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Does an Electric Vehicle make sense for me?

Naturally, that depends upon your requirements.  EVs can meet the needs of many people who have short commutes (20-50 miles). There are advantages to EVs and there are disadvantages to EVs.  The advantages are that you can plug in to recharge, there are no internal combustion components to fail (engine, exhaust system, fuel system, etc), and the cost is usually 2-3 cents mile for electricity.  The disdavantages are the upfront cost ($6000-$8000), the cost to replace batteries ($1000-$2000), and the limited range.  One major advantage is that EVs depreciate very little.  Our Electric 1991 S-10 sold for $20,000 in 1996.  


I need a 100 mile range and 80 mph?  Is that possible for an electric car?

Yes and No. The speed of the vehicle requires horsepower, and horsepower requires Voltage.  So you need a 120V or a 144V system to attain such speeds.

Range is a function of pounds of fuel.  In this case, the fuel is lead.  A Rule of Thumb is that it takes 15-20 lbs of lead to achieve 1 mile in range.  So 100 miles may require 1500 - 2000 lbs of lead.  Most electric vehicles are not designed for that excessive weight. Naturally, the weight means more hp is required.


My Electric Vehicle battery has a 130 A-H rating.  What does that mean?

The 130 A-H is probably the 20 hour rate.  That means that the battery is capable of 6.5 amps for 20 hours. Simply divide the amp-hour rate by 20.

Most Electric Vehicles (industrial and on-road) require 100 - 200 amps, so a more realistic assessment of a deep cycle battery is the number of minutes it can sustain a 75 amp load.  For example, the Trojan T-145 (6V) can put out 75 amps for 145 minutes.   The Optima (12V) has a 56 A-H rating and can put out 75 amps for only 31 minutes.  So each battery is unique.
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20  JUNE  2011