The EVcast Blog Entry

EVcast #4: Interview with ZENN Motors’ CEO Ian Clifford
Monday, June 2nd 2008 @ 12:43 PM (not yet rated) post viewed 7795 times

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Interview with ZENN Motors’ CEO Ian Clifford
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Luru said on Tuesday, June 3rd 2008 @ 9:31 AM:
I could live with 10%. Thanks for the feedback.

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Luru said on Tuesday, June 3rd 2008 @ 9:31 AM:
Really enjoyed the interview with Ian Clifford ,great information. It would be interesting to hear about air conditioning in these cars being from Florida this is a biggie. If a/c is included it would be interesting to see how it would affect range of car. Just a thought. Anyone have any knowledge on this subject?

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Bill Berggren
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BillBerggren said on Tuesday, June 3rd 2008 @ 1:32 PM:
I think Zenn already has air conditioning and its free. EEStor might be a bigger invention than the tv or the computer. I have also been looking at other energy storge devices and compressed air and flywheels actually have energy storage similar or better than batteries. There is some guy in Austrailia tha makes a nice air engine and some guy in france trying to sell air car.

Also looked at autobloggreen and found there is a hack to make Zenn go 35 mpg. However it is illegal to do unless you are in Montana. Hopefully the speed limit is raised to 35 for all NEVs (neighborhood electric vehicles).

Really liked this CEO.

As for air conditioing and range, I think a read long ago it may cut your range a little bit like 10%.

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a guest said on Sunday, June 15th 2008 @ 2:51 AM:
I’m a little worried that Mr. Clifford said that, given a 220v charging outlet, an eestor-equipped ZENN could recharge in “a couple of hours.” You should have asked him how big the storage unit would be (energy capacity). You need 40-50 KWh to move something like the Zenn car around 200 miles. Assume the Zenn is very efficient and uses the lower figure, 40kWh. This means that the charging unit needs to deliver a continuous 20 kW for two hours to recharge the storage unit. Power = Current * Voltage. And so Power / Voltage = Current. 20000 W / 220V = about 91 amps. That’s a hefty circuit. To compare, an electric dryer wants maybe 30A, and an electric oven 40A. Figure that recharging the Zenn storage unit would want a circuit that could handle the load of your clothes washer, dryer, and even all operating at once. That is to say, it’s thinkable that the mainline tap for your dwelling could handle that much current, but I’m wondering if any single outlet could, or whether you could run much of anything else in your house while the car was charging. These would have been good questions to ask Mr. Clifford.

I’m very skeptical about a 5 minute recharge. My own personal opinion is that the average homeowner, with typical house wiring and no special hookups (e.g., no direct mainline taps) would be lucky to recharge the eestor-equipped Zenn in 5 HOURS at 240V, no matter how quickly the eestor unit itself could accept charge.

I do agree that the eestor-to-eestor recharging mechanism Mr. Clifford mentioned sounds doable, given proper connectivity. Again, it takes a big wire (and probably external cooling arrangements) to handle such a big current, and we haven’t even mentioned the safety issues involved with high currents and voltages.

I wish Zenn well and look forward to good news as eestor passes its independently-verified milestones, and as the City Zenn comes closer to reality.

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John Briggs
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JohnBriggs said on Tuesday, June 17th 2008 @ 8:54 AM:
Regarding the crushing of the the EV1s, this seems to be a standard industry practice for cars that may have a questionable future.

In February, Wired magazine had an article about a cargo ship with 4703 Mazdas onboard. The ship flipped onto its side at about 45 degrees for a couple of weeks before it could be righted and brought into port.

The cars should have been fine, but no one at Mazda could guarantee the quality of the vehicles. So eventually all 4703 cars were shredded. I think this guarantees no lawsuits related to these questionable vehicles. It is really sad because the vehicles were likely to be fine.

After reading this article, GMs actions don’t seem quite so out-of-the ordinary. However, it is truly sad that 2000 EV1s were destroyed. These would be the perfect vehicles for upgrade to Li-Ion batteries. EV1 was a truly break-thru vehicle.

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John Briggs
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JohnBriggs said on Tuesday, June 17th 2008 @ 9:52 AM:
Hydrogen, Hydrogen, Hydrogen. Our hope for the future, good for what ails you.

My understanding is this. Hydrogen is not a primary energy source. It is an energy storage mechanism. In many ways, Hydrogen is more like a battery than anything else. We can put energy into hydrogen (by electrolizing water) and take energy out (like a PEM fuel cell).

So in this sense, hydrogen and batteries are the same.

Hydrogen and petroleum are not the same. Petroleum can be pumped from the ground and contains a great deal of energy. Hydrogen cannot be pumped from the ground. It must be created (generally from water) and this takes a lot of energy.

So here is the problem for hydrogen. The conversion efficiency for hydrogen is something like 25%. Apparently, changing electrical energy into hydrogen is very inefficient. Then converting hydrogen back into electricity (PEM fuel cell) is also very inefficient. So in the end, the amount of electricity that makes it from the wall-plug to the wheel motors is very small.

On the other hand, for batteries something like 80 to 90% of the wall-plug electricity can be delivered to the wheelsl.

Electricity should be stored as electricity and not converted to some other form and then converted back.

This makes hydrogen a non-starter and people close to the PEM fuel cell work have already figure out that PEM fuel cells will never be used for cars because batteries have something like 3 times the efficiency. So PEM fuel cells for cars have been dropped from serious discussion among the people in the know.

However, we continue to talk about hydrogen as if it is reasonable. If the conversion efficiency issues with hydrogen are true, we need to stop talking about it as if it was a serious option.

Perhaps if you have time, you can look into the efficiency issues regarding hydrogen so the podcasts can reflect hydrogen in the proper light.

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John Briggs
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JohnBriggs said on Tuesday, June 17th 2008 @ 2:43 PM:
One more thing regarding hydrogen. I found this post on another blog. Unless there is some serious error here, hydrogen is a non-starter. We should not be talking about it as anything but the BS that it is.

The actual difference in electricity consumption between a FCEV and a BEV is a factor of four or five. For example, the Honda FCX is rated by the EPA at 50 miles/kg hydrogen. A Stuart electrolyzer uses about 63 kWh of AC electricity to make and compress one kg of hydrogen, resulting in 1.26 kWh/mile consumption. By contrast, the Toyota RAV4EV is rated by the EPA at only 0.30 kWh/mile AC. The fuel cell version consumes over four times as much electricity per mile!

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a guest said on Monday, July 7th 2008 @ 4:29 PM:
Ian speaks of EEStor’s ‘assembly line’… that the Purification as well as Permeativity milestones are being completed ON THE ASSEMBLY LINE… however, there is NO information that they ACTUALLY HAVE a working model. I have read that they have full charge cycles in the MILLIONS, which lends credence to their claims. HOWEVER… NO INDEPENDANT verification, that I know of, that it actually exists. If they would simply ‘show’ us that they have something which works, everything would be different. They don’t have to show us first on Wal-Mart shelves… they just need to show us a working model.

I am very unclear why they would be doing it this way, however, I must applaud them if they (EEStor) works. I like the way they are doing it, and in essence, I would probably to it the same way. This COULD be a life changing technology if it works. And would have ramifications in almost all corners of the earth. Therefore, making sure that it works, they can make it, and can make it quickly would be beneficial to them. Rather than have the ‘oil assassins’ trying to stop it before the world has a chance to enjoy it.

I guess that the best way to introduce it as a working model would be to introduce it on a massive scale. If the consumers saw this working, they wouldn’t stand for legislation which would be tuned to try to inhibit its release. Whereas, if they gave the powers that be, time to fashion legislation which would deter its inception, and they DIDN’T have enough saturation with the populace, it would be much more difficult to put into production. Massive elemental purchases by conglomerates could restrain its being built. Massive corporate lobbying could also push it around. Having a fantastic and massive introduction would be the safest way to get this into the mainstream.

I do worry about EEStor however. It has been saying approximately the same thing for 4 years now.

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Graham McNally
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GrahamMc said on Monday, October 27th 2008 @ 12:20 PM:
Does anyone look at these comments if they are old? I am wondering what Zenn is planning to do about the retrofit market. If Eestor ever does deliver, the conversions will not have to wait for vehicle frame certification so will they offer those domestically with the Asian and European markets?

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Paul Cummings
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PaulCummings said on Monday, October 27th 2008 @ 1:27 PM:
Well, the good thing about how this site is set up is, on the main page, that last comments are displayed, no matter what episode they are attached to- so you can go back a hundred episodes like this one and your comment will still be seen.

I think your question is a good summation of the probable course of action for ZENN if and when EESTOR is able to deliver. I think (based on no scientific knowledge;-), that the EESTOR technology is for real, but it would not surprise me if this technology does not make it to the commercial world for another few years- but even if it takes, say, another 5 years, it will still be significant- it is that much of a breakthrough.

If it does take that long, I also hope ZENN is able to survive until it does- long before the Big Auto Manufacturers decided to jump on the band wagon, Ian Clifford had the vission and commitment to a cleaner world via a cleaner car. Here’s hoping he is able to reap the benefits as well!

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a guest said on Sunday, March 22nd 2009 @ 2:31 PM:
Seriously Guys, Who dont you ask Ian Clifford if he has ever seen an eestor working unit, powering something, anything. The rest of the world aka everybody believes this to be a hoax of huge perportions.
I suggest the next time you interview him, ask him. From where I sit, the whole thing is rather silly.

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a guest said on Thursday, June 25th 2009 @ 11:37 PM:
This is great news in the Electric Car arena. A more efficient and cost effective renewable energy system is needed. And I hope car parts for EV will not be too expensive like mercedes benz parts.

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