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2106(fwd) (fwd) First day driving the ACPropulsion car

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  • murdoch
    May 1, 2004
      On Sat, 01 May 2004 12:24:45 -0700, Doug Korthof <doug@...>

      Is it a time of "oil emergency" supposedly severe enough to
      justify environmental waivers and foreign wars? The need for
      oil is supposedly to keep our economy running, a national security
      issue. But is it really so?

      If it were a real emergency, as in WW-II, there would be a crash
      program of building Electric Cars. Mass production techniques
      would drive the cost of a 120 mile range EV down below $8000.

      But if it's really a way to avoid losing lives of our troops,
      and dis-entangling ourselves from the messy politics of the
      middle east, surely it would be cost-effective to give them away
      for free.

      Powering such an EV can be done with off-peak electric; for those
      in sunny climes, a crash program of solar rooftop electric will
      enable people to live COST FREE as well as (essentially) OIL-FREE.

      80% of our gasoline is expended on round trips from our homes of
      80 miles or less. If just half of those "runabout" cars were
      replaced with "national emergency" Electric Cars, we would
      NOT NEED TO IMPORT OVERSEAS OIL. That's right, domestic and
      other North American supplies would suffice. How many Electric
      Cars would this take? Let's say 30 million. At a cost of $240B,
      that would be less than this year's bill for blowing up Iraq, not
      to mention all the other troops and expenses that protect foreign
      oil and cater to the whims of oil dictators.

      Basically, an EV1 electric car using simple lead-acid recyclable
      batteries goes 110 miles on the energy equivalent of a half-gallon
      of gasoline. The average gas car travels about 10 miles on
      the same quantity of gasoline.

      Hence, we would cut our energy bill by 90% by going to EVs.
      It would be no smog, and no foreign wars. All we have to
      do is show the will, the national commitment. It is possible,
      even necessary, but without leadership, it won't happen.


      First day driving the ACPropulsion car

      The AC-150 is the name of the motor-controller-charger unit which is
      the heart of the EV. Just add batteries and ergonomic controls, and
      you have an EV that rocks!

      I am fortunate enough to be driving a vehicle made by
      http://ACPropulsion.com This "AC-150" (until it gets a name) is the
      successor vehicle to the EV1 and uses even more advanced technology.

      But it is not as polished as you would expect from a production
      vehicle, it's more like a drag racer.

      There are 8 "bars of power", and a hefty reserve under that. I am
      trying to coddle the new batteries, which are about half as good as
      the Panasonic lead-acid batteries on the old 1997 EV1. This car is
      almost like being thrown back in time to the 1997 EV1 with the
      allegedly defective Delco batteries, which had only 60-70 miles
      range. An EV is no better than its batteries, and GM seems to have
      sabotaged the original EV1.

      Restraint lasts only up to the freeway entrance, as a big pickup
      truck starts eating my extension cord. Of course, it disappears in
      the electron cloud as I crank up the power just a tiny bit, swooping
      onto the freeway. Not easy to restrain the power, when there is so
      much. But these first few outing are just for cycling the batteries.

      One of the neatest features is a slide control for the regenerative
      braking. Push it up, you are all coast; pull it down, you are 100%
      regen. This brings the car to a stop very fast, so you don't need
      much brake; on the other hand, don't pull your foot off the pedal
      too fast! Other neat features including variable charging and cruise

      On the 57 fwy north, wave and beep at a Prius "hybrid" in lane 3.
      For some reason, he is only going 55. We want to encourage people to
      associate Prius with electric car. Some day, the oil companies will
      allow hybrids that can be plugged in. Meanwhile, this is the same
      tactic, in reverse, that was used by the Oilies: they put out
      hybrids, and when people saw our EV1, they thought it was a hybrid!
      Because that's all that was permitted to be advertised!

      The greatest thing about this AC-150 is the similarity to the
      vanished EV1, although it is a tad heavier. Is that why GM is
      carefully destroying all the light-weight EV1 bodies in a mass
      grave somewhere?

      When GM destroyed ALL the EV1 they confiscated so far, they only
      pulled the batteries and tires. ALL the motors, controllers, and
      the light-weight, marvelously aerodynamic bodies were nibbled and
      destroyed. If they were interested in asset recovery, they would
      sell the parts for a profit, or let people buy the car for a
      souvenir: instead, they go to great lengths to make sure that all
      its parts are destroyed.

      At SCAQMD, one lone, scared EV1 was hunched over its charging
      cord, as if knowing that its days were numbered.

      A security guard came up and said, "...no one wants
      those, they don't make them any more...". I guess this copy would
      fetch $50,000 cash on the barrel head, if GM were not going to
      vindictively destroy it. I offered the guy $30k for the car, but he
      said he could not deliver it. Still, he'll probably continue to
      believe "nobody wants them".

      The fast charger yieds 4 bars of power (there are 8 total) in about
      20 minutes. The EV1 is limited to charging on the magnecharger.
      The "AC-150" can charge from the fast charging connector (50A) or
      the Avcon (29A) or normal 120 (29A).

      Making the transition to the 57 north, it was fun to swoop past a
      corvette, who shut down in despair. The AC-150 went about 60-65,
      with the cruise control, until the jam-up.

      We decide to head north to the source, AC Propulsion offices. I
      behave until hitting the 57 entrance on Sunset Crossing, zooming out
      in front of all slow traffic. This car reminds me of the EV1, when
      you always leave the pack in the dust. Even with the RAV4-EV, you
      can usually be in front. With this car, you can stay in front of
      any car, if you so choose, and not using too much power either. The
      slow mustang in front of me paused, confused by merging with a
      truck. Cars were crowding us, but the EV merged around it all,
      flowing smoothly into the lane 2 traffic pattern.

      Arriving at ACpropulsion with 3 bars of power (out of 8). Inside
      this building is the source of the most advanced EV technology in
      the world. No one can equal the power and convenience of the AC-150,
      which forms the heart of the EV, and certainly no once can equal its
      performance. They are rumored to be working on Lithium battery packs
      that contain almost 5 times the juice of the car I am driving, and
      weighs only half as much as the 28 cruddy batteries that are in it
      now. What performance this car would have, with that kind of
      batteries! ACP is also supposed to be converting a Scion to an EV. I
      wonder how much they have to cut out, where they put the batteries,
      how they hook it up to the transaxle. I hear the Scion transaxle is
      the transmission, so it probably takes some engineering.

      Then there is the legendary T-Zero. With the latest version of the
      AC-150 (reputedly called "gen II") and new batteries, it goes 0 to
      60 in 3.6 seconds and goes up to 300 miles on a charge.

      Total trip was 90 miles, using appx. 13-14 bars of power. This means
      about 6-7 miles per bar, or a range of 48-56 miles for the 8 bars of
      power on the dash. In addition, there is a big reserve, but I am
      keeping the batteries mostly full during the break-in period, and
      this was just the first freeway excursion.

      http://ev1.org/ac150 for pictures

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