Build Your Own Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Paperback – Jul 13 2009
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About the Author
Seth Leitman, (Briarcliff Manor, NY) is currently President and Managing Member of the ETS Energy Store, LCC, which provides energy efficiency, electric transportation and organic, natural, and sustainable products for business and home use (from energ-efficient bulbs to electric vehicle conversion referrals). Previously, he worked for the New York State Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, where he helped develop, market, and manage electric and hybrid vehicle programs serving New York State and the New York metropolitan area. Seth is the consulting editor for the “Green Guru Guides” series of books, which focus on implementing environmentally friendly technologies and making them work for you. Seth created and maintains a green living blog (www.greenlivingguy.com), and is the author of Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Second Edition (McGraw-Hill, 9/08).
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Even with the repetition, the 50% that is new offers a lot. Seth Leitman knows what he is talking about, and has gathered information from a variety of sources, including from his own experience making a plug-in hybrid with lead-acid batteries in a Prius. Much of this information is hard to find elsewhere.
I'm not a particular fan of Seth Leitman's style. He calls out a lot of people by name to call their work and contributions "great" (a word that is clearly a favorite of his). Many of the pictures in the book are snapshots, a little poorly printed, that have these people in them. Some of the wording seems a bit corny from time to time as well.
Finally, unlike Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, this book does not really tell you how to build your own plug-in hybrid. The actual building, the book suggests, should be left to experts. This book tells more about what kits are available, and how to plan and participate in the conversion. That's helpful, but the title of the book suggests it will deliver more, and may be a bit misleading.
Despite these flaws, I recommend the book. As with Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, this book could be a lot better. There is plenty of room for improvement. But there is no other book out there that competes with it. For now, at least, it stands alone. And if its parent book is any indication, this book too may well stand out for quite a long time.
This book was not written. It was cut and pasted, haphazardly, from numerous discordant sources. Most of those sources appear to have been web pages created by marginally competent high school students. Half the material is redundant, half is incomplete, and more than half is both. Some sections go into tedious detail about irrelevant minor topics, while other sections leave important concepts and terms completely unexplained. Some of it speaks about the 1990's in the present tense, speculating what 2000 will bring to the field of electric vehicles, indicating that material from decades old sources was not even read before being pasted into this book with a 2009 publication date.
Some of the material in this book, like the discussion about horsepower and the assertion that ICE drivetrain components repurposed to an EV have reduced lubrication requirements, are simply wrong. None of the material in this book justifies the title of the book. If your goal is to Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, stay away from this book. Reading this book will leave you with a poorer understanding of the process of building a PHEV than you started with, and you will be $20 shorter of the necessary cash to boot.
Save yourself the money. You can get better content by Googling "PHEV" and clicking randomly thru whatever sites show up on page 10 of the search results. If you are really in need of the paper a book like this provides, a few rolls of Charmin will serve its best purpose more comfortably, at 1/10 the cost.
Yes it is (mildly) interesting if a thin overview of hybrids is your goal. But it has little useful information on building any hybrid, let alone your own, and many many pages of useless 'filler'; there are lots of photographs of pcb circuit boards followed by photographs of alternate pcb circuit boards, all of no use to anyone. They serve to give the book a spurious 'this is a technical book' appearance, in typical TAB style. Wrong! It is in no way a technical book. More like a cross between a comic and a bunch of random -- and useless -- pictures of bits of hardware from some hybrid. Also in typical TAB style.
Unhappy? Moi? Don't call your book 'Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle', if it is nothing of the sort. Before you waste _your_ money, find a copy in a book store and make your own mind up. Dollars to doughnuts you'll agree.
By comparison, as an overview of hybrids, Hybrid Vehicles: and the Future of Personal Transportation by Allen Fuhs was endlessly fascinating. Extraordinarily broad in its coverage, it ranged from peak oil to the differences in suitable electric motors; it is filled with lots of practical nuts-and-bolts calculations that will appeal to the armchair-engineer who enjoys interpreting numbers and juggling costs, pay-offs, and alternatives in range, fuel consumption and weights. Because of Big Oil disinformation efforts -- see EV web sites and discussions hijacked by AI-generated posts of encyclopedic substance and length -- I don't accept the criticism of other reviewers as necessarily valid.
Big Oil disinformation? Surely you jest? Wally Rippel - WKTEC - "There is a $100T (T as in Trillion) worth of business still to be done (in oil in the ground). You bet there is disinformation. And a lot more besides. Got Peter Dale Scott?
There are pages of intricate wiring diagrams, but no specific, detailed instructions as to how you would go about wiring your own vehicle. The same is true of the major components: lots of fluff about the different types, some pluses and minuses, but no directions as to how you would actually implement your choices.
This is really much more of an overview of what's been done, including a couple of specific cases, and what the future may hold for hybrid vehicles - but it's going to do you very little good if you actually want a step-by-step guide to building your own.