Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Beetle to Become Electric!

Autopia's Matthew Redd, just released a story on the progress of their new dual project - a Beetle Restoration, and EV Conversion in his story - Our DIY Electric Car Slowly Comes Together.

Unfortuneately - it seems that they broke the basic EV Rule - Son't start with a Rusty Car! The Reason is simple for at least three reasons:
1 - It's really hard to weld batter boxes or racts and trays to a rusty car,
2 - Electric motors will likely run longer than the car at its best,
3 - EV Parts are still expensive - and now you have two expenses to deal with!

He Raised funds for his project by selling his old Mazda 626, but that left him without wheels! He was lucky though - in that he had a friend at ZEV Utah, that loaned him a set of wheels - an EV converted 1994 VW Golf!

About his ride - he says "My daily commute is 10 miles each way, and the e-Golf offers about 40 miles depending upon conditions. On most days it was no problem: the car had plenty of juice to get me to work and back and run a few errands on the side. There is no way that everyone could start driving electrics today, but there are plenty of people of us out there that drive short enough distance in a day that the range problem disappears."

I llike the part where he says "I test fit 10 batteries to see how the Bug’s suspension would handle the 700-pound load. The back end dropped 1.75 inches." which tells me he really needs to consider a small lithium Iron Phosphate Pack for his Beetle. Even my electricfly pack is just 400 lbs, and I am trying to make sure I keep the weight at or clost to that so the car can still cary people!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Merry Christmas, and may you have a Happy New Year.

Enjoying a Good Christmas Song Video might also be enjoyable, too!

We are going out for Dinner today, to one of our favourite restaurants in Richmond Hill! (No Leftovers, no Dishes, no Baking, no Cooking, just enjoying!)

Tell me your Electric Vehicle Stories you'd like to hear about for the season and the new year! (That's why the blog allows comments!)

The Dream for My electricfly - is full body repair, paint, a set of 160 Ah Thundersky Cells with a good BMS, maybe a new controller, and likely a new charger (needed for the TS Cells!) Also - need new glass (Windshield, at least - it's all pitted!), my aero trim work, and a nice new dash!

Looking to get a safe 80 - 100 km range, with stretches up to 120 - 140 km on good days, and nothing less than 60 km in the winter.

Anybody want to support my dream with a few donations? - Just let me know here!
(I can put up a PayPal Donation button on my web site!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Electricfly Passenger!

After Yesterdays Drive and post Drive Charge - back up to 100% SOC - I decided to take electricfly to work today, and see how well it does for a single drive with the cool weather (+5 Celcius), before the cold snap returns!

At the end of the day - while walking out - I was chatting with a co-worker, Philip, who has been helping me with some new work areas, as he had done the job in the past.
As wee waked out together - I was heading for electricfly - and he walked with me while we chatted. When we got to the car - he asked if I could give him a ride up to Wilson - to catch the bus from there? No Problem - just unlock his passenger door and put my lunch back and Video Phone in the back seat!

He climbed in, and I answered a few questions about the car, and showed him some of the components I have added, and then we were off!

I took my usual detour home, since it was just 0.8 Kms we were there in just a minute - so his ride was short, but he thought it was cool!!

It's one thing to hear about it, another thing to talk about it, but to actually see it works - that's another thing!

Electric Cars Rule!!

Even Bombardier had a hand in trying to make LSV's (Low Speed Vehicles - usually Electric), but that's a story for another post!

It was just 1.5 Kms. overall today - and the recharge was just .44 KwH, about 5.7 Cents worth of Electricity! That - on a Battery Pack that has been beeten up, abused, drained beyone dry, has two sick batteries, (#2, & #7, plus one bad battery - that the PakTrakr Display was warning was failing - #8!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Road Test Nets 2 new Believers!

After Sitting and not going anywhere while I contemplated the Batteries Conditon and PakTrakr Display saying the Batteries were at 78% after my last charge (did not reach 100% SOC, just sat at 78% - like a stuck needle!), I decided to give them another charge (since the Accessory Battery has pretty much packed it in too - it keeps dropping to 10% SOC), and then take the car out for a drive to give them a cycle!

After Charging - I drove the local neighborhood, side streets, and after a bit - up Willson to Garratt and up Garratt to Bombardier's parking lot. When I poped into the parking lot, I was surprised to see somebody working on their car so late and thought one ov my co-workers had a problem - so I pulled over to see what was up. Turns out it was just two local boyes out tweaking their Woofers in the back of the car under the Street lights in the parking lot.

While chatting with them, one noticed my car - that it was not making any noise - just sitting there! "Is that Car Electric?" He says! Of course - I replied - "Yes!" When they asked if I made it and I told them that High School Students did the Conversion some 14 years ago, The become ven more interested! That lead to a bit of an interesting, off the cuff - 'Show and tell' there under the street lights!

Of course - I showed them under the hood, the PakTrakr Gauges and Displays, and discussed the important things: "How Fast does it go?" "I've seen it up to 105 - 108 Kmh. on the Freeway, but the motor will take it up to 145 kmh with good batteries!"Business Card -

Of course - I took the time to promote the car and the website by Handing out Business Cards.

When I drove away - I still had my drivers window down - and I could hear them shout an excited - 'Yeah!'

Two on base - invited to the Next Electric Vehicle Society of Canada Meeting -

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My First Whitepaper - Free Sneak Highlights!

My first white paper discusses in some detail - Lead Acid versus LiFePO4.

Here is a quick summary of the high points:

  • EnerSys 12V, 17.2AH Sealed Lead Acid Battery at the 1 hour rate deliver just under 60% of their rated power, at 10.3 Ah that means - 0.6C load.

  • 100% Depth of Discharge will shorten the life of the battery to just 250 cycles. That is 1/6th of the life of a smaller 30% Discharge, of 1,200 Cycles.

  • (.3 [30% Discharge] X .6 [.6C Load of 10.3 Amps] = .18 X the Available 1 hour Energy [18% times the 10.3 Ah = 1.854 ah per Cycle] to get to the 1200 cycles!)

  • ThunderSky 40Ah Cell = 1/4 the weight, Enersys costs more than 2.1 times the price.

  • ThunderSky Cell can do 1000 Cycles at 100% discharge, and at 80% Discharge do 3000 Cycles, and at this point, = 64 Enersys Batteries for total energy delivery.

Bottom Line - it covers some excelent general comparisons.

I found some good data on the 20Ah SLA versus a 20 Ah LiFePO4 today too!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

PakTrakr interesting situation

The PakTrakr main display is telling that the pack won't charge more than 78% in this cold weather - but - when I look at the data on the SD Card from the Woodward large Pak Trakr Display with Data Logging, - I see the front remote data says that part of the pack is at 100%, and the rear remote says that part of the pack is at 100%, and - the individual battery chargers are saying each battery is charged to 100% and is stable at about 13.2 Volts, all leaves me wondering what happened?

Current Cold weather, wet & snowy weather, and work schedules make checking it all out a bit more difficult, and other issues of late to deal with have left little time or energy to dig into it!

Likely - my last thought of simply - take the car for a drive, keep the batteries out of the danger zine, and come back and put them right away on the charger is made more difficult due to the Rehab center customer stream that usually is in the way for me to plug in, except for Friday Afternoon and Saturday Afternoon. However - for some reason - this past Friday - there was a late night stream of clients to the center!

If the actual power consumption of my battery pack was measured from the beginning with the Data logging PakTrakr Display - I would have a tally of how many Watt hours I had taken from it - but the pack was driven for wome time with just the analog Voltmeter and Ammeter, so no real way to know! (And those trips where I drained the batteries and limpled along - both in warmer weather the first time, and in cold weather the second time, likely took a lot of life out of the set!)

In any case - we are seeing more and more places supplying and promoting LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) cells and packs for cars and eBikes too! Just looked today for a few minutes at San Diego Electric Bike. they have some good information there, and there was some other good stuff I will report on shortly!