Do you drive an electric vehicle?

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DRHolden's picture
DRHolden
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Do you drive an electric vehicle?

I've been driving a 1994 Geo Metro (2 door hatchback) for about a year now after I converted it to a 120v DC electric vehicle.  It has a top speed of about 70mph and has about a 40 mile range going at ~40mph on a warm day.  It's my daily commuter, though I have been driving my hybrid lately because it's too cold with very little heat in the electric car.  It's an on-going project for various reasons, and I wouldn't recommend doing it everyone, but I have enjoyed it and like driving it.

Are there any others out there driving electric cars, or working on a conversion project?

 

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Travlin
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

Tell me about heating for an electric car in the winter.  I'd never thought of that, but in a cold climate that is a big deal.  There are situations were the heat of an internal combustion engine is not wasted.

Travlin 

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

One of my future projects is to convert my wife's Ford Laser (like this http://fordescortev.blogspot.com/ ).  We have so much excess solar power here that we could run her car for shortish errands  (40 miles?) entirely on solar and for free.

Cold isn't an issue here....  though aircon might be in summer!  I'm sure a motor running an EV could run an aircon...

Mike

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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

I was hoping to get a commercial electric but I had to get a car last August and so got a Prius. The weather here varies from around freezing to 75F and makes a big difference on the mileage I get for my short 10 mile trips. In winter its around 45 mpg and around 60 mpg in summer (US gallons). Longer trips are more efficient.

Our purchase is not cost effective for the usage we have, being retired, but the machine should be good on maintenance. No belts, no starter motor and I think I rarely use the brakes with battery regeneration, except for emergency braking. Besides I understand money won't be worth the paper its printed on so I bought stuff. Laughing

If necessary it should always be possible to convert to an electrical with a 40-50 mile range.

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DRHolden
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?
Travlin wrote:

Tell me about heating for an electric car in the winter.  I'd never thought of that, but in a cold climate that is a big deal.  There are situations were the heat of an internal combustion engine is not wasted.

Travlin 

My car has a 120v heater that does not well, so defrost is not good, but I do have a good after market seat warmer that works well.  So for 20+ degrees F it's not bad, 30+ even better.  There are electric water heaters that connect directly to your existing heater.  The problem with any type of heat is that it reduces your range, and so does the cold weather (at least for lead/acid batteries)

BTW, I pay a little extra for a green electricity option which comes from wind.  I plug directly into a 110v AC outlet.

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Travlin
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

DRHolden

In cold climates that would be unbearable.  I can understand how a heater would drastically reduce range.  I've never thought of these issues before.  Thanks for bringing this up.

Nice avatar.

Travlin

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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

Hi DRH,  do you have any info or websites available on the conversion of your Geo?  I've got two Metros, but both are running great on gas now, so a conversion would have to come later- but maybe time to start gathering parts for the change.  Thanks, Aloha, Steve.

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DRHolden
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?
Travlin wrote:

DRHolden

In cold climates that would be unbearable.  I can understand how a heater would drastically reduce range.  I've never thought of these issues before.  Thanks for bringing this up.

Nice avatar.

Travlin

One thing to consider, at least with cars like mine that has max range of about 40 miles, is that I don't really spend that much time in the car.  It's not like I'm taking an 8 hour trip with no heat.  The seat warmer works very well, and in fact keeps me warmer in New England for the first 10 minutes or so than my internal combustion car without the seat warmer because it takes it longer to warm up.  I have commuted with it in temperatures below 20 F, and have been fine.  One thing I do before I leave, which is good for me anyway, is some exercise (sit ups, push ups, etc.) It gets me warmed up for the ride.  These peope who have remote starters for their cars should not use them, and do some exercise instead.

 

DRHolden's picture
DRHolden
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?
thatchmo wrote:

Hi DRH,  do you have any info or websites available on the conversion of your Geo?  I've got two Metros, but both are running great on gas now, so a conversion would have to come later- but maybe time to start gathering parts for the change.  Thanks, Aloha, Steve.

The best place to go for info about other people who have done convertions on Metros and others cars is http://evalbum.com/

 

BTW, Congrats on owning your two Metros.  I never knew what a great little car it was until I converted mine (I bought it for $200 with a blown engine)  They were getting 45-50 mpg long before it was cool.  Their small size and low powered 3 cyclinder engine should be the model for all cars in the US.

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Dutch John
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

I considered to build an electric conversion, because of abundant home made power and I like to work with salvaged stuff. But I skipped the idea because of the nature of our country. It is flat, small distances between towns and cities and has excellent lanes for bicyclers. And that is what we do. Even bought a cargo bike. Longer distances can be done by public transportation. So here in the Netherlands we do not need a ton of car to move one person. Of course in most countries that is different.

It leaves however hauling bigger stuff on a trailer. For that, I converted a regular petrol car to woodgas. For the future, I see such vehicles to be shared in a local community, because only on a few percent of trips a car is needed. Making your own carfuel is cumbersome. You gain a lot of respect for energy and save on unnecessary transportation.

Regards, DJ

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DRHolden
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?
Dutch John wrote:

It leaves however hauling bigger stuff on a trailer. For that, I converted a regular petrol car to woodgas. For the future, I see such vehicles to be shared in a local community, because only on a few percent of trips a car is needed. Making your own carfuel is cumbersome. You gain a lot of respect for energy and save on unnecessary transportation.

Regards, DJ

I like this idea a lot and have thought about it in the past too.  I'm not sure how to make it work here in the US, but maybe I'll start trying to figure this out.

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SailAway
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?
Travlin wrote:

DRHolden

In cold climates that would be unbearable.  I can understand how a heater would drastically reduce range.  I've never thought of these issues before.  Thanks for bringing this up.

Nice avatar.

Travlin

A friend of mine works for Nissan and I was talking to him about this heater issue a couple of weeks ago. He told me that the Leaf has (or will have in the future, I can't recall exactly) the option to program the car to be preheated at a specific time when the car is plugged in your garage.  So basically when you sit in your car in the morning to commute to work, the car is already warm and it doesn't affect the range. I suppose it only solve half of the problem if you cannot plug the car at your work place...

 

 

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osb272646
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

Dutch John;

I've been looking at woodgas for transportation.  Is it feasible to run woodgas into a modern vehicle with all the computer controls, or does one have to go to a pre-1970's model with the mechanical points, distributor, etc?

 

 

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Dutch John
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

Some computer controlled engines can run on woodgas with the fuel pumps shut off. Some not and go into limp mode. Cars from the seventies and early eighties remain the easiest to convert. Look for a light car with a big lung engine.

Perhaps open a new topic if there is more interest for woodgas as a crisis fuel and leave this topic for electric driving?

Big issue on behalf of the sustainabiltiy of electric driving remains the dogma of modern too heavy luxury cars. These ask for heavy battery packs, creating a negative downward pointed spiral. In my opinion a car is a transportation medium. Turning it into a comfortable living room is the wrong way. Car manufacturers need to redefine a car. This may not be what the consumer wants now, but it will be in the nearby future. Few months ago, I saw a documentary on television about a Swiss guy, driving his lightweight solar powered car around the world. Of course it is not very practical to drive with a large trailer coverered with solar panels, but he got the point: not much battery and a light car.

Regards, DJ

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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Re: Do you drive an electric vehicle?

electric tractor,

thats green(with a smile)robie

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