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Discussion Starter #1
Nice car. Quiet. Has plenty of power. I experimented with "Drive" versus "Eco" modes and couldn't really tell the difference. Both had equal amounts of power for takeoff.

Wouldn't buy one though because of the premature battery losses it's been experiencing. Last thing I need is a $10,000 bill at 50 or 60,000 miles.
 

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Amazing the torque? Its easily to chirp tires and activate the traction control. Way easier than in the i2.

I didnt like the feeling I had a gallon of gas and how wild of swing the mpg estimator made before the vehicle needed to be recharged.
 

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I didnt like the feeling I had a gallon of gas and how wild of swing the mpg estimator made before the vehicle needed to be recharged.
The Leaf owners call it the "guess" gauge. It doesn't accurately show how far you can go.
And yeah it's about 1 gallon of gasoline energy in the car (rated 96 eMPG and 73 miles per charge). I expected the motor to have strong pull from the line, but slow down after it passed 60. I also thought the Eco mode would be like the Civic or Insight's Eco mode: With limited power available.
 

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The Leaf owners call it the "guess" gauge. It doesn't accurately show how far you can go.
And yeah it's about 1 gallon of gasoline energy in the car (rated 96 eMPG and 73 miles per charge). I expected the motor to have strong pull from the line, but slow down after it passed 60. I also thought the Eco mode would be like the Civic or Insight's Eco mode: With limited power available.
It hurts my head to think there is only 1 gallon of fuel equivalent, it is a nice car, sadly EV's don't meet my travel patterns... Yet.

Give the industry a few more development cycles and things are likely to be better.

Here's hoping for a plugin Honda hybrid.
 

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Honda had a plug-in concept, I think Accord based, on their website.
Considering that Ford is realeasing the two 'Energi' hybrid vehicles with 20 miles of electric driving and then gas hybrid after that, similar to the Volt but with better MPG on gas and hopefully a lower cost, I have a feeling Ford might beat out the Chevy Volt if they price it right. Not sure how it would compete with the Prius plug-in but looking at how the Prius built their plug-in and its driving limitations in EV mode, I'm thinking the Prius plug-in won't do so well. The problem is the Ford Focus EV came way over the price target that I was thinking and IMHO won't be able to compete with the Nissan Leaf EV. Honda is keeping numbers small with the Fit EV by only leasing in a small area for now.

It'll be interesting to see how everything turns out in the production market. Can't wait until next spring when I start my 1st Gen Insight conversion and beat the range of the Leaf with a smaller battery pack than the Leaf uses and less total cost and better efficiency than any other highway capable EV ever mass produced and sold.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
EVs only need 1 "gallon" of energy because the conversion of chemical fuel-to-electricity (and the ~40% losses) happened at the central plant. In our cars that happens on-board.

Also I thought someone already made an electric Insight? What kind of range did they get?
 

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There are a few electric Insights but the owners don't talk about them. I've tried to contact multiple different EVAlbum converters of the Insight asking them how their experience is and nobody responds. The most information I got was from Otmar's response on this forum regarding efficiency while driving at 55mph but he went with an AC drive system with a more or less DIY type controller that broke on him. There was a post of one of the conversion that Wayne Alexander did but the owner of the car wanted his car to be run on lead-acid and be about the cheapest conversion possible, skipping heat, a DC-DC, and a number of other normal things for an EV conversion were left behind because the owner of the car didn't care. This forum more or less 'shunned the non-believer/messenger' so we don't really have much information there either as I'm sure the owner of that car would be chased away if he showed up.

John Wayland is converting his Insight but his last update was on October 2nd 2011, almost a year since the last update. So at this point we really have very limited information from those deeply in progress or complete with Insight conversions to EV. John Wayland is going to try to fit 75kwh of lithium-ion battery pack into his car and estimates 350 miles of range but multiple people here(including me) think he could easily do 400-500 miles on that pack that large.

If I go off of Otmar's 140wh/mile figure I could theoretically be at 110 miles at 20% state of charge with the 19.2kwh pack that I'm planning for my car. If I go with 160wh/mile efficiency, I could swing about 100 miles in good conditions which would figure 120 miles until the battery would be at zero, but it's better for these batteries if you don't run them down below about 20% remaining too often. ..plus you generally don't want to be running around on the last 'few drops' of your capacity to avoid getting stuck. I figure a 20 mile buffer is plenty.
 

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My use of the phrase of a gallon of gas was referring to my i2. My MID ranges wildly depending on my driving style and use of the PHEV kit. Still having a vehicle that can go 50 or 80 miles before it needs to be recharged wouldnt work as my main vehicle and I found myself really worried watching the range meter. More so than I thought as most EVs do not go very far.

The only diy person I know of has a geo metro they made an ev. It cost 10 grand in parts, the guy was a mechanic and did the labor him self including some welding, machining. He used lead acid batteries and with the range he wanted he made it a 2 seater using the rear seats for mo batteries.

His best is 45 mph at 45 miles on a full charge. He has a 15 and 20 amp 110 volt charger. One takes 12 hours, another 8 but only one circuit in his house can power the charger. It was fun to drive, but after that he had to plug it in for the day. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
John Wayland is converting his Insight
He's been "working" on that conversion since 2001. We may get to see it sometime in the 2020s. ;-)

The Nissan Leaf only going 75-100 miles is pretty pathetic. They inserted Lithium batteries which are supposed to have 2x and 4x more energy than NiMH and NiCad batteries, but the range is not any longer than older EVs with those old batteries. I don't understand it.
 

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The EV1 was an expensive science experiment. Once those packs failed I highly doubt the customers would pay the replacement cost or the actual cost of the vehicle.

Given that the leaf still isnt the best looker, it atleast seats 5 and isnt as extreme as the EV1 design. I know this is the insight crowd and I like my rear wheel covers but most people dont.

The leaf doesnt have the best range either, but you get what you pay for. If you want 300 miles of range go blow $100k+ on a model S. If you want to pay $30k for a car you get 70-80 miles of range. Its not that it isn't possible to go further, it just isn't affordable to put that many batteries into a vehicle. Given that the EV1 was never available for purchase, I think the actual price was probably closer to $200k per vehicle at todays rates once u factors in GM's cost. Thats why it was a science project.
 

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He's been "working" on that conversion since 2001. We may get to see it sometime in the 2020s. ;-)
He's owned his Insight since 2000, I believe, but he posted his first mention of its conversion to an EV in February, 2011, AFAIK. Still, we've heard almost nothing lately about this ambitious conversion project.

The Nissan Leaf only going 75-100 miles is pretty pathetic. They inserted Lithium batteries which are supposed to have 2x and 4x more energy than NiMH and NiCad batteries, but the range is not any longer than older EVs with those old batteries. I don't understand it.
Maybe it's because the Leaf, the i-MiEV, and other current mass-produced EV's must meet safety standards not applicable to early EV's. They also have comfort features similar to non-EV's which wasn't true for early EV's, most of which were conversions or very simple vehicles. All of this adds weight and electrical loads, both of which reduce range.

Their battery packs must be designed for significant longevity, so they don't use their full capacity thus reducing their range further. The cost of Li battery packs remains so high that EV's with long ranges would be too expensive for most people (e.g., the Tesla Model S).

I'm seriously considering buying the lowest-priced mass-produced EV, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Even though its range is somewhat less than that of the Leaf, its range is sufficient for the type of trips that most U.S. drivers make most often. It will be especially appropriate for Oʻahu where long, uninterrupted trips aren't possible.

Manufacturers must start somewhere. I look forward to the day that lighter construction, like that of the pioneering Insight, will extend the ranges of EV's. But for now, the cost of such construction would make an already expensive car even more expensive to buy. So we'll need to be patient…
 

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On the note of consturction, its my understand the model S chassis is being produced in the same manner as the insight. All aluminum construction and complex structural shapes.

Its 300mile range will be the practical ($100k practical) limit of this technology until a new cell chemistry comes out. The more batteries you add, the more weight, the less range and there is a limit to this.
 

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No kidding, the Model S is amazing.
Tesla Vehicle Engineering - Part 1 on Vimeo
Tesla Vehicle Engineering - Part 2 on Vimeo
Tesla Vehicle Engineering - Part 3 on Vimeo

Used Roadsters run for under $70k right now

"The Nissan Leaf only going 75-100 miles is pretty pathetic. They inserted Lithium batteries which are supposed to have 2x and 4x more energy than NiMH and NiCad batteries, but the range is not any longer than older EVs with those old batteries. I don't understand it."
Look at the size and weight of the pack in the EV1. The battery is massive, even the NiMh version was just as big as the lead-acid, they filled the entire cavity that the lead-acid pack filled and it was of course still very heavy. The body was extremely lightweight though to make up for it. Also keep in mind that the Nissan Leaf doesn't have very good aerodynamics when compared to the EV1 and has very large frontal area.

I could have told you how many miles the Nissan Leaf pack could get an Insight to go but decided against it because if any parts ever went wrong or I needed troubleshooting there would be no chance I'd ever get Nissan to look at my Nissight. ..that and 650 pounds of battery is far more than I want in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
if any parts ever went wrong or I needed troubleshooting there would be no chance I'd ever get Nissan to look at my Nissight. ..that and 650 pounds of battery is far more than I want in the car.
Even Leaf owners are having trouble getting Nissan to look at their cars. They've lost 20-30% capacity in areas that are hot (Arizona) and Nissan keeps insisting there's no problem. :-|

This is why I figure I'll be able to pickup a lot of cheap Leafs when the leases run-out (2013-14). Nobody will want to buy cars with diminished capacity of only 45 miles, and the pricetag will likely drop to $10 or 11,000. As happened with insights in 2001-2 (too much supply and not enough demand).
 

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.... ..plus you generally don't want to be running around on the last 'few drops' of your capacity to avoid getting stuck. I figure a 20 mile buffer is plenty.
MN,

I hoping I'm wrong, but if we have our summer's hot similar to last year, and considering how much capacity my battery lost due to heat, I don't think that a 20 mile buffer will be enough.

Keep us posted!!

Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm planning to rent a Leaf and drive it as slow as the interstate allows (40-45). I'm curious how far one of these things will go if driven like I drive my Insight.
 

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MN,

I hoping I'm wrong, but if we have our summer's hot similar to last year, and considering how much capacity my battery lost due to heat, I don't think that a 20 mile buffer will be enough.

Keep us posted!!

Jim.
Thanks Jim, I'm talking about when I'm aware of my capacity with my own conversion, not with a Leaf. My daily driving doesn't require the 19.2kwh pack that I'm planning to put in the pack but I'm looking to put that size in the car because that pack and motor could push, theoretically about 168kw into the motor. The motor wouldn't survive that power for a long time but I figure I'd be going beyond the speed rating of the tires before either the motor or the battery gets too hot to be destroyed by it.

With a 20 mile buffer I'm talking about avoiding going below 80% depth of discharge on the pack under normal highway merging or acceleration and 90% depth of discharge at a minimal current to baby it to a destination in the case that I get stuck in a detour or some other situation where I find myself in a jam. In reality I could live with 80 miles range to completely empty with my Insight conversion. I'm building to 120 miles though. If I end up with half of that after considerable pack aging, I'll still be able to use the car and with the ~19kwh I'm using less cycles or rather cycles that aren't as deep which should prolong the life of the pack beyond going with an 80 mile car. If I'm driving the car for more than two hours in a day on the highway, it's a rare enough occurrence to where I'd probably be driving cross country and would take my other Insight and drive on gas.
 
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