Batteries, Fuel Cells – or Something Else?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We’re coming to a parting of the ways in energy storage development for electric cars.  Or we may be coming to a joining of technologies in new and previously unimagined ways.  One side, led by Elon Musk and his Tesla Empire, promotes battery power and development.  Yet, in Tesla’s home state of California, government and private investments in hydrogen vehicles is growing.   Several Asian and European automakers are bringing out fuel cell powered vehicles in the face of low numbers of existing fueling stations.  For all the promotion from either side, future “green” cars may become too expensive for private ownership, and various approaches to providing personal mobility may replace the traditional owner-driver model.  Regardless of the outcomes or market …

Less Expensive Batteries May Lead to More Homebuilt Electric Airplanes

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

It came as somewhat of a shock that high-quality lithium battery prices could drop low enough to encourage electric aircraft developers an opportunity to “scrounge” in the style of the original home-built airplane builders.  Early aircraft “home-builders” often cannibalized war-surplus aircraft or wrecks of private planes for parts and materials that could be adapted into their own designs.  Ground power units (GPUs), for instance, became an early supply point for engine cores that could be converted to aircraft use – possible on “Experimental” homebuilts, although frowned upon by the FAA for factory-builts. Your editor thought at one point that auto wrecking yards might provide a source of used batteries for experimental electric airplanes, but the thought of all the internal …

Eva and Bill Do It Again

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Eva Hakansson and Bill Dube’ are a husband-and-wife team with a deeply-felt need for speed. Bill races Killacycle, only recently unseated as the fastest electric drag racing motorcycle in the world, capable of seven-second, 170 mph quarter-mile times and speeds. His zero-to-60 time is under one second, somewhat like an aircraft carrier launch in terms of acceleration and the accompanying forces. Eva now holds the record for the world’s fastest electric sidecar motorcycle – beating her previous record on the Bonneville Salt Flats. A sidecar in this case is a two-wheeled, streamlined two-wheeler with an outrigger, but not a rider, as on a traditional sidecar. In-cockpit videos show the finesse with which Eva keeps Killajoule on the straight and narrow …

Lord Drayson’s American Friends

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Bill Dube’ and Eva Hakansson, a husband and wife battery-building and electric motorcycle-racing team, have many world records of their own, but are always happy to help others win a few. According to their Facebook page, “The Drayson B12 69/EV electric car driven by Lord Drayson set a new FIA world speed record today for electric cars under 1,000 [kilograms] (2,200 pounds) of 204.2 mph (328.6 km/h). Bill and I are particularly happy for the Drayson team since we have been involved in the design of the 850 horsepower battery pack.” In fact, at last year’s CAFE Foundation Electric Aircraft Symposium, the couple discussed how they built the pack for the Drayson team, a meticulous and hazardous process that requires …

The Battery Pack Builder with the Ceramic Wedding Ring

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 1 Comment

The Killacycle Racing Team is led by two people, Bill Dube’, designer, builder, and driver of the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, and his wife, Eva Hakansson, crew chief and battery builder for the high-velocity two-wheeler.  Eva’s talk at the fourth Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in Rohnert Park, California caused several stirs in the audience, and hinted at where battery technology might go in the future. Wanting to free electric vehicles from their “boring and slow” image, Eva seeks to make them “sexy and fast.” Pictures of her and Bill’s wedding, in which the bride wore traditional Swedish wedding garb and entered on a motorcycle, the ceremony took place in a motorcycle trailer, and for which both bride and groom wore …