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When an out-of-warranty EV fails, who you gonna call?

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My friend Jim loves his 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric. It only has 87 miles of range, but Jim estimates that about 70% of his family’s annual vehicle miles are on the B-Class Electric. That’s why it was so disappointing when last year the motor started whining so severely that the car was nearly undrivable. To add insult to injury, the local Mercedes-Benz dealership quoted $18,000 to get it fixed by replacing the entire powertrain.

I felt somewhat responsible for Jim’s predicament. Jim spent his 30-year career at the Environmental Protection Agency before retiring a couple of years ago. I helped Jim think through his decision about getting an EV in late 2014. There weren’t many choices at the time. Ultimately, he was swayed by the style and comfort of the B-Class powered by a Tesla powertrain.

A few months ago, he wrote to me:

Here’s my problem in a nutshell. I’m out of warranty (four years or 50,000 miles). And perhaps out of luck. Maybe we should drive it until it dies.

I need to investigate what exactly the whine is. Is it a bearing problem? Will the car suddenly die? Who knows?

The Mercedes-Benz dealership subsequently reduced the repair quote to $12,000, giving Jim the motor at cost and 20% off labor. But that was still pricey for the six-year-old 87-mile EV.

After scouring the internet, Jim discovered that a surprising number of the few thousand cars with early Tesla powertrains were experiencing similar problems. The three problematic models are first-gen Roadsters, Toyota RAV4 EVs, and Mercedes-Benz Electrics. Jim sent me these two links:

http://www.mybclasselectricdrive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=644

http://www.myrav4ev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=251&start=510

I replied with the names of Bay Area EV-loving mechanics to get a second opinion. And he discovered in one of the forums that QC Charge in San Marcos, California (about 30 miles north of San Diego) does repairs on those three early EVs that all use nearly identical versions of Tesla’s powertrain.

Jim told me:

I’m going to ship the car to QC Charge and have them service the motor. The total cost with shipping is around $5,000. Hopefully, it is repairable, and we buy some time to consider what our next EV will be.

Tony Williams, the founder of QC Charge, started the business in 2012. One of his first products was an aftermarket quick-charge port that allowed owners of the Toyota RAV4 EV to charge just like a Tesla Model S. The two vehicles use a similar powertrain — but Toyota decided not to include a quick charger on the electric RAV. (Only 2,600 of those Toyota SUVs were built. QC has equipped hundreds of them with its quick-charge hack.)

QC Charge currently offers dozens of EV adapters, extension cables, and kits. And they do a robust business of repairing those Roadsters, RAVs, and B-Class Electrics. “Last count I have 17 cars out front,” said Williams, who has repaired several hundred EVs.

He explained the situation that Jim and others driving out-of-warranty EVs might face.

The mechanic in a Toyota shop or a shop is not going to pull apart a motor. That’s not their normal business.

They troubleshoot the cars, and they replace the parts. That’s their bread and butter. That means that for the motor, for instance, there could be a $3 part broken on it, a speed sensor or something, and they’ll replace the entire motor.

So they might charge 15 grand or more for a $3 part.

Williams recounted multiple stories of owners of the three Tesla-powered models who had entirely given up hope on cars that had completely stopped moving. Dealerships told these owners that the only option is a new motor. But Williams was able to get the vehicle running in 15 minutes with inexpensive parts on his shelf.

Here’s how QC diagnosed Jim’s car, which was not difficult. Take note that Tony William owns four Teslas, all bought new from the company. He’s a fan of the company’s constant push toward innovation. Our phone conversation was delaying him from taking his first drive of a Model Y that just arrived at his shop.

Williams explained what happened to Jim’s B-Class EV:

It’s a Tesla-related design problem. The inductive motor eats up the bearings.

The power is going through the field, which goes to the rotor which makes it spin, but a whole lot of that power is going through the bearings because it’s a conductive path to get between the field and the rotor. If you can imagine that much electrical energy constantly going through those poor metal bearings, they start to pit the bearings and the bearing races, and then, of course, the bearings fail.

Electromagnetic energy needs someplace to go, so it needs a discharge path. There’s a discharge charge path on the motor, but it’s pretty inadequate.

Williams said there are only two bearings ­— one on each end of the motor — each measuring about two or three inches in diameter. The bearings are the only moving parts of the motor.

He explained that the bearings also take the brute impact of driving over bumps and potholes — and they can be inadequately lubricated after years of use.

Williams is fully aware that the EV market will soon grow to the point that there will be thousands, and then millions of electric cars coming off warranty ­— and neither traditional automakers nor Tesla will be able to cost-effectively help all these owners with out-of-warranty cars.

We hope to franchise a model for repairs of electric vehicles with all the things we’ve learned in the last eight years. We do heavy maintenance right down to the component level. A normal repair shop does not do that.

Williams said that he is “actively working” to set up franchises, train them on EV repair, and provide support of deep-level expertise and parts as necessary. What I see in Williams’ plan is the beginning of a nationwide network of independent electric-vehicle repair specialists that needs to develop for the burgeoning EV world.

Meanwhile, I heard from Jim a few days ago.

We got the Mercedes back on Saturday. No whining sound!

Jim said the bill was going to be a fraction of what the dealership was going to charge. He added, “Hopefully we’ll get another five years out of the car.”

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Source: https://electrek.co/2020/06/12/when-an-out-of-warranty-ev-fails-who-you-gonna-call/

Automotive

How Car Tires Are Manufactured

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🚗 Cars are complex machines, each part made in highly specialized and specific ways, car tires included. Here is how car tires are manufactured.

🚕 Car tires are the part of your vehicle that keeps you moving forward. But have you ever wondered about how car tires are manufactured? Read ahead for a quick overview of the process.

❋ Design and Plan 👇

Designing the item you plan to manufacture is the first part of any industrial process. Car tires have been around for a long time now, and the manufacturing process is becoming increasingly digital. The design is usually created through engineering software, and the dimensions and curvature are handled with precision. After that, the tire-making machines receive this digitized format.

❋ Select Materials  👇

Most tires consist largely of rubber, both natural and synthetic. Oils, pigments, antioxidants, and other materials mix with the rubber to create each part of the tire. Tires must be crafted from quality, durable materials, including chemical agents, metallic cables, and fabric reinforcers.

❋ Melt and Mold 👇

Heat and friction work together to produce the final rubber composite that will mold the other parts of the tire. Tires are not one singular piece of rubber—they contain tread rubber, sidewall rubber, fabric-coated plies, and bead wires, among other components. A factory worker or automated apparatus then uses a tire-building machine in the shape of a collapsible drum to glue and set the tires. Finally, the tires cure over time, and subsequent heating and steaming help them fully coalesce

❋ Distribute Widely 👇

Quality control is important with tires—after all, tires must handle transporting drivers for thousands of miles on the road. After rigorous testing, the manufacturer packs the tires and distributes them to various sellers. These include tire stores all across the United States, from Trenton, New Jersey to Anderson, Indiana.

🟥 Knowing how car tires are manufactured can help you better select the parts for your vehicle. Because all cars are different and have specific needs, you should consult with a tire expert before choosing your next set of wheels.

👉↘ Source: Christina Duron is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things digital. She has focused her career around digital marketing and writes to explore topics that spark her interest.

 

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Automotive

Feast your eyes on the all-new, all-electric GMC Hummer EV

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GMC has a new all-electric version of its classic Hummer oversized SUV. This thing is a beast, as you might expect, with an advertised 350-mile range and a 3-second zero to 60 mph time. It’s a bit ridiculous to be honest, which is kind of what the Hummer has always been about so that makes sense.

Alongside a teaser, GMC released a number of press photos of the 1,000 HP bruiser, so take a look below. It definitely looks like a Hummer – which may or may not be your cup of tea.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/20/feast-your-eyes-on-the-all-new-all-electric-gmc-hummer-ev/

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Automotive

ALYI Highlights Next Steps

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Dallas, TX – October 20, 2020 – OTC PR WIRE – Alternet Systems, Inc. (OTC PINK: ALYI) today announced plans to publish a comprehensive progress update next week targeting a Wednesday, October 28th release date.

Management indicates a number of major endeavors underway in important stages of development to include RevoltTOKEN financing partner’s efforts to finalize ICO details, next steps after finalizing the multiparty milestone agreement announced last week, and a new design path development for the company’s long-term plans for future electric vehicles in Africa.

Management anticipates wrapping up details on the above-mentioned endeavors by next Wednesday and being ready to release a comprehensive update.

For more information and to stay up to date on ALYI’s latest developments, please visit www.alternetsystemsinc.com.

Disclaimer/Safe Harbor: This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act. The statements reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events that involve risks and uncertainties. Among others, these risks include the expectation that any of the companies mentioned herein will achieve significant sales, the failure to meet schedule or performance requirements of the companies’ contracts, the companies’ liquidity position, the companies’ ability to obtain new contracts, the emergence of competitors with greater financial resources and the impact of competitive pricing. In the light of these uncertainties, the forward-looking events referred to in this release might not occur.

Alternet Systems, Inc. Contact:
Randell Torno
info@lithiumip.com
+1-800-713-0297

Source: https://otcprwire.com/alyi-highlights-next-steps/

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