits happen every time a wrecked Tesla battery is shifted so another electrical system fire starts… but who counts all these as unique and different? When does Tesla admit they know the root cause and take proper action to save lives and reduce taxpayer/societal burden from Tesla’s cheap designs and weak engineering?

Dealerships, repair shops, tow-trucks and junkyards have been reporting explosive uncontrollable Tesla fires unlike anything seen in the modern world of highly regulated gasoline safety.

The point is that anyone launching any modern electric car should have treated fire risk as their top engineering priority, and now should recognize immediately how things are worsening (e.g. spontaneous combustion without explanation), instead of repeatedly claiming surprise and ignorance.

Every Chevy Bolt was recalled when it showed even slight risk of fire. I’d thus easily recommend a Bolt over Tesla; the safety/fatality data when comparing the two makes it clear why.

Any electric cars with evidence of ignorant management should be grounded until fire risk is independently studied and verified as eliminated. What does eliminated mean?

There should be no excuses for ignoring the problem, no tolerance of basic safety negligence. No statements of whataboutism. This is not new or different from any car. GM and others have done the right thing on multiple levels, including training public fire crews, with their new electric vehicles. Tesla never seems to care at all, as illustrated by their unique fire death tolls.

At this point we should ask why would any father take such highly unnecessary risks and put children in an inexplicably flammable Tesla.

Tesla Hits Open Pasture and Catches on Fire

Scant details are reported so far on how a driver escaped “without entrapment” after their Tesla ended up burning in a quiet green pasture.

My first guess is the owner was so disgusted with Tesla’s rapid deflation they just set it on fire to collect the insurance and buy a Ford truck instead. You can always tell a garbage car brand when buying a Ford is considered a big step up.

My second guess is a driver lost control (overheating the car and/or suspension failed) while speeding on a curve, as so many poorly designed Tesla are prone to do, and it burst into flames while gently rubbing against soft grass.

In any case, several rural departments wasted valuable time and assets attending to a notorious toxic dumpster fire made by Tesla.

Multiple Washington County fire departments battled an electric vehicle fire for several hours on Saturday. Around 5:30 p.m., the Meyersville and Washington Volunteer Fire Departments were called to a single-car accident without entrapment in the 14000 block of Whitman Road in Washington. […] Units from the Brenham Fire Department and the Berlin and Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Departments provided mutual aid to extinguish the fire and cool the batteries on the car. The fire was out around 9:15 p.m., and units were released from the scene at approximately 10:45 p.m.

Five hours of Teslafire strains rural responders. Note the shortage of hazmat breathing equipment. Source: Meyersville Volunteer Fire Dept

My third guess is the driver was on the Tesla “self driving test” when software crossed a double yellow to crash into a cattle pasture behind a fence as an homage to Elon Musk’s vision of future transit — full of bull shit.

In directly related news, even though nobody else probably will make this connection, GM is funding and hosting rural fire safety training to reduce harms.

While the training is open to all first responders, McLaine says it’s particularly important for rural E-M-Ts and firefighters, who are volunteers and may have different training than professionals. “Most of the fire services in the United States, the vast majority are from volunteer fire departments. Where we’ve gone around the country, and where we’ve targeted certain areas that we deliver this training, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support and appreciation.”

Thank you GM. Appreciated is the right word given so many Tesla fires and so little help or concern from Tesla.

Firefighters who have tried to get help from Tesla, even basic documention, reportedly get no response.

How many towns had to respond this one time? Five?

What was the cost of Tesla design flaws to these five volunteer departments over five hours?

If you see a Tesla, you are looking at massive societal burden… billionaire misconduct, taxing rural hardworking people with his selfish greed.

New 28mph Flluid eBike Design by Buell Exceeds 200 Miles Per Charge

Some crazy electric bike stats flew across my desk and I just had to take a minute to say… WOW.

With Flluid-2 you get an ultra-long range e-bike with an unprecedented range of 225mi (350km)… with a max speed of 28mph (45km/h in the EU).

Before you say anything about those numbers, let me interject slow is smooth, smooth is fast, which is exactly how an American just finished the Dakar Rally unaided.

Thus we’re looking today at a dreamy 2,000Wh design by Flluid CTO Erik Buell, famous for his motorcycles. Although his genre of motorcycle never appealed to my riding styles, his engineering always interested me as being a rule-bender ahead of the industry. Here too, while the Flluid doesn’t immediately appeal to my sense of riding (not a fan of 130Nm “super-bike acceleration” torque nonsense), I will say that what he’s doing with eBike numbers is very important to recognize.

As someone just pointed out to me, using an electric rate of $0.12/kWh a Flluid bike consumption rate sits at 1,000 miles per dollar. Can you imagine if American cars were rated on their consumption in miles per dollar? LOL. The 51.8V battery will be at 80% in just 4 hours on a 3Amp charger, so we’re talking super low-cost, high-performance engineering for a significant higher quality of life.

I’ve written before many times about the intelligence of bikes, especially electric bikes, and this takes it to a whole new level.

If you’re getting over 200 miles on a charge you’re entering revolution territory (pun not intended) across many industries and applications. This is a huge deal for all kinds of public services from military to healthcare. The mail including packages should be delivered on this bike. An EMT or firefighter should arrive on this bike. Shoulder-fired rockets in the forest… need I go on? Forget drones, think automatic ebikes with healthy humans pushing pedals and actually outside doing shared activities including talking with each other as they ride!

Flluid pumps their Valeo Cyclee Mid Drive Unit running fully automatic gears with predictive shifting. That’s some interesting automation too, yet I’m far more impressed with the powerful idea of moving refrigerators, washing machines, loads of lumber, even ambulance and fire duty operating more effectively and efficiently on the main Flluid design. Big trucks are just dumb, once you run the numbers.

No joke, you could stick a reasonably large barrel, pump and a hose on this thing to have emergency fire response continue during/after major disasters (road infrastructure failures). I am absolutely serious. Move first-response to swarms of firefighters on ebikes that aren’t blocked by road size or closures.

Americans bombed the Ho Chi Minh trail relentlessly with little impact on the Vietnamese ability to supply anything and everything. Bikes continue to serve an outsized supply function in Vietnam to this day, far more efficiently and sensibly than American cage culture.

The official marketing from Flluid calls it a car replacement. Really it’s a cage challenger (big box-like multi-wheeled carriages of any kind). Move most Americans outside the “luxury” (waste) of their padded cages and the overall safety of riders/passengers not only will dramatically improve, all the pedestrian risks will be improved too. That still probably sounds counter-intuitive to some even though the data makes it extremely clear. More bikes saves lives in myriad ways through everything from better health of the riders to better health for everyone not riding. This bike could improve quality of life dramatically wherever it sees mass adoption (e.g. replacing mail trucks, garaging police cruisers).

There’s no better solution to the malignant problems of American road safety than moving as many people as quickly as possible to ebike designs, away from toxicity inherent to ancient cage culture. Congrats to Buell on his excellent achievement towards that end.

It’s also worth noting that places to find these bikes seem to be… Harley dealers. I was just looking at one next to a giant German Iron Cross insignia and some flames on a sweatshirt. Not what I expected given how allergic that Harley brand used to be to anything new or different. Buell has definitely broken them out of their cage. Did I mention the Flluid has French financiers?

Something French is being sold at the local Harley dealer? Yup. You read that right. A French bicycle sold at your Harley dealer. To be fair, this is an awesome motor on a cycle — motorcycle — and it’s all about real freedom.

The 2S comes without flames, skulls or giant chromed German insignias. Source: Flluid

My how times have changed, perhaps thanks in part to the engineering of Buell.