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Old 09-02-2008, 07:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EV Driver here just joined up

Hello Ecomodder's,

Great site, figured I would join up instead of having just a good time lurking.

Have been enjoying driving locally gas free for 4 years now. My EV ride is a 97 Solectria Force. 26,700 miles on the odometer. A factory conversion of a 97 Geo metro 4 door.

Great bottom end 0-45 but like a old VW 45 hp bug in 4th out on the freeway. Electrically governed to 70 mph.

Energy is stored in 13 gel type Pba batteries. Wired in series for a nominal 156V. Solectria did a fine job of turning the glider into a great electric vehicle.

I'm the 3rd owner and the car had 13,100 miles on it when I became it's new care-giver. I took out the original battery pack at 23,300 miles and 10 years from the factory installation date. The battery pack could still go 25-30 miles but a few of them didn't like high amp loads. Replacements cost under $2000.

The equivalent mpg is to high to mention. And besides electricity for charging the car is free. Really it is.

I don't drive an EV to save the world I just happen to find it to be extremely cheap to operate. Cheap can be green also. It is a California rust free vehicle so I expect it should last a long time at this rate. But it is a Orphan car and even the Metro stuff can be hard to find. Actually 2 of the 3 problems I've had with the vehicle have been Geo stuff.

Hypermiling a ICE vehicle is also a fantastic endeavor. I own a Scangauge II for use on rental car trips. (The Force is not a long ranger.) I like to exceed all EPA mileage standards, highway ones being fairly easy. BTW fill up a rental right away if your going to challenge yourself because "full" usually isn't. The new stuff is pretty neat and fun to rent. But still way cheaper to rent than to own. Did I use the cheap word again, guess I should have said way greener than owning. Renting when needed shares the resource, fewer cars means less manufacturing waste.

Started driving in '62 or 63 and flying in 67 so I've used a few gallons of liquid power along the way. Have had some good times in vehicles that need scatter shields and in aircraft that measure fuel flow in the thousands of pounds per hour per engine. My favorite words from days gone by, "afterburners now."

Looking to do some minor aero mods to the Force to maybe get a tiny bit more miles per AH. Coroplast sits in the garage ready for some added belly work.Solectria had covered in front I'll see if continuing on back adds some efficiency. It likely won't do much but I don't have to work around any hot pipes either. So it should be about as flat as a belly pan can be. With the coroplast being more costly than the electricity I sure hope it does a little something for the effort. Tried to find a coroplast sign to recycle but couldn't find one big enough. Should be good sign pick'ens after the election if your in need of some coro.

Removed the spare tire the first day I had it home. Canned air and a cell phone will do, as I won't be that far from home.

Have never found my self out of "juice". The car is very predictable and as a EV driver you plan most trips.

With the new batteries I can drive 60 miles but find most of my needs are well under 25. This keeps the battery state of charge (SOC) well above 50% most of the time so the use of Pba batteries doesn't hamper my use.

Best Regards,

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Old 09-02-2008, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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4x4 - '06 Nissan Altima 2.5 Special Edition
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That's really cool. Do you have EV stickers on the car? That sounds like a economic and environment friendly commuter car.

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Old 09-02-2008, 07:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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bbjsw10 - '91 Geo Metro Xfi
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156v Wow. I want an electric so badly I only drive about 10-20 miles a day. I just haven't figured out what to do for heat. Electric heaters are such a large drain. And Welcome to EM!!

P.S. post a picture of that bad lad.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Head straight over to the Fossil-Fuel Free forum to read up on the Forkenswift, my electric Metro conversion, and MPaulHolmes Electric Bug!

I would also be interested in more information on your gel cell batteries.

I am using Deka Dominator gel cells in my conversion and would love any advice on charging them, amp limiting, etc.

-Ben N.

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Old 09-02-2008, 10:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great to see another EV user here! Awesome intro!

GeoMetroforum.com - got mpg?
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome to EM! I googled "1997 Solectria Force" and found what looks like a version of your 4-door :

Todd Martin's 1997 Solectria Force


What's your EPA MPG? Go Here and find out!
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bennelson View Post

Head straight over to the Fossil-Fuel Free forum to read up on the Forkenswift, my electric Metro conversion, and MPaulHolmes Electric Bug!

I would also be interested in more information on your gel cell batteries.

I am using Deka Dominator gel cells in my conversion and would love any advice on charging them, amp limiting, etc.

-Ben N.
Thank you all for the welcome.

Ben point me to the final specs on your vehicle. The thread I found will take me longer to read than it takes to convert a car. You have a big following

I can give you the charge profile used by Solectria for the Deka Dominator Gel G27 which is still the Solectria (now Azure) recommended battery for the Force AC power system. I think Deka uses the Dominator name for both gel and agm batteries in that series. Acceptable use and charging characteristics being very different. Deka makes great batteries and sells them under a lot of labels, Deka, MK, Gel-Tech......mine were Gel Tech

For reasons that do not reflect poorly on the Deka battery I now have Greensaver SP-68's in my car. A very similar but slightly different gel battery. I have almost 2000 miles on them and they are working extremely well
Silicone Batteries USA

The posted picture is like mine. But I try not to park in a crowd. I'll try to post a picture one of these days but if you've seen a white 97 Metro 4 door with 5 spoke after market wheels and no badging (of any kind) you know what it looks like. I think the Force perhaps sits a bit lower than a stock Metro. Solectria did re-spring the rear for the weight added back there.


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Old 09-03-2008, 12:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome to ecomodder! I am indeed super jealous.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
Ford Escort 2.0
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Congratulations on the Solectria Force! To make a somewhat meaningful electricity - gasoline comparison, there are several posts in the Fossil Free forum regarding conversion from kWh to energy content in gasoline. In short, if you know how many kWh your Force uses to travel X number of miles, you can use the converter here:
(link repeated here from the FF forum / bennelson)
Convert gallon [U.S.] of automotive gasoline to kilowatt-hours - Conversion of Measurement Units

As an example, I use about 254 watt-hours per mile in my Citicar. That translates to the equivalent energy of 140 MPG.

As car as cost goes, the local electric utility gives me $9.00 (about 85 kWh) a month credit for having a small EV. Comparing cost VS gasoline use wouldn't really work, since my EV electricity miles are essentially free.

Maybe when I grow up I'll have more than a golf cart on steroids - but it is just about perfect for my 10 mile round trip commute.

Again, welcome!
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Meat-roll - '97 Geo Metro
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WOW!!! Just plain WOW!!! That car is about the coolest thing I have ever seen.

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