I was just getting Carolyn her first cup of coffee this morning when this strange bloke came wandering up the ramp to the house. Most people would be looking for petrol when they "ran out" of "go-juice" in front of our place. This time the request was for a quick charge of his car's batteries. Dave, because that was his name, had built his own electric car and had misjudged the distance he had to travel when the low battery alarm came on as he was going past our place.
It runs lithium-ion batteries and apparently if you let them discharge fully they can become irreparably damaged. The batteries are just over 2 volts each and the power the car has is almost 120 V with roughly 15 kilowatts power available. His range at 80 kph is about 70 kms and he missed by 6 kms as that is how far we are from Canungra where he had organised a recharge. A total recharge takes about 4 hours and the car was on charge here for about 20/25 minutes which would take him comfortably into Canungra.
He built the car 4 years ago and has done just over 45,000 kms since the conversion. It has been clocked at 120 kph (before he chickened out) but he usually, when distance is not a factor, keeps up with the traffic at 80 or 100 kph depending on the speed limits he is in. When the car was petrol driven it cost roughly $7.50 per 100 kms but with the electric engine his charging cost are about $2.20 per 100 kms on full day electricity charges or about $1.00 per 100 kms on overnight reduced electricity charges. Dave estimates that if he covers 100,000 kms or owns the car for 9 years from the date of the conversion he will have amortised the cost of the conversion. That will have been reduced as the cost of fuel has risen from $1.10 per litre when he undertook the conversion to $1.30 to $1.40 now.
An interesting start to the day.