Wrong Sales Tactic

Oct 05 2011 Published by under American Consumer, Future things

 

Nissan is using the wrong slogan in their marketing plan when selling the Nissan Leaf.  They are currently pushing the “Zero Emission” of the 100% electric Leaf. This is evident with there latest TV commercial  “Gas Powered Everything” and even the previous “Polar Bear” commercial.  I think the Zero Emission crowd is too small of a market segment for a successful re-introduction of the EV .

The market segment Nissan needs to be going after is the “Energy Independence” crowd.  I think this is a much larger segment of the population. These are the people who are not  core environmentalist. This group has a real concern about the  United States dependency  on foreign oil and the wildly fluctuating cost of gasoline. This is the group that Nissan should be appealing too.

What is the significance of energy independence? It is the ability to drive a car with out the use of  foreign oil.  Even if it means that the source of Domestic energy is not environmentally friendly.  The source of the energy that produces the electricity could be from coal, Natural gas, hydro, nuclear, solar or wind.  As long as the energy is domestic.

So Nissan needs to look at a market larger than the ‘Zero Emissions”  group and go after the much larger “Energy Independence” group.

 

 

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Solar Park & ride

Sep 09 2011 Published by under Cars, Changing scene, Sloar

The park and ride, pictured above, is in Vacaville California off of interstate 80 at the Davis exit. The location is half way between Sacramento and San Francisco.   It is the first, location in California, to house a 440 volt quick charging  station.  The quick charge station will charge a Nissan Leaf from empty to 80% charge in just 30 minutes. The park and ride also has a very large solar array to supplement the electrical car charging done at this location. With several L2 charging stations.

Here the 440 level 3 charger, located under the solar panels,  beinging used to charge up a Mitsubishi i-Miev at a press event conducted at the  Vacaville California location. There are discussion and tentative plans to build over 300 of these CHAdeMo format chargers through the United States. Nissan has already build a CHAdeMo format L3 charging network through Japan, placing one every 40 or sol miles.

Will the every 40mile charging station work here in the United States or will EV’s just be around town cars. Oh do not forget the upcoming version two of the electric car where refueling will take less then 2 minutes.

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Saving Money on Utilities: Part 1

Jul 17 2011 Published by under Dumb Americans

Things we did to save money on utilities:

Electricity, this was the area we made the biggest impact. We saves a tone of money by installing a variable speed pool pump.  This is an expensive item but an out dated pool pump can waist  a lot of electricity. We paid about $1,100 for a new highly efficient pool pump. But this is a device you use every for 6 to 8 hours a day. We were using 18kWh a day running our pool pump. With the new pump we are using only 2.5kWh a day. A huge savings.

Also in the area of electricity we replaced all our light bulbs with LED bulbs not Compact Florescent. LED light bulbs use one tenth of the energy of an incandescent or Halogen bulb. Plus LED’s do not contain the very toxic mercury that CF do.

As we replace appliances we always check the energy guide labels to purchase the lowers energy cost appliance we can find that meets our needs. You would be surprised the difference in the energy usage between different appliances.  It all adds up.

The we started scouting the house for vampire power users. Vampire power are devices that use powers 24  by 7 even when you are not using the device. And the bigest culprit here are wall warts. you know the power transformers that plug in to the wall. well they draw power even when the device is not being used.  This add up real fast if yo can reduce you vampire power by only 0.5kWh that ends up being a 12kWh per day savings.

We drove our electric usage from a average of 40kWh a day to and average or 22kWh a day. The max we were hitting in the summer was 60kWh a day down to 44kWh a day.

That is a huge savings and anyone can do it. This does not mean i’m a tree hugger, it just means i’m cheep, frugal and like keep my money. It is also a great was to reduce expenses when your getting ready to retire.

 

 

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Generic Top Level Domain Names gTLD

Jun 23 2011 Published by under American Consumer, Corporate America, Geek stuff

 

ICANN has recently approved the new Generic Top Level Domain Names or gTLD. So how will this change the internet.

1. First thing that came to mind was better security for banks. A bank or finical institution can buy the gTLD and every thing that do can be tied to that gTLD. The user would not need to worry about phishing. there would be on confusion one what domain the e-mail or query is coming from. The only question are the Banks and financial institution willing to fork out $185k fork the security feature.

2. It will make things easier to find and shorter URLs. For example if Google were to buy the top level domain Google. You could access the different Google products by using URLs like. search.Google or Gmail.Google or Maps.Google.

3. The generic Top Level Domain will really help cites and geographic regions group there content or even create a revenue stream by selling domain name.  Example MannsTheater.Hollywood.

4. Other groups could also benefits like Plastic surgeons you could domai name like drBrown.PlasticSurgery or Dr.headman.PlasticSurgery.

These are just a few way that the new gTLD name might change the what we use the internet

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Tesla Model S

Mar 25 2011 Published by under Cars, Changing scene

I drove down to Newport Beach to see the Model S at the Tesla dealer. I had been invited to a special showing of the touring Model S. Getting there and seeing the car being rope off I was disappointed. Then to find out that we were not going to be able to touch or even get in the car was a real bummer.  Apparently this particular Model S is a concept Model S and not a production version.  The sale person claimed that the the concept car cost over two million dollars to build.  So no touching.

The real reason is the exterior and interior of concept are close to the production but not exactly the same. The exterior is about 90% the same, just some minor aerodynamics changes for efficiencies.  As for the interior there will be major differences. Seams the concept was built on a existing rolling platform.   So the concept still has a drive train tunnel. The production Model S will not, as the entire drive train is only 12 moving parts mounted around the rear axial. Sales staff said the will be considerable more room in the cockpit of the production Model S.

Good news is the 17 inch touch screen that makes up the center stack will be in the production version. This will be a full connected car.  The dealer/Tesla will push out updates to you car automatically.   Tesla also said there will be third party apps available for the car. Using a smart phone you will be able to check the stats of you Tesla, charge levels etc… Remember that two big investors in the start-up of the Model S were founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. It is rumored that an internet connect car was a stipulation of the investment.

Now the bad news. The touring of the concept model is a road show to get you to put down a $5,000 get in the queue deposit. The sale person said she would be happy to put it on your credit card. Definitely an upper crust crowd, no cash.  Mind you the 5 grand does not get you a relative position in line. It just gets you in the queue. What to put more money down or sign up for more options you move up the list. But the options are expensive.

To start with there is the “Signature”  edition. It will cost you 40 grand down to order the “Signature”, but you will one of the first to get a Model S Tesla.  Plus ALL the “Signature”  edition model S cars will be the 300 mile version of the battery pack, which is a $20,000 upgrade. In addition the the battery upgrade the “Signature”  edition will also be the highest trim level. So this is not the $50K Model S, it will be more like $100K.

So what about everyone that does not to sign up for the “Signature”  edition? Will, the first non-”Signature”  edition cars to roll off the assembly line will also be the 300 mile battery pack version. So if you want a reasonably priced Tesla Model S, like the advertise $50 price point, you are going to be waiting a long time. Maybe another 24 to 36 months.

But like the sales person said it is a “luxury electric Car” . She said it with a BIG smile.

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Chevy Volt Test drive

Mar 17 2011 Published by under American Consumer, Cars, Changing scene

My wife made a visit to the local Chevy dealer to check out the Chevy Volt.  Thought they may have one on the show room floor. To my surprise that had several on the lot. so we started look at a few that were on the lot. A salesman approchased and invited us into the show room to look at and drive  the Volt.

So here are my first 10  impressions.

  1. I like the concept car/ show car styling a lot better, the production version is dumbed down a lot
  2. No leg room in the back seat when the drivers seat is move back all the way. I mean non, not any, zero, so forget about using the back seat if the drive it Tall like me 6’4″
  3. Do not like the painted center stack of buttons. Overwhelming at first maybe it grows on you.
  4. Loved the multiple display screens and the total glass dash
  5. The electric motor provide tons of  low end torque.
  6. Front grill in not a grill so do not make it look like one, get daring and create something different
  7. It is EXPENSIVE compared to the Nissan Leaf, but cheaper then the Tesla model S.
  8. Dual power plants revealed the wifes “Range anxiety”
  9. Drives like any other car
  10. Very quite aka no tailpipe.

So bottom line, Would I buy this half electric, half Gas powered car? Not for me but my Wife loved it. So I guess we will be buying one in the next 12 months or so.  How is that for a positive answer. But I would still like to see the Nissan Leaf.

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Using 163 Light Bulbs?

Jan 20 2011 Published by under American Consumer, Changing scene, Geek stuff

Do you have 163 60 watt light bulbs on for several hours a day.  Will if you are running a single speed 2 horse power pool pump, that is how many 60 watt light bulbs you have on each and every hour the pump is on.

 

The average 2HP single speed pool pump uses 2000 watts per hour. Most people run there pump atlease 3 hours a day, most likely 6 to 8 in the summer.  So for the average summer month you are spending $50 to $60 a month, based on Southern California rates. It could be costing you more as you move up to a higher rate tier when you consume more electricity in the summer.

How does this happen. Back in the 70′s and 80′s pool pump horse power was king. The pool salesman would upgrade you to a better, higher, horse power for the same cost and you though you were getting a better deal. More power, ya!

So,  do you really need all that horse power to jam the water through a pool pump and filer. NO, you do not. So the pool industry came out with a two speed pump to save you money on electricity.  One speed to clean your pool and get that pool sweep running. With a slower speed to circulate the water and get your turn rate. Did it save money?  You bet!  But now there is even something better.

The Pool industry has a variable speed pump. The pump can be programed to run at almost any speed you want. And here is the dirty little secrete! As you decrease the pump speed, by reducing the revolutions per minute (RPMs),  the pump gets more efficient and uses LESS ELECTRICITY. Are you with me?

The normal pool pump runs at or above 3200 RPM, that will use 2000 watts or more of electricity per hour. A variable speed pump can be run at 1100 RPMs and only use 156 watts or less per hour. Sometime 145 watts.  BUT BUT what about my water turn rate, will it turn over in 6 hours? NO, so you run the pump longer. BUT that use more electricity, right? NO, not  at the lower RPMs.

If you run your single speed pump for 6 hours, that 12,000 watts of electricity.  If you triple your run time to 18 hours with the variable speed pump you will only use 2,772 watts of electricity. That is less then what one and one half hours of the single speed pumps electricity usage.

So what about the pool sweep it will not run at that low flow rate. So you program the variable speed pump to ramp up to maybe 2000RPM and use anothe 1000 watts of electricity to keep the pool clean. Onky for an hour or so. Your still way under 12,000 watts of power.

So save some money and get a variable speed pump. Do they cost more? Ya a lot more.  But you just missed a Southern California Edison rebate program that paid you $300 to install a variable speed pump. I’m sure there will be more incentives. Just keep your eye open. Once you get a variable speed pump you will only be using 2.5 60 watt bulbs per hour not 163. And that save you money and is good for the environment.

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Have you gone Key Less yet?

Aug 03 2010 Published by under Future things, Geek stuff

How things change. I use to have a pocket full of keys. You know a key for the house, and key for the car and Key for work and some how the number of keys just grew. Will now I do not have any keys in my pocket and guess what I do not need any keys for normal daily  life.

The world is going key less, in respect to the old fashion metal tumbler keys. Now days I carry around electronic do dads in my pocket. For the car it is great. You do not even need to take anything out of your pocket to unlock the door. It just automatically unlocks for you. Just grab the door handel and poof the door pops open. Then to start the car just push the button on the dash. That’S it.

For work, it is a wireless iButton that allows Me to unlock and open the door. Not as hands free as the car access. Still the same iButton can get you in the main office door and any other door you are authorized too open.  The iButton access can be limited by time of day or even the day of week. Plus when a employee leaves you just deactivate his iButton.

Now your saying, what about your house , well in the car there is the home link system that allows me to open the garage door, so who needs a key to open your house. and if your not in your car there is an outside keypad that you can use to open the garage door.

All this stuff is not rocket science, and has been available for almost 10 years. So what is the big deal. The big deal is the adoption rate of the technology recently and the low cost. It seems this technology is every where. Makeing it easer for every one to go key less.

 

 

 

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License Plate Billboards

California Democratic Sen. Curren Price is sponsoring  BILL NUMBER: SB 1453 to bring Digital Billboard License Plates to California.

So what is a Digital Billboard License Plates? It turns the license plate on YOUR car in to a State of California controlled rolling billboard. So the State of California can sell ad space on Your car. When your car stops, for a predetermined time, the license numbers go away and a digital billboard comes alive. The ads will start to be displayed, until your car starts to move again.

The idea behind the plate wasn’t to make the vehicle into a rolling billboard. Rather, the plate was devised to allow the driver to customize their own license plate to support organizations, sports teams, and colleges. Says M. Conrad Jorda, CEO of Smart Plate.

I can not believe the arrogance of the state legislators that put this Bill together. A Bill that would would become LAW and force you to display the ads the state sells. They need to remember who pays for the car. The state’s reasoning behind this it to develop alternative revenue streams. If the state does this  it it will be  infringing on your rights and privacy. Again, State law makers IT IS NOT YOUR CAR!

I can think of all kinds of problems with this. For starters I’m sure there will be all kinds of ads running on the back of YOUR car. Say your a person that does not believe in a product or topic, or has religious beliefs against a product or topic. Will you be forced to let that ad run on the license plate mounted to your car.

Plus the digital license billboard requires electricity to run, where is the electricity coming form? Thats right your cars electrical system. So let’s say the digital license plate malfunctions and stays on all night running down your battery. You do not find out until you try a drive to work in the morning. No battery and you can not start you car. Now you can not get to work. Who’s at fault?

Or the plate malfunction in traffic and the Digital Billboard is flashing ads while you are driving. It distracts a driver and that rear ends you. Who is responsible, the state? It was the California State run digital billboard that caused the distraction that caused the accident?

It’s not all big brother, the digital license plate could also be used to alert drivers of an Amber Alerts or other emergency messages. But it will mostly be unwanted junk.

I hope and pray that the State of California does not do this! It is MY car not the State of California’s rolling billboard.

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Airlines charge passengers by their weight

Apr 30 2010 Published by under American Consumer, Changing scene, Corporate America

weighing_inIt seams like every week the airlines a adding new fees on top of the normal ticket price.  At first they were small charges, like charging to buy a ticket, or change a ticket. Then they started charging for heavy baggage. Now the trend is to charge for checked baggage. There is talk in the industry that the airlines might start charging for Carry-on bags.

But what I think is coming is a day where the airlines start charge for passengers tickets by weight. After all a big heavy person takes up more room in the airplanes cabin. Airline fuel consumption is determined by weight. The heaver a plane is the more fuel it will burn. Air freight prices are determined by size and weight of the package. The larger a package is the more it cost to ship it by air. Same goes for weight, the packages can be small, but if it is heavy it cost more to ship.

So do not be supprised that  some day, in the future, you are asked to stand on a scale at the airline ticket counter so the ticket agent can determin the cost of your ticket.

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