New Project Idea

I try not to hate too much in the world. It’s toxic. It’s often counterproductive. It doesn’t even make sense much of the time. But if there’s one thing I’m comfortable saying that I hate, it’s when people pat themselves on the back for something they think is great, but it really isn’t that great. In this instance, I’m talking about electric cars.

What exactly is the problem here? Are my choices really a $70K+ Tesla that can generally work like a regular car or a Nissan Leaf that has seriously limited range? I call bullshit. Regular hard working people want to get in on electric cars for the savings and to help the environment. Why isn’t there an electric car out there that’s affordable and doesn’t suck?

I see a situation like that and it screams “opportunity” to me. I know I could design and build a car that could meet those requirements if I had the backing. I’d make it the greatest company too. I’d locate it near where I live now where there isn’t hardly any manufacturing industry, but there is old unused infrastructure and labor available.

This is something I really want to do, but I have no idea where to start. At first I got a sketchbook and started designing a car. I took notes on any and all random ideas I had. I felt like it worked out well. I had lots of sketches and notes about what I felt were good design ideas and things people hadn’t considered before. But that’s where it ended. It’s a huge leap from designs in a notebook to a working prototype. Not to mention I have nothing even resembling the funds or resources to get something like that built. All I have is the knowledge, the vision, and the skills.

I dropped the idea for about a year since it seemed like such a dead end. Recently though, it occurred to me that maybe there was a kind of stepping stone that could work. What if I went out and found an old go-kart frame ripped out the gas engine and built it up as an electric buggy to proof-of-concept my ideas? Used go-karts aren’t always cheap, but a frame should be super cheap. I don’t even want the bearings and wheels, since I would replace them.

My vision for this electric buggy would be to actually use a number of bicycle components because they’re easy to get, relatively cheap and I’m very familiar with them. I’d use big, meaty mountain bike tires and have all four wheels equipped with disc brakes. With an electric motor, there’s no complicated torque converter or centrifugal clutch. It can pretty much direct drive the wheels. One of the ideas for my full sized electric car was to use four motors as opposed to one. This would make the car all-wheel drive on demand basically. I wonder if it would be cheap enough that I could do it on the electric buggy as well.

Anyway, I’m starting to think this might be my next big project. My PV power station is basically in maintenance mode right now. There isn’t much to improve about it, though I often think of how I might expand its capacity and power. An electric buggy, especially one with excellent ground clearance provided by mountain bike tires, would be a fun class-4 road or just off-road toy. Though it would certainly work fine on pavement as well.

It’s so frustrating to me that the hangup in all of this is my lack of funds and time. I work full time and I don’t have the extra funds to drive something like this. How do you get to that place? How do you make ideas reality? I want people to have a choice of an electric car that they can afford, and I’m tired of people praising Tesla like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. When only super rich people can afford it, it’s not.

Vacation Day 2

Well, not my second day, but the second day of me doing something. I went to a nice lake that was seriously in the middle of nowhere. It was kind of cold out, but the water was warm. I only waded in it a bit. Kip had a great time.

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