My Year with an All-Electric MINI


WHY GAS? double answers…

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on December 30, 2009

I was able to get a good personalized license plate back in the early fall, WHY GAS.  I actually get more noticed because of that than the car itself.  I enjoy finding combinations of short words and this one was best, for me.  And though some obvious cynical answers are because we love paying Arab countries for oil, etc, there are also answers like because I can drive 400 miles on a tank of gas! In any case, I just want people to pause and think for a moment.

It was very cold today, maybe a high of 22 (yesterday was maybe 28), but I didn’t use the car for my commute after all, since it didn’t get charged last night (silly mistake).   But I probably would not have made it—the car got 19 miles today on 48% reduction in charge.    Not only is range shrinking terribly in cold weather, but the equivalent cost of a gallon of gas is going up…  I need to compute this more the next week or so (after a New Years trip), as I am thinking gas would actually be cheaper lately.  Not a good omen.

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3 Responses to 'WHY GAS? double answers…'

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  1. I’m still getting great range, near 120 miles. Keeping the battery up in the 70 to 80 degree range before I start driving helps. But even when the battery is cold, what I am seeing is mostly poor calibration on the gauge. I have had the remaining miles bounce between 2 and 8 miles for nearly 15 miles of driving. Of course when the battery is cold you can only get the same total range if you really slow down near the end. But when the battery is warm (through and through, not just the warmest pack that the dash display shows) I am not seeing much range loss.

    Which is why all production electric cars will have liquid temperature regulation of the battery.

    For this air cooled battery, it takes some doing to warm it up well before driving. And it is hard to find a safe heater to put in the car while charging.

    • Timothy Gill said,

      Jim,

      Interesting comments. I was not aware that keeping the car warm while charging would make a big difference. My garage seems to keep the car battery temperature reading about 15-20 degrees warmer than the outside in this weather (like it might be 25 outside and the car battery temp gauge will read 45 when I start car), but it does go down as I drive.

      Nonetheless, the reduce range in the current car and charging environment (without additional heaters) is a pain. Perhaps electric car designers will take note.

  2. Timothy Gill said,

    Can I put a link</a? in a comment?


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