19 April 2022

Honda's Self-Charging No-Need-to-Plug-In nonsense.

Postscript added 28 May / 4 June 2022


... is a full, self-charging hybrid ...

No need to plug in
... so, there's no need to plug-in or plan a
journey around charging stations – it
generates power as you drive.


The Honda ads for promoting their 'self-charging hybrid' cars are highly misleading nonsense. The ad claims that their 'self-charging' hybrid cars have a big advantage above plug-in hybrid cars because you don't need to plug in. In reality, all power of so-called 'self-charging'  non-plug-in hybrid cars comes from fossil fuel. So, their 'self-charging' miracle hybrid cars are just fossil fuel cars!

Honda suggests the secret of 'self-charging' is Regenerative Braking.  This technique enables the vehicle’s kinetic energy (when it is in motion) to be converted back to electrical energy and store it in the battery. All gasoline cars completely waste braking energy as heat. So, for hybrids it is true that regenerative braking harnesses some of the energy that otherwise would have dissipated as heat. But no energy is 'generated' or 'created'. You cannot drive a Honda around the world by only braking! One can only brake when the vehicle is in motion. It is in motion because of an engine burning fossil fuel. So, ultimately all the electricity generated by braking comes from gasoline. The efficiency of the regenerative braking is at most 60-70%. Never 100%, certainly never more than 100%! You don't gain energy! You only loose less energy. You always have a net loss of range by braking. 

Above that, 'self-charging' without qualification suggests that the whole battery is charged. But necessarily only a small part of the battery is charged. Moreover, 'self-charging' suggests an eternal, unlimited source of energy. That's against the laws of physics. Honda uses the positive associations of the word 'self-charging' to hide the ugly fact that their hybrids are just dirty fossil fuel cars that need to be refuelled eternally.

Therefore Honda's ad is misleading, stupid and unworthy of a serious car manufacturer. Honda's ad is a statement against electric cars and all car manufacturers producing electric cars. What Honda does is telling customers half-truths and hiding the whole truth. Honda is obscuring the most important fact (full electric cars are the most climate-friendly cars) by an exclusive focus on a minor truth about regenerative braking.

And now the most stunning fact. Honda does produce a full electric car: the Honda e. Yes, a nice looking little car, but far too expensive for its small range of 170 km (105 miles) and its price. It costs 36.000 - 39.000 euro. The Renault Zoe ZE50 R110 has twice the range for the same amount. The Honda e would be a good buy 7 years ago. But now, Honda seems to be saying: please don't buy it! Indeed, according to the logic of the ad the Honda e is not a 'self-charging' car! It needs to be plugged in!

Does a self-charging car exist? Yes, there is only one type of car that is really self-charging: a solar car. For example the Dutch Lightyear One. You don't need to plug in to go! You may plug in, but you don't need to.


Dutch ad for self-charging Honda hybrids:
"Trade your Nissan Leaf for the new
self-charging Honda HR-V Hybrid"

On top of all that, a Honda advertising brochure in the Netherlands offered me to trade in my fully electric Nissan Leaf for a new hybrid Honda! This insane proposal proves a complete lack of knowledge of the reasons why people buy a fully electric car. What are they thinking? Of course an owner of a fully electric car never, never in his entire life would return to a fossil fuel car. Unthinkable. 

"De CR-V is een zelfopladende
hybride. U moet dus niet aansluiten
op een stopcontact of uw reis
plannen in functie van de
beschikbare oplaadstations. De
CR-V genereert zelf energie tijjdens
het rijden." (honda.nl)


 
"Gemaakt voor het milieubewuste rijden".
Designed for enviromental-friendly driving.

An additional false claim is that these hybrid cars are environment-friendly!  All non-plug-in hybrid cars are fossil fuel cars and bad for the environment, climate and your health.

Honda hybrid JAZZ CROSSTAR. Honda e:Technology


Conclusion

If Honda needs to promote its hybrid cars with nonsense arguments, those cars cannot be any good. Good cars don't need bad arguments.

Honda's is sending contradictory messages to customers: plug-in cars are bad, plug-in cars are good.  

Honda does not contribute to the solution of the energy and climate crisis. On the contrary.

Honda needs a sanity check. 


Postscript - Mitsubishi

28 May 2022

A few weeks later I got a insane proposal to exchange my Nissan Leaf for a plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi! What an idiots. An electric car owner never returns to a hybrid! They really don't understand the motivation of people buying fully electric cars!  In the ev-database there are no Mitsubishi fully electric cars. So, they are desperate to push their hybrids. Apparently, incapable of producing a fully electric vehicle.


Postscript - Toyota

4 Jun 2022

Toyota finally produced fully electric cars: a van and a passenger car! I spotted the first Toyota Proace plugged-in at a charging station in the Netherlands (4 June 2022). This is remarkable since even at this very moment Toyota advertises 'self-charging hybrid no need to plug-in' cars! The concept of a 'self-charging hybrid' car has been widely criticised for its misleading character.

 

update 5 Jun 2022: main text improved. 

 

Sources

This Wikipedia article about Regenerative braking is a good start. Honda did not invent regenerative braking. Regenerative braking has been in extensive use on railways in the early 1930s.

Norway Calls Lexus's Self-Charging-Hybrid Ads Misleading, Jan 28, 2020 

Honda.nl 

How TESLA Rescued Honda, youtube  4 May 2022. very interesting video. It shows that Honda is not able or willing to reduce CO2 emissions of its cars.

13 April 2022

Heggenmus neemt een bad. Dunnock tales a bath (video)

Heggenmus neemt een bad. 

Dunnock takes a bath

Dutch:         Heggenmus

English:       Dunnock

scientific name: Prunella modularis

tijdsduur: 22 sec.

Youtube: Dunnock takes a bath

Herkenning: het grijs op de kop onderscheidt de heggenmus van de huismus. De huismus heeft bovendien bruin op de kop. De heggenmus is een stille vogel die je makkelijk over het hoofd kunt zien. In tegenstelling tot de huismus die zich nogal luidruchtig gedraagt en bijna altijd in groepjes.

10 April 2022

This tiny wood mouse is not afraid of humans!

Wood mouse (wikipedia) in its natural environment.

Apodemus sylvaticus

Gewone bosmuis (wikipedia)

ObsIdentify: NIA image recognition predicts Wood Mouse - Apodemus sylvaticus with 98.8% probability

waarneming.nl

Youtube link

Location: Google maps Bunnik - Niënhof (UT) (Netherlands)

Date/time: 9 April 2022 14:14

Duration: 32 seconds


Technical details

camera: Sony A6400 +70-350mm lens. 

format: mp4. 1920x1080. Codec H.264. 49.95 frames per second.

video editing: LosslessCut.

05 April 2022

The Framework laptop: an upgradeable, modular, customizable, user-repairable laptop

updated: 27 April 2022
Framework logo

As the owner of a Fairphone, I was immediately interested when I first heard of the Framework Laptop. It is really a good principle that the owner can replace broken parts or can upgrade his computer.  

framework laptop with Ubuntu

I don't remember exactly when and where, but I think it was an ad in YouTube when I first heard of the Framework laptop. I signed up for notification when the notebook would be available in the Netherlands. A month later deliveries to the Netherlands started. I ordered a DIY  (Do It Yourself) edition of Framework (Intel i5-1135G7). A few weeks later a friendly young lady delivered the package at my doorstep. Excellent service! My first notebook ever. I have always used desktop PC's. I used an iPad for less important activities. I never felt the need to replace my desktop with a notebook. At the time (some 6 years ago) I was impressed by the innovative features of the iPad (touchscreen, pop-up virtual keyboard). But it couldn't replace my desktop. Things changed with Framework. I couldn't resist to buy the Framework laptop. Will the Framework prove to be a full replacement? It's too early to say. I have to find out.

Five optional expansion cards, memory, storage, Framework screwdriver

 

Framework power cord

Ubuntu

During the past decennia I started to hate MS Windows more and more. I migrated to Ubuntu (Linux) on my desktops. At the time I was already familiar with Unix. I have been a happy Ubuntu user for some ten years. Fortunately and importantly, the Framework computer can be ordered without OS! That was my second important reason to buy a Framework. It gets even better: they have an Linux support page with detailed installation instructions. I appreciate that very much. The installation of Ubuntu on Framework is a little bit different than the Startup Disk Creator I routinely used. The Framework website recommends the 'balenaEtcher' software to create a start-up USB. Obviously the people at Framework  care about Ubuntu users. The latest Ubuntu release 20.04.4 is recommended. That's what I installed. The installation was completed successfully. After removal of the USB stick I rebooted, but an endless stream of data ran on my screen (black/white). Waiting several minutes... It didn't stop automatically. I finally pressed the power button for about 5 sec and the machine rebooted. Look: there is the familiar Ubuntu login screen. Mission completed. I still don't know what I did wrong. But I don't care any more. Ubuntu was installed on my Framework.

Working with Framework

I was used to an increasingly slow Wi-Fi connection and very slow loading of webpages on my iPad. On my Framework webpages appear almost instantaneously. A huge improvement. All with the same Wi-Fi connection at home. I needed to learn how to use the touchpad and do 'mouse things' with it. I learned by trial and error to scroll pages with two fingers. I discovered that a click on the touchpad is a real click just as clicking a mouse button. Amazing invention! A finger click in the right bottom of the touchpad equals a mouse click which triggers the mouse menu. The touchpad really moves a little downwards. So, this is a real replacement of a mouse. I learned that this kind of touchpad is called a 'clickpad'. The screen of the Framework is not a touchscreen as an iPad screen (why not?). That means that habits have to be unlearned. 

Transferring files from Fairphone to Framework with Bluetooth works just fine (after one-time initialistion). 

The built-in webcam and microphone do work as expected and can be turned-off by a physical switch.

Framework screwdriver (included in the package) and screw.
Please note the similarity with the framework logo (
Torx Plus pattern)
Could it be an accident that the Framework logo is identical to a Torx Plus screwdriver? Symbol of a reparable computer?

Memory card

There are 6 hardware expansion cards available. However, I only realised that there wasn't a SDHC memory card reader when I wanted to plug in the memory card of my camera. Unfortunately, there isn't such a reader available. Yet. I submitted a question to the customer service. The next day an answer came in. Thank you for this fast response! It reads that Framework is constantly working on possible improvements and additions, but they can't say whether a SDHC memory card reader will be available. However, there is a microSD port, so you can read microSD cards. I learned that on the Framework community pages some creative tech people build their own card readers! But I prefer original Framework components. So, I have to wait... However, there is an alternative method: connect your digital camera with an usb cable to the usb-A port of your Framework. The Seissiger wildcamera can be connected to the Framework with a usb-A/mini-B usb cable. 

 

FairLaptop?

Framework writes about e-waste on its website: "We need to improve recyclability, but the biggest impact we can make is generating less waste to begin with by making our products last longer." Excellent. But there is more. For example the Fairphone company cares about human rights and worker well-being. Importantly, they use responsibly sourced materials, and are the first and only smartphone company to be Fairtrade gold certified. Framework is assembled in Taiwan [1]. How are working conditions there? What about the materials that go into their computer? Please, Framework team talk to the Fairphone people and learn from their struggle to create an ethical smartphone. Implement their solutions in your future laptops! I'll buy a FairFramework laptop! 

A small thing. On their website it says "Every part of the Framework Laptop has a scannable QR code, giving you unprecedented access to documentation, repair guides, replacement and upgrade parts". I tried the QR code of the power adapter with Google lens, it guided me to the homepage of Framework, but not to a webshop page where you can order the article. Other products such as memory and storage only have barcodes which do not guide you anywhere. There are repair and replacement guides, but you cannot buy parts. You can order a laptop with parts, but not parts without laptop. There is work to do.

A quick test of the battery: with the lid down (sleep mode) it takes 11 hours to go from 100% to 14% and i takes 13 h 30 min to run out of energy completely. The recharge to 100% takes just 2 hours. That is fast enough for me.

Finally, a future addition: what about a solar panel on the backside of the screen? The cover is large enough for a decent solar 'panel'. Think about that: a self-charging laptop! That would be exciting! Currently, the backside only carries the logo. Alternatively, I wonder whether it is somehow possible to charge the laptop with the Waka Waka powerbank (and solar panel).

I applaud the effort Framework has already put into the laptop and I hope this laptop will be a huge success and that they develop it into an ethical and fairtrade computer.

 

Good News: A Carbon Neutral Laptop Option

27 Apr 2022

As if Framework had read my blog and followed up my suggestion for a FairLaptop, Framework announced a carbon neutral laptop option. See the news here. Not yet available in the Netherlands.


Resources

https://frame.work

https://tw.linkedin.com/company/frameworkcomputer

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framework_Computer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framework_Computer

https://guides.frame.work/Guide/Ubuntu+20.04+LTS+Installation+on+the+Framework+Laptop/117

ubuntu-20.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso  (is ISO file for Ubuntu)

https://www.balena.io/etcher/ (software to create a bootable USB)

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Framework-Laptop-13-5-Review-If-Microsoft-Made-A-Repairable-Surface-Laptop-This-Would-Be-It.551850.0.html     (this is a very thorough technical report of the Framework laptop)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade

https://www.fairphone.com/ is the Fairtrade smartphone

Waka Waka Base10: first test results. Solar panel to charge led lights, tablets, mobile phone and camera. blog 17 September 2015

Bestaat de ethische consument en producent? De fairphone als testcase (blog 16 November 2016)

Why Framework? watch this: I want to love Apple, but they’re making it hard (youtube) - Annoyingly, the Mac Studio's software lock prevents SSD upgrades. (added 15 April)

 

Notes

  1. Framework made in Taiwan: "Laptop orders ship directly from Taiwan, a short truck ride away from our factor."
  2. A microSD/SD card adapter can be inserted in your wildcamera and subsequently be read in your Framework laptop. Problem solved. It works also for my SonyA6400 camera. Problem solved! [20 April 2022]

 

Updated 11 April: I added my discovery that the Framework logo suspiciously looks like the tip of the screwdriver included in the package: The screwdriver as a symbol of repairability!

Update 13 April: cable connection of the Seissiger wildcamera with the Framework laptop.

Updated 15 April.

Updated 20 April (Notes). 

01 April 2022

Unexpected snow on the first day of April

Great Tit in snow
Koolmees in de sneeuw


Common wood pigeon and two Western Jackdaw
houtduif en twee kauwtjes.


On Feb 26 and March 7 I announced the arrival of the Spring! After the arrival of the Common chiffchaff there can be cold days, but snow is quite unique!

The Great Tit sits in a Amelanchier tree (krentenboompje) which was already in full bloom. The Amelanchier tree survived the snow and cold surprisingly good! It looks better than ever!

The Common wood pigeon and Western Jackdaw are very common birds in the Netherlands.