2106(fwd) (fwd) First day driving the ACPropulsion car
- May 1, 2004On 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
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
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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