Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Range!

I spent most of this week driving my EV, messing with batteries and figure out what I need to do. I have decided I need larger capacity batteries. My current batteries do very well until I reach 50% capacity, then they drop and sag a lot, so I usually stop driving at that point, or about 12.5 miles. My Zilla makes it very easy to pull massive amounts of AMPs for accelerating, and my commute has changed a little, so I really need more range, more like 25-30 miles for a lot of more things I have been doing recently, like visiting relatives and not having the time to fully charge, etc. Also, half the roads I took to school used to be 25 MPH due to construction, but are now 45 MPH, and maintaining that takes a toll on my range, but the Zilla happily gives the power while my current batteries cry.

What I did this week was do research of the 8 Volt Golf Cart batteries, from US Battery, Trojan, Exide, etc to see what options are out there. I am now looking at Sam's Club and Costco as they sell these batteries for excellent prices. I have also asked fellow EV'ers who use these batteries, and they consistently get 25-35 miles per charge from the 8VGC batteries. They are usually 170 Ah, a huge step up from my current 125 AH, and they do not suffer from lots of sag past 50% mark like most 12v batteries do. I have designed a new battery rack on paper, and I will check out material pricing this week on it, and also get battery prices from the local Sam's Club and Costco.

Now this means I have to make new battery racks for the 8VGC, but that will happen after I confirm the size and that I have the money for the pack and the tray. For now, my EV is great for all the around town activities, and it may get a little better with more cycles on the pack, but my normal driving activities require more range, and at higher speeds than I am used to driving.

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