jray3
Posts: 1658
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Range extender !

Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:36 am

Thanks Joe, I think that would be helpful. Suggested edit below, if I may be so bold. ;)

JoeS wrote:Occurred to me that this thread should be parsed into the following categories (and maybe its own subforum):

1) Onboard Electric Range Extender (e.g., Enginer)
2) Onboard ICE Range Extender (ugh!)
3) Battery Range Extender Trailer (the example above)
4) Genset Range Extender Trailer (AC Propulsion had a nice one)
5) Electric Pusher Trailer Range Extender (battery or hybrid)
6) ICE Pusher Trailer Range Extender (jray3's useful tools)

Opinions welcomed before we make the attempt...
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 105,400 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

PV1
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Range extender !

Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:43 pm

Jray3, how much does your pusher trailer weigh?

I'm pondering if a battery pusher trailer would be worthwhile. I figure three LEAF packs will give me an extra 200 miles of range, but I'm worried about the weight. Someone I know has been able to add CHAdeMO to his Focus Electric, and using the same system would allow the trailer to be quick charged.

I've already found two packs for a combined $8,700.
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

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Don
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Re: Range extender !

Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:12 pm

Assuming you could get another one for $4,350 that would mean your range extender trailer would cost you something close to $15K in total - I think you'd have to carefully weigh how often you would need the extra 200 miles . . . . if you only used it once or twice a month, those would be pretty expensive trips

A Leaf pack weighs 650 pounds, so 3 of them would be right at a ton and another few hundred for the trailer to carry them. I suspect that sort of weight would greatly reduce the range of the car to the point where you might not get near 200 miles even counting the iMiEV battery

The beauty of Jay's pusher trailer is that it's light (probably less than 1/3rd of your all electric one) and that it doesn't need recharging . . . . in fact, when used, it recharges the iMiEV battery as you drive, so there's no weight penalty to reduce your range. The other great thing about it is . . . . it's CHEAP - Dirt cheap compared to 3X Leaf batteries

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

jray3
Posts: 1658
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Range extender !

Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:13 am

PV1 wrote:Jray3, how much does your pusher trailer weigh?
I've already found two packs for a combined $8,700.


I wanna say that the JB Straubel pusher is 640 lb, gassed up. Will try to double-check that on my next trip.
LEAF batteries certainly have appreciated recently. Salvaged LEAF batteries here a year ago went for $1300, then $1800, then $2400 and now it seems you've gotta buy a whole wrecked car directly from the auction for $6500 in order to score a battery. Ben Nelson got his LEAF pack for $2200, IIRC, after I referred him to it at an out-of-the-way old timey junkyard.

Weight plus electrical hacking concerns were what pushed me into a gas pusher.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 105,400 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

PV1
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Posts: 2992
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact: Website

Re: Range extender !

Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:33 am

Thanks. I calculated the weight of just the modules, and it came out to 1,000 lbs for a 72 kWh pack. I think a trailer is another 200-300 lbs., and the electronics and electric drive are another 400-500 lbs.

That EV road trip is still on the to-do list, otherwise I wouldn't worry about a range extender and simply take the hybrid. I'll map out Plugshare and see what range is required to do the trip.
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

Dropbox maintenance in progress. If any of my links aren't working after November 17, please PM me and let me know which one isn't working.

Thanks.

PV1
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Re: Range extender !

Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:16 pm

I sure wish I knew that Siai47 was selling off his i-MiEV components. Has anybody priced a ~330 volt motor controller :shock: ?

Ok. So, for ~200 mile range, which methods do you think would work the best for a decent price?

1. Suitcase pack or battery trailer tied into the i-MiEV HV bus? Will the i-MiEV quick charge this pack without complaining?
2. Battery pusher trailer, possibly salvage i-MiEV drivetrain and chassis?
3. Forget the whole thing :oops: ?

I may have found a way to get a Tesla-size lithium-ion battery pack for an affordable (albeit labor-intensive) price. Well, if you can call $15,000 affordable :lol: . It should be considerably lighter than the LEAF modules.

If I were to take a trip to Normal, Illinois, I would need a range of at least 178 miles to hop quick chargers, with one level 2 in between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.

(Are there still a bunch of i-MiEVs running around Normal?)
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

Dropbox maintenance in progress. If any of my links aren't working after November 17, please PM me and let me know which one isn't working.

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jray3
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
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Re: Range extender !

Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:44 am

What's the goal? Are you morally opposed to using an engine, or wish to demonstrate the absolute maximum in efficient electric range? Pushers work extremely well, and are the only range extension option that actually reduces stress on the OEM drivetrain when compared to normal highway driving, and much more so in comparison to adding battery weight or pulling a battery trailer. Cruising down the highway at near zero amps is luxurious indeed.
The only way I saw to make an economical battery trailer would be to get a deal on salvaged packs, and that is much more challenging now than it was a year or two ago. Even then, a salvaged engine pusher is far more cost effective, and avoids hacking the car's wiring or software.
My next pusher upgrades are propane injection and remote throttle control, but other home energy projects and actual renumerative employment are taking precedence at the moment!
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 105,400 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

PV1
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Posts: 2992
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:22 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact: Website

Re: Range extender !

Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:04 pm

The end goal is long-distance, all-electric travelling. I know the simplest and easiest solution is to use the proper vehicle, but I just have this urge to build something and make my i-MiEV the end-all transportation solution. A small, lightweight vehicle for most of my driving, with the ability to hitch up and go across the state on short notice, on more than one route. Sometimes, it would be nice to jump on the highway and drive the 50-55 miles to my destination and cut my travel time in half. Not always possible around here.

1. I don't like burning fuel, and that has gotten worse since I had a solar array installed. I try all the time to convince my parents to take the i-MiEV instead of the C-Max on local trips, even though it gets 44 MPG. Gas engines just seem so, clunky, even in hybrid cars.
2. An electric pusher trailer also has the benefit of being used with our pickup truck for electric assist and regenerative braking. The main goal is regenerative braking since the engine doesn't hold back very well, and we usually use it when driving in hilly areas. The brake rotors are already warped, and there aren't that many miles on it.
3. A high capacity battery would tie-in nicely with solar to provide emergency/backup power to our house or for events. Just yesterday I saw a truck unloading three solar-powered mobile work lights 8-) .
4. Since I plan to utilize second-hand lithium-ion cells, I'm hopefully preventing a good portion of lithium from being dumped in a landfill. I'm taking the small-format, Tesla-style pack route. Other folks have had success. One guy powered an electric VW bus with them, and another made a 100+ mile range eBike. I'll cut my teeth on a custom pack for my lawn mower first.
5. With an extra 50 kW of motive power, the i-MiEV could really out-accelerate other vehicles :lol: ;) , and stealthily at that.

I've thought about a couple of suitcase battery packs that I could put in the back and plug in when I need extra miles, but like you said, the extra strain on the car's system plus the warranty concerns keeps me from wanting to touch the car's drive system. A trailer hitch could easily be unbolted before taking the car in for warranty, and there is little recorded evidence of tampering with the car. Controlling the trailer can be accomplished with an RC plane control system. I can have servos controlling the throttle and regen pot boxes on the trailer. The only wiring in the car that I would be tapping into are for trailer lights (brake, turn signals, etc.).
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

Dropbox maintenance in progress. If any of my links aren't working after November 17, please PM me and let me know which one isn't working.

Thanks.

jray3
Posts: 1658
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Range extender !

Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:27 am

AKA: "Pushing the Limits"

I took MR BEAN 150 miles down to Portland last week for the EV Roadmap 8 Conference. It was a great meeting, and I also got to dine with the Norwegian parlimentarian behind many of their EV incentives.
Itinerary was too tight to spend an extra 90+ minutes on fast charging to get there, so I took the pusher trailer. Excellent and flawless performance driving at 70+ mph. On the way back on Thursday, I got caught in a squeeze play between an RV and a merging semi, so rather than braking to get stuck behind that undynamic duo, I tapped the 200% power of my i/pusher combination and rocketed through the gap. A couple of minutes later, a lifted pickup also made it around, and the shoeless redneck that was cooling his heels out of the passenger window gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up, as did the motorcyclist right behind them!

Alas, the weather was breaking record high temps for the Pacific NW, hitting 102 F /39 C on Thursday. The pusher engine started pinging, so I increased speed to up the cooling fan revs and lean more on battery power in order to unload the engine, but it was too late and the overheated engine belched smoke as it lost compression in at least one cylinder. It still runs, but without much power and backfires through the carb; probably a burned valve.... SO, time to head for home on battery alone. The sick engine had used up too much of my battery buffer to reach the next fast charging station and I didn't want to abandon the trailer, so I did 90 minutes on L2 before hitting the next three fast charging stations, with a 'double pump' on the final AeroVironment L3 in order to accomplish the last 39 hilly miles home.

You may recall that this engine was locked at Wide Open Throttle, so a remote control throttle mechanism will be part of the next build, as well as a temperature readout. Meanwhile, the hot temps helped to enable record high 28.4 mpg in the Odyssey van on our next trip, which went deep into Idaho and back over the weekend.

Meanwhile, my friend with a similar VW pusher (wide open throttle and all) successfully drove over 3000 miles on his "through the road series hybrid" last week!
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 105,400 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

GdB
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:06 pm

Re: Range extender !

Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:11 am

The shock heating of full throttle cold starts must not be good, but it would be worse with a water cooled engine. Maybe the damage was mostly from the pinging. Perhaps your friends pusher has a richer mixture or a bit less than full throttle. Seems you could save a lot of fuel by setting the throttle to just below where power enrichment occurs. It may limit your speed but setting a higher gear might help that.

jray3 wrote:AKA: "Pushing the Limits"

Alas, the weather was breaking record high temps for the Pacific NW, hitting 102 F /39 C on Thursday. The pusher engine started pinging, so I increased speed to up the cooling fan revs and lean more on battery power in order to unload the engine, but it was too late and the overheated engine belched smoke as it lost compression in at least one cylinder. It still runs, but without much power and backfires through the carb; probably a burned valve....
...
You may recall that this engine was locked at Wide Open Throttle, so a remote control throttle mechanism will be part of the next build, as well as a temperature readout. Meanwhile, the hot temps helped to enable record high 28.4 mpg in the Odyssey van on our next trip, which went deep into Idaho and back over the weekend.

Meanwhile, my friend with a similar VW pusher (wide open throttle and all) successfully drove over 3000 miles on his "through the road series hybrid" last week!
My EVs: 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV and 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric SEL

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