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First commute w/ Lectra
Submitted by reikiman on Tue, 01/15/2008 - 09:53
One of my coworkers has his last day at work today - and he's one who has been very interested in EV's and following my progress on the Lectra conversion. That makes today the last day he could easily see the Lectra, so I rode it in today. Um, gosh, it's 45 degrees out with dense fog ... and for example my helmet kept fogging up, and at every stop I had to be a manual windshield wiper, wiping off the fog with my hands. But I made it in.
Over the weekend the ammeter became nonfunctional so it's not connected to the bike. That made the only gauge the voltmeter. At the beginning of the ride it read fully charged.. it's a little hard to be accurate with the needle but it looks a bit over 66 volts fully charged. The paktrakr isn't permanently mounted either.
The ride is 10 miles down Central Expressway, a 45-50 mile/hr road that goes through Mtn View, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. I kept my speed down because on my last long ride (Mtn View - Palo Alto and back) it ran out of juice during the last half mile. I stayed at 40 miles/hr most of the way and the traffic around me didn't seem to mind.
All the way the bike had plenty of power available and rode fine. Importantly the voltage generally stayed 58v and above. The last two miles there are a couple overpasses which gave a little challenge, the voltage dipped to 50v on one of the overpasses. And then the last 1/4 mile it was like the power fell off a cliff. While resting voltage stayed around 60v the voltage under power dropped easily to 50v and I think I saw it go as low as 40v. I took it real gentle that last bit getting to the office.
We have outside charging facilities for EV's -- these are left over from the 90's during the time CARB still had effective ZEV requirements. The chargers are two of the paddle units that worked with the EV1, two of the AVCON units that work with a larger set of vehicles, and there is a 120v EFI protected outdoor outlet. I've been using that outlet for 5+ years with a variety of vehicles. The others rarely see any use.
There used to be an EV1 plastered with Duke images which regularly came to the office. Duke is the mascot for Java, and my day job involves Java quality. In any case that EV1 hasn't been seen around here for several years, of course.