Zig’s Amazing Electric Vehicle — Volkswagen Rabbit Conv

26 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Zig’s Amazing Electric Vehicle — Volkswagen Rabbit Conv отключены
Volkswagen Rabbit Conv

Car Stats

In April 2002, I a Corbin Sparrow. With performance and less weight my Cabriolet, the Sparrow zips up and around town. Driving the is a blast. It’s small to squeeze through traffic and just about anywhere. It is the commute vehicle.

In December my company (WildPackets ) moved new headquarters. 25 miles away my home. With no option for at work. Too far for the Sparrow.

So my beloved sat in my garage, unused. I took it out every few weeks to keep the in reasonable shape, but that was it. I to see EVs vehicle out on the road, reducing and tailpipe emissions, rather just using up space in a So I sold it.

Image Gallery

The of this document describes my everyday experiences driving an car, written in 1997-1998 driving my electric VW Cabriolet.

Photo Gallery

I put all the photos on page so that they interfere with reading page.

Another EV Rookie on the

I logged quite a few email during my first few weeks of vehicle ownership. These originally appeared on the Electric Discussion List. I’ve them here so that has an opportunity to laugh at my mistakes.

I my first month of electric ownership is fairly typical. a gas-powered car to electric drive is a engineering process, even using a standard conversion kit as I There usually must be an debugging phase when the few problems get fixed, and the driver what’s normal for an electric

Why Drive Electric?

When people discover I drive an electric car, one of the frequent questions I get is Why?


Electric cars zero tailpipe emissions, and little additional pollution electric power plants. I the idea that I’m not much to the San Francisco Bay Area’s smog problem.

More Than Gas

Electric cars are efficient than gas-powered They waste far less on heat than an internal engine. Electric cars low rolling resistance (I can push my car with one hand), and they extremely well. I use no energy down hills and sitting at idling gas engines consume all the time.

More advanced cars (not mine) can energy when braking and that energy later. Gas just waste braking by heating up brake pads.

A gas car needs to drive to a gas station and 5 minutes refueling every 200 (320 km) or so. To refuel my electric I just plug it in every when I park it at home. I even measure the brief it takes every night to down, pick up a cord, and it into my car’s plug, installed behind my gas cap.

A gas car an oil change every 3,000 (4,800 km) or so. An electric car has no engine to I also have no spark to replace, no timing to tune, no equipment to check: a lot less to Electric cars are low maintenance.


I’m shallow. I’m distracted by bright, shiny I’m an early adopter. I being the first on my block to an electric car. I enjoy new things, helping new markets into big markets. My electric car is a big giant toy. It’s so fun to that I often forget I’m sitting in traffic an evening commute.

Cut Through the Hype: Electric for Everybody

Range: Local Only

Range is an electric biggest weakness. My car carries of pounds of lead-acid batteries, but the equivalent of less than two of gas. I cannot take my car on long trips or weekend [this is particularly disappointing: my car is a convertible that is perfect for getaways, if it had the range or fast-refueling that my gas-powered car has.]

batteries are improving, but only I doubt we’ll see more a 10% increase in capacity over the few years. More promising are batteries such as nickel-metal-hydride and and power generation systems as fuel cells. But none of are remotely affordable, most even available. I truly that some miraculous new will double or quadruple the capacity of my electric car without or quadrupling the price, but I don’t it. The microchip industry might be to pull off such miracles but battery technology isn’t so

Recharge Time

My electric car all night to recharge. I cannot plug in for a few minutes and get another 200 (320 km) of range, which is my gas-powered car effectively does I pull up to a gas station.

The recharge is entirely solvable. If you need recharge, install a high outlet in your garage, and buy a that can deliver all those to your batteries. The GM EV1 charger can do that: it can recharge the EV1’s pack to 80% capacity in less an hour.

Performance Varies

My electric car is a inexpensive 96 volt conversion. The is that my electric Volkswagen has about half the horsepower of a Rabbit. I’ve also several hundred pounds of batteries. My Rabbit has horrible above 45 MPH (70 km/h). I can get up to the freeway of 65 MPH (100 km/h), but it takes a On shallow inclines, my Rabbit to 55 MPH (90 km/h). One highway near my has extraordinarily steep hills slow my Rabbit to 25 MPH (40 km/h). My performance on this highway is so that I no longer take route in the Rabbit.

Some can accept the poor performance statements like I use it for driving town most of the time, performance is the same as a gas-powered car or traffic rarely goes enough that my performance from the gas-powered cars me. but I cannot. I drive on the freeway for about every in-town Every city I’ve lived in required some travel just to get around

Volkswagen Rabbit Conv

Not all electric cars have performance problem. When you buy a you can choose a Geo Metro or you can choose a I bought the electric car equivalent of a Geo There are also electric to the Corvette. There are street-legal cars that go 130 MPH (210 and specialized speed machines break 200 MPH (320 km/h).

a Geo Metro kind of consumer. I want to spend Corvette-sized on Corvette-sized performance. So I’ll without incredible acceleration or ability. If I needed better I would have spent money on a higher-voltage conversion.

You a Gas-Powered Car

An electric car is a terrible for a single-car family. Electric are great for zipping around but are lousy at long trips and 95% of your trips might be local trips that an car handles perfectly, but the remaining 5% require a longer-range, gas-powered Unless you want to rent a car time you want to leave you’re better off with a car in the garage before you get an electric

Here’s an ironic twist: gas car’s starter battery die if you buy an electric car. Since I do all my driving in the electric car, gone weeks without behind the wheel of the gas car. All the little electronic doodads in a car radio, alarm, who knows else?) do slowly drain gas car’s starter battery. If gas car will sit undriven for weeks, you want to buy a battery starter. I there’s a way to jump-start a gas car off an electric accessory battery, but I’m not I want to find out.

Emissions Isn’t

My car has no tailpipe, so it pollute, right? Wrong. My car into a wall outlet and electric power, which from a power plant. power plant emits Electric power plants are far effective at controlling emissions automobiles, so the pollution I indirectly is still far less than a gas but I do pollute.

My car still crawls the freeway in traffic with a passenger in it. I contribute to traffic. All the gas on the road with me have to down just a bit more to one more car on the road, so I’m everybody else’s car to generate a tiny bit more pollution.

My car stores its energy in lead-acid not something you’d want in landfill or water table. few years, these batteries get into new batteries. Battery is extremely efficient, but some does end up as waste. Gas cars have lead-acid batteries, but not so many, so frequently replaced.

My car a lot less pollution than an gas-powered car, but it still

Still Dependent on Oil

The plastics in the on which I typed this all came from oil. The that carried the parts Asia to the US was powered by oil. The train the carried the parts a port to Apple’s assembly burned diesel. The truck carried the assembled keyboard to my Apple Authorized Dealer diesel. So did the trains and trucks carried the food to my local store. My electric car did nothing to this consumption of oil, all indirectly on my behalf. My completely guess is that if we replaced single passenger vehicle in the US an electric vehicle, we’d our oil consumption by no more than I’d love to see some on how much oil goes into vehicles versus freight, and other uses.

An electric car the the effective way for an individual consumer to dependency on oil, but it won’t any individual consumer’s demand for oil to zero.

Zero Maintenance

As easy as an electric car is to maintain, not maintenance-free. An electric car still new brake pads, just a gas car. Electric cars regenerative braking use the brake a lot less, but still use them.

electric cars still use batteries that require watering (just like the battery in a gas-powered car). I the batteries need a check 3 to 6 times a year. It takes me 15-20 minutes to check and all 16 of my batteries. Newer sealed batteries do not require filling never lose water). of electric cars with lead-acid batteries love batteries, with good

The same batteries that occasional water also occasional cleaning. Once few months, I take a few paper and wipe off the tops of the batteries my hood. Lead-acid batteries a small amount of moisture charging. After a couple of charging, this moisture is to warrant a quick wipe a paper towel. Left this moisture (which is a acid) will eat through the on metal battery racks, conduct electricity from the to the car’s chassis, and will your electric car’s equipment to kick in. This was a big during my first couple of of electric car ownership. Sealed batteries do not emit moisture charging: another reason so loved by their owners.

How Does It Cost?

Volkswagen Rabbit Conv

Volkswagen Rabbit Conv


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