Friday, October 25, 2013

Tesla Model S: The electric car that goes the distance, for a price

Tesla Model S: The electric car that goes the distance, for a price - CTV News http://bit.ly/16BoOQ7

“With careful, consistent driving, the P85 can do 480 km on a single charge. That's enough to drive from downtown Toronto to downtown Ottawa.

An interesting Comment:

@bill allen If you are aware of the Panasonic test data. The batteries will have still have 70% capacity after 2600 charge cycles. If you manage to drive it for 650,000 miles and find that 70% capacity is unacceptable, that may be an issue. Then again how many engine rebuilds will you go through during that time. Most cars last for less than 200,000 miles so the question you pose about the batteries is moot. For arguments sake, you did not need any engine/transmission repairs on your regular car, you would have spent roughly $75,000 in fuel. Even if battery prices stayed the same (they are dropping) and you didn't purchase the battery plan ($12,000), you would still make out ahead with the Tesla Model S battery ($40,000). Then again, for an average person, you would be retired by the time you reach that type of mileage so you would not need to replace the battery.

Reading the Comments is an excellent study in people, and sometimes leads to new information, too!

While not all of us can afford to buy this car today, it is a great example of what can be done without waiting for the next generation of Batteries, in terms of making an electric  car with a good range, and with some 118,000 millionaires in Toronto Alone – there will be enough buyers to keep the car production happening for some time!

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EV Fest 2014
Planned for June, 2014
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Monday, September 2, 2013

EV Fest 2013 - On it's way and coming September 22nd, 2013

Well, My Electricfly might not be winning the war on rust at the moment - but EV Fest 2013 is on and coming to a new Venue! On September 22nd, 2013 - We will see EV Fest 2013 happening at 630 The East Mall in Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario - the Home of BAKA Mobile and their 20 kW Solar Canopy/ Solar Carport with Eight (8) EV chargers - the most at one place in the City of Toronto, Ontario - to My knowledge.

Exhibitor Commitments are coming on board, as well as Paid Sponsors! In fact - our first Paid Sponsor this year - Ontario Kit Car Consultants - is at a step up from our biggest EV Fest 2013 Sponsor!

Full Details at http://blog.evfest.ca/ and at the website - http://www.evfest.ca/.

While it is not likely that Electricfly will make it to the show this year - it is not yet totally out of the question (Just not as much of my focus, as it might need to happen)!

While it might not make it - we hope to see you there - enjoying the many EV Exhibits from OEM EV's like the Tesla and Mitsubishi, to Personal EV Conversions like the Porsche 944 and Dodge Dart! We expect others - and we will see who they are shortly!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Electricfly - Struggling with Cancer - a time to decide it's fate!

When working on My Electricfly - I was struggling with a Seized Bolt and a Fender that had gotten Brazed to the Rocker Panel - and so I attempted to mam-handle it off - the old fashioned way: Cut it off, with a plan to re-attach it with a braze or well later, after cleaning up the Rust issues!

Unfortunately - in the process - I caused a large piece of (very rusty) metal to fall out of the under-body! Upon Closer examination - using a large mirror under the car and a light - I could see that the car's body was under attack by a large area of rust - body cancer - in my baby!

As such - since it is a 1989 Pontiac Firefly at its roots, being 24 years old, with questionable rust prevention both before my acquisition, and since, it is suffering with a major level of under-body rust.

While I have been working on ideas and research to integrate a new-technology battery chemistry - Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) pack into the car - considering both Prismatic styles and Cylindrical styles, and coming to the plan to use Cylindrical Headway Cells in the original Gas Tank space for a 7.5 kWh Battery Pack, the car has been silently dying in front of me!

As a number of components on the vehicle have been added or upgraded by me - it is hard to just write it off. Installing Individual Battery Chargers was my first attempt at better battery management. This included using standard 12V Chargers - one for each Battery. I had a custom built case installed in the front of the car, with 4 such chargers inserted into the one case. Three of the chargers were for the front three traction batteries, and one was for the normally located accessories battery.

I also added, after discovering that even charging each battery individually was not enough to keep them drifting wildly apart on discharge, a battery charge balancing system, and also - a Individual Battery Monitoring System - which was able to allow me to see which batteries were going low first, and adjust my driving accordingly and sooner - saving extreme discharge from the Batteries.

A Newly machined and custom throttle connect was also created and integrated, so as to properly deliver a straight movement from the solid cased and sealed Throttle Pot to the Rotating throttle Pedal arm.

It also has an interesting and storied past, as well as ties to the development of some interesting transitional businesses in the world of Electric Vehicles. The original High School students that built it - have had further experience in the EV World, and after furthering their careers post High School, two of the students went on to create Hymotion - the Prius PHEV Conversion Company that used the original A123systems 26650 Cells in their Enhanced drive system. This was ultimately bought out by their Battery Supplier, and has since been closed down.

It was from reaching out and connecting with them, that I discovered more about this vehicle - since I was sent a pdf file with information about many of the original components - the motor, the controller, and the throttle pot.

Of course - the Car was acquired at a time when there were no OEM Electric Vehicles to choose from, and a lot was learned with it as I used it and developed better battery management control.
OF course - it forced me to do a lot of research on Batteries, and to learn about the differences between Battery Labeling, Specifications, and Reality in an Electric Vehicle when it came to Lead Acid Batteries.

Time changes many things, and one thing in particular - is that OEM Electric Vehicles (EV's) are now coming from Mitsubishi (iMiEV), Mercedes Smart (Smart ED), of course - the Nissan LEAF, The Ford Focus EV, and the Coming Chevy Spark EV. Also available new since I bought this car - are (if I could afford them) were the Tesla Roadster, and now the Tesla Model S - reported as the Best Vehicle ever - not just the best Electric Car!

Other Categories have been developed and delivered - the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle (a Variation of a Plug-in Hybrid, or PHEV), and others like the Toyota Prius PHV and the Ford Fusion Energi and the new Ford CMAX Energi, as well.

These are all new choices to pick from, that didn't exist in October of 2006 when I bought the Electric Firefly and began to brand it as My Electricfly!

Along this time - my own Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle collection has changed a few times - from a 2005 Chevy Optra Wagon bought in August 2005, rated at 10.9 L/100 km City, and 7.4 L/100 Km Highway, to a Leased 2008 Dodge Dakota SXT, rated at 14.4 L/100 KM City and 9.8 L/100 Km Highway (Traded the Optra, in January 2008), to buying a new 2010 KIA Soul, Rated L/100 km: 8.5 city, 6.6 hwy in July 2010. The Dodge Dakota was returned in December 2010 at an early end of lease completion. It had been used to tow my Electricfly to Ottawa EV Shows, Newmarket EV Shows, and Toronto EV Shows.

I have also bought a used 2004 Prius to experiment with the aftermarket Plug In Battery Options that exist. the Prius was used this year for a trip to Wisconsin, to attend Oshkosh AirVenture and on that trip got me a typical best average of just 4.5 Litres per 100 Kms. With such a good base of fuel burn - better than my KIA Soul by quite a bit, it has come down to thinking over the car equation: Keep the Prius and Buy an EV from an OEM, Sell (or Trade) the KIA Soul, and as for my Electricfly - the choices are a bit grim:

  1. Sell the Electricfly as is and hope for the best sale price,
  2. Take out the Good Stuff -Like the Custom Embroidered Seats, and sell it without seats,
  3. Take Everything out that is EV Related, and Scrap the Car,
  4. Sell Components (Motor , Controller, and Throttle Pot; Battery Equalizers; Tires/Wheels, etc.)
  5. Patch it up, clean up the surface rust and finish the progressing white paint job, and donate it to a museum (Oshawa?) for the History in it,
  6. Or - Trade? it in (with the KIA) at a Dealer - for a new Electric Vehicle!

With that said, I would like to hear some of your thoughts!

Of course - along the way - I have gotten involved in organizing Electric Vehicle Shows - helping with the first in 2010, the EV Show & Shine BBQ, with the Electric Vehicle Society and Scarborough Toyota, and then the first EV Fest - as EV Fest 2010 at Toyota On The Park, and continuing to develop EV Fest with EV Fest 2011 and EV Fest 2012 shows at the Evergreen Brick Works, and EV Fest 2013 coming to BAKA Mobile at 630 The East Mall. All of this has put me in touch with a variety of Electric Vehicles, their owners, and a few additional opportunities to experience them.

It was this experience that first lead me to buying the used Prius - with an eye to getting used to it - and then adding the Plug-in Hybrid upgrade from (as planned) the Enginer.us product line.

Between doing that - and outright buying a new EV is where I am working the thoughts at present, and trying to determine the best mix of having a Two-Car Collection - with a Hybrid and an EV, or to just have one car - and add the Plug-in pack to the Prius!



Friday, March 29, 2013

What to do with Old EV Batteries? Tesla has one Answer! General Motors and ABB have another!

In reading Articles about Electric Vehicles - some times the comments are all seemingly negative, but even then - I learn things by other peoples responses that I did not even know - like this one: "Tesla's Closed Loop Battery Recycling Program" from January 26, 2011.

The Key part of their information - beyond how much they can get back into usable products from batteries into new batteries and construction materials, was this line: "Working with Umicore has allowed us to completely recycle the Roadster battery packs profitably, without special financial incentives necessary to promote recycling (as opposed to the lithium manganese or lithium iron phosphate chemistries used in the electric vehicles just hitting the road now)."

It was interesting - as my own interest is in the Lithium Iron Phosphate Cells and Batteries! So when they say - "We already reuse cobalt in the batteries. The overall closed loop recycling system becomes possible, and much more efficient, once the quantities rise to a level to justify the investment for recycling of the other components – especially the plastic." - you can see that they have heard the question, and not just thought of the Answer - but began to work it already!

Besides Recycling their Lithium Cobalt  Batteries - Tesla has been steadily learning that there are still people in the field of Journalism that can't get un-negative about electric cars - even the best Electric Car on the road today! So they find ways to make it fail, out of effort, ignorance, and bad judgement - as covered in this rebuttal by Elon Musk - A Most Peculiar Test Drive.

The Journalist said Cold Weather was Bad for the Car, But did they drive it on Ice Like Tesla Did?

Cold Weather Climate Testing the Model S


Saying it was never tested in cold - is just a punchline showing lack of research!

What to do with old EV batteries? Convert to energy storage system! GM + ABB Work on it!

General Motors (GM) and ABB have successfully converted used Chevy Volt batteries into a modular microgrid energy storage system that can support distributed generation and provide emergency backup power.

Other microgrid energy storage systems have recently come online, but this one is the first to revolve around batteries from electric vehicles.

The system, comprised of five used Volt batteries, can provide 25 kilowatts (kW) of power for about two hours for a total energy capacity of 50 kWh. This capacity could provide enough electricity to power three to five average American homes for two hours.

“When an EV battery has reached the end of its life in an automotive application, only 30 percent or less of its life has been used,” said Pablo Valencia of GM. “This leaves a tremendous amount of life that can be applied to....”(More)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Considering 60 Ah Lithium Prismatic Cells

My Old Post - "Considering TS 40 Ah versus Trojan 100 Ah!!" from Friday, June 18, 2010, Looked at comparing the 40 Ah cells, This time I will look at the 60 Ah Cells, for fit, weight, price, and energy comparisons - leading to potential range improvements.

Looking at Batteries in a Flash - we see a listing for the Lead Acid Battery I used so long -
Trojan SCS150 12V 100Ah Group 24 Superior Deep Cycle Battery - including simple specs, and price: $169.95.

This Lead Acid Battery weighs 50 Lbs (23 Kg), shows a 20 Hour run time rate capacity of 100 Ah, and a 5 Hour run time rate capacity of 80 Ah. It shows a Reserve Capacity at 25 Amps of 150 minutes (62.5 Ah), and a Reserve Capacity at 75 Amps of 36 Minutes (45 Ah). Not shown, but since found out, and mentioned in a past post - March 27, 2012 - is that the Batteries 1 hour run time capacity is just 30 Ah. The Actual page - I found it once again - linked online at the 12 Volt Shop, here -> Superior! On page 2 of the document - you can see from the Run Time Chart - that the Trojan SCS150 Run Time is 1 hour at 30 Amps, or 1.5 hours at 25 Amps, 2 hours at 22.5 Amps, and 2.5 hours at 20 amps.

Taking these facts - basically says - at the 1 hour rating - it is for all intents and purposes - a 30 Ah Battery, in spite of it being rated at 100 Ah over a 20 Hour Run Time. We can also discover from this run time chart - that while the Reserve time at 25 Amps of 150 minutes, shows the battery to have an available 62.5 Ah, the chart shows an actual load time at 25 Amps as just 1.5 hours not 2.5 hours or 150 minutes, meaning we can just get 37.5 Ah from the battery under the 25 Amp load.

With all these elements in place - comparing now to the Winston LiFeYPO4 3.2V 60Ah Cell as found on EV Assemble, shows that the single cell weighs 2.3 Kg, or 5.06 Lbs, so that 4 of them in series for a 12V Module - would weigh approximately 20.24 Lbs Plus Connecting plates, or under half the weight of the Trojan SCS150 Battery, at about 40% of it's weight.

While 4 of these cells price out at $316.00 (4 x $79.00) looks more expensive than the Trojans price of $169.95, start by remembering you are getting 60 Ah versus 30 Ah of actual usable energy. this means that the Trojan, by reason of it's lower energy - would need two batteries in parallel to equal the 60 Ah, and cost then $339.90, or $23.90 More, plus weigh now 100 Lbs, or about 5X the Weight of the Winston Lithium  Cells!

Using the Full TS-LFP60AHA Cell Specification Sheet - you can see that it can run for two hours at the load of 30 Amps (Standard Discharge Current = 0.5CA = 60 Ah x 0.5 = 30 Amps), but can also carry a discharge load of up to 3C or 3X 60 Amps = 180 Amps.

It can also be charged at up to 180 Amps, or a nearly full charge from totally empty in about 20 Minutes.
In a 32 Cell assembly, like for My Electricfly - this means that the Nominal 102.4V x 180 Amps Max Charge = up to 18,432 Watts charging - or about 18 kW. Even a 6 kW charger could charge this pack in about 1 hour!

Plus - the cycle life at 80% Depth of Discharge = at least 3000 Times, or 48 Ah x 3,000 = a life discharge of approximately 144,000 Ah! (Per Cell, x 4 per module = 576,000 Ah Lifetime delivery from a 4 Cell, 12V Module!)

Further - a 32 Cell Set of these would cost $2,528.00 - not free, but not so expensive, either. 32 Cells would net out at 73.6 Kg, or 161.92 Lbs, just over the Weight of 3 Trojan SCS150 Batteries as used so far, or about 3/8ths the 400 Lbs weight of a set of them!

For packaging size - another issue of concern - the Lithium 60 Ah Cell is just 200 mm tall at the case, versus 207 mm tall for the Trojan Case. Overall Height of the 60 Ah Cell is 203 mm (+ Bolt head and strap) compared to 248 mm for the Trojan to the top of the (included) Threaded Post. The Long Width of the 60 Ah cell is just 115 mm compared to 171 mm for the Trojan Case. And finally - the 60 Ah Lithium Cells 61 mm thickness x4 for the 12V Module = 244 mm compared to 286 mm for the Length of the Trojan SCS150 Case.

So in summary - the module of 4 of the 60 Ah Lithium Cells are shorter in Height (by 45 mm), slimmer in Width (by 56 mm), and shorter in Length (by 42 mm); Deliver 2X the Energy, at a net cost of $23.90 Less (Than A Pair of the Trojan SCS150 Batteries); and weigh 29.76 Lbs Less than a Single Trojan Battery - or 79.76 Lbs Less than a Similar Energy rated Pair of Trojan SCS150 Batteries!! (And So much less space than a pair of them too!)

A Double Set of the Trojan SCS150 12V Batteries (to Equal the 60 Ah worth of Energy from this Lithium Cell Set) would cost at least $2, 719.2 or $191.20 more than the TS-60 Ah Cells. The Trojan Double Set of SCS150 Batteries would weigh 800 Lbs compared to 161.92 Lbs, so the 60 Ah Lithium Cells also save 638.08 Lbs in Weight! And - they save 238.08 Lbs from the Current Single Trojan Battery Set Weight of 400 Lbs, taking the curb weight down from 2,000 Lbs on Electricfly, to 1761.92 Lbs!

As to Space (Volume) the Double Set of 16 pieces of the Trojan SCS150 Batteries take up 0.1940 Cubic Meters of space, versus 0.0456 Cubic Meters of Space by the 32 Pieces of the 60 Ah Lithium Cells, or 4.2544 X as much Space!! Even the Current Single Set of Trojans consume 0.097 Cubic Meters of space, or 2.1272 Times the space of a set of the 60 Ah cells!

The 60 Ah Cells can easily Fit within the vertical height constraints of the current battery locations.

SCS150 Data Sheet.
60 Ah THUNDER SKY LiFeYPO4 POWER BATTERY SPECIFICATIONS 
Winston LiFeYPO4 3.2V 60Ah Cell at EVassemble.com,

The Trojan SCS150 can be had for less at $158.05 on eBay - also a store by Batteries in a Flash,
Or More ($170.40) at CIVIC Solar.

The 60 Ah ThunderSky cells can be had for less ($64.50) at Alliance Renewable Energy;
Or for more from a Private Sale at $85/Cell in Miami, FL; or maybe more  from GWL Power ($86.94).

Based on these added notes - you can see there are variances to consider, along with things like shipping, waiting time for deliver, along with the basics of packaging, and installing - but in any case - the options for Lithium Cells to replace Lead Acid Cells is rapidly depleting the case that Lithium is more expensive than Lead Acid Batteries for an Electric Vehicle Conversion project.

If wee took the best prices from above - for a 96 Volt car like mine - we could see 8 x $158.05 = $1,264.40 (X 2 =  $2,528.8) vs. 32 x $64.50 = $2,064. Even a bigger spread than shown in my prices!

So - Yes - Lithium is more expensive than Lead Acid - but you are getting more power, energy, and life, and less space needed, less weight to carry, and less cost per Watt hour of Energy!