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Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] Re: support if I were to buy a RAV4 EV 1997-2003 version?

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  • murdoch
    Hi Ron: Great to get this response, and helping me avoid a lot of legwork. I love the internet, and one reason is that it helps us break down the barriers and
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 16 10:53 AM
      Hi Ron:

      Great to get this response, and helping me avoid a lot of legwork. I
      love the internet, and one reason is that it helps us break down the
      barriers and one can get information straight from an owner.

      "Where I'm at" with my shopping quest is perhaps not of over-much
      interest to others in general, but it may be of use to take a moment
      for purposes of EV drivers and industry-followers... I think shopping
      can be sort of a catalyst for thinking and re-thinking a variety of

      For a combination of important reasons, I have recently backed away
      from the older used or OEM after-market EV route, such as can be
      explored here at Noel's excellent site:


      So, I did take some time to look into that sort of thing. A big
      factor to me is that not only am I incompetent at tinkering with cars,
      but I'm in a somewhat out-of-the-way location in a small town in
      Arizona and don't want to deal with heat-related battery-degradation
      concerns if I don't have to. The Leaf owner reports have affected me
      and if I buy an aftermarket or very old product that might have
      air-cooled BMS, what then?

      I'm kind of "hanging on" trying to wait for used (liquid-cooled BMS)
      Volt prices to come down enough so I can finance a purchase.

      This is not a great compromise for me financially, ..... still way way
      way too much money.... and I *hate* the idea that I might be goading
      myself into harming myself financially to get into an EV, but I've
      been shopping for 15 years in a way.

      True, I did take the pledge many years ago that my next car purchased
      would be chargeable (I first heard this articulated by Paul Scott,
      don't know who came up with it, but it's a good idea, particularly for
      those of us who want to make some points to the OEMs and others). At
      the same time, with respect to personal microeconomics of it, I hate
      the depreciation.

      I've been driving a used '97 Ford Escort that I bought in '02 for
      about $4500 and I haven't looked back because I own it, and so, if I
      had to drive a gasoline-burner, at least it was financially very
      economical (this particularly includes good reliability) and
      not-the-worst mileage (about 30 then, 27 now). I hadn't really sat
      myself down to do my monthly costs, but when I did (talking with
      someone on the Volt forums) I realized more clearly that having gotten
      off the Detroit monthly payments merry-go-round, it is not really
      possible for an expensive car purchase or lease to stack up to a
      reliable extremely old gasoline burner on monthly costs - if it stays
      reliable. This includes if the expensive car is chargeable - although
      I guess as gasoline goes higher, the equations do change.

      We know about hyper-milers, and have a few on these boards, but I
      wonder if there is also a class of folks who are
      hyper-financial-economizers about keeping their transportation costs
      low? I guess if I wanted to do that, I chose a "decent" way, but with
      arguably better ways including moving to a city with good mass transit
      and getting rid of my car, or perhaps some of the emerging ways such
      as ride-sharing (anyone tried zip car yet? I read they now will let
      you use a Honda Fit EV in the bay area).

      Anyway, I guess once I go shopping and get writing, I work up a head
      of steam.

      I have to say, I'm pretty excited to think that - regardless of what I
      get - I'm finally going to get to drive a good EV every day, and
      charge it up at night, with my solar panels that are already installed
      (and I'm adding a few more, as finances permit).

      [Default] On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 22:32:01 -0000, "rfreund2"
      <rfreund2@...> wrote:

      >Hi Josh
      >It's been a while. My RAV4EV is at 99,400 miles still going strong.
      >--- In future-fuels-and-vehicles@yahoogroups.com, murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
      >> With all the possibilities that are in the near future for buying a
      >> brand-new chargeable vehicle, I think I got a bit distracted away from the possibility of buying a used one. While it still seems like a long-shot, on the old RAV4 EVs, I'd like to ask:
      >> - Anecdotally, is there an expected lifetime on the battery pack?
      >RF> I would venture that is from 110,000 to 150,000 miles based on the ones I've witnessed coming and going.
      >Hard (ruthless!) drivers get less, but I've come to expect 125K routinely. Towards the end the pack will act 'funny', you'll just have less range. Adequate power seems to be delivered nonetheless.
      >> On the rest of the car?
      >RF> Wheel bearings (all four) may need replacement if much hilly and curvy driving was done. Flat lander straight driving doesn't seem to affect it. Electronics: won't be a problem. Spares of key modules can be had from various sources. All depends on the kind of driving done (before you got it, after too, of course!)
      >> - if the battery and range were to start to go bad after I purchased, what are my options?
      >RF> No doubt they will go bad, You're a new driver, and EV drivers usually "learn the hard way". Unless you've had a couple of months or more exposure, you'll probably test the limits and find out what you can and can't do. (Hint: don't take the pack below 20% SoC and expect to be able to drive like you can when it's fully charged.
      >RF> You WILL learn to take it easy. The RAV4EV is not a Tesla, it is underpowered for what it is. But it's well engineered and very capable. I just hauled about 500 lbs of stuff to the recycling center and I didn't drive there like a maniac. I had a long way to go and had 4 passenger equivelent weight on board. So learning to gauge the capabilities and limits takes time.
      >RF> No new batteries are available, only slightly matched refurbs. Eventually the chemical reactions will stop, and the battery cells get dried out. Then they're toast.
      >> - Can they be retrofitted to work with the present day standard public and private garage chargers and connectors?
      >RF> Yes, and I'm working (with others) on that today. I'm guessing we
      >re about 6 months from being reality. Forget the two-part charging system (inductive) which was foisted upon Toyota by GM. I see 10X the number of J-plugs out there now compared to SPI chargers. Less every month, thanks to aggressive land grabbing by EVSP's
      >RF> Replacement batteries: not nickel metal hydride (too low energy density) - that'll be the next project. The cars are rock solid, classic Toyota quality.
      >> - What sort of range and other performance should I expect on a RAV4
      >> EV with 70k-100+k miles on it?
      >Probably 75 miles of steady driving, maybe more. When new it was easy to get 100 miles on a full charge. My personal best is 134.5 over the course of two days, without recharging. I couldn't do that today. I might get 100. I notice much more self-discharging of the batteries now, even 0.4% just overnight letting the batteries rest. I never used to have any until about 85K miles. It may be calendar life, it may be cycle life: I'll never know and it doesn't matter. This is pretty much uncharted territory. What are your needs? Ever thought about a Th!nk 'City' for range 25% more than a LEAF? There still are some available, iirc.
      >> Sorry if this is absurdly repetitive to the RAV4 EV or other groups,
      >> in terms of answers that have already been given, but I guess I'm a
      >> glutton for shopping information, over many years.
      >RF> Nah, you're just too lazy to browse thru the many years of posts, which of course, is time consuming. Been there done that. ;)
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
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