Friday, June 27, 2008

Still learning to drive!

Transitioning to an EV isn't easy. I feel like I am still learning how to drive. After doing some research online and asking questions in forums and such I have changed my shifting and driving habits. I am now using 1st 2nd and 3rd, and rarely 4th. I am getting from 0-16 MPH in 1st, then up to 28 MPH in 2nd, then 45MPH in 3rd, and cruise at 50MPH in 4th. I am now reeving the engine to higher RPMs about 4000rpm. Hopefully this will help me get more mileage out of the bus as well as be kinder to the batteries so they will live longer. I am also watching my amp meter to keep the amps below 300 as much as possible. With 6V batteries 300 amps shouldn't hurt the life of the batteries if I don't run it there too often.

I did end up getting on I-5 the other day but I knew there was traffic so stop and go was no problem keeping up with the flow!

Gone for a week

I was gone last week, and my bus just had to sit. I left it fully charged, and when I came home it read 155 on the pack, but when I plugged it in, it charged for a good hour or so. Yesterday Erica and I made a trip to Edgefield for a concert (Death Cab), 26 miles total trip on the back roads, which wasn't a problem, but I did have to drive into an open field to park. It was super rough and I had to worry about bouncing my batteries around too much and loosening a connection, but no harm done!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Photo Booth Bus

One of my Jobs is renting out photobooths in Portland Oregon, Seattle Washington, and Boise Idaho.

I have an upcoming wedding in July where we are turning the bus into the booth. It will be an outdoor farm wedding and the bus will fit right in. The box with camera and printer will be behind the drivers seat, and the guests will enter through a curtain where the sliding door opening is, then sit on the back bench and hit the button for the shots. It will then print out right away for the guests inside the bus.

Just another use for the electric bus!

We might do some custom graphics like this...

Two high mileage days

I just had two days over 40 miles for work. I had to go from NE Portland to Tualatin, and then the next day to Lower Lake Oswego. Both of these required some big hills and some 25 mph driving up hill on the way home. The pack voltage when fully charged is 155V now and after a trip like that it reads 145V. I was lugging about 200 lbs. of gear and myself, but no middle seat. It also takes 9 hours on 220 to fully recharge the pack after tough days like that.

On the design front I put some electric car signs in the window to see how people will react, I think it keeps them from getting mad at me on the big hills, and I added a new VW logo to the front.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Tires.

I finally got new tires on the bus. Thanks to LesSchwab here in in NE Portland I got Nankang brand 185R-14/8 N810 Light Truck 2 ply sidewalls steel belted rasdials. 65 psi.

The bus now steers easier and rolls faster. I should get better mils per charge and maybe even faster speeds.

I'll post about that when I figure it out

Shocks are next. I was thinking about coil overs, but the forum over at convinced me that the bus shock mounts arent strong enough, so I'm going with the gas adjust models. The tires helped make the back end look less saggy already and the shocks will finish the job and get rid of the squeaking noise I make. Bicyclists look out!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

big load

Yesterday we really pushed the limits of what this car can do. Me, my wife, my three kids, three car seats and 650 pounds of paint from the paint store to paint our house with. And it was 4.4 miles up hill on the way home. It felt sluggish on some of the hills, and I really need to get some sturdier tires, but it made it! I won't be lugging that much around too often, but it is fun to know I can.