Thursday, January 27, 2011

Detroit January 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Pictures at the Bottom

Africa is becoming a big market for the major economic players such as China and the United States. From the press we got about our zero emission wind generator, and the visit by Bill Clinton, several automobile manufactures have contacted us to test pilot some of their electric vehicle. These manufactures felt our village can be a big launching pad for the Botswana market and even all of Africa.

The issue of distance limitation of pure electric vehicles (EVs) might be stumbling block manufactures need to over come. Reliable electric is none existent in most of Africa and petro stations are rare once you leave a major city. So any vehicle must be able to travel several hundred miles on a single tank or charge.

Our first meeting was with Ford. While their technology today did not overwhelm us, what they showed us coming in the next few years I believe will change the whole game when it comes to Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). Unfortunately I signed a non-disclosure so I can not go into any more detail then that.

Our meeting with GM was more productive. They modified a Chevy VOLT all electric vehicle to be more of a utility vehicle. To lighten the load and make it a true EV they removed the auxiliary generator. To get the range we need they overloaded the vehicle with batteries. They believe with the extra batteries we will have a range of 600 miles. The other issue will be charging time; the output of our wind generator is not great. We feel it may take as many as four days to fully charge the vehicle. There is no cost to our village to try this vehicle, so we accepted the donation. I did post a picture of our new car.

On the Trip with me, is Larry, you may remember Larry he joined me on a hiking trip to the Grand Teton Mountains several years back and also on the trip is Chuata, one of the village elders. I wanted to make sure I have the right authority on the trip to make a decision of this magnitude.

While in Detroit I visited my niece Laney, you may remember Laney, she joined me on my trip rafting on the Snake River two years ago. Laney is a student at the University of Michigan, which is just outside Detroit in Ann Arbor Michigan.

I found Detroit to be a very nice and clean city. Rather empty (Almost NO people). The people we did run into were very friendly and helpful. While in town we realized the 2011 Auto Show was going on so we took a day and toured the show.

I had been to the Auto show before in New York several years ago, it was clear from this show that the Big 2 (GM and Ford) were back on top.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, off to Skiing in Colorado.

I better spend sometime playing poker or figure out how I am going to pay for this travel.



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