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Discussion Starter #1
Police in Los Angeles are trying out the new electric motorcycles--Brammo Empulse and Zero DS. It could be a good idea, although 130 mile range for the Brammo seems a little bit short for a full day of work. Hope they have a seat upgrade on both of them. Interesting to follow.
 

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I wonder if there will be some 220 chargers available? On the Ford electrics and plug in hybrids they charge in like an hour or two with the 220 charger (you have to have an electrician install it), versus like 15 hours with a standard electrical cord.

It would be a cool commuter bike if not for the cost. Problem is, I can't see spending full motorcycle price on one. But I could see spending a few grand on a good sized scooter (not a little 50cc size one, but like a suzuki burgman or honda silverwing) or even a small sportbike type setup. Something to commute with. I could ride out to my office, plug it in, and ride bike every day. My wife could go back and forth to work everyday for a week on a charge! (She has a very short commute). I always thought a fun project would be to turn some old car into an electric commuter car.

But, in the end, it's the same issue with all electric vehicles. Only practical in dense urban areas. Short range, but cost more than conventional gas powered vehicles, meaning the average joe isn't going to fork over that money because they'll still need a gas powered version available to them.

Diesel would be great. Guys have been shoehorning diesel motors into bikes and hitting near triple digit MPG. But for some reason, the US of A is afraid of Diesel. That's why we can't get them! I'd LOVE to have the 1.0L turbodiesel in my new focus that's offered in europe. 60MPG!
 

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Looks like an interesting concept. The really fast chargers work off 480V three phase. When I installed the 230V 50A outlet in my garage for my welder, I put it where it would be easy to charge a car some time in the future.
 

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What good are they with range of 130 and takes 7 hrs to charge.
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Thanks for posting the pic; saves me from searchin.

It would probably be good for escort and event duties; maybe one or two in the downtown area.
But around here, most of the motorcycle work is on the highways and 130 miles wouldn't last till lunch.
I would figure they would have to keep most of their motor patrol on good ol petro.

Scott
 

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I put it where it would be easy to charge a car some time in the future.
The price on battery powered vehicles is not going down any time soon. This makes it unavailable to many average people who compare the pros and cons and considering the price and inconvenience to charge batteries, not a good buy.

You run out of juice in a Tesla, you can't run to the totesum and get a jug of electricity and juice up your car. I believe the technology is here for an affordable hybrid(for average Joe) that will give you both electric driving range and a backup gas engine close to 500 miles or more before charging and fueling up but it is all about money.
 

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The price on battery powered vehicles is not going down any time soon. This makes it unavailable to many average people who compare the pros and cons and considering the price and inconvenience to charge batteries, not a good buy.

You run out of juice in a Tesla, you can't run to the totesum and get a jug of electricity and juice up your car. I believe the technology is here for an affordable hybrid(for average Joe) that will give you both electric driving range and a backup gas engine close to 500 miles or more before charging and fueling up but it is all about money.
There are 'plug in hybrids' (hybrids that, after charging, can go 30 miles or so before they have to kick on the engine) available in the $30k segment. The problem with hybrids and cost is the same problem with American diesels and cost. Companies only put them in high end variations of cars. I guess people who want inexpensive cars don't want good gas mileage?

There are lots of already available, great technologies like Diesel. But we Americans are afraid to use them. Heck, we won't even drive manual transmissions, which are cheaper, more reliable, AND get better gas mileage.

I once looked into electric conversions. Had one of those early 90's Saturns that were really popular. Had well over 300k on it and I had gotten a new car. There are a LOT of people getting REAL WORLD 150 mile ranges with a trunk full of deep-cycle marine batteries and off-the-shelf parts. Did you know that THOMAS EDISON had an electric car with a 100 mile range? The fact that this technology has been around but not improved for more than a century is telling.

So the next time someone tells you electric and plug in hybrids are 'new technology' that will only 'get better', remind them that Thomas Edison and his associates took an electric car over 1,000 miles (with stops to charge of course), a car that he continued to drive as his daily driver.



Thanks for posting the pic; saves me from searchin.

It would probably be good for escort and event duties; maybe one or two in the downtown area.
But around here, most of the motorcycle work is on the highways and 130 miles wouldn't last till lunch.
I would figure they would have to keep most of their motor patrol on good ol petro.

Scott
Not to mention lights, radios, computers, etc. I imagine you won't get anywhere NEAR 130 miles when you have all of that running. And while it's 'cool', I hate to think of these departments sinking that kind of cash into a vehicle that just isn't practical. New York City is using hybrid patrol cars (Prius) in downtown areas. I think that's smart. Hybrids are most efficient in the city and it's an investment that could actually save money! But these electric bikes aren't practical enough to take ANOTHER vehicle off the road, meaning they only cost them money, not save them.
 

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Lets say a discovery is made during our lifetimes where a few cheap chemicals are combined to produce objects that will levitate about 8 inches off the ground and then a rather fairly cheap computer guided propulsion/stopping system was engineered that would allow you to purchase an off-shoot of a MC for less than $10k. Think of all the products this would affect because everyone is going to want one.

My point? Money drives or destroys every thing... and the average guy never learns about all the secret wheeling and dealing that goes on. Why? Money shuts mouths!



car

 

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But we Americans are afraid to use them.
Considering the non-truck experience (Olds diesels, anyone?) and even some light truck diesels (early GM 6.2, anyone?) with them in the previous offerings do you blame them?

The biggest problem with economy here in the US isn't implementation of diesel technology, but more our appetite for power.

I'm all for great fuel mileage if that's what you want but I'm not interested in a ~100hp car and I'd guess most people in the USA aren't.
 

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Considering the non-truck experience (Olds diesels, anyone?) and even some light truck diesels (early GM 6.2, anyone?) with them in the previous offerings do you blame them?

The biggest problem with economy here in the US isn't implementation of diesel technology, but more our appetite for power.

I'm all for great fuel mileage if that's what you want, but I'm not interested in a 50-100hp car.
Oh I get that completely. But what I'm saying is, we're selling these 100hp cars, cars with 1000cc 3 cylinder gas engines, cars with ugly, ridiculous looking hubcaps to save fuel economy like hotcakes. Why not just go with a proven technology? Sure there are some bad apples but looking at the European market and, to a smaller scale the US market, Diesels have a proven track record of reliability.

As far as 50-100hp, maybe if it was the 1980's. Today's diesel car engines are a huge improvement over what was produced in the 1980's. For example, I just ordered a 2014 Ford Focus. It's got a 2.0L, 160HP gas engine in it, and gets just under 40mpg. I'm happy with it, great fuel economy for a daily driver, and decent power. Sporty handling too! But over across the pond, they have a 130hp (but with gobs more torque) 1.6L turbodiesel that gets the US equivalent of nearly 70mpg! Maybe I AM in the minority; but my bike is what I have fun on, my car is just transportation. So I would gladly take a 20 horsepower hit to save a substantial amount of money on fuel. Those small 'ecoboost' diesels have a track record of reliability (they've been around on the Focus since the late 90's in various variations over in europe, but never brought here.) And no, that's not a hybrid! That's a reliable, small engine on a smallish/mid-sized car (the focus is bigger than it used to be, but it's still not quite even a 'mid sized' car).

And, as you probably know from the trucks, Diesels are generally rated more with torque than anything. Big road tractors are running as little as 250 horsepower (most commonly, 300 or 400 horsepower). The new V6 Mustang is over 300 horsepower; but it definitely won't pull a loaded tandem axle trailer! Because it DOESN'T have the more than 1,000 lbs of torque those big diesels have. So they DO have power, even if the 'horsepower' numbers aren't higher than their gas counterparts. Fact is, Diesel fuel creates more energy with less fuel; and THAT is what makes them more efficient.

Don't get me wrong, they are slow! But, so are all of these hybrids, 'plugin hybrids' and 'super fuel economy' package cars. Why 'power hungry' Americans would buy those and not the Diesels is beyond me. I think a LOT of it is fear of something new. Americans want power? Then why do we throw it all out the window with power-robbing automatic transmissions?

You could be right, but I still think 'fear of something we aren't used to' is a big part of it. Chevy has a diesel on the Cruze now, but you have to get the top trim level for the Diesel to even be an option; which is ludacris.

Ford claims the reason they don't bring it over is that it costs substantially more to get a diesel 'approved' by the US EPA than it does overseas, and if it doesn't sell well then it won't be a money maker. I guess I could buy that. So I guess it's probably a combination of a lot of factors; but it's still frustrating! It's frustrating when you have to special-order your car because nobody has any manuals in stock unless they are a bottom-of-the-barrel base model (To be fair, I was very picky and had it configured EXACTLY the way I wanted. BUT; there were TWO configured just that way on the lot with autos, and yet not one in the entire MIDWEST configured that way with a manual). The FIRST option any dealer buys is the auto trans. And when you have a 70mpg variant of your car available everywhere EXCEPT for the country in which it's made! If I need to hot rod I'll take the bike out. Just need something to get me to work. Less money I spend on fuel, the more money I can spend on chrome! :cool:
 

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What is the ~100hp car you mention selling like hotcakes?

There are only about 1/3 the number of Prius (Prii ? ;) ) sold (#14 on the list 2012) compared to Ford's F-series pickup. In fact, there are three trucks/pickups in the top 10. Ford F-series #1, Chevy Silverado #2, Dodge/Ram #7.

It's a pretty safe general argument to say that most people want better fuel economy, but sales information suggests in the USA people aren't all that interested (relatively speaking) in econoboxes.
 

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What is the ~100hp car you mention selling like hotcakes?

There only only about 1/3 the number of Prius sold (#14 on the list 2012) compared to Ford's F-series pickup. In fact, there are three trucks/pickups in the top 10. Ford F-series #1, Chevy Silverado #2, Dodge/Ram #7.

It's a pretty safe general argument to say that most people want better fuel economy, but sales information suggests that in the USA people aren't all that interested (relatively speaking) in econoboxes.
I'm referring to 'within the segment'. Econocars don't sell as well as full and mid sized sedans and full sized pickups. That's always been the American market!

But the fact is, efficient smaller cars ARE a growing segment. And for me, I just can't see why a small hybrid, a car like the Chevy Volt, plug-in hybrids, or even some of these 3 cylinder gas cars are what American companies (and foreign companies sell in the U.S.) think is going to sell, but they won't even consider small diesel engines in that segment. Does that make sense?

So it's not really a case of 'what sells best'. It's just a case of, why are all of these low horsepower hybrids AVAILABLE, and you corrected me on the sales numbers; I thought they were selling better (you see them everywhere). So anyway, there are TONS of options AVAILABLE in that market; but not a single domestic small diesel? Only a SMALL number of german diesels available? Why does the segment not even EXIST in the U.S. market despite being very popular in europe?

Granted this isn't europe. We don't like cars that small. But I think there are a lot of us who do own a smaller car (not tiny, but not full sized), who would like a Diesel option. Or maybe it's just me and I'm the only one who'd buy one!
 

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How do you know they aren't considering it?

I work for an OEM (not of cars nor motorcycles, however) and am privy to virtually all aspects from design concept to rollout and aftersales support.

We consider virtually all customer input but that doesn't mean it all ends up going into the machines because in the big picture even though there may be many requests, compared to all requests they're essentially onesi-twosi.

At the end of the day, it still has to make business sense for the company to do it.
 

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How do you know they aren't considering it?

I work for an OEM (not of cars nor motorcycles, however) and am privy to virtually all aspects from design concept to rollout and aftersales support.

Customer input is highly valued but in the end it has to make business sense for the company too.
I'm sure they are. I'm sure they are considering a LOT of things! But Diesel engines are older than gas engines, yet, here in 2014, you virtually cannot buy a domestic car in the U.S. with a diesel engine; with very few, very limited exceptions. (aka, the Chevy Cruze Diesel).

It's not the most important issue in the world. It's just something that makes me scratch my head. And it's not that it HAS to be an American car. I ride a Kawasaki, obviously, I can live with myself buying an import. BUT; it's crazy, to me, that there are these varied options from American manufacturers everywhere BUT here (because they can get the 2.0 GDI gas engine that I have over there too; but the Diesel is an OPTION!)
 

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Although the Olds diesel did have a couple of design flaws, it was the first big V8 diesel available in a light duty truck to the general public. When many folks bought them, they thought
"Oh boy, I got me a big rig now" and were expected to pull down a barn, haul their tractor up the side of a mountain and pull the biggest trailer they could find.
Under those conditions they had a short life. They were never meant to replace a Peterbuilt!
 

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Although the Olds diesel did have a couple of design flaws, it was the first big V8 diesel available in a light duty truck to the general public. When many folks bought them, they thought
"Oh boy, I got me a big rig now" and were expected to pull down a barn, haul their tractor up the side of a mountain and pull the biggest trailer they could find.
Under those conditions they had a short life. They were never meant to replace a Peterbuilt!
Speaking of which, I saw an article in one of those doctors office magazines (you know, the kind you never heard of before but seems to fill every waiting room ever? lol), talking about a growing trend of people pulling 5th wheel RV's behind big commercial trucks (like Volvo, Peterbilt, etc.). They buy them used and hook their 5th wheel right up to it. They are getting too big and heavy for even the biggest dually diesel pickups!

Kinda makes me nervous about the guys who ARE pulling those things behind their trucks! LOL.

(And we're talking the BIG 5th wheels that are every bit as big as the full size motorcoaches, just without the engine and the cockpit!)
 

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Had an experience a few years ago. I was going up a narrow two lane STEEP hill and had a Dodge diesel pulling a horse trailer, behind me. Well, he was not going to follow a motorhome up this grade, so he pulled out to pass. He rolled smoke up beside me, powered out and you guessed it, a car came over the hill in the opposite direction. I had to slam on the brakes so that he could move over and avoid a header. This fellow obviously thought the torque was unlimited! It was a close call....

That is how many of the first generation diesels were driven, only 125 horsepower (if I remember) didn't go very far and breakage resulted.
 

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I drove a early model GM pickup with the 6.2L. It was a POS. Something blew, head gasket probably, and filled the oil pan with water. Good bye, good riddance.

Later drove a Dodge truck with the Cummins 24-valve diesel. That was a pretty good engine all in all...especially with the Air Dog fuel pump system, Edge EZ, and TST PowerMax2 on it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
electricity

And if the electricity goes out.....

I think you all did the job of the Los Angeles Police Dept. to evaluate the use of these bikes. It's pretty tight there; in certain areas these bikes might be worthwhile, and reduce smog, too. It's nice to live in an area with no smog (it blows away in West Texas), but I agree with one of the first comments--130 miles wouldn't get you to lunch. Dallas or Houston on the other hand might find a use for them.
 
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