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Re: (ET) Ariens AMP Mower

       Those who look upon history and do not learn from it are doomed to repeat it.The fact that so many GE tractors [and their heirs and assigns.] are still earning their keep is testimony to the fact that the basic concept is sound, and the execution for the most part was correct.But the educating the dealer base and the buying public..........well.................... :(


David Roden wrote:
On 13 May 2009 at 23:07, Darryl McMahon wrote:

A couple of people have replied to me off-list pointing out that the 
mower uses 48-volt batteries,
As I read the description, they appeared to be series strings of four 12 
volt, 15 amp hour batteries, connected in parallel.  Five strings!  A total 
of 20 batteries!

However, the website does seem to suggest that they want the user to replace 
an entire series string at a time -- so perhaps they are building them into 
48 volt modules.  To me, that sounds even crazier, junking 3 good batteries 
because the fourth flakes out.

Again, perhaps I'm being too negative, but I don't see this as a positive 
development. at all.  I'm sure they mean well, but I'm concerned that, as I 
said before, this is going to flop and give electric yard machinery a bad 
name.  We do not need any more PR of that sort for EVs.

Over the years I've seen WAY too many poorly designed attempts at road EVs, 
poorly maintained by poorly trained dealers.  The designers don't realize 
how accustomed today's drivers are to "steer and push the pedals" vehicles.  
Water the batteries monthly?  These are folks who never even check the tire 
pressure on their ICEVs!  And to their credit, the automakers have done a 
remarkable job of building ICEVs that tolerate neglect and still run for 
100,000 miles or more.

Almost inevitably, it's the battery in an EV.  They're neglected and, with 
nothing to stop the user, run down flat repeatedly.  WIth this abuse, the 
battery fails early, often in a year or two, or even less.  

The proud owner, a bit rattled and concerned about whether he's made the 
right decision in buying this EV, puts up the substantial cash to replace 
the battery.  

When the battery quits again in another year or two, he gets discouraged, 
especially if the EV has left him stranded with a flat battery.  He parks 
the EV until he feels ready to spend several hundred (or a few thousand) 
dollars on it again.  It sits in his driveway or garage for months or years. 
 Finally he puts it up for sale: "Needs batteries."  Someone else buys it 
(at a fraction of the original price) and the cycle starts again.  

With luck, someone with battery experience and EV interest eventually gets 
the EV.  Otherwise, it's finally junked, or else converted into an ICE 
vehicle. Meanwhile, the first owner admits to friends and family that the EV 
wasn't such a good idea, and "I guess they're not ready for prime time yet." 
 (Of course, it was the EV's manufacturer that wasn't ready for prime time.)

This is why any EV or electric tool that you (as manufacturer or designer) 
hope will replace a fueled machine HAS to be at least as long lived, 
reliable, and neglect-tolerant as the ICE device it replaces.  Sure, battery 
management systems and high-reliability electronics add to the cost.  But 
omitting them is false economy.  It's a competitive marketplace.  The 
machine will fail.  

But as I say, maybe I'm being too pessimistic.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA

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