4-19-06 Re: longest range?

Hello to All,

Alan Smith wrote:

What is the longest range everyone has gotten on their ev? If you’ve gotten
over 60, definitely let me know.

Alan’s request does not state specifics such as vehicle types (size and weight), battery pack chemistry, battery pack weight and or BVWR (battery to vehicle weight ratio), weather conditions, the type of terrain, the average speed, the acceleration loads, the number of passengers (if any), etc., etc. I think any response to this request should include as much info as possible so those perusing the results can know the full story. For me, it’s not too impressive to say one got 60 miles of range, if they drove as if an egg were under their foot and kept speeds at or under 40 mph, for example. On the other hand, if one drove their EV like one normally does in a gas car, that is, accelerate up to speed briskly to stay with traffic flow, run along at 60-70 mph freeway speeds, climb various grades, and participate in stop and go traffic driving situations….then achieve a real 50 miles, now that’s impressive.

Here’s three examples from my own experiences:

(1) Circa 1984….Blue Meanie powered by just eight 6V wet cell lead acid golf car batteries with a primitive 3 step controller ( 24V w/resistor – 24V straight – 48V straight) and weighing about 1800 lbs. with batteries, managed 54 miles in a closed loop range rally circuit in Seattle against other EVs. That may seem impressive, until you realize that the speed limit was a tepid 35 mph on flat terrain on a warm summer day (best conditions for range using lead acid batteries). On average, there were two passengers on board, and acceleration was sometimes full-on tire spinning launches contrasted to sometimes old man type starts (excludes Dick Finley type old men). The car had a bit about a 30% BVWR. Acceleration was pretty good for a 48V car, especially in the 0-40 mph range, but real life 0-60 was probably 15 seconds. Normal everyday driving yielded about 25 miles range per charge.

(2) Circa 1997….Red Beastie powered by a whopping forty 6V wet cell lead acid golf car batteries with a lower powered controller maxed out at 450 amps (max current from each battery 250 amps) and weighing about 5300 lbs. with batteries, managed 120 miles in mostly 65 mph slow lane freeway driving between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA on varying terrain that included moderate hill climbing, on a warm summer day (best conditions for range using lead acid batteries). There were no passengers on board, and all accelerations up to speed were deliberately careful to extend range. The truck had a 47% BVWR. Acceleration was OK considering its portly 5300 lb. mass and a 120V 450 amp system. Real life 0-60 was probably 16- 18 seconds. Normal everyday driving around town with mixed city and slower 55 mph freeway driving (the speed limit within the city) yielded about 130 miles range per charge.

(3) Circa  2000 or 2001? …….EV Rental car, a GM EV1 powered by about 1100 lbs. of Ovonics NiMH batteries with a high performance AC drive system and weighing about 2900 lbs. with batteries, managed 110 miles in mostly 70-80 mph freeway driving between Escondido, CA and LA, CA on varying terrain that included moderate hill climbing, on a warm summer day (not the best conditions for range using NiMH batteries, as they like to be cooler). There were no passengers on board, and all accelerations up to speed were deliberately brisk for fun factor. The car had about 40% BVWR. Acceleration was stunning considering its range capabilities. Real life 0-60 was in the mid to high 7 second range. Here’s an excerpt from my story ‘Living in the Past, getting Beat by the Future’ (http://www.portev.org/commentary/living_in_the_past.htm):

At almost exactly 110 miles since I left the Saturn dealership, I had pulled off the freeway and was on Century Drive, stopped at a traffic light near EV Rentals. The EV1 had been flying along for about an hour and a half at 70-80 mph speeds, and had never once felt like it was running short on power. I noticed that there was an estimated 36 miles left on the range meter, so when the light went green, I decided to see what was left as I planted my right foot down one last time…..screeeeechhhh….,chirp-chirp…..scrreeechh….damn that traction control! What an EV! After running along at freeway speeds for so long, and after 110 miles, the thing could still fry the tires at will! I reluctantly pulled into the EV Rental lot and finding a Magna-charger, parked my electric friend and slipped the charge paddle into its nose…..29% battery left! And so ended my four day love affair with the Gen II EV1…one terrific electric car.

See Ya……John Wayland

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