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Author Topic: Power in Flux book review  (Read 494 times)

Richard230

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Power in Flux book review
« on: March 21, 2017, 03:24:49 AM »

Book review of Power in Flux

I just finished reading Power in Flux, written by Ted Dillard, and would like to offer my  comments regarding his book, which I helped to fund by contributing to his Kickstarter campaign: Frankly, it was quite an exciting and interesting struggle to read the entire book as I can't believe how much information Ted packed into 347 pages.  I really learned a lot regarding many of the vehicles, manufacturers, universities, races, racers, personalities and innovations that made electric motorcycles possible, many of which I became familiar with during my years reading posts on the elmoto, Electric Motorcycle and Brammo forums.

In his book Ted provides considerable detail about every subject you can think of regarding the recent history and development of both commercial-manufacturer and enthusiast-built electric motorcycles, including the development of the motors and batteries that made these vehicles practical and the racing teams that did their best to make all of the parts work in unison and push the envelope on the racetrack.  I highly recommend Power in Flux to any electric motorcycle enthusiast who wants an in-depth look at the beginnings of the future of motorcycles.

However, be aware that Power in Flux is not your typical large-format “coffee table” book with museum-quality photos of old classic British motorcycles. It is a 9” by 6” paperback book that takes you on a written trip from the beginnings of this century to 2016.  It has lots of words and just enough slightly grainy photos to illustrate the discussion in the text. Ted's book is really directed at the enthusiast who wants an inside and detailed look at what has occurred during the past 15 or 20 years.  It contains facts and quotes that you would never be able to dig up yourself and you will be amazed at how much work its author must have put into acquiring this information.  What Power in Flux is not is a general history about electric motorcycles that will appeal to the non-enthusiast who is just wondering about the technology. Ted has dug down to the “nitty-gritty” and if you want the basics, head for an encyclopedia or Wikipedia.

If you would like to order a copy of Power in Flux you can visit this website: https://powerinflux.wordpress.com/  I think you will be surprised at what you will learn and I am certain that you will not find another book about electric motorcycles that is anything like it.  Ted's book is just plain unique. It is a book that you will want to read more than once and you will definitely want to keep it on your bookshelf for future reference.

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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

Fred

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 01:30:52 AM »

Spotted on ES (from the author himself):

25% Off Print Books & Calendars - Extended!
Use Code: LULU25
Cannot be combined with other offers
Does not apply to ebooks or services
Ends March 21st at 11:59 PM
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Fred

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 12:47:08 PM »

Thanks for the review. Just ordered a copy.

That discount code should also mean that it drops below the customs threshold in the UK where they delay your purchase by a week, add 20% tax (fair enough) and a £10 handling fee (excessive on a small purchase).
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Richard230

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 04:02:57 AM »

This is a much better and more detailed review than mine:
http://reneweconomy.com.au/a-short-history-of-electric-vehicle-evolution-69175/
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

ctrlburn

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2017, 05:58:09 PM »

Insanely dense with information.
I have trouble reading most books because I'm frustrated the author is wasting my time by padding the story with extra words. Not a problem with Flux, wonderfully respectful of my time as a reader.

As a print to order...
Page 39... "from" not "form"
"...but it was only available for a few years from 2004 to 2007..."

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Fred

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2017, 08:32:37 PM »

I've spotted quite a few typos. Very informative book though.

Print quality of the pages is a little bit "done it at home on an inkjet" but I suppose that is essentially what's happening. Cover and binding are good quality though.
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motorguy

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 04:21:01 PM »

Electric Motorcycles News has also made a review of Ted's book: https://electricmotorcycles.news/power-in-flux-the-history-of-electric-motorcycles/
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BrianTRice

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2017, 12:03:04 AM »

This book is really good; I'm reading it in paths, trying to follow a thread of development and understand how it all related.

It clarified for me just how much the last ten years of manufacturing efforts have involved difficult tradeoffs and strong personalities, and I've heard of most of it vaguely but Ted managed to present it reasonably well and seems to separate truth from rumor clearly enough. I think he's made it also pretty clear that everyone involved has been under very difficult constraints trying to actually deliver products of any kind, given the limited product development money available for the powertrain components needed, etc.
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Ted Dillard

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 10:03:57 PM »

Thanks so much!  I just noticed this review, it's great to get some feedback.  It was certainly a story that grew increasingly interesting as I dug deeper...  there are two or three major connections that pretty much amazed me as I discovered them.  (One guy in particular was kind of funny.  He claimed so much my first response was that he was full of crap, but all his stories checked out.  He's kind of a quirky guy, too, so that made it even more interesting.) 

It was funny to see who got their nose out of joint with some fairly minor (and innocent) errors (names, dates, domains, stuff like that).  I really tried to get everything right, and had about 6 people fact checking, proof reading and editing, but I sorely missed having a good editor and publisher behind me as I've had in the past.  I did publish an "errata" page on the site, FWIW.  I can assure you that nothing was done intentionally, or personally, in spite of those sensitive folks.   8)  I also got a bit of kickback for some people whose work was either omitted or mentioned briefly - unfortunately I had to limit the coverage to focus on those who I could draw a direct line of influence to and from.  That was pretty expected, though.  On the flip side, a couple of fairly feisty people I thought were going to raise holy hell about not getting enough coverage were totally gracious and chill. 

I agree on the print quality of the photos, Fred.  Unfortunately, using Lulu's "Print on Demand" service that's what you're kind of stuck with, even at what I consider a high price for the paperback.  The hardcover that went to Kickstarter backers only was much better paper and looks really nice - but is nutty expensive.  BUT, I'm thinking of doing a "Birthday Issue" - that is, it's been 3 years since the project was funded, and as a token of my appreciation to the backers and community, I think I'd like to offer an updated, corrected hard-cover edition.  The only catch is it'd be my cost of around $75.  If there's interest, post it here and I'll see if I can make it happen. 
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 10:10:28 PM by Ted Dillard »
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Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles

http://www.powerinflux.com

Richard230

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 07:39:29 PM »

Electric Motorcycles News has just published a long and very complementary illustrated review of Power in Flux:
https://electricmotorcycles.news/a-short-history-of-electric-vehicle-evolution/
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

Ted Dillard

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Re: Power in Flux book review
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 04:23:11 AM »

Thanks Richard!  ChargedEVs did a kind writeup as well, though he thinks I need a good editor.   ;)  (I'd be the first to agree!) 
https://chargedevs.com/newswire/book-review-power-in-flux/

It's an all-around great magazine for EV enthusiasts, if you haven't seen it you should check it out. 

Also, Lulu has a deal on the books for today and tomorrow.  Hope this isn't to self-promotional, but I did want to share it with the EMF community:

Save 30% On Orders Of Print Books & Photo Books
Use Code: SAVENOW30
Cannot be combined with other offers
Does not apply to ebooks or services
Ends August 10th at 11:59 PM


I generally post the specials on the Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/electricchronicles/
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Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles

http://www.powerinflux.com
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