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Old 01-21-2009, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Driving an EV in high water

I was going to PM one of you guys about this, but thought others might wonder the same thing : In a traditional car, the car will die once the water gets into something electrical, or the air intake, which is usually at least a good 24 - 36 " above the ground.
Since an electric car has the motor mounted down low, it seems that even a deep mud puddle could cause the car to die.

Please prove me wrong.

While on the topic of rain, can you all please explain how much that driving in a heavy rain with the wipers, defroster, and lights will decrease the range of an electric car ( For example a car with a 50 mile range )

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Old 01-21-2009, 07:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ben drove his Electro-Metro through the car wash... on video... with the underbody blast. He DROVE away from the car wash.

You've been proven wrong.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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my car would have issue with the relays because they are open to the air and about 12" off the ground, the batteries and motor would be fine for a while unless it was really dirty or salty water, so basically you would ge water coming in around your feet before the car would die and even then it should limp home.
if you had sealed contactors and controllers, or had them up away from the floor, and the water is low enough that it doesn't get in the vent holes at the top of the battery then you should be fine for short trips in water, but really, who drives in rivers? if you live in a flood plane then get a row boat or move to higher ground.

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Old 01-23-2009, 09:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The motor isn't the problem. You can fully immerse a series DC motor and drive out (fresh water, not so sure about salt). Just have to make sure you drive it far enough to dry it out afterward. Controllers are usually fully sealed in potting compound as well.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The electric pump for my well sits immersed in water 24/7, and has for more than the 10 years I've owned this house, so it's not impossible to seal the electrical system.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys.

Earlier I asked "
While on the topic of rain, can you all please explain how much that driving in a heavy rain with the wipers, defroster, and lights will decrease the range of an electric car ( For example a car with a 50 mile range ) "

To be more precise, let's say you are driving a car at night, when it suddenly starts to rain heavily, and suddenly your windshied fogs up.
( In that case you would be using not only your headlights ( perhaps even the high beams ) , but also your wipers at maximum and your defroster as well - all at the same time.

I'm just trying to get a real-world idea of the limitations of homemade EVs.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have an auxiliary battery that runs everything but the wheels, so even if I've run my traction battery pack down all the way I still have head lights at full brightness, I can run my head lights for about 3 times as long as my traction battery, or charge it only every 3rd time that I drive it at night.
alot of people run a dc-dc converter that drops the traction battery voltage down to 12 volts, but often keep a small 12 volt battery in there anyway as a fail safe as dc-dc converters sometimes over heat or fail if they are useing close to their rated output for very long and the larger ones cost alot more then a small 12v battery.
so I've never had a problem driving in the rain at night with my electric car, but that's just me.

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