$100 and 4900 Miles Later

Discussion in 'EV (Electric Vehicle) Discussion' started by DaveinOlyWA, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Recently, i passed the $100 milestone for cost of electricity to power my Zenn, i feel obligated to post my experiences again.

    Overall, i have been pleased with the Zenn. it is an "upscale" EV, not a golf cart in anyway. it is definitely a 2nd car, its range is simply too limiting especially in winter to be anything else not to mention that its only a 2 seater.

    i am using lead acid batteries, which are cheap (currently around $950 to replace the pack) but are temperature dependent, the objective of this post is to give a realistic feedback for anyone considering this option.

    first of all, there is a difference in a "full tank" based on how long its been full.

    for example, in summer after charging all night, i can get around 23-25 miles before the speed starts to slow down. (you can go another 5 miles but its much slower and the Zenn is already slow enough!!) but if the batteries have just been charged or even is charging and close to full, i can go 30+ miles. be that the internal temps of the batteries or whatever, many i talk to on the Zenn forum have invested in battery warmers and report "summer-like" ranges even in places like Montana.

    now that the weather has gotten warmer, the range has been reduced. after an all night charge, i am now getting around 14-15 miles on a charge, but still can get 25 miles if recently charged.

    other than that, i have had my onboard charger replaced (it has a separate 2 year warantee) and apparently this is a common problem with the DC Zenns as many have had theirs replaced as well.

    right after i got my Zenn, i have a larger motor put in, that did not work out, it overheated frequently, so it was pulled out after 4 months or so. i originally did it because at the time, that was the only option to get 35 mph, but someone (thank [email protected][email protected]) in the bay area hacked the controller and posted a software program so that you could reprogram it to as much as 42 mph... (since 35 mph is legal, that is all i could get here) but all in all, the software program (actually cuts off at 38 mph) is better, a bit less acceleration, but still not bad (it takes an average 16-18 sec to go 0-35 mph)

    so now, i am looking to upgrade my Zenn. i have decided that a 4 passenger is a must. in the past 10 months, 62 times, the Pri was taken when the Zenn could have done the trick, but did not have the seating. 45 of those trips were less than 5 miles roundtrip creating a double whammy with the big hit on the Pri's mileage. now, dont get me wrong, the Zenn did do 411 trips as of Sept 23rd, so it did fill a lot of our needs.

    so the big question, would i do it again??

    well, in hindsight, no doubt it would be yes because what we didnt know is the other car, the Corolla, was about to fall apart and did so less than 2 months after my father in law started driving it and he took WAAAY BETTER care of it than my SO did.

    plus with moving, the Zenn covers both our commuting needs...
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I assume you mean "cooler" and therefore range is reduced.

    Nice! Yeah I wonder how future EVs would cover that area. An internal cooling/heating system around the battery?
     
  3. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    ultra Caps not temperature sensitive, neither is Li...so either get ultracaps on market or lower price of Li batts. considering the availability of Li, i seriously doubt the former
     
  4. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Allan has the AC motor in his Zenn. Much better acceleration and hill-climbing than my Xebra. And he has the 35-mph version. My Xebra is allowed to go faster, but doesn't, except downhill. I'm very impressed with Allan's Zenn.
     
  5. rgathright

    rgathright New Member

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    Informative post.
     
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