Saturday, January 15, 2011

Trekking On

My heat has been installed for some time and it functions! It does defrost the EV, but really doesn't do much more than that. My voltage just isn't high enough at 96 volts to heat the EV up, but I get by. I have to drive the EV everyday just to keep the batteries nice and toasty around 80F, but I go places each day and it isn't a problem.

Over the past 8 months of EV driving I have made quite a few notes for my next build. I have noticed that past 50% DoD the performance is just awful on lead acid batteries. My automatic transmission is a real power hog. I estimate that I get 10% less power and range than a Civic using a manual transmission and in the cold upwards of 25% less power and range just due to the automatic transmission. My batteries stay nice and toasty in their boxes, but the transmission fluid gets real thick in the freezing weather. My 96 volt systems works fine for most things on my commute, but I really need at least 120 volts to keep up with traffic on the last hill home and to run the heater to do more than just defrost the windshield. But overall I am very happy with my EV, and in the next week or so I will be going to get is inspected for the year.

Now I am planning to do another EV, this time a Generation 7 Civic (2001-2005 model years). I am going to reuse almost all my parts, but this time go for a manual transmission and a 156 to 160 volt system using lithium batteries. I am looking for a 60 mile back road range and about 40 miles highway, and I am hoping to start doing research into charging stations. I am hoping to build this EV in the next year or so when I get the funds, and after my lead acid pack dies out in my Civic now. I am expecting at least another 6,000 miles out of it so I have plenty of time to plan this EV. I do own a 2004 Honda Civic VP coupe that I find extremely comfortable and peppy, and my new EV will be designed to maintain the same pep, but I want to try and get a Civic EX coupe for my next EV.

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