Monday, August 17, 2015

Driving on Sunshine with 36KWH

The Z3 just passed inspection today following an extended upgrade of the battery pack. It has 1½ Leaf batteries now, for a total of 72 cells and ~290V. It has a new BMS, too; the Orion is much better than its predecessor. I'll be integrating that with an Arduino to send the info to an iPad or iPhone and drive the original fuel gauge in the dashboard.

It's time to pop the top and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Battery-maker HiPower promised much higher power than its competitors. Well, it turns out that the batteries were not able to deliver that and last very long. So I am replacing the battery pack with cells from a Nissan Leaf. It should have more range, less weight and last longer.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

There's not much new about the hardware these days. We have been busy socially, though. I created a MeetUp and encourage interested people to join us and meet owners of electric cars to get firsthand info on their real-world experience. For those who are hesitant to go electric due to questions about range, charging, costs, etc., you can find out how people are doing it.

There is also an electric car club in this area. It's the Electrical Vehicle Association of greater Washington DC (EVADC). The web site is The members have a wide variety of models, from conversions to Tesla's and nearly everything in between. The monthly meetings are usually in Silver Spring, MD and sometimes in Virginia.

If you live in the region around northern Virginia, Maryland and DC, please join us. It's always a lot of fun.

Friday, July 6, 2012

We rode in the July 4th parade. So many people were surprised that a car could actually be solar powered. Unlike my friend Bob whose Prius has solar panels on the car itself, ours are on the house and the energy goes into the utility and later into the car.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This 150,000 is the first big odometer milestone for the Z3 as an electric car. Steve replaced the motor coupler recently and it's quieter than ever.

Friday, March 2, 2012

First Gas Free Week

A Big Milestone today: I just completed my first week without burning a single drop of gasoline! Yes, the groceries arrived at the store on a truck, but I didn't directly use any gas.

That grocery dependency is sort of symbolic. It really covers the farm equipment needed for crop production, the heavy equipment digging out coal, the train hauling the coal to the plant, the police cruisers maintaining law and order, etc. Pretty much everything. As a nation, we don't have control of our energy… yet. We're headed there, though.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fun, But Not a Race Car

The electric car is configured to limit the motor to 5,500 RPM. First gear breaks the tires free so fast that it's not really useful.

Starting in second gear is better, but the motor RPM limit means shifting is required just past 40 MPH. It's fun off the line, but the time required for a clutchless shift hurts the 0-60 time.

Starting in third gear works. That goes from 0-60 in 9.4 seconds.