Latest Comic : Friday, September 17. 2021

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My book is labeled as a bestseller at Naver

"Electric Car - Common Sense Dictionary (์ „๊ธฐ์ฐจ ์ƒ์‹์‚ฌ์ „)" has a red "bestseller" tag on it in Naver search results

Kyobo's weekly bestsellers
It's been about two weeks since my new book officially went on sale at various online and offline bookstores around Korea. The book saw its interest surging the subsequent Monday (August 30, 2021), and so it peaked at 32nd position of the tech / engineering online weekly bestsellers at Kyobo Book Centre the next day.

The wave has somewhat calmed down at the moment, but for some reason Naver has now decided to label it as a bestseller. I first spotted the red tag on September 4, before disappearing just a day after. It then returned today (September 7). I'm not sure what this classification is based on, but I guess the book is doing well.
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My new book is available on pre-order

"Electric Car - Common Sense Dictionary (์ „๊ธฐ์ฐจ ์ƒ์‹์‚ฌ์ „)" book listed on Yes24

A few months ago, I had the idea to gather all sorts of replies and posts I made in the electric vehicle-oriented communities on the Internet and organize them into a single book called "Electric Car - Common Sense Dictionary". Luckily, one of the major publishers I sent the first draft to thought it would sell and decided to publish it. So after beefing up the content and updating the data up to the last minute, the final manuscript was sent off to the press yesterday. And as of today all the major bookstores in the country have listed it for pre-order. Official release is slated for August 25, 2021. Here are where you can find it (all in Korean).

Official page at the publisher (Nexus)

- Kyobo Book Centre
- Youngpoong Bookstore
- Interpark
- Aladin
- Yes24
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Bolt EV gets new charging curve

GM Korea has issued a final recall for 2017-2019 Bolt EVs on June 4, 2021 which updates the battery management software to better monitor and warn against rare battery fires. I had the update applied on the first day, then drove the car around to sufficiently drain the battery. After returning, I plugged the car into a local DCFC station that I previously used for getting the detailed charging curves just over two years ago. These are the results of the new measurements.

Bolt EV's new charging curve on a 100kW station as a function of Displayed SoC

Bolt EV's new charging curve on a 100kW station as a function of time

The curved had changed significantly after the update. If you compare it with the previous data, you'll notice that the curve is no longer stepped. It's showing a gradual decline starting from about 42% SoC instead. This is close to the sort of curve that was originally seen on the 2020 and later model years of Bolt. The overall time to charge didn't change much, though.
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I've seen more than a thousand EVs in Naju

Kona, Ioniq, Bolt EV, Niro, and SM3 ZE make up 80% of total EVs I saw in Naju

Since buying my own EV back in June 2018, I started to notice other electric vehicles in the city. So the "EV spotting" became a hobby of mine ever since. Including seven that I found in the photos I took between July 2017 and May 2018, I saw a total of 1,030 different EVs up to April 20, 2021. Here are some of the statistics from the data.

As with the internal combustion engine cars, Hyundai is the dominant player. Its two best-selling models, Kona Electric (36.0%, 370 units) and Ioniq Electric (15.0%, 154 units), take up over half of all the cars I came across. In fact, Kona was seen more often than the major models from other big players - Niro EV (11.3%, 116 units), Bolt EV (10.2%, 105 units), SM3 ZE (7.6%, 78 units), and Soul EV (4.8%, 49 units) - which account for only 33.8% (348 units) together. I should note that Ioniq, Bolt EV, and SM3 ZE were dominant early on because they started selling earlier than other models. But Kona (and to a lesser extent, Niro) eventually rose to the top.

Meanwhile, Tesla Model 3 (3.5%, 36 units) and the hydrogen fuel cell powered Nexo (4.5%, 46 units) have been rising in popularity quite recently and are starting to take bigger slices of the pie. EV versions of the signature 1-ton trucks Porter (1.7%, 18 units) and Bongo (1.2%, 12 units) have also started to make a dent. But other than the ones I mentioned so far, I was not able to find other cars in double digits, and that includes the BMW i3 (0.6%, 6 units) in the chart. These "others" make up 4.5% (46 units), which includes rarities like Hyundai BlueOn (first mass-produced battery EV) and Tucsan (first mass-produced hydrogen FCEV).
71% of all the EVs I saw were local, either from Naju or Gwangju

By looking at the pattern of the license plate numbers with other visible cues, it's possible to infer where the car was registered at without searching the official records. As it was expected, the much of the cars are local, with 41.7% (430 units) apparently from within the city. Cars from the much more populous neighbouring city of Gwangju (1.471 million, as opposed to 116 thousand in Naju) also take out a big chunk, with 29.4% (303 units) of total. Vehicles with rental license plates make up another 8.3% (85 units). The rest are suspected to be from other regions, although some may be local but not yet positively determined.

One thousand is a big number, but the EV market is just starting to bloom. I'll be interesting to see how different the chart will look with another thousand cars added in.
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Seeing a spacecraft docking with ISS from Earth

Crew Dragon approaches Int'l Space Station on April 5, 2021

With clear skies yesterday evening, it was a perfect time to watch the International Space Station make a pass near zenith. Like last month, I set my P1000 camera to video mode while I tracked manually. When I reviewed the recording, I was happy to see that the frames were mostly in focus. The quality was actually one of the best I got with the camera, with most of the modules easily distinguishable. But then I noticed a faint dot next to the station in much of the frames, so I looked up the news.

It turned out that the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft was moving from one docking port to another during those moments. The move only took 39 minutes from undocking (19:31:02) to soft capture (20:10:12), so it was out of sheer coincidence and luck that I was recording while spacecraft was near, but not docked to the space station. The fact that the Crew Dragon's was just big enough to show up in the frames helped, too. The 109-meter ISS was 83 pixels wide at the closest approach, so the Dragon being 4 meters in diameter appeared as a 3-pixel dot. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I photographed this occasion. It was something I had on my bucket list.

Device: Nikon P1000
Settings: 3000mm - ISO 200 - 1/1000s - f/8
Filters: None
Time: 2021-04-05 20:05:26-20:06:12 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
432 video frames processed with PIPP 2.5.9, RegiStax 6.1.0.8, and Pixelmator Pro 2.0
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