By on September 20, 2013


When a major EV and battery expo takes place at the same time as EV charging station maker Ecotality files for bankruptcy, it’s a good question as to how much of the EV and hybrid vehicle industry is truly sustainable and how much exists solely to chase government incentives, but there is no question that it’s a substantial industry, even if, according to the most optimistic forecasts, cars and trucks with electric drive will never make up more than a fraction of annual sales.

Over 300 battery vendors and tier 1 and tier 2 vendors to the battery and EV industries had displays this week at The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, held just outside of Detroit in Novi. To be honest, there wasn’t really much news generated at the combined shows, which were pretty much trade shows with booths from companies eager to do business. A lot like the SAE World Congress, I came home with more logo inscribed pens than with breaking news.

As most of the vendors were involved with selling motors, wiring, insulating films, welding systems, powder pulverizers, battery management systems and other components, equipment and processes that go into making hybrid or electric vehicles, there were only a handful of actual cars and trucks at the event, one of them being a medium speed electric vehicle (top speed: 60 kmh / 36 mph) called the ZD, from the Shandong Xindayang Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd. of Huangyan, China, part of the XDY group.

It comes with a 10.8 kw/h battery, and a DC motor rated at 6 kw continuous, 18 kw maximum, which work out to about 8 and 24 horsepower respectively. It has 82 Newton meters of torque, ~60 ft lbs. It’s decently equipped, as you can see at their charmingly Chinglishy web site. Their representative told me that the ZD isn’t for sale yet in the United States but the company has a dedicated website for potential distributors.

779ff1be-3759-4272-a585-c737191f80f5My daughter-in-law is finishing up nursing school and had clinicals to do, so I was assigned the very pleasant task of babysitting my grandson, Aryeh Leib, named after my late father, Leonard. Aryeh has gone to a bunch of car shows and car events with me and he’s usually pretty cool about riding around in his stroller. That leaves my hands free for shooting photos and video.


Aryeh is a very cute child. Don’t take my word for it.Forget yellow Lamborghinis. As babe magnets, PMY Gallardos must surely pale beside toddlers. IMG_0007a_l

Still, a 16 month old child has a limited amount of patience and by the time I came across the booth with the little white ZD electric car, Aryeh was beginning to fuss. I wanted to take some photographs of the EV but he really didn’t want to stay in the stroller, so I let him play in the little hatchback, much to the amusement of the nice, albeit English impaired, Chinese lady staffing the booth.



Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view on cars at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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13 Comments on “Grandpa Ronnie Visits The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo...”

  • avatar

    Now that’s a nice puff piece about the grandson…

  • avatar

    The title is misleading.
    It should read:

    Grandkid pics in unavailable Chinese nEV at plugin Expo

    -Why was this piece written?

    -Why are there so many pics of an unavailable Chinese-made sub-highway-speed (= useless) vehicle?

    -Weren’t there any U.S. made items at the Expo to write about?

    I would have rather known about an available U.S. made EV/plugin-hybrid item at the show than all this waste-of-time / puff.

    The writer shows their plugin ignorance by inferring that public charging station company Ecotality’s bad-management reflects on plugin vehicles. Non sequitur: they does not follow/track.

    A business is a business, no matter what it is: if it has a bad business model, bad management, or other weakness, it will fail. There are company failures all the time, many of them related to gas cars.

    According to, there are 230 public charging stations in MI. According to Ecotality’s web site, there are only 4 of their stations in MI. Meaning 4 of out of 230 public charging stations belong to a company going through bankruptcy and will soon be owned by another company.

    So what?!? That is of no help to the general ‘plugin-ignorant’ public. Write about something that actually helps educate the public instead of throwing in some useless factoids that only shows the writer’s ignorance and lack of journalistic skills.

  • avatar

    The problems with EV charging companies is that they want too much money for too little added benefit.
    My sons drive the Leaf to high school, sports, and the mall. Using the 120 volt “Trickle charger” usually takes about 8 hours to re-charge after their daily 40 miles. They are home at night for about 9-10 hours. The car charges for 8 hours and sits for another 1-2 hours. Spending $2000 would have the car charging for 3 hours and sitting for 6-7 hours. Why spend the money? Occasionally (once a month) they need more range – then they drive the beater mini-van, spending $10 for gas. It needs to be driven once in a while to keep the seals lubricated, and @ 10/month it would take 16 years to justify the $2000.
    I like the Leaf, but don’t need a gold-plated priced fast charger for it.

    • 0 avatar

      Are you paying insurance for two teenagers on the minivan? How much is that a month?

      • 0 avatar

        I have a Leaf, a Prius, and a minivan. The older son drives, the younger son turned 15 yesterday and is signing up for driver’s ed. I pay an extra $160/month for male teen driver to use any of the 3 vehicles. I don’t think a second male teen driver is going to hurt me worse, as long as it is the sam3 3 vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      The 220 charging stations have been dropping in price to $1K IIRC (haven’t priced out in detail, however), I think Levaton’s one is pretty reasonably priced.

      The benefit of a 220V charging station comes in when you have a time-of-use electric plan designed for electric cars, so being able to charge the car fully from zero in a couple of hours is useful because you don’t have the car start charging until 1 am to save money.

      E.g. PG&E E9 rate has ‘off peak’ during the week between midnight and 7 am. But during that window, electricity is super cheap during that 7 hour window.

  • avatar

    Is the entire first paragraph one massive run-on sentence? The site has improved, but we still need some editing around here.

    • 0 avatar

      Nice catch. My wife, the Language Arts (English) teacher, would cringe at that sentence. Rule-of-thumb: If a sentence has more than two commas in it (and is not a list), it should probably be broken up into two or more sentences. (I hope this comment contained correct grammar)

  • avatar

    Ooooh, a ginger grandson, how nice!

    I’m still(im)patiently waiting for a grandchild – neither heir-to-be has so far deemed it important to provide their parents with a gaggle of grandchildren. Too bad, because I suspect that any that come along are going to be gingers like Ronnie’s little Aryeh.

    Lucky little guy to be getting his taste of cars with his Grandpa – you’ll steer him in the best direction, I’m sure.

  • avatar

    It’s hard for you catch a break with the Boo-birds Ronnie. I am glad your stories and opinions are on TTAC. Keep up the good work.

  • avatar

    Ronnie, what was the tenor of the show? Was there a feeling of optimism or desperation? Seeing all the bankruptcies I should think that something that relies so much on the political winds would be nerve wracking. Strangely the Chinese are probably much better prepared for that sort of environment.

  • avatar

    How much does the ZD weigh? I’d like a dinghy I could lift on a carrier behind the RV rather than tow like the ubiquitous Suzuki. It could charge from the roof panels while travelling.

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