One could make an analogy to the space race in the 1960s. Both from the standpoint of government money being pumped into the venture, and from the standpoint of "ours always blow up" (nod to Tom Wolfe).
Half a billion dollars for luxury vehicle RD&D? I'm a bit dismayed to hear this. As with other commenters to this article, my congress-critter and senators will feel the depth of my support when I vote for their opponents.
Droid. Stop watching FOX. You are obviously brainwashed into thinking that we are wasting tax payer dollars on this technology. We waste far more money in the tax breaks we give to oil companies that are making 10s of billions of dollars/year. In addition to that waste, they (the senate and house) waste tons of our money and time with the oil issue. The oil companies have far too much money and power, and the whole goal of alternative power is to free the public from the corruption and pollution of big oil.
You are dreaming (or watching FOX and/or listening to NEWT) when you say you think that any realistic person (even proponents of Alternative Energy) thinks that everyone will own an electric in 5-10 years. The only people that talk like that are oil barons (and their minions) trying to trick you into fighting their battle. If we do nothing, then it will NEVER happen.
Droid: One last point to answer your question: EV technology, while new, is way less complicated and needs far less maintenance than internal combustion engines and conventional vehicles. With any new technology, there will be engineering mistakes, you can't blame the technology, it is sound and simple in comparison. If you read the article instead of spouting off immediately, you would have read that there are ~500 of those EVs on the road in consumers hands and have been for some time.
First, I would like to acknowledge Fisker for attempting to make a hybrid interesting.
Unfortunately, a high profile failure of a key component, in a start-up's premier product could very well kill the company.It is not like high-end car companies haven't ever dealt with unreliable vehicles and survived; anyone remember the early Jaguars?But in this case, consumers expect a much higher reliability. Jag survived because all early British sports cars were notoriously temperamental.
The silver lining here is that it is designed for a smaller market where vanity purchases are common.It is one of the only eco-car options available that gives very good looks with (assumed) decent performance.I don't think the Hollywood owners will have a problem with it failing every now and then, as long as they can be seen in it occasionally to show that they are green and still cool.
(Personal disclosure - I have only owned one vehicle with less than a V-8, and had it less than a year).
EV is used to describe a car that is propelled by battery alone. As I understand the technology, the engines in these vehicles like the Volt, are there to charge the batteries which actually propel the vehicle. So yes... they are "EV" class cars, with the added ability to increase the milage between charges (or fill-ups). A true hybrid is a vehicle, like the Prius, that will actually use the motor and the engine to propel the vehicle at the same time. PKONING: Get the chip off your shoulder and realize that the biggest complaint and issue holding back this (EV) technology is that people want a range of more than 50-60miles. Be happy we are going in the right direction. As battery densities increase, we can expect to rely less on the 'generator' aspect of these vehicles, but it may never go away entirely.
I agree and appreciate the fact that Design News published the truth on this. The fact that taxpayers money is being thrown into this is disturbing. Electric cars will be viable eventually, however, this appears to be just one of several "feel-good" green boon-doggles to come along.
Electrics have been in development off/on since early on in the last century - so I'm not sure why we expect them to magically appear in everyone's driveway in the next 5-10 years.
On a final point, I would like to know if we can differentiate between problems directly related to the challenges of building an electric vehicle based on new technology VERSUS general engineering design flaws? In other words, could we foresee this company making similar mistakes had they set out to build a more conventional automobile, or are these flaws all specifically related to challenges of the new technology?
Most likely the system has a board that contains more than a few diodes and parts to control the high voltage. Infant mortality is one of the first places to search on a new board or system. This is why a lot of firms burn boards in before deployment. Combining boards and systems from several manufacturers will result in this type of failure if the QA is not held up. Not defending Fiskar. They should have systems in place to ISO 900x that would have caught the defective part.
Just as Bob Lutz pointed out that Mitt Romney was completely wrong and off base about letting Detroit fall Because the Banks were defunct, he also pointed out that the development work should be done by the professionals.
That is why this auto, the Tessla and others will fail. And that is why the Volt and the Converj are such magnificent machines.
This is in the same category as the 3bladed wind engines of extremely low efficiency. A 1946 design. And they are exploding and blowing up and catching on fire, and icing up all over the world.
Those wind engines are promoted and perpetraded by ignorant Politicians too. I actually don't believe that Chu gets it. Mainsails pale in comparison with a spinnaker. And I am appalled that no entity has set up a proper testing and development facility for wind engines. It seems that we have nothing but lemmings and Johnathan Swift was very insightful.
But using the general statement and impication that Washington is totally bad is simply nuts. There are lots of brilliant and good people in government. And there are the likes of Cheney, W and others who are as reprehensible as it can get.
I have worked for GM, Chrysler, Small Architects, Large Architects, Oakland County, and the State of Michigan and the Federal Government and it always boils down to the people at the top of the entity. Do they they have integrity and honesty and kindness and innovation in their makeup.
Some of the finest people that I have worked with actually were in Government.
Rid yourself with that simplistic and dead wrong notion.
First the DOE awards $0.5 billion to a company that's building luxury cars in Finland then GM, which is partly owned by DOT, buys a 7% stake in French automaker Peugeot. Peugeot hasn't sold cars in the U.S. since 1991. No wonder unemployment is not decreasing. We keep shipping jobs overseas and the U.S. government is the biggest culprit.
It would be good to have accurate article headlines.
The Fisker isn't an EV, no more than the Volt is. I know the media have been given a snowjob by GM Marketing, but it would be good for writers to show some independent judgment and describe these devices correctly. Fisker and GM both build hybrids, not EVs. If you want an EV, you have to go to Tesla or Nissan.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is