After much contemplating I bought a Chevy Volt a couple of weeks ago. That puts two electric Vehicles in my Garage and I thought for those on the forum contemplating the same I will give a brief account.
First, the Volt is a technological marvel, second to none. Great build, outstanding equipment and guess what, the battery works as it should. At 10.4kW usable capacity ( from a total of 16) I actually get a reliable 45 miles of electric range. Importantly, the range estimator is always spot on. Of course the car displays you the kW used so you always know what you have left.Regenerative breaking also works great and you can actually see the kWs go back into the battery. I have seen as much as 300 Watt go back in coasting down a hill. I have driven about 500 miles, 420 of the electric. No range anxiety since when the battery goes empty, the generator comes on and other than its background noise nothing changes. Brilliant. Afetr 45 miles electric you go as far as you wish on gas.
Now here to the comparison
I have been travelling the same roads to work each day as I did with my Vectrix for the past 2 years. 32 miles roundtrip in a pretty hilly terrain covering about 2000 feet of differential. The Vectrix has about 3-6 miles of range left at the end and uses 4.3-4.5kW of charge. If I deplete it to red light, which I used to do until I installed the Lairds software it would go 38miles and consume 5.3kW for a full charge.
For comparison, The Voly uses 6.8kW driving at equivalent speed for the same trip, which equals to about 215Watt/miles and uses 7.8-8kW to charge.
So what I am shocked by is that this 3500lbs car uses less than 2times the energy than the Vectrix. I assume that the Vectrix uses 90Watt/miles at the most which would take the 3.7kW down by 3420 watt on a 38miles drive. But the recharging quotes roughly 1.5 times the energy consumed. On the Volt, it requires only 15% extra.
So clearly this Vehicle is showing what can be done with good Li batteries and good electronics. It does put a simple on my face knowing that I have just done a 32 mile commute to work for aout 80 cents.
Now wthe Vectrix will still get me to work on nice days, but admittedly when I was braving 40oF weather in the past, I now opt for the Volt instead on those colder mornings.
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