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Discussion Starter #1
Theh other week I was watching television and once again an article came on regarding an all electric car about to go into "mass" production. It's supposed to be a "hot rocket", a two seater and the vehicle is powered by NiMH cells or better a rather large pack or series of these. Seeing that I got to thinking (something which at times gets me into trouble) what if ...

If the engine on "The Silver Bullet" dies, what if it were to be replaced by a second NiMH pack and a twenty or thirty HP electric motor; yes, I am aware of what's currently available in that regard for EVs. There's already one NiMH battery pack in the back of the car, but what if it were augmented by a second such pack? These Insights are for all intents and purposes all aluminum and plastic, so it's reasonable to assume that (excluding automotive accidents) these Insight shells will be around for a very long time, so I have to ask, have any of you savy lads looked into an installation as is being contemplated here?

What kind of range would such a proposed Insight shell have? What would the drawbacks be for such an assembly? The "hot rocket" as mentioned above, which except for the battery pack(s) weighs as I understand it about as much as the Insight, and is supposed to have a range of two (200) miles before recharging is needed, a range which is almost sufficient for the vast majority of my weekly driving needs; a three hundred mile range would in most instances be more than sufficient.

... was just thinking.

Fred / Proud Owner of "The Silver Bullet"
 

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I think the technology with regards to motors and battery packs have come a long way. There still isn't a battery and motor combo yet to replace the size, power and range of the gas engine. It's getting there , but batteries end up taking up the whole storage and adding wieght to get the power and range to be useful.
I think we're still 5 years away from a 100% electic car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
K-Sight said:
I think we're still 5 years away from a 100% electic car.
Not so sure you're right about that. Suspicision has it on this end that a "100% electric car" is further off in the distance than five years (including installation of solar cells on the upper/outer body surface(s)) but some combination of an electric primary power plant, augmented by a small and very efficient supercharged diesel generator is well within that five year time frame.

I could be wrong about this - nothing new here - but as I understand it so far, advances in battery technology is far ahead of that for small, very small, diesel engines, a massively overlooked power source.

Fred / Proud Owner of "The Silver Bullet"
 

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"I think we're still 5 years away from a 100% electic car."

Yeah, it's like nuclear fusion - we've been 25 years away from it for at least 25 years :)

The thing is, I can't see why you'd want a 100% electric car, given present/foreseeable battery technology. There are some problems, like range & winter heating, that are much easier to solve with various degrees of hybrids.

For myself, I'd want one with a nice little Stirling engine rather than a diesel, and I'd leave the solar cells at home on the roof so I can park in the shade. I've been reading a bit about flywheel energy storage, too: seems that energy per weight is almost up to battery level, with a lot less loss and fewer constraints on charging rates.
 

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Almost all of the people that had EV1s were desperate to keep them, and campaigned for ages to do so. It was GMs decision to crush them.

The Toyota RAV4 EVs are still on the road, however, many with more than 120,000 miles on the original battery and no problems whatsoever. Do a search for DarellDD, he charges his RAV4 entirely from solar power on his house roof.

There is no problem with winter heating, as an efficient heat-pump can be used to heat the cabin using electricity.

As for more modern EVs, the latest versions are taking advantage of lithium-ion. Look at the Tesla EV, 0-60 in 4.0s and 250 mile range using lithium-ion.

Alternatively, look at the Phoenix SUT. It uses the new Altair LiIon chemistry, which was just demonstrated in front of a packed audience of journalists.

They charged a 30 kWh pack from 0 to 100% in just 5 minutes, and the battery only barely got warm. That's 150 miles range in a 5 minute recharge. Other pluses are that this battery is fireproof, and can cycle from 0-100% in 5 minutes for tens of thousands of cycles (yes, tens of thousands, now independently verified). :)
 

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the idea of adding a second electirc motor and second battery pack would not be a efficient way to convert the insight to 100% electric.... 2 motors are not as efficient weight per power or power out to power in as a well selected single electric motor... there will always bee more loss with the two motors... plus the two motors would require 2 motor controllers and two seperate battery packs woudl require 2 BMS ....

The proposed method of converting and Insight to EV wil not maximize the range or power or cost.

if you want a 100% electric car they have been around for decades... and they do better than combustion engine cars at many things but not all things... EVs in general are best suited for short trips ... like daily comutes.

There is Li Battery Technology today that will give a EV Insight 200+ Mile RAnge per charge if you want to spend the money... it is just a matter of what is important to you....

The better / more efficient way to convert the Insight to EV is to yank both ICE and IMA motor and replace them both with a single well matched electric motor.... the only way multiple electric motors work efficiently is when they are high efficiency wheel motos and the transmission losses can be avoided.... but wheel mootrs with the added weight to the wheels bring in thier own set of problems....

Adding a seond battery to the Insight work in one way in that if the second battery is set up to be a booster battery for the stock battery and can be charged at home... thus turning the insight into a plug in hybrid...

just my 2 bits.
 

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"Look at the Tesla EV..."

Look at the price of the Tesla :)

"...250 mile range using lithium-ion."

Which is irritating. I have a "commute" that I do every week or two, that's just over 250. I'd bet that range is under optimal conditions, though. Flat ground, no heater, etc. I'm climbing over an 8000 ft pass, and it can get cold in the winter.

Now if I had the same car with between a quarter and half as much battery, and the small Stirling engine, I'd have nearly the same efficiency, way more range, and plenty of cabin heat too.
 

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I would love to own a Tesla, but the $100,000 price is a little steep with my Insight as a trade in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
james said:
"Look at the Tesla EV..."
... Look at the price of the Tesla :)
...250 mile range using lithium-ion."
[/endquote}

It is the the Tesla EV I was thinking about when I started this particular discussion - just couldn't think of the name at the time and I agree, the proposed/actual asking price, for the performance claimed, it is close to insane but there are those out there who can mentally justify such an expenditure for the expected performance' people on an "ego trip" or just seeking publicity for whatever reason.

That the stated range is that for "optimal conditions", that wouldn't at all surprise me but as for heating the cab of such an electric car, that can (and has been already been done) accomplished via chemistry/chemical mixes. So, heating the cabin is no problem of note.

That the vehicle would have to be plugged in at night (or during the day when not being used), I for one don't see that as being such a big deal - just gotta remember to unplug it before driving off - one would look really foolish going along at fifty or so MPH with a twenty five or fifty foot cord bopping along at it's bitter end behind him! :)

But it's the range which as far as I'm concerned which counts. On this end, to me, an electric vehicle with a three hundred mile range is one I would have a real close look at were it offered; one whose shell/body is fiberglass or aluminum.

As was initially mentioned, these little Insight bodies will be around a long time while their gasoline engines won't and with the available battery technology today, let alone that which is almost here, when the little engine in "The Silver Bullet" gives out, perhaps, just perhaps it might be worth pulling it and replacing it with a suitable electric motor and associated battery/ies.

... just my opinion anyway.

Fred / Proud Owner of "The Silver Bullet"
 
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