Juneau, Alaska

“The City and Borough of Juneau (/ˈdʒuːnoʊ/ JOO-no; Tlingit: Dzánti K’ihéeni [ˈtsántʰì kʼìˈhíːnì]), is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and it is the second largest city in the United States by area.”
 
See Juneau, Alaska
I was curious why, with the dearth of planned dealerships for the Electra Meccanica Solo in Canada, there is one planned for Juneau, Alaska. What’s with that?

A little reading gives some clues.

  • Those folks are somewhat environmentally conscious having dropped the idea of building a road linking Juneau to the rest of North America.
  • The city and surroundings are sprawling, so transportation is important and a Solo would have a very useful range there.

I think the folks in Juneau are a bit ahead of the rest of us, except for the roads part. Every city I know of in North America could use vehicles like Solo to create more space on city streets, reduce noise and air-pollution, and get people to where they need to go with much less effort (maintenance, maintenance and more maintenance). Saving money, of course, is another benefit.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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15 Responses to Juneau, Alaska

  1. oiaohm says:

    Tell me, how often in miles or kilometers must a vehicle have changed, its oil filter utilizing a bypass filter? Please use concise reasoning.
    dougman weather is a huge factor. By pass filters were first developed for Antarctica so that oil and filter remained in use-able condition for at least 8 months. So a oil change would only have to be done in the warmer months.

    In fact you cannot go by kilometres or miles. Kilometres or miles are a rough number that can be used for hours of engine operation. There is a big but its only 1 of the 3 values you need. You need hours of engine operation + number of starts + weather conditions to work out when oil will need remanufacturing or simply test your oil.

    dougman so you are a idiot who has never taken care of forklifts operating inside and out side of cold rooms. I will tell you the forklifts out side the cold room filled with exactly the same oil with exactly the same bypass system last up to 12 times longer between oil changes than the forklift operating in the cold room. Both with the same driving conditions other than temperature. There are two reasons why electric fork lifts are used more and more in cold rooms. 1 no fume problem 2 they don’t bugger up as badly in the cold as long as they are designed for it.

    Yes and electric forklifts for cold rooms have battery heaters and insulation around battery. Scary part is take electric forklift designed for cold room out of cold room on hot day have battery overheat and possible catch fire. So people making EV have to work out how to do what the electric forklifts do for cold rooms without the lack of tolerance to heat. Lot of cold room temperature is -20C the temperature you were making out that having batteries was a problem as well dougman. You are correct a battery with no heater and insulation solution is going to have a problem at -20C. Also even heating the battery its still less heat in the cold room than running fuel engines that is another advantage to electric in cold rooms.

    dougman basically you an idiot on this topic again. You think you know stuff to be able to design a valid question. At least this was somewhat on topic.

  2. dougman wrote, “how often in miles or kilometers must a vehicle have changed, its oil filter utilizing a bypass filter? Please use concise reasoning.”

    OK. I live in a cold country. Let’s use an extreme example. I drive short trips to and from my imaginary work, say 3 miles there and 3 miles back. That’s 6 miles a day (in five months of cold weather, 600miles for work and likely more than that for shopping/visiting) but the engine barely gets to operating temperature before I shut it down. That causes condensation from exhaust bypass into the crankcase. PCV helps remove some water vapour but it can’t remove what condenses down there in the cold corners. The result is a build up of water in the crankcase. Worse, gasoline ICEs use a rich fuel mixture for the warm-up, increasing production of water vapour.

    Now, water can be used as a lubricant for loose wooden bearings in hydroelectric dams but it’s a very poor lubricant for an engine at high revs. So, if I don’t change my oil regularly the water builds up and I get premature wear, not good. The worst case is a plugged oil line from ice crystals. I can start my engine at -40C because I need it to run but it’s hard on it. Manufacturers recommend changing oil in as little as 3000miles under such conditions even though in ideal conditions the engine might run 8000miles with no problems. Plugging in a block heater does help speed up engine warm-up but it’s not perfect. The block heater does not heat the valve covers much.

  3. dougman says:

    Pogsey, you are just like Fifi. Knowing something and posting a link to an article is not the same.

    Tell me, how often in miles or kilometers must a vehicle have changed, its oil filter utilizing a bypass filter? Please use concise reasoning.

  4. dougman wrote, “All my vehicles have a oil-bypass unit installed.”

    I know about oil filtration. The gas-guzzler’s oil is clean. It still needs changing.

  5. dougman says:

    “Meanwhile the gas-guzzler costs $200 a year just on oil-changes.”

    If you are paying $200 annually for oil-changes, you are doing it wrong. All my vehicles have a oil-bypass unit installed. Even on my tractor; the oil stays clean for a VERY long-time, which extends the life of the engine.

  6. dougman wrote, “it will cost you extra money for storage, licensing and insurance during the six-months you cannot use the blessed thing.”

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I can own a vehicle without insuring it or registering it. It’s only for moving it around on the roads under its own power that requires those things. When I do drive it I will be saving $ per mile. It’s a lot:

    • Insurance is less because the vehicle is small and inexpensive.
    • Energy is less because it’s more efficient. Solar/wind can certainly keep up with a vehicle that spends most of its time parked while I’m sleeping or walking around. Typically, folks pay ~$1/L of gasoline here. My gas-guzzler drives about 5 miles for that, about 20¢/mile. The Solo takes 16kWh and gets 100 miles, about 1.6¢/mile. I can easily drive a few thousand miles in six months, even if I lived in the city.
    • Then there’s maintenance. Lighter weight and only three tires makes the Solo a winner on tires. Oil-changes? What oil-changes? Meanwhile the gas-guzzler costs $200 a year just on oil-changes. Solo has no radiator/coolant, just a braking system and an electric motor. Over a year there are $thousands in savings. Over the lifetime, Solo will pay for itself.
    • If time is money, Solo wins again. No warm-up required. Just jump in and drive. There’s no idling at the red light. No extra fuel during warm-up. No replacement of the engine after 100K miles. Fewer visits to the service-centre means more time for life.
  7. dougman says:

    “Six months of savings is better than no savings.”

    What savings? LOL…buy a stupid car that one can only use for six-months is idiotic. If anything, it will cost you extra money for storage, licensing and insurance during the six-months you cannot use the blessed thing.

  8. dougman wrote, “Lets drop $15K on a car that you can only drive 6-months out of the year, sounds like a wise investment.”

    Six months of savings is better than no savings. Lots of folks have both a gas-guzzler and a pickup truck. Why not add an EV to the mix? The best tool for the job… The low maintenance and low cost of operation and quiet and small size of the Solo make it attractive almost anywhere at any time. That’s why Electra Meccanica is backed up a year with orders.

  9. oiaohm wrote, ” Do you think you would be driving a cabin of a car with a temperature lower than 0C or would you be turning the heater on.”

    Some EVs have heaters for the battery and advice to turn on interior heaters while charging to make the ride more comfortable during a short commute in cold weather with little impact on range. Battery is usually between the passenger compartment and the cold environment so even in bitter cold if the passenger compartment is the least bit comfortable the battery is only halfway to cold.

  10. oiaohm says:

    So your charging cycle will be extended due to said battery heating, not mention the additional time needed for low-current charging due to cold weather. Its would only be usable once a week in reality.
    The solo battery is inside the cabin where its heater circuit can be used to keep battery in better changing and discharging temperature. So cost will be more power used for changing not longer charging time and cost some of it range maintaining it temperature.

    So solo design means you complete idea of Low-current charging is bull. Solo heats car cabin then charges battery. So no low current problem.

    “dougman where is the solo batteries.”

    At the battery store, duh!
    Batteries in a EV can be inside cabin or outside cabin. Solo is inside cabin. Does change many factors. Do you think you would be driving a cabin of a car with a temperature lower than 0C or would you be turning the heater on.

  11. dougman says:

    “dougman where is the solo batteries.”

    At the battery store, duh!

  12. dougman says:

    “I don’t expect many would drive it that time of year. It’s not really a winter car”

    Makes it kinda worthless doesn’t it? Lets drop $15K on a car that you can only drive 6-months out of the year, sounds like a wise investment.

    “In the north most people use block-heaters for the gas-guzzler. They can do the same for an EV.”

    So your charging cycle will be extended due to said battery heating, not mention the additional time needed for low-current charging due to cold weather. Its would only be usable once a week in reality.

  13. oiaohm says:

    dougman where is the solo batteries. In the cabin with the driver. So its more a question how much battery the Solo will lose to central heating.

    http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/juneau/alaska/united-states/usak0116

    Next it would have paid to look at temperature data for the area. Cold as it get is 24F or -5C.

    dougman so being a idiot talking about values that don’t apply. So how much capacity is left at -5C that paper only covers 0C yes it a lot more than -20C.

    Alaska gets very little direct sunlight in the winter Pogsey, charging the battery with solar will not work, it would entail the use of nuclear and hydrocarbons.
    http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Issues/Renewable-Energy-in-Alaska.html
    Also there are a lot more options other than Solar. So this is another idiot comment by dougman.

  14. dougman, belching negativity wrote, “Alaska gets very little direct sunlight in the winter Pogsey, charging the battery with solar will not work, it would entail the use of nuclear and hydrocarbons. In addition to that, the extreme weather will kill the battery.”

    Juneau is at 58.3° N, so it will get some sunshine even on Dec 21. I don’t expect many would drive it that time of year. It’s not really a winter car except for short trips and using heating to make the battery and operator’s compartment more comfortable. In the north most people use block-heaters for the gas-guzzler. They can do the same for an EV. In a short trip it would not cool down much and the Solo has heating derived from the battery if needed. Further, at that latitude, the sun shines nearly 24h in summer so conversely solar would be a great play in Juneau. If the trips are rather short, one charging might last a week then.

    He also wrote, “At -20°C, only 70% of the rated capacity is accessible”.

    Who cares? If the range is optimally ~100 miles and at -20°C is 70 miles, who cares if the usual trip is 10-15 km?

    So, that was a lot of wasted energy signifying little. The Solo and other EVs are useful in Juneau and just about any other place big enough to make walking around impractical at times.

  15. dougman says:

    Juneau, City in Alaska. Population about 31K, of which 69% are White.

    So we have here a dealer setup to serve ONLY 21K people. Using the 80/20 principle, approximately 20% of the population would be interested and 20% of those may be inclined to purchase. So that is a few hundred toys sold, but since Electra Meccanica can only build say ten units per month. People will be waiting a VERY long time for delivery.

    Alaska gets very little direct sunlight in the winter Pogsey, charging the battery with solar will not work, it would entail the use of nuclear and hydrocarbons. In addition to that, the extreme weather will kill the battery.

    In general, lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged below 32°F. Although the it appears to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium can occur on the anode during a sub-freezing charge. This is permanent and cannot be removed with cycling. Batteries with lithium plating are more vulnerable to failure if exposed to vibration or other stressful conditions.

    Charging lithium-ion below freezing temperatures is indeed possible with most advanced lithium-ion cells but only at very low currents and according to research papers, the allowable charge rate at –22°F and at such a low current, the charge time would stretch to over 50 hours, a time which is deemed impractical.

    https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/bitstream/handle/10012/7350/Lo_Joshua.pdf

    At low temperatures, the battery affects vehicle electric range mainly due to loss of
    capacity and decreased efficiency. At -20°C, only 70% of the rated capacity is accessible,
    meaning vehicle range is reduced by 30%. Decreased efficiency at -20°C results in an
    additional 5-14% loss of electric range compared to performance at 25°C depending on
    the drive cycle.

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