Battery Electric Vehicles

I have driven two different Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV's) over the past four years.  The EV-1 produced by GM  and the RAV-4 EV by Toyota were produced primarily to test the viability of BEV's and to meet California's clean air mandate.  The legislation has been rolled back allowing the auto manufacturers to backpedal on their programs to build these "Zero Emission Vehicles".  Since that time GM recalled the entire fleet of more than 600 cars (Both were available only on lease, and not sold).  After a running "conversation" with GM, I was forced to return the EV-1 after 16,000 miles of entirely trouble free driving..  They are being destroyed by GM.  Toyota has discontinued their program as well but have sold at least a few of the fleet of RAV-4 EV's.  I am negotiating. . .

Toyota produced a limited number of RAV-4 battery electric vehicles.  This car has been entirely practical for all general purpose day to day use.  I now have over 25,000 miles over a two year period.  Colorado has no infrastructure of public chargers (California has a few hundred charging locations around the state), so I switch to another car when going on longer trips..  I have one 220 VAC, 6kW charger at work and another at home.  Comfortable range on the Nickel Metal Hydride  power pack is 65 to 100 miles depending on driving and ambient temperature. 

My personal experience with Battery Electric Vehicles this has been very enlightening.  The science and engineering of electric vehicles including battery technology proves it is viable TODAY for general use.    After two years driving a General Motors EV-1 and two more years driving my RAV-4 EV, I can say without hesitation that the general availability of advanced Battery Electric Vehicles or Serial Hybrid Vehicles would reduce eliminate the majority of vehicle generated air pollution.  (Current Hybrids are parallel hybrids, meaning they generate power to recharge their small capacity battery from the internal combustion engine.  They get about 25% better gas mileage than would the same vehicle with gasoline only propulsion).  Combined with alternative sources of electric power generation, we could dramatically reduce the consumption of oil. 

The politics of the EV is pretty ugly.  I certainly understand that a realistic business case cannot be built by the auto companies for pursuing the electric vehicle.  The Board of Directors and top executives are judged by their performance this year and next not on the future a generation away. 

The push for Hydrogen as an energy storage medium has been sold as a better option than battery storage of energy for vehicle propulsion.  It may ultimately be better, but the switch away from the BEV and Serial Hybrid allows the auto and oil industries to maintain essentially a status quo for possibly another decade before serious movement to address the problem. . . great for current earnings but not so great for our country and the world! 




AC Propulsion Presentation_EAASV_101803.pdf




    General Motors EV-1 taken March 5, 2000.


July 10, 2000   The EV-1 easily does Zero to 60 in less than 8 seconds with a Lead Acid Battery pack!  The feeling of constant acceleration with no shifting of gears was a unique.

The RAV-4 has been absolutely trouble-free over more than two years and 25,000 miles, an amazing record for an entirely new range of technology in the drive train.  This car is not as fast but has been completely practical for me.  The Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack holds about 25 kWH of energy!  The design life of the pack was 30,000 but nearly all cars that have reached the 60,000 mile point are on the original pack and a few are now over 100,000 miles and counting.  It is generally agreed that a lifetime pack (200,000 Miles) with existing battery technology may be possible NOW.


Off the soap box and back to ham radio!