28,000 Electric km

I haven’t written much about my EV for a while as nothing much has happened. It just goes and goes, and has just clocked over 28,000 electric km since it was converted. This post is a collection of notes from my EV driving in 2011.

It’s been two years since I installed Lithium batteries and they have operated faultlessly. I haven’t touched them. It’s a bit deceiving actually, guess I should check the terminals or something. But when it just goes and goes you get a bit complacent. I don’t even have an ammeter or voltmeter at the moment.

This picture says it all – spider webs where the petrol used to go!

However I realised I hadn’t taken the car in for a “service” since I finished the conversion to electric drive 3 years ago. This is because there isn’t much to service in an EV, no oil, water, spark plugs, timing belts, heads to crack, water pumps, hoses, fuel pumps, or exhaust systems to corrode. The only wearing parts are brakes and tyres. So I took it down to my friends at Woodville Park Autos and they rotated the tyres, checked the brakes and replaced the wiper blades. That’s the maintenance for 3 years and 28,000 km on an EV!

Earlier this year I did 108km of city driving on one charge, and the car still felt just fine. So I am not sure what the range actually is. One of those things I don’t really want to find out!

The 6.7 inch Advanced DC motor is adequate for a 60 km/hr commuter vehicle on the Adelaide plains. It’s quick off the line on the flat but struggles up hills at say 80 km/hr. OK for our terrain but I think I would put a 8 inch motor in next time. However this would require bigger Lithium batteries to provide enough current.

The feeling of “electric cruising” on a warm summer night is quite magical. Windows down, a warm breeze in your face and no motor noise.

My daughter turned 16 recently and had her very first driving lesson in the EV:

It’s much like an automatic to drive so a nice easy way to start. I am sure EVs will play a much bigger part in her life time than ICE vehicles.

7 thoughts on “28,000 Electric km”

  1. The amount saved in servicing and general maintenance alone would add up to be quite an impressive amount offsetting the cost of conversion in the first place.

  2. Hello Hadley, how nice to hear from you again. Yes the saved maintenace costs also have big implications for the car industry. Most dealerships make their $ out of ongoing servicing rather than new car sales.

    – David

  3. Inspirational work David. I hope you are well. I’ve never really had warm hearted feelings towards a Daihatsue till now. 😉

  4. I’ve looked through most of your posts over the past few days and I’ve found them quite interesting. Maybe I should try an EV conversion when I get my license. :)

    A quick question though, what is the expected life on the lithium cells you’re using? I wonder how many kilometers you could do with them before you would have to replace them, which would be quite a downside to the “no service” aspect of a EV.

    Cheers!

    1. About 3000 cycles @ 70% depth of discharge, or 10 years driving if charging once/day. Which is maybe 70 km/day x 3000 = 210,000 km. I imagine a new Lithium pack will be $3,000 in todays $ in 10 yrs time.

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