Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RANGE ANXIETY

I had been driving the electric Fiero on short errands close to home since the last charge and thought I had plenty of juice left, so I decided to drive to the Hardware Store about 8 miles away to pick up some screws I needed to remount the breaker box I installed in the garage to charge the car.


After going a couple miles, the car felt a little sluggish and I almost turned around, but decided I could probably make the trip. Most of the roads are country with a 35 mile per hour speed limit but there are about 3 miles on main roads with a 55 mph speed limit. I pulled out on the state route and had to accelerate pretty briskly to keep with the flow of traffic and by the time I reached the Hardware Store, it was obvious I should have turned around and gone back home after the first couple of miles but I got my hardware and headed back home. The car would barely go 35 mph and the voltage was dropping so low the main contactor kept kicking out. Fortunately after coasting for a few seconds, it would make back up. There are a couple of small hills and I was barely able creep up them but some how made it. When I was a couple miles from home my wife called and I told her to meet me by an old school house and bring a strap to pull me home. 


Somehow the car kept going and I met her on the road about a mile from the house. One more small hill and I was able to coast the remainder of the way into my driveway. 



The old lead acids are probably really toast now but it doesn't really matter as I am going to be pulling it into the garage soon to start the rebuild and lithium battery install over the winter.
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