I can't do a walk-around video right now because I moved the Porsche into the garage. (They told me I'd get the charging cable Monday) I'll try to do that later. I always have problems with those photo-sharing sites. But I've attached here two pictures of the second charger in front, and three of the innards in back. The same pictures plus one other show up better on this thread over at PriusChat.
There are two chargers for fast charging, even though I had said I actually preferred slow charging, which would not have required me to have a high-amperage circuit installed to the garage.
Because of all the batteries, Paul had told me I'd either have to:
1. Put the charger in front and the spare tire in the back seat, or
2. Put the charger in the back seat, giving up the back seat permanently, and the spare tire in the front, or
3. Leave the spare out of the car and put the charger in the front, or
4. Leave the second charger in the garage, carry the spare in the front, and plug in several cables for the second charger every time I charge the car.
I did not want to give up the back seat, or drive without a spare, so that left me with option 4. I took the charger out and moved the spare from the back seat, where it had been for shipping, to the front trunk, only to discover that it would not fit! I got into the back seat, and discovered that nobody but a contortionist could possibly ride back there, and I very nearly was unable to get out. So I got the spare back into the back, in such a way that one back seat is still open, in case I ever have occasion to offer a ride to a contortionist, and I put the charger back into the front. The upside is that for charging I'll only have to plug in the one power cable, like a normal EV. I lose half my back seat, but that's not as bad as I had thought, when I imagined a human being could actually sit back there.
I'm always happy to see more EVs available, but pretty tired of promises of EVs that are "just around the corner."
Aptera (I think there's hope for them)
Zenn City Car with the Eestor ultra-caps
and all those cars from big companies that are just two years away, and have been for half a decade...
That's what's so great about the Roadster. Even though there's a years-long waiting list, at least they're building them and putting them in people's hands. And all the little conversion shops like Paul's, which are micro-volume, but are putting cars on the road, and even poor maligned (sometimes with good reason) Zap, who for all the criticism is putting EVs on the road, even if they're slow and short range. They are excellent for some uses.
No price break. I paid in advance what was stated in the original contract. I do not know if the parts used were equivalent to the ones originally planned. The contract says 1,000-amp controller, but does not specify a brand or model. I believe the batteries are the same as originally planned, because there's no way he could have expected to put twice as many in. There's just no way they would have fit. There's hardly room for the ones it has.
Tomorrow I plan on taking a short jaunt on the freeway to log amperage vs speed. I still have 75 percent SoC. I'll post my results.
They're telling me I'll get the charging cable Monday.
* Yes, the Zilla is basically out of production, and the alternatives tend to not be as powerful.
* Unlikely that they would step up your voltage. Yes, the Prius does that, but I don't think that technology is readily found in EV conversions.
* It probably doesn't perform as well as their higher voltage Zilla based prototypes had, but it sounds like you are a perfect customer for them - someone who isn't super concerned about performance.
* It looks like they drive the stock power steering pump and AC compressor off of belts coming off of the drive motor. Since EVs tend not to idle (the motor just stops) I wonder if your AC works when the car is not in motion?
* I hope there is some kind of battery management system in there keeping the different cells balanced over time.
Maybe you could take a closeup of the motor controller or tell us what it says on it, I thought I could make out a label in one of the pictures. There are a few controllers that claim 1000 amps. They could have run higher voltage by using more, smaller batteries. Higher voltage gives better efficiency and more power. Unfortunately it's looking as if you didn't actually receive what was promised or paid for.
Some sort of cell balancing is important to avoid over or under volting a cell which can cause damage. Don't take the SOC too low until you know the pack is balanced or you can monitor each cell voltage.
The power steering and A/C compressor are indeed operated from the motor. And as you presumed, do not work when the car is stationary. However, either can be operated by putting the transmission into neutral and giving it some pedal. Spokane does not get very hot. On the hottest days, on the freeway with the windows closed, I would use the A/C. But in town, driving slowly, I'd be more likely to have the windows open. And if I was using the A/C, the car would not warm up much during the brief times I'm stopped at a light. If I got stuck waiting for a train I could always put the car in neutral and run the motor enough to get some compressor. The Prius does it better, using an electric compressor, but it was designed from the ground up for what it does. Turning the steering wheel while stopped is very hard. But with a little motion it's not a problem, and I can get power steering back the same way as the A/C, by giving it some pedal in neutral.
The chargers have integrated BMS built-in. I cannot monitor individual cells, but the BMS does, and I've been told it provides the balancing. The battery importer assures me I can go down to 20% SoC. Lithium can safely go much lower than lead.
I will take a close-up of the controller if you can tell me which thing is the controller. I have no idea. Either describe it from my picture, or take my picture and edit an arrow onto it.
I plan on taking a short jaunt onto the freeway today, since I am at 75% SoC now and expecting the charger cable to come tomorrow. I'll log amperage vs speed, and estimate my range. If it is significantly less than is stated in the contract, I'll be concerned. I'll also try to time my zero to 60 time, and if it's more than the Prius I'll be concerned. That might have to wait until I have someone with me, though. The contract does not state a zero to sixty time. I have merely his verbal statement that it should be around 6 to 8 seconds. That was not stated as a promise. But if it's 12 or 15 seconds, then he misrepresented it. However, it would be extremely unfair to speculate that he misrepresented until I actually have some numbers. At this point I only have the subjective impression that it's not going as far or as fast as I had expected. And while I've been driving electric for two years, and know something of electric driving, I've only driven this car a few miles and don't yet have the feel of the most efficient use of the transmission, and admittedly I've been lead-footing.
Looking at the pictures of the rear compartment I am guessing the following:
Lower left: Air vacuum pump for power brake booster. (Rather oversized by the looks)
Upper left: Rear charger. (Looks heavy)
Middle bottom: Pulley from the rear of the electric motor.
Middle top: Power steering pump on the left, A/C compressor on the right.
Right: Iota DLS-45 144->12VDC for accessories.
I don't see the motor controller there. Maybe it is under the rear seat?
Last edited by TEG; 05-16-2009 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Got info on DC/DC converter.
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