Monthly Archives: September 2014

Amphicar Appearance

Amphicar from Jim Zellmer.

Speaking of “jobs to be done” (Asymcar 18)….

A rare Amphicar makes an entertaining Saturday afternoon appearance on Madison’s Lake Mendota.


The Amphicar Model 770 is an amphibious automobile, the first such vehicle mass-produced for sale to the public starting in 1961. The German vehicle was designed by Hanns Trippel and manufactured by the Quandt Group at Lübeck and at Berlin-Borsigwalde. Its name is a portmanteau of “amphibious” and “car”. The Amphicar was designed to be marketed and sold in the USA. Compared to most boats or cars, its performance was modest, and only 4000 were produced by 1965. Nevertheless, it is still among the most successful amphibious civilian autos of all time, and still often prized and preserved as novelty collectible automobiles today.

eBay: 3 for sale starting at $53,950.

International Amphicar Owners Club. Tips on buying an Amphicar.

Entering and leaving the water.

## I recorded the brief Lake Mendota video using an iPhone 6 with “digital zoom”. Not too bad.

Asymcar 17 Comments & Links

Matt Grantham:

I thought that I would send this one through and add a couple of comments based on the last podcast for things to think about for the second part.

I am not sure if I mentioned it with in Asymcar 16 but one of the reasons that people are so excited about solar (especially in Australia and other sunny parts of the world) is that with the roof top option you completely take the need grid infrastructure out of the equation. Which in Australia is about half the cost of your bill and as panel costs come down the economics of this are just going to get stronger. I agree that wind prices are also going down but all other technologies have the disadvantage that they are not able to be distributed around the grid.

To highlight this point here is an article which really shows the system challenge for energy based looking at the distributed vs centralised model

It is relevant to mention that you can also have large PV solar plants as well that face the same challenges as wind, coal and geothermal if they are grid connected.

In the podcast I did I forgot to mention one crucial element that could really help push EV’s and that was electricity tariff reform because if you can start to see one of the what at the moment is one of the problems for the grid ie over supply and as a result cheap energy and combine that with tariff reforms that encourage EV users to suck up this cheap energy then what was a problem for the grid is now a competitive advantage for EVs as long as you get the market structure right. I think good energy market structures are the key.

Also another concept that we have thrashed about on our show from time to time is the idea of variability VS intermittency with regards to clean energy and if you have got a real time market and smart devices like EV’s then they can add to the overall stability of a grid. Solar now we are calling “predictably variable” because even though it is not there at night and you can get clouds from time to time when you look at the system input across a city on a daily basis you do get a very predictable output from it on a day to day basis and modern weather forecasting is helping to refine this even further.

Here are some other EV articles I stumbled across recently that you might be interested in.

Asymcar 18: Cars of the People

Why did the Tata Nano fail? What is the future of low end disruption in the auto industry?

What does sharing mean for cars? What are the jobs that spaces in cars are hired for that their makers don’t understand?

Is Elon Musk an Industrialist?

30mb mp3 about 61 minutes.

Subscribe to Asymcar podcasts via iTunes or RSS.


1. The naming changes are said to be pushed by marketing chief Ola Källenius, with the executive aiming to bring more clarity to Mercedes’ lineup.

2. Mini cars will soon lose their flavor.

3. Shared Automated Vehicle.

4. The Democratization of Luxury (Stupidity).

5. Top Gear, Cars of the People (James May). iTunes.