Follow these links to hear Global-E CEO Carl Guichard speak about the team, the company, and his vision.
Let us know what you think!
As a college student about to begin my career, it has been an incredible opportunity for me to be a part of Global-E and the X-Prize competition. I am gaining crucial experience in the automotive industry that will undeniably help me in my career search. I have also had a part in an event that could very well serve as a turning point in the automotive industry and a wakeup call to the established automakers. If successful in its mission, X-Prize will spawn a series of super-efficient vehicles that customers want to buy.
This competition represents the forefront of engineering development, and it is an incredible opportunity for me to become an expert in technology that is rapidly maturing. My motivation for the development of efficient vehicles doesn’t come from an oil supply scare or a theory of global warming, but simply a belief that vehicle efficiency today is sub-par. Oil supply scares and theories of global warming are intangible threats and are not enough to force a substantial change in consumer behavior or the automotive industry. The real change will happen when organic engineering development teaches the consumer to expect 100MPGe without making any sacrifices. People survived just fine without internet, but nowadays the average person becomes nonfunctional if they lose connection. Because of this developed expectation, internet has even spread to the mobile phone for seamless connection to the abyss of information. The technology is present for super-efficient automobiles. Someone just needs to teach the consumer that they should expect it from every car they buy. Once the consumer expects these levels of efficiency, all of those issues of oil supply and global warming are washed away.
My belief is that the natural development process will erase the intangible threats before those threats turn into realities. My proof is that I know there are people like me and companies like Global-E who have the ability to effect this change now. X-Prize provides us the stage from which to speak and teach the consumer to expect more. Mahatma Gandhi was once quoted as saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” This is my change, this is my chance, and this is my desire.
Last week we at Global-E lost one of our great engineers. Joey Weaver was one of those types of hands-on engineers that also made it nice to be around. He always had a bit of fun, a candid view or joke to go along with the efforts of designing and building the vehicles. Three years ago he started his relationship with us by being one of the first engineering students to take on testing the company’s vehicles at our Energy Conversion & Conservation Center wind tunnel lab at UNO. This then led to a position and specific engineering projects, including an intellectual property related project that he headed. Of course Joey was never the type to just work on one project at a time. He needed other things to do, more action. Well, this in turn led to more jokes and fun for the rest of us too.
He will surely be missed, a loss in all of our hearts. But, the talents that he had and shared are displayed in many of the components on E1 and G1. His accomplishments will live on not only in the vehicles we are creating, but in our hearts and memories as we put pen to paper, pencil to velum and electrons to the computer; Joey will be there.
Please pray for him and his family as we all move forward without him here.
This is certainly not the last blog entry from Global-E, but it is a great time for me to personally and publicly thank all of the supporting members of our race team for their valiant effort competing in the international Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize competition. Not only were they able to refine two of the company’s three vehicles into viable race vehicles; they simultaneously proved the concepts in real world testing.
During G1’s City, Urban and Highway testing phases the onboard data system logged 116 MPG for the city phase, 92 for the urban phase and 74 for the highway phase. This is remarkable result when you consider that the company contended in this race series with the heaviest car (3,400 lbs) in the competition fleet. The weights of both G1 and Pulse reflect true production ready vehicles with required everyday performance stats and occupant amenities. G1 has air-conditioning, heating, power steering, antilock brakes, cruise control (deactivated for the competition), airbags (deactivated), a sunroof, safety glass; many features that would be required to wage a successful homologation bid at complying with the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In addition, G1 has a marketable/appealing style. There was just one thing that she lacked and that caused us to fall out of the race series: She needed to be supported by a well-seasoned race team of technicians/mechanics.
We had a loose 90-degree AN fitting on the fuel return flex hose between the quick disconnect and the tank. We had just completed removing the tanks steel cover by request and this then led to the tank sitting loosely in its cradle. The new engineer reinstalling the tank didn’t object to the tank being loose in the cradle and completed the installation giving a thumbs-up. A quality check of the quick disconnects confirmed they were sealed but the fit of the tank was not inspected since it was assumed to be as it was during base-line and pre-race inspection, that is, immobile. During the two day race series with the tank vibrating (1/2” amplitude perturbations) the 90deg fitting on the top of the tank loosened and therefore allowed fuel to spray/leak during the few times the engine was running in the highway phase.
You can certainly take a well seasoned company of designers, engineers and business men and women – all who have extensive knowledge with building prototype components, aircraft, cars or boats- and get them to build a great development vehicle. Putting this vehicle in a race scenario, however, presents a whole different set of variables. The reality is that for a vehicle competing in xprize, we were lacking the race team mindset. Perhaps the case is that for a vehicle that will go into production, you need the men and women who have both skill sets: the racing mindsets AND the standards of the trade that help push the production vehicles out the factory door with 100% quality in every vehicle, every time.
With the racing skillset, we would have noticed the lack of safety wire on those fittings and more than likely would have noted the tank loosely moving around and adjusted accordingly. This gives rise to the adage that once you find one process escape there is surely another one along for the ride.
So, although it may be tiring to add a lessons learned item, it is never tiring to extend a compliment, a congratulations and a heart felt thanks to the race team for a job well done. They fought the good fight. We are proud of what they accomplished and for the feedback on the vehicle designs. All of this will make the company move faster and further down the road of environmentally conscious and highly efficient production vehicles for a world that is desperately in need of them.
Carl Guichard, Founder
Yesterday I sat at a computer in Miami and watched on LIVE video feed while the PIAXP contestants made their rounds on Michigan International Speedway. Many of us, including myself at times, take technology like this for granted because we get accustomed to it quickly and then expect more (i.e. wanting a faster frame rate LOL). Immagine what that first sentence would have sounded like to someone 100 years ago.
As inspired as I was watching my fellow team mates and the other teams compete on the track, I can immagine how inspiring it is for a child or young person who is following the competition and gets to see automotive history unfold. We are actually putting these vehicles through rigorous real world testing and must pass strict criterea or face elimination.
The reason I address the power of technology is because for many scientific and technical breakthroughs that have happened over the years, being able to see the process of development and testing has been out of the question. For this reason, it is easy for someone to think that some sort of magic or “rocket science” was used to achieve these breakthroughs. OK OK so our team leader IS a rocket scientist and we did apply some voodoo magic to the design of the vehicles, but the beauty of it is that anyone can see it before their eyes on live video!
Anyone in the world can now see groups of women and men of diverse backgrounds, ages, and education- many of which who might have never otherwise met eachother- join together in a competition to design and build the worlds most efficient passenger vehicles. Global-E realizes the responsibility of inspiring current and future generations of innovators and we are proud to do our part…we are LOUISIANA PROUD.
Everybody has probably heard the sound…its usually on weekend mornings…many times when you are a kid and trying to sleep a bit late, its sort of an annoying buzz….ok ok, maybe even as an adult…
I’m talking about the sounds of gasoline powere lawn equipment. With all of our ( justified) concentration on alternative fuel vehicles, I along with many of you, have begun to see opportunities for energy efficiency in some places that may not be commonly talked about. One example is that very machinery that keeps you from sleeping too late on the weekend. It could be a leaf blower, a lawn mower, a trimmer, a chainsaw….many of these run on gasoline. Why shouldnt every single last one of these machines be fuel efficient or fuel free as well!
Why shouldnt every UPS/Fedex truck or Post Office or public bus or airplane or boat be ultra fuel efficient as well!
With all that we are learning in the Progressive Automotive X-P rize, i believe it is our responsibility to apply this technology to as many mediums as possible, even those we dont generally think about or see as often!