A busy week again! I spent much time at Plug-In 2008, learning more about electric vehicles, like what vehicle and battery manufacturers are up to, timelines to production of many products, etc. I was surprised to hear that tens of thousands of the one million Prius’ sold have been converted to plug-in for longer electric car mode, even absent of possible warranty voidance. I listened to Andy Grove’s (Intel) proclamation that we convert 10 million pickups, SUVs and vans in the US to electric only operation within four years to save enough fuel consumption to actual reduce fuel prices, reduce emissions and advance electric and hybrid vehicle technology. It was horribly apparent that there are few electric/plug-in hybrid vehicle choices today, and that GM and Ford seem to be way behind and undervalue or underestimate consumer demand. It seems that smaller, niche manufacturers will fill the void over the next few years.
I was also lucky enough to test drive an electric motorcycle. Although I raced motorcross when I was a teenager, I am pretty darn afraid of motorcycles, but I had a blast on this hot-rod, all electric motorcycle. It was based upon a Ducati street sport bike and had amazing acceleration, control and balance. Getting up to freeway speeds was as easy as moving the throttle to as fast as you wanted to go, and slowing down was again merely a control of the throttle position. No shifting required, ever. Wow, no shifting was far better than I ever expected and actually IMPROVED control. This coming from a guy who has always preferred manual transmissions. Brakes were only required when below about 5 mph, as regenerative braking took care of the rest. I was amazed at the performance and loved the quiet ride without all of the obnoxious noise associated with many motorcycles. If you might be interested in investing in an all electric motorcycle company, write me and I’ll connect with you the excellent founder of this start up company.