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The Toad
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Depends on what your definition of "the future" is. I won't be around to see it, but I bet there'll be more EVs on the road 100 years from now than ICE-powered vehicles.
I doubt anyone of us would have predicted in 1869 that man would walk on the moon in 100 years. For all we know in 100 years we'll have MrFusion and the EV will be thought of about the way steam powered cars are thought of today.
 

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And it is expected to be on the market in (wait for it)... three to five years.
Since GM is already testing them, that time-frame sounds wrong. But, say it was right: should we not build the Keystone pipeline because it won't produce usable oil for the US for...(wait for it)...three to five years from the start of construction?

Short-term thinking produces short-term results. We've had too much that thinking in the US here of late; which is almost inevitable when quarterly profits are the key driver behind decisions. You make a good case for government funded research and development, because the government is one entity that take on long-term projects; be they building the Panama Canal or going to the Moon.
 

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In related news, GM has suspended production of the Chevy Volt due to low demand.

Kind of a shame since it's supposed to be a nice car and I think the plug-in hybrid concept is the most viable given the state of battery tech.

But at only 40 MPG (yes, the battery range is apparently exaggerated...again) and about $41K after the government tax incentive for the base model (and higher maintenance costs), it doesn't make much sense when you can buy a comparably equipped and performing car--that actually gets better gas mileage--for much, much less.

By the way, Kevin, I'll take your bet, mostly because both of us will be dusty bones by then, but also because, like Seruzawa, I think it's possible that we happen upon a better solution than EVs.

Frankly, I'm more interested in what we'll have in 20 years because planning/predicting the course for any industry 100 years out, especially at the current (and accelerating) rate of technological advancement, is impossible. And, again, I'll be dead.
 

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In related news, GM has suspended production of the Chevy Volt due to low demand.

Kind of a shame since it's supposed to be a nice car and I think the plug-in hybrid concept is the most viable given the state of battery tech.

But at only 40 MPG (yes, the battery range is apparently exaggerated...again) and about $41K after the government tax incentive for the base model (and higher maintenance costs), it doesn't make much sense when you can buy a comparably equipped and performing car--that actually gets better gas mileage--for much, much less.

By the way, Kevin, I'll take your bet, mostly because both of us will be dusty bones by then, but also because, like Seruzawa, I think it's possible that we happen upon a better solution than EVs.

Frankly, I'm more interested in what we'll have in 20 years because planning/predicting the course for any industry 100 years out, especially at the current (and accelerating) rate of technological advancement, is impossible. And, again, I'll be dead.
I expect regular leaps in battery efficiencies, but here's another possible solution for EVs: Electric roadways would allow plug-in cars to charge on the go | SmartPlanet
 

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I got to demo ride a Zero "S" Thursday at a dealership in Eustis, FL. It was a pretty good ride too, we went about 20 miles through town and out on the highway, right around what passes for "rush hour."

It's a damn impressive bike. It snaps right off the line, accelerates like an average Ninja 500 would, and runs right up to 80 mph with more available. The bike feels very light, but not in a skittish way; you can toss it into corners and make it go wherever you want. The regenerative braking is neat as hell...the sounds it makes (and doesn't make) are cool, it's a complete package. IMO, Zero has a highly capable motorcycle that happens to be electric.

BUT...and this is not suprising I guess, it is EXPENSIVE. I had the dealer write up a sales order for the "9," which is the high-capacity, high-speed version. With tax, tag, blah, blah, and blah, it prices out the same as a brand-new Concours 14. Ahem. Well.

BUT...another but...my uncle was in Engineering school when the first HP pocket calculators came out. He paid $650 for one and was damn glad to get it. Two years later they were selling a better version for under $200. The same will happen with E-Bikes.

After riding the new ZX-1400 and the Zero S on the same day, I've come to the conclusion that gas-engined bikes are at their technical apogee. Horsepower has become almost irrelevant; they can produce more than enough in a small enough package that the real differentiator between G-Bikes now is their electronics packages (FI, TC, ABS, etc.). E-Bikes, on the other hand, are in exactly the opposite position in their life cycle; the early prototypes are done now, usable production versions are available (albeit at a price) and we're going to see some truly amazing products in the next few years.

I think the E-Bikes are so good, so compelling on their own merits, that no goverment subsidies or rationales like "saving the planet" will be needed to sell them. People are going to want them because they'll haul ass and generally be as much or more fun to own and ride than G-Bikes. This little dealership in Eustis has already sold 4 9's, 3 6's, and while I was there, sold one of the previous-gen bikes off the sales floor.
 

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I got to demo ride a Zero "S" Thursday at a dealership in Eustis, FL. It was a pretty good ride too, we went about 20 miles through town and out on the highway, right around what passes for "rush hour."

It's a damn impressive bike. It snaps right off the line, accelerates like an average Ninja 500 would, and runs right up to 80 mph with more available. The bike feels very light, but not in a skittish way; you can toss it into corners and make it go wherever you want. The regenerative braking is neat as hell...the sounds it makes (and doesn't make) are cool, it's a complete package. IMO, Zero has a highly capable motorcycle that happens to be electric.

BUT...and this is not suprising I guess, it is EXPENSIVE. I had the dealer write up a sales order for the "9," which is the high-capacity, high-speed version. With tax, tag, blah, blah, and blah, it prices out the same as a brand-new Concours 14. Ahem. Well.

BUT...another but...my uncle was in Engineering school when the first HP pocket calculators came out. He paid $650 for one and was damn glad to get it. Two years later they were selling a better version for under $200. The same will happen with E-Bikes.

After riding the new ZX-1400 and the Zero S on the same day, I've come to the conclusion that gas-engined bikes are at their technical apogee. Horsepower has become almost irrelevant; they can produce more than enough in a small enough package that the real differentiator between G-Bikes now is their electronics packages (FI, TC, ABS, etc.). E-Bikes, on the other hand, are in exactly the opposite position in their life cycle; the early prototypes are done now, usable production versions are available (albeit at a price) and we're going to see some truly amazing products in the next few years.

I think the E-Bikes are so good, so compelling on their own merits, that no goverment subsidies or rationales like "saving the planet" will be needed to sell them. People are going to want them because they'll haul ass and generally be as much or more fun to own and ride than G-Bikes. This little dealership in Eustis has already sold 4 9's, 3 6's, and while I was there, sold one of the previous-gen bikes off the sales floor.
Thanks for being an early-adopter for the rest of us! So you've obviously given up on Brammo, eh?
 

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BUT...another but...my uncle was in Engineering school when the first HP pocket calculators came out. He paid $650 for one and was damn glad to get it. Two years later they were selling a better version for under $200. The same will happen with E-Bikes.
Why?

Why will e-bikes follow Moore's Law? In fact, I can't think of anything besides computer memory that Moore's Law applies to.

If electric vehicles followed Moore's Law, and they've been around for 100 years, they should cost about 39 cents and have a range of 100,000 miles.
 

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Kevin, I'm not an early adopter. My price point for an E-Bike is about $10k; that's what Brammo promised for the Empulse, and (my mistake, obviously) I expected to be looking at for the Zero. The sales order is still lying here on my desk staring at me...

Shizuke, E-Bikes (and cars) are already demonstrating some of the characteristics of Uncle Gordo's "law." Obviously there won't be the same 18-month doubling of capability that chipsets experienced. However, consider that less than a year ago, one of the "barriers" to E-Bikes was the cost and environmental impact of replacing batteries. The bike I rode has a 300,000 mile battery. Likewise, the previous generation of Zero, the one the lady bought while I was in the dealership, has a usable range of about 20 miles at fairly low speeds. I rode the "S" over 30 miles, whipping the snot out it, and the "fuel gauge" still showed over 1/2 full. The calculator reference was an analogy, not a direct comparison. Analogy | What is the Definition of Analogy? | Dictionary.com
 

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Not directly related, but the Electric TT will be very interesting this year. None other than John McGuinness will be racing in the event. The bike is from Mugen, a company started by Soichiro Honda's son. Mugen unveils electric superbike to contest 2012 TT Zero, announces John McGuinness as rider [w/video]

There are rumors that Mugen is funded by Honda, who are close to putting their own electric sportbike (the RC-E) into production.

http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bikes/honda-rce-concept-debut-tokyo-motor-show/
 

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Not directly related, but the Electric TT will be very interesting this year. None other than John McGuinness will be racing in the event. The bike is from Mugen, a company started by Soichiro Honda's son. Mugen unveils electric superbike to contest 2012 TT Zero, announces John McGuinness as rider [w/video]
That's the cool thing about e-bike racing, is that it will continue to be interesting as developments continue. Developments to IC engines come at a relative crawl.
 

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That's the cool thing about e-bike racing, is that it will continue to be interesting as developments continue. Developments to IC engines come at a relative crawl.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but Honda's RC-E sure looks a like a "beefier" version of the Brammo Empulse.

Motoczysz will be back this year and should easily break the 100 mph average speed record, which they missed by a few tenths last year. Probably several bikes will be in that speed range.
 

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Huh, wonder how I missed that? Was it in Dennis' blog? They filter the MO blogs at work for some reason.

Here's the letter:

From: Brammo Inc. [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 4:31 PM
To: Moore, Kenneth CCS
Subject: March 2012 Empulse Announcement

Dear Kenneth Moore,

As you may have already heard, we are proud to announce that we will be revealing the production version of the much anticipated Brammo Empulse on May 8th, 2012. The launch event for the media will take place in Los Angeles and will be webcast live to all pre-order customers. Since the Empulse concept was first revealed, a vast amount of development and testing has taken place and we are confident that you will be delighted with the ground-breaking electric motorcycle we are about to reveal.

Electric motorcycle racing is an integral part of our lives here at Brammo and our experience and championship record on the track has played a critical role in the evolution of the Empulse from concept to production. Professional racers have had a hand in the development of the Empulse and they will be sharing their Empulse riding experiences and impressions at the reveal on May 8th.

Follow this link and learn more about theEmpulse and its roots in Brammo's racing heritage.

If you have questions about the Brammo Empulse simply email [email protected] for an answer.

The Brammo Team
 

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Huh, wonder how I missed that? Was it in Dennis' blog? They filter the MO blogs at work for some reason.
Yep, it went up as a blog post, but all those entries are found in our News section. Lots of good stuff going up under that tab. I'm looking forward to seeing and riding the Empulse, even if it's nearly a year later than expected.
 

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The Toad
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I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but Honda's RC-E sure looks a like a "beefier" version of the Brammo Empulse.

Motoczysz will be back this year and should easily break the 100 mph average speed record, which they missed by a few tenths last year. Probably several bikes will be in that speed range.
Yeah. Leave it to Honda to come along after others have done all the ground work.
 
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