Can I make an EV work for me?

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Can I make an EV work for me?

Postby dargles » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:03 am

Hi, Folks.
I don't have an EV. For some years, I've entertained a fantasy of making an EV, maybe from a milk float and a Citroen AX or something like that. OK, I know that might be stupid, but I fancied seeing what I could create. But I'm now beginning to get serious about seeing if we could switch to an EV and make it work as a practical reality.

I have in mind selling the Golf (boo hoo) and buying a 4 seater EV.

Pro: the vast majority of our round trips we do are 1 or 2 up and less than 40 miles. If we want/need to go further on the odd occasion, we could use our campervan or classic car (both 2 seaters).

Con: some important trips are 3, 4 or 5 up and are more than 40 miles there and back.

So let's take the problem scenario where we want to take our non-driving son up to Oxford to see our daughter. We can't do this in the campervan or the classic car, and the EV won't go that far (65-70 miles each way). Any thoughts on how to deal with this? The only solutions I've noticed/come up with so far are things like:

1) stop on the way and recharge - probably not viable because of the recharge time. And somewhere to recharge?
2) take a generator - can you recharge whilst you're going along? Also, if I'm going to take a generator it feels like I might as well have a fossil fuel burner in the first place!
3) go by public transport. Ha ha ha ha....
4) hire a car for the day

What approaches do you guys take to this sort of problem?

Regards, David

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Postby mas » Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:47 am

In the nicest fun sort of way :wink: I think you're being a bit greedy. I think one of your cars should be a reasonably economical car that ' can' be used for the long trip and the EV should be for the regular trips.

I too have got a bit hooked and am still following my EV quest. I have two Volvo's one does 22MPG and 155MPH and is an estate, the other does only 36 MPG even though its a diesel , guess which one has to go.

Best of luck anyway , I hope you take the pluge and give up one of your cars also 8)


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Postby qdos » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:01 am

Hi David,

As you're just down the road in Southampton whay not contact Vaughn at The Quiet Car Company who has just launched a 5 door hatch back based on a Mitsubishi at the Motor Show last week. It should do what you need of it though Oxford is pushing it. But how often do you do that and why not just hire a car for the ocassions you do that. It makes a lot of sense and you're actually going to be much better off financially as you will save on petrol and road tax with the EV

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Postby dargles » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:44 pm

mas wrote:In the nicest fun sort of way :wink: I think you're being a bit greedy.

Actually, I get somewhat embarrassed at having three vehicles. We've got to that point because we need something my wife is happy to drive (the Golf - so maybe it shouldn't be the Golf that goes...), we do a lot of camping all year round, and we've getting a bit old to lie on the ground in winter (though we do still have the tent...), and the classic is there because there are times when we both need a car at the same time, and the campervan is a bit big to cart around town or country lanes. They are actually all surprisingly frugal - the Golf because it's a Golf, the campervan because it's a modern oil-burner, and the classic because it's ridiculously cheap to run (actually, you have to look hard for a car that's as frugal as the 2CV we used to have, even though it's a 60 year-old design). But you're right - I can't get a fourth car :shock: !

qdos wrote:...why not contact Vaughn at The Quiet Car Company...

That sounds like the best next move. I gather he's back from Excel this week, so I reckon I'll give him a ring and arrange a visit. I'll let you know how I get on!

Regards, David

Nigel P.A. Smith
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Postby Nigel P.A. Smith » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:16 am

Hi dargles,

Maybe you could get an Elcat EV van from our fine Chairman John
Lilly at Dragon Electric Vehicles? And use it for camping and a local runabout
as well? See ad in Plugged In.



Electric Rover, Maybe Slow, but I'm not Fuming :x
Fuming Mazda MX3
Kawasaki GT550 for fun :wink:

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Postby dargles » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:38 pm

Was in Dorset today, so on my way home stopped off at Quiet Cars in Lymington. I didn't ring first, and Vaughn is still recovering from Excel and the (evidently rather exciting) fall-out. Also, no Quiet Car 2 back from Excel yet :cry:

But had a very interesting conversation with the two lads there. The Quiet 2 is just about small enough to fit in our garage (the Golf isn't :shock: ), but more importantly, it uses some rather nice Lithium bats with clever electronics (and it's still only £13K :shock: OK, OK it's still a lot of money, but you can pay that for a modern second hand Eurobox, and see the other post today re Lithium bats...). The upshot of that is that the claimed 60 mile range is being cautious. It's a genuine, 2 real adults driving at 50 mph range, not a 5 stone jockey driving at 25 mph round a very flat and smooth circuit. I hadn't really thought about the fact that speed and wind resistance is just as important for an electric car as for a petrol one, and mentioned as in previous posts, I've already learnt that the "56 mph is the most economical speed" claim is bogus. Drop down to 40, or even 30, and so long as there's enough engine revs keep the engine running efficiently, fuel efficiency will improve further.

So? Well that means my target of reaching Oxford in one go (65 miles from Southampton) might just be achievable. I'd want to avoid the A34 anyway - even 50 seems dangerous to me on that road, let alone 35 say, but a nice gentle run up the by-roads seems like fun to me :D OK, so it might take twice as long, but I could live with that - we're always in such a hurry! One thing my classic has reminded me of is that we lost so much when the motorways came in and we started tearing around everywhere. I'm up for slowing down and saving energy. And enjoying the countryside as it passes by more slowly :wink: !

So I guess I'm beginning to think that suddenly we're seeing a significant development in EV technology. Efficient in-wheel motors, Lithium batteries, regenerative braking, and intelligent electronics to sort it all out - and all for the cost of a comparable petrol-burner...

Regards, David
PS: yes, I am starting to get excited about this... :D
PPS: Nigel, thanks for the thought. It's a good idea, but it would take another rather long post to explain about the camping bit. It would have been a good solution for us 20 years ago :) - David

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