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Old 09-11-2009, 03:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Commutacar -Top speed/max. incline, brakes

I'd appreciate any comments on the following:

Maximum speed on a flat road, with new batteries?
Maximum incline rated? - one passenger (160lbs)
Is it common for the brakes to pull to one side? ( front)
Has anyone found or used a reliable 'battery depletion' indicator gauge, so that they can estimate mileage capabilities.
What would be the 'average' distance expected on mainly flat roads with some slight grades, which of course would be downhills in one direction.
How low % of capacity can the batteries go, before recharge - ( occasional, and in general)
How have others managed to recover from dead batteries nowhere near a plug-in source - ie portable generator - or does the car have to be trailered or hauled on a towtruck?
Thanks,
Kingsley

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Old 09-11-2009, 12:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The Commuti-car came with one of two rear ends, one with a steel rear end plate that is for flatter areas and gave a higher speed of 40mph or maybe just over, the other rear end has an aluminum alloy rear end cap and is geared lower for larger hills, this is the rear end that I currently have in my car, I have one of the high speed rear ends that has never been installed that also came with my car, the motors are the same, with the low speed rear end I see a real life top speed of around 36-38mph on flat ground 35mph is more common, the steepest hill I can find in town I tend to slow down to 20mph while climing, not sure on the grade but it's closed in the winter because it's to steep to clime, the next steepest hill is half a mile long and is about as steep as I've seen on a back road hill, I can pull a steady 25mph up that hill without a passenger and 23mph with.
I'm currently running 4 year old batteries and getting around 15-20 miles on a charge depending on hills climed and number of stop signs, I should have some brand new T105 Trogens showing up in the next few weeks at a cost of around $900 US from my local solar installer, golf cart shop is another place to check.
The brakes should not pull! try cleaing and adjusting them, to keep the from pulsating jack the wheels up, losten the lug nuts and apply the brakes, turn the wheels 90 degrees and try again, the brake drums don't have any way to self center so the can feel like they are out of round and pulsate.
The battery gauge I have is a PakTrakr made by KJhall it is amazing, it connects to each battery then gives you a total pack voltage, state of charge, low battery warning, over charge warning, bar graph of battery voltage, gas gauge style F----E display option, with that gauge it will help you make your batteries longer by letting you take better care of them.
Being stranded in an EV is harder then getting stranded in a gas car, so unless you are the kind of person who has to call up their friends to have a can of gas brought out to you because your tank is dry then you shuld do fine in an EV, this is because batteries do not just drop dead, and you have a gauge that tells you how full they are! personaly I never go below 50% if I can help it, but some people take it down to 20% state of charge.
advertised range with new batteries was 40 miles, if you have a modern speed controler you might be able to get more out of it, but of course as your batteries age the range drops, a modern controler is going to help you not be as hard on your batteries as the contacts are basicly an on off switch, with that "40 m ile range" I would say never to push it, unless you like buying batteries as deep discharge will shorten their life, if you do a deep discharge that is when you want to plug in as soon as possible, so when you find your self limping home at 20mph after testing your ful range find an outlet!

Last edited by Ryland; 09-11-2009 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There was a time when motorists had to buy cans of gasoline at the drug store. Has anyone tried carrying a charger and asking permission to plug in at a convenience store or gas station? Personally, I'd be happy to run an extension cord from my house to any camper or stranded EV running a generator within earshot.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When the car was new it had an on board charger, mine still has it and it works great! a 25 foot cord is kept behind the seat and when people see it for the first time in front of their house they ask if I want to plug it in, my boss when he found out it cost as much as 35 cents to charge it for an 8 hour day at work he offered to buy wire and an outlet so I could put another outlet in closer to where I park, alot of parking lots for apartment buildings have outlets for block heaters, these cars draw 500 watts while charging 1/3 as much as a common block heater.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It gets to -40 here, and I've never heard of a block heater close to that size. Those are common house heater ratings.
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your help....

I'm listed as having '0' 'thank you's' I'm still not too sure how to find my way around these forums, but a very big thankyou to everyone that has given me advice!
I hope to be able to spend more time on the forum, as winter work becomes scarce for me. Thanks for tip on the PakTrakr meter. Do I need to buy the extra readers for the 8 batteries, the site info isn't too clear on whether the standalone unit is all I need to buy? (At present I'm running 4X12V just to get everything running - so far so good - )
I had the forklift truck brake man come and adjust my brakes...they were quite a bit out of adjustment and 2 cylinders have slight leaks and have to be repaired, which I should be able to tackle myself. My wheel cylinders are Bendix, but he couldn't find a listing for the kits. Any suggestions?
Thanks especially to you, Ryland, for all the information
There is a new controller installed, so I should get max. mileage from whatever battery range is possible from the batteries.
Mine also has two onboard chargers, but where I live, most of the homes are set way back off the road, but yes, people here are very friendly and would certainly charge my batteries if asked. Without an accurate meter, I have no idea how far from home or how close to a power source I might be if the batteries were to quit on the road. I live semi rurally, and there are some stretches of my route into town, where I could be two miles or more from the nearest plug-in, and that was the reason for my questions. Thanks again all of you, and I'll keep you posted.
Cheers,
Kingsley
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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EV Performance
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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electrique, the pak-trakr also has a Canadian distributor in Ottawa (not sure where you live): Econogics Web site Index
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olpop View Post
Hmm.. I'm quite intrigued with the battery gauge you got there. Could I possibly get some KJhall's PakTrakr too? Can you post or PM me some more details about it? Thanks.
here is a link to it PakTrakr.com
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrique View Post
I'd appreciate any comments on the following:

Maximum speed on a flat road, with new batteries?
Maximum incline rated? - one passenger (160lbs)
Is it common for the metro molded brake adjuster cover to pull to one side? ( front)
Has anyone found or used a reliable 'battery depletion' indicator gauge, so that they can estimate mileage capabilities.
What would be the 'average' distance expected on mainly flat roads with some slight grades, which of course would be downhills in one direction.
How low % of capacity can the batteries go, before recharge - ( occasional, and in general)
How have others managed to recover from dead batteries nowhere near a plug-in source - ie portable generator - or does the car have to be trailered or hauled on a towtruck?
Thanks,
Kingsley
I think I would also go for the ev performance. Any updates for this? I am still thinking for some alternatives.

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