July 2010
« Sep    

replacement DC-DC on the way

In tweaking my aux voltage, I finally blew my Astrodyne DC-DC regulator.  The poor beast had major acid damage so it was about time.

Blog on life support - EV still going!

The RAVolt celebrated it’s 2 year EV anniversary in the Rollingwood July 4th Parade.   For updates, check out the RAVolt on BrightKite (better pictures) or Twitter (tag #EV).

The heat is killing my batteries - down to about 15 miles of reliable range.   That is assuming that it ever gets cool enough to drive!

EEStor & Zenn make announcements

This was posted from the AustinEV group and is significant since stealthy EEStor could be a major playah if their stuff actually works.



Dear ZENN Enthusiast,

May 21, 2009 was a significant day for ZENN Motor Company as it confirmed the results of EEStor’s previously announced permittivity results. As many of you may be aware, the successful achievement of these results by EEStor triggers a couple of key events for the Company.

Firstly, we will pay EEStor the milestone payment of US $700,000 per our Technology Agreement with them and,

To read the news release, click here.

Secondly, we intend to increase our equity investment in EEStor to the fullest extent possible.  Further details regarding this investment will be announced when determined.

The achievement of this key milestone is very encouraging towards the end goal of commercializing EEStor’s technology.  For this reason, I am as optimistic as ever and remain committed to the mass electrification of the transportation industry.

EEStor has also stated that their objective is to complete component testing by September 2009 and deliver production quality components and/or EESUs by the end of 2009.  Please see the article from ‘All Cars Electric.’

All the Best,


Ian Clifford

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

ZENN Motor Company

ZENN In the News:

EEStor VP Says EESUs to be Delivered by End of 2009.(All Cars Electric, June 1, 2009)

ZENN to increase EEStor ownership.(Toronto Star, May 22, 2009)

ZENN CEO reveals details of EEStor’s progress.(Cleantech, May 22, 2009)

ZENN Motor confirms EEStor battery results. (Reuters, May 21, 2009)

RAVolt eats aux battery, recovers

Yes, the RAVolt is still going strong.  Sorry about the lack of updates.  I’ll explain all soon.I’ve been commuting 40 miles/day and the RAVolt is just not up for that.  The Fit is awesome (38+ MPG).I lost my auxiliary battery charger recently and ran down my “starter” battery.  After buying a new charger, the battery is slowly getting back to speed.  I know that there are some traction pack chargers & DC-DC supplies that also trickle charge the aux battery.   I would recommend this approach for EV conversions!

iPhone posts?

Looks like I can post from my phone. Can. Should? Not sure.

Poor RAVolt misses being driven. Unfortunately, the batteries do worse without load so it’s hard to guage range after not driving for a week. I decided not leave the EV at home for a trip I’ve EVed before. Maybe warmer weather will help.

AustinEV Meeting on Saturday (2/14) 2 PM

Should be a big deal…politicians, Li EVs, and (potentially) Austin’s first Tesla.  See AustinEV.org for details.

Parking reduces EV opportunities

Since I had to switch over to the Fit as my daily driver (my new gig is approx 40 miles RT), it’s getting parked in our driveway.  Unfortunately, that means the the RAVolt is perpetually parked in.  I’m trying to anticipate EV opportunities and the Fit appropriately.  Even so, I still missed at least two EV trips this weekend.

Fit Update: I got 38 MPG based on my last fill-up.  The mileage lieage meter on the dashboard reported an average of 41 and change.  Even if it’s optimistic, the gauge does give me good driving feedback.  I wonder if my EV experience gives me an advantage in getting better MPG?  I’m not sure how to test that!

Pipkins film RAVolt (and me) for One Peace at a Time

Turk & Christy Pipkin’s “Nobelity” movie was part of the inspiration for me to start the whole EV project, so it’s wonderful that I have a chance to be part of their sequel, “One Peace at a Time.”  My take away from Nobelity was that the difference between everyone and a Nobel laureate what they the laureates “got off their ass and did something” to solve a problem.I took at attitude with the EV project and dove in aggressively.  The RAVolt is not a show car, but it gets me where I need to go without gas.I have no idea what Turk will use in the movie - it could be nothing at all!   He wanted Laura in the shots too because he considers the RAVolt to be a “hip family car.”  I’m not sure about hip, but it’s definitely a car.

Electrons, wherefore art thou?

My last two EV outings (16 miles & 12 miles) have been marked by atypical voltage sag.  It seems like the 18 month old batteries are not holding as much charge as they used to or the “cold” could be impacting them more than I expect.  Unfortunately, the I think the lack of daily commute based deep charge/discharge is limiting their recovery.

On a related note: having a high MPG car makes me less likely to drive the EV on longer trips.  Hmmm.

Finally, Feeling Fit

Freedom to exercise more is one of the benefits of being unemployed and my level of fitness has improved during the last few weeks.  Next week I’m starting a contract with Dell so while I’ll trade financial for physically fitness.  But more significantly for this blog, I’ll also be starting a non-EVable commute.

Consequently, Laura and I decided that it was time to make room for a 33+ MPG Honda Fit in our driveway.  My 20 MPG (Premium Gas Only) Volvo S70 is belongs to Vol-Tec. So far I’m very happy with the Fit - it’s got great visibility and drives well.  I’ll post more about that after I start commuting in it.