New Vectrix

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procrastination inc
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New Vectrix

Well, I have just paid for my new Vectrix. I pick it up next week.

This bike will need to perform well to pay for itself.

I want to get the most out of my battery. I am looking for advice on the care and feeding of my Vectrix with a view to maximum longevity.

I have a 32km trip to work, mostly flat with about 15kms of that on 100km/h, rural roads. I'm looking at about 16,000km per year just to work and back everyday.

It gets pretty hot out here in the summer, over 40 for at least a dozen days a year. Should I just drive the car on those days?

Thanks

Jason

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Re: New Vectrix

Yes, drive the car on hot days. I wouldn't drive my Vectrix on any day, when I can't precool my batteries down to at least 29'C (ambient temperature of 25'C).

1. When you charge at night, give it as long precharge cooling as possible (max. is 8 hours) (you will set the delay manually only once (read the manual) and it will be triggered by holding left break when you turn off the bike), but so, that your battery will be fully charged (bike is standing still in silence), when you leave home.

2. You won't make 64 km with one charge, driving 15kms at 100km/h, so you'll have to recharge at work. Since morning hours are coolest, my suggestion is, to plug-in immediately after you get to work. When you turn off the bike, pull the right break and turn it off. That will give you 1/2 hours of pre-charge cooling and it will start charging after that, but still in the cool, morning hours. You should have it fully charged within 4 (cool morning) hours and it will be waiting there for you, fully charged, for your ride home.

Park your Vectrix in a shade. Sun will heat your battery cover and it will heat you battery pack; in the worst case - cells could have different temperature. I wouldn't drive the Vectrix on days, when it's over 40'C. Driving at 100km/h will also additionally heat your battery over 40'C, which will shorten your battery's life.

Don't use regen braking until you have only 13 battery bars left (80% SOC). That will heat your battery pack.
Don't use any regen braking at all, when your battery is over 35'C (better to heat your braking disk than your battery ;-).

Keep the battery as much charged as possible. Do 'to the red battery discharge' (as the manual says - once per month) only at cooler nights. The full charge from 0 heats up you battery a lot. The full charge from 0 takes more time, so set you precharge cooling accordingly. Each battery bar takes aprox. 10 minutes to charge + 2 hours of final charging (15 minutes of cooling after fast charging, 1 hour of slow charging and 1 hour of cooling).

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

I was pretty sure that range would be unachievable with 100 km per hour spurts. what sort of max speed should I limit it to to make the return trip on one charge AND not risk excessive discharge? I did a time trial in my car yesterday, 45 minutes to do one leg limiting my speed to 60km per hour. this is an acceptable commute time for me. Is a vectrix likely to achieve this on one charge?

If I don't charge at work in the day, is a silver bike cover any value to minimise heating from the sun?

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Re: New Vectrix

what sort of max speed should I limit it to to make the return trip on one charge AND not risk excessive discharge?

Congratulations! very cool choice! ;-)
And nice suggestions Andy!

According to my experience, a recent charge can give about 70 km range at 70 km/h.
I recommend the first day to take it easy, around 50 km/h. A new battery won't give you all the energy during the first discharges.
As the software and the battery gets used at the kind of daily commute you do, your range will be increased.
Remember, this battery has a hi self discharge rate. If you recharge the bike on Friday night and ride it on Monday, you won't reach home. Recharge it on Sunday night...

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Re: New Vectrix

If I don't charge at work in the day, is a silver bike cover any value to minimise heating from the sun?

Yes, but make sure, there are openings on the top of the cover, so that the hot air doesn't get trapped under the cover.

To make 64km/day and not to make excessive discharge, drive no faster than 70km/h.

If I assume, that you will be arriving home with 3-4 bars left, that means the following charge cycle:
1. CP (Constant Power): 2.5 hours
2. Cooling: 15 minutes
3. CC (Constant Current): 1 hour
4. Cooling: 1 hour
= 5 hours

8 hours of pre-charge cooling + 5 hours of charging = 13 hours prior to your leaving in the morning, you turn off the bike, with left brake applied and then you plug it in. If the battery temperature is above 24'C (you can check the battery temperature and voltage by turning off the kill switch and you pull the left brake while the bike is turned on), the cooling process will begin, until it reaches 24'C or the temperature of the battery is within 3'C of ambient temperature.
8 hours of cooling will give you the best cooling possible for your battery. After 8 hours, the above charging process will begin.

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Re: New Vectrix

Any machine driven on the limit will fail prematurely, so I advise you to drive usually in 60-80Km/h range.

For you daily commute my advice is:
- Configure the pre-charge delay to the maximum possible (in work it would be about 2h, depending on your schedule);
- Don't charge it with ambient temperatures above 30ºC (but you can refrigerate the air) and don't drive it if above 40ºC. It works but will hurt your batteries;
- I recommend a shallow discharge (until red battery light appears) every 500km. Vectrix recommends every week (not once a month);
- I recommend a deep discharge (until she doesn't do more in flat road that 24km/h) every 1000km. Vectrix recommends it once per month;
- Try to take special attention to the long equalization. She's programmed to do it every 10 hours of riding. This charge it will be long (about 10 hours) and will be hot, try to cool down the ambient air if possible.

Good luck with her. She's a nice lady and wiil give you much pleasure if you take care of her well ;-)

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Re: New Vectrix

congratulations and welcome to this forum.
You will love your bike, and will find lots of support in this group of Vectrix lovers/owners.
You should have a look at one of the inventions that one of our respected members, Mr Mik, has produced: the ABCool. You'll find it in one of the recent threads.. It's especially invented for use in parts of the world that are hot ;-)

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

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Re: New Vectrix

Jason,
my figures are exactly the same then yours .
I generally arrive @ work with half of the batt plus 2 bars, one bars when I take the mortoway
so far after 13.000 km and 7 months the batt has not declined, I am even sure that it has just reached it's max capacity .
I drive it smoothly in terms of acceleration even if on the motorway I drive @ 80-90 km/h and 50/70 on the road .
I have paid a great attention to the batt at the beginning of it's life cause friends of mine having used nimh tech on satellites for years had told me to unveil the battery chemics smoothly .
I also try not to accelerate too mutch when I go up a severe hill not to get too much amps from the batt at the same time .
but on the other hand on flat terrain I do drive rather fast cause .
also I always monitor temperature when I arrive at destination and cool the pack @ least 2 hours before charging .
I usually try to avoid equalization charges during the day cause temperature is high after hours and hours of charge .
I never charge in the sun .
It was boring during summer when even at night we had 28° celcius temps and somtimes more .. in those conditions I only charge around 4 in the night .
I've even had to use my car a couple of times not to start charging above 29° .
one of my friends has destroyed his pack charging in the sun cause he did not know anything about this problem .
@ the end of this year I will certainly turn 20.000 km ....
I cross fingers ... like you I have bet on the vec for my commutes ...based on a 4 years pack life expectancy .... we will see ...
good luck
If I had the bloody laptop program permitting to parameter the controller and the charger I would prepare a lithium pack believe me ..
anyway .
regards
jean mi

vectrixhoper

jurba
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Re: New Vectrix

just a precision I charge @ work, never use the full batt capacity unless you are have no choice, charge @ work .
usually I even charge 2 or 3 times @ work even if I have just ridden a few km to get cigarets or to go to the post office or whatever .
as it was said before charge often as possible

vectrixhoper

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Re: New Vectrix

Hello "procrastination inc"

Very good advice in this thread so far. Fortunately I was able to tap into the above experts as well, having my Vectrix survive quite nicely this past (my first) HOT season, living and commuting in Phoenix Arizona (USA). As temps here got above 40 (MAY through SEP), I was getting barely 21-25 Km on a charge. Glad I got quick advice here (thank you visforvoltage) before I burnt up the batteries; and with patient and understanding wife, pulled Vectrix into the house every night, waiting until early the next morning to do any charging.

Am looking at building one of Mik's ABC Cool power supply's before next summer; and wondering why Vectrix never thought of allowing users to run the battery impellers on command -- cools the packs down very quickly. Takes almost two days to get battery temps down to "indoor" range without impellers. (considering I'd arrive home with batteries around 42)

Rode to work a couple months ago in 47 degree heat. hottest ever for me so far. I know is not recommended, but my back up transportation is bicycle or walk. Learned VERY quickly to never charge above 30. Also, I've learned to NOT USE any regenerative braking when riding above 35 degrees; and easy throttle on acceleration.

My commute to work is short, about 12km round trip; with another 5-8km if I go out for lunch. Did many "brown bag" lunches this summer to avoid our daily 42-45 degree heat; not good for Vectrix, as well as uncomfortable for me to ride around in helmet and protective jacket in the heat of the day.

I have not seen, or know of any other Vectix owner here in Phoenix. My dealer is up in the mountains about 200 km away, and 12 degrees cooler. Got a comment earlier this year from an owner in Tucson, Arizona talking about his Vectrix b a r e l y surviving Summer of 2008. Tucson is a bit cooler than Phoenix, but still in the 40's during summer. All the riders in UK can finally appreciate their damp/chilly weather being an advantage for electric riding.

Good luck on your purchase. Even in our desert heat, still a blast! Now enjoying our nice Fall/Winter 15-20 degrees until next year.

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Re: New Vectrix

You're probably the test driver facing the hottest weather. I doubt if the NiMH will survive long on those conditions (if it were Li-ion there would be no problem). It would be nice to see if what Vectrix told me is true. They said that "NiMH batteries should not work with temperatures above 40ºC. Damage can happen in these cases. But, the NiMH batteries used on Vectrix can work with temperatures above 50ºC, and damage can only happen above 60ºC. Above 80ºC, the damage will be permanent."

Let's hope that it is true (but I doubt it)... Maybe one of our well informed members can talk some about it?

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Re: New Vectrix

This is the only time I'm happy to say I live in a cool country, I've never seen my battery pack above 30c. It lives in a cool garage which is where I recharge and it seems that while charging, the fans keep the battery pack temp very much under control, as the ambient temp is so low.

I did my first unauthorised charge the other day. It was in a public car park, there was a 13amp socket begging to be used so I gave it a 20 min charge, just as well, as I wouldn't have got home. My day's itinerary unexpectedly changed while I was out and about, I was sooo glad of the quick top up. I got free parking too! Haha, win win!

Simon

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Re: New Vectrix

so far after 13.000 km and 7 months the batt has not declined

Incredible.. 13.000 km in 7 months! keep us to date about the evolution of your battery. I've passed the 18.000 km mark, it has taken me 2.5 years to get there. You'll catch me very quickly! The battery is performing nice with the new SW. It seemed to decline during summer, but now it is completely recovered.

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Re: New Vectrix

so far after 13.000 km and 7 months the batt has not declined

Incredible.. 13.000 km in 7 months! keep us to date about the evolution of your battery. I've passed the 18.000 km mark, it has taken me 2.5 years to get there. You'll catch me very quickly! The battery is performing nice with the new SW. It seemed to decline during summer, but now it is completely recovered.

He who rests, rusts...!

That seems to be particularly true for the VX-1.

Many of the problems with the battery were due to periods of inactivity, either before sale or after.

Shallow cycling several times per day keeps them perfectly balanced and happy.

They are not built to stand around, they need to run each day.

Even after a few days of inactivity (a weekend) they are not up to peak performance.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

Ok, all that fits with my readings so far.

keep batt temp as low as manageable, don't exceed 40 degrees.

Keep all cells above 1 volt. the BMS can't be relied upon to do this, so if I have no other means of monitoring this shallow discharges and regular charging are likely to extend battery life.

Is that right?

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Re: New Vectrix

Ah, now that I know you are in Australia - some questions if I may?

Do they guarantee the Vectrix against being dead on arrival?

Did you ask them if the battery rework has been done?

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

try this:

procrastination.inc

fill the gaps

gmail.com

this is my "disposable address" for fora

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

picked it up yesterday :)

Great ride in the city. It will be interesting to see how it copes with my 32 km commute. 36km off first charge

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Re: New Vectrix

Two days ago I test drove BMW R1200GS. Aww, the noise and the vibrations and constant changing of gears... After the ride and drive back home with my Vectrix. Such a silence and joy to ride. I felt like I'm flying on a flying carpet.

Mik
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Re: New Vectrix

Two days ago I test drove BMW R1200GS. Aww, the noise and the vibrations and constant changing of gears... After the ride and drive back home with my Vectrix. Such a silence and joy to ride. I felt like I'm flying on a flying carpet.

That might be from the sleep deprivation... ROTFLMAO!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

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Re: New Vectrix

Congratulations!

Can you have a look at your VIN number and date of build? Thanks!

AndY1
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Re: New Vectrix
Two days ago I test drove BMW R1200GS. Aww, the noise and the vibrations and constant changing of gears... After the ride and drive back home with my Vectrix. Such a silence and joy to ride. I felt like I'm flying on a flying carpet.

That might be from the sleep deprivation... ROTFLMAO!

I really don't know what I was writing above there, lol, must be tonight's sleep deprivation ;-) What I meant was, that after test riding BMW R1200GS, it was such a joy driving my Vectrix on the way home. No noise, no vibrations, no gear changes, just joy of silence and smooth riding.

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

on the 4th charge now

well 4th and a half, I got a bit carried away last night and found my self 20km from home with 4bars and 20 km estimated range and nothing but paddocks between the town I was in and my home town. So I found a local pub still doing meals and asked for a power point to charge the bike while I sat and had dinner.

No trouble at all. Everyone you meet is so interested in this bike :)

I am afraid I have not been able to limit the throttle. I dumped 3/4 of the last charge at 70-90km/hr. Very capable little scoot. I tootled around town for the rest and I still got 40km til the red light came on. I hope I haven't set up my battery for trouble down the track.

AndY1
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Re: New Vectrix

No need to worry :-) Battery is speced for 300+Amperes max. on discharge and you're discharging at 30A at aprox. 70km/h and 90A at aprox. constant 100km/h.

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

well after another quick blat today and recharge. after the charge, the gauge was one bar short of full and estimated range on start was only 70km (normally 83...)

so much for "gently unveiling the chemics"

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Re: New Vectrix

The EST Range at start depends on the way you drove home. If you drove home fast, it will show less range than if you drove last 2km slowly. It still calculates on the last 1-2km driven, so this is nothing unusual.

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

Just went for a run towards work and back to test the range. travelled at about 70km/h, total 50km travelled. 1 bar left when I got home, estimated range was 9 km, still able to accelerate to 90km/h and the bat showed 129V at the start of charge. when I ran it down to the red light before, bat voltage on start of charging was 120V

50km won't be enough range for a work to home return run at that speed. I'll try again tomorrow and limit it to 60km/h

someone let me know when there is a 60Ahr Vectrix battery available :)

270km on the OD now, 230km in 4days. Work/home transit is 350 in 5. I hope they let me charge at work.

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

a slower run in to town today, 50-60km/hr. Arrived with 3 bars above middle after 30 km. Looking good.

ran home with a 5km highway stretch at 90km/hr that sucked the battery down a bit. at 50km and 3bars, I started to get speed limited.

56km, no bars but no red batt light, 25km/hr, 3km to home.

Plugged in the charger, Batt temp 21Deg 123V.

at 00:08 CP151 batt temp 32 134V.

I have noticed that the clock looses it's hr setting after a charge. Minutes are right, but the hr goes to 0...

clagros
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Re: New Vectrix

Hi,
After 4000 km and 7 month of hot Israeli summer, I've tryied (like everyone else) to extract the most of the juice.
I also made some excel tables looking for the 'sweet spot' e.g. the better balancing between speed and range, found it (theoretically) somewhere betweem 60 to 70 km/h (62-64 to be exact).
In practise, my VX gives almost always 50-60 kmt range, if not driving very agresivelly.
The most impotant points I learn from my experience are:

- Sudden accelerations is one of the worst battery eaters. Accelerating smoothly doesn't heat the battery too much, keep its well and it is really nice feeling. Same for driving above 90 km/h.
- After the battery red light came up, I was able to drive 10 kmts a limited speed (40-20-10 km/h). In other words, I never stayed on the road with a dead battery (somebody did?)
- The MAGIC NUMBER (I'd like to get feedback from the forum about this) is "110". That means that the sum of any combination of 'speed+reange=110'. For instance, if I'm going to drive most of the time at 50 km/h, the range will be aroud 60 km. If the drive is at 80 km/h (average), it will reach 30 km range. Etc.

Thanks!
Claudio

procrastination inc
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Re: New Vectrix

My experience so far agrees with your "magic number".

To travel to work at a decent pace will need charging at work.

If they refuse, might be a good excuse to change jobs. rotating shift is a PITA anyway :)

antiscab
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Re: New Vectrix

someone let me know when there is a 60Ahr Vectrix battery available :)

Theres an EV workshop here in Perth thats putting 60Ah flat pack LiFePO4 cells into a Vectrix.
I was hoping to be the first, but, looks like they beat me to it.

Matt

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion

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