Alliance Renewable Energy

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greenation
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I thought I was getting a deal by going with Alliance, but I have been waiting more than 12 weeks since I placed my order and the cells have not shipped. Furthermore, Richard and ignored 80% of my questions regarding my order and info about other products. I sent many emails to him that were never answered.
Another is is the lack of information he would give about my order, I was not advised that battery purchases do not include jigs, straps and connectors until I asked after I ordered. Richard also lied to me 3 times regarding the shipping time and my order. Don't just take my word for it, I have found others who have similar complaints. A few people do say that they were treated fairly, but all I know is my experience.

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jbcausa
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Joined: 05/31/2011
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

I wired money for 45 TS60Ah cells 10 weeks ago and nobody from Alliance will respond to any of my emails or phone calls. Their voicemail is always full and the other number just goes to voicemail. Let me know when you get your cells cause mine might be on the same ship.

PJD
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Joined: 11/22/2006
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

I ordered 16 40AH cells from Richard on March 10. He said expect 10 weeks for delivery, as they would be ordered through China (at the lower price). On April 28 I inquired about the order status. Richard responded on the next day, stating:

"Paul,

Your cells have cleared customs in China and are in transit. They have not yet reached US Customs.

Thanks,

Richard"

So, assuming that as of the beginning of May, they are on a slow boat in the Pacific somewhere, and still awaiting getting through US customs, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't arrive until July sometime.

But Richard's non-responsiveness is a bit worrying. He's just a very small business working out of his house. A google maps search of his business address shows it to be this nice bay-side suburban house in Foster City, California.

greenation
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

Paul,

Thanks for your input, I do understand what it takes to run a small business and I have worked in the house of another EV parts supplier.
The way I was treated was not acceptable. A business cannot be successful if customers cannot reach someone during regular business hours. Richard did finally agree to ship my cells today, after they lost my order and wanted me to prove that I really made a purchase.
Richard lost my order somehow and could not look up my order by my name. I started emailing him from a different email than the one I used to order the cells after my emails went ignored. I thought maybe my email was treated as spam by mistake. I think he does his accounting in a notebook (that's what it sounded like when he "looked up my order" on one occasion. He should be using an accounting program that allows you to easily find customers like Quickbooks. I even made this suggestion to him and he just gave me an excuse and put the burden of solving my order problem on me. It's his job to get my order to me. To be fair he did offer to include with my order connectors and fasteners for free, I guess as an apology.

I have made purchases through several other EV suppliers, all of which were very responsive and at least available. Anyone who wants to sell EV parts should understand the nature of many of the customers they will get. I have been planning my EV since 2008 and building since 2010 and I have much emotion,finances and research in my project that it is actually somewhat painful when something like this happens. I think about my project not just daily, but most of the day. My decision to build an EV was a life changing event that significantly helps define who I am. Don't mess with my plan, it has been hard enough to move away from trusty old oil and move into the largely unknown world of EVs. I obsess on my project and on future projects and I will likely do so until I die.

If a company loses too many customers like me, they may chase away their only source of steady profit. I purchase something EV related every month or so. When I get hung up my motorcycle project (like due to this battery hang up), I start building other, smaller EVs. This experience caused me to build an electric trike made from half of a go kart and half of a bicycle. As soon as I am finished with my motorcycle, I plan on building an F-150 EV and later, an electric airplane. That's going to take a lot of batteries, among other things.

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reikiman
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

I've got my own story about dealing with Richard but in my case he was straight about delivery time etc.

I wanted to point out that Richard is also a) building up a company intent on producing a line of electric scooters and motorcycles, b) building race bikes to run in as many races as he can (a.k.a. Lightning Motors), c) has a very poor sense of marketing outreach

I wouldn't be the first to wonder if he's taking on too many projects. The race bikes are meant to provide a backdrop of excitement behind the line of electric scooters and motorcycles.

His house is indeed in a bay-side section of Foster City. Very nice house.

I sent him a link to this thread a couple days ago - he hasn't responded. Probably "par for the course" in terms of non-response to emails....

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
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greenation
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

Richard has been ignoring my attempts to find out what has happened to my cells. I called him again this morning to get the number to his warehouse (which I have asked for 2 times before) and he began yelling at me over the phone and cursing at me for calling him. He does not seem to think he is responsible for giving me any information at all. I regret going through this company. I was going stop giving updates, but I am sure people would like to know there is a chance that they will get frustrated with Richard and that if they want information about their orders, they may get yelled and cursed at.

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jessbaron
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Joined: 05/31/2011
Points: 3
Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

so who can we buy batteries from
i get no response no callbacks from these ppl
wtf

PJD
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Joined: 11/22/2006
Points: 1240
Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

Crap.

So, how much money are you potentially out of? I'll be out almost $800.00. Is it time to take legal action? We may need to get together and take out a mechanics lien on that nice house eh?

PJD
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

As far as other places to buy Thundersky cells from, there is Elite Power Solutions and Electric Motorsport. I had good experiences with both. You will pay somewhat more. But regarding Alliance, the old saying comes to mind - if a deal seems too good to be true - it probably is.

jessbaron
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

About 2 grand. This is a hit to the entire EV community, which has struggled enough against other problems. A mechanics lien would only tie up the title and prevent him from selling/transferring ownership of the property, but I am sure that would still motivate him to cut loose with the batteries or the cash. I'll keep you posted.

PJD
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

The is also small claims court - but I'm on the other side of the continent so I have to weigh the cost of trips to California. It would be ironic if I end up emitting more carbon flying between PIT and SFO than the savings from the project. Or if there are enough of us, get a lawyer and go with full litigation. The problems is getting in contact with the other aggrieved parties.

Also, We might have to consider that Richard himself may be the swindled one - it seems he relies on a third party to do actual importation and shipping. That third party mat be the crook here - although that still doesn't get Richard off the hook. Surely, if he is running a business, he should have liability insurance against such stuff.

I will hope for now that I'm only engaging in wild speculation here.

PJD
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

News, anyone?

reikiman
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

In terms of news ...at the moment Richard is on the Isle of Man getting a racebike ready to run in the TTZERO race tomorrow. He's sent me several updates while there and on this thread the important point is that he's pulling 20 hour days to get the bike ready for the race. And that over the last month or so he's been in a serious crunch to build electric race bikes first for the TTXGP/Infineon race (he unfortunately didn't finish the bikes in time and ended up standing on the sidelines watching) and now TT ZERO. He's expected to race in other TTXGP races this year to defend the North American championship title he holds, and to bring a race bike to the Bonneville Salt Flats in August to defend the world speed record he holds for electric motorcycles.

He's also working on a commercial electric streetbike that I haven't seen but I suppose would be along the lines of Brammo's Empulse.

As I said earlier he has many projects going on ... and he's expressed to me his main focus is on developing a line of commercial electric motorcycles. Everything else is supposedly in service to that goal. But I wonder if he's taken on too many projects.

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Charger bike (rebuilt), Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia

PJD
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

David,

Thanks for the update.

But, he is also running a business importing and selling stuff to customers.

EDIT 8 Jun 11: My angry sarcasm expressed in the rest of this post was unhelpful so I deleted it.

greenation
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

The latest on my order:
Richard sent me an email that could possibly change my situation from being ready to sue to listening for UPS to knock on my door today.
After all the BS he apologized to me, informed me that my cells had NOT been shipped as he thought and issued an apology with a tracking number.
I assume the tracking number was generated late in the day yesterday as it does not yet show any results on the UPS website.

I am not holding my breath, I have already invested far too much energy chasing down my order. I realize that Richard may not usually act like he did with me ,but I told the truth and I am not responsible for his business running smoothly or his current stress level. I would have completely understood if he would have told me upfront that the shipment may take longer, but I still need a reasonable maximum amount of time. I would not have become upset had he not told me to expect an email notifying me of the shipment and getting mad at me for asking politely why I never got it.

I am aware of Richard's business plan and initially was very excited to hear about the street bike he is developing, though he knows that he is understaffed and does not seem to plan on changing that. I also am aware that he is on a tight leash with venture capitol, NOT MY PROBLEM! Not hiring someone in this case is absurd; his business will suffer badly if anyone else experiences what I did and decides to vent on a forum. The US has a hungry labor pool, many of them willing to work for minimum wage. Richard should not try to get sympathy from customers who have rightful expectations of a business.

I will update my post if and when I receive my order.

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PJD
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

Nothing yet regarding my order...

greenation
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

I finally received my batteries on the 8th, 12 weeks to the day after my check was cashed. According to Richard, this was a mistake made by his warehouse staff. He gave me a list of excuses regarding my late shipment, none of which meant much to me as it should have been a part of a disclaimer provided prior to my check being cashed. I don't understand why people say Richard is such a nice guy when my ENTIRE experience with him has been horrible. He did nothing right and will never get my business or my referrals.

So that I am clear and honest, I must say that Richard did apologize in an email he sent on the 6th, along with the tracking number. His apology was long overdue. I had to threaten to sue and I would have wasted little time beyond what I already did waste chasing down my order. I was very stressed out over this. He also made good on including the connectors and straps free of charge as an apology, but I spent money on them before he told me that because he told me they did not supply them.

Now it's off to balancing my batteries and forgetting about how they got here.

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reikiman
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

Quote:

Now it's off to balancing my batteries and forgetting about how they got here.

Yeah, that's the important thing at the end of it, is to enjoy what the battery pack brings you. I was so happy the other day finally seeing my cells in the battery box .... hopefully soon my car will be running.

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Charger bike (rebuilt), Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia

PJD
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

No responses to my e-mails (and earlier phone call) yet...

reikiman
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

I happen to know Richard is returning to the U.S. tomorrow from: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/10865-motoczysz-wins-2011-ttzero-electric-motorcycle-race-isle-man

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Charger bike (rebuilt), Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia

PJD
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Points: 1240
Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

Without notification from Richard or replies to my e-mails, my shipment arrived today.

Would I recommend Alliance to someone else? Well, his prices on TS cells are lowest. And, I am now satisfied that one can expect to eventually get their shipment although there may be delays and the 8 week-from China delivery is probably optimistic. Delays are understandable; but don't expect the process to be entirely transparent if Richard is caught up in something that interests him more.

Galago
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Points: 119
Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

Read thru the posts on this thread and I can only reiterate the
concerns about delays and non-responsiveness from Alliance Renewable.
Unfortunately I found this thread some time AFTER my order was placed,
...about the time the realization set in that I was not going to get
my order/product in a timely fashion...... anyway...
I placed an order with the expectation of a 6 week 'delivery'.
That was more than 9 weeks ago (and counting), still waiting...
Received an email from Richard early this week that seemed to echo
a willingness to let me place another order..... ? I have not
even received word when, or IF, my original order will be shipped.
Would I recommend Alliance Renewable? only if you don't really care
about getting your project finished in the near future.....
Sure other sources may be more expensive but you have a reasonable
expectation/assurance to get the product and some level of
communications/support for that price.

Regards,
mk

reikiman
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

To give additional data as I did earlier in this thread ... Richard was in Europe to race the Isle of Man TT ZERO, but was unable to get the bike working in time for the race.

http://www.electricracenews.com/2012/06/ton-breaks-at-2012-tt-zero-with-podium.html

This weekend he's expected to race two bikes in the TTXGP in Portland.

Hence, three weeks ago he was on the Isle of Man, and will have spent some amount of time packaging that bike up for air transport back to the U.S., then returning to the U.S., to spend time prepping bikes for the race this weekend. Given that his bikes haven't been at all reliable this year, hopefully he will have spent some time testing before getting to the track, rather than testing at the track.

BUT -- this means time taken away from taking care of business. I believe he has people who take care of business but don't know the details.

__________________

- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Charger bike (rebuilt), Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia

PJD
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Points: 1240
Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

The long delays with orders is maddening. But one advantage, besides the price, is that you know you are getting a fresh shipment from the Winston factory, as opposed to cells from other suppliers that might have been stored in a shipping container in the hot, southeastern China sun for who-knows-how-long. This does make a difference in cell life. So far, after a year of use (about 150 charge cycles or so) the Winston pack I've ordered show very consistent characteristics from cell to cell (you almost could charge them without a bms) and show none of the calender life degradation (increased internal resistance over time), that earlier Thundersky cells exhibited.

IBScootn
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Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

I'm curious as to how much cheaper it was going thru them versus evolveelectrics? I thought evolveelectrics had the cheapest prices. They are about 12 miles from me and seem very professional. I was there a couple weeks ago showing my off my bike to one of their employees as a huge shipment of 100AH cells was being loaded onto a truck bound for Ohio. Man, I wanted some of those cells!

__________________

Motorcycles:
2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 75+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 800 miles so far.
2010 ZEV 6100, 72V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 8100 miles so far.

Big EV Grin. :)

Galago
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Points: 119
Re: Alliance Renewable Energy

PJD wrote:

The long delays with orders is maddening. But one advantage, besides the price, is that you know you are getting a fresh shipment from the Winston factory, as opposed to cells from other suppliers that might have been stored in a shipping container in the hot, southeastern China sun for who-knows-how-long. This does make a difference in cell life. So far, after a year of use (about 150 charge cycles or so) the Winston pack I've ordered show very consistent characteristics from cell to cell (you almost could charge them without a bms) and show none of the calender life degradation (increased internal resistance over time), that earlier Thundersky cells exhibited.

Thank you for the encouragement/kind words - most welcomed.

IBScootn wrote:

I'm curious as to how much cheaper it was going thru them versus evolveelectrics? I thought evolveelectrics had the cheapest prices. They are about 12 miles from me and seem very professional. I was there a couple weeks ago showing my off my bike to one of their employees as a huge shipment of 100AH cells was being loaded onto a truck bound for Ohio. Man, I wanted some of those cells!

Well at this point in time I am not qualified to answer your question, but initially, overall it seems
maybe several hundred dollars.... Other vendors have much higher prices ($8.00+ per cell higher...)
but there is no wait.
100ahr cells huh, ... the infrastructure to timely charge those puppies would indeed be
impressive - wish I had it in my garage.

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