[0:00] Hi, this is Alison Sheridan of the NoSilicast Podcast, hosted at podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an ever so slight Apple bias. Today is Sunday, March 26, 2023, and this is show number 933. It is so good to be able to say ever again. I'm really happy to have at least most of my voice back. It's a good thing we record at five o'clock because, about eight is gone again, but it's better every single day.
Ccatp #763 — Bart Busschots On Pbs 148 – A Bash Potpourri (subshells, Relative Paths & More)
[0:28] This week's Programming by Stealth is a great lesson on how, no matter how long you've been coding, you still get caught out from time to time and think that the universe makes no sense.
When Bart was working on the challenge from PBS 147, he ran into a bizarre situation that just locked him up for many hours.
He actually had to sleep on it, go for a bike ride to get it to figure out what was going on.
He did eventually figure out what was going on, but it changed this installment of Programming by Stealth into a walk down what went wrong, what he learned, and it gave him the opportunity to teach us even more about shell scripting.
The entire installment is all about the solutions to the challenge from PBS 147, so you might want to take a shot at that yourself before listening to or reading this week's installment of Programming by Stealth.
You can, of course, find Bart's fabulous tutorial show notes over at pbs.bartifisser.net to go along with this week's episode.
Introducing The Programming By Stealth Student Organization In Github
[1:19] Speaking of Programming by Stealth, I have a story to tell. When Bart and I first started Programming by Stealth, we were doing something no one had ever done before, at least to our knowledge. Who would have thought that an audio podcast was a good way to learn to program? Because we were breaking new ground we had no one to learn from. There was no guidebook to follow. Over the years we've both learned a lot about how to make this crazy idea work. For example, we figured out that while we're recording, communication between the two of us is greatly increased by video. When Bart sees a confused look on my face, he can stop and ask me what I need to have clarified. I can actually raise my hand to get his attention when he's on a roll, but I'm lost on something he said maybe three sentences back.
We both wish we'd thought of this at the beginning, but at least we eventually figured it out.
Things have gotten much sooner.
Things have gotten much smoother now that we look at each other in video, but we still don't record the video. We only record the audio.
Another huge enhancement to learning was when we got the idea for Bart to give the audience challenges at the end of teaching us some new concepts. I know that it's a lot more work for Bart to come up with a clever problem to be solved that lends itself to exactly what he's trying to teach, but it makes a huge difference in cementing these concepts for me and the listeners.
[2:36] Another thing that has helped make it even more fun was when I added a PBS channel to the Podfeet Slack over at podfeet.com slash slack.
This gave the community of developer-inclined folks a place to chat about the nerdier stuff in computing.
It also kept us from bothering everyone in the mainstream channels about those nerdier things.
Now, not everyone in the PBS channel is probably following along with programming by stealth, but they're still very helpful to those of us who are learning.
Now, recently we started learning about shell scripts. We have some really fun bite-sized challenges from Bart in his series.
For example, right now we're working on a shell script that prompts the user with a menu of breakfast items, and then we'll print out what they ordered, all from the command line in the terminal.
It's super fun.
Anyway, as we started working on these challenges, Ian Lessing posted in Slack that he had put his work in process on a service called GitHub.
[3:28] GitHub is kind of hard to explain to non-developers, but it's a place where you can post your work, programming code, and it's a mirror of what you're actually doing locally on your own machine.
So each time Ian makes some progress, he pushes his new work back up to GitHub, and that gets updated up on GitHub.
Now it takes some courage to post your work in progress so publicly, but that's what open source development is all about, believe it or not.
I figured if Ian had the courage, then I'd do it too. I pushed my work in progress code up to my GitHub account, and I put a link in the thread where Ian had posted his.
So then Ben Rose chimed in and he asked a great question.
He asked, is there a place for the PBS students to share their work?
[4:09] And that's what started the newest enhancement to the Programming by Stealth podcast.
So backing up a tiny bit first, Bart had thought of this idea years ago, and he created a Programming by Stealth gallery that was part of the show notes for the show.
But it was very cumbersome to maintain, and it was really more about publicizing your final work on a web app that you'd created.
Anything that takes time to maintain is likely to fall onto the back burner for me, and especially for Bart. He still works full-time, cycles a couple hours a day, has a home life with his darling beloved, and he hosts both Programming by Stealth and his own two shows, Let's Talk Apple and Let's Talk Photography.
There are literally no more hours to squeeze out of him.
[4:52] So we started throwing ideas around in Slack, in the PBS channel, and then I started doing some research. It turns out that GitHub has something they call an organization.
GitHub organizations allow a lot of granular control over what privileges different people have.
I can be the almighty ruler of the organization, and then I can invite PBS students in as members.
I can restrict what members can do, or I can give them a lot of freedom.
[5:18] Now, I'm much more inclined to give people a lot of freedom, especially because I do have to invite people in to join. As near as I can find, there isn't even an ask-to-join option. This should keep out bots and mean people, or at least I hope so.
As I started looking at this organization concept, I realized I'd need some people to help me kick the tires and figure out how it should be organized. Ian and Ben seemed like the obvious candidates. When you push code up to GitHub, you do it in what's called a repository, or as the cool kids call it, a repo. We considered having a repo for each installment of programming by stealth, but since we're already on PBS 147, that seemed a bit not a great idea.
Also, remember that a lot of people are not following along real time. For example, Mariana just joined the Slack community and she's on PBS 12. We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and welcome, so we can't make this crazy complicated. Then we considered just making a repo for each person who joined. Then they would be able to create a folder structure within the repo for each set of challenges they were working on.
But even that could end up with Ian Cole's repo sprawl.
[6:25] Ian wondered if it would work to create one repo for all of the people and all of the assignments and then to create a folder for each human where they would organize their own solutions.
Ben suggested a design where we had one repo like Ian suggested, but then we had a folder for each installment of PBS and then folders inside for each person.
There were pros and cons to that idea, too.
Now, one of my desires was to allow people to push their challenge solutions up to the organization, but to also be able to push them up to their own repos.
I invited both Ben and Ian into the organization. That didn't seem like enough people to break things, so I also invited Dorothy, also known as Matt Clerker, also known as the person who maintains the PVS index.
I created a repo for each person, and then the four of us went to town testing out ideas.
[7:10] As we were grappling with the design, Ian suggested that maybe he and I should do a a video call to over chatting to, you know, kind of roll all these different ideas around.
This was wonderful for so many reasons. First of all, Ian has been a part of the Nosylicast community forever.
I don't even remember how long he's been in there and I'd never talked to him directly.
He pointed out he'd seen me on video before because he attends the live show from time to time, but I'd never seen him.
After seeing him at video, I feel like I have a new friend, got to talk to him, it was really cool.
As we started working through the various ideas, it became quite clear that Ian, like so many other learners in the Programming by Stealth community, is actually an accomplished developer.
He explained that no matter how much you know, you can still learn more.
And he says he learned so much from Bart even on subjects he thought he had down pat.
For example, he's pretty good at shell scripting, but he wants to be great at it, and he's really appreciating what Bart is teaching, all of the fundamentals.
[8:07] Anyway, by the time Ian and I got together and did a screen share of the GitHub organization with me driving the screen share, I had really mucked up everything in the GitHub organization.
Remember, I said I wanted to be able to put up my solutions there, but also into my own repo.
I also wanted to keep my own folder organization with the other stuff in there that's unrelated to the class.
I'm glad I did muck things up because I think it was important to work through how to structure the design so that well-intentioned people couldn't break it too badly without us being able to fix it.
I was well-intentioned, but boy, did I botch things up.
[8:41] After a lot of testing and changing things around, we settled on Ian's plan. And no, he didn't strong-arm me into picking his decision. It took walking through a couple of the repro sprawl methods to understand the advantage of all of the people and all of the solutions all in one repo. With this all-in-one happy repo together, when the students pull from GitHub, they get everyone's solutions come down to their desktop. If the purpose of this project is to see how other people are solving the same problem, then you want to have everyone's work available to you.
[9:11] We ended up blowing away all of the repos everyone had created and we made one called pbs-challenges. Inside the repo, we created four folders for the four beta testers.
As soon as we did that, I realized I needed to change the name of the organization.
You see, I had named it pbs-challenges, so that meant we had a repo named pbs-challenges and an organization named pbs-challenges. That was just silliness. So we renamed the organization PBS Students. That leaves the door open for future uses for the organization, and we can make other repos when we feel like it. As soon as we changed the name to PBS Students, I realized we needed an avatar for the organization. Ian laughed as I pulled up Affinity Designer with Bart's Programming by Stealth logo as a scalable vector graphic, an SVG, and I started to play with different design ideas. I opened the noun project, and I did a search for Graduation Cap, and I started to drag in different versions of it. Now, I didn't waste all of Ian's time on this, but I did tell him I'd probably spend hours working on it. He laughed and said, oh, I'm sure you will, and then you'll figure out something to automate about it.
[10:16] I think he sees me. Anyway, I am so delighted with the avatar that I came up with.
Ian's, I say I came up with it, but all the good parts of it were Ian's ideas, but I did the work.
Anyway, he suggested a jaunty tilt to the graduation cap and maybe a different color.
So I made the graduation cap red on top of Bart's little ninja and it is absolutely adorable. I just love it. There was one last thing to do and that was to write some readme files to explain to people how this is going to work. I explained how the folder structure was going to work in the readme and how everyone is expected to play in their own sandbox. I included this sentence.
I expect civilized behavior in this organization and since it will be filled with no celicast I know you'll be kind, supportive, and respectful.
[11:01] I'm not really worried about it, but it does help to say that out loud.
So I hope if you're a student of the Programming by Stell series, you'll join us in the PBS-Students organization and share your work.
If you just want to lurk and see what it looks like, you can go to github.com slash PBS-Students and check it out.
If nothing else, go there to see how adorable the avatar is.
[11:23] To join the organization, you do need to have a free or paid GitHub account, so when you contact me through whatever means you like. You know my email address, you know how to do it in Slack, you can find me on Mastodon, you know all of these places. Be sure to tell me your GitHub handle because for me to invite you in, I need that. I can't do anything without it. Anyway, I'm super excited about this and learning from all of the kids in class who know a lot more than I do.
Csun Atc 2023: Awarewolf All Terrain Cane
[11:48] All right, let's switch gears here and listen to another interview from the CSUN Assistive tech conference that Steve and I attended just, what is it, a week or two ago.
I am in the all-terrain cane booth here with someone who introduced themselves as Sedona Dave, also known as David Epstein.
And what is it you have here, Dave?
I've got the all-terrain cane. This is a super strong, super lightweight mobility cane designed by a blind guy, me, to stay active and hiking the wilderness trails of Arizona.
Everywhere else I want to be. Wait a minute, I'm sighted and I fall down on flat surfaces. You're hiking with a cane. I am, yes. It's a super strong mobility cane. It's what I need, what I feel I need on the trails. What does a mobility cane do? Obstacle detection, terrain changes, navigation.
[12:44] Well, what do I need hiking? The same thing. Obstacle detection, terrain changes. I need to, to know what's on the trails, but the regular street cane just wasn't cutting it. They're made to be light and flexible and easy to pack away, but they don't do anything on the trails. They don't offer any support. They're essentially useless.
They probably get stuck in crevices and stuff, just kind of pops around instead of moving.
Right, they do. The joints pop out, they get stuck, they bend, they break, they shatter, they're just not effective on the trails. Now I need support. There's really nothing to hold on to out there other than what dead cactuses and dead trees and javelinas. When I first ran into trouble on the trails, in the middle of my orientation mobility training, the Sun went down and I lost all contrast and I was not having a good time and my wife asked me what what seems to be the problem.
[13:48] She didn't like my poetry, and I said, well, I can't see. I lost contrast. I don't belong here. I can't do this.
I need something. I need this, but I don't know what this is.
And that was really the pebble that launched the avalanche to what we have today as the all-terrain cane. This turned out to be a mobility cane that I can use for support, for balance, for slowing me down or breaking on the trails.
As Dave is describing this, he's pushing on the cane and leaning on it, and it's flexing some, but it's not bending like a traditional cane would.
Exactly. I needed this to be super, super strong to do what the instructors tell me not to do.
Lean on the cane, vertically load the cane. They're like, no, never do that.
Why? Why not supposed to? Why? We don't know. Why? I need this.
Can you describe the cane itself for people who are listening?
I would be so honored to. The cane does differ from the normal street cane in many different ways. Starting from the top, we've got a 16 inch grip. Not just 9 inches, but 16.
That allows us plenty of room for choking up either with a cane grip or a ski pole grip for for added strength and support while descending, protecting our shoulders, using our upper body for strength.
[15:12] The top half of the grip does have that flat section we're accustomed to.
The bottom half is... I don't know anything about the top of a flat spot on a cane.
You feel that flat section. That's a guide. That's for us to put our index finger on, to help navigate with a cane.
It feels good. For feelings. Exactly.
Bottom section's just a round profile. And that's good for the ski pole grip, good positive grip.
I'm not on a slippery shaft. If I need to securely hold on, I'm locked on down 16 inches.
And then there's a hinge at that point. There is a hinge, but there's something else as well.
At the bottom of the grip, there's a flip lock. Kind of like a traditional tripod. Exactly. It's It's an external lock that I open up, and now I can extend the cane from 51 inches to.
[16:04] About 62 inches. Oh, holy cow! That's like almost as tall as you are.
We call it one size fits most, but it really is one cane that can handle many different, not only heights and size people, but different activities.
Yeah, if you're going down a real steep terrain, you need it to be longer, right? Exactly.
Ascend on the trails I set the cane nice and short. So why is this so awesome and unique well it's an adjustable length cane.
But it's also a folding cane. This is a three-section folding cane.
So he just pulled it apart. I don't know if people have, everyone has seen the way canes fold up, but you pull them apart like you would the tent poles do this, where you pull it apart and it's got a flexible line. It's got a spring in it and you pop it. So he's now folded it into pretty, small three pieces. Three sections, right. So we've got a three-section folding extendable length cane.
[17:03] But the bottom of the cane is what really caught my eye when I walked up. It's red, so we've got black, white, and red.
Yes, now the bottom of the cane, now the mobility canes are white and red reflective. That's how they look.
That's the, I guess, for the sightlings. The sightlings, yes, the sighted hordes, to be able to identify us. So I made sure the cane is white and red, highly reflective.
But I also chose a two winds rolling ball at the tip.
I feel that it covers mostly all terrains that I'm working on. Not only smooth concrete, but the very coarse asphalt out in Arizona. My daily walk with the dog starts with the concrete, asphalt, dirt, rock, and now I'm on the wilderness trails with him. Wow, so this rotates about the axis of the cane?
It does, yes. Okay. It's called a rolling ball. Two inches. And I went with red because why not?
Oh, yeah, because why not they don't have to be white and boring. Let's let's bling it up for the kids and the adults We're actually making our cane tips in four different colors. We've got red, Yellow a beautiful sherbet pink and a red orange. I'm really excited about those colors, Colors are fun. They really are. There's no need for us to be, you know, stuck in a corner or or have boring canes.
[18:25] Got to tell you about the materials Super, super strong, designed for vertical loading.
The cane is made of a grade nine titanium alloy. Oh wow. That gives it a super strength.
That's expensive though, right? It is, but.
[18:39] Why do we have canes that break? A car door can hobble us. And I find that insulting.
Worth everything. So for the non-engineers in the crowd, titanium has a very high strength to weight ratio. So you could do it in steel and it could be just as strong, but it would weigh a lot. So titanium is a lot more useful.
Absolutely. It keeps the weight down and the strength up. And again, it's able to handle car doors or cobblestones or anything else that's going to bend or break our canes.
We need this. And this is finding its way into all the developing countries where they don't have access to great roads or great infrastructure. That's a good point.
That could be just walking to go get water, not hiking. It's daily living. Yeah, yeah.
Just like me in Arizona, it's my everyday cane. Oh, it is? Okay.
Absolutely. That's interesting.
So if people want to learn more about the All-Terrain Cane, where would they go?
To go to awarewolfgear.com and that's A-W-A-R-E-W-O-L-F-G-E-A-R dot com, awarewolfgear.com and you can put a forward slash A-T-C in there if you want or it'll take you right to our site where you can see our great wear, our great line of clothing at Werewolf Gear, high visibility clothing for low vision people. Find yourself to the All Terrain Cane page, great information, We've got smoke and deals on ball packages.
[20:05] Very cool. This is very cool. Sedona is one of my favorite places.
I'd love to see this. This is a really cool invention, Dan.
Dan, I mean, David, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
Thank you so much for your time. I absolutely appreciate it and great to see you here.
Enjoy the rest of the show and keep crushing it.
If I can send you home with a Red Rock from Sedona, I'd certainly love to as well.
Oh, that's great fun.
Yeah, it's the last day we can let him go, but really enjoy it.
Want to carry him home. I don't want to carry him home. All right. Thanks, David.
Have a great day today.
[20:37] So, I have two regrets from that interview. One is, we forgot to take a rock home.
We really should have done that because I hope he didn't have to carry them all back.
But the other problem was that during the interview, when he said it was made of titanium, I said, whoa, that's expensive.
I neglected to ask him, how much does the cane cost? I did ask him after the show, and the cane is only $120.
I really wish I'd asked him while we were at the recording.
Anyway, a lot of people in the live show are getting excited about this cane, and other people I talked to at the conference said, oh yeah, I've got to check that cane out.
So all-terrain cane from a werewolf really sounds like a hot product.
Support The Show
[21:15] I'd like to welcome the two newest heroes of the Podfeet podcast, and that's Aaliyah Dudley and Graham Shepard. Why are they our heroes, you ask? Because this week they both went to podfeet.com slash Patreon and decided to support the show financially. Aaliyah is a frequent attendee of the live show, and Grim even does reviews for the podcast.
And on top of that, now they're patrons, too.
I want to thank you both for all you do for the Podfeed podcast.
Bodie Grimm On Affordable Electric Vehicles Part 2
[21:42] Bodhi Grim, host of the awesome Kilowatt podcast, is back with another installment of Bodhi's Wacky Inexpensive EVs.
How are you doing today, Bodhi?
I am doing great. How are you, Alison? I'm doing good. Well, let's see.
Last time you were on was we looked it up September of last year, where we learned about a car that was covered in solar panels from Sonos Motors, a three-wheeled vehicle from Aptera, and something I would refer to as a real car with a Chevy Bolt.
I understand you've got new cars for us this time?
I do. We should update the Sonos Motors car. They're no longer going to build that car.
They decided that that's just not going to work.
[22:18] The system that they used for the solar panels, they're going to use that for existing vehicles, mostly like buses and bigger vehicles like that.
Okay, well that's probably good because that was a seriously unattractive vehicle.
It was not pretty, for sure.
Very industrial looking, it was like dark gray and it was pretty ugly.
So what are we going to talk about this time? How many cars do you have for us?
I have three cars and this time around we're a little bit more worldly than we were last time.
A lot of the vehicles that we talked about were focused towards Europe and the United States. This time we've covered Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and then, you know, of course, Europe and stuff like that as well. But no cars we're going to talk about today are coming to the United States as of this time. Oh, okay. Sounds good. So first up, we have the Volkswagen ID2 All, which is a terrible name for a car and VW should be ashamed of themselves.
[23:16] The ID2 All is between a Volkswagen Polo and a Volkswagen Golf. So it's a smaller vehicle.
The overall exterior of this vehicle is consistent with Volkswagen's other EVs like the ID.4 and the ID.3.
By exterior, you mean like just the look and feel of the car?
It looks like a different version of the same car.
[23:36] Right. If you were driving by it, just passing down the road, you'd know it was a Volkswagen, just by the design language. Oh, okay.
As far as the interior goes, it's quite a bit more simplistic. It's got a 12.9-inch touchscreen infotainment on the center display, and then it's got a digital instrument cluster.
Is 12.9 considered small? I think that's considered average.
Yeah, okay. But you're saying more simplistic, meaning not a lot of buttons and knobs?
Yeah, there are buttons and knobs for the HVAC, and they have some thumbwheels and knobs on the the steering wheel. But beyond that, there's not a lot of buttons and knobs on this car.
[24:10] Well, you know how I feel about HVAC control knobs. There should be HVAC control knobs or at least buttons, real physical buttons, because I need to change temperature all the time. I don't want to look down at my screen anymore.
Yes. And you're going to like the last vehicle that we're going to talk about. That's a good vehicle. But for the Volkswagen, it's got very nice specs for this ID.2 All. It's a front wheel drive vehicle.
It's got a very spacious interior, 150 kilowatts of charging.
So that's a decent amount. I think just comparison, the Chevy Bolt is like 75 or something like that.
It's, it's pretty low.
222 horsepower, which will get you zero to 60 in under seven seconds.
It's not a good time nowadays, but back in the seventies and eighties, it was a pretty good time, uh, 450 kilometers for range, or if you want me to convert that to miles, it's 280 miles.
So, back to the 150 kilowatt charging, I'm always stuck on this.
So that's the rate, right?
That's how fast it can charge? Correct. So it can accept that much.
So that isn't super fast.
[25:12] It's not as fast as like Hyundai has their 800 volt system. So that will accept, I think it's twice as much of a charge, but it's still not bad.
Wait, wait, 800 is a lot bigger than double 150. I'm having units problems here.
The architecture is 800 volts, and we're going to get into an area that I definitely can't back up.
Volts, watts, we need to go get Steve. I know, but the 800 volt system, it can accept a faster charge.
[25:41] Volkswagen is using the MEB platform, which is their skateboard platform for EVs for this vehicle.
If we want to get deep into the woods, Volkswagen has an MEB plus platform that they're developing now that doesn't look like this vehicle is going to take advantage of that. This is just going to be the standard MEB platform, which is great. A lot of people like it and 150 kilobots of charging.
So if you pull up on a charger that can deliver 300 kilowatts, you're only going to get 150.
The battery management system is going to keep it down to that 150. Does that make sense?
It does. I wanted to make sure that's what I was hearing because we just went to a charger where we topped out above a Thousand kilowatts. Oh nice on the Tesla. So 150 sounds really slow to me But maybe that's good for a small car that this car probably weighs a lot less than our car So you probably don't need to charge as much to get the same kind of range Yeah, I don't think they announced any battery size. At least I didn't find any battery sizes for this I would imagine that it's probably between 60 and 70 kilowatt hours, which is roughly what you have in your Model 3.
[26:44] Yeah, that's getting up there. And we got 75, I think. But yeah, OK.
Tesla has amazing efficiencies in their car where other car companies just can't come close.
So they just got to put bigger batteries in. Now, I'm obviously just talking based off of experience like they haven't announced anything.
But if I had to guess, that's what I would guess. jazz.
Yeah, yeah. For people's comparison, Chris Ashley's Ford F-150 has the same range as our car, but the battery's literally twice as big.
Now, the vehicle's a lot heavier, but still, it's twice as big.
So it takes them a lot longer to get to the same charge that we would be able to get to, but okay.
So, but this is a small, light car. It's got reasonable charging speeds and, you know, respectable off the line. What's it going to cost somebody?
It's going to cost right around $27,000 US or 25,000 euros. And again, this car is unlikely coming to the US.
It's not going to get here.
Sure, but for $27,000, I could sit at the electric pump for a little longer.
For 27 grand, that's really good, right?
Your goal was to try to find cars under 30,000? Yeah, and it becomes increasingly harder after the first three.
So this, this took me all morning to look these up and make sure that I was under $30,000.
$30,000 U.S. is what my goal is.
[28:05] Right, right. When can somebody actually get one of these? They're looking at production starting somewhere in 2025.
Okay. All right. Is it okay if I just mention the ID.1? You can mention anything you want, Bodhi.
The ID.1 is an even smaller car and a much better named vehicle than the ID.2 All.
This car, according to Volkswagen, will have a 250 mile range or 402 kilometers, and it's going to start at about 20,000 euros or $21,000.
[28:33] Ooh. So a tiny little car, that's got to be for the European market too, right?
Yeah. Yeah. Because we only want bigger, fatter cars in California because we're getting bigger and fatter to get into them, I guess. We don't know the specs on the ID.1.
We know that it's going to come out sometime in 2027.
So, okay. That's that's so far out. I don't believe in it. Yeah, it's a teaser.
Make plans. It's not even a concept.
It's a thought. Make your cute little play. So it's kind of like the Honda electric vehicle, then it's a twinkle in somebody's eye. That's all it is.
Honda does have an electric vehicle in Europe, and it's tiny and it's cute.
Well, they do. Yeah, yeah. I'll send you a picture of it later.
All right. So that's what we got from VW. What else we got?
The next two companies are going to be Chinese automakers. So we're going to start with BYD, which actually stands for build your dreams.
They were founded in 2003, but they're a subsidiary of a much bigger company.
Kind of like a conglomerate, like Hyundai, for instance, they build hybrid gas and electric vehicles, but we're only going to concentrate on the electric vehicles for today.
Fun fact, they are the largest producer of electric buses. So if you're in a city anywhere around the world and you were riding an electric bus, they probably built it.
Oh, wow. Wow. The Chinese market isn't a market that I'm going to be involved in.
I'm glad from the planet's perspective that China's doing so well in EVs, right?
Because they got a smidge of a little bit of a pollution problem.
Just, just a little bit. Yes. Yes.
[30:00] Well, the good news, and I'm not down on Chinese automakers. I've heard people say not very nice things about Chinese automakers, but honestly, they're building really good cars and they're going to be like Toyota was in the late 70s and early 80s. They're going to be, once they get a foothold in the US market, they're going to be just like Toyota because they're building really.
[30:20] Compelling vehicles. I don't want to speak out of turn. Rod Simmons was mentioning on the SMR podcast, the same thing. And I emailed them and I was like, you were 100% correct. This is something that U.S. automakers and consumers in the United States and North America should pay attention to because they will eventually make their way to our shores. Given the political climate changing, perhaps. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I mean, wars prohibiting. Well, and human rights violations and all those pesky little things that keep us from doing a lot of business with them.
But it is interesting to see how they're actually killing it in the electric vehicle market.
What else do we need to know? What is the car we're coming up with here?
So today we are going to talk about the BYD Seagull. Now, BYD has a very funny naming convention. They have their ocean line, which includes the seagull, the eel, the dolphin.
It's just, I don't know if that's a joke or if they're being cute. I like it too.
It's better than ID2ALL.
Right, right. I don't know if I'd ever call anything that I'd want to make money on a Seagull, but you know, that's their thing. The Seagull is a very small four-door hatchback.
It's designed for city driving. We only know what we know about this vehicle at this point because they filed paperwork with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
[31:41] So nothing's officially, as far as I know, been announced by BYD. But once you make those filings, it's pretty clear that this vehicle is on its way to market.
The sequel will come equipped with a front-mounted electric motor which gives you about 74 horsepower.
It's going to feature LFP batteries and the general thought is it's going to be a 30 kilowatt hour battery which is not a very big battery at all. I would guess that would give you between 120 and 150 miles of range for that size of vehicle. Hey Bodhi. Yes ma'am. For people who don't listen to every single bit of minutiae about battery design by listening to the Kilowatt Podcast, You said an LFP battery. What does that mean?
Okay, so right now there are two main chemistries and there are different variations for these, but.
[32:26] You have LFP batteries, which are lithium iron phosphate batteries. These batteries are less energy dense, but they're more durable. Like you can charge an LFP battery to 100% multiple times and have less battery degradation than you would with a cobalt manganese lithium ion battery, for instance, because those cobalt manganese batteries are very, very energy dense, but.
[32:49] They don't have that durability like the LFP batteries.
So do you have to put more of these LFP batteries in and end up the car ends up weighing more that sort of thing? Correct.
Yeah, there's a trade off for sure. Like I said, we don't have a lot of information about this car.
There's some spy photos showed a central touchscreen. So just like Tesla and other EV manufacturers, there looks to be a variety of physical buttons and a wireless phone charger.
So that's that's about all we know about the vehicle at this point. Oh, wow.
Do we know anything about pricing? So right now it's between 60,000 and 100,000 yuan.
But if you want me to do the conversion, that's between nine and fifteen thousand dollars. Wow.
Which is really affordable. Again, you're not getting a lot of range.
You're not getting a lot of frills for your money, but you are getting a quality car that you're going to be able to drive around. It looks like a Nissan Leaf to me, maybe a little uglier than a Leaf.
Oh, I think it's cute. Bodhi's got links to all of these so you can go look at pictures and stuff.
I think it looks neat. I like it.
You can kind of tell it's a utility car. If you had to compare it to something that is a little bit more known, it's about the size of a Kia Niro or a Hyundai Kona EV.
It's in that class. Okay.
Yeah, yeah. And then if you're interested in BYD and you don't live in the United States, I would definitely look at the BYD Auto 3, ATO, A-T-T-O-3.
This vehicle is getting tons of really good reviews, not in the US.
Do you know how much that one costs?
That one's around, I think it was 47,000 pounds in the UK.
[34:18] Okay. and pounds divided by square foot per fortnight. British to imperial units, we get some dollar figure. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm just going to guess 35,000 euros.
Okay. So this looks like a grown-up car. It's a little bit bigger, sort of an SUV. That looks pretty nice too. I like the idea of these, of a really inexpensive little tiny car, like the Seagull. And for two things, one for affordability for everybody, but two for people who can afford two cars, I really think the model we might end up with is one little tiny efficient electric vehicle that you use for going to the market and, you know, basically every need that I have, go to the gym, go to the beach, go to Costco, and then another car that you use for longer distance things. I think that might be the sweet spot.
Yeah, I agree with you 100%. Yeah, my wife only works a quarter of a mile from where we live.
She drives a van back and forth. She doesn't probably need to do that.
Right, right. She did a skateboard.
Wait, that's the other one was built on a skateboard, you said, right?
Yeah. Most of these are built off of a platform.
And a lot of manufacturers just call it the skateboard platform, because when you take everything off, you have the battery, the wheels, the motor, and it looks like a skateboard.
Oh, OK. OK. You can get her electric scooter, right? Yeah. She wouldn't ride it.
But I went the wrong way. It's fifty four thousand euros is the price.
[35:42] OK, that's the auto, the ATTO. Yeah.
Auto 3. Prices vary depending on your region, so don't let that deter you. Check it out.
Cool. All right. What's our third contender? Are you getting into the weirds yet?
This is my favorite car, and yes, it is. It's not weird. It's stylish.
It's iconic. It's got iconic looks. This is the GWM Aura, which stands for the Great Wall Motors.
It's another Chinese auto manufacturer.
[36:11] And the Aura is their EV line. The cool thing about GWM and BYD is they build their vehicles in China, but they sell them all over the world.
Great Wall Motors is in Africa, Europe, UK, Asian countries, South America.
So widely available. This next vehicle, the Aura, is going to be launched soon, if it hasn't already been launched, in Australia and New Zealand.
If you click on one of the links there, you'll see the Aura.
And I'll just let you have an opportunity to tell me what you think it looks like.
I think it looks like a mushroom. Oh, really?
Sorry, I stole that from Rob Dunwood. That's what he refers to.
Well, there's one version that's kind of got a flat front on it and weird looking little eyeballs.
[36:56] The pictures look very different, but I think they're different auras.
There's different versions of the aura. So, if you're looking at Aura's website, they have all sorts of different auras.
One of them has sort of a Peugeot sort of look, maybe? Yeah. Is that what you were going for? It's got a very European style to it.
And in Australia and New Zealand, unfortunately, this is just called the Aura, but in other parts of the world, it's called the Funky Cat or Good Cat.
That's the actual branding of the vehicle, which I think is really cool.
Okay. So you won't drive a car that's called the Seagull, but you'll drive one that's called the Funky Cat?
I love cats. Cats are awesome.
Just don't like seagulls. I got you. Okay. Yeah, I mean, seagulls are gross. Do you know who Mr. Bean is? Yes, yes.
Yeah, I instantly thought of Mr. Bean rolling around in this vehicle, only it's probably something cooler than what he would drive, but it's in that same vein.
[37:51] Yeah, it really depends on which aura you're clicking on, because some of them look more mushroomy than others.
Yeah. And some look very, like you say, they look kind of old style, like James Bond kind of a car.
Yeah, so the Aura Adora, it's funny, that one looks a little bit like that Honda that I was telling you about, that Honda EV.
Okay, I gotta go find that to see what that one looks like. It's on the Aura website at the bottom of the page.
Which of the Auras are you talking about when you're saying we've got one under 30,000?
It's just called the Aura in Australia and in New Zealand. I don't know how to tell you.
There's an Aura and an Aura Sport. This is just the Aura. I don't know how to describe it. I would think that everything would just be named the same no matter which country and as long as it wasn't offensive and for whatever reason that's just not the way they do things.
So what do we know about the Funky Cat, otherwise known as the Aura?
Well, we talked about this. It's got a very classic European style.
The interior feels super retro, but it has a lot of technology built in.
[38:53] And there's a mix of buttons that look like old school, like from the 60s, flip buttons that you would find in your vehicle. When I was little, eight tracks were big. And you know the button to eject the eight track?
Like, it was so hard to push that my little fingers were not even strong enough to push it.
That's what it kind of looked like to me, those big clunky buttons, although they're very elegant and nice in this vehicle.
But you can turn on the HVAC with just hitting the button, just hit it down, hit it up, you turned on the HVAC. Now, if you want to change the controls and the temperature and stuff like that, you do have to monkey with the touchscreen.
But it looks very nice, very retro on the interior. The seats all come, like it's just not your standard car.
The seats are very styled.
I don't know how else to put it.
A lot of it's two-tone, like I'm looking at one that's kind of a teal blue with white.
It's got like quilting on the back, on the tops of the back seats.
So yeah, I see what you mean about looking and feeling kind of retro.
I don't quite understand how a button reminds you of the really, really annoying, difficult to push in, eject button for A-tracks and then saying, yeah, it's really cool and easy and slick.
It seems sort of the opposite thing.
[40:05] Well, yeah. Well, I mean, I'm going back to sitting in my dad's car when I was a little kid and trying to eject birds of paradise out of the 8-track, but it just has those four teeth like an 8-track player does.
Wow, that brings back memories. My father had an 8-track cassette in his car, and the song we always played was Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pie and Doughty by Dinah Shore. And when he passed away, my brother found the cassette, and so I still have it. The 8-track, I should say.
Oh, yeah, that's cool. It's good stuff. It's good stuff right there.
It is. All right. So this is a coupe, a four-door, did you already say?
It is a four-door. It's about the size, again, of a Volkswagen Golf.
Your listeners are probably going to be really happy to find out that you can listen through CarPlay or Android Auto. You don't have to buy eight tracks for this thing.
[40:55] Okay, good. And then it also has one pedal driving. It's not too aggressive or too lenient on that one pedal.
I've heard some people complain that when you let off, it's immediately on that regenerative braking, and that feels uncomfortable in terms of making them motion sick.
And then on the other side, some people have complained about other vehicles where you let off and you don't know that the regen's on because there's so little of it.
All the reviewers that I read had nothing but good things to say about the one pedal driving.
Yeah, so for anybody who hasn't driven an electric vehicle with regenerative braking, basically it's like a golf cart.
You just ease on and off of the accelerator, and you don't have to leave the accelerator to slow the car down or even bring it to a complete stop. In my car, I go literally, I would say maybe once a week, I use the brakes.
The rest of the time, I'm just using the accelerator.
If I'm using the brakes, it's either because an emergency occurred of some sort or I just misjudged the distance or I forgot I'm going down a big hill, that kind of thing.
So I am a huge fan of regenerative braking, but if it's not done well, I can see that if you start to let off and it decelerates too quickly, that would be alarming and difficult to get used to.
As far as price goes, the Aura is really well priced. Now this is going to be $44,490 Australian dollars, which puts it in at $29,910 US dollars. So it's under that 30,000 mark.
It limbo's under.
[42:19] Yeah, yeah, just barely. But for that price, you get a 126 kilowatt motor.
You get two battery pack options, although you'd have to pay a little bit more for the extended battery, but it's 48 kilowatt hours or 62 kilowatt hours, which gets you between 310 to 420 kilometers, which is 190 to 260 miles.
That's pretty good. Overall though, I think this is a really good car. Yeah.
[42:45] It's definitely an interesting car. It would be a car of a certain taste. You know, I don't remember what the cars look like in Australia and New Zealand to think whether they are more retro or whether that would be cool. You know, it's grown on me the more I look at it. I think I was just looking at there's one on the main web page for Aura that looks really strange to me.
That's the mushroom one. I kind of like the retro looking one.
Yeah, me too. And it does really cool things. Like when you unlock the car, the front headlights, they have like, I don't know, they greet you kind of like in the same way that the F-150 Lightning will greet you with its front light.
It just kind of does this like, I don't even know how to explain it.
The lights light up in sequence just to tell you hello. And the same thing happens from the back of the car with the brake lights as well.
That's cute. So when you get close to it with your key card or your phone or something, it'll greet you.
[43:36] Yeah, and you know, I think what a lot of, especially US automakers lack is that kind of like that fun tongue in cheek whimsy like Tesla has boatload of it. But other car companies, you know, little things like your car greeting you makes people feel good. And honestly, every time I see somebody that had that is reviewing a car and it has that feature, they make sure to point it out. So it's obviously making a mark with people, you know, yeah, I don't know, we're missing out. We're boring.
I know what you're talking about. I remember distinctly the first time I plugged my red iPod shuffle in, or it might have been the iPod Nano. I plugged it in and I opened up iTunes and it had a picture of the device and it was red.
Yeah. And it just tickled me that it was mine. It wasn't just you have generically plugged in a device, you know, it was mine. It was cute. I liked it.
Yeah, you're 100% correct. You spend a bunch of money, even $30,000 is still a lot of money.
You spend a bunch of money on something, you want it to kind of reflect who you are, kind of the things that you value, or at least feel like the vehicle appreciates you, if we could put feelings on it. I don't know how else to say it. All those little things that kind of bring you internal joy make the vehicle more valuable.
Yeah, it's a funny thing. It's hard to... I can picture as you're trying to push this as a design feature, trying to say, well, how much more money are we going to make because of that?
[45:01] That, but how you feel about something changes it. I definitely agree that that's a lot better.
Yeah. Nio has a really cool assistant. Nio is another Chinese company, and it's called Numi. And I might be getting the name wrong now. I'm doubting myself. But this vehicle, it has a little, it's a little circular display on your dash, and it'll make facial expressions at you. You can tell it to tell you jokes. Now these jokes are in Chinese, but you can tell it to roll up the windows. If it's going to rain, it'll have a little display of it raining so you know the role of your windows and stuff like that. It's just, it's a really well-thought-out product.
I think we like little robots and things that look like us too.
So that's part of the face on that that probably works.
Hey, I just found Honda is actually saying 2024 for the Prologue, their EV SUV.
[45:49] So that's only now a year away, but there's not much more about it.
Actually, there's a little, you got a gallery and some stuff.
Oh, you can do VR to look at it if you want. So maybe someday Honda will have a car for us.
Yeah, Honda and Sony have a car. You can look that up as well.
It's a cool looking vehicle. I can't imagine how much it's going to cost.
Yeah, well, I saw a concept of it at CES.
Okay. Well, at the LA Auto Show, they had nothing. They had a picture of the Prologue, and that was it. Yeah, they unveiled it at CES.
Oh, okay. They have a really terrible name, and I can't remember what it is. That's how terrible it was.
That's not the Prologue? Oh, no, but you're talking about the Sony one. Okay.
Yeah, the Sony and Honda, they came together and made one company outside of Sony and Honda that they both own. Ooh, a Fila.
[46:40] Yeah, that's it. A-F-E-E-L-A. No, no, you can't call it that. No, that's not it. I feel a you. I just, I don't like that at all. That just creeps me out.
Maybe it's like, I feel a good. Okay, no, no, this is not good, no, I'm not even gonna look at the pictures of that, that's disgusting.
It's a cool car, it's a terrible name. It is a terrible name.
All right, Bodhi, well this has been fun. It does look like you have succeeded at your goal of bringing us three, these are not as wild and wacky, these look like they might be real cars, so that's really fun.
Whether their names are good or bad, we'll see.
Only VW. On the naming, but still, cool car, right? Yeah, no, no. All of this is great.
And I'm pushing more and more for more affordable vehicles.
I mean, nobody's going to listen to me, but I want more affordable vehicles so more people can buy these cars and not spend 50 to $70,000 on an average EV.
Right, right. There'll be a much better world when we get there.
Well, this has been cool. So when people want to listen to the kilowatt podcast, how do they find it?
Well, you can just search kilowatt in your favorite podcatcher of choice.
And I'm going to say I don't stammer nearly as much on my podcast because I edit.
[47:53] I edit the crap out of my podcast, sorry. So if you want to listen and you're like, man, this guy can't speak to save his life.
Well, on my podcast, I can't because I edit. The magic of editing.
Yeah. If you want to listen to the most apologetic and yet talented podcaster I know, you should definitely check out the Kilowatt Podcast where he talks about electric vehicles all over the place and analyzes their financial results and talks about predictions and complains about the fact that he will never, ever, ever get the Cybertruck he's been waiting for, you should definitely check out the Kilowatt podcast.
All right, bye Bodhi.
Thank you, Allison.
Appreciate it. Okay, so if you've heard this just now, you probably have noticed that Bodhi didn't stammer at all.
I actually felt so bad because he kept saying that he thought he sounded idiotic in this episode.
I went back and I did edit the daylights out of that. So he is fabulous on his own podcast and there were some reasons things were a little stutterier there for both of us than would have been before.
I cut out a lot of my stuttering as well. So anyway, go over to find Kilowatt in your podcatcher of choice and enjoy more of Bodhi Grimm.
[49:03] Well, that is going to wind us up for this week. Did you know you can email me at allison at podfeet.com anytime you like.
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