Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Denver Auto Show Set-up

We were at the Colorado Convention Center today setting up our booth.

We had some tiles that look like the stone footing the car is on in many of the renderings so we put that in. And didn't like it so we took it back out.

We put up the huge TV stands and info boards. And then we wandered around looking at the cars. Our booth is close to Mazda and the antique car club and Lamborghini. There may or may not have been drool on our chins.

At 6 p.m. the show manager came over and asked where our car was. Evidently all cars were supposed to be on the floor by 6 p.m. tonight. We didn't find that tidbit anywhere in the exhibitors handbook - our handbook it said that exhibits had to be finished by Noon on 4/1 - tomorrow.

They cut us some slack and we have until 8 a.m. tomorrow to have the car there.

Thankfully it came out of the paint booth this evening. It is drying and being detailed. Hopefully the snow storm that is forecast for tomorrow will hold off to the afternoon.

More News

Another news segment that ran today on CBS4 here in Denver. Click here.

Want One?

OK, not a car. Though we do have a growing waiting list for both versions...



How about one of our sweet T-shirts to tide you over? Premier edition. Collectible. (Top - front, bottom - back.)

For now only available at the Denver Auto Show for $20 each. After the show we will offer them for sale on our website - $20 plus $5 shipping and handling. Sizes XS to XXL.

Monday, March 30, 2009

News Coverage

Check out the segment on Denver's Channel 7.

Over the Hurdle

Our last big worry (other than getting the paint dry in time to transport the car) was whether the windshield would fit. We did a normal plug using styrofoam which was used to make the mold. Unfortunately the mold cracked when the glass was put in. If it didn't work there would have been no time to go back and make another one, and obviously, we can't just order a new one. It would have been a deal-breaker for the auto show...

So there was a huge sigh of relief when it came in and when we put it in and...

it fit.
It may not look great now but give us a few hours to get it polished up.

A picture of the LH3 chassis and drivetrain below. You can see an animation of the drivetrain on our Solutions page.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Animated Clips

Our new "commercial" is being edited this weekend - can't wait to see it! In the meantime you can check out some of our new animations of the door opening and the drivetrain in our gallery (up on Monday) and on Youtube (up now).

video

Three Days, Part II

- Here are the hubcaps on the router and being polished. They look terrific on the wheels.



- The show displays arrived and are ready to go up in our booth. We'll be in booth 417 at the Denver Auto Show - stop by and see us!

Three Days, Part I

Only three days to the Denver Auto Show. Updates:
- LH4 parts are all on the chassis and primered. Painting today and tomorrow.
- The LH3 belly pan is painted and on the chassis. We will be showing the drivetrain in the LH3 chassis at the show and our youngest team member has painted the different parts to match the coloring on our new animation of the drivetrain (animation to be posted soon). Free t-shirt to first person to correctly identify these two painted drivetrain parts... leave a comment including a way to contact you.












- The interior dash is fully molded and the mold will be in the LH4 for the show.

- The seats look awesome.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Snow

Good news: Much needed snow is finally falling in Colorado!
Bad news: The LH4 body parts are stuck in Boulder...

Roads are closed and authorities are asking everyone not to drive until tomorrow morning because of the snow and ice.

Hopefully we won't have to go to the show with unpainted carbon fiber...
(Image courtesy of CDOT traffic camera.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One Week

Just one week until we have to deliver our car to the Denver Auto Show.

We knew when we decided to go to the show that it would be a tight deadline. And with supplies arriving later than planned and staff dropping like flies due to the awful cold/flu going around here in Colorado (not to mention lowered immune systems due to working around the clock) we are really feeling the crunch.

But don't worry. We will be there. With the LH4 and the LH3 chassis and drivetrain looking good.

Just bring some hand sanitizer if you plan to shake hands with our staff. And don't touch the car... the paint might still be wet...

In the meantime send us good wishes and coffee.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

X PRIZE Update

After being accepted as an official Progressive Automotive X PRIZE participant in January our team is now finally listed on their website as such.

Check it out here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lightning Hybrids Technical Solutions

We have recently clarified our Technical Solutions on our webpage and wanted to post them here as well.

We welcome questions and comments.

-------------------------------------------------------

Engine/Power Plant Technology
The 2010 and 2011 versions of the LH3 and LH4 will showcase a 90 HP Diesel/BioDiesel engine currently rated at 90 MPG in Europe, mated in parallel to a 150 HP Hydraulic motor/pump and accumulator system. The parallel system will provide 0-60 MPH in less than 6 seconds, and full highway cruising speeds, with an estimated top speed of 110 MPH.

By 2012, Lightning Hybrids will offer an exclusive new engine currently under development. The specific design details are still secret, pending US and international patent filings. Several patent filings are underway, the most significant attributable to Sam Johnson's design of an integrated hydraulic axial piston engine. Specific features of the power drive-train are as follows:
• 100 HP and 100 Lbs
• biodiesel or diesel
• true cylinder deactivation for high part load efficiency
• no transmission
• no valves, flywheel or crankshaft weights
• 150 MPG

Hydraulic Storage Technology
A small carbon fiber accumulator operating between 5000-7000 psi will provide for braking recovery energy storage, and will provide power for a full throttle launch to 60 MPH in under 6 seconds.

Vehicle Chassis
Conventional frame design techniques fabricated from chrome molybdenum tubing provide the major structural elements. By the 2012 model year, we expect to replace all metal with Carbon Fiber, to further reduce weight and increase structural stiffness.

Vehicle Shell and Aerodynamics
Lightning Hybrids has developed a unique and ultra-fast design to prototype process. By leveraging CAD and CAM systems throughout the entire design process, a large 5-axis Router, and a proprietary approach to molding and layup, LHI can go from designing to having production body parts in less than a week. This allows for ultra fast design iteration, and the ability to develop a variety of options and configurations, with a relatively small investment.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Photos

The plug for the LH3 belly pan.

Eddie loves to weld stuff.

The LH4 chassis with it's fancy paint job and part of the drivetrain.
Fixing the router.
Up soon: finished carbon fiber body parts and an answer to the most asked question of the week... how will the door work in rain?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Updates

Everyone on staff (paid and volunteer) is working night and day right now. Random updates for you today:

- 20 days until the Denver Auto Show...

- We have some new images of the LH3. You can check them all out here.

- The body molds are all being finished and should be in the shop next week, which means we can assemble the car next week. We can barely contain ourselves we are so excited!

- The drivetrain is being put together. We will probably keep it out of the car for the auto show so we can use it for demonstration purposes. Can't wait to fire it up!

- We have had a ton of online media attention recently - most notably Wired and Gas2.0. There were a lot of other hits, but those were the only two that actually called for interviews and made sure all of their info was spot on. Welcome if you are coming from those blogs! We'd love your feedback and comments.

- Tomorrow morning we will be hosting one of Denver's favorite "roving reporters" Chris Parente from KWGN Channel 2. He is going to do five live spots with us - 6:40, 7:20, 7:50, 8:20 and 8:50 - it's going to be an early morning for us... We are going to show him how the LH4 body has been created and have him do some work on the router and the welder - tune in and check out our toys!

- Sign up for our enewsletter - we will send you updates and alerts as well as invitations to our open house and other events. (Sorry we can't do tours right now.)

T-Shirt

Not only will we be unveiling our car at the Denver Auto Show, we will also be offering a Premier Edition Lightning Hybrids Official T-shirt. You will have to stop by to see the cool design we have worked out for the shirt. By the way, what is your cost threshold for a good quality collector edition t-shirt? $25? $30? More? Less?

Monday's post offered a free t-shirt to the first five readers who could guess what car the LH4 was loosely modeled after. We have five winners who all guessed the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette. If you are a winner please email bonnie at lightninghybrids dot com - otherwise we can't track you down...

Thanks for commenting - as always, we will be sure to answer any questions you have on the blog as soon as we can.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Molds

The rear mold is finished and ready to go out to EBS Carbon Inc.
Free t-shirt to first five people leave a comments with correct make, model and year of the car the LH4 body was loosely modeled after.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Finally, A Real Logo!


We have finally finished work on a logo for the company. What do you think?


We have been working with a few different designers on it since November and haven't been able to come up with one that everyone could agree upon. Until out of the blue, Anthony Toddy emailed me a design and after a few revisions, we are all happy with it!


As with any logo you can expect it to change over time, but for now we are plastering it everywhere. Can't wait to see what it looks like on the seat covers...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The One With the Chain Saw

What? Like you've never wanted to take a chain saw to your car... come on now. Be honest.
Yes, that's Dan taking a chain saw to the mold for the top of the car.

We're working on getting all the mold parts on and fitting correctly so that we can see how the body profile looks. It is great to see it come together in 3-D after all that time looking at it on the computer.
Dan doing a test drive, this time with the car body. Pretty soon we will put them both together...
We're really pleased with the way the lines look. What do you think?