Will electrics bring back Route 66?

Found here: http://route66chamberofcommerce.homestead.com/NATIONALLINKSpage.html

Ted Dillard’s post about the new Zero motors got my head chugging in a direction it hasn’t for a while.  It got me thinking about not how to spec a race bike build (although that always comes up) but what about my poor VFR that is sitting all alone wheelless and exhaustless back in Maine (thank you douchebags who raided my brother’s garage a year ago).  I have always been more of a fan of the AC induction motors rather than the small pancake style ones.  But picture Agni 95s that are brushless, and that in a dual motor setup could be good for over 90 hp (closer to or over 100 with some hotrodding).  That is a 20 to 30 hp gain with only a 20lb (maybe more with controller weight) weight gain.  That’s more powerful than the eCRP, Agni, Moto Electra, and the Brammo!  Yes please, can I have another?  Now, as you can see I have gone off into the land of fictional hobby building, so please appropriate sized grain of salt now, if you haven’t already.

Ok, so I’m day dreaming about batteries and pack size and how to put everything together, and then the record skipped.  Pack size?  Yeah, pack size.  How much can I stuff under my ’91 VFR’s fairings, and how far do I need to go?  Well, 200Whr per mile is a good estimate of how far I could cruze on the interstate.  I should be able to stuff 10kWh in there, but 11.5?   Ehhh.  So, that is 50 miles.  Fine for back home in Maine as long as I could top off in Bangor or Waterville.  It would just get me to Nashville from where I live now.  That’s cutting it a bit close.  Then I think of my interview with Jensen Beeler (it’s coming) and talking about his upcoming test of the new Zero, and how he’s going to get it from Zero’s headquarters to his place ( like there’s no charging station’s in SF).  It has a 112 mile range around town with a 9kWh pack.  It is amazing how much more energy you use on the interstate.  Going slower in your gas car increases your range a little bit, but in an EV it nearly doubles it.  I would be certain to make it Nashville with decent reserves if I was willing to go slower.  And consequently, Jensen would be able to make it home if he took the scenic back roads.  So, until battery density improves 5 fold, or even 2 fold, elmoto owners may start taking the slow way to places so they can be certain to get where they want with plenty of reserves.  Oh yes, twist my arm and make me take the PCH instead of I-5 or the 101, whenever I get back to California.  Elmoto riders now have a legitimate excuse to take the scenic back roads to where they are going.

This could have some serious cultural implications.  Like people taking roads like Route 66 instead of the interstate.  Well, unitl the battery density comes.  Only now, I’m not so sure I want that day to come anytime soon.

2 thoughts on “Will electrics bring back Route 66?

  1. 3x is a little extreme for any kind of distance travel.. that’s 35 mph vs 80 mph. Travelling at 85 mph is around 1/2 the range as at 55 mph. 70 mph is 2/3 the range as 55 mph.

    Battery density improvements will still help for any kind of long-distance travel; I expect the 7.9 kwh ZF9 can still only do about 65 miles at 55 mph. If you can tolerate a 30 minute charge every 2 hours, then you still need a 15 kwh pack at 55 mph (and 25 kw chargers), or a 30 kwh pack at 70 mph (and 50 kw chargers).

    What we have now:
    * batteries that can charge in 30 minutes
    * 240V AC charging spec that supplies up to 17 kw (70A)
    * level 2 chargers that are much cheaper than gas fuel pumps (but service fewer vehicles per hour)

    What we need:
    * cheaper and denser batteries
    * higher-power charging spec (CHAdeMO as on the Nissan Leaf?)
    * smaller, higher-power chargers (AC Propulsion holds patents on using the motor controller in reverse as a charger..)

    1. I stand corrected, thank you.

      Although in Monzinita Micro’s defense, they now have an 18kW charger that can draw 75A continuous.

      As far as the Leaf vs. Ford thing can be clarified here: http://www.plugincars.com/ford-focus-electric-likely-wont-support-dc-fast-charging-launch-106739.html

      The basic gist is, the Leaf has a 3.3kW AC charger on board, and the Ford has a 6.6kW AC charger, meaning at home the Ford charges twice as fast. However, the Leaf supports a Japanese CHAdeMO standard that is DC (basically from a battery pack to a battery pack. This can’t be implemented at home, but is like a gas station replacement. However, this DC station can charge you Leaf in 30 minutes. The Ford is not set up for the CHAdeMO standard.

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